10. Januar 2013 - 14:39

2013

Prologue: I never believed in New Year's Resolutions. It just didn't make sense to me that the change of years would be a reason to decide to change your behavior completely, much less that it would work just because there's a different last number on our current date. And from what I've heard, it usually doesn't.

However, I can see why people would do resolutions on a new year - Christmas is once again over, which reminds us of last Christmas1, so we kind of realize that a lot of time has passed and that we need to change. But what really made me decide to make resolutions this time is the fact that lent has worked out so well for me. It's kind of the same thing, a special time of the year where we do something special; and it was a great chance at the time, to reduce my non-quality internet time (and Coke intake). So I figured, why not try a New Year's Resolution next?

That, and I found this website just a couple of weeks ago. It's called Mark's Daily Apple, and it's about something called the Primal Blueprint. In a nutshell, the theory is that humans evolved to best deal with the lifestyle they had, and the sort of food they ate, back in the Stone Age2. That includes a lot of movement - mostly slow and steady, like walking / hiking, or short and intense, like sprinting - and the veggies, nuts, roots and occasional woolly mammoth3 that they ate. Now I don't know when bread was invented, but apparently most grains are poisonous if you eat them without further processing. So basically, it means to eat less carbs and more proteins and fats instead. Your body should adapt to getting its energy from fat instead of carbs.

So I decided that the end of 2012 was a great time to start incorporating some of that into my lifestyle. Because "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity." The following paragraphs outline my basic plan for, well, at least the first few months of 2013 - I'm hoping to get even more healthy later, and I'll probably keep posting successes, failures, and general consequences here.

Food. That's a big one, because I really never paid much attention to what I eat. Most of my meals consist of meat & carbs, where I usually eat way more carbs than I really need. For the breakfast, I'll stick with cereal for now. After all, I can, and should, still eat between 100 and 150 grams of carbs per day. For lunch, I'll start by eating less and trying to add veggies. Since I'll get my energy from fats, I'm still thinking about how to get enough of those - especially not just any fats, but good fats.

Later in the day, I'll of course get more hungry because I'm used to eating a lot for lunch, especially a lot of carbs. So I have to find something to eat in between. Things I can easily add in right now are carrots and nuts (mostly pistachios. Peanuts are not technically nuts. On the other hand, strawberries are. Yay strawberry jam!)

Dinner will probably depend on how many carbs I have left. I've actually got into the habit of scrambling eggs in the evening sometimes, so that's great - lots of protein. I'm usually eating those with bread, though, so I might well have to cut back on that. Otherwise, I still have my hazelnut butter - boy, is eating less bread ever gonna be hard.

Drink. Well, that's not much of a change - I've been slowly getting off soft drinks, replacing them with tab water. So far into 2013, it seems pretty easy to cut out the juice and juicy syrup. Provided, of course, that I stop buying coke "in case I need it" and then drinking it "because it's there".

Food update: After sleeping on it and doing a bit more research, I've decided that eating that few carbs might be an overreaction. I mean, during the last few years, I have only really gained about 10 pounds (which I can easily afford), and my percentage of body fat is pretty stagnant as well. I'm thinking that eating more veggies and nuts might well be enough for starters, and maybe pay some attention to the amount of carbs I eat, at least to find out how much it even is. I don't think I'm eating more than 200 grams, tops, on a normal day. Adding in exercise (whoops, getting ahead of myself here) should help as well. Besides, the last thing I need right now is worrying about my food intake and making eating more complicated - I think my most important rule should be to eat iff I'm hungry.

Get moving. My plan is to just add a few minutes of physical exercise each day, be it working out, doing my physical therapy exercises, or vacuuming my room (since I would never get myself to do that otherwise). Of course, on weekdays I'm usually on my bike for about 25-30 minutes anyway, sometimes even double that. So I figured, if I'm riding my bike for almost an hour (adding the segments together), I shouldn't need more exercise on that day. Conversely, on days I spend entirely at home, it would probably be better to do more, maybe 20-30 minutes, if I can make it. Though having said that, the point is still mostly getting into the habit of moving daily. So if I don't feel like exercising a lot, I might just do a bunch of push-ups and be done with it.

Sleep. My sleeping habits have been a problem for a while. I'm definitely getting enough sleep, time-wise, but getting up in the morning is still a chore for me. So I'm adding a bit of regularity, getting up at 9 am (yes, that's early for me), and then really getting up. No snoozing or listening to music in bed, just throw the blanket away and get up. We'll see how that goes. ;)

So, what are the results I'm hoping to gain from all of that? Simple: being healthier and happier. I got sick a lot lately, and I've been meaning to change that for a while. I believe chronic stress plays a factor in it, but my lifestyle sure ain't helping. Also, those fat pads are really starting to annoy me.

Alex

1 I apologize if that made the song stuck in your head.
2 or Iron Age or Bronze Age or whatever, it's all the same to me - the time they lived in caves.
3 and of course, lots of meat from other happy animals.

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#exercise#nutrition#paleo2013
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