Saturday, 9 February 2013

Prevention magazine and a "Wheat Belly"

So today while at Shoppers Drug Mart I saw two magazines at the counter that I decided to pick up: Prevention magazine and a special "PreventionGuide" about cutting wheat from your diet.  The Prevention magazine had a "walk off 12, 20, 30 lb" line on it that interested me and I was curious about how cutting out wheat could result in weight loss, so I bought both for a total of $11 (which I think is a lot for two little mags, but if they change my life for the better what's $11?).

The walking plan sounds doable, I would just have to find time in my schedule to do it.  It amounts to walking for a half hour 5 times a week at differing paces (fast, brisk and challenging) with two rest days.  I mean it's not like my schedule is so busy that I can't set aside a half hour to an hour for walking, it's just a matter of making it a habit.  I have a co-worker who walks from Victoria Park station all the way to Bathurst station to get to work each day which takes her an hour and 45 mins (obviously she's thin).  If she can take the time to walk that much and still have energy to work a 6 hour shift, I should be able to find time for 30 min walks since I only work 3 days a week.  Again, it's just a matter of doing it.

The other book I bought because it echoed a thought I had recently.  Not long ago I read that cats don't have the digestive ability to break down grains, but those same grains are commonly used as fillers for dry cat food (the same is true for dog food, but cats are obligate carnivores so it's worse for them).  Because of this, cats eating foods with grain fillers can become obese.  While our cats are otherwise happy and healthy with the food we've been giving them (Purina Cat Chow Hairball Control), they have both become overweight.  So I did some searching and found that Blue Buffalo foods have the first FIVE ingredients of their dry food as meat, and no wheat or grains that cats can't digest.  Great!  Andrew is going to buy some tomorrow so we can try it out.  The reviews I've read for the food have all been really positive, so I have high hopes for this food since it will cost us double what we have normally been spending (but really, $50 a month is not going to break the bank).

Well, while thinking about the wheat -> obesity for cats, it dawned on me that even though humans are omnivores, we are not altogether that different from cats.  After all, we share 90% of our DNA with our feline friends.  Maybe the fact we use wheat as a filler in our own diets is leading to obesity (in addition to factors like sedentary lifestyles). The argument the book is making is that the wheat we eat these days, having been selectively bred for higher yields, is not the same type of wheat even our grandparents ate (more or less) and it's leading to obesity.  The main argument being made is that consumption of wheat -- even if it's whole wheat -- leads to more consumption of amylopectin A which the book says is not much different from dipping your spoon into a sugar bowl.  It even says that eating two slices of whole wheat bread is no better than eating a sugary candy bar, because it causes the same spike in blood sugar levels.  This increased exposure to high blood sugar levels triggers insulin (which the book says is the hormone of fat storage).  Therefore, if you eliminate wheat, you eliminate the amylopectin A, which causes you to revert back to a normal weight.

So here is what I have discovered through a standard web search (I use for what it's worth):
- Amylopectin is a soluble polysaccharide and highly branched polymer of glucose found in plants. It is one of the two components of starch, the other being amylose. (Wikipedia)
- Any references I'm finding to amylopectin A are from paleo diet or wheat belly websites.  I'm having trouble finding the science behind the claim of this polysaccharide specifically and how it's any worse than the starch found in other carbohydrates.  If it's no better than the starch in potato or corn, why not cut those out as well?
- Insulin regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body.  Without getting into huge detail, it sounds like it's indirectly linked to the creation of fat in the body.

Obviously that's not much from a 5 minute web search, but it does generate questions about the science this guy is referencing.  I might have to pick up his book to get the full details and get a thorough understanding of where he's getting his data (and see if I agree).  So far, it sounds like the conclusion we should be drawing is more along the lines of a paleo diet or a similar carbohydrate free diet.  Certainly eating more fruits and vegetables and lean meats and fewer carbs isn't a BAD health decision.  You will eat less, feel more full, and be getting fewer empty calories.

More research is required.

Wedding Stuff and Sims 3

While I ordered various things for the wedding, the stuff I have received includes the jewellery I will be wearing (earrings, necklace and bracelet which match but were purchased separately), battery operated tea lights, and a string of led lights (I might have mentioned the tea lights before since I received them first).  I ordered all this stuff off eBay.  I am still waiting to receive my v-day gift for Andrew, a nice watch, a neoprene sleeve for my laptop and my gifts for the bridesmaids.  We are still looking around and thinking about what to do for a wedding cake.

In WoW news, the weapon I've needed off Elegon in Mogu'shan Vaults finally dropped after months of waiting.  Before we started on Will of the Emperors we managed to get it enchanted with Dancing Steel so my dps no longer sucks ass!  Yay to no longer holding back the rest of my raid!

In other news, Steam recently had a sale on Sims 3 and its DLCs so I decided to try it out and get the Pets expansion.  To be honest, I would not have purchased it if wowcrendor hadn't made a video about it recently showing him playing the game.  He argued that even though it's largely perceived as a female game, he thought that men should be able to enjoy it as well.  Because I installed it both on my PC and my laptop, I cannot play the same game on each machine so I started two families: Animalia and Demond.  The Animalia family is two sisters (Bertha and Fanny) and one cat (Carl) and one horse (Henry).  Because Bertha is a cat lover and Fanny is an equestrian, it didn't take long for them to adopt a second cat (Rex) and horse (Bonnie).  Fanny is athletic and is working her way towards being a jockey and Bertha stays at home writing novels.  Overall, they are kind of boring.

To spice things up, I created the Demond family on my PC.  They are a black husband and wife team.  Jesse is good, handy, neat, and a natural chef whose dream is to become a 5 star chef.  Rakeisha is evil, flirty, and a great kisser whose dream is to become a gold digger (in Sims 3, this means seeing a rich spouse die prematurely so they can enjoy the riches on their own).  Well, the game started out boring enough.  She got a job in politics, he got a cooking job and they worked hard and got promotions.  They got along well enough despite their differing personalities and threw parties and everyone loved them.  Then Rakeisha met Hank, a random cop I saw patrolling in central park.  I had her flirt with them, kiss him, make out with him, and go on a date with him.  She invited him over once when Jesse was out at work but he wouldn't go along with any of her intimacy, so they went out to the theatre.  A few days later I had her ask him out on a date to which he agreed, but when he arrived he accused her of cheating.  I tried to use flirting and compliments to win him back, but it was too late and he was done with her.  The same day, she was fired from her job for stealing from the campaign fundraiser coffers.  What a sad day for Rakeisha.  Mind you, as soon as she was fired I was able to apply for a politics job right away and they took her, so they couldn't have been THAT mad at her.  It amounted to a demotion for her.  Still a bad day.  I tried a few times to get her to talk to Hank, but kept getting the negative reaction.  He just doesn't want anything to do with her anymore.  Sadness.

Well, a few days later she gets a call from a guy named Dustin asking her out on a date.  I don't even know this guy so it must have been someone she met randomly.  I did the same stuff w/ him and they hit it off but he was in a relationship.  She asked him to break it off, and he was like "okay" and didn't have a partner anymore.  One of the traits he has is that he's rich. Score!  I decide I'm definitely going to have her try to get this guy instead.  The next day he calls her to invite her over to his place.  Score!  Well, it turns out his partner must have been a wife or something because she lives there.  OOPS.  Anyway, they make out and she stays the night and they "try for a baby."  Rakeisha becomes pregnant.  When she goes home the next day, Jesse goes from liking her to not liking her because she cheated on him.  I used her to try and get him back, but then I used him to break off the relationship.  She calls Dustin and asks him out to the pool (the same place she was dumped by Hank, incidentally).  She tells him that she's pregnant (she did that, not me) and he looks nervous, but is cool with it.  They make out and she suggests going steady and he's all for that.  Then I have her propose and he accepts!  They have a private wedding on the spot.  Well, at this point the game says "Hey now, you can't have two families.  There can be only one!" and it gives me a prompt to choose which family to follow.  Do I go with Jesse, who is doing well and is a success and is kind of boring?  Or do I follow Rakeisha who is an evil gold digger but who is far more interesting so far.  So I kick the ex wife out of the house and follow Rakeisha.  So now Rakeisha is married to a rich white guy with three kids and a baby on the way, and this is the family I get.  Good bye Demond family, hello Lenowitz or whatever it was.

If this story gets more interesting, I will let you know.  ;)