The Giraffe Paper – 01.28.18

Learning continued in all three elements this week. Another heavy volume triathlon training week, a new technique experimenting with meditation, and a great find in the nutrition space highlight the week.

Nutrition

While combing through YouTube early in the week, I stumbled upon Dr. Alan Goldhamer, founder of the TrueNorth Health Center and co-author of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering The Hidden Force That Undermines Health and Happiness. Wow, what a find. The video I found titled, Escaping The Dietary Pleasure Trap, is an incredibly engaging talk he gave at the VegSource Healthy Lifestyle Expo.

He goes into depth regarding how the brain gets addicted to the chemicals in unhealthy foods and how food manufacturers drive the chemical contents up to get people hooked. Unfortunately it also gets people over weight, obese, sick, leading to chronic illness, feeling terrible, then hooked on pharmaceuticals for life and ultimately die prematurely. Sounds like a downer right? It is I guess but his delivery is quite funny as he slivers in jabs at what we are up against. He also points out directly what we can do to be healthy and how he helps people do just that.

He defines highly refined, “Pleasure Trap Foods,” as those containing added salt, oil and sugar (SOS). Foods containing refined flour products including bread, pasta, crackers and cookies and dairy products including cheese, butter and yogurt. The list is long but these are some highlights.

Some staggering metrics I captured include:

  • In 1986 none of the 50 states had obesity rates above 14%. Now, 31% of the U.S.  population is obese. Compare that to Japan at 3%. He jokingly notes, it’s like they aren’t even trying….
  • 71% of the U.S. population is either obese or over weight.

Dr. Goldhamer shares several examples how these numbers parallel with the increase in consumption of these types of foods and of course, industry is fueling the fire hooked on the pleasure trap. Of course this leads to all the issues noted above and the exponentially rising costs of health care.

From his website, Dr. Goldhamer is described as – an outspoken professional who doesn’t shy away from a spirited debate, he is deeply committed to helping people stuck in self-destructive cycles reclaim their ability to change their lives. I’ll tell you what, if you are struggling with cravings and desire more information on this topic, I would recommend watching this video. I laughed out loud several times and found it very informative.

Performance

I’m continuing to tweak the training schedule considering load and recovery as cycling training continues to build, adding to my already heavy load of running. I moved my cycling trainer routines the day after track and moderate run days and it was an improvement.

It is critical to recover between these workouts to make each workout productive. Swimming and the inversion table have helped provide relief to some tight leg and lower back muscles between the cycling and run regiments. Active recovery with slow runs and easy trainer rides sprinkled in during the week have seemed to help me not be as tight the next day and build endurance while I’m at it. Getting stronger…

I’ve had two heavy weeks of training leading into the upcoming lower volume week. This will continue to be my cycle as much as possible where I’ll have two weeks of high volume followed by a lower volume week to give the body a chance to recover. This week will also serve as a taper week to get my legs as fresh as possible as my #1 targeted race of the run season comes Saturday at The Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor.

Mind

With the schedule being tight, I try to find ways to attach activities to each other. This seems to be an efficient way to me and in some cases killing two birds with one stone. That is the case this week where I hung on my inversion table to relieve some stress in my lower back. Before hopping on the table, I downloaded Headspace meditation exercises and off I went. I found it effective with trying to get used to breathing deeply feeling quite different. I’ll continue to look for ways to get creative in incorporating meditation in my routine and this ones seems to be a keeper for now.

– Add Health to Your Life

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