What I’m Up To Now, June 2016

If you care to compare or read the other posts in this series, refer to the category What I’m Up To Now.

Batman Zap

Nutrition

I have stopped eating regular breakfast for about the last 6 months. I didn’t eat breakfast for a few years, then got back into it, then got back out of it. Why? The debate I have with myself is if it’s more valuable to skip breakfast to do some intermittent fasting for increased fat burning or if it’s better to eat early in the day right after I exercise, which is almost always in the morning.

I am back in the “embrace the fast” mentality now. I usually do only coffee until around 11 am. I eat breakfast periodically if I am particularly hungry or if I believe adding the additional stress of fasting is the wrong way to go for a time period. For example, if I didn’t get good sleep, was working really hard, and exercised, I may eat breakfast for the betterment of the overall system.

I mass cook on weekends for lunch each week. Typically meat and vegetables. Example here.

Dinner is more of the same, rotating through beef, chicken, and pork with some vegetables and starches on occasion. I usually do not eat a direct carbohydrate until dinner. I am a firm believer in the value of minimizing carbs early in the day. If I eat fruit at all, it’s at dinner, never lunch. Note that if I choose to eat breakfast, it is usually 5 hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, raisins and strawberries. If I am eating breakfast to avoid the stress of fasting, I give myself carbs early too.

I eat a lot of greek yogurt and 70% cacao dark chocolate for “dessert” after dinner if I am looking for something sweet.

Finally, because I wrote it, I follow it: Mission Capable Principles of Nutrition.

Supplements

I have been taking 5000 IU of vitamin D3 and ZMA every day for more than a year. Why? Because vitamin D and magnesium are involved in hundreds of processes in the body, it is difficult to get enough of either through diet/lifestyle, and they are inexpensive. I would recommend mostly everyone take D and magnesium.

I switched my probiotic since the last update to Hyperbiotics’ Pro-15. I also recommend just about everyone take a probiotic. I send out a gut health article at least every other SITREP, so if you subscribe you know I am a fan. This one isn’t expensive. Give it a try to see if you like how you feel.

I have been drinking apple cider vinegar daily for about a year. It is nature’s miracle apparently. I mix a ratio of 2 tablespoons of Bragg’s to 8 ounces of water. I usually make a big 32 ounce drink. I use some stevia to sweeten it. I am not sure I can tell if it’s good for me or a placebo, but I am happy with how I feel so I am sticking to it!

Sleep

Still getting 7-8 hours on the regular. I make it a priority. It works.

Activity

I have not been as concerned with how many steps I am taking honestly, but I do ensure I move around a lot. I have standing desks at both work and home, so I am rarely sitting, unless in a meeting (which I don’t have too many of thankfully).

For my training, I have been following a similar framework for 6 months:

  • Monday: Strength (lift heavy things, something like 5 sets of 5, whole body – push, pull, hinge, squat).
  • Tuesday: Speed (sprints on rower, bike or running)
  • Wednesday: Muscular endurance & work capacity (conditioning circuit, some like a 15-30 min rotation through various movements)
  • Thursday: Cardiovascular Endurance (row, bike, or run 20-40 mins at steady state, 70-80% max heart rate)
  • Friday: Strength (like Monday with focus on different muscle groups)
  • Weekend: Ruck, walk, spend time outdoors. Sometimes do some chassis work.
  • NOTE: Chassis = what most people call “core”. This is the abs and lower back basically. I do something on the order of this 2-3 times per week. It is a 10-15 minute circuit of usually 3 exercises for the chassis. This includes carries and holds and a bunch of other implements like a steel mace. I also have been doing some direct arm work because…sun’s out, guns out!

I will write a longer post about this for you exercise geeks like me, but this is a wave top explanation for now. The chassis stuff I have been doing is really interesting to me. I will share it in greater detail.

Stress

I am not doing anything specific to reduce stress at this time. I got into meditation and breathing for a while, but I found that it was only something I would stick to if it were done first thing in the morning. For the past year my job has required me to get up at a time prior to 5 am, so it has fallen by the wayside. I am not sure I notice a difference, but I theoretically believe meditation and deep breathing to be very useful. It is definitely my biggest physical fitness gap right now.

I do not believe I am overly stressed as I am happy with my work and personal life, so the lack of urgency keeps me from making this a priority.

Tech

I got a new phone a few months ago, the LG G5. I sold my Nexus 5x because it sucked. Slow, buggy. I can’t explain it because I have had 3 Google Nexus phones I loved and I had the original Nexus 5, which was my favorite phone ever. The Nexus 5x was just too slow, somehow slower than the original. Then I tried the Galaxy S7 for 2 weeks, but I hate HATE the Samsung TouchWiz skin on Android and I cannot get past how they switched the recent apps and back buttons and that they were physical buttons not on screen. The LG G5 is basically a super Nexus 5x and they powered it properly with the right processor, so it’s awesome. Not real happy with battery life, but it’s got a lot of positive things going for it.

If I were getting an Android phone today, I’d get the G5 or maybe the HTC One M10, which finally got positive reviews. I had the M8 and M9, but didn’t love them (good thing my wife doesn’t care because she inherits these usually). I hear HTC pulled it together on the M10.

Still have my Nexus 7 (2013) tablet. I don’t use it often, but the thing still rocks. I would buy a new tablet if I thought I would use it or needed it, but I just can’t make it make sense.

Amazon Kindle Voyage is how I have been reading for more than a year. I saw the new Kindle Oasis but I couldn’t make the purchase. It is the only Kindle I haven’t upgraded to so far. Like PCs and phones, we are hitting a wall where tech doesn’t need to be replaced every year any more. This saves me a ton of money (which I just use to buy hunting gear now, so I am not any better off financially…).

Been wearing my Pebble Time and am happy with it still. They have a new one coming out in the fall. May have to upgrade. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a smartwatch or activity tracker honestly, since it monitors steps and sleep too. Check out the review if you are interested. As of this writing, it is $99 which is a steal in my opinion.

Books

I read a lot of good books recently, very focused on the outdoors and hunting.

I was on a Steven Rinella Kick with 3 of his books:

Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter

The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 1: Big Game

The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 2: Small Game and Fowl

If you are getting into hunting especially, the complete guides are so useful. I wish I read these before I started hunting. He explains almost everything. I heard him on his podcast talk about these books and I didn’t get them right away. I should have. They are awesome.

DIY Elk Hunting Guide: Planning a Hunt, State Selection, Hunting Strategies, Training, Logistics, Budget, Backcountry Safety & More

I am planning an archery elk hunt in Colorado for later this year, so this helped my research.

Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting

I heard the authors on another podcast and loved what they had to say about the different forms of capital with money being just one of them. It really made me look at what “wealth” means and if my family and I are prepared for any future. Try a sample. This book will change how you think.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any questions.

ZAP