Saturday, August 9, 2014

Food for energy, not for thought

I've been forced to ride my bike everyday wherever I go. This is no problem, I have football coaches who remember me as the guy who used to ride my bike to practice, a feet made impressive by the fact that it was during "hell week" a hot and tough week of practice, I had to ride my bikes 5 miles on Vermont hills, and after all this I was still 250 lbs. That last part is the focus of this; not the fact I was overweight, but the fact I could be active as a kid by playing a sport for every season, riding my bike for a 14 mile round trip to hang out in town, and hiking with my dogs for about three hours and still be overweight.
On top of the biking, I've started running as an effort to tighten up some loose skin from the weight lose from the past year. Not a lot of loose skin, just a bit that hangs around the belly. In order to run 5 miles a day AND ride a bike for 8 miles, I need food. I need energy. Otherwise, I'll be sitting on the couch, get up for some water, and feint. Or I'll wake up the morning after a meal of a medium pizza, 2 litter coke and 12 pieces of wings and I'll be starving. Lucky for me, I live 1 and half miles away from the strip mall area, and so I can run to McDonald's.
There is absolutely nothing to these meals. I just ran there and back, and had a meal that their sign claimed was close to 1000 calories. I don't feel like I've eaten a thing. I just had half a days intake of recommended calories for a barely active person, and I don't feel like I've eaten a thing. For contrast, if I decided to to run the same distance and come home and make 2 pancakes with nothing but flour, sourdough, and baking soda, I wouldn't be hungry until 1 pm.
Growing up, I think I read at least a chapter of most of the fad diets that were popular between 1995 and 2005. And I saw those mail order diets that claim to help you learn how to eat. The best education I got was from working on organic farms. None of the people claimed to be nutritionists, except for the one farmers wife who was going to school to become one, but everyone there cared very deeply about what was going into their body. You could try to call them out about only being into a idea about GMO's, organics, and vegetarianism just because it was trendy, but then these guys would school you with a deep store hold of knowledge pulled from every corner of time.
So let's talk food. Mainly, I 'm tired of hearing that Americans have it so easy because we have enough food that our poor are fat. Our poor aren't fat because they have so much to eat, it's what they eat. Frozen pizza is food, fast food is food, and it has enough calories on the box that you would think that the consumer wouldn't be hungry until Friday. But it doesn't. There's no energy in those calories. The body eats them, but it does seem to know what to do with them. So we sit on the couch and watch tv. The whys have been explained to me plenty of times. Food has sugar and salt put into them as a preservative, and the freezing and storing process also breaks downs other molecular pieces into simple sugars as well. I feel like a lot of that info came from an old health teacher I used to despise, so this post should inspire a good nutrition research post.
Not all food is create equal. Again, I was fairly active as a kid, but dinner was steak, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. And corn as a vegetable. Corn is my least favorite vegetable from my time as a farmer; it takes so much from the ground and gives the consumer almost nothing in return. My house had frozen pizza, easy cheese, saltines, Ritz crackers, peanut butter and jelly, and ground beef. I've discovered in the past year I can live off a small garden, rice, flour, and a wonderful drink called Kvass. I still eat meat sometimes. I keep reading articles that say 26 through 28 is when you notice you metabolism decline and all this other stuff. I have never been in this great shape, I have more energy, and I even recover from hangovers faster. In short food has a "Quality over quality" matter to it. Also, snacking. I eat when I'm bored. I have a garden now, so I can snack on stuff from my garden, as apposed to potato chips.
I think tomorrow I need to stop by work and grab a kvass culture. Then I can start my sourdough again and stop being hungry all day.

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