MYTH #11: “We need to eat cholesterol.” Nope. Cholesterol has important functions in our bodies, but we are capable of making all the cholesterol we need, even if we consume a zero-cholesterol diet. Virtually every human tissue is capable of making cholesterol, especially the liver, intestine, adrenal glands, & reproductive organs.
MYTH #2: “The cholesterol we eat doesn’t matter.” Actually, cholesterol in food does raise blood cholesterol, though not as predictably as do saturated & trans fats. The point may be moot, as most foods that contain cholesterol also contain saturated fats. The effect that dietary cholesterol has on your blood cholesterol depends in part on the rest of your diet: if your diet is already high in saturated fats and cholesterol, adding more cholesterol won’t have as much of an effect. But if your diet is overall healthy, more dietary cholesterol will cause a greater rise in your blood cholesterol. Also, independent of blood cholesterol levels, high-cholesterol foods such as eggs have been shown to promote LDL oxidation and increase cardiovascular risk.
MYTH #3: “Raising your HDL (‘good’) cholesterol protects against cardiovascular disease.” Not necessarily! Research shows that the FUNCTION of your HDL particles is probably more important for lowering cardiovascular risk than the HDL level reported on your blood test results. In its normal state, HDL is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant particle that is responsible for cholesterol efflux- the removal of excess cholesterol from our tissues, especially the blood vessels. But HDL can become dysfunctional and pro-inflammatory in situations of oxidative (cellular) stress. For example, saturated fats, which are known to raise HDL, also have been shown to render HDL more inflammatory and atherogenic. So you shouldn’t celebrate a rise in your HDL cholesterol if you got there simply by eating more saturated fats.
THE BOTTOM LINE? Eating a diet rich in plant foods, and low in added sugars, animal foods, & ultra-processed foods, is a great way to optimize your cholesterol panel & dramatically reduce your cardiovascular risk.
Freeman, J Am Coll Cardiol 2017 (dietary cholesterol)
Spence, Can J Cardiol 2010 (eggs, dietary cholesterol)
Spence, Atherosclerosis 2012 (eggs)
Briel, BMJ 2009 (raising HDL doesn’t reduce risk)
Navab, Nat Rev Cardiol 2011 (HDL review)
Kosmas, Drugs Context 2018 (HDL review)
Nicholls, J Am Coll Cardiol 2006 (saturated fats & HDL)
Today I’m going to be discussing Chris Froome’s Grand Tour winning diet. Now, all the data was revealed by BBC Sport in a recent article published on the 4th of July 2018. What does it take in terms of diet, in terms of fueling, to be a Grand Tour champion? In this article, I’m going to summarize it into five key points.
How much does he eat?
One thing that I noticed from the article is that for a less extreme stage, an easier stage like stage 11 for example, he would have a smaller breakfast of 524 kcal, whereas for an extreme stage like stage 19 which was really mountainous stage, he would have large breakfast of 996 kcal, so double the size of the breakfast. What these pro riders typically do is all have their breakfast two to three hours before the start of the stage so that their lungs have the capacity to expand and that they can get as much oxygen as possible into their bloodstream. On the most extreme day of the Grand Tour, Chris is having 6500 kcal and 1.3 kg of that is coming from carbohydrates. This is what that looks like in terms of Thai powdered brown sugar. This stuff is absolutely delicious!
Carbohydrates per hour on the bike
Another point that I got from the BBC article is that Chris has up to 96 grams of carbohydrates per hour during the stage, and less than 2% of calories from the fuel that he takes in come from fat, so he is having mostly simple sugars during the stage, and this allows him to be strong all day long.
How much percentage of Chris Froome’s calories is coming from carbohydrates, protein and fat? For an extreme stage like stage 19, it’s 79% carbohydrates, 9% protein and 12% fat. So really low fat, really low protein when the pressure gets turned on. And for a less extreme stage like stage 11, it’s 66% calories from carbohydrates, 23% from protein and 11% from fat. So, for both stages, whether it’s less extreme or more extreme, still a low percentage of calories coming from fat (11 to 12%).
Another interesting point in the article and something unconventional that most of the other teams don’t do is the fueling strategy that Chris uses for the stage. For stage 19 for example, they break it down into calorie consumption or the carbohydrate consumption for every 20 minutes of the stage and all the sections of it (a flatter section, the downhill section and all the climbs). During the climbing section, he will have more grams of carbohydrates every 20 minutes than he would for the downhill section and flat section.
For the carbohydrates that Chris consumes, he’s having mostly refined carbohydrates in the form of syrup, rice overall sweets, rocket fuel (which is a mixture of maltodextrin and fructose), juice, jam, pancakes, honey and gels. He is having rocket fuel and gels during the stage and off the bike he is having all these other things that I mentioned. The reason that he has refined carbohydrates is just because the body can digest and assimilate it into glycogen most effectively.
Finally my only criticism of his diet is that he can make it a lot more effective, he can increase his carbohydrate consumption by going vegan and getting nutrients directly from the source instead of filtering them through the animal products. What I mean by that is the nutrients that animal products contain come directly from plants anyway, so it’s better just to get them directly from the source instead of getting them indirectly through animal products. Another reason is because animal products place a toxic load on your body, the body has to work a lot harder, it has to spend a lot more energy to process the animal products, whereas plant products require a lot less energy to process. Furthermore, animal products have toxic elements like saturated fat, cholesterol, animal protein and also biomagnification of environmental pollutants. All in all, a vegan diet is definitely the way to go and I’m willing to put $10,000 on it that if Chris Froome goes vegan his performance is at least going to stay the same. And his recovery between the stages is going to be even better.
Women’s breasts are getting bigger. According to the historic art, women seemed to have much smaller breasts than the contemporary women.
Last century :
The average American bra size has jumped from a 34B 20 years ago to a 34DD in 2013, according to a new survey by lingerie retailer Intimacy.
What’s going on?
Dr Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist specialising in women’s health and hormones, says: ‘It’s clear that we’re not just talking about fat, but increased levels of breast tissue, too.
‘So we have to look at what stimulates breast tissue growth — and that’s oestrogen, the female sex hormone. Oestrogen is what changes our body shape during puberty.’
The link between increased oestrogen levels and bigger breasts is so clear that there are even ‘breast-enhancing’ supplements on the market containing ingredients such as fennel seed and fenugreek, which are said to have oestrogenic properties.
Dr Glenville says: ‘It makes sense to look at the ways in which our exposure to all types of oestrogen — the hormone our own bodies produce and oestrogenic chemicals we come into contact with — has changed over the years.’
‘Girls today reach puberty earlier than ever before, and are going on to have fewer children and breastfeeding for less time. As a result, we have far more periods than our ancestors would have had and we are exposed to more monthly surges of oestrogen, which stimulates ovulation.’
In addition, today’s young women were born to the first generation of women on the contraceptive Pill. Early versions of the Pill contained far higher dosages of synthetic oestrogen than they do today, and little is known about the long-term impact of this increased hormone exposure on future generations.
So, could the changing shape of our breasts indicate an increased sensitivity to oestrogen?
Dr Glenville says: ‘Pregnancy and breastfeeding have a protective effect against breast cancer because they control the hormones which stimulate the growth of new cells in breasts.
‘But with more women today putting off pregnancy until later in life and having fewer children, they experience many more monthly cycles than previous generations did, and are exposed to more oestrogen.
‘I’m certain that if you looked at photographs of Victorian women, who on average had five or six children, you’d find them comparatively flat-chested.’
But, of course, that is far from the only difference between women’s lives then and now.
HRT also tops up depleting oestrogen levels in menopausal women, who — like women on the Pill — often go up a cup-size or two when they begin a course of treatment.
But it’s not just women on the Pill or HRT whose oestrogen levels, and cup-size, might have increased as a result.
In 2002, research published by the Environment Agency showed that an ‘exquisitely potent’ form of oestrogen — which is believed to have entered the rivers through the urine of Pill and HRT-users — was responsible for changing the sex of half of all the male fish in British lowland rivers, and could be contaminating the water supply.
Now, it has been suggested that the influence of these xenoestrogens (literally ‘foreign oestrogens’) could be responsible for the rapid decline in male sperm count and fertility.
‘We can’t assume these pollutants have no effect on us,’ says Dr Glenville. ‘There are many questions still to be answered, but if xenoestrogens are potentially responsible for declining male fertility, they are potentially affecting women, too — and the proof could be in our bras.’
So how do we avoid these surplus hormones? The answer is, we can’t. And it may come as a surprise to know that they are found in everyday items.
‘Pesticides, plastics and cosmetics are my main concerns,’ warns Dr Glenville.
For instance, a xenoestrogen called Bisphenol A (or BPA) is widely used in the manufacture of tinned food, drinks cans, plastic bottles, glass jars, electronic equipment and till receipts — to name but a few items.
You are what you drink: Two-thirds of the milk we consume comes from pregnant cows, meaning we are absorbing more oestrogen
Although the European Food Safety Agency maintains that BPA doesn’t pose a risk to the public, many scientists consider it to be a potentially harmful ‘hormone disruptor’, and several of the world’s leading food manufacturers are putting timetables in place to remove it from all of their products. Heinz insists it’s at ‘an advanced stage’ of removing the chemical from its UK baby food range.
But, until now, our exposure to it has gone virtually unchecked.
‘The same goes for xenoestrogens in the deodorants, make-up and moisturisers we use,’ says Dr Glenville.
‘We apply them to our skin and often directly on to the breast. Our skin absorbs those chemicals readily. It is not inconceivable that those chemicals stimulate growth in breast tissue.’
But we’re not just covering ourselves with oestrogen, we’re drinking more of it, too.
The introduction of intensive dairy farming methods to maximise production means that about two-thirds of the milk we consume comes from pregnant cows. To ensure that a dairy cow has a steady supply of milk, she is almost constantly pregnant.
But taking milk from a pregnant cow, especially during the last few weeks of her pregnancy, raises questions about the high levels of oestrogen and other hormones in milk — and how they might affect those who consume milk every day.
‘It’s not just about exposure to oestrogens, but how our bodies cope with them,’ says Dr Glenville. ‘It’s possible that increased alcohol intake impairs the liver’s ability to help us metabolise and excrete excess hormones.
‘We also live more sedentary lifestyles these days, which may mean we metabolise these hormones less quickly.
‘Hormones that aren’t efficiently excreted can re-circulate in the body and the cumulative effect of this may be a build-up of oestrogens, which — over a long period — could alter our natural body shape. It’s something we should take notice of.
‘After all, developing very large breasts can have all sorts of health and wellbeing implications — and forces a lot of women to consider breast-reduction surgery.’
Big breasts can affect posture, causing chronic back pain and leaving permanent indentations on shoulders where bra straps cut in.
Health problems can be emotional as well as physical — some women are left very self-conscious by their large chest and the undue attention this attracts, which is why they have turned to professionals such as Dr Puneet Gupta of The Private Clinic of Harley Street.
Due to an increase in women inquiring about breast reduction operations — each year around 10,000 women pay up to £5,000 for private operations — he is pioneering a new kind of reduction surgery called Microlipo, which reduces the risk of breast damage associated with older surgical techniques.
‘Like all forms of surgery, breast reduction is now more widely known about and more affordable than it was,’ he says.
‘There have always been women who have disproportionately large breasts, compared to their frame. But they are more likely to seek help now. The women I see are usually sick of the physical and psychological discomfort.’
Being lazy at unimportant tasks is a good thing. I do not say that to please you. I believe that some adequate laziness can improve your quality of life like it improved mine. Why? Your laziness will free up more time for you, so you’ll be less stressed by unpleasant tasks and have more energy for things that matter. Some of the tips below may also help save you some money.
Intelligent people do not waste energy on ineffective and pointless activities. They free up plenty time for themselves so that they can enjoy life and think more. If you perceive yourself as not clever, try taking the time to ponder, and if you do it I bet you’ll be able to make better strategic choices in your life.
Keep in mind that you can be a sloth and a productive person at respective appropriate times during the day. Having a lazy and productive life is awesome. You don’t need to wait for the retirement age to enjoy life daily.
Here are the ways I save energy in my daily life:
I gave up ironing. I only use clothes that do not require any ironing. I wear comfy sports clothing 99% of the time. There are even shirts made of special textile that have no wrinkles or folds after washing. Moreover, owning no ironing equipment saves space and money.
I don’t dry dishes. Why would I wipe them dry when they can be dried by ambient air?
I don’t peel potatoes. I usually cook them whole. At the cooking in water, the soil that was on the potato skins has deposited at the bottom of the pan.
I use furniture, flooring, clothes, accessories, etc. that don’t get dirty easily and that are easy to clean. This involves, for instance, avoiding white surfaces, because they will get grey or brown and look dirty. They are too much work for me.
As a minimalist, I avoid buying new objects. Why? Because the money I spend is actually time I wasted working to get that money in the first place. While most people work more to buy more, I work less to buy less. I have also got rid of many objects I had acquired in the past. Having fewer possessions makes the cleaning much easier. Why would I work hard for expensive useless objects that cause me stress, because they could get damaged, broken, stolen, etc.
I only keep the objects I use on a regular basis, preferentially efficient multi-purpose objects. I get rid of the items does not meet this criterion. I don’t want to have a cluttered living/working space, because I am too lazy to clean a messy place and I do not want to look for my lost stuff for hours. As a result, my room and my kitchen are almost empty, but it is zen and compatible with my laziness.
♛ Examples of great multi-purpose objects:
comfortable sneakers for sports, working, commuting;
a smartphone because it does the job of a laptop, camera, calculator, GPS device, torchlight, web browser, scanner, basic phone, planner, calendar, clock radio, Mp3 player, etc.;
a multi-tool, to have several kinds of screwdrivers and wrenches, a can opener, scissors, a nail file, pliers, etc. in the same place;
a rice cooker, because it enables me to boil water and so many foods, like rice, pasta, noodles, broccoli, potatoes and sweet potatoes;
a backpack instead of multiple unpractical fashion handbags that cause spine imbalance.
☹ Examples of gadgets I consider as a waste of my money and living space:
knick-knacks as they are dust catchers;
expensive brittle pretty ornaments;
rollerblades I have used once in 3 years;
objects I dislike and kept so far to please people who offered them to me;
duplicates. I don’t need 2 bicycles or 2 beds;
CDs, DVDs, vinyl records and other outdated storage media.
I have been inspired by many minimalist youtubers and bloggers. By taking steps living more like them and being creative, I ended up being freer than I ever dreamt of. I have an online job, I do not lose my time on transports. As I am my own boss, I can accept or decline any job offer, depending on how much money I want to make or how much I want to rest on the moment. On average, I work 30% of the time a usual employee works in a year. It gives me plenty of time to chill, exercise and contribute.
I don’t prepare complex dishes in my daily routine, as they take too long. I cook simple and healthy dishes that take me only 2 minutes of work. I usually boil starches with vegetables and add an oil-free sauce. Or I simply eat sweet fruits. It’s so easy to clean dishes after a low-fat meal, it requires a simple rinsing only. When I want a gourmet meal on the week-end, I eat out at a local vegan restaurant.
I stopped doing favors to people who abuse my time and do not value me. I also avoid spending time with draining complainers or people who stress me out. My time is precious and is better spent with people who lift me up and appreciate my time. I tended to put myself last, and then I realized I had to be my own first priority. I believe that everybody needs to thrive first before being able to help others efficiently.
I learnt to use shortcuts on my computer to get work done quicker. Less clicks equals less cramps. Keyboard shortcuts have saved me lots of time. The internet can also be considered as a shortcut to get knowledge and tips faster than we would get them from people in the real world. There are plenty of tutorials out there on the internet. Chances are somebody has already had and solved the problems you’re having now and made a video or an article about it. Seize these opportunities!
By saving so much time in my daily life, I can chill so much. I can spend my free time resting on my bed, do an adventure ride on my bike, see my “lazy” boyfriend, take a stroll to buy the tastiest fruit in town, write spontaneous articles on my blog, make videos to contribute to a better world, cuddle pets, watch educational videos online and, most interestingly, stop being active for the sake of being always busy, in order to zoom out and assess what I’ve been through and where I’m headed.
These listed tips are not comprehensive, I mentioned my favorite tips only. If you want to share more tips, feel free to comment ⇩⇩⇩
⚠ PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS
People often ask me about protein. How come I have muscle mass as a vegan cyclist while eating so little protein? Well I recommend not using protein supplements, because 1) they are a complete waste of your money, and 2) an excess intake of protein is unhealthy.
1) Whole plant foods have way enough amino acids to meet human needs. Moreover, the human body recycles 100 to 300 grams of its own amino acids per day. Eat beans if you enjoy them, but having beans once or twice a week is enough. Here is a full article about protein requirements for humans: http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html The article also covers athletes and bodybuilders and quotes many scientific references.
2) A new major study found that the risk of heart failure was increased by 49% for people consuming a high amount of dairy protein and by 17% for people consuming lots of plant protein. Name of the study: Intake of Different Dietary Proteins and Risk of Heart Failure in Men. The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Heli E.K. Virtanen, Sari Voutilainen, Timo T. Koskinen, Jaakko Mursu, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Jyrki K. Virtanen. Circulation: Heart Failure. 2018;11:e004531, Originally published May 29, 2018. Link of the study: http://circheartfailure.ahajournals.org/content/11/6/e004531
PROTEIN IN BODYBUILDING 💪
Question: Thoughts on the bodybuilding idea of bulking up and then cutting? First gaining fat with a bulk, then cutting to lose that fat compared to ‘lean bulks’ or ‘recomping’?🤔
It’s just a joke. All it is, is they do different steroid cycles to build muscle, and then certain drugs to flush water away from the muscle so you look more defined but really they are just mega dehydrated.
A cycle of anadrol, etc. only should be a month or 3 otherwise it’s very hard on the liver. This is known as a ‘bulking’ cycle. Then when you are swollen, you take certain drugs to cut off the water to get a ‘dry’ look. The discussion of drugs isn’t talked about because you want your customers or fans to think you are natty and look like that all year long so you can sell them diet plans or personal training, etc.
Great example is Matt Ogus who takes some pretty hard stuff and his body weight fluctuates massively over the year and years.
Most steroids will make you puffy as, but they hide that by saying ‘Im just bulking bro’ and put up a few pics of junk food, etc. as a smoke screen.
Bodybuilding at an impressive physique level = 100% steroid usage. There simply is no other way.
Anyone trying to ride as fast as those on EPO or build muscle to the level of those on the gas are really going to be in for a rude shock at some point.
The individual needs to decide if they are going to stay natty or get on PED and really go for it. That way they can stop comparing themselves against obvious non natty individuals.
These three graphs below show that obesity cannot be attributed to sugar and other carbohydrates. But if sugar and carbs cannot be blamed, what makes people so fat? It’s the fat. The human body stores any excess dietary fat. The fat you eat is the fat you wear.
That’s why it’s a good idea to reduce your consumption of fatty desserts 🚫🍩🍪🎂🍰🍦🍫, animal products🚫🍖🧀🥩🥚🥓🥛🍤🍗🍣 and vegetable oils as much as possible.
But you can eat as many carbs as you want until you feel satisfied.👍🌽🍌🍠🍚🍉🥔🍝
My tips will improve your life by changing your routine day by day
Guide your thoughts using wallpapers on your screens and posters on your walls. Pick graphics that remind you of your goals and motivate you. You can even put a sign in front of places where you tend to lounge. A friend of mine has written “Don’t be lazy, get shit done!” on a paper in front of his bed, I find this idea brilliant.
Make a task list every morning, or every night for the next day. Don’t write more than 3 important tasks. Lists are powerful tools.
Do your grocery shopping when your belly is full. This way, it’s easier to be smart and buy what is good for your health. If you’re hungry, you’ll be more likely to buy high-calorie fatty junk-food.
Before dating a potential new boyfriend/girlfriend, release the pressure once, or more times if needed. If you’re too horny, you may end up dating a bad match and then regret it after the honeymoon period ends. Releasing the pressure before a date helps having a clear mind and focusing on who the other person is.
Listen to joyful/stimulating/motivating music. Avoid listening to sad music. I know there are beautiful depressing musics out there, but a routine listening of sad music will impair your life quality. Be aware that music forces a mood into your brain. You can use that to your own advantage.
Be around people who give you a boost. In 5 years, chances are you’ll tend to be like the 5 persons you spend most time with. That’s why it’s a bad idea to be routinely around drug addicts, persons in debt, unhealthy people, serial complainers, depressed people, etc. You’d rather be around role models and develop their habits effortlessly.
Sell your TV/radio and use the internet to choose what you watch and listen to, for instance self-growth content, practical advice, etc. There is an abondance of valuable podcasts, ebooks, conferences, tutorials, etc. online. You can even block ads on your internet browser to avoid mass programming. You don’t want to be programmed to fail like everyone else.
Motivation does not last. Discipline does. And discipline leads to a productive routine. Changing is not easy, but after force yourself for a given period of transition, then good habits will become easy. I suggest you check Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule to get things done. Don’t hesitate, just do it before your brain switches to energy conservation mode and finds excuses. Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, stand up and do it. Simple as that. Don’t rely on external motivation. You have to find strength within yourself.
Do the gratitude exercise every day. It is empowering as it will help you get rid of the victim mindset. You can learn new lessons from life every day and keep growing. You can decide to lead your own life and evolve.
If you go to bed late at night and stand up late in the morning, like most people, you can decide improve your sleeping patterns. Changing is hard initially, but it’s worth it. Start setting an alarm clock at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. and stand up when the alarm rings. Don’t stay in bed. As a consequence, you’ll be tired at the end of the day. Remember to switch off or dimmer all your lights and screens 1-2 hours before bed time, because blue lights send daylight signals to your brain and prevent you from falling asleep. I suggest you go to bed at 8:00-9:00 p.m. With better sleep patterns, you can even quit stimulants thereafter.
If you want to eat less unhealthy foods, try my advice. Stuff your stomach with high-carb whole plant foods like bananas, strawberries, peaches, potatoes, sweet potatoes, wild rice, kidney beans, vegetable soup, etc. If you’re truly full, you cannot add any greasy junk-food till the next meal time. Fruits are a great healthy snack. Nuts and seeds aren’t.
Tell yourself: “If I do not change my habits, my life will always stay the same.” Procrastination is the main barrier preventing you from making your dreams come true.
Becoming a better version of yourself does not involve controlling everything. This is more about picking the right direction and enjoying the journey. You will find plenty of surprises, tests, lessons and challenges when you leave your comfort zone, but this is the place where the fun happens.
Tricking yourself is a good strategy for a positive change. If people try to manipulate you, use your judgment, ask for proof and never take things too personally.