Sunday, September 6, 2009

Grow Your Own CRON Diet With Aquaponics

The CRON Diet or lifestyle is a very self-sufficient and environmentally conscious approach to longevity - whether practitioners realize this or not. It was in this same vain of being self sufficient and environmentally friendly that I got excited about Aquaponics. This approach can provide year round fresh fish and green veggies in an ultra fresh and low maintenance manner while being incredibly good for the environment.

Some of the highlights that hooked me were things like this paragraph from Backyard Aquaponics:

According to university studies in Canada, aquaponic plant growth has been
found to exceed normal hydroponic growth rates. And aquaponic fish have been
found to have less health problems than fish grown in intensive aquaculture
systems Aquaponics is the most water efficient method of food production
available today, requiring only about 1/10th of the water used for ground
grown vegetables.

So it was an incredibly neat and highly effective approach to agriculture - and relatively new too. But could it be done at home, easily and cheaply?

Well, here is one of a huge number of Aquaponics related YouTube videos:

So, just seeing this setup my mind started to whir with activity. Indeed, there are folks around the world who are selling home aquaponics kits.

Essentially one feeds the fish and the fish almost entirely feed the nutrients needed for the plants.

There is a huge range of fish species, prawns, crayfish, and more that are being used in these kinds of systems and even more varieties of plants and crops.

Some are suggesting this new "green revolution" may solve many of the Earth's pending problems with faminine due to overpopulation.

Ultimately, I wasn't so selfless in my thoughts about Aquaponics. If I can convince my significant other to let me have one I am going to ensure I have fresh veggies year round. It would also be less likely for the dogs to dig up radishes and carrots from my Aquaponic garden.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yay - Summer is over!

I know this isn't going to be popular with some people: I don't really like Summer. Yes it is nice to be on vacation and spontaneous in the warm weather but that really makes CRON harder too.

The Summers are rather short here in Edmonton and one feels compelled to make the most of them while they are here by soaking up the sun, maximizing outside activities, and generally being spontaneous. Indeed I'm sure that Canadians as a whole are better defined as making as much as they can out of their Summers than they are by lengthy Winters. It's like we instinctively know that we need to soak up the sun and recharge our batteries while we are able to.

Beginning in August there was a family funeral and the food and visiting that naturally goes along with that. Then there was vacation in small town BC with a strong meat and potatoes side of the family that doesn't understand my catch and release fishing let alone my CRON lifestyle. Many other backyard BBQs and events with friends unseen for months also occured in August. As did a number of marathon festivals like Bluesfest. This Labour Day weekend there is a wedding and all the food that might entail.

Needless to say. I have actually managed to gain weight in August. More than I care to reveal.

Now that September is here I have been getting into more of a regular routine and I am grateful for that. I feel more centred already. Sigh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Garden Hit Hard by Radish Thief

The last week has been hard with the heat. I guess the dogs decided that with all of us spending more time in the back yard that they would help us garden... unfortunately that included eating radish greens and pulling up radishes for their own personal enjoyment.
Note: Guess who got blamed for this? Me! Apparently my feeding the dogs vegetables during the week when I'm preparing meals and salads was building temptation for them. And their being unsuperivsed by the garden around juicy radishes was too much for them. Lol. Too funny. I hope they enjoyed themselves but I am happy they didn't chew through too many of the plants.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wheat Germ

A while back I bought some wheat germ to boost my vitamin E and zinc intake on occasions when they seem to be staying a bit low. It wasn't until yesterday though that I had a chance to taste it.

Wheat germ is pleasantly tasty and nutty flavored. I've been having mine with yogurt or a bit of milk. I am very glad I tried this food item as I almost didn't.

Speaking of adventure in food. Have any of you tried vegemite? That just may be my next adventure if I can find some in my local area.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mustard Greens

Organic mustard greens were available at the local supermarket. Curious as ever, I decided to try them and I am very glad I did.

I prepared half the mustard greens in a salad. The greens were more salad like than kale and very spicy in a pleasant way. The warmth they produce is very nice to fix up what can sometimes become boring salads. Plus the texture is a nice change too.

The other half of the mustard greens were wilted with oil, garlic, and some soya sauce. These were excellent. I went out of my way to cut out the stems as many a recipe had suggested the stems don't wilt and can impact the consistency of the dish - they were right. Prepared this way the greens were similar to spinach. However, the taste was far superior.

I will definitely be getting more mustard greens in the future. However, although mine did not last long due to my appetite and curiosity, apparently mustard greens do not last as long as other greens or salad type items.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day... pancakes?

Happy Canada Day everyone!

This July 1st I am getting dragged to the Alberta Legislature grounds for a free pancake breakfast by friends and family... Why is it that so many things you get for free aren't really that great? I was trying to think what CRON compliant foods might be there and quickly gave up. I guess I will have to "smooth" out the calories elsewhere and keep my portions to a minimum. Actually, there is something appealing about a pancake breakfast... something. Maybe it's the sugar high from the maple syrup?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Barley Tabouleh (Tabouli)

Well, this last Saturday it was nice and hot out and I wanted a filling and refreshing cold salad. Going through my mental rolodex of appropriate dishes I immediately settled on tabouleh. However, I wanted barley instead of cracked wheat. That is exactly what I ended up doing.

I took the recipe and made a few small changes from here. That whole website is absolutely great actually.

The barley and fresh vegetables are a great flavour combination and are really quite low calorie for how filling this dish is. The one thing I did notice is that the olive oil is a large chunk of the overall calories in the dish... So, I scaled the oil back a bit so as to not hurt the flavour or taste.

The recipe is quite simple but does require a headstart on cooking the barley. And I would also say that chopping parsley is time consuming to say the least. Next time I think I will try using the food processor, but I wasn't convinced the food processor would do a good job so I spent a solid ten to fifteen minutes chopping mint, parsley, chives, and garlic.

Please, do yourself a favor and try this dish. It is absolutely amazing and refreshing on a hot day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Morsel of Wisdom

"The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or
fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things."
Ernest Dimnet

Oooh. I must admit fully that I am a quote-aholic. To me, quotes are those little morsels of wisdom that stick with you, sometimes for weeks. They are often very small but very filling, insightful, and reassuring.

This little quote I felt also is true of nutrition in the general population rather than happiness.

As I continue my CRON lifestyle I notice more and more that there are many of us, myself likely included, that have little bad habits that with repetition can slowly build up into a bigger problem for our health or nutrition.

These bad habits are sneaky because who wants to admit that the extra little serving here or the uncounted calories there are really adding up. Notice them. Be honest with yourself. Know that in even the smallest of things are the seeds of unintended consequences. Know that you can change the habit, and do so.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Discipline Re:Defined

dis⋅ci⋅pline  /ˈdɪsəplɪn/ [dis-uh-plin] noun, verb, -plined,


1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill;
training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order
maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
6. a set or system of rules and regulations.
7. Ecclesiastical. the system of government
regulating the practice of a church as distinguished from its doctrine.
8. an instrument of punishment, esp. a whip or scourge, used in the practice of
self-mortification or as an instrument of chastisement in certain religious
9. a branch of instruction or learning: the disciplines of history and economics.

–verb (used with object)

10. to train by instruction and exercise; drill.
11. to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.
12. to punish or penalize in order to train and control; correct; chastise.

It is very interesting to me that the very mention of discipline is associated, as is this dictionary definition, with references to harsh punishment, military training, strict rules and regulations. For me discipline is simply focus. Being unfocused means a lack of clarity about your goals and what you want to attract into your life and with that lack of focus those things you want fade away into the horizon. Whereas, if you are disciplined about the thoughts you have; the choices you have minute by minute, you will get closer to your goals and what you focus on will come closer.

Does this mean punishment is inherent? No. Does it mean dealing with opportunity costs where you give up one thing to get another. Yes. Does it mean torture? No.

CRONies need to reclaim and redefine the term discipline. What does discipline mean to me:

It means improving the ways and skill with which I come closer to my goals. It means focus. It does not mean all or nothing ultimatums where I am always disciplined or else my goals disappear. It does mean correcting my behaviour to getting myself back on track.

In biblical Hebrew, the generic word for sin is het. It means to err, to miss the mark. In this way we are all sinners as we have all missed the mark at some point in time. The original meaning of the word sin does not imply praise or blame. It simply means that the mark was missed. The word sin has even been used in archery for centuries.

Discipline is simply the training of your self to better hit your mark and achieve your goals. This training is not inherently negative, brutal, or punishing. It simply refocuses and redirects you.

We all know that there is both positive and negative reinforcement. Yet, people seem to focus on the negative when they hear the word discipline.

So CRONies, others, help me in redefining this word for ourselves and others. The world will be a much better place as a result. And I personally feel that it will help more people achieve their goals through being more compassionate with those that miss the mark, including themselves. Discipline should be without praise and blame and completely about focussing on the target.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Time

Well Summer has finally come. Daytime temperatures are nearing 30C.

Today at work our organization had a lobster lunch to thank all of our sales staff for a record sales period. It's good to know that some industries are not affected by the economic downturn and I am grateful for such abundance in my life. However, I don't want to look or sound like a hog at a trough because of that abundance.

So, I split a lobster with someone else and loaded up on additional veggies that were available. There was also herbed butter available that was passed over. Mmmm the lobster was very tasty.

However, after lunch I was chided by my end of the table for not eating enough and given an extra helping of dessert to compensate. This social control with food thing just never seems to go away, does it? I find it annoying. I try not to, but it bugs me that so many other well intentioned people line up to tell me what I should eat when and why. Why can't I decide for myself?

I'm still well above my target CR weight and yet people want me to eat larger helpings of dessert with them to be more like them. Salespeople learn pretty quickly that people like people like themselves and they start taking an interest in others to match up similarities. However, I don't want to be like everyone else. That reminded me of a quote I heard once:

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” - Krishnamurti

The more I think about it, the reason I think I don't like these situations is that there is an unspoken leadership role that is expected of me and I'm not prepared. What is the graceful and humble way to laugh with the others but maintain integrity with who I want to be? Because it seems to me that everyone else is wondering 1) how I can have the will power and 2) how they would be able to deal with the same social situations. On a certain level, people are literally looking to me to give them guidance and wisdom on how to react in similar situations. And not only am I being judged, but so is CRON.

At the time I just smiled and ate just half of what I was given and ignored direct contact with everyone. With that even being more than I wanted, I felt like I was giving in for their benefit.

What is the right response? What would Cool Hand Luke have done? What would you do to save face for yourself and for CR?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

CRON Chat Room at Vegan Done Light

Ever since the Oprah segment on CRON aired, the keyword search "Calorie Restriction Meetup" has been THE highest ranked search linking to my blog. In fact it is a good 6 times more popular than the next search phrase "CRON diet". So, it would appear that there is at least some motivation to attend local CR Meetup groups.

However, I have a sneaking suspicion that there isn't much of a true CR following in my home town. Starting a CRON Meetup group would cost about $12 a month. And I'm certainly contemplating it.

Until then, Erin Dame (ZenPawn) set up a CRON Chat Room at some point and I have just found it. Check it out! And, of course, the Calorie Restriction Society has links to a chat forum that has never been activated to my knowledge. Maybe in their next website overhaul?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FDA Allows Food Industry to Bend Truth

FDA and USDA nutrition labeling guide: decision diagrams, checklists, and regulations
By Tracy A. Altman
Published by CRC Press, 1998
ISBN 1566767067, 9781566767064

I thought I would share the above little snippet about FDA labeling on low calorie products. I'm not sure if you can read it but to paraphrase it says that products can be labeled Zero Calories if they contain less than 5 calories per labeled serving size. So, that's why some sweeteners and diet soft drinks can say they are zero calorie per serving but technically if you have enough of it you may be adding a fair bit of extra calories.

There seems to be games that are played with some companies reducing their serving size just so they can claim their product has no calories. Does a litre of diet pop actually have no calories? No. It could have as many as 14 calories. But the serving size shown is for 355ml and therefore shows no calories.

There is nothing that grinds on me more than the manipulation of truth by a whole industry. There are definitely some products that seem to abuse this labeling policy more than others. I hope that I can identify them and bring their tactics into the spotlight where they deserve to be. Do you know of any? I'd like to hear it.

I'm happy to say that aside from the occasional Splenda packet or diet pop this labeling doesn't affect me greatly. It really bothers me that it could add as much as an extra few percent to someone's daily calorie consumption just due to manipulation of a labeling policy. Is it a pressing issue? Is major harm done? No. However, the public can handle the truth and they want the truth. Tell me that my diet pop has 4 calories per can instead of saying it's Calorie Free.

What other skeletons are in the Food Industries labeling closet?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Awesome Product - PB2

Peanut butter. Mmm. So many great childhood memories. Probably because I'm not allergic to it.

Despite my love of peanut butter, with CR I have curbed my use to almost nothing because it has so many calories per tablespoon. says that my favourite Chunky Style peanut butter likely has 188 calories per 2 tbsp. Healthy and tasty as it may be, it is not very filling so it is doomed to moderate consumption.

The other day I was surfing through DollDust's wonderful links and I found a recipe referring to PB2. So after a quick search I found PB2 was powdered peanut butter. With only 54 calories per 2 tbsp. and to prepare it you add a tbsp of water thus creating 3tbsp of total peanut butter spread. That blog was using the PB2 as a dip for fruit and veggies. I think I will too.

Quick recap:
2 tbsp Normal Chunky Style Peanut Butter = 188 Calories
2 tbsp PB2 = 54 Calories

AND they claim to have all the same taste of regular Peanut Butter.

Bell Plantation is the manufacturer. There weren't any stores carrying it near me, so I will probably end up buying some online. Enjoy!

Here are the nutrition stats:

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
(6.5 oz/184 g)
Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar, and salt.
Serving size = 2 tablespoons (12 g) Servings per container: 16
Nutritional Values:
Calories 53.2
Fat Calories 16.8
Total Fat 1.87 g
Saturated Fat 0.34 g
Trans Fat <>
Monounsaturated Fat 1.04 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.40 g
Cholesterol <>
Sodium 77.6 mg
Carbohydrate 3.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.48 g
Simple Sugars 1.66 g
Protein 5.65 g
Vitamin A (IU) 0 %
Vitamin C (mg)
Calcium (mg) 1 %
Iron (mg) 1 % *

Friday, May 22, 2009

Eating Strategies to Reduce or Control Hunger

When CRON started to be a bigger part of my daily life I was drawn quite quickly to certain foods and strategies that significantly reduced my hunger while allowing me to reach my goals. Yet I often read elsewhere that hunger is a real issue for many people beginning CRON or already on a CRON diet.

So here is a list of my eating strategies for reducing and controlling hunger:
  1. Eat vegetables as they are high fibre, high nutrient, and calorically sparse. Some of my favourites are cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, various lettuce blends, and radishes. You will quickly notice that a CRON diet favours vegetables so find ones you like but limit consumption of high calorie vegetables like corn and carrots.
  2. Eat fruit as they are also high in fibre and nutrients, yet calorically sparse. My favourites are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, okay almost every berry, and apples. These are now my "sweets" of choice.
  3. Trade processed grains for natural grains. Processed grains often have little nutritional value and tend to have a higher calorie content. Natural grains are low calorie, have nutrients and more fibre. This means they are much more filling for the same amount of calories. Most pastas, breads, and white rice are replaced very quickly with beans, barley, and the like. Do your homework and be honest with yourself.
  4. Reduce foods with sugar. Fructose, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, cane sugar, lactose, and the like all have sugar in them. Sugar is high calorie and has no nutrients and is therefore completely incompatible with the goals of a CRON diet. Not only that, but sugar is very quickly absorbed by the body which keeps you hungry. If you want something sweet try fruit as it will keep you full longer.
  5. Reduce consumption of fats. A tablespoon of oil is about 120 calories. That is among the most calorically dense food items we can consume. So fats and oils need to be reduced if we are going to reach our caloric goals without feeling hunger. Our bodies need fat and there are good fats and bad fats. The fats from meat are generally worse for us than the fats from vegetable sources. For this reason my consumption of meat has become more infrequent and has changed to favouring leaner meats like fish and poultry.
  6. Choose lower Glycemic Index (GI) foods. The Glycemic Index is a rating of the effect a food has on the level of sugars in the blood. Lower GI foods do not spike your blood sugar nearly as much. They also tend to keep you full longer. Become familiar with the GI of the food you are eating and aim for the lower GI foods.
  7. Only eat when you are hungry. How many times have you felt obligated to eat because everyone else was or out of habit (ie. lunch break)?
  8. Eat slowly and purposefully. Do not eat on the run and don't eat because of boredom or stress. And see #7 - eat because you are hungry.
  9. Use smaller dishes to serve your meals. Perception is everything. If you use smaller utensils and plates the food really does seem to be much more abundant as it seems to take up more real estate.
  10. Don't overeat. Stop eating just before you are full and it will change your perception of how much you need to eat to be full.
  11. Have a plan. Without a plan to have CRON food items around it is pretty easy to eat non-compliant food or resort to dining out. Make a plan and stick to it.
  12. Have fun. CRON isn't about restriction specifically. It is about Optimum Nutrition. If CRON gets hard or you are hungry, eat and have fun. Don't get stressed out or suffer. It simply isn't worth it. So have that extra serving or that slice of pie and then return to CRON right after. CRON is not an all or nothing thing. By having fun you will make CRON a lifelong habit or lifestyle instead of a short term tool for weight loss and nutrition.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This May long weekend I have family visiting. Family: well meaning, well intentioned individuals related by blood or marriage who don't understand me, CRON, or what their scales are trying to tell them.

It is always good to see family and I do love them lots. However, you don't realize how much mental preparation and support CRON takes until you are in a close knit group of people who know you well but don't "get" CRON and therefore have trouble being supportive of this change. I was asked "is this is a long term thing or is it just a passing phase?".

So far this weekend it has been easy enough to stay more or less on CRON. However, the discussion always comes up as to "what will I eat again?" and "will I have a piece of that special dish I used to love so much?" it wears away at you when you have your guard let down. Or at least, it wears on you when and where you most want to let your guard down: with family.

Groups, including family, survive due to some homogeneity. Their interests, values, or goals need to overlap if they are going to survive. In some ways, family meals are an important part of family. Then with my new approach to eating I am seen as a deviant in a small way for pulling away from or at least altering the established norm for family meals.

I no longer share in the pancake eating contest or brag about who ate more plates of dinner or dessert. I am very subtly a bit withdrawn from the family. It is not about leaving that group as I really can't. However, instead, I am treated like I am sick and not myself. That one day I may come back to my former self. It's like the rest of the family is grieving the loss of the old me. Either way, my new CRON practice has to overcome this gravity from my family history to become a lifelong practice.

It is what it is. Human nature. Group dynamics. Change.

Change isn't always comfortable. I've always wanted to decide who I am instead of letting groups, society, or the media dictate to me what is normal or acceptable. There is no place that the slight lack of acceptance and the floundering of not knowing how to fully support a new CRON practice is more magnified and difficult than within the family.

My family visit this weekend has been great so far. However, my CRON practice has bent and so has my family. Truly, when you change yourself you change your whole world. Notice the changes. Accept the changes. There is nothing you can do. Different isn't necessarily bad; it's just different. Be who you need to be.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dining Out

The thing about dining out is you just never know... how many calories, how much oil, how much dressing, how much sauce, how much high fat mayonnaise. And, if you're like me, you find it hard to not eat everything on your plate or stop eating a tasty meal half way through. Then add in the social control like your friends, family, or the staff thinking your too fussy... dining out is a stressfull minefield for CR.

Dining out continues to be one of my biggest struggles. It is made worse by Spring being here and friends wanting to go for coffee or meals with much greater frequency. Last week I went for coffee with someone instead of eating my normal meal at that time. I had a slice of banana bread which the staff all agreed was the healthiest and lowest calorie item in the display case and a tea latte. My calories were almost half of what my daily goal was... in one little coffee shop. And believe me, despite meeting my goals for the day, it wasn't worth it.

For the same amount of calories I would rather have had significantly more (and filling)vegetables. It would have made me feel much fuller and better overall. But somehow, it doesn't seem right to pack vegetables or salads to my favorite restaurant or coffee shop.

I want to live in a world with greater CR understanding, choices, and acceptance. Where coffee shops offer some fresh fruit and vegetables... maybe even salads. Yup, I guess I'm a dreamer.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Great Week

This entire week I have had a great time with CR. Everything has just seemed so easy. Very little hunger. Almost having to remember to eat.

What worked: planning, a better variety of fresh veggies, and less stress at work.

I have also dropped the caffeine (by tea and coffee) out of my diet almost completely now and I think that is also having a positive effect on me.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Souper Trooper

Soups can be and often are some of my favourite CR meals. I don't think I ever expected that.
First of all soups were never really all that filling for me in the past. I still don't much care for smoothies that are too smooth for just that reason. Anyways, with the CRON approach there are generally lots of vegetables in your soup and they get to be really filling as there aren't a lot of calories in turnip, cauliflower, kale, onions, and the like.
Second I thought soups were too much of a fuss. However, my 30 to 40 minute soups now become my planned over meals. They are so easy to split into multiple servings and store in the fridge or freezer (on occasion). So 30 or 40 minutes is actually for 4 or 5 meals which is a time savings.
Third thing about soups is that when I make my own I can customize it for the tastes, textures (I like garbanzo beans), and various other things like weird chemicals mixed in with your soup base. Lately I use miso paste in place of bouillon. With the wather getting warmer I was even thinking about cold gezpacho soups.
Calories are another thing that is customized. Depending on the soup I may store it in containers as a smaller midmeal or as a larger regular meal. Voila! Serving size and calories easily "contained" so to speak.
All of these things keep me and my CRON-o-Meter happy with soups. Not to sound like an infomercial but "Try one today!"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Running With the Dogs

Wow... about 5 or 6 years ago now I was big into running. Every second day or so... until Winter, of course.

I've been trying to figure out what got me into that groove of discipline in the first place. As I recollect, I really enjoyed running with Riley. Riley is my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is now almost 7 years old.

Last year we discovered that Riley had developed some hip problems. So, I definitely can't run with him any more. This has lead me to try running with my other dog, Reuben. Reuben is about a year and a half old and very much full of P&V.

My first run with him a couple weeks ago was well loved by both of us. Hopefully I can get back in that groove of regular runs with my dog. I am not sure why but when I run with the dogs I forget about my distance, heart rate, or stitch in my side and I just have fun... and they seem to as well.

My rule on running with my dogs is no more than 30 minutes every second day and if they seem sore the day or so after a run they get a pass on the next run. The dogs both now freak out when I put on my running shoes. They love running and I hope that transfers to me.

Here is a picture of the dogs (specially for the Doll from BC). Reuben (on the left) is still a puppy in this picture. I will have to take some more recent pics.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CRON Blog Carnival - April 2009

Well, it was feeling like a good time to review some CRON blog articles.

April's CR Diary had a great (which for me includes a healthy dose of simple and easy) recipe for CRON compliant creamy clam chowder.

Cooking in Our Cave wrote an article about social control related to diet from within relationships and from society. It's funny how people make exagerated shortcuts to thinking for themselves. It's even funnier to reflect on comments like Atkins adherents being "bacon snarfing freaks". Common sense is far from common but moral superiority is everywhere. Long live the heretics that caused civilization to evolve!

Count Calories wrote an article about her hopes to intertwine CR, raw food, and food combining. The idea of mixing up your CR routine, strategies, and tactics appeals to me. I like innovation and change... from time to time.

CRON Diary wrote an article about her struggles to be CR and live among non-CR people. Seems like a common theme at this time of year. She too centers herself on counting calories.

CRON Lifestyle started this article with mention of the temptations of Easter. It seems many other CRONies have noticed this too.

CR Skinny wrote an article on discipline and preparedness. One of the things that most appeals to me about CR is the self improvement aspects of it: setting a goal and bringing yourself towards it despite many challenges; discipline, desire, dedication, and direction.

CR 4 Life is experimenting with fasting. Many of the glucose control effects of CR are achieved through periodic fasting. Interesting too that so many world religions incorporate fasting (ie. ramadan, lent, native vision quests, yom kippur, etc.).

Matt's CR Blog - Matt has taken his raw food enthusiasm a step further and has decided to grow his own vegetables. That is certainly neat... especially considering it snowed in Edmonton yesterday.

MiniCronnie posted an article about timing. The timing of CR meals and being prepared have been important factors for most CRONies.

Quest for Life wrote candidly about her recent struggles with CR and renewed inspiration. I especially like her approach of focusing on one thing rather than trying to fix too many things at once. Hang in there Ali.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The CR Way

I've been trying to incorporate a number of the strategies and tactics contained in The CR Way. However, I have not had much success as of late with CR overall. Business meetings, extra stress, less planning, other excuses as yet unthought of.

I'm going to Las Vegas for a four day destress and I hope I come back all the more commited and ready to face the world. Re-creation. Re-creating myself the way I want to be: lean, healthy, and long lasting.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blood Glucose Meters in Canada

Interestingly enough I was reading The CR Way by Paul McGlothin & Meredith Averill and it suggested that individuals may want to become more knowledgeable about the effects of various carbohydrate sources on their blood glucose levels. That in itself was not the interesting part. The next day I ended up getting an overview of how blood glucose meters are sold in Canada. It turns out that measuring your blood glucose level may be rather inexpensive if you're not testing a huge amount everyday.

So, the interesting parts are these:
  • Blood glucose meters are given away to many new diabetics in hopes of selling the patients more lancets, and test strips.
  • Almost every blood glucose monitor in Canada purchased in a pharmacy includes paperwork to be reimbursed by the manufacturer for the purchase price. This rebate essentially makes the blood glucose meter free.
  • Test strips are often specific to a particular brand of machine and with some manufacturers are only useful with specific models.
  • LifeScan by Johnson & Johnson has about 50% market share in Canada followed by Roche and Abbott's product lineups.
  • Apparently filling out the warranty card earns the pharmacy you purchased the unit from an additional $15 or so from the manufacturer.
  • Completely new blood glucose monitors come out about once a year. So there is a constant planned obsolesence inherent in the industry.
  • Type II diabetics likely check their levels once a day where Type I diabetics often check 6 to 12 times a day.

From here I started to formulate a plan if I ever wanted to measure my blood glucose levels. I would find the most inexpensive test strips and then purchase the monitor and get reimbursed for the purchase price.

I hope some of this info helps or entertains you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lunch Munch Crunch

Lately lunches at work have been social lunches with colleagues and vendors. And this has caused me to be naughty. It's just too easy to not have the healthy salad or soup options. Especially when others at the table are having naughty food too. I've also been having trouble with busy waitresses that really don't like the extra "details" of dry toast and substituting fries for tomato slices. And it's always hard to get in some good food when time crunches hit too.

Sounds like a number of excuses but no good reasons. I guess I forget that getting what you want and being who you want isn't always easy. I will certainly have to redouble my efforts to make lunches CRON compliant.

Not sure about everyone else out there, but if I don't bring my own lunch then lunchtime CRON choices are not always fast and convenient. I will often end up going to Subway if I'm alone. Let me know if you have some good options for dining out at lunch while staying CRON.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Good is the Enemy of Great!

Well, I've been good all week. For the week I more or less hit my calorie goal for the week. That's good right?

Well, good isn't great. I cheated. I didn't eat what I was supposed to. My calorie count was way over some days and way under on others. Generally I didn't get the planning and shopping into my schedule that I needed to be prepared and effectively meet my goals in the way I intended.

This week has been rushed. What I need to remember is that I don't want to look good and be in good health... I want GREAT health.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why Live Longer

I have to admit that I'm often surprised by those who say they do not want to live longer. I see simple statements and lots of knee jerk reactions and fear. However, I rarely see logic to back up these comments.

Usually people say it is unnatural and they don't want to live longer than normal. By that logic then they shouldn't be vaccinated against disease and mankind should never have "encouraged" health practitioners throughout the ages to avoid the plague, cholera, tuberculosis and other ravages. The thing is, there aren't a lot of people who in retrospect think the discovery of anti-biotics or the small pox vaccine wasn't worthwhile. So, I think most people do want to live longer but with a high quality of life and with their friends and family also living longer. It is likely fear (or pain, or major depression) that stops these people from wanting to live longer.

Instead I believe that if any of the greatest minds of the past century had lived 20, 30, maybe 50 years longer that the world would be a considerably different and better place. Prolific inventors, thinkers, artists, and humanitarians who could live longer may have helped us enter a new age. An age where ones life work is not cut short but can be developed meaningfully and perhaps much more fruitfully.

If Einstein had lived an extra 30 years would we be traveling to other dimensions or to distant galaxies from the folding of space and time? If Mother Theresa had an extra 50 years would the world be a better place?

I've heard an argument that it is selfishness and vanity that cause people to want to live longer. While I am unsure about the vanity argument as martyrs can also be considered vain I do believe that the reasons for living longer can be selfish. However, they can also be selfless.

In my limited experience as many people age they become less selfish, contribute more to their communities, nurture the personal and spiritual growth and health of others more. It is certainly comforting to know that by extending life by 50 years that these traits may blossom as a new stage in human development. Perhaps with more selfless service to others and our communities the light in all of us shines a little brighter.

I know of people who have passed away that wished they had more time and I also know people who were ready to go. Ultimately though, I believe the majority of us want to live longer.

Calorie Restriction on Oprah

Perhaps the days of Calorie Restriction being a fringe attempt at health and longevity are numbered. Oprah has featured Joe Cordell in a recent segment and with the help of Dr. Oz and other CR'ers has informed the world about the benefits of Calorie Restriction.

Check out the video.

Once you've checked the video, then check out the articles and the discussion forum too.

Now, how many people knowing the full benefits will adopt it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How did I get here?

Are you ever driving along and you zone out only to realize that your mind was far away on a distant topic despite you arriving at your location? I think we've all done it.

Lately I have been busy at work and seem to be having trouble focusing my attention on present day tasks. So much so that it has made me realize that this is the first bout of this mind wandering in quite some time. Certainly my CRON practice has allowed my mental state and focus to heighten. Increasingly I feel I am living in the moment and have felt really low levels of stress.

As an executive at a publicly traded company I'm certainly used to some higher levels of stress, but if more people knew how much CRON has reduced my general stress levels I think they would adopt the approach pretty quickly.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Asparagus Mmm - The recipe

A couple of weeks ago I tried this simple asparagus recipe and I have been going back to it over and over... so it must be good.

I took 150g of Asparagus and cleaned it and prepared it.
I put it in a non-stick pan at medium high heat.
Then added 1 tbsp of Soya Sauce and a 1/2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Sometimes I add a bit of water depending on whether the Asparagus is dried out already or not.

Then I cook the Asparagus until they are nice and tender. Always making sure to have the Asparagus cooking in the sauce as much as possible.

Then while it is cooking I put about 5g of Almonds in the magic bullet and make it into an almost powder.

Once the Asparagus is ready I sprinkle the Almond crumbs on top. The Almond seems to react with the oil and soya sauce and becomes a very nice, slightly creamy? sauce with the Asparagus. It's incredibly good, low calorie, somewhat filling, and is called Asparagus Mmm. Just taste it, you'll agree.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Things Are Getting Clearer

My food and eating tendencies are starting to become clearer because of my recording my food consumption in the Cron-O-Meter software. So, in general I am finding that:
  • I eat less during the week (1200 cals average Mon-Fri)
  • I eat more during the weekend (2200 cals average)
  • Weekends are when I have more social events with friends and when I tend to ad lib more
  • Eating out events are fraught with unplanned, unknown, or unwanted calories
  • Mornings on weekends start out with a bigger meal first thing in the morning (140 to 200 cals weekdays vs. 300 to 400 weekends)
  • Midmeals on weekends are usually a little bigger than weekdays
  • Evening snack behaviour has changed for the better
  • For meals, my vegetarian chili and bean soups have some of the best combined taste and satiety for the low amount of calories consumed
  • Alcohol consumed early in the evening almost without fail has lead to excess calorie days and events

So, knowing some of these things my strategies are changing a bit so that I:

  • Change my schedule on weekends to be a bit more like weekday schedules and eat less first thing
  • Do not consume alcohol until later in the evening
  • Try taking half of dining out meals home for later consumption

Hopefully these things help get me closer to my goals.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Food Variety with CRON

One of the things I personally like the most about CRON is that it has had me search through and try a large variety of foods I wouldn't normally.

Pictured here are my new favourite citrus fruit: Blood Oranges. They are just quite simply cooler, tastier, and in my mind better.

I have also tried miso, tempeh, a whole bunch of different fruits, grains, and other things in my quest to add variety and health to my CRON diet.
In particular I have really liked exploring different kinds of beans for my chili (I like white beans with chicken the best). Baby Bok Choy are excellent in stir fries, salads, and steamed on their own. There has also been my review of various types of miso. I tried different shades and styles of miso until I settled on the lighter miso colours.
For me, the variety of food on CRON and the search for different tastes has kept it both exciting and fulfilling.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

CRON and Tallest Poppy Syndrome

Let's face it, CRON is kind of an extreme approach in the eyes of many. It requires care, attention, diligence, and self-discipline. I think one could reasonably argue that a lack of these character traits and abilities in the general population is the cause of a lot of suffering across a wide range of social issues. They certainly are not negative traits as they are also present in the majority of successful people in our society.

CRON is a proven and direct approach to achieve longevity and health related goals. When people can use the aforementioned traits to achieve CRON they are always, in my mind, worthy of tolerance and support.

It is very easy, possibly too easy, to discount others in our society with subtle hints questioning someone's mental state. If someone they don't agree with or can't measure up to is more successful on CRON one could suggest that they have obsessive tendencies (implying OCD or the more common OCPD). There is also the easy way of suggesting anyone measuring calories and being successful at weight loss is approaching anorexia. CRON is nowhere near anorexia and the two have divergent goals: one is for health and the other for the lowest weight possible.

Using passive aggressive innuendos and other techniques to discount others is part of what some have named Tallest Poppy Syndrome. This term describes a leveling of social status. Poppies, you see are supposed to all grow to almost the exact same height. So if one should start growing a little too tall, a little prettier, or healthier and skinnier than the others then that Poppy needs to be cut down lest it harm the relative uniformity of Poppies overall.
Tallest Poppy Syndrome is a big enough problem on its own already. Successful people and politicians in the USA realizing this as an issue have been pandering to the masses with reverse snobbery. Many reverse snobbery claims are made along the lines of I know what's wrong with "upper society" I grew up in a working class home on the wrong side of the tracks. They do this to connect with a disenfranchised group and bring about change but they set up dangerous divisions where those perceived as privileged or successful are not to be trusted or respected.
It is for these reasons I would like to ensure that all CRONies are tolerant and supportive of one another. It is all the more important for CRONies to be united when CRON is seen as a practice of tall poppies by many of the masses and their chief educator (TV). Just think about the TV coverage CRON gets... Tallest Poppy Syndrome is a major reason why CRON is not more readily adopted.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

CRON Blog Carnival - February 28, 2009

Back to Basics Theme

The basics are a foundation to our CR practice and keep a lot of us centered, focused and on track to our goals and long healthy lives. This week I did a CRON blog carnival that highlighted a back to basics theme. Enjoy!

Cron Diary
Mary is back to basics with her CRON regimen. What a great view into some guidelines that help make CR work. I too am an unconscious carb avoider (#5 and follow up post).

Although not regularly posting now, I found this great article from JD that links in with the back to basics CRON theme.

My CRON experiment
Sara has a funny post about her foibles with green smoothies. Ah yes, who hasn't tried to change up their recipes and met with disaster. We try new things and when they fail: back to basics.

Quest for Life
Ali posted this week about how she overeats when nothing sounds appealing to her. She was reminded of the important basics of having nutritious CRON compliant food available.

April's CR Diary
April's 1400 challenge, a back to basics approach she uses to firm up her resolve to CRON, seems to work. She had only 2 off days when she was unprepared.

CRON Yogitect
Arturo is back to basics in a new culture. Funny how humbling it can be to relearn the basics you thought you had already mastered. This time learning them in a language you don't fully know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CRON is Good for Lean Times

As someone who went and bought lunch almost everyday before CRON, I have noticed a whole lot more money in my bank account at pay day. This is a very nice bonus and the funds are welcome.

The other way that I notice I'm saving some money is by not purchasing as much food at the grocery store. Sure, the savings aren't as readily noticeable as the ones from not buying lunch every day, but they are noticeable.

So, by eating less and eating healthier I'm living longer, better looking, and have more money... It almost seems too easy. Where are the mobs of people hating me in fits of jealousy?

Friday, February 20, 2009

CRON-ival - February 20, 2009

This is a CRON-ival. It features the best of CRON blogs over their last few posts.
A Blog Carnival is like a magazine with links to various blog articles often centering around a central theme (in this case CR). They are a great way of building links between blogs and building traffic for newer blogs. They also have the great ability to give people new to CRON a fuller taste of what a day in the life of a CRONie is like. I thought I would do one manually this week and see what happens... If anyone really likes this idea please let me know. I would love to set one up as a regular occurrence, but it is a bit of work.

April's CR Diary - 1400 Calorie Challenge
This week April issued a 1400 Calorie Challenge, or whatever caloric goal you have, from Sunday to Sunday. What a great idea. Do the CRON thing together. Measure everything for one week. Know your caloric consumption. Get back on track to health, happiness, and longevity. Way to go April and crew!

Cave Cooking - and another recipe
Rachel posted a great Paleo diet recipe this week. I too am a huge fan of cabbage. I think with a little of my own spin on this one... it's going to become a regular recipe around my house.

Skinnybitch - when she was good...
Skinnybitch's last post is one that many bloggers will likely know and understand. Leave a comment and spur her on with greater motivation.

CR 4 Life - What About Alcohol
Johan had a great post this week on Alcohol. I've noticed many CRONies include a glass of wine or two... in their diet. Are the empty colories worth it?

Quest for Life: Adventures in Calorie Restriction
Dealing with CR on the weekend was the post I chose to highlight. I checked and yup, if I stray from my caloric goal I'm most likely to do so on a Friday or Saturday. So, I too have troubles being CR on the weekend. A great read.

My CRON Experiment - Winter Wonderland
Sara's last post was about Winter. Sigh. I can't wait for one about my favourite season: Summer.

CRON Yogitect - Chinese Anyone?
Being a vegetarian in China isn't very easy. Especially if you don't speak the language. Oh, the adventures we CRONies face. How exciting. A great read.

CRON Diary - Splenda
Mary had a great post last week about Splenda and really artificial sweeteners in general.

CRON-IC - You Don't Have to be Hungry
A great article about CRON and hunger by yours truly.

Matts CR Blog - Great BBC program
This week Matt posted a video of a BBC program on longevity. CR was, of course, featured. Big thanks to Matt for posting. It's an excellent segment and a must watch!

Macro Nutrient Ratios - So What?

On the Calorie Restriction Society's email discussion list there are many heated discussions about the right macronutrient ratios. Is higher protein healthy despite its appetite suppressing tendencies? Are animal proteins bad and vegetable proteins good? Is low carb better than low fat?

One thing is for sure: few people in North America get too little protein from their diet.

Personally, I think if one is eating a varied yet healthy diet with an eye towards optimum nutrition that the macronutrient ratios should change a bit. And for those that struggle to stay within such a tight range of protein... is it really going to allow you to eke out 6 more months of longevity?

I think sometimes I know where the media is coming from when I see obsessive and rigidly disciplined people content to keep their variety of food constrained to ensure they get a certain macronutrient ratio of protein. So, my message is this: lighten up. Live the extra life you are getting.

I increasingly like Peter Voss' approaches to CRON. Especially his ideas around classifying the typical North American diet as Calorie Poisioning. So subversive. So right. And a great way to promote CRON as the new mainstream. Perhaps I will expand in another post later.

Monday, February 16, 2009

CRON is Vegan and Raw Food Compatible and Desireable

With my weekend review of my favourite CRON sites I noticed Matthew Lake once again pointing out some Raw Food evangelists and his similar experiences. I must say that I think the Raw Food approach is fine generally. However, I have noticed that there are some who pursue it with an almost religious fervour blindly assuming that all of their dietary needs will be met with Raw Food. And it is this fact that I take exception to.

Without properly tracking your food intake and the vitamins and minerals you are taking there is an increased risk of having problems from deficiencies. I for one am not prepared to take that chance. If I were to go on a Raw Food cycle (and I've thought about it) I would continue to track my foods in Cron-O-Meter. I would also let my doctor know.

You see, I firmly believe that the human body has adapted to be omnivorous and that although Raw Food and Vegan or Vegetarian are largely safe, there are those who do not realize what vitamin and mineral deficiencies they may be exposing themselves to. When you look at these approaches and the nutrients they tend to favour, you will see the need for ensuring some balance or the inclusion of certain foods to round out the approach.

So, it makes sense that CRON should be the over-arching guide to Vegan and Raw Food approaches. Therefore to ensure you are CRON compliant you should track your vitamin and mineral intake from your food before embarking on a Vegan or Raw Food approach. Longevity and common sense dictate that Optimum Nutrition comes from a balanced approach.

Now, I raise a Green Smoothie #2 to Matt for his latest post of great smoothie recipes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

You Don't Have to Be Hungry on CRON

Recently a co-worker of mine and I were talking about my weight loss and CRON. Apparently he used to be about 170 pounds and went on what I would describe as a starvation diet to get down to a lean 140 pounds. The mental anguish of this diet was with him still. It may have been a contributing factor to his maintaining the weight loss.

His approach by the way, was that he would fill a bowl with food and wouldn't eat anything more than he could fit in that bowl for the day.

Now, this guy is a smart guy. He has two degrees and is quite successful. He certainly knows how to achieve his goals and quickly. Why didn't he know how to do this without being hungy?

Further, he couldn't imagine doing CRON as the hunger and mental anguish would kill him. I told him that I was seldom hungry. He didn't believe me.

I told him that I had learned and continued to learn (one of my favourite things about CRON - the continuous learning) about various foods that I could eat that filled me up with a minimum of calories and a maximum of vitamins and minerals. I named a bunch of my favourites like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cucumber, salads and told him I often add to these base foods with a little bit of protein or grains. He was interested but a bit skeptical about my statement that you don't have to be hungry on CRON. It was like he thought CRON was inherently unhealthy because of the increased likelihood of hunger.

The perception that CRON is synonomous with constant hunger needs to change. I certainly haven't found it to be true. Occassionally I get cravings, but I satisfy them within reason and make allowances elsewhere.

The term Caloric Restriction implies gulag prison camp like restriction of food to some people and makes them think of rationing and scarcity. When in actual fact, although calories are being restricted there is an abundance of food that can be consumed to meet both CRON and hunger needs concurrently. I certainly think that the perception of abundance needs to somehow be injected into the CR movement.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shopping and Planning are Key

For me, shopping and planning are key to staying on track with CRON. Having the proper foods around to support my new habits is absolutely essential to reaching my goals.

Despite this, there are times when I do overeat or eat unapproved items.

Planned overs are a big part of my regimen as are my mid-meal items that reduce hunger until my next full meal.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brown Rice Sushi - this week's planned overs


Tonight I had some brown rice sushi. It took about 30 to 40 minutes of actual work time, but the start to finish time was about 2 hours and above average clean up time. So... it was more work than I'm used to for a meal but I ended up cranking out 6 servings total. Two of those servings the trophy wife and I had for dinner. The rest I hope to use up over the next few days as planned overs. With the planned overs, the total cooking time per meal goes way down. Very nice indeed. AND... I love the taste of sushi.

Here's the recipe I ended up using:

2 cups of short grain brown rice
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup seeded, peeled and cut cucumbers (I had way too much, so... do less)
1 medium carrot
6 sheets of nori
1 oz. of avocado
imitation crab meat (pollock) - I had about 360 cals worth and cut it into strips

The trophy wife ended up adding mayonnaise to her roll.

So, this ended up making 6 rolls total. Each of those was cut into 6 to 8 little maki sushi. And there were quickly and tastily consumed with added soya sauce and a touch of wasabi.

I highly recommend planned overs. It is always nice to have a backup plan for lunches and dinner when you have a hectic week or just don't feel much like cooking.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Daisy's CR article and body image

Reading some other blogs I came across Daisy's CR article. It really is a good one that outlines the first thoughts and the lightbulb of interest and understanding that comes from first discovering CRON.

And then in the comments... a number of people who obviously scanned her article and did not look any further. Other people with their negativity and lack of support for Daisy's new found approach. The common comments like "That's too skinny for a person of that height" from people who don't realize that their idea of preferred bodytypes has nothing to do with health or science but the influence of media and social networks.

CRONies as Social Deviants

I, for one, have become acutely aware of how others mental constructs of normal body types impact others. "Oh he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy" enables a bigger guy to stay big and unhealthy. "She's too skinny, she must be anorexic" assumes that her skinniness is unhealthy and that she may have mental problems... great. No wonder there is an obesity epidemic with quick cop-outs and mental barriers all over the place.

These hurtful comments by the uninformed and intolerant who don't realize how much the media and the rest of society has "programmed" their small brains into taking such a stance are quickly working their way into being a favourite cause of mine.

I would appreciate hearing any other types of comments you have come across. Please leave a comment.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

All hail, kale!

This evening I cooked a great kale soup.

The ingredients were:

1 onion
1/2 tbsp olive oil
10 cups organic chicken broth
3 tbsp miso
4 cups finely chopped kale
1 medium sized carrot
2 full boneless, skinless chicken breasts (roasted) 242g after cooking

And that added up to being just under 1000 calories, high in vitamins and minerals (ON) and very tasty.

This soup will break down into 4 meals at 250 calories a pop and it is very filling, tasty, and healthy. Mmmmm.

I like doing planned-overs for work lunches, suppers, and more. This soup reheats really well too.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How to Cut Calories

There are many different ways to cut calories and help yourself with Caloric Restriction.

The most important thing, in my mind, is to count calories and measure the nutritional content of your food so that you have Optimal Nutrition and your intended Caloric Restriction. I use the free Cron-O-Meter software for those reasons.

So, in no particular order, here are a number of different strategies to achieve Caloric Restriction:
  • Exercise
  • Eat breakfast (some people who skip this meal have troubles adhering to CR)
  • Eat low energy density foods (vegetables are good for this)
  • Avoid simple carbs and sugars
  • Increase dietary fiber (beans are a good way to do this)
  • Eat slowly
  • Stop eating before you are full
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Eat from smaller dishware and with smaller silverware
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Count your calories
  • Weigh yourself regularly
  • Avoid bad fats (trans fats, saturated fats, and animal fats)
  • Reduce use of artificial sweeteners
  • Increase the amount of plant based and lean animal proteins in your diet
  • Eat regular meals (many who "snack" have troubles with discipline)
  • Plan your meals (by the time you are ravenous it is too late)
  • Know your portion sizes
  • Fast food (may lead to binges and excessive consumption of calories)
  • Don't deny excessive cravings (but know the difference between normal and excessive)
  • Be very careful with appetite enhancers (alcohol, marijuana, many medications)

So there are a tonne of strategies. What's right for you? Only you can answer that one.

Exercise Revisited

Okay, I decided to add exercise to CRON. So far, I've quite enjoyed it but am only at a couple of times a week. My goal was to exercise 3 or 4 times a week for at least a half hour of solid exertion.

At this point, I like the exercise but it is sometimes inconvenient and I don't have the amazing motivation I have for CRON. A few more weeks and I'm hoping that the exercise will become a habit. The endorphin high is certainly worth the exertion.

Monday, January 26, 2009

CR on 60 Minutes

Last night a few CR Society members were featured on CBS' top news program 60 Minutes. The episode was brief and focused on Resveratrol being "easier" than CR despite some excellent results. It was billed as CR in a pill.

There were also a lot of the same tired old kooky CR Society executive members there. Not a single non-caucasian person or anyone younger than 50 seemed to be there. CR was highlighted as a constant state of hunger (which my CR is not). And the food choices of the Society members seemed to provoke discussion on being different and "weird". In my mind, the CR Society members focused on here were not at all representative of the people I know on CR nor were their eating habits. There is a wide variety of approaches to CR and that fact largely gets ignored. So does the fact that hunger does not need to be a major component of it.

As such, I'm advocating that people contact 60 Minutes and let them know about their take on the episode. At the very least we can let 60 Minutes know that it is a growing and important social trend that they (and CBS) should pay more attention to.

Here is their contact info:

60 Minutes
524 West 57th St.
New York, NY
(212) 975-3247

Some potential talking or discussion points (which include suggestions by RS - thanks):
  • unlike Resveratrol, there's a LOT of independent, disinterested lab research behind CR
  • CR is free, not costly like Resveratrol or other drugs would be
  • CR is here now, and not five years away (like Resveratrol)
  • it's an evolutionary adaptation, not a foreign chemical like the one Sirtris is developing for patentability - therefore, it's a natural approach unlikely to have unintended side effects
  • the CR represented in the segment does not represent CR overall
  • CR does not have to include excessive or uncomfortable hunger
  • CR teaches us to purposely feed ourselves and there is innate pleasure being closely linked to your food and often its production
  • CR is not just for longevity-crazed old men with attractive wives - there are some in their 20s like Matthew Lake

Well, this list could go on forever and you likely have your own ideas but at least I may have got you started.

Best of luck!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Adding Exercise

I think tomorrow I am going to start adding some exercise to my CR regimen. This is likely because cabin fever has set in with Winter being so cold. I even notice how the few minutes of extra sunlight each day are like an extra kiss of endorphins running through my body causing my cheeks to blush and feel warm.

Anyways, I was thinking I would start small and aim for 3 days a week at 20 mins to start and rise to 30 mins in a week or two. So that bit of cardio would give me a good idea of what to expect and if I could maintain the exercise and CR together.

If that goes well, I will likely add some weights too.

So, first thing tomorrow morning I'm adding exercise.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Great Bean Sprout Salad

Today I had a mung bean sprout salad that tasted really good. So good, I wanted to share the recipe:

2.5 cups of mung bean sprouts
1 matchsticked carrot
1/2 cup cucumber

mixed with a dressing of
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp light soya sauce

I found it very tasty, fast to make and filling. Try it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CRON Meetup Groups?

I've wondered aloud lately as to whether the CR Society has meetup and support groups in major cities. I couldn't find any when I looked.

With such a wide variety of practitioners and approaches to CR, would it be possible? And with its relative simplicity how many meetings would people actually go to?

More importantly however I think it would be good in that it creates greater awareness, support, and acceptance of CR.

Most importantly, would you go to one?

My CRON-IC Badge of Honor

I challenge every CR practitioner who can read this blog to prove their are truly CRON compliant by posting their own "Badge" of Honor on their blog, or visiting the CRON calculator to see if you're compliant.

As I only recently started on a CRON lifestyle, I entered my goal weight instead of my actual weight. However, 1400 calories is a good reflection of my daily caloric intake. And, although it's true that I'm often more sedentary than lightly active, there is some fluctuation in activity level and calories but my aim is for approx. 30% Caloric Restriction through a combination of diet and exercise.

This "Badge" is a great sign of your understanding of CRON, which is often lacking from those who have not read deeply about CRON or lack the self discipline to achieve their goals.

Check out your CR % by clicking on the CR Calculator icon below!
CR Calculator

Monday, January 19, 2009

CRON - What is it to you?

For me, CRON is pretty easy to define.

I take my Basal Metabolic Rate and add calories for my activity level. Then I subtract 10% to 40% of the calories to arrive at a Calorie Restricted range of calories. You can use the CRON Calculator or other online tools to determine this quickly and easily. I personally aim for about 25%.

If you're not within that range... in my opinion, you're not following CRON.

I should also note that I would not allow my weight to drop below a BMI of 16. I would move to more of a maintenance caloric intake at that point as the I believe health gets worse at or below this BMI for males.

What really gets me though is people who say they are CRON followers but regularly take in large amounts of calories nowhere near that range. For small periods of time, I can understand that. However, on a regular basis - you are not following CRON and you likely need to face up to that and stop calling it CRON.

Matthew Lake has inspired me

As a lurker on the Calorie Restriction Society email discussion lists for some time I have found them well... dry. I like the science, debate, and the wonder of related topics. But, like Matthew Lake, I think there is something missing. I'm hoping I can tap into and change some of those things with this blog.

Thanks Matt!