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Everything posted by blabbate

  1. Bah, you don't look awful at all. You're in a great place to start, and you have awesome hair. They always say diet is 90% of weight loss, so the food diary is a terrific idea. I find I consume way more calories than I expect when I'm not keeping track. Maybe keep track of your macros and sodium too, just to see if you're way up or down on carbs/protein/fats?
  2. We don't need to end GMOs. That's ridiculous. There is zero evidence that GMOs pose any health risk. The US National Academy of Sciences has noted that after billions of GMO meals consumed worldwide over the past 15+ years, no adverse effects have been documented. They also found that GMOs are better for the environment with respect to pesticide use. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12804&page=214 Even the European Commission's metastudy in 2010 found no risk associated with GMOs. http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=7082 The AAAS not only considers GMOs safe, but noted that: "The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques." http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/media/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf The AMA is so unconcerned that it doesn't even support labeling. http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2012/06/american-medical-association-opposes.html In addition, GMOs produce a more consistent operational yield, less vulnerable to changes in environment and pests. The problem is the business behind the GMOs, not the science.
  3. First, I recommend searching the forums, because we've gone over this in the past in pretty great detail. Vaccines are not vegan by pretty much any definition. They may contain animal cells, egg, dairy, etc. Some are cultured in fetal cells, though I don't believe any new fetal strains have been harvested in decades. But anyway, definitely not vegan. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't take them. For me, this is a case where the benefit strongly outweighs the cost. Not getting vaccinated or having your children vaccinated has a higher moral cost to me than putting some non-vegan junk in my body. I strongly urge taking them, but that's a personal decision. Also, vaccines are completely safe. Mercury is not a concern. The panic was over mercury in thimerosal in the MMR vaccine. However, thimerosal was never used in the MMR vaccine, and the result of thimerosal metabolism is ethyl mercury, not methyl mercury, which is the harmful one. And even with the vaccines that do use thimerosal, there's never been any evidence that it's caused harm. This is based on 80 years of use, by the way. There was also no drop in autism rates after thimerosal was removed from vaccines. And of course, this shouldn't even need to be said, but no evidence exists of lead poisoning from vaccines. It just doesn't happen.
  4. No idea who Barry Sears is, but he's partly right. Campbell's China Study, as published, is awful. However, that's more because of his conclusions rather than his research. His hypotheses and methodology were good, so he's at least half a scientist. Denise Minger's critique is ridiculously thorough and well-researched: http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/
  5. The Subway veggie patty isn't vegan anyway. Like many (most?) veggie patties at fast-food chains, it has egg and dairy. But even more importantly, Subway tastes awful.
  6. If they've always been like that, it's probably not a big deal. However, if they're new or if they come and go, it could be a sign of any number of vascular illnesses. Best just to have a doc take a look and make sure your BP is fine.
  7. Very cool, thanks! I'll make sure I'm doing exactly what he advises and see if it makes a difference. I bet I'm screwing up in at least one of those ways.
  8. Hey all. I've been rebuilding for the past 6 months or so after taking some time away from the weights due to a rotator cuff issue, and I'm running into the same problem I always have. I plateau on Overhead Press around 125 lbs and just can't bust through. I'm doing 5/3/1 and everything else is progressing just fine. Squat and DL are back over 300, Bench back up to 175, all with consistent, steady gains. But OHP has stalled for a couple of months. Diet is about 300-500 calories above BMR on weightlifting days. I've been doing 5/3/1 OHP, as I said, and tried adding one-arm dumbbell presses as assitance to see if they'd kick-start anything, but no luck. Any recommendations on ... well, anything? Better assistance, switching programs, etc? I'll try pretty much anything at this point. Thanks, Bruce
  9. You can't target fat loss. You can do ab exercises all day, and all you'll do is build them and tighten them, not target the fat on top of them. That can help if you want them to be more pronounced, but for removing the extra weight you're stuck just trying to burn more fat overall, which might mean more cardio or high-rep weights with a lower-calorie diet.
  10. Hey everyone. I've been getting sick of just plain jogging for cardio, so I'd like to switch some days to complexes. These would be mixed in between heavy lifting days on an 8-day rotation, about 2 per week (see below). The goal is partly to up the intensity of these "light" days, but mostly just to mix things up and keep it interesting. Anyone have any favorites? Around 5-6 exercises per complex, 5-8 reps per exercise, 90-120 second breaks between complexes, total duration between 15 and 30 minutes. I'm thinking along these lines: Light Complex: Bentover Row Hang Clean Front Squat Overhead Press Good Morning Heavy Complex: Deadlift Romanian Deadlift Power Clean Push Press Back Squat Example Schedule: M - Overhead Press Tu - Complexes W - Squat Th - Cardio F - Bench Sa - Complexes Su - Deadlift M - Rest
  11. Yup, I was 295 at 6'2" back in 2007. Went vegan, lost a little over 100 lbs in a little over a year, and never gained it back.
  12. I think we can totally agree on that. Even if we can't eliminate them, I'm sure incidence would go way down if we just took care of ourselves better.
  13. It's important to separate mortality rate, prevalence, and incidence. For the past 20 years, they've all generally been dropping, with some spikes in prevalence and incidence. Mortality has been falling consistently. Also, don't forget that incidence and prevalence are bound to increase along with lifespan. http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/all.html I think we can agree on the vegans/vegetarians. Some natural medicines are great, sure. Red yeast rice is definitely an effective statin. However, as you noted, it was taken off the market for just that reason. High levels of statins can cause kidney failure. This is exactly why drugs need to go through FDA approval. I have nothing against natural remedies that hold up to research. I just don't like the dismissal of drugs that have survived rigorous testing in favor of untested "natural" drugs. It sounds perfectly reasonable to me to be skeptical of any drug and to do that sort of personal research. Just apply the same degree of rigor to any medication, synthetic or natural. Also, it's true that many people die in trials, but that's the cost of saving many, many more lives in the future. Nobody can be forced to participate, and all participants must be advised of the dangers, including death. This should immediately raise a red flag, because it's a combination of untrue and misleading. Diabetes was certainly less prevalent, but also well-known. Researchers were already working on it steadily. Heart disease was the #4 cause of death in the US and cancer was #8. As we developed better treatments for TB, pneumonia, and other infections -- and as average life span increased -- they quickly climbed in the rankings. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/lead1900_98.pdf This is also not provable. Most of these claims have been based on the CDC's 400,000 claim back in the mid 2000s, which they then withdrew and adjusted way, way downward. The problem is in assigning a causal relationship between obesity and mortality. It's certainly a big factor, but making a claim like #1 is specious. This sounds right, but is becoming meaningless. People need to die of something, and our hearts are one of our weakest points. Again, at least in the US, the CDC lists cancer as causing 3.7% of deaths. And again, we would expect it to be more common with a greater life expectancy. What I'm getting at is that these presentations have a clear agenda, and they're not above massaging (or falsifying) information to push it. Absolutely obesity is an issue, as are diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. And prevention is essential. But that has nothing to do with natural vs synthetic drugs. I think I'm just less charitable towards the naturalists than you are. I agree that they should work together more, and I think any reasonable treatment should be researched and tested.
  14. That's a pretty incorrect generalization. Cancer, at least in the US, is trending generally downward. Check the most recent progress report: http://progressreport.cancer.gov/. The same is true of mortality from heart disease and stroke: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/125/1/188.full.pdf+html. Prevalence is still an issue, but that doesn't have as much to do with treatments as it does lifestyle. Also, remember polio, smallpox, diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles, and rubella? Malaria? Those used to be some of the major diseases in the western world. Let's just say they aren't any more.
  15. With our current knowledge, this is untrue, except in the sense that at some level even synthetic drugs are derived from natural ingredients or intended to mimic natural substances. For example, hydrocodone's active mechanism is based on those of natural substances, but is synthesized to operate much more acutely and with greater control. But there are others, like levothyroxine and risperidone, that don't have counterparts of any reasonable similarity. Could there be natural alternatives out there? Maybe, sure. But we certainly haven't found them yet. Also, medications are definitely sales items, yes, because there's money in curing diseases and relieving symptoms. However, there's also money in natural supplements for much the same reason. Or take a look here:http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-not-so-beautiful-untruth-about-the-gerson-therapy-and-cancer-quackery/ Or here: http://www.skepdic.com/gersontherapy.html There is no scientific evidence in support of Gerson Therapy. None. The few attempts at genuine research have been terribly flawed. Gerson himself used as evidence patients who were also receiving traditional cancer treatments. Do you know why Gerson Therapy persists? Because there's money in it. I agree that drugs are often harmful at some level. We're introducing a foreign substance to the body, and even if it's well-targeted, there are sometimes side effects. "Almost all"? Not even close. Also, the benefits are not always temporary, and drugs do not always treat just the symptom. Some do, of course, because symptomatic relief is often sufficient while the body heals itself or because it's simply the best we can do. But others attack the cause. This is why you don't have to worry about diphtheria. Bactericidal antibiotics interfere with bacterial cell walls or enzymes to physically destroy the cells. They quite literally destroy the cause of the disease. Because research never stops? Because we find new and more effective ways to treat illness? Because most diseases cannot be fully eradicated? Why on earth would you expect the number of drugs to decrease? I think there's something to be said for removing public marketing from the drug business, but generally the drugs that work better make more money, so companies will always be trying to find new and better treatments. Wait, why are we excluding antibiotics? Again, some drugs are designed to treat causes and others to treat symptoms depending on what's possible and reasonable. And again, the natural drug industry is also a giant money-making scheme. Antibiotics. Gene therapy. If they're hiding the odds of successful treatment, that's unethical, but still has nothing to do with the quality of the treatment itself. If 30% is the best we can do, that's just how it is for now. It's still better than the natural alternatives, which have an empirical success rate of 0%. My problem with all of this is that you are for some reason rejecting science. Yet, I expect you believe in evolution, physics, chemistry, etc. You appear to be well-educated and intelligent, so please don't think I'm implying otherwise. I just don't understand why you would reject a particular field of scientific research. The methodology is largely the same. Yes, there are profits involved, but the evidence is vast and publicly available. I can understand rejecting the business, but not the evidence.
  16. Also, pelvic tilt doesn't occur simply when the hip flexors get large. Otherwise, anyone with a lot of core and lower-body strength would have issues. It occurs when there's an imbalance in the hip/leg muscles (or genetic abnormalities, but that's out-of-scope). If the flexors and extensors are kept fairly balanced, pelvic tilt shouldn't be an issue. Lunges certainly aren't going to cause any problems.
  17. Quads, glutes, and calves (soleus). http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBRearLunge.html You might feel it in your hip flexors as well, but the work should really be done by your legs and glutes. If anything, hip flexors will matter for flexibility and depth of the lunge.
  18. Holy crap, VE. You are where I want to be. Mind if I ask your height? I didn't see it in the post, and I remember you being quite tall.
  19. As beforewisdom said, Yuan Fu is pretty good. Looks like Veggie Garden closed, unfortunately. My one must-eat place in DC/MD is Mandalay in Silver Spring. Fantastic Burmese/SE Asian food with lots of vegan options, including coconut milk ice cream. They're also very vegan-friendly in general and happy to help out. There are also two or three Ethiopian places over there that are terrific, like Addis Ababa. In Bethesda itself, there's BDs for Mongolian bbq, a few Greek/Mediterranean places like Bacchus, Guapo's for tasty Mexican (though not particularly vegan), and Hard Times Cafe does a delicious vegan chili. There's a Sweetgreen over there too, I think, for salads. If you head down into the city, Columbia Heights has Sticky Fingers, which is generally considered one of the best vegan bakeries in the country, and certainly on the east coast. It's right off the Metro, too. There are a couple of Pizzeria Paradisios in town in G'town and just outside Dupont. I always liked the G'town one better, but it's a bigger pain to get to. Really, between Comet, zpizza, Ella's, etc, you're spoiled for vegan pizza if you want it. DC is great for vegans overall. There's stuff everywhere!
  20. Hi! Happy to have you here. I'm afraid I'm not exactly sure what your goal is after reading your post. Are you trying to get down to a certain weight? Gain muscle? Hit a specific % body fat? Your workouts and diet should be tailored to your goals. If you're eating mostly fruit and doing Insanity, you're moving towards a lean, muscular build. Not as bulky as a weightlifter, but still strong and very fit. The Insanity workouts are, if I understand correctly, designed to be done at a certain frequency. Doing them more often (and certainly if you do them twice a day) might not allow enough time for recovery. You could be depleting your glycogen reserves, breaking down your muscles, and not allowing them to rebuild properly. Even aerobic cardio like running or biking can inhibit recovery. It's a delicate balance, and it's going to be a little different for everybody. Plus, you absolutely shouldn't ignore the danger of overworking your joints, muscles, CNS, and connective tissue. It doesn't do you any good to work out 2-3 hours a day now if an injury is going to take you off your feet for months. If you're still young, you can probably handle it, but as you get into your 30s and 40s, your body won't be as forgiving. Another thing to consider is your diet. Eating that much fruit and rice is putting a lot of carbs, particularly sugars, into your system. I'm not one to insist that everyone needs to eat a ton of protein, but it's worth a try. Different diets work for different people, and your body might not be thrilled with that much fruit. Experiment until you find something that works. Also, some general blood tests to rule out vitamin and mineral deficiencies wouldn't be a terrible idea.
  21. I have no problem with nudity of either sex, but in an advertising campaign it can come across as tawdry and exploitative. The tactics with which a product is advertised and sold affect the way that the product is perceived, and if those tactics seem sleazy or desperate they can poison the message. Remember, it's not about how you or I as individuals feel about the ads. It's about how the general populace perceives them, and if that perception is negative, extra attention isn't a good thing. It's not just religious people. It's also people who feel that nudity is an insufficient proxy for actual substance, people who think using sex to sell is cheap or lazy, people who don't want their children exposed to near-nudity, etc. And if enough people are turned off by the ad instead of engaged, there IS harm done. I honestly don't know if that's the case, but it's a danger. Agreed, it's definitely important. But we can still have constructive discussions about how best to achieve our common goals.
  22. The problems certainly start with the breeders and owners, but when 84% are killed within 24 hours, there's an argument to be made that they aren't even giving the animals a chance. And it also doesn't excuse the poor facilities and the dumping of bodies. Nor does it make it OK to pretend to be a shelter. I'm fine with them being a euthanasia clinic. Sadly, there's a need for a facility that puts animals down humanely, but in large numbers. I just want the adoptable animals to be given a fair shake, and for PETA to be honest about what they're doing. Which doesn't matter if they're perceived as sexists or hypocrites and people refuse to listen to them. Among the general population, they're already considered something of a joke. They're #1 only in the sense that they're the biggest, but that doesn't mean they've done more for animal rights than anyone else, particularly when SPCAs and Humane Societies and AnimalAid are on the ground at a local level on a day-to-day basis dealing with the actual animals. We pick at our allies because we want them to be better. We don't want them to become punchlines or to detract from the movement. Luckily, our efforts are not zero-sum. We don't have to stop working against the meat industry to complain about PETA or vice versa.
  23. They also killed 1,911 cats and dogs last year and about 28,000 in the past 14 years. In 2010, 84% were killed within 24 hours. They claim the animals are too sick or injured, but haven't provided real evidence. The only public evidence and testimony indicates many of the animals were perfectly fine. Their employees have also been caught disposing improperly of the bodies, and their primary facility doesn't meet their own shelter guidelines. In their defense, there's no doubt that they take in a higher percentage of unadoptable animals, and they've never claimed to be no-kill, but they also give the impression to people leaving animals with them that there's a reasonable chance of adoption. Their main "shelter" is, in fact, a euthanasia clinic, and they need to be up-front about it. They also need to get a better handle on their employees, because I know much of this behavior is condemned by the organization as a whole.
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