Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Peace Lilies and Intermittent fasting: A day in the life of a curious trainer.

During my break this morning (string of cancellations), I made a trip to the vitamin shoppe and the local garden center.  I purchased some BCAA's (branched chain amino acids) and a peace lily.  You see I want to live as healthy as possible and for me that means lean and muscular while breathing quality air.

The peace lily is one of the top house plants for removing toxins from the air.  It is relatively easy to care for needing little sunlight and light watering (perfect for someone without a green thumb).  So I now have a peace lily next to my bed, and can rest easier knowing the air is a little cleaner in the room I spend most of my time.

I am currently experimenting with intermittent fasting.  Briefly, intermittent fasting is exactly as the title suggests.  Its a period of fasting (for me 16hrs daily) followed by a period of healthy eating.  I do not reduce my caloric intake instead I have a smaller window in which to take in all the nutrients I need.  The BCAA's are to prevent muscle loss and also claim to speed metabolism while I experiment with this eating program.

Promises of this diet include longer lifespan, fat loss, muscle gain and a more efficient body.  Research says it works, but it is not for everyone, including people with chronic disease or hypoglycemia.  It is also probably not for you unless you have a lot of control over your schedule (aka single or at least a very supportive spouse and family).  I am on my second day and my schedule is as follows:   12-1pm first meal of the day, 4-5pm second meal and around 8-9pm I feast for my final meal.  Yes, I said feast (I know this ruffles some feathers for all you don't eat after 6pm devotees).  Loading the body with quality nutrients before bedtime helps you sleep and promotes a great environment for the production of growth hormone later in the fast (think of Thanksgiving dinner and how hard it is to hold your eyes open).  However a minimum of 7-9hrs of sleep is a must (hence the single lifestyle).  Stay tuned to how I fare in the next 12 weeks.  Below is a list of the proposed benefits of intermittent fasting via Dr. John Berardi:

The proposed benefits of IF in animals and humans read like a laundry list of “look
better,” “feel better,” “live longer” physiological changes. These include:
blood lipids (including decreased triglycerides and LDL cholesterol)
blood pressure (perhaps through changes in sympathetic/parasympathetic activity)
markers of inflammation (including CRP, IL-6, TNF, BDNF, and more)
oxidative stress (using markers of protein, lipid, and DNA damage)
risk of cancer (through a host of proposed mechanisms; we’ll save them for
another review)
cellular turnover and repair (called autophagocytosis)
fat burning (increase in fatty acid oxidation later in the fast)
growth hormone release later in the fast (hormonally mediated)
metabolic rate later in the fast (stimulated by epinephrine and norepinephrine
appetite control (perhaps through changes in PPY and ghrelin)
blood sugar control (by lowering blood glucose and increasing insulin sensitivity)
cardiovascular function (by offering protection against ischemic injury to the heart)
effectiveness of chemotherapy (by allowing for higher doses more frequently)
neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity (by offering protection against neurotoxins)

The renegade diet book by Jason Ferruggia
Engineering the Alpha by Adam Bornstein and John Romaniello
Experiments with Intermittent Fasting by Dr. John Berardi

Until next time (EAT SLEEP TRAIN REPEAT)

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