Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The July Project : Veganism

Not really surprising - we were already **mostly** eating vegetarian  - it is a good time to see how hard to stick to a strict vegan diet.
Obviously, for me, the hard part will be dairy.
Cheese, Butter, .. We are french after all.

Vegan athletes praise that healthy diet and the proteins are really a non-issue - if you do not pay attention to the derives of the fitness world.
To be fair I am using a Vegan Shake supplement for snacks, to make sure to get a bot of everything that is not immediately available in a vegan diet and would force me to think and organize myself.

Happy french cow - Will end up as meat balls likely.
Of course, part of going vegan is highly symbolic.
Help the world, help the animals, help yourself.


Help yourself.
Easier to digest, less fat, less acidity. Better healing.

Not sure what to expect on one month time frame when we had already a pretty balanced diet.
I guess lose another pound or so... Diary is so rich...
Time will tell.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The July Project : Breathing

It is not new that expert Yogi with Pranayama are able to achieve extraordinary feats. Slowing down their heart, holding their breath for minutes, healing themselves, ... Free divers reach incredible depths with controlled breathing techniques. Remember Jacques Mayol in the Big Blue ?

Breath taking Lisbon

On top of boosting your full body ecosystem, mostly through hyperventilation and oxygen saturation, it helps your immune system and provide meditation-like benefits - Calm, relaxation, mindfulness.

The genius of Wim Hof is to have made this available to anyone, to work with science to make it believable to our western minds, delivering it in a simple and effective package.
Sure the guy is a bit weirdo and excessive, but you can still relate. Just enough craziness to make this enticing and still comprehensible.

Wim Hof's breathing technique

If you are curious, there is ton of information on the web about Wim, always oscillating between guru, prophet and your typical dude. I recommend the book of the investigation journalist Scott Carney - first, it is well written and cover more ground than just Wim Hof's technique - second, it is really critic and objective.

Debunking the Ice Man myth

 Anyway, there seems to be enough evidence that this should not be a fluke, the breathing part takes around 30 minutes a day, I decided to give it a shot. Without hoping to be able to control my animal brain in one month, I am curious if I will be able to increase my healing, recovery and overall feel better.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The July Project : Cold and Ice

Following a recurrent theme - cold is good for you - In doubt, listen to the Ice Man - I picked a couple of daily practices - explained.

The Ice man showing (Wim) Hoff

Without going as far as Wim Hoff, it is fairly known that cold - hot therapy helps for recovery,  boosting your immune system, and helps blood circulation.

As a bonus, a good cold shower in the morning wakes you up pretty good.

Ankle and Foot bath twice daily in a bucket of ice - helps with healing the tendinitis.
Cold shower once a day to shake things up inside.

Not yet ready for the ice bath challenge, but that's a first step.

Nazare, Portugal. Where THE wave breaks and records are beaten.
I started the challenge by swimming in the Portugal coastal waters in June, which were surprisingly icy. Not sure if the gulf stream does not go as South or if as a kid I was less sensitive, but I definitively remember playing in the ocean for hours on the West coast of France - which seems unbelievable now.

And you could think you get used to cold showers as well. But not really. It has been so far a daily struggle - more psychological than physical - it is true.

Cold shower is for yogi Guru Singh the one habit that can ease your way to happiness.
Seems appealing, doesn't it ?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The July Project : Sobriety

Easy one for today.
For context, my alcohol intake has been pretty low those past couple of years. One glass or two of red wine, usually at aperitif or diner time.
No big deal.

Monastic life in Portugal

We are people off habits, and a good way to change is to pick the one habit that slow you down, and eradicate it. Impossible to get rid of all your bad habits in one shot, but one, sounds reasonable. Now, you have to be honest with yourself and pick the one you know that bring you a false sense of comfort and drag you down.

Alcohol slow you down - literally and figuratively - and obviously not very good for health. If not, why should you be moderate with it. Let's try to eat and drink without moderation, even if that really limit your choice to the healthy stuff. I am not a moderate person.

On top of the wasting time and lowering energy, alcohol is free calories. no nutrients, just added sugar. Well, cutting 200 calories per day end up for a pound every month. Not that I expect to lose infinitely a pound every month from now on, but I expect my body to stabilize itself to a new low, without any effort - except cutting that habit.

Better body Ph (healing), more energy, and few pounds less, this is what I hope to get back from that cut during the July project.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The July Project : Assessment

For the experiment to be effective, I need a base line recorded, to compare with at the end of the month.

Portugal West coast. Near Nazare.
Really nice beach break with very few in the water.

Weight : 156 Lbs - 69 Kg

Energy level : 3 / 5 - vaguely positive.
( I would rate 4 my energy level during my marathon training, and 2 when I am tired and irritable.)

Apnoea : 2m15s after a 15 min breathing cycle.

Achille Tendonitis: Small bulge at the tendon. Tender at wake up and on touch. Tender after 45 min light/easy run.

Plantar Fascitiis : Pretty painful after a 45min run. tender in the morning and on finger press.

Right knee :  No pain on very easy runs

Right Hip : Pretty silent at the moment, I can feel it after a light run.

Vinged Scapula : Better than few months ago, Still pretty bad while lowering the arm.

Running : Around 60 miles /  month. Usually 4+4+8 / week. Limited by my tendinitis.
Long run of 75 min, easy peace (Zone 3), Felt my foot plantar during all the run, lightly, not forcing me to change my gait. After the run and icing it, could barely walk.

Cold : I have hard time to get rid of since the vacations.

 Alcohol intake : One medium to large red wine glass /day. My wife would say 2.

Tomorrow I will lay down my expectations, and after that, detail the plan and the rationale behind it.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The July Project

I had quite some time to think a bit about things lately.
Vacations in Portugal helped.
It was actually a nice running playground. Even if I could not run as much as wanted.

Trail running in Portugal
Still fighting my various injuries, I am not yet able to trigger another training program for a major race, marathon or other. This is really frustrating. Roughly one year and half that I am limping.
It is time to act and reclaim my body.

Here is the project:

- Be Sober
- Eat Vegan
- Breath like the Ice Man
- Shower with cold water
- Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Lately I heard that those practices can do miracles. Well, time to check them out.
To not bend the results, I will not change my calories intake, not my work out habits or running program (or what's left of it).

There is a rationale behind them. Mostly, you control the pH of your body and boost your immune system. Ideally, that would help to recover faster. As a bonus, I might lose some weight.

In any case, those are super healthy habits and I am curious how hard I can turn those practices into habits. As we are defined by those habits, if they are sustainable, it might be a good stepping stone for change.

And change is needed.