Month: October 2017

Vegetarian Journey

Over the years, and especially in the last decade, I’ve tried my best to improve my diet. It’s a hard process, sometimes deliberate and sometimes spur of the moment decision to try another diet. The objective is to live a healthy life every day for the rest of my life.

I’ve tried supplements and vitamins:  At one point some of them helped but once I gave them up slowly, I did not feel any difference. So I gave up on them except the occasional vitamins or supplements whenever the mood fits.

I’ve tried carbo-loading before – (when it was vogue in the 90s). The theory was by eating oodles of noodles, that food is converted into stored energy. I used to eat lots of pasta especially before a long bicycle ride to fuel every ride even though my rides are usually less than 30 miles. The bad news is that you gain more fat and weight doing this.

I’ve tried high protein diets where my carbo only came from vegetables. But I read months later that high protein diets is bad for the kidney if done for more than two weeks or so. I used this diet to lose 2-3 pounds in a few days. But I’m afraid to mess around with my kidney so I stopped.

I also did a “detox” consisting of eating select steamed vegetables (roasting caramelizes the sugar in the food) and adding nutritional supplements because it is a very low calorie process. I lost some weight but this was hard to do consistently. Years later, I read that most of the detox are done by our liver and kidneys already so it’s much better to just watch what I eat instead of subjecting myself to unnecessary suffering.

Over the years, I’ve been mulling some thought in my mind: how to eat healthier. Translation: how to incorporate more berries, fruits and vegetables to my diet and remove animal protein except maybe for fish, and the occasional eggs. We have to be great chefs to come up with really tasty recipes for vegetables and we are always time constraint due to work and family commitments.

Then one day, i watched a documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. It struck a chord with me. Finally, I found a way to eat more veggies – by juicing. But then I did some research first and found out that juicing may take away the dietary fiber which is essential to cleaning our digestive system. Someone suggested to use a blender instead.

I got a new blender because my old one gets stuck when it encounters ice. To make a smoothie takes about 30-45 minutes. I did some research and found the Ninja.

My wife and I started blending vegetable (and fruits) three weeks ago. Here’s the results (for me):

Slept better.

Felt less tired even after driving almost an hour after work

Smoother food digestion process

My brain seems to work fine even in the late afternoon.

Eyes seem to see slightly clearer.

Felt less stress in stressful situations (such as heavy traffic).

I lost about three pounds and this time it feels like I’ll maintain my weight better

The difference is highly significant especially because I am no longer in my 30s. Any slight improvement in my well being is much welcome!

On the weekends, we eat regular food but we still avoid the unhealthy ones as much as we can.

The bigger challenge is getting consistent and staying on this healthy diet. But this time, it looks very doable.

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Less Baggage

Have you seen one of those movies where a few members of a royal family travels to a far place and they carry about 20 hard case luggage each? Yes, those were the times when a lot of fabric was used to create a single dress for the ladies and for the gentlemen, the usual attire are thick coats and jackets. At least they have servants to carry all those luggages upon arrival at the next castle.

Fast forward a few hundred years. Now we have fabrics that dry fast, very light, ultra durable and comfy all at the same time. What’s that got to do with baggage? you ask.

Let me share a short anecdote.

My wife and I experimented on some of our out of town trips in the last few years(only trips of over 400 miles counted) to fit the least amount of clothes, shoes and toiletries in the smallest possible luggage. Our justification for the experiment was to make our travel way easier. Here’s some good points on why we chose to have as little baggage as possible:

 

  •     Ease of carrying a light and small container
  •     Faster moving through airport security
  •     Easily fit in any car (rental or taxi)
  •     Uncomplicated choice of what to wear next
  •     Pay less for checked baggage

We were able to do it because we already have a few clothes that are made with modern fabric that are light and dry easily. We carried only a few and we washed them in the hotel shower and they dry within a few hours (depending on the humidity of the location). We carried the smallest sized toiletries and brought only one pair of shoes.

I highly recommend it to others because life gets easier when you don’t have to worry about too many things while on a journey. There are even travelers that live off from one medium size backpack for months in a foreign country. Sometimes, I wanted to do that kind of traveling – visit foreign places, stay in relatively inexpensive hotels and live off a backpack. But then, I wake up from my reverie, and I go, Naaaah, I’m too old for that.

In life, the less luggage we carry, the easier our lives become. Around my neighborhood, there are garages that are full of stuff, while their cars sit on the driveway. Boxes upon boxes of stuff sit inside the garage. The only one justified in doing that is the family with six kids.  I’ve seen people rent storage lockers for hundreds of dollars a month to keep more stuff. I mean, are they really going to use that stuff someday? Very unlikely.

In our life journey, when we eliminate excess emotional, mental and physical baggage, our lives become suddenly smoother, and happier. ASK yourself the following question, and since it’s only you that would know the answer, it pays to be completely honest.

What are:

  • the things you do that waste your time?
  • the things you buy or keep that waste your money?
  • the unnecessary activities that waste your time?
  • the tasks that waste your efforts?
  • the things you do that makes you unhealthy?

Once you have a list, work on eliminating a few. Just a couple will already make a significant dent in your life’s excess baggage. Eliminating more means more happiness and satisfaction. Pray to God for help (it’s really almost impossible to do it on our own).

Oftentimes, the burdens we carry are self-imposed and unnecessary. Let’s take back our lives. Live with less baggage.

 

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