Day 3

It’s day 3 and I still feel pretty energetic. The meals are very filling. I don’t feel hungry between meals. There are amazing snack options like veggies with humus, Bavarian bread, and whole food pop corn. I’m trying to squeeze in a 30 minute cardio workout everyday per the book. 

With each main meal, I make a salad with oil free dressing which are really yummy. I realize now that fatty and oil based dressings are absolutely not required. The salad tastes amazing without oil based dressings. What’s needed is a sour taste like balsamic vinegar or red or white vinegar to take some of the bitterness away of the greens. A little bit of salt, pepper or Dijon mustard makes it even better. 
So today I had: 1/2 of the collard greens with beans, and 1/2 curried coconut rice. I’m mixing some of the meals up for variety and balance.

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Day 2

Today was very interesting because I typically feel tired after coming home from work so I sometimes take a short nap right after getting home. Surprisingly I had a lot of energy and ended up going to the gym. I did cardio for 30 minutes and still had a lot of energy. I lifted for a bit and went home. The dinner was delicious. Lentil loaf, potato, cauliflower stew and salad. It was very satisfying. 

Day 1

I liked the first day a lot. I was hoping they would give us our dinner upfront and that’s what happened. We started off with an amazing dinner and followed it with the educational class and a cooking demonstration. It helps that my wife is already Whole food plant based since everything in our home is conpliant. I left the first day feeling excited with the 7 freshly cooked meals! Looking forward to this!

21 Day Kick Start Program

Day 0:

I made a spontaneous decision today to sign up for the 21 Day Kick Start Program. I have heard a lot about the Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) but I’ve never really practiced it sincerely.

I’m excited for this journey. I hope to learn more about healthy eating, cooking and living a sustained healthy eating life. I will share my learnings for the benefit of others.

At this point, I weigh 73.5 kgs / 162 lbs. My total cholesterol was 203 and LDL was 136 in May 2017 both above the normal range. Let’s see how this goes!

 

The Dispassion for the futile senses


The saturation of the sense pleasures has reached,

Oh dear senses, why do you run astray in the forest of samsara,

Every rule of dharma you have breached,

How much more food will you eat, now that no taste satisfies you anymore,

How much more will you travel, now that no scenic sight enchants you anymore,

How much more music will you hear, now that no sound stimulates you anymore,

How much more will you smell fragrances, now that no smell interests you anymore,

How much more sexual pleasure will you seek ,now that it does not satisfy you anymore,

Oh dear mind, and why do you let the horses run haywire,

Why do you weep yourself to sleep while you are restless,

How many more cycles of life and birth will you come back for before you learn,

That it’s all but a mirage that you chase in your ignorance,

You are left empty handed in misery with only more hopes and dreams to chase,

If no hopes and dreams arise, you go in depression,

If there is no depression, you become anxious,

When will this end?

Oh dear mind, watch as the King who rules you awakens,

He who you are made of,

He who is seeing you now,

He who is hearing you now,

He who can smell and taste you,

He who is talking to you now,

Oh dear mind, you may be the master of the senses,

But the King is the master of you,

Of which you and all existence is made of,

Let’s bow down to this King for everyone’s sake,

Let’s abide in him and be forever at rest,

Oh dear mind, let’s be forever at peace

The Spiritual Chef

Up on the heavenly mountains of blue ridge,
I came across a spiritual chef,
Always living in the present moment,
With no time for the past or future,
Curt yet polite in exchanges,
And in his heart nothing changes,
Always dressed in black with a hat,
Never once looking back,
Spontaneous with his responses,
Precise with his food garnishes,
The food, delicious and never falling short,
Always served fresh off the pot,
He works hard and makes everyone do the same,
In between, allowing those helping to take a relaxing break,
Always moving fast,
You may miss him while you blink,
While in action he has too little time to think,
Going by instinct developed over the years of experience,
Yet humble in his demeanor and appearance,
Learnt a thing or two about cooking for him,
Most importantly learnt that no matter how far in life you get,
A smile on your face and your treatment of others shows your success”

Resolving the Unresolution

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Six Pack Cat

The past couple of weeks have been tough in terms of controlling my diet especially with all the festivities going on and the sugary treats accessorized along with them but I’ve wowed to stay focused on my goal and not fall off the bandwagon. The cat in the picture above says it all, ha! Thanks to all the generous donors for donating towards the charity funds I am raising for the Children’s National Hospital and Art of Living.

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Me, earlier this week. I feel more lighter and I’ve lost fat over all because of this diet.

I have been following the don’t-mix-carb-protein-fat-fruits plan for the last two weeks and I love it so far. I have 4 – 5 lighter meals rather than 2 – 3 heavy ones. As soon as I wake up I do a fifteen minute ab workout along with Alyona and for breakfast I’ve been having a Vega One Vegan Protein shake with little Almond milk and a few nuts thrown in. At around 11:30am I have a some fresh fruits, usually melon or bananas. Eating natural sweet fruits before lunch keeps my blood sugar levels normal and helps me avoid the craving to eat an odd cookie or sweet snack after lunch. 30 – 60 minutes after that meal I have an only carbohydrates or only protein lunch. It’s usually vegan protein or carbohydrates accompanied with some fresh vegetables. I have a few cups of green tea at work during the day and avoid having cold water which keeps my digestion going. I have a snack in the evening which is usually a small portion of trail mix or some fruits again. I do my regular insanity workout in the evening followed by a 15 minute ab workout again. For dinner I have some much needed vegan protein and some greens.

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New Years Fireworks at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

I’ll start doing Bikram yoga 2 – 3 times a week this week onwards to mix up my workout routine a little bit.

Finally, I wanted to say Happy New Years to everyone with the hope that this year brings lots of prosperity and joy to all of you!

My Insanity Workout Warm-up Video

In this video I’m doing the warm up cycles of the Max Interval Circuit Workout. This is one of the hour long advanced workouts in the Insanity Workout DVD set.

I do a mixed bag of these workouts five to six times a week with one rest day in between. Apart from that I also do a separate fifteen minute abdomen workout everyday.

The daily exercise routine takes about an hour and half total and it can be tough to find time for it but I’ve been some how squeezing in some time for it by sleeping a little later than normal or waking up early and doing the one of the workouts in the morning. Most probably I’ll start doing this routine in the morning before I leave for work to ensure I don’t skip my workout on unplanned extended workdays.

As a safety measure for folks watching my video, I would personally not recommend you doing this workout bare feet (as you see me) if you are new to it. You must be thinking, then why am I doing it bare feet, right? Well, recently I started learning Krav Maga and ever since then I’ve gotten used to working out bare feet. It feels more natural and I like it that way. Also, I take extra care to not injure myself by keeping my knees soft at all times during the workout. Previously I used to do this workout on a wooden floor with shock absorbing shoes which worked out pretty well.

I hope you enjoy my video and hope it motivates you in some way. Thank you so much for reading.
Please contribute here- http://projectsixpack.chipin.com/project-six-pack-for-childrens-hospital-and-art-of-living

A Well Trained Horse Needs No Whip!

Train your mind
Train your mind

“As a well-trained horse needs no whip, a well trained mind needs no prodding from the world to be good. Be like a well-trained horse, swift and spirited..”. I came across this beautiful quote today by Buddha. It’s ironic that I read this today because I’m in a phase in Project Six Pack that requires a lot of mental discipline. Since it’s just the first week I’ve been told that the results may only start showing up in a week or two. Being sincere about Project Six Pack has been a big help in being disciplined about my diet and I’ve lost cravings for sugary or fatty junk food. Last week, every-time I got an unhealthy food craving I thought of the children for whom the money is being raised and the unhealthy thoughts immediately disappeared. How trivial is me fighting a craving for junk food over a child fighting cancer? Everyday I realize that there are bigger, grander things to do in life and there are much larger problems to be solved in this world.

I’m maintaining a balance between discipline and freedom because both are complementary and are needed in moderate amounts to produce right results. It is like fear, too much can make you paranoid and too less can make you careless. It is also like salt in your food, you need the right amount, not too much not too less. The question is how do we maintain this balance? Well, here is what I do – Before I begin training my body everyday I train my mind first. I start my day with Sudarshan Kriya right after I shower, then I do my daily meditation. Sudarshan Kriya brings my mind to a calm state and meditation allows my mind to settle down in stillness further more. The chatter in the mind that I experience from time to time reduces. Cravings for unhealthy food are overpowered by feelings of sincerity and generosity. The Sudarshan Kriya and the Meditation are very precious ancient techniques and are most effective when we follow this simple law while practicing them – ‘I am nothing, I want nothing and I do nothing’.

After training the mind, I begin training the body. I do a 15 minute Insanity Cardio Abs workout everyday along with a 40 – 60 minute interval training workout five to six times a week. The Insanity Cardio Abs workout is very different from other abdomen workouts I’ve come across in the past. It does not involve a single crunch or sit-up or anything of that sort. Instead, it includes simple and effective C-Sit and plank position exercises. I’m loving it so far!

Big thanks to my supporters, FB and twitter sharers and donors. Every FB like, every tweet, every comment, every dollar contributed helps to motivate me. In my next post I’ll upload a 2 – 3 minute video of me doing an actual Insanity workout. I’ve got 2 contributors so far, thanks to them. More contributions will be coming, please contribute – http://projectsixpack.chipin.com/project-six-pack-for-childrens-hospital-and-art-of-living

Why Did I Not Know This Until Now??

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I felt really dumb today when I came across a food intake combination guide. I wondered how I overlooked these simple concepts for thirty one years? Thanks to my wife who recently got into the field of medicine + nutrition for introducing me to the ‘The Divine Way to Combine” chart (see above).

In my defense, I did know about the basic different types of foods and it’s nutrients but I didn’t give much importance to knowing what happens when we mix them. The chart above explains what combinations of food are good and what are bad and why. For e.g. “If a protein is eaten with a carbohydrate, the different digestive juices in contact with each other may dilute each others effectiveness”. Combining Proteins and Carbohydrates impairs digestion and that slows the transition time for protein to putrefy and carbohydrates to ferment. Fermentation + Putrefaction = cellular destruction! Instead, you could combine protein with a green leafy salad or steamed vegetables or combine carbohydrate with a green leafy salad or steamed vegetables. You can look for other options to combine in the chart.

Another interesting thing I discovered was about fruit intake. For the longest time I had this habit of having fruit right after lunch or dinner thinking it’s a healthy thing to do. In fact doing that was pretty common in my family while I was growing up. It was considered more of a social post dinner thing. What’s funny is that this chart recommends exactly the opposite. They recommend eating fruit by itself and not immediately after dinner but thirty to sixty minutes before dinner. Fruit has high water content and takes the least amount of time to digest with a tummy time of approximately thirty to sixty minutes. Another tip was to sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on fruit to help lower hypoglycemic index. I tried that earlier today and it was great!

I’ve cross checked that some claims made in this chart are correct and found that they are traditional nutrition 101 facts. However, there are counter claims on the internet that food combining rules are a myth and may be outdated. Either way, I see an unadvertised benefit of automatically eating lesser quantity while trying to be conscious about just eating one type of food. For e.g. imagine eating just the burger patty with a salad vs eating the burger, the cheese, the bun and fries to go with that. At-least the concept of combining the right foods can make you eat less and more sensibly. It’s a win win situation either way in my mind. I’m going to try this out now and see what results I get. Man, I feel like I’m turning into a nutrition freak but I’m having fun learning about all this information so I don’t care. What matters is having fun and being happy!

Please support me by contributing towards this project and indirectly to the children’s hospital. I just have one contribution made until now and I need your support to get through this to raise money for the children. Please donate here – http://projectsixpack.chipin.com/project-six-pack-for-childrens-hospital-and-art-of-living