Summer 2017 – 52 Day Challenge starts Wednesday

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The Summer 52 Day Challenge starts this Wednesday, May 31st. The Sign-up Thread has been posted. The FAQs have been updated. The Sign-up Thread for the Weight Loss sub-challenge has been posted. Time to get on board.

I’ve been doing these Challenges for what seems like forever. I actually started in the Summer of 2008. Five Challenges a year for Nine years. Why?

I have lost weight – lots of weight – multiple times. I have never been able to keep it off.

I have started an exercise program multiple times. I have never been able to stick with it.

This is the first time that I have kept the weight OFF!

I have ONE – set of clothing that fits – no matter what the season. I no longer have multiple sizes tucked away in the back of the closet. The last group of over-sized clothing was pulled out of a storage bin under my bed and is being given to a charity fund raiser. The good part – I found a sweater that still had the tags on it — that finally fits. Too bad it is summer.

It is really nice to be able to reach into the closet and have it fit. No guessing – no hoping – it just fits.

This is the first time I have stuck with going to the gym. No – I am not able to lift up small VWs – but I can do multiple sets of chin-ups and pull-ups without using an assisted pull-up machine. I am recouping the strength in my legs after having both hips replaced over the last three years.

It is now 10 years of eating Very Low Carb and exercising 6 days/week. 

I can’t argue with the results – and I can let you know – that much of my success has come from participating in the 52 Day Challenges.

It’s your turn! See you at the Starting Line.


Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust


I spotted this Article about Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust and got REALLY excited. High Hopes! “He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes.”

Trader Joe's Cauliflower-Pizza2.jpg

And then I read the back of the package! 17 grams of Carbs for 1/6 slice. Damnation.


Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis – Part 2


On February 20, 2015, I wrote a post entitled Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis a Linkage Found.

The heart of that post was my awareness that my Psoriasis had really eased up as I spent more time on a VLCHF – Ketogenic diet. It was not something that happened overnight – but I eventually realized that areas that were of concern, were no longer a problem – my elbows being one area. I can’t pin point the time – it was not quick – just gradual and probably took a year or more.

When I brought this to my Dermatologist’s attention – she pooh-poohed me telling me that diet has nothing to do with psoriasis. I later found articles indicating that one component of psoriasis was inflammation. At least I had some explanation of why my patches had abated. A Ketogenic Diet is an anti-inflammatory diet.

That dermatological practice had dissolved. One retired, the other no longer does skin checks. Today I had my first skin check in about a year or so. The new Doc listened to my tale and was a bit surprised. He did admit that the latest thinking is that Psoriasis is related to inflammation. 

He examined my body from all angles. Doc – any dry patches – “nothing worth doing anything about.”

My journey with “dry skin” actually started with my audiologist who – upon examining my ear, said : “You have a lot of dry skin in your ear canal.” And – that started the process of curing my TMJ.

I periodically had what we thought was TMJ. It turned out to be an irritated patch of psoriasis in the ear. I would scratch, put the hearing aid in – and it would end up inflamed. That inflammation was enough to push the jaw out of alignment.

I now have a liquid med to put a drop in an itchy ear. Not sure if it is a psoriasis patch or just an itch. Doesn’t matter – I need to make sure that it does not become inflamed. This does not happen often – but when you wear hearing aids – it is a problem that may occur.

I would never say that following a Ketogenic Diet will cure Psoriasis. But – Damn – it sure seems to have helped me – a helluva lot. What do you have to lose.


Saturated Fat is not the Devil


Once again the sides line up to do battle. This time the skirmish is about an Editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine:

Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions

There are a huge number of opposition posts  -including this one from Science Alert. I chose that one since it has a number of links to other material.

This battle will continue until real assessments can be accomplished. Even then – how do you control what people eat over a lifetime? How can you set up two groups with only one variable differentiating them – when it comes to eating – and let’s not ignore exercise and other lifestyle activities? 

I eat a substantial amount of saturated fat – if you compare my diet to those who eat low fat and avoid saturated fats. But – they are not eating Very Low Carb – and they are not eliminating processed foods – and they are not limiting added sugar – and they may not be exercising 6 days a week – and – and……….

Still the belief that you can actually determine that saturated fat is always the devil’s spawn goes on.


5 Months Post Hip Replacement Surgery.


I had my left hip replaced 5 months ago. The impact was more than I expected. The recovery process has been impaired by a bout of Sciatica in the left leg along with the additional stress on my left knee from the re-alignment of my leg.

I was starting to get really worried. Walking up a flight of steps was more like hauling myself up by the hand rails. Walking down – the left knee would not effectively support the leg. Sleep was never a full night of rest without some level of discomfort waking me. The bottle of Advil was out on the counter for those occasions.

5 months in – and things they are a changing.

I actually walked up a flight of steps without holding on. It took a bit of focus but I did it – and each time has become easier. Stepping up on the curb with my left leg has become easier as has stepping off the curb with my right leg.

I’ve started to phase back in Squats of various nature and form. Not easy – my knees still hate me – but it is happening and getting easier.

There are two ways forward: Favor the left leg and never recover -or- force the left leg to work and eventually recover. 

There are all too many people walking around with canes and walkers because they would not go the distance in strengthening their affected leg.

5 months in – and I have hope of finally getting back in action. Some articles I’ve read speak of the 6 month mark as  being significant – and one year to a full recovery. Seems to be the way things are playing out.

No Regrets – the hip pain needed to be rectified.

And – the Sciatica has found the exit door – not fully shut – but getting there. I wonder – what is/was the relationship between the Sciatica and the hip replacement surgery? 

Flax Seed – A Double Edged Sword!

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I have been a big Flax Seed fan. It is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and Fiber. Makes great muffins. Then I came upon this Article from Men’s Health Australia detailing 5 foods that are negatively impacting a man’s Testosterone production.

Some I already knew about, but – Flax Seed – really?


Every Instagram wellness-warrior is sprinkling flaxseeds on their porridge, but have men jumped on the bandwagon too soon? Although the seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, studies by the Duke University Medical Centre in the US found flax is rich in a chemical called lignan, which contributed to the reduction of testosterone in all the male participants.

I did a little research – Yep – Truth.

I knew this about Soy and I don’t include a lot of Soy or Soy Milk in my diet. The whole estrogen thing freaks me out. Why would a man drink Soy Milk?

Aside from Flax Seed and Soy products they mention Alcohol, Sugary Drinks and pastries that contain Trans Fats.

OTOH: A diet high in flax seed could help stunt the growth of Prostate Cancer. That of course is because it suppresses Testosterone production.

So the real question – how much is too much? One thing is for sure – it is not an every day addition to my eating plan.


The Six Unwritten Rules of the Gym

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I get the Weekly Dose T Nation. If you don’t subscribe – you should. Yeah – much of it is real metal heads – but I pick up hints almost every week. Hints that make my work outs more effective.

Today’s Weekly Dose includes an ArticleThe 6 Unwritten Rules of the Gym by by John Romano.  Check it out.

This article particularly resonated with me today. At the gym this morning, I had to go in search of a Swiss Ball – all of which were not where they should be. Then this individual dropped 2 – 20 pound dumbbells on the linoleum walk way with a Bang and just left them there while she did something else. She did it a 2nd time with another set of DBs. It took me awhile – but I finally recognized her – she used to work out at NYSC where I worked out years ago – before it recently close. she is in law enforcement – really – she enforces the rules we live by.

So here are the rules – with a bit of my personal commentary.

1 – Put Your Shit Away

This is probably the one that gets everyone annoyed. Someone will load up a bar – do their sets – and just leave it there. Damn – it is part of the exercise to load and unload the bar. Picking up dumbbells or kettlebells and returning them – is just common courtesy. Leaving them lying around for someone to trip on – your bad.

2 – Treat the Gym Like Your Home (Or Better)

People can be slobs. Sweat on a bench and leave it. Spill your water bottle and don’t clean up. Spit into the water fountain – yech. Fail to flush the toilet – come on!

3 – Don’t Flirt. Or At Least Don’t Be Creepy

I’m an old married guy – but I can spot the guys that are on the make. Some are down right creepy. Others – well – things are OK until they’re not. Yes – there are clubs that pander to the single crowd. Then go there. 

4 – Don’t Steal From the Gym or Other Members

This is the one that gets me crazy. Do you really need to pocket a $3.00 item – so I have to go looking for the various hooks and other smaller items  – particularly the carabineer . Seriously – where is your moral code?

5 – Don’t Block the Mirrors

The mirror is a tool to check out your form – not to check out your biceps. I do enjoy watching the college guys do a quick mirror check – it is funny – if they only knew that others were laughing at them.

6 – Never Distract Anyone Doing a Set

Why does this even need to be said. You see someone in mid set – stand back. What ever you need or where ever you are going – can wait the couple of seconds – or you can take a detour.

There are many other “rules.” 

Don’t do curls in the Squat Rack

Don’t hog a piece of equipment – let others play through while you take a break.

What are your pet peeves?

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