Friday, July 29, 2011

Staying Low Carb while holidaying in the USA

The very first challenge in my summer quest to keep my low-carb diet was high above the Pacific. Airplane food is laden with delicious but inappropriate goodies. The Chinese family seated nearby had the right idea. Take what you love to eat with you, when you fly. I immediately was forced to end my self-regulating restrictions, if I wanted to eat enough during the full day of multiple flights, from Osaka Japan to Albany New York.

The next blockade to Paleo perfection was the free continental breakfast at the Howard Johnson Motel, absolutely 100% CARBOHYDRATES, with stacks of bagels, loaves of bread, plates of donuts, bowls of cereal, and a splash of dairy or jugs of sweetened juice. In another time, on another diet, I would have been in pig heaven... but as a potential caveman in quest of bacon and eggs, I was plane out of luck.

The third obstacle to continued weight loss was lunch, having made breakfast with no 'break' but simply an unintential 'fast'. Lunch in an all American Shopping Mall FOOD COURT... every food stall was something potentially good wrapped in, covered in, stacked with gluten manifestations, soaked in sugary sauces. Only the pseudo-Japanese booths, owned and operated by competing Chinese chefs, allowed quasi-low-carb variables of meat and vegetables, laden with the obligatory MSG and sinister sauces.

Soon we will take to the road, after a family barbecue, and a day at the country fair. Doing America on a low-carb diet should prove a crash course in improvisational shopping. Thank God my medical statistics confirm why I prefer this style of eating.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Can't beat Success

My low-carb adventure, which I now more often refer to as Paleo, primarily because the sound is a bit more snazzy, has been a real plus in my life. I jokingly refer to it as age regression, as I started at 134 kg, quicky moved into the 20's (platforming for a while at 122), and most recently been in my teens (dancing betwen 118 and 119). I am striving for infancy, achieving a long held dietary goal of breaking below a 100 kg after too many years overweight.

No matter what variant, Low-Carb, Atkins, Paleo, et al. the basic formular works for my particular dietary needs and preferences. I imagine a great deal more of us unhappily oversized could benefit by experimenting with this 'eliminating carbohydrates' aesthetic.  Becoming aware of the sugar factor in our habitual over-eating, aware of the starch/sugar relationship to our body weight, reading food labels, and simply remaking old patterns... all play out well for apple body-shape types like me.

This direct assault, on my metabolic syndrome wasted waist line, has improved my medical statistics in under six months. This is the actual goal, to be further away from the threat of diabetes, heart disease, and all the many nasties of obesity. And though I am not yet in the green zone, I feel good getting out of the red hot danger zone. Perseverance furthers.

This summer I have scheduled a three week road trip with my dad and my son through the wilds of the USA, where delectable carbs wait in ambush at every diner dinner, fast-food courner, and family feast. I would love to continue to lose, but maintaining my present weight may be accomplishment enough.

My digestion of Paleo/low-carb literature, along with the ample informative podcasts available on the low-carb lifestyle, helps both to articulate my understanding and to keep me focused. There are many celebrates in this minority world of exotic nutritionists and fitness gurus, many are quite entertaining. It will take me months to work through my ever expanding book collection on this subject. But first... the challenge of traveling America and applying the lessons I have already learned, about avoiding those foods that make me fat, while enjoying the fats that satiate and satisfy... living the life... is key.

And... as an added bonus, playing with T'ai Chi & QiGong as my summer fascination, an exercise experiment as beautiful as it is enjoyable i.e. keeping cool by being cool!
Wish me luck.

A snapshot of Tai Chi instructor Roberto Paredes.