Random Thoughts – September 2022

“Some of the best evidence for the role of exercise in maintaining weight loss comes from the National Weight Control Registry, an online group of over ten thousand men and women who have lost at least thirty pounds and kept it off for at least a year. These folks defy the cynical view that meaningful, sustainable weight loss is impossible. The average Registry member has lost over sixty pounds and kept it off for more than four years. They are truly exceptional…Nearly all of them (98 percent) report changing their diet to lose weight, which makes sense given how diet can affect the reward and satiety systems in our brain and impact how much we eat.”

Herman Pontzer PhD Burn (pp. 255-256). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition

I posted about this book back in May on my other world famous blog. http://lifeunderwriter.net/2022/05/11/read-this-book/

From your “exceptional” self-proclaimed expert on weight loss you’re welcome.

8784 signing off.

The Pups – Update September 2022

The pups back in July. Remember these guys?

The pups after replanting and spending an ungodly number of days in 100+ degree heat. I didn’t think they would survive.

But they did.

The Boss says if I retire I need a hobby. Voila! New hobby!

Sugar disrupts microbiome, eliminates protection against obesity and diabetes (in mice)

Photo by Nishant Aneja on Pexels.com

After four weeks on the diet, the animals showed characteristics of metabolic syndrome, such as weight gain, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance. And their microbiomes had changed dramatically, with the amount of segmented filamentous bacteria — common in the gut microbiota of rodents, fish, and chickens — falling sharply and other bacteria increasing in abundance.

Sugar disrupts microbiome, eliminates protection against obesity and diabetes — Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Sugar disrupts microbiome, eliminates protection against obesity and diabetes.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220829194721.htm (accessed September 7, 2022)

Here’s the link to the original study – https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(22)00992-8?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867422009928%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

I’m cleaning up my saved drafts for this blog and apologize up front if I’ve already posted this. But since this post was in my draft folder I’m pretty sure I haven’t already posted this. I need to delete some drafts I’ve kept around since 2018.

2018!!!

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew – the 2022 Revision

Yes, I’m messing with the spice mix. So far I like the changes. Changes from the first version Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew are in bold. In this revision I used dried chickpeas instead of canned. The night before rinse one cup of dried chickpeas with 2-3 changes of water. Then add enough fresh water to cover the beans and soak overnight. (These little guys will approximately double in size so make sure you add enough soaking water). Before cooking, drain well, rinse and toss into a pot. Add enough water to cover, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Add some garlic and onion powders and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • crushed red or cayenne pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked chickpea
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15oz. can no salt diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups MOL vegetable broth (MOL= more or less)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • Add the onion, garlic, and ginger (fresh if you have some, powder if not) to a soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat Add the green pepper and saute for another few minutes.
  • After a few minutes toss in the chili powder, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, and red pepper flakes or cayenne. Keep sautéing for another few minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and chickpeas to the pot. Pour enough vegetable broth into the pot to cover the ingredients by an inch.
  • Turn the heat up and bring to a boil.
    After boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about an hour, lid on partially covered. Stir occasionally. Add more broth/cooking liquid as the stew thickens.
  • After an hour taste and adjust your seasonings. The amounts of seasonings I used results in a very mild stew.
  • Serve over rice (or not).

Confessions

This revision has been sitting in my unpublished drafts for a long time. It was time to revisit, cook and taste again to see if it was worth keeping around. I had a half bag of frozen carrots and a third bag of frozen corn. They got tossed into the pool. The corn is a nice addition, bringing in a little sweetness.

The dried cup of chickpeas makes approximately 3 cups cooked. I used the cooking liquid and less vegetable broth.

I’m flying solo this week. At least I have breakfasts and lunches ready to go.

Exercise is Not Essential for Weight Loss. It is Vital for Your Health — Damon Ashworth Psychology

Alongside nutrition and sleep, exercise is one of the three pillars of our health. Before coming up with a realistic and sustainable plan, let’s see what types of exercise are most recommended and how much we should try to do each day or each week. Walking – is there anything to the 10,000 steps recommendation? […]

If you want to lose weight, please remember that nutrition, and not exercise, is the best way to do this. The type, amount, and timing of when you eat and drink are more important for how much weight and fat you lose than how active you are.

Exercise is Not Essential for Weight Loss. It is Vital for Your Health — Damon Ashworth Psychology

Building new habits takes time. My typical morning routine is bathroom, shower, dry off (don’t forget this step), coffee and either read or write before starting my work day. Today I’m starting a new routine which hopefully becomes habit. Coffee AND resistance training (shower later).

Another morning habit I didn’t realize existed until today was my morning dopamine hit from likes and page views. What? Someone from Down Under liked my Resistance is Not Futile post. And followed me! Naturally I had to follow back and reblog which is not cheating or stealing someone else’s hard work.

Thank you Dr. Ashworth. But more importantly THANK YOU for Josh Giddey. https://www.nba.com/player/1630581/josh-giddey

Braum’s Is the Best American Fast-Food Chain You’ve Never Heard Of

In fact, the milk — and the company-owned creamery where it is produced — is the cornerstone of the Braum’s business model. The chain makes and produces all of its dairy products and bakes its own burger buns, and as such, Braum’s only opens locations within a 330-mile radius of its production facility in Tuttle. From there, refrigerated trucks are dispatched every other day to make deliveries to its more than 300 stores scattered across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Braum’s Is the Best American Fast-Food Chain You’ve Never Heard Of — https://www.eater.com/23165864/braums-best-chain-milk-ice-cream-burgers

The closest grocery store from my house is just a mile away. But anytime I need milk, eggs, or cheese I shop at Braum’s. Their private label bread is better and cheaper than the grocery store. Butter at the grocery store is between $4.00 and $6.00 a pound depending upon the brand. Braums’ butter is $3.50 a pound (but you have to buy two to get this price).

Control of production and lower transpiration costs obviously affect the retail prices. And in a good way.

Did I mention The Bag? https://www.braums.com/menus/bag-of-burgers-junior/

These burgers are Tiny Taste Tester Approved.

Resistance is Not Futile

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A 2022 study review from Japanese researchers linked “muscle-strengthening activities” to a 15% lower risk of dying. Resistance exercise was also linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (17%), cancer (12%), and diabetes (17%)…

For longevity, strength training seems to be especially effective for older adults, says Tufts University professor Roger Fielding, PhD, who’s been studying the role of exercise in the aging process since the early 1990s…

The maximum longevity benefit comes from one or two resistance exercise sessions a week totaling 30 to 60 minutes.

How Strength Training Can Help You Live Longer – Medscape – Sep 02, 2022 — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/980170?src=rss#vp_1

I got motivated. I changed my morning coffee routine to include a few minutes of resistance work. My habit of going to the Y for resistance work ended shortly after Covid hit our shores. Since then I’ve accumulated some free weights and a couple of resistance bands. I used to have a smaller band that snapped during an exercise session and no it didn’t hurt (much). Recently I bought some ankle weights for my soon to be copyrighted Old Man Chair Leg Lift routine. Now I can replicate all of the exercises I used to do at the gym. With the convenience of working from home and not having to get out to the Y hopefully I can maintain this new routine and turn it into a habit.

Of course I converted “one or two resistance exercise sessions a week totaling 30 to 60 minutes” to 12 minutes a day, five days a week.

Boom.

Remember it’s not just about diet and BMI. But since you asked…

Still 200 pounds less than my max.

It’s a three day weekend. Maybe I’ll work on my Future Best Seller.

Bechamel Sauce

I took the time to write this down because I know someone will ask for the recipe.

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir frequently, breaking up any tiny lumps.
  2. Add the milk and half and half one cup at a time. Keep whisking or stirring until smooth.
  3. Add the cheese and cook, stirring constantly until you start to see bubbles on the sides of the pan. When you see bubbles, turn the heat to low.
  4. Simmer stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. Turn the heat off and allow to sit until needed.

What You’ll Use This Sauce For

  • It’s what will make your Baked Penne with Two Sauces pink, half Bechamel and half red sauce.
  • Instead of a layer of ragu or cheese, use as a layer in your lasagna. Don’t tell anyone you did this. Keep your guests guessing on why YOUR lasagna tastes so good.
  • A great start for mac and cheese. Add a lot more cheese please.
  • A pizza or bread-stick dipping sauce.

I guess I should update my Baked Penne recipe.

You Are What Your Ancestors Ate

Humans also vary in their ability to extract sugars from starchy foods as they chew them, depending on how many copies of a certain gene they inherit. Populations that traditionally ate more starchy foods, such as the Hadza, have more copies of the gene than the Yakut meat-eaters of Siberia, and their saliva helps break down starches before the food reaches their stomachs.

These examples suggest a twist on “You are what you eat.” More accurately, you are what your ancestors ate. There is tremendous variation in what foods humans can thrive on, depending on genetic inheritance. Traditional diets today include the vegetarian regimen of India’s Jains, the meat-intensive fare of Inuit, and the fish-heavy diet of Malaysia’s Bajau people. The Nochmani of the Nicobar Islands off the coast of India get by on protein from insects. “What makes us human is our ability to find a meal in virtually any environment,” says the Tsimane study co-leader Leonard…

In other words, there is no one ideal human diet. Aiello and Leonard say the real hallmark of being human isn’t our taste for meat but our ability to adapt to many habitats—and to be able to combine many different foods to create many healthy diets. Unfortunately the modern Western diet does not appear to be one of them.

The Evolution of Diet — https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/evolution-of-diet/

Food for thought (pun intended).

This article is worth reading even if you remember just one concept.

There is no one ideal human diet.

It’s Struggle Meal Time

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Rice and beans may be a struggle meal, but there’s a reason so many gravitate to this humble dish. It’s filling, it’s nutritious, and it’s cheap. Given the right preparation and a few seasonings, rice and beans can also be delicious and satisfying. Beans are basic, but also infinitely versatile.

Which Beans Have the Most Protein?https://vegnews.com/2022/8/bean-protein-guide

I’ve known for quite some time that beans are a poor person’s meal. But in all of my years on the planet this is the first time I’ve heard of beans referred to as a struggle meal. Well struggling or not everyone should be eating more beans for the health benefits.