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Posts posted by damdaman

  1. I just finished reading Brendan's book, and I think he makes a lot of sense. I've definitely decided to incorporate a lot of the foods he suggests into my diet, and rethink how I approach my diet. I've definitely been in the "must consume as many calories as possible to support my training regimen" kind of dude, but I haven't felt my best for a long time now, so the idea of "net gain" foods rather than just high calorie foods is intriguing to me. I probably won't give up tofu and a few other staples, but I think even a progression more in the direction that he's urging is a good thing. He seems to outline his diet in a way that is more a set of principles that you can adapt and choose to which degree you follow, which I like, rather than most mainstream "diet" books which think that the exact same formula works for everyone.


    We'll see how I feel after several weeks.

  2. I've recently cut back on my coffee from every day to once or twice per week, max. I feel like it was wearing me down and suppressing my immune system, and if I want to work out 6 days a week, I'm already putting my body through a lot (not to mention it's a lot harder to stay hydrated when you're drinking coffee!).

  3. Low/no-carb diets are really, really bad for you. Carbs are an essential nutrient, especially if you're training at all. Ketosis is a state of crisis that your body goes into to survive starvation, where your body actually starts to cannibalize its own organs and tissue. It is not a healthful state, it's a desperate state. In addition to the obvious lack of essential nutrients from such a diet, there is reason to believe that such diets lead to bone loss, kidney problems, liver problems, and a host of other ailments. Don't do it.

  4. Rest days are a good idea. At least one per week, in my opinion, maybe two, depending on how long you've been training and how well you eat. It does no good (in fact, it does negative good, i.e. it's bad) to work yourself to death exercising and then not allow your body rest time to regenerate, especially if you've only been training a short time, or your body is not used to exercising a lot.


    If you're more advanced, eat properly, sleep well, don't drink alcohol or coffee, then you can get away with training 6-7 days a week and still recover from the work outs. But working out, without proper recovery, is doing only harm to your body. The reason working out is good is because of the recovery that happens afterward.

  5. Hey all you guys!


    I haven't been around for a while, and that's horrible news because I miss you guys! I'm here hoping you all are making progress towards your goals and I'm cheering for all of you.


    I've got a question for you. How do I overfeed?


    Simple question, but here's my challenge. My natural appetite puts me to barely 1,000 calories a day. When I made a gain of 10lbs over the Summer, I ended up getting most from Clif bars and other sources that are processed, high in sugars, and high in fats. Even then, I was lucky to scrape the 2,000 calorie mark.


    After dropping simple carbs, I blend as many starchy carbs as I can now. Tastes horrible, but I'm trying to figure out how to get the goods into my system first before working on taste. Ever since dropping those simple carbs, I've actually been losing weight, reversing a huge chunk of my Summer gains.


    Any advice? Would love to hear some.


    Significantly increase your consumption of healthy fats would be my advice. Two tablespoons of flax oil provides about 260 calories. Consume that every day, it's really good for you. Eat at least one medium-sized avocado a day (about 300 calories). I like to keep trail mix around the house to snack on, it doesn't make you full but provides many calories. Add a little extra olive oil to garnish the meals you cook. Things like that.


    It's difficult to gain lean muscle if you're not also consuming enough fat.

  6. Not quite sure. I'm having a very hard time overfeeding while keeping my fat intake low. I can only eat so much oatmeal and pasta in a day.


    Why keep your fat intake low? Fat is an essential nutrient, especially if you're trying to gain weight. Fat is very good for you, just avoid saturated fats (super easy if you're vegan) and hydrogenated fats. Avocados, olive oil, flax oil, nuts, these are all fatty foods that are really good for you. I personally feel like crap when I don't eat enough fat, not to mention find it impossible to put on weight/muscle.

  7. My opinion is that gluten is to be avoided. Seitan, which is pretty much gluten + water, is thus something I do not eat. It is very tasty, but I no longer think it is a healthy choice for someone in my shoes who needs high quality protein. The problem with gluten is that it is very difficult to digest, which in a lot of people causes a sensitivity/intolerance, and in some cases an actual allergy. Other people can consume it fine, at least on the surface (although even in these cases, there are folks who would argue that it causes a lot of stress/damage that is not seen and/or not attributed to the gluten consumption). My opinion is that if you're an athlete who depends on quality nutrition to fuel your lifestyle, avoid it as much as possible, but if you're not intolerant/allergic to it, then eating some bread, mock meat, or even seitan every once in awhile isn't a big deal.

  8. I'm in town covering the Democratic National Convention for work. I'm in need of recommendations for good vegan places to eat in downtown, near the Pepsi Center. Preferably around the 16th street mall area.


    Any help is appreciated! I haven't had much luck so far, but I did find the Mongolian Grill, which is where I ate today.



  9. He would really advise learning a specific martial art in a class / with an instructor, which is something I am also interested in - but I don't like the idea of sparring / practicing with strangers, I only want to do so with friends. BECAUSE I'M A PANSY


    You should really consider listening to your friend. The only way to effectively learn self-defense is in a class, with a trained instructor, and with strangers as your training partners. Videos and tutorials simply cannot compare to hands on training. As for the training with friends thing, in the art I train we specifically separate people who come in to class with a friend/partner/sibling to train with. How do you expect to defend yourself on the street if you don't train with a wide variety of people, with varying body types, strengths and weaknesses, skill levels, etc?


    But honestly, as important as sparring/practicing with a training partner in class is, nothing is as important as having a competent instructor right there, pushing you, drilling you. It's rare to meet someone self-motivated enough to push themselves enough, or to even realize that they can push themselves further. That is where the instructor becomes most valuable, because a DVD can cover the details of a technique, but it can't evaluate your individual needs and push you to take your training to the next level like a real, live instructor can.


    And thinking you're a pansy is irrelevant... find a good martial art with a supportive community of people and you won't be a pansy for long, that's the whole point. Most people who start training are not good fighters, that's WHY they're training.


    I don't know if you're near London, but here's a link to the London school of the art I train. It's a self-defense based fighting art. Check out the website, video, etc, and if you're close enough to London, consider giving it a try.


  10. For breakfast/brunch, ranked in order that I prefer:

    Jam on Hawthorne

    Cup and Saucer

    Vita Cafe

    Paradox Cafe

    Wild Abandon


    For lunch/dinner/drinks:

    Thanh Thao Thai/Vietnamese on Hawthorne and 40th is DA BOMB... $8 entrees that will leave you with leftovers, oodles of vegan options, brown rice available, super quick service

    Proper Eats

    Bye and Bye

    Laughing Planet

    Kalga Kafe (if you like soy cheese try their soy cheese pizza!)

    Wild Abandon has a decent (but expensive) vegan dish called Tofu Heaven on their dinner menu


    It's a Beautiful Pizza on Belmont will make you a soy cheese pizza as well

    Vincente's gourmet pizza on Hawthorne will make killer cheese-less pizza

    Mash Tun Brewpub on Alberta has great vegan options

    Blossoming Lotus of course is always delicious

    Hoda's Middle Eastern on Belmont is good

    Nicholas' Lebanese on Grand Ave. is better

    The Bagdad now has several vegan options, I particularly like the curry rice bowl with tofu

    The Bonfire on Stark has many delicious vegan options as well

    Zach's Shack for dogs and beer, of course


    I'm sure I'm missing some, but those are the ones I go to the most.

  11. So now John Edwards and John McCain have something in common, they both cheated on their wives.


    Really, what bothers me most about this is that now Elizabeth Edwards, who is one of the most courageous, smart and beautiful women in public life, is going to be dealing with this while fighting her breast cancer. That breaks my heart.

  12. For the record I'm not arguing that fruit or starches will make you fat. I do not think they will. I was explaining why insulin spikes are bad for you if you are concerned about such things. While insulin release is natural and will happen no matter what, I do not think that large spikes in blood sugar followed by insulin spikes that crash you out are good for you at all, weight gain issues or not.


    If you reread my posts I was explaining why whole fruit does NOT cause this to happen, though.

  13. Again, thanks for explaining things. One last question, how do the 'insulin spikes' from sugar cause problems such as weight gain as such?


    Insulin regulates your blood sugar by helping your cells absorb sugar (glucose). Any excess glucose that your cells don't need is then turned into fat. Normally your cells do not absorb all that glucose and it is excreted in your urine, thus not turning to fat, but when your blood sugar spikes and triggers an insulin spike all that glucose is being absorbed by your cells, rather than only what they need.

  14. Eating whole fruit is not the same as eating refined sugar, or even fruit juice. The reason is mostly because of fiber. When you consume whole fruit, you consume fiber as well as sugar. Fiber slows down the rate at which your body absorbs the sugar, thus minimizing the impact that the fruit has on your blood sugar, producing a much more sustained energy boost. Sugar without fiber has a fast and substantial impact on blood sugar, providing a quick boost of energy that then causes a "crash" when your body releases insulin to combat the sugar spike. This spike/crash is what makes sugar bad for you. Since eating whole fruit does not cause this, don't listen to the people who are "hysterical" about the amount of sugar in fruit. Fruit is good for you.


    Thanks for clarifying that clearly for me. I take it the same rules would apply if fruit was blended to make a smoothie, or would that be classed as 'fruit juice'? How exactly is fruit juice worse than whole fruit, apart from the fact that sugar is often added to fruit juice drinks?!?


    Yeah, the same rules would apply for blended smoothies as long as you're blending the whole fruit; the fiber in the blended smoothie slows the absorption of sugar, thus providing healthy, sustained energy. The reason fruit juice is different is because the fiber is not present, by juicing the fruit you are by definition removing the fiber to leave only the sugary juice behind. I think fruit juice is still good for you in many ways, but you do need to be careful of the sugar content if you're drinking a lot of it.

  15. Eating whole fruit is not the same as eating refined sugar, or even fruit juice. The reason is mostly because of fiber. When you consume whole fruit, you consume fiber as well as sugar. Fiber slows down the rate at which your body absorbs the sugar, thus minimizing the impact that the fruit has on your blood sugar, producing a much more sustained energy boost. Sugar without fiber has a fast and substantial impact on blood sugar, providing a quick boost of energy that then causes a "crash" when your body releases insulin to combat the sugar spike. This spike/crash is what makes sugar bad for you. Since eating whole fruit does not cause this, don't listen to the people who are "hysterical" about the amount of sugar in fruit. Fruit is good for you.

  16. Thanks for the link.


    After watching the fight, I have to say I don't agree with the controversy. The fight was close to be sure, but I can see why the judges gave it to Griffin.


    A lot of people gave the first round to Jackson because of that uppercut, but I think Griffin won that round. That lone uppercut is just about all Jackson managed to accomplish in that round. Other than that one good shot, he spent most of the round getting chased down by Griffin and having his lead leg battered in. Griffin was the aggressor, set the tone, and landed more strikes. Jackson got one good punch in.


    Round two clearly to Griffin.


    Round three could go either way, kind of a lame round.


    Round four clearly to Jackson.


    Round five again could go either way.


    I think Griffin won two rounds decisively and Jackson one round decisively. The other two rounds were toss ups that could legitimately be called for either fighter. All in all I just don't think Jackson was very aggressive and seemed to just be content to back away from Griffin and try and set up one of those big punches.

  17. Excerpt:

    MMAWeekly: First off, Mac, can you give us an injury update?


    Mac Danzig: I actually suffered the knee injury in the middle of the (Mark Bocek) fight. I tore a bunch of muscles in my knee, and had a partial tear of a ligament. I’ve jut been healing it up and taking it easy. I moved my girlfriend in with me, took a few photography trips for myself, and now I’m just preparing to get back in there. It’s getting to the point where I’m eight weeks out (from my next fight) and I can start pushing hard.


    The injury was slower to heal than I thought it would be, but it will be fine for this fight, unless something crazy happens. I should be good to go.


    MMAWeekly: You mention your upcoming fight. For fans that haven’t heard yet, tell us what’s upcoming.


    Mac Danzig: It’s going to be me and Clay (Guida) at a UFC Fight Night in September. I guess it’s going to be in Omaha, Neb. I’m not sure what spot our fight is going to be on the card. I’ve heard rumors that it might be the main event, co-main event or just a regular fight on the card – I don’t know. None of that really matters to me; I’m just really looking forward to fighting him.


    This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been very excited about the opponent and match-up. I think from a fan’s perspective it’s an awesome fight. If I was a fan watching, I’d want to see it.


    I have no animosity towards him, I have a lot of respect for him – it’s just one of those things where he’s an awesome competitor and I can’t wait to get in there to fight him. It’s a huge fight for me. It’s the biggest one I’ve had and I’m looking forward to it.


    MMAWeekly: Do you think this is the fight that represents that next step up for you on your way to a lightweight title shot?


    Mac Danzig: Yeah, definitely. I feel he’s that gatekeeper to the Top 10 or Top 5 in the lightweight division. I think he’s put himself in that position by being one of the best fighters in the UFC. He’s had a couple really close decisions and that (Roger) Huerta loss set him back a little bit. Those minor setbacks have stopped him from actually fighting for the title, but he’s right up there.


    The UFC is throwing him at me to see what I can do. If I get past him that automatically puts me in a position where everyone knows that I’m the real deal and I’m ready to make a run for the title in another year or two. If I don’t get past him, it’s one of those things where it definitely sets me back.


    He’s a wrestler, but he doesn’t stall, and he’s just 100 percent intensity all the time, so it should be fun. I think I’m the smarter fighter, more technical, and I know I can beat him. I’m 100 percent confident; I wouldn’t have taken it if I didn’t think I could win.


    Full interview:


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