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.