Monday, May 14, 2018

90 Day Plant-Based Challenge Weekly Roundup 01

90 Day PBD Weekly Roundup No. 1

or "Who Knew Taco Bell Wasn't That Good For You?"



Hah! It wasn't that bad.

Blood!

I got the results from my blood test(s) and they weren't what I expected, but they were not surprising either. My LDL cholesterol was okay (76) but my HDL was low (24). That is throwing off the ratio of LDL to HDL to make it higher than it should be (5.1). My Uric Acid was 9.2 mg/DL and the healthy range is 4.0 to 8.0 mg/DL. Sooo, that meanse my kidneys aren't happy. I'm assuming this has to do with high blood pressure. This marker kind of freaked me out because I DON'T WANT GOUT!

My C-Reactive Protein (inflammation marker) was 7.5 mg/L which is an indicator of "higher relative cardiovascular risk". Well, great. Again, though, I'm not really that surprised.

My Vitamin D was 26 ng/mL which is considered an "insufficient" level of Vitamin D. Time to start taking some Vitamin D3 and get out in the sun.

As long as I stick to the whole food plant based eating (and take some D3) all of these potential problems should be fixed. I will know when I take another test in twelve weeks or so. If they are not fixed by then I'll make a trip to the doctor and get on the meds I need to get on.

90 Day Challenge Goal

The two main goals of this 90 day challenge are to lose a lot of fat and to change the food that I habitually eat (and desire to eat) in my day to day life.

What I ate

This will probably like it's not that much food...and it isn't. I have A LOT of stored energy so I'm trying to tap into that as much as possible. I could probably live for a month off the fat in my left tit alone. I will be fine with a restricted caloric intake for a while. 

  • Day 1 Monday, May 7th: 3 cups of coffee, petite sweet potatoes (with ground flaxseed and roasted sesame seeds), steamed spinach (with roasted sesame seeds), B-12 1000 mcg.
  • Day 2 Tuesday, May 8th: 3 cups of coffee, half a chipotle veggie burrito with guac (no cheese or sour cream), steamed asparagus, steamed spinach, 1 oz raw pecans.
  • Day 3 Wednesday, May 9th: 3 cups of coffee, Trader Joe's Sriracha Baked Tofu, 2 Taco Bell Fresco Bean Burritos.
  • Day 4 Thursday, May 10th: 1 Startbuck's Venti Americano, 2 cups of coffee, 2 Wendy's Baked potatoes (no sour cream, only chive). 
  • Day 5 Friday, May 11th: Starbucks Venti Americano, 650 g (before cooking) sweet potato, 1 bag of Uncle Ben's whole grain brown rice. 
  • Day 6 Saturday, May 12th: Starbucks Venti Americano (6 shot), 3 Taco Bell fresco bean burrito, Taco Bell large unsweetened iced tea. 
  • Day 7 Sunday, May 13th: Coffee 3 cups (not pictured), Suja life drink (50 calories), Uncle Ben's brown rice, Simply Balanced Organic Low Sodium Three-bean Blend Kidney, Pinto & Black Beans, Hot curry sauce.

The odd thing I noticed was, even when I was in a sizable caloric deficit, on the days that I ate Taco Bell I didn't lose any weight. In fact once I was up a pound the next day when I stepped on the scale. I also noticed that the food was not that filling. It actually made me ravenous for more...Taco Bell. Even though they have decent plant-based options, I'm ultimately going for whole foods (and not the market, either). I think it's best to avoid Taco Bell from now on.

The cravings for greasy food were insane at times. It was almost too much. The impulse to get some loaded fries, pizza or whatever was relentless. I'm hoping the cravings become a little more manageable after I adjust what I am consuming.

In summation


After weighing myself this morning I'm down 11 lbs overall. I'm 70 days sober. I have 1 consecutive day of doing zazen after missing a couple of days. Oops. Time to get back on that Zen horse! My blood pressure has barely come down but I will give it a little more time after I further reduce my sodium intake.

That was the first week. I kept it plant-based but am not really happy with my general diet. I still consumed too much processed, salty, hyper-palatable food with oil and refined grains. I could have eaten more whole foods and consumed far more bulk. I am using the fact that I was out of town for a few days as an excuse though. For the next two weeks I am going to go a little extreme (note: no more extreme than the daily 1-man eating competitions I was engaged in). If anyone has heard Penn Jillette talk about how he lost his weight or read his book Presto! you might have a good idea of what I plan on doing. 

Viva la potatoes!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 30

Day 30

or "It's Over!"

or "This has been...an experience."



I joke. This hasn't been bad at all. I have tried to start a 30 Day Blog challenge at least twice before and failed miserably both times. I'm really glad I saw it through to the end this time. I am also very thankful for every single person who read this while the challenge was going on. That and the social media interactions (you all know who you are- and the blog comments by Whiskey) gave me the encouragement I needed to finish it.

Today I went and got my blood drawn for the 90 Day whole-food PBD challenge. I ordered the Comprehensive Wellness Profile (lipids, liver, kidneys, whatnot), C-Reactive Protein (inflammation), Hemoglobin A1c (diabeetus), and Vitamin D 25 Hydroxy Tests. I'm hoping I have the results by the first of the "weekly recap" posts about my progress with this challenge.

As far as how the 90 day challenge is going, so far so good. Of course it has only been one day but I am feeling really good about it. I'm tracking everything in the Cron-O-Meter app and following Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen (Android | iPhone) as a general guide. I'm also trying to adjust and modify what I am eating as I read more of Julieanna Hever and Ray Cronise's Plant-Based Nutrition (Amazon Associate link).

Topic: Post a picture of yourself from today and five good things that have happened since you started this challenge.


Ok. Here is the photo of myself...

Tee-Hee


First Good Thing

The most important good thing is that I finally was able to get rid of my Mom's house. It was such an odd situation because there had been a fire which did extensive damage but it didn't totally destroy the house. The house was a huge drain financially, mentally and emotionally. I am glad to not have to deal with it and the mobile home park where it was located any longer. I need to get a few more things out of the house and then I'm completely done with it.

Second Good Thing

I decided to sober up (*cough* again). It was just time to face the fact that I can't drink like a "normal" person. As of right now I have 64 days and am feeling great!  I do still need to get into some sort of recovery program though because I will slowly convince myself I can drink again and I will be right back where I was. I've been here before, BUT I am sober and am not going to drink today.

Third Good Thing

I was able to sign up for the classes I needed for the Summer session. I am completely back on track as far as school goes. I have a ways to go to get my Associate's and the certificates I want, and even further to go to get my Bachelor's but I'm headed the right direction.

4th Good Thing

I got consistent about my zazen practice. I have 62 consecutive days of staring at a wall under my belt! The benefits might not be profound but they are there. It is subtle but I can tell I am a bit more equanimous than I was before.

Fifth Good Thing

I celebrated my birthday! I got many, many, many more happy birthday wishes than I expected! I ate greasy pizza that was covered with all sorts of meats and huge piece of carrot cake. I also received some Amazon gift cards (always a winner), a Star Wars K-250 Force Link 2.0 figure and a copy of Far Cry 5 as gifts. It made turning 102 years old very memorable.

That will do it for this 30 day blog challenge! Thank you everyone who helped by reading these inane, narcissistic posts! I will be back in a week or so to show you how terrible my blood markers are and how disgustingly healthy I'm eating!


WOOOOOO!!!

via GIPHY


Monday, May 7, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 29

Day 29

Next 30 Day and 90 Day Challenges



I was able to sign up for some of the classes I wanted. I did not realize that for the summer session you are only allowed to take a maximum of ten units. Japanese 1 will have to wait until the Fall. I was able to enroll in English 1 and COSA 50 (the first required course in the Web Development curriculum). They're both online classes so I am pleased as punch.

Yesterday I mentioned that I was starting a 90 day challenge tomorrow. I am actually going to start it today. I am going to eat a whole food plant-based diet for the next ninety days. No added oil. No added sugar. No refined grains (NOTE: white rice is a refined grain but I am allowing myself that). No added salt (although I will sparingly use some Bragg Liquid Aminos in a spray bottle here and there). In general I will avoid highly processed foods.

The reason I am starting a day early is there is an anime convention I want to go to in August. My friends and I are planning on going on Sunday, August 6th. If I do start my 90 day challenge tomorrow I won't have any dietary constrictions when I'm there. That means I can pull a truly appropriate "rare and appropriate" and eat whatever I want. After 90 days of eating a whole-food PBD it will be interesting to see what it is that I actually "want". I hope the Okamoto Kitchen truck is there. They should be. They seem to be at events like that- and they even have vegan options if for some reason I don't feel like eating Japanese Pork Belly Fries or Japan Fried Chicken.

To keep myself true I will post a weekly update with pictures of what I ate everyday. I will likely refrain from posting my weekly progress as far as weight, measurements and blood pressure are concerned. I will save that for the end. I am planning on getting a blood test tomorrow (or Wednesday) with a Comprehensive Wellness Profile (lipids, liver, kidneys, glucose, etc.), C-Reactive Protein, and Hemoglobin A1c tests. I plan on getting the same tests after the 90 days is up to see if there is a difference.

I also said I would start a new 30 day challenge on Tuesday. I've decided to do #30DaysOfYee on my Instagram. It will just be thirty random pictures with a theme...of sorts.

That's going to do it for today! Only one more day to go!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: 28

Day 28

or "I didn't do shit today"


Topic: Bullet your entire day.

  • Woke up and made coffee while listening to Matt and Mattingly's Ice Cream Social (podcast).
  • Messed around on Twitter and shopped a pic of @kittykatluna_ for the the 2018 XBIZ Cam Awards contest.
  • Made another cup of coffee and zoned out to twitter while listening to the Drew Carey episode of WTF.
  • Made another cup of coffee and hung out in Luna's chat room.
  • Steamed some brussels sprouts and made stew-style Samyang spicy noods. Weird combo, I know. Ate said food.
  • Played Far Cry 5 while listening to the Rich Roll podcast. I played for WAYYYY too long.
  • Washed all the dishes I used when making the spicy ramen and brussels srpouts. 
  • Printed out the general education requirements for an associate's degree, CSU general education-breadth and the Web Development curriculum guide. After printing these out I realized I had already printed this all out months ago.
  • Looked at the LBCC Summer Class Schedule and figured out which classes I want/need to get for this summer session. Basically, the more online classes the better for me. It is so much more convenient. I'm hoping for 13 units- 2 online classes and one on campus.
  • Broke down some cardboard boxes and threw them into the recycling bin. They had been in my room for far too long.
  • Looked through my external hdd for a while while listening to more Ice Cream Social (I'm really behind on episodes). Made another pic for the XBIZ contest tomorrow.
  • Began working on this.
  • I will play some more Far Cry 5 after I'm done with this post until I can fall asleep. IF I can fall asleep.
Not a very eventful day but...that's it.

Only two more days until this challenge is done! I'm firing up the next two challenges (a 90 day and a 30 day) on Tuesday. Those will only require a weekly "summation" post I'm thinking. More on that tomorrow, maybe. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 27

Day 27

or "More stuff I put in my eyeballs and ear-holes"


Topic: Your favorite TV show.


Even though it ended six years ago, House M.D. (or just House) is my favorite show of all time. I have watched it all the way through from beginning to end three times and have more or less watched it most of the way though via re-runs a couple more times. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen an episode, I can watch it again. I've watched it so many times I will never be able to see actors like Olivia Wilde as anybody but "Thirteen" or Omar Epps as Dr. Eric Foreman. Oddly enough Hugh Laurie isn't "stuck" as Gregory House in my head. That probably has to do with seeing him in A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster

The Wikipedia entry for House describes the show as:
The series' main character is Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), an unconventional, misanthropic medical genius who, despite his dependence on pain medication, leads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (PPTH) in New Jersey.
That about sums it up! 🤣 This was completely my show. I am almost certain everyone else in my family hates/hated this show. None of my friends watched it or outright hated it. I think they're all crazy.

The website Polite Dissent had a medical analysis of each episode of House. It seemed pretty neat to watch an episode and then get an actual doctor's opinion on the symptoms and various diagnoses. Unfortunately at the time I am writing this post the site does not appear to be working anymore. 

I'm dead again tonight so that will do it for today. Three more days to go!

Friday, May 4, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 26

Day 26

or "Oops, I almost ran out of time to post again"

Gary Cooper at The Hemingway House. No. Really! That was his name.

I swear now that I'm home my routine is completely out of whack. Also, I ain't gonna lie, I am running out of steam on this blog challenge. I will see this through to the end though. I am excited about starting other thirty day challenges soon too! More on that later.

Today's topic: Post a photo of somewhere you've been.



I'll do more than that and post several photos of my trip to Key West for Fantasy Fest in 2012.

Note: I have almost no good pictures of the festivities at night because by then I was almost too drunk to stand every time. Should have been a clue I needed to sober up then, maybe? Hah.


Duval Street from my friend's balcony.


Mangrove.

Weird statues.

Papa.


Marilyn Monroe statue in front of the Tropic Cinema.



Hemingway House.


Banyan.


Hemingway House pool


Key West Cemetery.


Key West Cemetery


Duval Street from my friend's balcony.


Hemingway's library at the Hemingway House.


Polydactlyl cat at The Hemingway House.


Hemingway House.


Can't remember the exact beach but thought this looked cool.

I'd like to go back there someday soon! Especially The Hemingway House again. 🤣 Anyway, I will be back again tomorrow for day 27. Four more days!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 25

Day 25

or "I got a lot angrier about this topic than I anticipated."


or "Warning: I go on a bit of a rant"



It might just be because I'm not feeling a hundred percent after a stomach bug, not having slept well last night (again) and having to drive through Los Angeles traffic on the 405 but I'm not feeling ANY of these blog topics. SOS. HALP!

One topic caught my eye though. I know what is being asked but my mind immediately went somewhere else with it. Also, apparently I have stronger opinons on this than I originally thought. 🤣

Topic: Your opinion on cheating on people.


First off, what are you supposed to say here besides "I think cheating on people is totally fucked?!"

I will expand the topic out from just cheating on people in the traditional "fucking around behind your significant other's back" sense. Cheating in general is awful. Unless it's a video game (and it's not a multiplayer game that puts others at a disadvantage) cheating is utter bullshit. Whether it's cheating on a sexual/life partner, to get ahead of co-workers, or to "game the system" it's weak and lame. 

More than the fact that cheating is wrong, if you cheat, someone always knows. 

If you lie, someone always knows.

If you steal, someone always knows.

No, I'm not talking about God or Santa Claus.

YOU. You will always know if you cheat, lied, and stole. You have to live with yourself knowing that you've done it.

Between personal life experience, knowing others lives, and a healthy dose of a Buddhist worldview I am convinced unless you're a sociopath you're never going to be happy if you're a cheater, a liar or a thief. Almost everyone I know who acted unaffected by their own cheating, almost even to the point of being proud of it, were heavy abusers of intoxicants and/or very delusional. You'd have to be delusional to act like you're proud you know that you're a cheating piece of shit. So, besides it being wrong to cheat, you're not doing yourself any service by cheating either.

Maybe I'm delusional and there are people out there who cheat, aren't sociopaths, sober and are happy. I've never met them though.

That is my opinion on cheating.

Anywho, I'm back home. I get to sleep in my own bed for a few nights. I'm going to snuggle up to my Nintendo Switch and play some Skyrim. Or maybe I'll cheat on my Switch and play Farcry 5 on my laptop...

C'ya tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 24

Day 24

or "Another Short Post"

or "What I Put In My Eyeballs"


I'm still feeling kind of crappy and have to get up fairly early in the morning to head home for a couple days so this will be another short post.

Topic: What book are you reading (or what book did you just finish)?


I'll answer both. 

I'm currently reading The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin. When I was younger I mainly read fantasy books and I then switched to reading mostly nonfiction books as some point. There are a lot of science fiction works I've been meaning to read for years and am finally getting around to it. I'm only about a third of the way through it but I like it so far.



I just finished Brad Warner's Sex, Sin & Zen. It might be my favorite book of his. I find how sex and sexuality is handled by any religion to be interesting. The book covers a wide variety of topics like polyamory, the third Buddhist precept (the vow to not misuse sexuality), sexual misconduct by spiritual leaders and has includes an interview with adult actress, Nina Hartley. If you think you have to become a eunuch to become a Buddhist this book might be for you.


Anyway, that's it for me tonight. I'll be back tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 23

Day 23

or "The Albatross Is Gone"



Today is going to be a short post because I'm not feeling to great. Although I felt terrible most of the day, today actually turned out to be a really great day!

The albatross that was this house (My Mom's house) is no longer around my neck! It is someone else's problem and I am free to walk away from it. With this I've pretty much tied up all the loose ends with her estate. Such a relief!!!!








The people who bought the house are going to do a full remodel instead of replacing it- I am curious to see what they do with it.

Well, that will do it for today. I got a stomach bug (I think from my friend) and didn't sleep well on top off all the other fun stuff that goes along with a stomach flu. See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 30, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 22

Day 22


Topic: Your Academics


This topic works out. I don't think I've really talked about what I'm taking at school. 

A little bit of a background information: I got out of high school early with the California High School Proficiency Exam. I had big plans of taking college classes but I kept putting it off. Instead I worked in dead end jobs like tile-setting (I never had plans of becoming a contractor myself) or retail management (I never had plans of becoming upper-management). So, now, a million years later, I'm doing the Old-Guy-Goes-To-School thing and finally taking classes.

When I first decided to go back to school I had plans to get an Associate's in Culinary Arts. Then I was going to transfer to either Cal State Long Beach or Cal Poly Pomona and get a degree in Food Science or Nutritional Science. While knocking out required classes I had to take a break due to my Mom's unexpected death (which gave me time to reexamine my academic path) and also read a couple of books which basically ruined me on Food Science and nutritionalism (Michael Pollan's In Defense Of Food in particular). I still like cooking and find the science behind cooking interesting but I know it would be very unfulfilling as a career. I think most people with a Food Science degrees become inspectors anyway and that isn't what I want to do.

I decided to pursue an Associate's in Web Development instead. I've done web design in the past so it is not something completely foreign to me. I'm working on getting a certificate in Android App development at the same time. I will possibly go on to get a degree in Computer Science from Cal State Long Beach. I know I want to get a Bachelor's degree but I'm not one hundred percent sure what it will be at this point. I still have quite a bit of time to figure it out and will just focus on the Web Dev degree. Focus on one thing at a time, right?

So, that is my "Academics" and my post for the day.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

30 Days 30 Posts: Day 21

Day 21

or "The Last Supper"

I like chicken wings and mochi.

Topic: Death Row Meal


I saw this topic several days ago and was kind of worried about what I would write. Should I go with something fairly decadent like Osso Buco and risotto (although in all likelihood I'd actually be served Salisbury Steak with instant mashed potatoes). Maybe I would go ascetic and get lentil soup in a veggie broth. Or I could really bloat up my ego for my last 24 to 48 hours among the living and possibly even just request bread and water.

A trip to the supermarket this evening provided the answer. Luna (the SUCCESSFUL Luna- sorry dumb inside joke) snapped a pic of a freezer full of mochi ice cream at Whole Foods, I suddenly had the compulsion to get mochi ice cream too! After I grabbed a few different kinds of mochi ice cream I also got some hot wings from the deli.

What an amazing combo!

So that's it! My Death Row meal would be hot wings and mochi ice cream.


Sorry for the semi-lazy post. I'll back tomorrow for DAY 22!

90 Day Plant-Based Challenge Weekly Roundup 01

90 Day PBD Weekly Roundup No. 1 or "Who Knew Taco Bell Wasn't That Good For You?" Hah! It wasn't that bad. ...