More Accurately Evaluating Life Choices

I’m not the only one unable to ignore a fluctuating though undeniably ever-present repulsive environmental tension. I wonder if man has always felt this way or if our modern sense of empowerment and ability curses us with an insatiable perfectionism. I expect I will always request improvement of myself and of my world, but the resulting perpetual state of unsatisfaction is not justification for sitting still and accepting a static fate. My life or my mood will be dynamic, one to the relief of the other. External or internal pressure will build and support the truth of that which is constant and inevitable: change. Stagnation will depress and newness will stimulate, and I can’t help but wonder if there is an inherent shortcoming in my evaluation of life choices.

Is it the goal that matters, the direction, the target, or is it the transition, the journey? Is it fair to consider the state or would I be doing my soul a service to consider the space between? We know life is about the journey, and many of us believe we embrace this, but many of us still identify the journey as a path to get to a particular somewhere. Perhaps we would better suit our dynamic nature and unsettling souls by recognizing ourselves as transient and our journies as significant and the supposed goals we pursue not as states but as events that will pass as mere moments in our life-long transition from dust through momentous life to dust.

A Brief History of Disease, Science and Medicine by Michael Kennedy

A Brief History of Disease, Science and Medicine:
From the ice age to the genome project
By Michael Kennedy MD FACS

“‘Those who compare the age in which their lot has fallen with a golden age which exists only in imagination, may talk of degeneracy and decay; but no man who is correctly informed as to the past will be disposed to take a morose or desponding view of the present.’ (Macaulay, History of England, v. 1, ch. 1, 1848.)”

“The invention of agriculture marks the transition to the Neolithic, or ‘new stone age,’ period. With it came the development of larger social groups and the advent of infectious disease.”

“Prior to agriculture, with few carbohydrates in the diet, the incidence of caries (cavities) was about one percent in skeletal remains (and none are found in the Iceman). In the Neolithic period, with a diet including cereals and other carbohydrates, this incidence rose about five fold, still far below the incidence after the introduction of sucrose in the seventeenth century.”

“Ancient cities were so unhealthy that, until the nineteenth century, the mortality rate of the city-dwellers exceeded their birth rate and the population was only maintained by an influx of rural immigrants. Rome was an exception because of the high quality of sanitary facilities but other factors intervened…”

“Imhotep, an Egyptian physician in the archaic period and vizier to Pharaoh Zozer about 2600BCE, became a revered and, finally, god-like figure in later dynasties, establishing a following somewhat like that of Asclepius in Greek medicine. By the sixth century BCE he had replaced Thoth as god of healing.”

(to be continued…)

How To Eat Food

Thought eating was as simple as putting food in your mouth? Well, maybe it is. Chew on this!

These simple rules will help you adopt a bio-consumption-healthy lifestyle. Don’t try to make lifestyle changes in leaps and bounds. Can you say relapse? Start at the top and work your way down. Bon apetite! Continue reading How To Eat Food

My Workout Adjustments

More Rest Days
As follows every 1-2 week near-full vacation from working out, I feel better, healthier and stronger, and look better than ever while I torture myself. I am going to attempt to keep myself away from the gym and out of my running shoes for 2-3 days per week.

More Warm Up and Stretching Time
Before runs and most workouts I will take a hot shower, a warm up walk and jog, and do light dynamic stretching. I will do dynamic and static stretching after my workouts as usual.

More Variety and Better Balance
I will not focus only on running; I will add biking. Lower body workouts will alternate focus and will occasionally be in the gym including dead lifts, squats, lunges, and step ups. I am also reducing my push up efforts to within range of my pulling efforts: pull ups, chin ups, and body rows. My upper body workouts will continue to be body weight focused including push ups, dips, pull ups, chin ups, body rows, and sit ups and will occasionally be free weights and cables instead.

Tempt Some Pains
I will continue to stay fully aware of my body signals and address warning signs appropriately, but I will push further into the types of pain that have demonstrated no correlation to injury.

Less Barefoot Running
As a matter of convenience and in the interest of experimentation, running will be performed primarily with shoes. I will continue to warm down, walk and hike barefoot on occasion.

All of these changes will increase health benefits and reduce proneness to injury.

Understanding Yourself And The Universe

Terence McKenna – Nobody Is Smarter Than You Are

We all must try to understand what is happening. We need to try to understand what is happening. In my humble opinion, ideology is only going to get in your way. Nobody understands what is happening. Not Buddhists. Not Christians. Not government scientists. Not… you know. No one!… understands what is happening. So, forget ideology. They betray. They limit. They lead astray. Just deal with the raw data and trust yourself. Nobody is smarter than you are. Continue reading Understanding Yourself And The Universe

In Defense Of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

Notes and Quotes:

The entire book is an elaboration on:
“Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Interesting Quotes:
“A few years ago, Rozin presented a group of Americans with the following scenario: ‘Assume you are alone on a desert island for one year and you can have water and one other food. Pick the food that you think would be best for your health.’
“The choices were corn, alfalfa sprouts, hot dogs, spinach, peaches, bananas, and milk chocolate. The most popular choice was bananas (42%), followed by spinach (27%), corn (12%), alfalfa sprouts (7%), peaches (5%), hot dogs (4%), and milk chocolate (3%). Only 7 percent of the participants chose one of the two foods that would in fact best support survival: hot dogs and milk chocolate.”

“For a more complete (and fascinating) account of the biochemistry of these fats and the story of their discovery read Susan Allport’s The Queen of Fats.”

“Wild greens like purslane have substantially higher levels of omega-3s than most domesticated plants.”

“Two of the most nutritious plants in the world are weeds – lamb’s quarters and purslane…”

“Gas stations have become processed-corn stations: ethanol outside for your car and high-fructose corn syrup inside for you.”

Turf Toe

I recently sprained my big toe from barefoot Ultimate Frisbee. I should not have assumed that an ability to barefoot run for 40 minutes corresponded to being able to perform the side-to-side, twisting, and rapid acceleration and deceleration involved in Ultimate Frisbee for a full hour. Luckily, while I had to stay in Saturday night and walking has been a pain, I don’t expect this is more than a minor sprain. I’m recovering quickly and expect to be walking normally in 72 hours and back to the trails in a week or two. Unfortunately, if this is turf toe, this could be a serious problem. Continue reading Turf Toe

How to Train for 100 Consecutive Push Ups

I started Phase 2 of this plan 45 days ago, doing sets of 20 push ups. Now, I can do sets of 44 push ups. I expect to be able to do 100 consecutive push ups in 45 more days. From 20 to 100 consecutive push ups in 90 days sounds good to me.

Workouts and Rest Days
Always take a rest day after each work out. I recommend doing these workouts every fourth day. Day 1 will be the workout prescribed below. Day 3 should focus on back strength to balance your upper body, but I like to include dips, DB press, or shoulders if my chest feels fully recovered. Day 2 and 4 are rest days, lower body days, or cardio days.

Phase 0) Do sets of push ups with your knees on the floor until you can do sets of 3 or more without your knees on the floor.

Phase 1) Do sets of perfect normal grip push ups, all day if necessary, until you can do 100. Repeat this workout until you can do 100 push ups in less than an hour.

Phase 2) Do a set of perfect normal grip push ups and stop when your pace slows down or you lose form. Repeat sets of this number of push ups until you’ve done at least 100. If you complete the workout successfully, your following workout will consist of sets of push ups with a 10% increase in reps per set. For example, if you can do 12 push ups before your pace starts to slow and you lose form, then you will do 9 sets of 12. 9*12=108. Your next workout will be 8 sets of 13. 8*13=104. Continue this progression until you can knock out one set of 100 consecutive push ups.

The progression might look like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 33, 36, 39, 42, 46, 50, 55, 60, 66, 72, 79, 86, 94, 100. Even if you can only do sets of 1 today, you could potentially be doing sets of 100 in only 120 days following this plan. Though, notice an increase from 1 to 2 is an increase of 100%, not 10%. Be very careful when starting out.

Be conscious of your body and how it’s responding to recovery. Your chest can handle more than you think, but your elbows may get sore, and if your form is poor you can injure your shoulders. If your elbows are ever sore, ice and proper rest should suffice. Avoid other upper-body work for a few days. Consider skipping your Day 3 upper body workout. If you strain your shoulder, stop your workout immediately and ice your shoulder. If it still hurts the next day, contact me or a physical trainer or therapist or your doctor. Always keep good form!

Read more: How to Train for 100 Consecutive Push Ups — Second Attempt