Eat Your Veggies – But – How Many?

Leave a comment

The number of “recommended” servings of fruits and vegetables has been all over the place.  WebMD states:

“Under the U.S. government’s latest food guidelines, five servings of fruits and vegetables may not be enough. Adults need anywhere from 7-13 cups of produce daily to get all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables — including possible protection against obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.”

The general rule I follow came from the TNT Diet Book: The most successful weight loss is achieved by eating 5 servings of Veggies a day. Since Fruit is – except for a small  amount of berries – not Carb friendly – I focus only on Vegetables.

I caught an interesting article on T-Nation: Tip: No Need to Eat So Many Fruits & Veggies.

They reported on a recent study tracking the health benefits of eating Veggies and Fruits.

An international team of researchers spent 2003 to 2013 recruiting 135,000 participants between the ages of 35 and 70 from 18 different countries. Participants were routinely quizzed on their frequency of eating various foods so researchers could ascertain their fruit and vegetable intake. Fruit juices and potatoes (and other tubers) were excluded from their analyses.

The researchers took into consideration their sex, education, smoking status, and physical activity. They followed the participants for between 5.3 and 9.3 years, while checking specific health parameters every 3 years.

What They Found
Eating a combination of fruits, vegetables, and legumes lowered the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer, as well as the overall risk of death.

None of that is new, but they found the greatest impact for people who ate between 375 and 500 grams a day, with an overall reduction in risk of death of 22%, compared to those who ate less than 125 grams a day. Eating more than 400 to 500 grams a day didn’t confer any additional health gains.

How much is 375 grams – 500 grams – about 3 to 5 servings. And we are back where we started.

Check out the Post I wrote entitled: TNT Diet Plan A Veggies.

I’ve been maintaining my weight loss and my positive blood work eating VLCHF for the last 10 years. Sometimes I’m in Ketosis – sometimes not. I no longer pay much attention. But – I usually get in 1 serving of veggies with breakfast – and 3-5 between lunch and dinner. Always – no – of course not. But It averages out to 4-5 servings a day.

The study is Published in the Lancet:

Higher fruit, vegetable, and legume consumption was associated with a lower risk of non-cardiovascular, and total mortality. Benefits appear to be maximum for both non-cardiovascular mortality and total mortality at three to four servings per day (equivalent to 375–500 g/day).

Does this new study change anything – NO – but it is nice to know that I’m on the right track.


Cable Push Pull

Leave a comment

Could not get on the machine I wanted to do a rotational core exercise. Spotted an opening on another Cable Machine and remembered this exercise. Haven’t done it in years.

I was original taught this move by a Personal Trainer years ago who called it “Punch-the-Drunk.” Grab the drunk by his shirt – pull him towards you – and punch him. A bit violent for my taste – but it got the picture across – vividly. It is actually a really good exercise.

A set is 10 reps in one direction and then 10 in the other direction.  Go for Three Sets.

An alternate to this position would be to position your arms closer to shoulder height.



Carb Flu or Carb Addiction Withdrawal


I caught this article on Google News: Is Carb Flu Really A Thing?

The premise was simple: Carb Flu was your body’s reaction to being improperly deprived of an essential macronutrient. Not – your body adapting to eating Low Carb.

Carb flu is legitimately your body’s way of telling you that it’s not able to process enough energy to function properly, says Amanda Kruse, RD, CD. “In some cases, your body may even go into survival mode as a way of conserving energy stores, because it’s not sure when you will feed it next,” Kruse says. “The grogginess and associated feelings are your body’s way of slowing you down to conserve energy.”

If you have carb flu, don’t just decide to ride it out, because you don’t have to avoid carbs or experience carb flu in order to be healthier. Carbs are probably the one thing that will make you feel better — so raise a croissant to that.


I beg to differ. You are going through Withdrawal – simple as that – withdrawal from an addiction to carbs – to sweets.

Adam Drewnowski took a fresh approach in examining the problem of bingeing, or compulsive overeating. Drewnowski knew there were links between sugar and addiction to opiates; studies showed, for instance, that sweets sometimes eased the pain of withdrawal.

So he treated his subjects as if they were drug addicts. He gave them a drug that counters the effect of opiates; called naloxone, this drug is given to people who overdose. Drewnowski then offered his subjects a variety of snacks— ranging from popcorn, which was low in sugar, to chocolate chip cookies, which were loaded with sugar, as well as fat. His findings: The drug worked best in curbing the appeal of the snacks that were highest in both.

Moss, Michael. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (p. 132). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The author’s suggestion that you should “raise a croissant to that” is equivalent of saying – if you are withdrawing from heroin – just get another shot to relieve your pain.

Fall 52 Day Challenge starts this Wednesday the 9th

Leave a comment

I’m a big cheerleader for the 52DC. It is one of those peer created and peer led entities that actually works. It helps you in so many ways to achieve your personal goals.

Jessemaa – a long time Challenger – just reached his dream – breaking the 200 pound barrier. He started at 300 pounds. Check out his Post. He generously credits his participation in the 52 Day Challenges for helping him reach his goals.

For more information on the 52DC, check out Shrinkinguy’s Blog Post. He may not be a Low Carb guy – but he definitely knows the right way to do an alternative path. He is another guy who has had great success being part of the Challenges.

Hope to see you at the Starting Line. Sign Up here!

Goblet Squat & Kettlebell Swings

Leave a comment

The unending Joy of getting back what has been lost.

Once my hips started going south, I eliminated various exercises that caused pain. Then came the right hip replacement surgery and re-hab – and then the left hip replacement surgery on my other hip. The realignment of my hips put extra pressure on my knees and a new pain arose.

My mistake: delaying the surgeries and allowing the pain to prevent me from doing various exercises.

Here I am getting back at it. I’ve been trying to phase in Goblet Squats and Kettlebell Swings. both have been less than thrilling – until this morning.

Did the Goblet Squats with increased weight, deeper squat and more reps than I’ve been able to do. With – Less Pain.

goblet squat

Did Kettlebell Swings with increased weight, better form and more reps than I’ve been able to do. With – Less Pain.

kettlebell swing




Made this last night. Looks like a lot of work but the hardest part was mixing up the natural peanut butter. Served it over Cauliflower. I’ll add this to the Recipe section for permanent reference. Just wanted you to see this.

Yield: 4 servings (about 3 wraps per serving)


For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce – used low salt – still salty
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (17.3 grams of Carbs) – Substituted 3 packets of Sugar Substitute
  • 1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter – used a large rounded tablespoon of natural unsalted.
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha (reduce if you prefer less spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (1 tablespoon = 25 grams Carbs – 1/2 teaspoon => 4 grams Carbs – too little to worry about. Not sure if it was worth it.) 

For the Chicken:

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil or canola oil.
  • 16oz. chicken, finely chopped – easier to cut and handle if partially frozen
  • 12 large outer leaves from a head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts. Toasted in a non-stick pan until started to brown.
  • 6 Thai chilies, thinly sliced (optional – these can be spicy!) Did not use.
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges – nice flavor.


In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sweetener, peanut butter, coconut milk, Sriracha, and cornstarch). Whisk until evenly combined (some small lumps of peanut butter may remain).

Heat a large wok or sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil (it should shimmer). Carefully add the chicken to the pan and cook, stirring continuously until the chicken begins to brown on the outside, 3-4 minutes. Add the prepared sauce to the pan all at once. Cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Serve immediately with the lettuce leaves, peanuts, chilies, and lime wedges on the side. Spoon about ¼ cup of chicken mixture, peanuts, and chilies on top of each lettuce leaf and squeeze a lime wedge over the top just before eating.

VARIATION: Serve over Riced Cauliflower – double the sauce recipe.

Protein – How Much? The never ending discussion.

Leave a comment

 A recent meta-analysis of 49 prior studies with 1863 participants was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The conclusions were not surprising.

I’ve always used the rule of 1 gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass. So for a guy – like me – weighing 180 pounds with 20% body fat, you would top out at 140+/- grams of protein per day.

Their conclusion: 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight. 180 pounds = 81.6 kg x 1.6 grams = 130 grams. Not a significant difference in calculation. Another way of looking at it – .70 grams of protein times your body weight.

Summary/conclusion Dietary protein supplementation significantly enhanced changes in muscle strength and size during prolonged RET [Resistance Exercise Training] in healthy adults. Increasing age reduces and training experience increases the efficacy of protein supplementation during RET. With protein supplementation, protein intakes at amounts greater than ~1.6 g/kg/day do not further contribute RET-induced gains in FFM [Fat-Free Mass].

Let this be your guide to how much protein you need to maximize your gains from exercise.

One more concept – don’t forget Gluconeogenesis: a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of glucose from certain non-carbohydrate carbon substrates, such as protein. Too much protein generates glucose and undermines Ketosis.

One more post script: This only applies if you are actually doing Resistance Training.

Older Entries