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  1. All, I've been engaged in an off-forum Q&A dialog with a CR friend, and I figured some of you other crazies might appreciate reading about (and hopefully commenting on / criticizing) some of the details of my current diet & exercise regime, as well as tips & my motivation for them. If not, feel free it skip this post! I've only included my sided conversation, but I think from my answers it is pretty clear what the questions were. Feel free to ask for clarification on anything that's unclear. Regarding eating once per day. It's very hard, especially when just starting out on this regime, to eat once per day in the afternoon. It takes a lot of willpower. So I recommend, and always try myself, to wait a couple / few hours after waking before I eat, but then eat in the morning rather than waiting until afternoon, and definitely never try to grocery shop on a (very) empty stomach! For large scale chopped veggie storage, I use glass containers because I'm a bit paranoid about leeching from plastics. The glass jar I use is from Anchor Hocking. Turns out it is only 2gal. Here is a link. I believe both Target and Walmart have them as well, although I'm not sure about in-store availability. I chop my "chunky" veggies once per week, and store them in this glass jar, all mixed up, between layers of paper towels to absorb moisture and keep them fresh. I chop my "leafy green" veggies at the same time, throughly spin-dry them using salad spinner, and then store them in another containing between layers of paper towels to preserve freshness. Both go into my fridge, which I temperature control to maintain a very steady 34degF. Vegetable prep takes me just over one hour per week, but after many years I've got it down to an art/science. It used to take me about 2 hours. I find meditation and practices that cultivate mindfulness are helpful for fostering one's self-discipline. Other than that, I don't have much specific advice on that topic. I used to cook for my family when we were 4 rather than 3 . But now that it is just the three of us, and my daughter has an extremely busy schedule, my wife and daughter's eating schedule is pretty irregular. So they cook for themselves. I also found it hard to cook for them. Not because I was particularly tempted by the food I was making for them (although on occasion that too was the case), but more that I was conflicted by the opposing goals of cooking as healthy meals as possible for them, but also meals they would enjoy, and not waste by not eating. When practicing CR for a while, I've found you become extremely averse to wasting anything, but especially food. Plus I'm an ethical vegan. Both kids are (were) vegetarian, and my wife eats mostly vegetarian. But they enjoy quite a bit of dairy, which I had trouble buying/cooking for them for ethical reasons. Regarding exercise, I'll enumerate everything I do in a day, in order: [Get up at 2:45am - yes I'm kind of a early riser ] 4min - straight arm planking 2min - 100 body weight squats 10min - "10 minute abs" workout - Originally from YouTube video of that name, but after doing it several thousand times, I've got it memorized. . Video embedded at bottom. Warning - this will really hurt anyone not used to doing an ab workout, but her accent is strangely compelling... 20min - Jogging on treadmill at 4mph and 15% incline (very steep). 1.07miles, 200 kcal 120min - Stationary road bike. Modest intensity. HR around 95bpm. My Resting HR is about 45bpm. [breakfast - 1.5 hours] 10min - One mile run outdoors. Moderate pace . usually with my dog. 20min - Resistance training. 4day split to work all body parts on successive days, but giving each enough time to recover. Little rest between sets to keep it mildly aerobic. Pretty light weights. Pull-ups, pushups, light squats, triceps extensions, curls, shrugs, etc. All the standard exercises. Using dumbbells and body weight. 4min straight arm planking 2min - 100 body weight squats 2min - Ab Slide machine. Quite a good Ab exerciser 90min - Stationary road bike again. [Time now around 10:30am - Shower & 6min inversion therapy (to decompress spine and stretch back) & 20min power nap] [Puttering around for a while, light food prep, errands etc - 1-2 hours] 10min - One mile run outdoors. With dog. ~240min - pedalling at my bike desk while reading, surfing web, posting to CR forums [Off and on throughout afternoon evening - spend time with wife and daughter, especially when they eat dinner] 30min - brisk walk with my wife (and dog) [8:00pm - bedtime. 8:15 sound asleep] So in total I run for about 40min, do resistance training / calisthenics for about 45min, walk 30-45min, and then pedal for about 7h per day. On an average day, my Fitbit tells me I log about 45K steps (or step equivalents, including bike pedal revolutions), and about 23 miles. All of it at home, by myself (except if you count the mile walk with my wife and jogging with my dog ). I don't enjoy the hassle of working out with others at a gym. I don't seem to need the motivation of having other people around to exercise with. What motivates me to such extreme exercise? Hmmm... A few ideas: I like to eat, and to stay slim. Extreme exercise let's me do both. I'm exploring the possibility of getting CR benefits while eating lots of calories, but burning them off via lots of exercise and cold exposure. It makes me feel good. I like the endorphins, opiates, whatever makes exercise feel good. With my stationary bike and bike desk, I'm able to do other things while pedaling, like composing this message! I like being different from other people. I like pushing myself to extremes, to see what's possible. Pushing the envelope of human possibliity. I think exercising one's abilities and strengths is why we are here, and what makes life meaningful and significant. My biggest strength is probably self-discipline / conscientiousness. Exercising discipline strengthens the will. As Nietzsche said in Twilight of the Idols, "From life's school of war, what does not kill me makes me stronger." He was a big proponent of hormesis before it became fashionable. I hope being very different from others, and sharing my results, will enable people (like you!) to learn from my experiences and experiments, and figure out what might work best for them. Regarding sleep. I sleep for 6.5 hours per day (8:15pm - 2:45am) + a 20min power nap. Lately I've been sleeping like a baby, without my former problem of early waking (unless you count 2:45am as early ). I hope this is helpful. --Dean
  2. Dean Pomerleau

    A CR Garden

    CR practitioners eat a lot of produce, and it can get kinda expensive. But I've found much of the cost can be defrayed if you grow your own food. Here is a couple photos of my summer garden. Things are growing well. (Click for larger images) As you can see, I've got hoops (made from PVC pipes) and nets over the raised beds to protect the plants from deer, which are ubiquitous here in Western Pennsylvania. FYI, the beds are both 8' long by 4' across. This list of plants in these two beds include: Kale (curly & dino) Mustard Greens Broccoli Arugula Leaf Lettuce (green and red) Endive Red Swiss Chard Nasturtium Red-veined Sorrel Basil (sweet, cinnamon, lemon) Sage Curly Parsley Lemon Balm Oregano Lemon Thyme Rosemary Stevia Alpine Strawberries Eggplant Not shown in these photos: Tomatoes (cherry, black russian, yellow pear) Tomatillos Lemon Cucumbers Onions (red & yellow) Garlic Acorn Squash - spontaneously growing in my compost pile! Cantaloupe - spontaneously growing in my compost pile! Most of these were grown from seeds, so cost me almost nothing. Between harvesting & watering, I spend about 30min every other day tending my garden. Coupled with the 3oz/day of sprouts and microgreens I grow indoors year-round, the harvest from these two beds provides about a pound (450g) of fresh organic leafy greens per day from late-June through October, saving hundreds of dollars over the season. Plus all the savings from the 'solid' vegetables/fruits listed at the bottom. The plants I've listed are the one's I've found through trial and error to grown the best and produce the most in this part of the country. All of them (except for squash, cantaloupe, onions, garlic & eggplant) can be harvested a few leaves / fruits at a time over the entire season, so I don't get overwhelmed by more than I can eat of any one item, and I can harvest a little bit from each of them every other day to maximize freshness and variety. Does anyone else have a garden or gardening tips they care to share, or any questions about my gardening practice? --Dean
  3. Dean Pomerleau

    Getting Full PDFs of Papers

    Between Greg and I, it seems like a day of helpful meta-tips - i.e. practical tips not related to diet or health. Here is a meta-tip I recently discovered. For anyone serious about researching diet, health, or any other scientific topic, it can be frustrating trying to get the full text of a published paper that is behind a paywall, unless you are affiliated with a university or other research institution. I've been relying on Al Pater to serve as a conduit to full-text of articles I want to read but which aren't freely available. But I feel bad imposing on Al, and he's not always available. I recently discovered two amazingly effective alternatives. The first uses Twitter to find a kindly soul with access to Journals (i.e. the equivalent of Al Pater). The steps are as follows, taken from the wikipedia page on the method: Request an article by tweeting an article's title, DOI, PMID, or link. In the tweet you include your email address, and the hashtag "#ICanHazPDF". Here is what my tweet looked like to get the Adventist prostate cancer paper: Someone who has access to the article will then email it to you. You then delete the original tweet. Obvious downsides to this method include tweeting your email address, and, although you delete the tweet, the (semi-public) record of requesting a paywall-protected paper. An even better solution if it works for you, is the website solution http://sci-hub.io/ Simply: Go to the website http://sci-hub.io/ . Don't be disturbed by the Russian language text on the page... Paste the URL of the journal page for the paper you want the PDF for (not it's Pubmed page) into the box that it gives you. For the Adventist prostate cancer study, it was: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/11/11/ajcn.114.106450.long After a few seconds, up pops the full text of the paper. It seems to work for a large fraction (95%?) of papers that out there but paywall protected. This second method has been a bit hit or miss for me, but if it works, it is a lot easier than the #ICanHazPDF Twitter method. But I imagine it may not be available indefinitely... Yes, I know it is piracy, but information (esp. health information) yearns to be free... --Dean
  4. All, Avocados are one of the most popular sources of healthy monounsaturated fat among CRers. But they can be a expensive, especially to buy them fully ripe, and to make sure they are ripe (and not overripe/rotten) when you want to eat one. It isn't quite this bad, but its close: I eat 1/2 an avocado every day, and to make sure I have a steady supply I've developed a system I figured I'd share with people. Plus, my favorite grocery store, Aldi's, has avocados on sale this week for $0.49 each - which is an amazing bargain, so you might want to run right out and stock up. This compares to my local "full service" grocery store (Giant Eagle), where avocados are on "Special Sale!!" this week at $1.50 each (down from the usual price of $1.99)... The downside of Aldi's avocados (besides being a bit on the small side) is that they sell them rock hard. Many people avoid them because of that, not having the patience to wait for them to ripen (same with Aldi's bananas, which are always quite green, but a lot cheaper than other stores). But I consider underripeness in avocados (and bananas) to be an advantage, since it allows me to control and carefully time their ripening. Here is a photo of the stash of 14 avos I picked up this week at Aldi's, along with the nice ripe half I'll be eating tomorrow (I ate its twin this morning already ). The way I manage to always have a fresh ripe avocado half ready every morning is to store the bunch I've bought in the fridge at 34degF. At that temperature, they seem to stay rock hard virtually indefinitely. The trick is to have a ripening pipeline, and to always remember to take out of the fridge when you consume one (or in my case, the second half of one). In my 62degF basement kitchen, it takes about 5-6 days for an avocado to go from rock hard to silky smooth and creamy. Since I eat half an avocado per day, I keep 2-3 of them out of the fridge ripening at all times. Works like a charm for me. Depending on your fridge and kitchen temperature, and your level of preferred ripeness, you might need to adjust the length of the pipeline, by adding or subtracting an avocado. I consider an avocado ripe when it gives a bit to a gentle squeeze. Inside the flesh should be a uniform yellowish-green color, like in the photo above (and video below). If for some reason you've got a ripe one you don't want to eat yet, you can put it back in the fridge and buy yourself a couple extra days before it starts to turn brown inside. At the bottom is a 10sec video of how to remove the pit from an avocado. I then scoop out the flesh with a big spoon. I store the other half of a ripe avocado, which I'll eat the following day, in the fridge, after wrapping it in plastic wrap to keep it from oxidizing. My favorite way to eat avocado is as a replacement for butter on the 1/3rd ear of corn on the cob I eat daily (from my summer CSA, frozen and vacuum sealed), sprinkled with turmeric & curry spice rather than salt. Here is an article with other tips on avocados, although I didn't find much that was very helpful beyond what I've said above. I employ this pipeline approach to ripening other fruit and to growing sprouts as well. Here is a current photo of my fruit ripening table: You can see the two avocados (lower left) between a big papaya (far left bottom), and nine persimmons, one of my favorite fruits, but which are very slow to ripen and which I picked up (along with 15 more stored in the fridge) during my monthly shopping trip to the Asian market. At the top you can see my banana ripening pipeline as well. The very green ones on the right are from Aldis, where they were $0.29/lb last week (another amazing bargain). They are already quite a bit more yellow now than when I bought them, if you can believe it. I eat 3 bananas a day, so these will last me about 11-12 days. I'll shop again at Aldis in about six days and pick up another week's worth of very green ones to add to the back of the pipeline. In the meantime, the green ones you see here will have ripened - so I'll always have perfectly ripe bananas like those on the left - with brown spots. It just takes a little planning and organization. One final thing. Someone asked me about my veggie prep and storage method on another thread. Since I chopped a week's worth of 'chunky' veggies this morning, I figured I'd snap a photo of them in the Anchor Hocking 2-gal glass jar I store them in, separated by layers of paper towels to absorb moisture: I've taken off the glass top, and the top layer of paper towels, so you can see all the veggie goodness. Buried in the very small print of this CRON-O-Meter screen capture (on in this older and somewhat out of date, but easier to read webpage) is the list of ~35 'chunky' vegetables mixed up in the jar (basically one of everything in the produce isle ), which I'll eat over the course of the coming week. Not shown is the mix of 'leafy' veggies (incl. kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, & pre-washed 'spring mix' baby greens) that I will also add to my big daily salad. Using this pipeline strategy and weekly mega-chopping of veggies, I can eat the same thing every day, minimize prep time, never waste any food (something I'm loath to do), and only have to leave the house (actually the neighborhood - since I run/walk outside) once per week, to grocery shop. Yes, I'm pretty much a hermit... Anybody else have tips on buying, processing, or eating avocados, bananas or other fruit/veggies they'd care to share? --Dean
  5. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150911-is-sparkling-water-really-bad-for-you
  6. All, The software that supports these forums has many capabilities that are obscure and not easily discovered. This thread is intended as a clearinghouse for useful technical tips for getting the most from these forums. I'll kick it off with a few links and brief descriptions in this post. In the future, I, and hopefully others, will add new tips and tricks as we discover them. Important: many of the tips and tricks described in this thread require you to have an account on these forums and be logged in. Please create an account even if you want to remain anonymous, so you can take advantage of these tips, as well as project a consistent identity as a member of the forums. If you have any new tips, or have a link to tips that have already been posted on these forums, please post it below! OIr if you want to know how to do something, ask it below. Don't worry, I'll manage things to keep the thread organized. Thanks, --Dean Useful Forum Tips and Tricks: How to discover threads related to the post you are reading - Link See a list of all new posts since your last visit, i.e. the "New Content" page - Link How to mark all posts as read from the "New Content" page - Link How to jump directly to the newest post in a thread - Link How to recover accidentally lost drafts of posts - Link How to easily grab the URL for linking to a post - Link How to add a photo to a post - Link Read the very helpful Help facilities for the forum software - Link
  7. Dean Pomerleau

    Time to Stock Up on Cranberries!

    All, I'll keep this brief: Cranberries are very healthy, and are thought to useful for preventing urinary tract infections, heart disease, cancer and even gum disease. Cranberries are nutrient dense, packed with phytochemicals and are only 25 calories per half cup serving, making them a very good CR food. Cranberries are pretty tart unsweetened, but I enjoy them a lot when mixed with other, sweeter berries. Cranberries are amazingly cheap as berries go. Right now they are available at Aldi's for $0.99 / lb. Cranberries freeze incredibly well - even better than blueberries due to their skins. Once thawed, you can barely tell the difference between fresh and previously frozen cranberries. Cranberries are only available for a brief period this time of year in the US, and only available as far as I've seen in fresh form - never frozen at other times of the year, at least in any of the grocery stores around me. So what are you waiting for?! Go out today and buy a bunch of cranberries and freeze them so you can enjoy them throughout the coming year! I just bought 10 lbs at Aldi's and will likely buy more after Thanksgiving when they might be even cheaper. --Dean
  8. Dean Pomerleau

    Don't Abandon Those Green Tomatoes!

    In years past, the day before a killing frost, I've always picked all the tomatoes that were fairly red, and left the rest to die on the vine, figuring unless they're pretty ripe already they aren't going to ripen enough after picking to be edible. Boy was I wrong! This year, I decided to do an experiment. Two weeks ago, before the killing frost here in Western PA, I picked all the cherry tomatoes, (orange) grape tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes in my garden, even the extremely green ones, like the one in my hand in the photo below. The photo shows the results of two weeks of ripening in bright window in my 65degF basement. They've all been ripening nicely. By now, all the tomatoes left in the image are ones that were very green when I picked them, including all the nicely ripe red/orange/yellow ones in the containers. The small container has the one's I'm planning to eat tomorrow. At this rate I should be enjoying organic, homegrown tomatoes through Christmas. I started harvesting in early July, so that is six months of harvest and at least 100lbs of tomatoes, from a 5x10ft plot, with very little effort. Pretty amazing for this part of the country! So for all you gardeners out there, next year, don't give up on those green tomatoes when a frost hits. Bring them inside to ripen and enjoy fresh tomatoes for weeks to come! --Dean
  9. I seem to be a glutton for punishment, refusing to learn my lesson about the possibility of losing drafts of post to these forums, which can be quite frustrating, particularly if the post is a long one. And I know I'm not alone in having lost posts by having accidentally hitting the 'back' button or some other mistake in my browser while composing a message. Good news! I finally figured out how to exploit the "auto save" feature that I could see existed, and which I've highlighted in this (interestingly recursive) screen capture (click to enlarge): If you lose the text of a post through some sort of human error, simply start composing another post. In the new (initially empty) posting window, simply click on the "View Auto Saved Content" location at the bottom of the compose window, which is highlighted in the above screenshot, and it will pop up a window of what's been most recently autosaved. It will give you the option of restoring the autosaved content, and voila - you've got (at least most of) your post back. [Note - I believe as Zeta points out, that this only works if you are using the regular (or full) editor to compose your message, not the quick "reply to this topic" box at the bottom of each thread. If you start composing a message in the "reply to this topic" box, and want to make sure you have the ability to recover your work, click the "more reply options" button to switch to the full editor.] [Note 2 - If the "View Auto Saved Content" doesn't show up because you've been drafting your post in the "Quick Reply" window at the bottom of the page, simply start recomposing your message in the quick reply window and then hit "More reply options" to switch to the full editor. A short time later (in the full editor) the "View Auto Saved Content" option (or sometimes "Last Auto saved: " option) should show up. Click on it and you should be able to recover your lost draft] I just can't believe I didn't try that before... It would have saved me a lot of time and effort. Live and learn... --Dean
  10. Here is something I found fascinating in the CR Survey data about people's way of practicing CR, and how it varies with how long they've been practicing. First, I divided the population into three groups, relatively short-term (<= 5 years, n=8), medium-term (6-10 years, n=7) and long-term (12+ years, n=15) practitioners based on data collected from both the Forum and Facebook responders. Then I looked at people's "Calorie Tracking Strategy" as a function of how long they'd be practicing CR, based on this question from the survey "Which statement best characterizes your CR practice?". The question had these response options: I eat when I'm hungry and don't try to control my calories I generally try to eat less but don't think too much about it I'm usually pretty careful about how much I eat, but don't track calories per se I eat different foods every day and am pretty diligent about tracking calories I eat the same thing nearly every day to make sure I'm getting nearly the same calories None of the 30 respondents included in the analysis (who had complete enough data) chose answer #1, so I eliminated that option from the analysis. Then I combined #2 and #3 into a "Don't Track" group, resulting in three categories (rearranged for clarity): I eat different foods every day and diligently track calories (labelled "Track" in graph) I'm careful to try to eat less but I don't track calories (labelled "Don't Track" in graph) I eat nearly the same thing every day to ensure nearly constant calories (labelled "Eat Same" in graph) While the number in each of the "duration of CR" categories is relatively small (7, 6, and 12 for short, medium and long-term practitioners) so the results must be taken with a few grains of salt, the results are nevertheless really interesting and at least suggestive. Here is the graph (click to enlarge): As you can see from the graph, the style of calorie tracking varies dramatically based on duration of CR practice. CR "novices" (<= 5 years), tend to be diligent about tracking their calories, while the "medium term" practitioners (6-10 years) prefer to carefully eat less but not track calories, and the "long-term" practitioners (12+ years) tend towards eating nearly the same thing every day. Here is my (hypothesized) explanation for this trend across the three duration categories of CRers. The gung-ho but relatively inexperienced short-term practitioners feel they need to track calories diligently to ensure they stick with the program and may even get a kick out of careful tracking, as a hobby. With more years of CR under their belt, the medium-term CR practitioners (6-10 years) shift to a more casual style of CR and stop diligently tracking calories, perhaps because the novelty of careful tracking wears off or becomes too much of a pain, or perhaps they get into a "CR groove" and feel they don't need to track calories carefully anymore. The really long-term CR practitioners might tend towards eating nearly the same thing every day for several, related reasons, based on my personal experience (being one of them): Perhaps after a while the more casual "eat a low-calorie, varied diet but don't track calories" style of the medium-term practitioners gets too casual, to the point where they fall off the CR wagon. In other words, it is too tempting to cheat when eating a varied diet, and so it is only those medium-term practitioners who adopt a pattern of eating nearly the same thing nearly every day that can stick with the rigors of CR to become long-term practitioners. Perhaps it becomes too cognitively/psychologically taxing to estimate/control (even casually) one's calorie intake on a varied diet, and so the most successful long-term strategy is to eat a nearly constant diet day-to-day to reduce cognitive load and/or psychological stress. Analogous to Steve Jobs, President Obama and Albert Einstein, who all wore the same outfit every day to reduce the number of mundane choices they had to make so they could focus on other things. As my previous analysis showed, the really long-term practitioners tend to be the most hardcore practitioners as well, with the lowest BMI and greatest weight loss. Perhaps to maintain a more severe degree of calorie restriction (not just sticking with a moderate program for a long time) requires a more controlled, consistent style of eating, i.e. eating nearly the same thing every day. Perhaps to stick with CR for the very long term necessitates an indifference to food/taste to the point that only people who naturally find it tolerable/satisfying/enjoyable to eat the same thing every day can stick with the program. In other words, the long-term practitioners may have a different, more 'utilitarian', "food as fuel" attitude that enables them to succeed where 'gourmet-types' fail. Alternatively, perhaps eating CR for a long time changes one's test preferences, or heightens the pleasure one receives from eating a seemingly monotonous diet, making it more enjoyable. Or maybe its not as enjoyable to eat the same foods every day, and so its easier to eat less of them and stick to a CR program long-term. Perhaps practicing CR very long-term eventually triggers or evolves into a form of orthorexia, obsession with eating optimally, and to accomplish such optimality CRers eventually gravitate towards eating the same set of foods everyday which they consider most healthy. Perhaps CR doesn't trigger orthorexia, but instead only those already obsessed enough with healthy eating to consume the same thing every day can also have the discipline to stick with CR for so many years. Obviously these explanations aren't mutually exclusive or even completely non-overlapping. But whatever the reason(s), I think it's cool that we can gain new insights, and evidence regarding existing intuitions about CR practitioners and their habits "in the wild". I don't think anyone has investigated this sort of thing before. It's what citizen science is all about! This kind of information can potentially help new CRers know what to expect over time, and how to structure their CR practice to maximize chances of success based on the experience of others who've been doing it for a long time. Or alternatively it might scare some people away, contemplating what it apparently takes to succeed on CR in the very long term... I'd love to hear what others think about the cause of these different eating patterns between difference lengths of CR practice, especially based on your personal experience. Stay tuned for a new survey I'm putting together to explore other areas of how we practice CR... --Dean
  11. Dean Pomerleau

    Food Labels are Bunk

    All, Here is a interesting article from Marketwatch.com about how misleading food labels can be. It turns out that according to FDA rules, companies can legally err by up to 20% on their food packaging labels. That means they can get away with underestimate calories, sugar, trans-fats, saturated fat etc. by up to 20%, and overestimate vitamins and minerals by up to 20% as well. All the more reason to eat foods without labels, and not to put too much stock in calorie estimates for foods. --Dean