Wednesday, May 20, 2009

0 - We'll Be Right Back After These (not so) Brief Messages

Today was a full dress rehearsal with an audience of local primary school children. Wow. Everyone knew what they were doing, everything human ran smoothly - technologically, not so much, but not so bad as to result in stopping the show at any point. I call that a success. The kids kicked their acting up a few gears and thus I am confident that tomorrow night, Opening Night, has a pretty good chance of being awesome. Sitting up in the lighting box leaves me feeling very displaced and unable to directly impact on anything happening in the wings etc, but it's good to have the sole responsibility of calling the show rather than having to help with costume changes and cast wrangling. I'm tired, but not as emotionally drained as I could have been, should today have gone badly. I'm faced with lots of late nights over the next 11 days, so here's hoping I can keep up the fluids and the healthy eats. Today I ended up dehydrated and missed out on lunch, but the evening shows should be post-eating window.

Breakfast was a couple of fried eggs and some bacon. Exciting. No oil or melted cheese splashes to ruin my outfit though, so that's a win in my book.

Ate a couple of cherry tomatoes that I had packed in my lunch, but didn't get to truly eat until arriving home at 5pm:

I also count this as a win - I wasn't hungry til after the dress rehearsal anyway, and this way I had a chance to heat up my lamb - cold lamb fat is yuck. Served with rocket and cherry tomatoes, and disappointingly under-ripe organic brie. Boo.

I love my new kitchen scale, but not when it reveals to me that my 400g pork forequarter chop is actually only 280g once grilled, and that my 300g of brussel sprouts, carefully boiled then roasted in coconut oil, only actually weight 230g! Since I have always trusted the weight noted on packaging labels, etc, I'm now left wondering how long have I been wildly overestimating my portion sizes and therefore my macronutrient counts? I have to now restart my complete understanding of portion sizing and my daily food needs. Boo!

Despite this, the tastiness of the meal was by no means diminished:

Both cooked elements were done so perfectly, if I do say so myself. Boiling, coating in coconut oil and roasting produces the most succulent brussel sprouts I have had the pleasure of eating. And the pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender, despite the cut. I supplemented my meal with a rammekin-ful of almonds, which Macro tells me are 'insecticide free'. I'm not sure if I could taste the difference (whether that is the lack of chemicals, or the proliferation of insect-poop). They were crunchy, so whatevs.

The beau is off getting his geek on, so I'm being a normal, lazy, hark-worked person, and watching a video:

If you're even lazier than I am, here's a quick summary of Gary Taubes' scientific analysis of the cause of obesity and weight gain, courtesy of Rob from Entropy Production:

In return for knocking down a bunch of accepted "common knowledge" hypotheses , Taubes presents ten new hypotheses (p.454) and I will add a few more than I extracted from reading the book:

1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any other chronic disease of civilization.
2. The problem is the carbohydrates in the diet, their effect on insulin secretion, and thus the hormonal regulation of homeostasis—the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body. The more easily digestible and refined the carbohydrates, the greater the effect on our health, weight, and well-being.
3. Sugars—sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup specifically—are particularly harmful, probably because of the combination of fructose and glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels while overloading the liver with carbohydrates.
4. Through their direct effect on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes. They are the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer's diseases, and the other chronic diseases of civilization.
5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating, and not sedentary behavior.
6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter, any more than it causes a child of grow taller. Expending more energy than we consume does not lead to long-term weight loss; it leads to hunger.
7. Fattening and obesity are caused by an imbalance—a disequilibrium—in the hormonal regulation of adipose tissue and fat metabolism. Fat synthesis and storage exceed the mobilization of fat from the adipose tissue and its subsequent oxidation. We become leaner when the hormonal regulation of the fat tissue reverses the balance.
8. Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels are elevated—either chronically of after a meal—we accumulate fat in our fat tissue. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and use it for fuel.
9. By stimulating insulin secretion, carbohydrates make us fat and ultimately cause obesity. The fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be.
10. By driving fat accumulation, carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism and physical activity.

11. RM: Man, being the premier predator on the planet, evolved to eat a diet high in fat (and in particular the saturated and mono-unsaturated fat found in animal tissue). In the absence of clinical data, we should endeavor to structure our diet to be similar to that we evolved eating, prior to the introduction of agriculture approximately 10,000 BCE.
12. RM: Advanced Glycation End-products (abbreviated AGEs) may be a cause or byproduct of the oxidative stress that causes aging and many of the maladies associated with it.
13. RM: A low-calorie, high-carbohydrate diet will make you lethargic as chronically high insulin levels will try to convert glucose to fat while not leaving sufficient calories for the remainder of your basal metabolism. In comparison, low-carbohydrate, moderate-calorie diet will leave you energetic and lean.

Definitely go and read the rest of Rob's post - it's pretty heady stuff, but if you like wrapping your brains around the science behind nutrition rather than blindly following the Big-Pharma-sponsored piper, then this is like chowing down on a primal banquet while the ignorant pick at their plate of pasta & ketchup.

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