This Is™ Humility Budget Template update: V1.1

This Is™ Humility Budget Template update: V1.1

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Minor but very useful updates.

You can now see your average spending based on each entire month, as well as handily % percentage indicator outlook over how you fare in spending from the last /prior month.

  • “Increase” indicates that your current month spending pattern has increased over the previous month.
  • “Decrease” indicates that your current month spending pattern has decreased over the previous month.
  • “No change” indicates exactly no differences.

Download now (as Excel’s proprietary format). Or in Openoffice’s ODS format. In case if anyone is wondering, “$17” is just a placeholder value to represent $1 for each recorded item of purchase.

For FAQs, please refer to the initial release blog article.

 

Fasting to the bone: 600 cal ADF + up to 20 hours IF. $20-$30 p/wk.

Fasting to the bone: 600 cal ADF + up to 20 hours IF.

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$20-$30 per week. I believe I could do it. Though not for long.

Since January to end of Feb I wanted to see how much I can stretch the Cyclical Keto (or rare HC+IF cycle) further with the following in mind:

  1. Using Alternate Day Fasting principle. 25% of maintenance calories on fast days. 
  2. With 18-20 hours of regular Intermittent Fasting. Nope, no “Ad libitum” eating every-other-day indulgence like a spoiled king. 
  3. Without going over >$30 per week food budget expenditure, and still allowing refeed resources.

So I’ve invested 10 days (11th-15th & 18th-23rd of February) as two ADF Trial weeks. First trial week as a HC (low fat) run: while secondly a Keto/LC+IF (high fat). All that On top of 18+ hours IF whilst withstanding daily stressors, including training. 

Is all of this possible? I dare say “yes”. If somewhat a very turbulent experience.

No survivorship-abs selfies required. For anyone nosy enough to see what I look like – go read third part of my 2018 Food For Thoughts. Imagine overall bodily composition reduced by 2%. Then you’d probably be right.

The fast days ≈ 600 calorie ADF.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – are considered my fasting days. Whilst technically speaking this isn’t 100% calorie-free ADF protocol, I had no choice but opted for a Protein-Sparing-Modified-Fast inspired approach to allow volume depletion training sustenance.

So what does a typical solid meal in a 600 cal looks like?  First of starting with a BCAAs (as preworkout if it’s on training day). A 35g WPC shake, then “dinner”. Which consists of 1 Woolworths sardine + another 120g worth of meat source, with very few source of fibre (but at least, some sauerkraut). Condiments wise – low fat Caesar salad dressings have recently been my go to condiment, or up to 13 grams worth of parmesan cheese, before salt and pepper.

Conventional ADF principle advocates 25% of maintenance which equates anywhere between 500 to 600 calories. Obviously, since I exercise – 600 calories only gives 120-130 grams of protein. This only leaves 100 or so calories left for condiments  some fibre amount, and not to mention – Omega-3 supplementation still cannot be ignored as it’s not enough from cans of tuna or sardines alone.

The eating days = 30% deficit with up to 19 hours IF.

Only two (2) days are reserved. These are Tuesdays and Thursdays which follows my 2018’s usual at least 25-30% deficit on all weekdays. Equating anywhere between as low as 1200 to 1600 cals per day. Obviously Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for full two day mandatory carbohydrate refeedings.

 

I did survive. Though with many concerns.

So…Is it worth these minute glamour of <10% body fat percentages? Whilst remaining happy, all chins-up – even amidst depression and anxieties for living frugally to the bone?

I present bad news first. An entire year (and still ongoing) on Cyclical Keto+IF, $25-$35 per week humility budget was very difficult enough as is.

Imagine this – raise the difficulty with 600 cal intakes on 3 days. Combined that with 18+ hours fasts with training. Hence, totalling just under 5000 calories across five days.

From what seemingly two-forever weeks = deficiencies are much more felt and palpable. Hence, many concerns remain glaring as I journalled them earnestly.

  1. Firstly, being salt intake, and their diverse minerals – which needs to be taken into much more serious account. No, not just sodium. What about iodine, magnesium and traces of copper? This is where one has to embrace drinking some portions of “hard water” – from taps and sinks, whilst still emphasizing fluoride filtered sources. Warmed ACV+Stocks certainly helped, but very underwhelming. Iodised Rock salts, and surprisingly Potassium Bicarbonate which I previously demonised in my 2018 food for thoughts – now become more of a necessity to comfortably aid the glycogen uptake off each and every whey shakes. I do not know how or why, but my body now senses its’ deprivation of potassium that much more convincingly.  
  2. Secondly, glucose control management seems more or less the same. Inbetween HC+ADF and Keto+ADF: obviously the glucose homeostasis is going to be markedly reduced on Keto+ADF. However interestingly throughout all my documentation, especially amongst the PSMF fast day can hover anywhere between 4.5 to 5.5 MMOL.
  3. The hypoglycaemic events at times during Keto/ADF trial week felt sadly different.  Not the calm nor relaxed interpretation I used to associate in recent memory. I’ve testified in the the past whereby although I felt stressful (of all daily stigmas akin to being a “bludger”) yet amazingly calm-zen-like overall state of “being”, when I hovered as low as 3.4 MMOL on wednesday 8PM. After a 20 hour fast and after a 200+ rep leg day the night before. But the 3.9 MMOL cover picture you see was on Thursday’s Keto/ADF trial just before my 250+ rep depletion shoulders training….and I was NOT calm nor collected. I was already – mentally and physically – exhausted.
  4. Following from this – is to watch how often you urinate. I now slowly am coming to terms why a ritual as simple as urinating is actually a bad thing. Sim Land shared this in good detail during his extremely long five day fasts. Especially if the urine is clear, it is certainly a sign the body is catabolising its own water reserves. To think of it logically – water in but no calorie in = water loss.
  5. I find that I was able to get / wake up much earlier that easier. But this comes as drawback. The earlier my waking set point, the more likely sooner I am to experience fatigue throughout the day, even if despite mineral intakes are maintained throughout. 
  6. Lastly but the most worrysome of all – the reliance for more Betaine HCL + Pepsin (esp. solid meals). Apparent as soon as day #1 – my digestibility seems (stagnated) / stalled so much more – to the point whereby being hungry is now simultaneously met with another problem – a lack of acidity. Clinging to my usual ACV routine certainly helped but nothing is as convincing or as convenient as Betaine HCL + Pepsins. 

Good news? The training experience.

All training was surprisingly maintained. Some exercises actually felt improved, if however then plateaus.

From compound Jeffersons( despite my prior L5/S1 injury) alongside many other machines, isolations and negative-tension-holds all remain doable. However of course, one or two sets off 6×6 / 5×5 <30s limited rest regiment – were regular occurence.

But one gain, compensates a loss. I honestly was anticipating some serious drops. But surprisingly, not a whole lot.

The lactic acid burning overload amidst all negative / eccentric tension holds is still there. Unavoidable, but somehow less compared to recent memory. Perhaps the BCAAs I’m taking now have begun showing their true colours. Yes, I’m still taking my Aspirin and ALCAR, though the latter had to be reduced due to supply scarcity.

Body Fat % certainly hovers in the lower 10.5 to 11% by Pollock’s 3-site calipers method. Daily, visual sight of this alone was easily discernible. As anyone can tell from my effeminate protein intakes of <120g on average day, muscle loss – was nonetheless visible. But not that big of a deal.

What is even more surprising was me still managing to survive up to ten (10) depletion exercises. Anywhere between 50% to 65% (hypothetical) 1-RM intensity; accross 250+ reps, 15-30s rests 6×5 / 5×5 regiment. No “air-momentum” movements. All tension holds. 

My (presence) seems so inconsequently small whenever walking through the crowded gym space – people don’t realise I’m actually in their way. Be it doing 5×5 50kg-55kg (25 sec rest) ATG front squats or ISOLAT DY back rows. “Good” or “bad” I don’t care.

I am very happy with what I can or cannot do. Authentically.

Top: January. Bottom: February.

Would I consider ADF again in the future?

Unless absolutely necessary – very unlikely. No, I am not willing to go back eating TVP (despite my insistence that veganism is implodingly suicidal – I wrote that TVP article out of respect).

Cyclical Keto+IF (up to 20.5 hours of fasting) with refeeds still remains my pragmatic limit. The sheer exhaustion of adding ADF to the regiment is not worth the minute glamour of low body fat percentages. Given all the years of SKD, then CKD, then Cyclical Keto+IF, I believe I am more or less very well acquainted within various “dieting” and deprivation zones.

Imagine you’re doing this every week of your life. Four  years+ consistently. That is, beyond just dieting for a “physique contest”. Not by choice. But a necessity imposed by Structural Violence.

Seeing the food I managed to save up in the freezer still to this day brought me glimmers of hope. And that seeing more money saved for petrol and much needed betaine HCL + pepsins; at least motivated me to live ably for the next month. But pragmatically <$30 weekly expenditure, one week to the next isn’t realistic for sustenance. Even though I can testify that it is indeed possible – to survive under this experiment.

But have I learned something from this experience? Absolutely. Wondering what to do with the food supply which I at times realise they will soon spoil to pieces.

Hence, a new regiment I adopt – use them as fertilizer. Bury them. Even amidst sandy and rocky soil.

From long unused molasses syrups, semi-off putting milk, the rotten cheesecakes (I saved yet unconsumed) to chicken frame carcasses. “Gardening” to me is arduous and unfamiliar labor of love. But, hey at least – my rotting thrash – is another soil’s treasure. Sure it will take ages until I get to eat my own produce.

But nonetheless – time spent fasting – is learning another lesson anew, while awakened. At least, my re-grown spring onions (not pictured) is ready for a dinner after a 20 hour fast as I’m writing this.

4 week progress daikon / pumpkin seed Growing amidst rotten cheesecakes, sauerkraut and egg shells and (various) rubbishes.

Any one of you wishes to share your similar Alternate Day Fasting theories to make ends meet? Post your thoughts below!
PUFAs = much better ketosis?

Omega-6 “BAD” PUFAs = much better ketosis?

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This was completely unexpected. Having read this study over the last few months led me some serious re-questioning on my current perception of Omega 6 PUFAs. How or why that study has not been picked up by any wider Keto or ZC /LC / IF communities, is beyond me.

I’d like to thank Peter @ Hyperlipid to have brought this firstly up for discussion. Despite my unfamiliarity within the comments’ intense discussion surrounding all possible causality (from mitochondrial structures and superoxidations) I’d wager anyone with a grip on Biochemistry to please consider sharing a thought or two over there.

I very seldom express my “opinion” on any journals or research papers of controversial reception. But this particular study? Is just unmissable. So, what’s in it?

The study recruited ten healthy males and females, free of diabetic or suspecting renal damage or CVD risks divided into two groups – one as PUFA group using predominantly walnuts  and (undisclosed) soy products – pitted against the SAT fats group on cheese, coconut creams and animal fats. Five day clinical trial . Goal = examine any differing metabolic markers between the two groups.

Feast your surprising eyes to the result charts below.

Preposterous, Truly?

Yes, I am shocked. The notoriously “bad” PUFAs group – won favourably in all metabolic markers. Much higher beta hydroxy ketones. Much lower glucose readings. Least LDL. Lower Trigs. Plus surprisingly – much higher – Insulin Sensitivity. In other words? Flawless victory.

However…

Some bullet points below do raise some question marks:

  1. “Twenty Young Healthy Subjects” – “Young” – wasn’t disclosed as to what age specifically.
  2. “Crystal Light” (presumably a beer but unsure), “potato sticks”, “frittos corn chips”, “turkey with gravy”, “soy crisp” were put on the PUFA fats Group of foods. 
  3. “WASA Sourdough Rye Crackers”, “Crystal Light” (presumably a beer), “Ice Cream”, Ham and cheese “Wrap” (could be anything – corn wrap tortilla?) were put on the SAT fats Group of foods.
  4. “Oil and vinegar” appeared on BOTH GROUP’s diet. It is very unclear as to what oil and vinegar they’re talking about.
  5. Interestingly, the PUFA group uses relatively lean meats – chicken and turkey. Whereas the SAT group? Beef, cheese, pepperoni, the works…..except – Bacon. There was no bacon on the SAT menu. But ironically – there were “bacon imitation strips” on the PUFA group menu. What that consists of is a mystery…

From the above foods: could these (the crisps, the Crystal Light, “gravy”, etc) actually SKEW their reportedly faithful 70/15/15 Ketogenic ratio? I’d say more than possible. Because very-low carbohydrate interventions, politically speaking – mainly revolves on restricting to less than 50 grams per day. Even if participants were to include those things – such amounts MUST HAVE BEEN VERY low to the point of no more than two or three small bites and prohibited from there onwards.

Interestingly, side effects wise – the PUFA group experienced more Nausea than the SAT fats group. Otherwise, remarkably during 5-day period of fat chomping – no significant adverse effects were noted.What is even more startling (to me at least), there was seemingly no reported evidence of Keto-flu or side effects we commonly expect during transitionary carbohydrate withdrawals. From headaches, palpitations, and (specifically as stated in the study, page 3) “Change in ability to concentrate” – were all returned as “non-significant”. 

Lastly – a subtle yet noteworthy concern – the study was done completely by in-house , in-University – grants, volunteers and members.

Think about this. The opening paragraph of this study was to “hypothesize” that PUFAs may offer a more beneficial route to Ketosis. So already, we have an expectation out of an existing, speculative hypothesis. If the “student” subjects noted adverse reactions which counters this expectation, which then also consequently to that of their very own existing Institution….then hopefully, you get my concern.

Are “Universities” really that neutral? All academia institutions tell us only “What to think” in text book terms. First and foremost – if dieticians are taught specifically telling people what to eat, then their licenses are most likely revoked immediately upon prescribing anything against what’s been internally taught, correct?

….But what about “How to think?” Well, you will be likely challenged and externally moderated against others correctness hierarchy. Namely – everyone else outside and beyond your expectations.

Patrick Tomasso @ Unsplash.com

Has this outcome been succesfully replicated elsewhere?

My existing reference source of all things Keto – Lyle McDonald’s Ketogenic Diet – did nevertheless briefly mentioned a study (Page 115) upon determining various forms of fats for their thermogenic potential – between olive oils, butter, safflower oil and corn oil; whilst also – keeping close to Ketogenic parameters.

The winner? Corn oil, surprisingly. Considering that it is just slightly behind the world’s highest and notorious source of omega 6-oils – Safflower oil. 

Even though that study is old (1974) – it was nonetheless noteworthy as it tracked throughout a period of 40 days. Two groups of subjects (men & women) – one group as lean and the other – obese. Both groups were instructed to eat a range of daily calories from 2100, then increased gradually to all the way up to a monstrously (as recorded) 6800. Per day. Yes, in kilocalories. From the study’s own conclusion: “It was striking to observe that the weight gain did not correlate with the caloric intake. Particularly if fat was given in the form of corn oil, a distinct discrepancy between the caloric intake and the response of the body weight was detectable.” (Kasper, H., et al, 1974).

Fast forward today’s pedestrian normalcy, with all my efforts of searching sadly – nothing else I could find comparatively of a similar analysis between PUFA vs SFA or MUFAs within Ketogenic contexts or parameters.

What about anecdotal source/s?

Very few…. but nonetheless notable mainstream media texts and books – disclosed similar prescriptions and convictions.

The first belonged to one of (perhaps earlier) books on Cyclical Keto interventions – “BODYOPUS”. The author, Dan Duchaine (whom unfortunately passed away due to hereditary polycystic kidney disease) – preached and fervently recommended Flaxseed PUFAs above all other source of fat intakes (Chapter 15).

…He even as so far stated that monounsaturated sources (Olive oils) – was “unessential” (Chapter 16).

Amidst today’s glorifying prescription of Flaxseeds, they still remain open to debate. First obviously being the seemingly difficult metabolic conversion from ALA to EPA/DHA. Then, there’s the Flaxseed = not-as food debate but as an expensive wood varnish. Next – many would dispute flaxseed is low in Omega 6, but still, it’s of relevant concern considering the N6 component is just behind canola oil. Lastly – yes – I am aware over its extremely estrogenic yet confusingly – a viable protection against prostrate cancers (but Genetically factorial!). 

Call me guilty – I myself praised Flaxseeds/Linseeds as part of any Ketogenic intervention due to its pragmatic affordability. With its interesting macro nutrient of fats, fibre and believe it or not – up to a good 22% makeup as protein. However with the above lingering concerns led me for years to pragmatically (thus far) include them only as small but not major source of O-3 to my own diet.

A second possible source would be Schwarzbein Principle by Diana Schwarzbein. I unfortunately have not read the book (but the program seems derived from the familiar Atkins induction, then followed by gradual re-introduction of carbohydrates), the author reportedly advocates canola oils (as well as soybean oil) as fat source intakes, at least as accordingly from the Weston A Price Foundation’s review on the book. But what about the reviews from real readers? Apparently, at least a 3.75 to five stars were a common sight on Amazon, and Goodreads . Nothing thus far comes up on Google that I have seen as real, journalling accounts. 

But…then again, relying on “book reviews” are inaccurate as evidently it is hard distinguishing the real authenticity whether the readers have truly experienced the program itself.

Third and last – although not “textbook” based – is an anecdotal web forum source. Whereby a monodiet (singular focused diet, think ZC Carnivore) was seemingly preached around only on almonds, peanuts, walnuts and seeds-alike intake. Closely resembling to zero carb but vegetarian. But I have to warn all readers however that it is a public forum. Whatever comes, whatever goes. I will not share my thoughts on this as 1) It runs for a lengthy 35+ pages, and that 2) any insights exchanged especially out of from wherever “forums” are involved – would readily invite all sorts of Internet SJW pitchforks at the doorstep.


*** Update 22nd September 2018***

Chris Bair @ Ketochow; posted his N=1 experimentation focusing on individual type of fat source intakes, one week at a time lasting throughout four week period (“Week 0” as the baseline). The timeline were as follows:

  • (Week 0) SAT fats – heavy creams (as baseline)
  • (Week 1) Omega-6 rich PUFAs (specifically Grapeseed oil – also high in Vitamin E)
  • (Week 2) SAT fats again (but without any MCTs)
  • (Week 3) MUFAs predominantly macadamia nut oils and avocado oils.

The findings were interesting. During the PUFAs week – Lowered LDL-C and P variants cholesterol. “Good“; under the eyes of nodding dogmatic institutions.

The “Bad” effects however, were concerning. The Triglycerides increased considerably. Both HDL-C and HDL-P decreased unfavourably. What’s even more surprising – LDL and Triglycerides were also increased on the MUFAs week (#3).

Please note that this n=1 experiment is part of his 42-day plan on using no whole-foods but Keto Chow; an all in one meal replacement as his main wholefoods intake. People may be quick to criticise the validity of this against “real-life” wholefoods and proteins. But we must consider and remember – the cost to factor in all that blood tests; is outside the range of most people can afford (unless if they go on holidays, Iphone® #10, 11, 12, 13 as “excuses” on $65,000 p.a. income). Other “desireable” tests would also cholesterol particle breakdowns (including the rare and highly sought after LDL-P / LDL-C with particle sizing analysis) and then the glucose, Haemoglobin A1C % and insulin.

The long list of charts  he posted as results does not justify any quick summary. A thorough reading and visit to his blog is well deserved. 

Tom Hermans @ Unsplash.com

Walnuts – could this be the reason?

These, after all – seemed to be the predominant ingredient on the winning (PUFAs) group’s menu throughout the entire experiment. Studies showed various benefits; evidently ranging from it being anti-oxidative, helps alleviate lipid-peroxidation, and (most recently published study) improves gut macrobiota with associated increases of butyric acid production. Coincidentally – “Butyrate” is closely implicated from Ketone production in the liver, and thereby both presence seems highly correlative and synergistic.

Are walnuts the invincible food for all, then? Sadly perhaps not.

I’ve found one study within contexts of Metabolic-Syndrome’d mice alongside with high APO-E carrier/s (a genetically predisposition towards CVD risk) – walnut intakes actually INCREASED the level of triglycerides, as well as surprisingly – many pro-inflammatory liver gene expressions  (“TNF”, “Ptpn22″, and “Pparg”, to name a few). I shall leave you to read more within that study – a few other collected insights all of which highlighted similar mixed results to walnuts’ supposed immutable reputation. More over, the Omega-6 content to O-3 ratio in walnuts is still quite high. Though not as hilariously high as “dry roasted” almonds (I’ll leave the moment of shock to yourself!).

Back to the study we’re analysing at hand for this article. The PUFAs  group were eating soy products ON TOP of any other (assuming) vegetable “oils and vinegars”. That no doubt plunged the Omega 3 intake down to the toilet even more. This to me, is enough to assume that the study tried to illustrate the evident strength of OMEGA-6  as more potentially Ketogenic than Omega-3.

Even if Omega-3 ALA praised canola oil (just as a guess) being used for the PUFA group – they are still not immune from the lowered 50% ALA to LA conversion efficiency even in the most “healthiest” human. Even if we rule out that the possibility of the SAT group eating both economy / soybean & grain fed  beef / pepperoni or meats- the question still remains why then – the outcome still favours the PUFA group. This boggles the mind.

What about mainstream medical literature/s?

The next thing/s I have done below is curating all relevant studies purportedly which are all in favour of PUFA’s over SFA’s in all metabolic markers. Despite all my efforts again, I have not been able to find anything of any studies exclusively within Ketogenic parameters…

  1. A study on rats; in conjunction to what we’re reading at here concluded again that PUFAs from flaxseed oils induce greater BOHB readings than either lard, or butter fat intakes. CONS: Food test macros were not published.
  2. A study found that PUFAs (within it defined as Linoleate and Alpha Linoleates) are “moderately ketogenic”; in the context of rats. Unfortunately, study’s is restricted from public access without purchase. 
  3. A study examining already-insulin resistant 10 individuals and obese (bmi >30) senior aged individuals (aged 61 on average) – found PUFA intakes to improve all metabolic markers. The diet test macros were 61% fat, 33% carbs and only trace amount of protein (I’d wager close to zero protein diet), CONS: Unrealistic in my opinion, as this ratio does not often relate to the more fitness oriented audience emphasizing higher protein intakes.  
  4. The (allegedly) famous PUFA muffins versus SFA muffins study results in greater lean muscle mass, and less liver fat accumulation in PUFA muffins group. PUFA = win. Another study using the same muffins approach (NOTE: DIFFERENT authors) – also found the same thing – overfeeding PUFA = greater lean muscle mass than. That study uses Sunflower Oil versus Palmitic acid as the comparison.CONS: Food test macros were not published on the first study (Bray A, G. & Krauss, M R.). But published on the second study as 51% fat, 45% carb, 4% protein aka. almost zero protein. 
  5. A study on children amongst 7 to 12 years found that higher PUFA intakes = less total fatty adiposity, greater muscle growth.  CONS: Food test macros were not published. All food tests were self-questioned and self-submitted (inaccuracies galore; considering they’re still kids).

My efforts to search for more studies pretty much ended there. My 200+ existing journals, papers, articles saved is already stuffy enough as is.

Roman Mager @ Unsplash.com

“Why” > “How”.

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” –  General McChrystal.

My comprehension on all there is to nutrition thus far are yet to match such a level without succumbing another $30,000 debt in pursuit of career expansion. The word Frugality after all, reside in my book’s title for a pragmatic reason.

Ultimatley, the understanding of “why” in all of these is completely beyond my comprehension as I am ill-equipped to opinionate. Except only on the basis of past experiences, account/s and self-challenges. within the realms of SKD, CKD, and now – Cylical Keto + IF.

Bad PUFAs = good for Ketogenic interventions, after all? I do not know. Everything remained elusively unexplained. But nonetheless – the many comments I saw in Peter @ Hyperlipid’s blog there may attract further interest amongst anyone with an already adept view/s in biochemistry.

I cannot help but nevertheless believing that a possible, brewing debate – is due to happen. But let us not start a civil war amongst ourselves but rather – to remain open over accepting that “Interpretations” alone are nonetheless valid decision making criteria; over simply observing and (convinced)-nodding towards “Facts”.

Thus, how everything currently sits at the moment – I’d remain pragmatic. (Mine’s) or Your Mileage/s May Vary. Everyone should reconcile their own Interpretation of what Science means to them.


Whether you are for or against PUFAs, Ketogenic or non-ketogenic do you think we still have a long way to go in understanding the different effects of lipid metabolism? Have you seen any other similar finding that support the above metabolic outcomes? I would love to hear them below.
Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

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Amidst all worsening stress I am increasingly convinced for that one inevitability of metabolic failure – starting from gut permeability or deterioration of the digestive lining (dubbed as “Leaky Gut”). I am yet to be clinically defined or diagnosed yet as such, despite many dispelling such condition as myth.

But I can at least testify; from having incorporated Gelatin amongst my meals, postworkout shakes as well as refeed day/s – few things already improved. Digestion notably becomes more “settled” down that much sooner. Rather than later. On refeed day/s I find that I feel more comfortable and confident to eat more than without it. Subtly but surely – connective tissue resilience have improved. 

If there is a particular type of proteins able at treating two birds with one stone – from maintaining joints with a historically proven overall gut + digestive support/s and also within powder form itself – as another viable source of many other conditionally essential amino acids, including Arginine…

…Then it has to be Gelatin. One may argue Hemp as a worthy match. But $60 per kilo? No, thanks.

 

Le Viandier de Taillevant / the earliest terminology usage of “Aspic”- before “Gelatin”

The forgotten essential.

Fascinatingly, an archaeological evidence suggested that humans were already using animal tissues as glue – to adhere various parts and components for ornaments, crafts and pottery.

Before “Gelatin” was called as such – the very first printed record out of a French recipebook “Le Viandier” in 1305.  suggested that “Aspic’; was thought to be the earliest embodiment of jelly-like food/s.

Fast forward today, we have found even more uses. Unbeknownst to many of us that gelatin paved the way for everything from our wallpapers. To our kitchen and all the way to cleaning-wares.

Unfortunately – “politics”, this “ism”, or that “ism” gets in the way. I implore thus we accept that “morality subscription” = reality compromises. Because few would willingly accept this reality – that we all play some role towards Ecological Martyrdom.

The future however looks promising. R&D surrounding cardiac & nerve tissue modelling, and “Bio-Ink”organ 3D printing, all based from the very essence of life itself – the humble Gelatin.

Nevertheless, not here trying to copy and paste or reword what the experts already knows. Ray Peat’s page on Gelatin, Skin and Stress – details the relevance of Glycine / Proline amino acids within gelatin towards overall liver health.

Some concerns on the Methionine balance from excess muscle meats versus Glycine from arguably more important gelatins from connective tissues – seemed plausible. Prolonged Methionine intakes over lean meats it seems – has been reputably linked to accumulate homocysteine (a genetics-determinant, suspecting yet undecisively convincing inflammatory marker). Yet dietary institutions kept pushing us towards low-fat dogma and lean muscle meats; further compounding this fear of imbalance. How ironic.

Even whey proteins seems suspect. But I am not about to willingly part from them over pea protein isolates; just for the latter’s lower methionine content. Both casual and habitual moderation inbetween these two – I feel is still a pragmatic necessity.

Methionine is still after all an inseparably critical amino acid for the synthesis of other essential aminos – Cysteine, and Taurine, to name a few. All contributes to the production of master anti-oxidant Glutathione. Worse still – methionine cannot be resynthesized in the body.

But one other aspect unique to Gelatin as a protein source is its impact on leptin & insulin mediator; which reportedly helps prolonging satiation and fullness.

But now to the important bits. A recipe.

Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

How to set gelatin.

Generally speaking to “set” a gelatin powder you need a warm liquid source and few hours of cold storage. The premium and much higher priced brands claims they do dissolve completely in cool water; though I cannot testify this in person as obviously – they are far too expensive for regular usage. 

Gelatin can also be incorporated into savoury dishes. Though beware that if it’s to be submerged in any liquid or heated stocks it may “set” to gel – for which is its physical intent nonetheless anyway. I have nevertheless indeed tried adding it in some substitute amounts for my previous Pea Protein Meat Loaf recipe. It turns out just fine and baked without any problems.

I may not be an accomplished cook or a baker, but this page sets out a detailed explanation on what to do and what not to mix it with.  As a note for all you high fructose / fruit lovers – the bromelain enzyme content of many sour / tarty-tropical fruits such as pineapples, papayas – may prevent the gelatin to sets in. More within that page as recommended reading.

A quick Gelatin Whey Jelly recipe.

Humility-budget approved for that last solid meal of the day. Next to protein fluffs, I think I may have found my go-to dessert alternatives. Whilst protein fluffs (just requiring half glass of soda water, and 15g of WPC + sweetener)  may edge in terms of cost per serving, the jelly edge it out in terms of overall nutritional value.

Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

Ingredients

Aeroplane Jelly® 2 paks. Half a satchet.
At $1.50 (average pricing) for 2 paks each carrying 9g of the powder – it’s already sweetened although beware that much of this is actually not the gelatin but added sulfurs and the swetener and colouring. However with its built in sweetener – to my palatability – even 2brothersfoods’ unflavoured whey protein concentrates is sufficiently flavoured by just HALF a satchet. So in one purchase of 9g worth you’ll get up to four (4) serves.

Additional (unflavoured) Gelatin powder. Up to 10 grams per supplementary amount.
Now this is where of course the real gelatin comes in mind. Common retail online street pricing is at least $40 per kilogram. The most affordable I found was at just under $25 delivered at 500g worth. My first few weeks have been reliant on using $3.70 storebought Mckenzie’s brand for a 100g supply, which unfortunately last only up to three days of use. Their “leaf” versions turns out at $5 for mere 20 grams, hardly worth it. Alas, what can I do? Frugality pushes you to the limits of accepting only what is bare-“bone” essentials of life.

(Obviously) the protein source of choice. I still am preferring the good old cheap Whey Protein Concentrates (unflavoured mixed with existing flavoured supply)
Use anywhere between from 15g to 20g. Though I’d warn that if you are using exclusively Pea Protein Isolates beware that its’ earth / “clay” like palate is still going to be embedded in the final product. No way of avoiding it unfortunately unless if you are willing to mask it with even more “earthy” spices – cinnamon and raw cacao powders both comes to mind.

Method

Hats off with gratitude first of all to Simon @ cutandjacked to have shared the best ratio of hot & cool liquids for the recipe.

Have 150ML water and mix in 15 to 20g of whey concentrates or pea protein isolates. Get a bowl and pour in ALL gelatin powders FIRST. Boil the kettle pour it at about 150ML. Pour in the other 150ML shake mix of the protein powder + water. Gently but just briefly – stir it around to disperse any excess clumps.

Fridge it for at least two hours. The more protein powder you use I find the quicker it sets. Otherwise realistically by about third or fourth hour – things should be set rigidly. Mine sets in usually at around one & half hours. It would already by this time reasonably firm yet at jelly-like consistency. Serve with 30 or 40g or so worth of (full fat of course) greek yoghurt. That’s it.

Macros.

This is assuming you are using the minimum 15g of protein amount, and using a minimum 4 grams amount of gelatin powder. Also here I am using ALDI Lyttos Natural (not light) Greek Yoghurt, 35g amount on top of finished product.

calories 129
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g 6 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 14 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 78 mg 3 %
Potassium 1 mg 0 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 19 g 37 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 10 %
Iron 0 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

To up the fat content – I would add coconut creams (though beware from experience it may impact sleep quality at night), dollops of sour creams or sparing sprinkles amount of linseeds. Also, works well with frozen berries.  Explore other different recipes, uses and cooking methods if you think you can afford more ingredients.

But how to use these gelatin powder outside of this recipe? Simply sprinkle as you would as condiment to existing post workout shakes or as first break-fast meal of the day. The grainniess will take some time getting used to, but we are all here for the benefits and sustenance, not complaining about elitist “taste” or “consistency”. On my refeed days I sprinkle randomly on rice puffs, oatmeals, and inbetween shakes.

Questions and concerns.

Paul Wong @ unsplash.com

1/3 “Gasp! Sulfur dioxide! Bad! Bad!”

I knew someone will complain about this. Cheaper gelatin powders such as in store household names (here in Australia we have McKenzies) – are often laden with sulfur dioxide as an added sulphite. Concerns seen amongst the Internet with this additive (coded as E202 or dubbed as SO2) seemed originated from its reputation as a poisonous gas; if inhaled directly.

Understandably, its allergenic potential to people with Asthma, seems warranted to suggest that SO2 intakes may need to be limited to select population. Coincidentally, a study found it to be damaging at the mitochondrion level, as well as observed association with arrythmias and heart disturbances. 

With anything “Bad” there is “Good”. Nature is confusing. SO2 is an antioxidant and blood-pressure lowering agent; in the context of hypertension. Any ill-informed pedestrian are readily quick to point that MSM and SO2 are both the same thing, yet biologically differ in their metabolism and interpretation. Irrespective, “sulfur” is believe it or not, the third most abundant mineral makeup of any entire human body itself.

So what do I make of this? Yes, all those concerns on the industrial counterpart SOseems very bad, indeed.

Hence why I am willing to spend even more money from my overdraft on proper Gelatin without additives. That study above  on heart disturbances symptom thankfully was intervened by the widely available N-acetyl-Cysteine supplement (shortly abbreviated as “NAC”).

Hence, this suspects the need for maintaining liver health. Although I am never simply “suggesting” to go out and buy NAC supplements as a permanent band-aid.

At some stage, you may have to beg or steal whatever necessary to ensure you get the proper gelatin.

For those who are nosy enough poking around and ask incessantly what “I would do” – I remain pragmatic to keep Milk thistle, taurine, and MSM. Milk Thistle; with or without Taurine; both remain as my further digestive aid on top of betaine HCLs and pepsins. Multiple studies examining liver damage, especially on alcoholics seems attenuated with Stevia as sweetener. I myself, would continue supplementing with Organic MSM throughout my fasting days upon waking up (1 tsp shot with water), but since many days recently – forego without it altogether as I feel the most benefits of fasting without taking any supplements at all in the morning.

Phan Đức @ Unsplash.com

2/3 What about vegetarians? Agar-Agar?

Note: I have not personally testified or used these alternatives. Why? Because of oppressed financial liberty. Take all this research as is to your interpretation and experimentation.

Agar-Agar (short for agaropectin), a gelling agent derivative out of red algae seems promising, perhaps less as a viable source of amino acids but more on the minute micronutrients (some magnesium, calcium and manganese) and a source of fermentable fibre. I am however hesitant to use it. My reasons for this? Are two-fold.

Firstly anything labelled as Agar-Agar is likely to be no different than a carageenan; an additive despite its natural origin from the same edible red seaweed species that Agar is made from. Carageenan unfortunately may impose adverse undesireable effects to some people. I certainly do. Personal exploration and journalling remains critical. Furthermore, many instore household Gelatin replacement brands have all sorts of corn derivatives.

Secondly, Agar/s are NOT WITHOUT carbohydrates. They have a substantial caloric response with as much as 81 grams of usable carbohydrates per 100g. Hence, they’re 80% carbo-loaded. A teaspoon worth of powders will net about 8 grams worth of carbohydrates.  Not a problem if you’re a carb-munching pedestrian. Not good for us LC/Keto folks.

Coincidentally on a side note – I may have to re-evaluate my prior praise on dairy-free alternative milks bearing the above additive. Almond and/or coconut milks – any symptom ranging from stuffiness, “food-just-sitting-there” sensation and noticeably – diarrhoea and “burning”-like stool symptoms.

For many years I am still aware of Konstantin Monarsky’s “Fibre Menace“. To this day – there is still lingering confusion on fermentable fibres association with colon cancer. Unfortunately, amongst the suspecting gum products in my pantry – guar gum and pysllium husk included – belong to this risky category. Whilst I never consume copious amounts, I’d still practise cycling in different “pseudo” gelling agents – between Xanthan gum, Guar’s (although I do not feel well on it at times) and onwards of course from now – regular Gelatin. 

Another alternative is Locust Bean Gum.It might be the most expensive out of all gums. Whilst I have not personally tried or incorporating this in any margins – there is some concern on its prevention of mineral uptake; particularly Calcium, Zinc, and Iron. Not good news, but that study uses quite a high amounts (9g per every 1000 daily calories). The only way pragmatic advice if only readers were to accept it is to perhaps cycle it out inbetween other gums.

This leaves us only one last option. Be a (somewhat flexible) octo-vegetarian. If you can at least allow yourself seafood intakes – marine source of collagens are available, but are likely to be even more expensive. Expect to pay twice over beef or chicken sources premium labels. Good to know that collagens derived from Salmon at least – caused a favourable decrease of triglycerides in one rats study; despite having no differences to any other physiological or metabolic markers.

Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

3/3 Gelatin or Collagen Hydrosylate / other alternatives?

Collagen hydrosylate is the more premium and upmarket term reserved amongst the much higher priced version of the same thing. Gelatin.  Think $40 upwards for only HALF a kilogram (454g to be precise). They claim and promise a much better solubility / mixability and quality of outcomes due to grass fed / grass finished sources. Of course, I would not deny nor refute these confident claims anyway as they are beyond my affordability range.

What about Glycine or Proline by themselves? Glycine by itself is in my opinion from affordability standpoint – not worth getting at in isolation. Unless if you know what you’re really looking for (do your own research beforehand), alongside with money to burn then go ahead. I consider Gelatin itself as as a unique, synergised group of amino-acids to be consumed as they are in whollistic form.

Much akin to BCAAs supplements – I would NEVER bother getting only Leucine. Or only IsoLeucine. Or only Valine. In isolation.

Many such chained amino acids – seemingly best to work together in natural synergy. Likewise I have been recently surprised – for finding out that even as simple Creatine Monohydrate itself – has plausibly been studied for leaky gut syndrome. Coincidentally its perfect make up of Glycine, Methionine and Arginine – proves it all succinctly.

Otherwise all we have left accessibility wise – is bone broths, and regular beef / chicken stocks. They DO have some of those constituents, but perhaps less so in concentrated amount. Considering that gelatin itself is a protein tissue, if you can actually chew the actual thing – then that wins my conviction as the more authentic go-to source. But I would still keep drinking the stocks warmed with ACV’s, nonetheless.

And There you have it. Another recipe article plus good amount of insight/s done and dusted. Many things demand personal exploration at your circumstances. By all means if you earn a comfortable expendable income – Collagen Hydrosylate should be ranked highly in your pantry.  Comment your thoughts below.
The Guide: Choosing a Soy Sauce

The Guide: Choosing a Soy Sauce

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Welcome to The Guide series of blog posts; a repository guidance based on many year(s) from me since starting this initiative – on purchasing your foods sensibly.

The most relevant criterias surrounding the selection of these foods are (1) first and foremost – pragmatically accessible pricing; and (2) with the least heavy added industrial processing. Macros and ingredient profiles will obviously be discussed in detail.

A consistent disclaimer must however be adhered – such as that these are curated from my own observational and self-accounted experiences, which thus may not constitute a universally sound “buyers guide” to everyone’s minute expectations nor minute nutritional sensitivities or intolerances. As much as this initiative concerns upon the nutritional affordability costs in Australia (and potentially abroad); trade offs and sacrifices between industrially processed foods against the much more “bespoke” labels / quality wholefoods – are bound to overlap.

…And no, I am not paid nor sponsored by any brands or companies mentioned throughout the life of each and every one of these posts’ existence.

The Guide Attributes.

The first of this series revolves around soy sauces. Perhaps the most accessible condiment/s available for consumptive longevity next to condiment powders and sauce/s. Throughout my year(s) of my own accounts and nutritional journalling the following have made me convinced to be enlisted down to my shortlisted choices.

To be considered pragmatically sensible for human consumption – soy sauce should ideally possess the following attributes:

  1. Least amount of preservative.
  2. Cost per usages.
  3. Low carbohydrate friendly.

A 500ML bottle of soy sauce theoratically accomodate up to eighteen (18) meals alongside with meat-marinating duties (though of course dependant on personal taste and batch size required). Generally speaking (only under my experience and usage) – 25ML per any given meal as a condiment, and up to 40ML for a good 500g to 800g batch of meat protein batches – generally suffice for taste; with usual complementary additions of  peeled / crushed garlic and/or ginger powder to finish.

I have had some success in combining two or three drops of liquid stevia, alongside with natural peanut butter, ginger, turmeric, lime and  cayenne pepper (very small amount)  to produce low carb version of satay sauces.

However, I would suggest not to cook or overly heat the liquid stevia. Gently cook (covered) on a small stove top first. Then drop in no more than three on any finished dish. Mix and serve. Whilst soy sauce generally speaking are low in carbohydrates; beware that much cheaper, household brands you see around you be it from ALDI® or Fountain® – have hydrolysed proteins or worse – added fructose corn syrups. Even if you did buy one of these – the taste is somewhat “off”. As in just artificially “off”.  Avoid.

1/3

Kikkoman (regular/original soy sauce).

The best and most obviously – expensive. Full bodied without artificial sourness / aftertastes that many would find with faux / cheapened soy sauces from Fountain® brands.

I’ve grown accustomed upon trying a few soy sauces over the years and nothing quite come closely to the well known benchmark most people are familiar of. The Kikkoman. Posed in multiple varieties, from reduced salt to gluten free versions (look for the Organic Tamari version should you indeed have very noticeable gluten sensitivity, but beware of its highly inflated pricing) – there are further myriad of other versions which I am yet to sample – of which many of these can only be found within the big Asian groceries stores).

The Guide: Choosing a Soy Sauce

Unless if you can spend more $$$ one condiment after another – I would not recommend buying their “Teriyaki” marinade sauces (distinguishable by the newer label image print with orange ribbon).

In my opinion even in the context of carb re-feed days –  they (“The teriyaki range / orange ribbon”) taste somewhat too watered down, despite giving that familiarity of “teriyaki” palate. But to me and my own taste buds – they are still somewhat lacklustre. The 250ML bottle would have you guzzling it all over in no time. So don’t let the low carbs (<15g per 100g) fool you – you will be brainwashed to actually using it more blindingly.

My recommendation? Is to keep things clean, clear, slate. Buy the original if you can. Add ginger, lime and garlic separately with drops of stevia if you’d like things sweeter. Case closed.

Preservatives.
Kikkoman® remains, in my opinion and experiences – assuredly the safest of all ingredient profiles. No benzoates, no potassium sorbates or added MSG analogues (#600s). The only thing that may be of concern is the natural preservative evidence of Alcohol, this is Nature’s effect and repercussion behind all process of fermentation and thus unavoidable. The Alcohol % are well below any standard drink concentration ranging anywhere between 4.9% to 7% by volume.

Cost.
This is where it is at the most disadvantage. It may be prudent for one to consider purchasing a big bottle, however, it is such a hefty investment in one amount for such a condiment (anywhere between $8 to $10) – your purchasing opportunity towards other necessities such as proteins, fats or greens sources (especially during Keto/LC + IF days) are going to be severely limited.

Accessibility.
Widely available. Interestingly also that you will find other varieties of Kikkoman (“Sukiyaki” and “Shoyu”) ONLY within Asian grocery stores that neither Coles or Woolies stock them. For one to consider a soy sauce without budget constraint or to think price tags don’t exist – this is a no brainer choice. Recommended.  The only downside is that I find smaller bottles almost unjustifiable for their high price tag, and thus would at least consider a 500ML a good starting off / prudent initial purchasing investment.

The Guide: Choosing a Soy Sauce

2/3

Yamasa Japanese Style Soy Sauce

Second to the list is the Yamasa® branded Japanese style soy sauce. This is more or less from my witnessing experience gets slightly more chances of being rated / sold on specials.

Preservatives.
Yamasa® assuredly again discloses no visible artificial additions. No benzoates, no potassium sorbates or added MSG analogues (#600s). Like Kikkoman® the only thing that may be of concern is the natural preservative evidence of Alcohol but this is again unavoidable and bound to occur as part of fermentation process. Get over it.

Cost.
More accessible as it is priced slightly more frequented towards specials amongst large Asian grocer stores.

Accessibilty.
Now this is where it gets tricky – Coles and Woolies do not stock Yamasa® soy sauces. From my experience only Asian grocery stores do stock them , so some scouting around some suburban shop centres would be worth it.

The Guide: Choosing a Soy Sauce

3/3 Last but (dubious) choice for long term use.

Pearl River Light Soy Sauce

Note that there is another version which comes as “dark” or “mushroom flavoured sauces”. Beware that the dark / Mushroom flavoured version (indicated by gold foil print as opposed to silver) – do contains some carbs (3.2g total / 1.3g net carbs per 15ml). Hence why I recommend the “Light” soy sauce version. But an added caveat – within this a preservative Potassium Sorbate or coded as E202.

The “Light” version actually tastes remarkably pleasant and enjoyable enough to be used straight as is for dipping on salads, cauliflower rice or  premarinating the shaved / julliened daikon noodles on the stove.  My hunch suggest – people first and foremost likely associate their expectation of (any) soy sauce to taste sharp yet with a “clean” aftertaste. Hence the “Light” soy sauce are more likely, as I suspect – may serve as the better recommendation.  The “Dark” version on the other hand is more “weighty”, though others may consider it too “bean-ey” in flavour.

Left: Light Soy sauce. Right: dark mushroom flavoured soy sauce

Preservatives.
Acccordingly to Wiki® – Potassium Sorbate (E202) is widely used to inhibit moulds and yeast overgrowth. Now whether that yeast is of “good” or “bad” variety remains an unanswered question. I’d wager that all “yeast”, whether “good” or “bad” should be allowed to naturally mature as is by the mercy of time. And thus let our sense of (smell) dictate whether it is still viable for consumption, should its expiry dates become close to concern. 

…That is only if of course – if you actually leave your soy sauce that long in the fridge.

Used on cheese and wine produce – some health concerns seem to emanate from E202’s genotoxicity in-vitro (isolated cell experiment). Such concerns start to emanate on intakes higher than what is thought as maximal (25mg per kilogram of human body weight). For a 65kg adult, that would translate to 1625mg. I am yet to experience any adverse effects from consuming it; either gently cooked or fresh straight on as is.  I do not think; we should all be concerned ever to reach that chronic amount of 1625mg.

Although to address all readers anxiety (as a pragmatic N=1 thought only)  – what would I do pragmatically then to counter the above fear/s, should I were to consume these additives regularly? Considering its effects presumably on the gut ecosystem (as would anything to do with yeast implications suggest)-  I would never neglect daily probiotic rich foods from full fat yoghurt, sauerkraut, and (this is something I must admit I lack) – Gelatin / collagen proteins. Additionally, heated beef / chicken stocks and broths mixed with warm Apple Cider Vinegar between meal/s (but WITHIN feeding window) would likely something to remain as long term practise within all Keto/LC+IF day/s.

Cost.
Regularly witnessed pricing of $2.50 per 500ML would last you ages.

Accessibility.
Widely available. From your nearest Asian shop groceries, IGAs to Woolies and Coles.

“But,but,but…what about salt intakes??”

(rolls eyes).

Marvel at this historical tradition:

” In the past, what was not consumed immediately was salted, wrapped in straw and stored in ceramic jars and crocks, or hung from kitchen rafters. The fatty parts of the flesh were turned into lard and stored in oil vessels known as anda-chibu, while the crispier residues were roasted, combined with vegetables and used for miso soup or in a pork miso dish known as anda-insu. Mixed with starch and salt, the blood made a tasty seasoning.”

Do  you know where these comes from? The Okinawan diet.

Yes, pork. Even snakes.  What a contradiction from mainstream journals.

Oh well, we’re not here trying to statistically coerce ourselves in a debate arguing what “healthy” means anyway.

Provided you have diligently provided yourself all micronutrient and mineral balance intakes from greens, Keto or not Keto,  – acquaint yourself with more pragmatic ‘science’:

  1. Before there was “medicine”. Salt was used in almost…anything. Even as monetary currency. So precious that nomadic tribes are willing to trade entire (animal) yaks.
  2. With little or no salt, humans would not have  had the means to cure or preserve meats for survival. Before we even have bacterial / nutritional yeast (as isolated ingredients) what else could we have used to preserve foods?
  3. With little or no salt, fermentation of almost anything carbohydrate would be next to impossible. That includes kimchis, cabbages, etc.

 

One thing for sure. What is food without salt?… Is food without taste. And no I wouldn’t skip the greens.

Be pragmatic. Salt to sufficient taste. End of story.

 


There you have it. Nice and simple post for a change. Obviously there are many, MANY other bottle brands that offers such claims as “NON-GMO” or “Organic Certified” labels, but the truth will always prevail on the ingredient list. Exercise your inquisitive sensibility. If the ingredients list more than one (1) synthetic number which you cannot ever pronounce in your head. Look elsewhere.
Joanna Malinowska @ http://joannamfoto.pl/

(Part 2/3) Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia : My Thoughts

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This is part 2 of my write up on the Mouse Utopia. Read the first part here.

By now – chances are you would have formed many of your own conclusion/s. I certainly have my own. Thus, below I present my four “food for thoughts” plus an extended conclusion.

1/4

“The Beautiful Ones”; what are our’s (and mine’s) human signs?

Japanese men are isolating themselves away from both the pedestrian race for marriage, and institutionalised raising of traditional family setting/s. More visible signs of Gynocentrism 2.0. More men going their own way. Single parenthood on the rise; further straining the economies around the world.

Me? I can definitely relate much to the characteristics behind John Calhoun’s perception of “The Beautiful Ones”. At least, the awkwardness, inability to vocally express my opinions immediately within conversational settings. I even was once called by a female a gentle “teddy bear”. I have lived through sweaty palms and butterfly stomachs; only to have survived one day to the next in the locker rooms, the toilets during recess and lunches, and all the way to sitting right at the front of the school-bus.

…Yet undoubtedly, I have remained back since then to this day – cautious and visually observant; for any perceived social chaos. I take every chance of understanding chaos by simply not participating.

But through observations. I find this completely serene and peaceful. By having a choice not to join any group of “friends”. I always knew, down from this gut-feeling – that most if not all – of my own, inert liberal thoughts and opinions – would be rendered VOID,RIDICULED, challenged or just plainly – rejected anyway or anyhow necessary by someone else’s insecurities and jealousy. 

After all, how easy is it to ever not participate in any war; any violence or any conflict of “opinions”. Just by observing and studying these “noise” – all from a distance? Let them have all their noise. But what happens if I am abruptly intervened or insisted as peer pressure? Now, that to me – is an institutionalised coercion. Even if there is some sort incentives, or “prizes” to benefit from participating in such situations I would remain wary and cautious. For example:

  1. If I do not compete I “won’t feel validated”.
  2. If I do not join I will miss out the “fun” (or for any other reasons extending this sole aspect of “fun”).

I feel increasingly convinced – that me being exposed and being seen (or enticed) for submitting to such incentive/s makes me feel either one or both of these two things – a breach of my secular, primal privacy and/or guilt exposition (aka. ’embarrasments’.). 

If I were to be “relocated” in an environment far from where I am; secluded and sheltered amongst a private few to all of a sudden – a nightclub full of women….. I’d be the FIRST to make a quiet exit.

This is ironic given that pornography and beautiful women; have always been – both a curse (vocational “distraction”), an escape as well as primal consolation to any man. You’d think that despite I am physiologically able at surviving 4 days each of 300+ rep depletion training on poverty macros – surely approaching women is the last of my worries. A delusional luxury.

I am however somewhat remain (characteristically as Calhoun termed to) as “retarded.”.

Recall that within the worst Phases (from “C” and “D”) of Universe 25 experiment – Calhoun did attempt to reinitiate normal/prior reproductive instincts by relocating his “Beautiful Ones”; both the “beautiful” men and women elsewhere far in another Universe. Within this world then introduced a series of “normal” mice free of any disorders; as hopeful mating potentials.

…Sadly, no reproductions ever occurred. I can see why this is happened. Perhaps a shrouding need for “privacy” as authentic individuality must be first and foremost – be welcomed?

In spite all of this one must question inevitably back to the self. “So what?” I’d wager that it is more conducive at examining the wider implications from ones actions. If no inflicting of physical harm (to another) result despite my “retardation” for being unable to be socially “intimate”  with the significant attractive other….Then one path is clear. I shall privatise & internalise my codex of attraction for what is me for me. First and foremost.  

I have known and lived thus far for accepting – that solidarity is nonetheless a very appealing part as well as the most logical pathway – to resume my needs for primal privacy and hence –  my own secular thoughts for Self-Authenticity.

I believe this to be serene and peaceful. Why? Because there is no invitation for violence. There is no need to, is there? Only personal, and private – reconcilement of what I can and cannot do.

 

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Tj-Holowaychuk @ Unsplash

2/4

The Mouse Utopia study at least remind us one reality – there is no God.

Under grave danger; there is only one of two possibilities.

You either sink or swim.

No “God” may ever levitate you out of such misery. Completely heals or remove a scar. Or “compensate” you for any loss of blood through injury or any loss of ATP molecules from fight vs flight mechanism for evading – any or all such dangers.

There is no such thing as divine intervention. Only human intervention. “God” is only a cosmetic, sensationalised affirmation of the impossible. Man only creates belief out of speculations in times of calamity or uncertainties. Speculation thus is mere confidence. Hence, the origins of “Faith”.

If we look at the life-sustaining parameters within Universe 25; that is the food, the water and the seemingly perfect climate all as provided – I would bet that the mice would interpret John Calhoun himself as THEIR “GOD”. At least, we know for a fact that they can see him. He after all (amongst also; his other human volunteers) provided the “environment”, the food + water enough for at least 15,000 population count. And also providing absolute safe haven away – from any predatorial confounders for migratory violence. Such things are ABSOLUTE MIRACLES.

….Suppose that he was indeed a “God” yet what happened? The experiment ended a total nightmare.

Is “God” or any ABSOLUTE MIRACLES therefore – a compassionate being of the high above to have nonetheless granting the living witnesses such terrifying demise? Did the mice morally deserve such that they met their own extinction? Is it rational to assume therefore that we should all just keep believing that God exists anyway, or anyhow?

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Photo by CloudVisual on Unsplash

My answer? Is a solid “NO”.

Why? Because there are biological markers and precursors to behaviour. What moves you to have any intent – requires some cascading objective processes within your body called the pituitary gland aka the “master gland”, hormones, endicronology, then streams downwards to nervous system, cardiovascular system, skeletal system, muscular system. Just to name a few.

You own your body, and your behaviours; and that’s what makes you – an individualised – you. You are not “me”. Therefore, I do not own “you”, do I? Of course not. Religion? Seemed more like political ownership of collective behaviour. Think about it, if there’s a “Bible”, a “Gospel” or the Quran for us Humans – then what would those be for mice? Is there a moral “Bible” for mice?

Irrespective, we will ALL die anyway regardless whether for good or bad; morality consciousness. Regardless of intent. Does “God” therefore have a “rightful say” in all of this? No. Is there a “more” graceful way to die? There is simply no tangibly “answer: which we could see or interpret with from such a “God” at all; as an answer (if any) in the first place anyway.

Should “God” therefore rightfully intervenes or acts on our physiological behalf without our consenting – conscience? Should “God” therefore owns all of your actions?

Once again, a big fat “No”.

It makes no sense to simply believe that “God” objectively exists in this physically tangible universe with physically evident manifestation. Scriptures are mere literature. Coercively; they are all scripted, period. If “God” does exist, miracles should objectively and tangibly also exist at our every whimsical desires. Entropy would not exist. DNA would not corrode. Morality construct should be eternally linear from human to the next. We should all have been “immortal”.

….Except unadmittedly; we’re not.

 

Vernon Ho @ Stocksnap.io
Vernon Ho @ Stocksnap.io

3/4

We are more alike to each other than previously thought.

No gender is different nor preferential on the basis of what “he” or “she” can or cannot do.

A man can get pregnant. A woman can have as much muscular potential as men too; given if she’s willing enough to not think about shoes all day long just the same as us guys not thinking about sex either and actually do some DAMN workout. Yet also, women can have things their way, too; it seems.

Calhoun himself noted quite specifically, that throughout Phases C & D – the females were seemingly just as aggressive, if not destructive – against any passerby nearing her nesting sites as well as (grimly) to that of harming even her own children.

In times of chaos and/or instincts towards self-preservation – moral decay seemed intensely-even; between genders.

I have talked about this before in my book and I will say this again. The differences between men and women are much lesser than about legitimising who bears the “better” or “lesser” circumstances of a human being. It is much less about believing who actually experiences symptoms of “PMS’s” uniquely as though it applies to women only. It is less about instilling such a belief that one gender is more susceptible towards a particular type of cancer over another (eg. breast cancer is for women than it is for men’s prostrates).

Alas, physiological disturbances are all part of a human being. We all have mutations. We may be born asymmetrically to one another, but we all get cancers. Each cancer might be different in their development and manifestation. But they are still cancers.

The fate of a Human can also be decidedly be ended – by a Human. We can both reason and kill, period. Giving a woman a gun is the same as desire for twisting every words to win a divorce court case (for maximum child support + alimony + bigger homes + bigger wardrobe). 

Except that she is killing her former mate ever.so.slowly. On the other hand, he’d wish for a quicker route at ending his own life.

Yes, I admit metabolically (hormonal balance) ; men and women are different. But we all have hormones. Everything may be contextually frame driven as variable confounders. Any “Outcome/s” on the other hand – are static as they inevitably arrive as a physical moment (or phenomena) one and all the same.

I would place my bet that given some right frame of time, some right frame of social circumstance / arrangement, some right frame of hormonal profiling at best coinciding to a woman’s preference – she can become a sex “addict”, or a repulsive “liar” far more so than men. This is compounded should a male (or her closest “irreplaceable” partner)  is unable providing to her every whimsical desires (beyond chocolates, investment properties and Mercedes). She will look for any next “potential/s” whose resources surpasses her current mate’s providing capacity.

Man or woman; nobody is benign or harmless. Everybody is innocent, violent and repulsive. All of these motivated by curiosities and self-interests. No exceptions. Period.

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Andrew Gook @ Unsplash

 4/4

Loss of meaning of “work”. Biology as “purpose”.
Material as “reward.”

Work is “Life”; colloquially, metaphorically and analogously by interpretations- for many people. At least for most of us – “work” consumes a significant chunk of our biological clock. I am guilty as such as that even of my 300-rep volume resistance training each for four days per week is also indicative likewise – as “Work”.

…Unless of course – if you are amongst the top 1%. Your interpretation of “Work” is likely received to be less biologically implicating. But rather likely expressed to be more as vain or social privilege.

The mice within Universe 25 was confined as such as that their perception of ‘meaningfulness’ is reduced to a simpleton. Incentives was already provided for to just sustain life and nothing more, beyond that realm. A heaven without progressive incentives unless introduced from another realm does almost sound – like a routinely and orderly – prison.

Sounds familiar?

Even if we do not (yet) live in an accessibly infinite resource abundance – we are still living in an age of ever-perpetual conflict/s which concern two overlapping things.

1 – the Seeking for meaningful things, and 2 – the reciprocal preaching / influencing – of such meaningful things.

Upon waking up to your alarm clock all the way to greeting the reception beyond the glass panels before tending to fake milestone deadlines, angry bosses and office donuts as incentives towards so called “employees-morality” programme. Back home it’s angry wife, crying babies, $1,000 overdue council rates and low-fat $6 microwave weight Watchers® meal. Aka. our Pedestrian Normalcy.

The problem within our current “thus-far” preaching or influencing of anything meaningful unfortunately – still revolves around leverages or debt somewhere in the equation. To the point whereby we now ask ourselves – what is debt?  Should “debt” be repaid through spending our biological clocks through frivolous jobs?

I for one; do lose faith from time to time as I am guilty of preaching my career of chosen profession industry – that is – graphic design and creativity. Making other people “look” concisely good is all that matters. Until 15 year old teenagers with Creative Cloud subscriptions undercuts me, and my prior seven years+ of agencies experience.

…Until society (dear employers) looks at me blankly then asks me “what else” can I contribute beyond just a graphic designer to make myself “competitive”? The only reasonable or “objective” answer it seems; is to lower my expected income to that of a 15 year old teenager.

Meanwhile, my persistent curiosities; ranging from nutrition, science and philosophy – still to this day are met with blank silence amongst all interview tables.

To me those pursuits are biologically more meaningful than glamourising pixels for mere “Advertising”.

One question I’d like to ask to the Pedestrian Normalcy is – (dear “employers” of all corners of the Earth) – do you get ever satisfied with all of these that I can do? It seems thus far, you are not. For every ten point job criteria upon recruitment – overlaps another ten undisclosed just ahead before resignation.

It was not until I learn much about ourselves through physiology and nutrition (as I learned much of that through sustaining myself away from institutionalised dietary “guidelines”)  – that having a biological purpose of meaning far outweighs – the value – of material meaning. Not to say however materialism plays no conducive role to civilisation – they objectively and meritocratically nonetheless do as means of reward.

What I learn so far is this – materialism or luxury is the reward. Biology, understanding and empathy – are the meaning/s.

What worries me therefore, is the widening gap and distorted accepted interpretations between the two. You may not ever believe this; but eight people now owns 50% of the world’s wealth. That’s just eight people. Figure “8”; just enough people to fit in a minibus. Now – shall we accept this paradigm to continue?

So, my hunch; seems to revolve around what could possibly be the biggest social civil unrest the world – will inevitably happen. Just from the widening (and coercive) argumentative contrasts of the above interpretations. I do not know when this war breaks out. But I know – that it will somehow happen – within my lifetime.


Click here to the third and final part of my feature write up.
Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia

(Part 1/3) Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia : The Study

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Within my manuscript, there are two (big) realms of discussions I decidedly omit (to keep overall readability concise) – Overpopulation, and Social Privacy. Having recently stumbled upon the works of John Calhoun (most notably for his mouse “Universe” experiments) however – almost stopped me in my tracks as I gradually understand the volatile relationships between those two very large and intertwined – issues of our time.  

That published study, as grimly titled “Death Squared: The Explosive Growth and Demise of Mouse Population” attempted at exploring all such curiosities of establishing a Perfect world just that. A “Universe” without end of consumable resources.

A world where “Climate Change” does not exist. An environment with resources so abundant for perpetual consumption whereby literally – there’s just nothing – as in meritocratically nor objectively nothing – to steal out of anyone for anything of “value”.

No instruments of exchange. Or instrument of ‘debt’. Or credit cards. Or mortgages.

…My goodness.

The “Perfect” Universe (for mice).

All physical aspects of this world – was set. What was left, were simply the behaviours of all citizens and their overall outcomes for assessment.

Beyond infinite abundance (that is; infinite food availability), but also safe protection from outside predators (absolutely NO outside interventions/alien contributors for violence). With consistent climate control; all practically given and set consistently throughout the life of this Universe’s study. 

Enclosed within this Utopia – were numerous “apartments” capable for supporting up to 4,000 mice citizens. Litters and all waste were cleaned (voluntarily by humans obviously) regularly ensuring that no external / environmental bacterial infections ever becomes a confounding bio-chemical threat.

According from the published study itself  – the overall food and water availability / prepared abundance was so immense; that it became inconsequential as a detrimental factor to the entire experiment unless the population reached 9,500 (for food intakes) and 6,144 (for water intakes). 

“Space” available within this Universe #25; be it for social, tribal / territorial divisions, off-spring bearing, expansion/s and raising; were at least designed to be considered plentiful. Even though the mice could not “climb” out of the gated / walled Universe; the apartments were so plentiful that any fear of “overspilling” weren’t practically possible unless if the population exceeded more than (exactly) 3,840 mice at any given time.

All psycho social aspects; from maternity, nurturing / bonding aspects, mating, reproductive frequencies were assessed throughout the (almost) 1600-day written observational records.

Of course, given the various sentiments of the study’s recipient amongst the public (and Scientific) communities; arguments concurring for and against – of the mice’s behavioural analogy towards human characteristics or traits still remain disputable for decades even to this day. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE to read the end of the actual published paper itself; as Calhoun attempted to address most (though not perhaps not all) skeptical counter arguments and feedbacks.

Throughout the 1600 days of observations – four (4) phases or overall evolutions; were noted.

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Jeremy Bishop @ Unsplash

 

Phase A “Strive”.

The “Genesis” in this Universe began with introducing four pairs of “Adam and Eves”. Them being the first ever citizens; freely exploring and roaming the “planet”. Effectively triggering the first of the four phases or evolutions – of which Calhoun titled as “Strive”.

This was simply a phase of exploration and adjustments within the Universe’s environment and the mice’s early calculative perception of distances between one “apartment” to the next. As well as how accessible were the consumable resources (food + water) throughout. Early territorial divisions were noted as the first early settlements. However, territorial or social dominance or sighted conflicts inbetween any of these early territorial establishments; was not yet observationally significant.

A brave new world began. The curtain was opened.

Phase B – “Growth”.

 

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Davide Ragusa @ Unsplash

An exponential increase in populations were noted across all communities; given that some signs of territorial boundaries seemed established.

Population growth were immense; almost doubling over from previously recorded quota for every 55 days (“20, 40, 80, 160, 320 to 620”).  Mating events successfully occurred as soon as sexual maturity between the sexes were reached.

Throughout days #86 to #338 saw an interesting division of population density dictated as per by their locale / territorial divisions. Meaning that even though food + water supply was scattered as evenly throughout and both easily accessible – some areas of the Universe seemed distinctly more concentrated in sexual mating events. Thus, greater population density were observed within that geographical area MORE than others.

Social hierarchical system/s began to take shape and order seemingly by ways of Dominance. “Dominance”; as what Calhoun hypothesized – seems to be largely based on how “active” the males population were in initiating all sexual reproductive instincts. Seemingly towards such a goal of producing the highest number of offsprings possible. He termed these role/s as “Social Velocity”.

The more a space existed with younger communities; the much higher probability existed amongst the dominant and most active males can easily thus be found to perpetuate greater reproductive successes. They seemed to propagate mostly on the SOUTH WESTERN side of the Universe.

…The older / oldest population however; seemed increasingly “pushed” to the other corner of the Universe (NORTH EASTERN of the Universe). This area produced the fewest offsprings compared to its opposite “younger” geographical location.

As explained straight from the source study: “The north east brood group produced only 13 young in 252 days where as the opposite South West brood group produced over eight times as many, 111.” (Calhoun, J. 1973).

 

Phase C – “Stagnation”.

 

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Peter Lewicki @ Unsplash

Overall population began to plateau. In some areas they even declined; due to signs of increasingly violent activity from rising attempt for dominances amongst the male (and later on – females).

As such competitions grew increasingly fiercer so too; did the rates upon which the lesser active and the lesser dominant males – seemed increasingly isolated or wounded, or even killed by the nearby invasions.

Many seemingly became much rather – open victims to the more active males as claimants for further dominance. Whoever was submissive – killed brutally by “packs”. Much akin to our own gang warfare/s.

The growing numbers of “passive” males – especially those who were attacked + scarred by much of the more competitive and dominant participants – congregated further and further – towards  the very epicentre of the entire Universe.

Few seemingly able to self-defend; as many grew meek and submissive. Worse, the “centre” eventually became a confusing mix of the prior passive to now then turned – violent disruptions against one another. Especially when others were asleep, some (seemingly) took this opportunity for compounding further attacks and invasions. 

Maternity roles; upon which the females responsibly nurture their young as optimally and healthily as possible – seemed increasingly abandoned & neglectedCalhoun noted:

“Females transported their young to several sites, during which process some where abandoned. Many litters of a young age on one survey disappeared before the next survey….Such abandoning of young following survey disturbance is a particularly sensitive index of dissolution of maternal behaviour.” (Calhoun, J. 1973)

Almost all nesting sites that were well protected – now ploughed in the process as a result; from the ensuing invasions for attempts at establishing any proximity for totalitarian, singular dominance. Exposing the females to further greater threats; thus overtime taking place of males roles which were quite unusual, with such aggression matching to that of their male cohort. 

Whilst chaos persisted in the background – many who survived such nevertheless able to have found new territories as seemingly unoccupied solitary spaces. Far and away from violent participations.

Since then, these survivors were later named by Calhoun – as “The Beautiful Ones”.

 

Phase D – “Death”.

 

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
David Cohen @ Unsplash

From the day #600 onwards; more deaths were observed than births.

Any or all attempts made by the mice themselves to increase overall population growth – seemed futile, ineffective and/or even redundant (see next paragraph below). Mating events now became disruptive and unusual. 

At this stage seemingly conformed towards homosexuality and/or even familial incests. In-between genders and even same maternal line courtships; began proliferating in huge number of attempts. All expressions of resistance; contributed to more violence, as a result.

Males were frequently seen mounting with whomever irrespective of gender. The young from same maternal bloodlines even attempted mounting one with another. Only a few numbers of births occurred, but this was greatly offsetted AND overwhelmed by the rising number of deaths amongst (almost) all mice groups.  

Perhaps the most interesting, was the rise (as well as solitary deaths) of the seemingly passive and non-warring participants whom Calhoun called “The Beautiful Ones”. These mice were not only exemplary of hoarding and overly protective – of their individualistic needs for solitude and simple living (that is – eating, “grooming”, and sleeping; on constant repeat). But curiously – their sexual reproductive instincts / desires – seemed non-existent.  

Their almost absence of interests for reconciling any primal needs or urges; to either eat in close-togetherness in company of other rats or inciting mating instincts however – were unusual.

However they did not incite nor evoke – random acts of violence either. They eat, sleep and groom themselves exemplarily on repeat. Bleached white skin, gentle furs, large alert and bright red eyes. Free from battle-scars and chewed/wounded tails.

Meanwhile – an increasingly premature abandonment from mothers and their children from the previous Phase (“C”) became more prevalent. Any signs of traditional raising patterns were almost null.  

The last known recorded conception was noted in Day #920.

However, from there on; all inhabitants of Universe 25  proceeds to decline rapidly; seemingly headed for total extinction. Deaths from all territorial wars for dominance nevertheless ensued; presumably as desparate attempts re-initiating any or all – successful birth & reproductive outcomes.

Even if new births were successful; the offsprings were immediately abandoned. Mortality rates increased quickly as compounded by the (solitary) deaths of The Beautiful Ones from old age. So too combined with premature deaths from any or all newborn youth; due to complete absence of parental and traditional raising patterns.

Inbetween all of the above; calamity and violence continued to persist. All in the background. “The Beautiful Ones” continued subsisting in solitary spaces; yet also their fates unknowingly sealed before their own eyes – their own solitary deaths.

A mosaic of uncertainties and hysteria persisted. Until upon the arrival of day #1588 – was marked as the final day of Universe 25. 

An “inexorable decline”; as Calhoun wrote – marked the end of it all. What was left and recorded as final population count on this day – were just twenty-three (23) females and four (4) males.  

 

…The curtain was closed.

 

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Elijah Flores @ Unsplash

The theory behind the decline – “Behavioural Sink” & its Critic/s


Whilst indeed grim; and their observational results cannot ever be denied nor falsified – the mice truly did die off (almost) completely. 
Understandably what little of optimism received amongst journalism, media and the scientific communities so far from back then; still to this day nevertheless maintains some very active debates.

 

Understanding ‘Behavioural Sink’

In short – through concentrated population density in any given localised area alone; leads to an observed hopelessness or overall hysteria of no return.

As from what Calhoun stated: all prior psycho-social sustenance and homeostasis became increasingly disturbed due to these further signs as observed below :

“…Many [female rats] were unable to carry pregnancy to full term or to survive delivery of their litters if they did. An even greater number, after successfully giving birth, fell short in their maternal functions. Among the males the behavior disturbances ranged from sexual deviation to cannibalism and from frenetic overactivity to a pathological withdrawal from which individuals would emerge to eat, drink and move about only when other members of the community were asleep. The social organization of the animals showed equal disruption.”

This “sinking” of moral cooperation was also thought to be dictated by the mice’s primal patterns of eating. Which were greatly motivated / confounded by the strength of social relativity and bonding with whomever else within their relative proximity of desire to, well – “eat”. In other words, the less the mice were seen accompanied with others in close proximity during times of eating – the less likely they would simply – eat, and only thus remain in isolation away from any company.

To put this in human analogies may yet sound strange – but nobody likes to be seen as “eating alone”. In some contexts, the “behavioural sink” theory nevertheless does somewhat resembles a-human like predicament.

Such that we are more likely to eat – in the presence of other socially motivated individuals whose settings of encouragement are to simply, well –  “eat”. Of course this is somewhat of a generalisation. But given if there is so much infinite abundance of food; this theory does remain valid as such that if you are indeed alone with nothing but food around you – then a high “probability” would suggests you to not eat as much; unless if you are surrounded by like-minded people, with like-minded interests to once again – “consume” together.

But consider those who DO find it perfectly fine for themselves to eat alone – the very affirmed “acceptance” itself alone – after all- is that not a CHOICE to be decided for amongst the individual him/herself; are they not?

Thus – we have the above question; which nevertheless remained somewhat unclarified from John Calhoun – was there ever existing a point of decision-making amongst the mice to be able decide amongst them”selves”? Or a point by which the mice has had to make a “choice” whether to “join” the wider, (yet albeit) more violent and competitive tribe or to simply perish alone through solidarity deaths (from old age?)?

This question inevitably pointed us to a legitimate critic against this theory.

Universe 25 / Mouse Utopia
Geralt @ Pixabay.com

Excess Totalitarian “In”-clusivity VS embracing social “Ex”-clusivity.

Psychologist Jonathan Freedman legitimately raised a critique against Calhoun’s Behavioural Sink theory that it was not so much about the physical aspect of “overcrowdedness” that played the biggest role for the mice’s drastic decline in population growth.

But rather – the already seemingly enforced expectation – for social in-teractivity rather than embracing or accepting – social ex-clusivity.

This may seem difficult to understand. But Dr. Edmund Ramsden summed it up in two part/s:

“…Moral decay could arise not from density, but from excessive social interaction,” and this one ” It was the unwanted unavoidable social interaction that drove even fairly social creatures mad,” (Ramsden, E. 2008).

Note the word “unwanted”. Perhaps this therefore hints that the mice did nevertheless attempt to choose for and amongst; themselves. Yet of course, given the near distance to chaos everywhere – the majority succumbed to join or “surrender” to the more violent tribes. Hence, “choices” were seemingly hinted as visibly there, but overwhelmed by something else more forceful. Hence, possible structural coercions and/or violence.

But what about those who survived and found solace in sparse, distant locale’s; aka the rise of The Beautiful Ones? NOW THIS is where this debate gets interesting.

These survivors’ behaviours also somewhat appeared to be a gradual instinct to counter or resist against the more violent and dominant invasive tribes. Perhaps because these mice have collectively observed from plain sight therefore; then to act as accordingly and as rationally akin to us humans; as a result from witnessing the increasingly more imbalance of social diversity.

In other words, perhaps they were given (some) liberal hope to make a choice. It’s either participate in the violence or die. 

These instincts we knew so far – namely the subdued sexual instincts yet simple-minded mice who did nothing but eating, grooming and sleeping – nevertheless did show perhaps – an evolutionary outcome from having found environmental solace against any excess – totalitarian in-clusivity and in-teractivity.

On the other hand – their needs for privacy for leading such a simple life (eat, groom, sleep, repeat) – could then indeed be seen as such an ex-clusivity that the nearby “alpha” or “dominant” males or the invasive ‘tribes’ seemingly did not support.


Nevertheless, below are still “open-ended” questions that warrant further discussions:

  1. Perhaps the mice nevertheless do resemble (akin to us); possessing qualitative instincts for ratifying other social hierarchy? Much akin to us to how we perceive different social classes via Structural Classism? Whereby we are more inclined to be somewhat submissive to whomever else’s markers of powers; be it territorial dominance, or immediate surface “Alpha” characteristics – to allow control, rule and coercions – by overwhelming those of lesser characteristics?
  2. Were the mice able to identify threats and anxiety simply by mere observation which then enables them to rationalise their logistical decisions accordingly? Aka. Decision Making? Or making a choice for amongst themselves? This is somewhat unclarified; however yet only hinted thus far ONLY as plausible; as per by Dr. Ramsden’s statement above as “unwanted” social interaction.
  3. Were the mice then / therefore – capable of showing self-comparative emotions similar to ours such as envy, jealousy, or insecurity? If so, these already validates question(s) 1 through to 2.

 

Matthew Hamilton @ Creative Commons
Matthew Hamilton @ Creative Commons

…So what are “my” thoughts?

It depends on what context this question is aimed at.

If it were me being squarely asked whether I believe the Behavioural Sink theory holds applicably true for humans? I’d say both yes and no. However, at this point of time; it is very difficult indeed to get past my Nihilistic reaction – that for all the reason/s I’m going to write them here is simply not practical to be covered in this one article.

Hence, read on here to proceed for part 2 whereby I will be splitting my thoughts into several points. 

 

In the meantime however; now is the time for all of us to gather and seriously reflect from this study. Whether you “agree” or “not agree” of this study’s relevance to human biology and psychology – I still nevertheless would like to hear your views.
My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

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This is a separate feature article in conjunction to my prior “What I acually eat CKD Winter Edition” article. Throughout these (short) two and half months of use and scrutinising so far inbetween these supplements pretty much summarises why I’m writing this article.

No, not “terminally” nor chronically ill.

Just nearing, or convincingly enough as I reconcile and edge increasingly closer ; into realising that as of recent months I need to somehow manage, address and hopefully improve –  my own cognitive wellbeing. Having recently finished over a combined 700 hours+ worth of work on both the update of my manuscript (Version 1.4), the updated motion graphic promo developments, as well as my Nutritional Humility™ extended Behance artwork piece; I am still somewhat remains silenced. Unvalidated. Unrecognised. For what I have done.

Whilst looking at all these “feel-good” “look-at-me” awards, news notifications – within LinkedIN® connection updates. All those  “I’m so proud to be the recipient of <so and so award nights, drinks, cupcakes, free iPads, free iPhones, etc>….“…. I cannot help but wonder if we truly are living in an entirely new and evolved age – of Discreet Bullying.

Who or what are we truly congratulating or appeasing? Nobody but digital avatars, or pixels relying on “likes”, “followers” and/or “subscribers” to fuel their existence. We’ve been communicating not via face-to-face, or firm sincere handshakes but rather – these thing/s called “Type-o-graphy”, “Icons” and “Emoticons”.

Perhaps I already sound as though I’m demonising the very industry I myself have been a part of both as a career and means of living.

The more I look beyond the smiles of these visual metaphors for “happiness”; the more I cannot ignore – that we are leading ourselves a fabricated life full of frivolous obligations; increasingly eroding our times to not ever stop and think whether all this carry some sort of meaningful response back to our physiology. Is our biological meaning of a “smile” – is meant to look as grossly simplified the same as these emoticon/s from one social media app, network, circle, whatever – to another? 

They’re curiously and simplistically similar. Too similar.

I am beginning to question whether everything in our sociological relations between one to another; is nothing but for a frivolous, homogenous simulation of interest/s all for eluding and evading – Reality. 

…I refer to such concerns as the growing debates over the rise of “useless, meaningless jobs” .

I remembered far too often; back as a white collar worker. All those Excel® spreadsheet’s “over-time” hourly endeavours from tending that flooding inboxes. Those $150 per fortnight chiropractic / physiotherapist consultations over bad-backs. The one hour+ (or more) traffic jams (or perhaps not knowing how to merge properly). Bureaucracies and Managers keep demanding and putting out fake milestones and unnecessary crunch times.

All these led me to believe that so many; are blind to have contributed to the side effects of our new and evolved age – of Bullying and thus segregated disposals and means of Utility. That is alienating or simply being dismissive; of other people’s sense of authenticity, worth and of “being” whenever in times of judgments. I thus have learned (thank goodness for I’m not the only one) – THERE IS NO SUCH THING as “constructive” criticism.

I have my own way of interpreting them after all; it whether they, – outside force of thoughts and opinions – align conducively (or frivolously) to my own self authenticity for understanding what enough means; at both physiological and nutritional – compartmentalisation. This, I argue as I have written an entire book – the more authentic definition – of what Humility truly is. 

For far too long time having being deemed (repetitively) as a statistical, contributory insignificance to social progress….Am I then – rightfully the “one” to blame, for not contributing to the social “progress”? Is “progress” all about Utility?

More than ever  my conviction, helpless observation and growing evidences all around me, the answer is likely more yes. The profanities in carparks. The long faces I see in Saturday afternoons. 200+ failure of job applications. Youth suicides. Male sexual dysfunctions. “Inequalities” this, inequality that. Irrespective of all these “problems”, metabolic syndromes and civil unrests – The System just keep saying “Yes”, presumably all to continue. No matter what the “cost” required all in the name for advancing “Gross Domestic Product”.

I beg to differ.

Robots should fulfil that very purpose to chase numbers. They are the most serving and lenient – of all beings.

Ben Sullivan / unsplash.com
Ben Sullivan / unsplash.com

…Where was I? My apologies.

Questions above ringed in my head day in and out. I apologise.

Originally, this article was previously written with so much more content; if however reading them over and over again days later in and out – are likely subject to some extreme discomfort overtime.

Even despite my insistence to share them. These however unfortunately might be at times misinterpreted as hostility to some readers. I have thus calmly decided to omit these content to the public and able to focus once again – on what is required to the topic at hand.  

Everything thus far has brought me to a need for revisiting an area of supplementation I thought I’d no longer need from years ago (as far back as a decade even). I have thus recently convinced to re-invest in an area of (my long-forgotten) supplementation regiment surrounding various adaptogens; that is – four (4) NO-Tropic supplementations as below. 

  • Gingko Biloba
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine
  • Mucuna Pruriens and;
  • 98% L-DOPA extract).

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

Gingko Biloba

My thoughts on Gingko so far more or less mirrors to that of Examine.com’s thoughts; in that its ergogenic effects upon mental acuity / sharpness remains dubiously recurrent in all of contexts and circumstances.

However disappointingly, having experimented various dosages; I have failed to significantly nor convincingly felt any mood lifting benefits, as I was hoping as per to the rat-study suggesting its’ dopaminogernic qualities ONLY upon high dosages. Perhaps my dosages (as high as 300mg of the actual Flavoside strength itself equating between 15 to 20 ACTUAL GRAMS of the leaf) still could not match as heavily as per within that study’s parameters. I would therefore think – that going beyond the marked dosages than these (even if I’m perhaps desperate) – would not seem that beneficial in a practical sense.

“Memory recalls” also; to me after weeks heavy dosing in and out, during weekend 48 hour carb re-feeds and during SKD days made me convinced that it is somewhat unreliable nor is it always consistent. The only one thing I find consistent however; in that it does bring out body temperature; SO SORELY needed during the very cold (and brittle dry) winter months. So far, I would say this at the very least; remains a keeper and conditionally (I should say Seasonally) essential.

I have tried small dosages first before moving onto the larger ones and assess my tolerance from there. One factor in contributing one’s tolerance I believe – is how prone you feel you are – to external bleeding events. I believe this to be plausible because Ginkgko at least was found to have a noticeable blood thinning effect.

Vitamin K; be it from eating copious amount of kale or enjoying extra heapings of ground parsley with cheese or butter/oliveoil/sourcream – would led me to believe as a tip to offset any of these excess thinning effect.

Alongside that I’d also take Coenzyme CoQ10 to double as anti-oxidant insurance and as coagulant. Of course perhaps not every single day but maybe once or twice in occasion; even as preworkout or before any prolonged stressful episodes are soon to unfold.

Here’s a scenario I believe anyone can follow to practically self-asses your tolerance levels. Take a megadose at night when you at most (or at least reasonably) relaxed. Loose clothing. Never small.

Tune to chillhop essentials. Catch up on cryptocurrency news & blogs. Get those side quests done in Witcher 3. Now – once you’ve noticed your hands (and/or your head) are glowing red – try flossing your teeth. Yes, I’m serious – as in physically walk up to a mirror and floss.

If you have any feeling in the extremities (from your head to tips of your fingers) – as though you feel your fingers are about to bleed as you wrap the stringed floss in and out – then that would be a sign to ease back on the dosage. Reduce by about 10 to 20% of your usual Gingko dosages and assess again. Ideally speaking – you should feel coordinatively “warm” but not too much to the point whereby even the slightest pinch, push or pull – of a portion of skin should feel as though you are about to bleed or to the point of injury.

Convincingly speaking from experience – Ginkgko’s blood circulatory effect seems noticeably more pronounced when there is some insulinogenic foods / carbohydrate consumptions are present. Ginkgko seems more potent wherever during these episodes insulinogenic rushes are present; especially with carb heavy feeding/s overtime within the first four / six hours of feeding window.

If you do decide to supplement on Gingko, I’d recommend getting one without any fillers that may interfere with ingestion; I speculate that to be Dextrin; as they’re used widely on tablet forms on supplements.

Interestingly as accordingly to my notes I respond better to regular coated film gingko’s; although this equates to a very small amount of actual Glycosides per tablet (only mere 9.5mg glycosides). I would need to dose up to at least anywhere between 30mg to 45mg of the ACTUAL Flavone GLYCOSIDES as standard dosage maintenance testing (as per to my comfortable tolerance level); which equates anywhere between SIX to TEN grams of physical leaf grammage amounts. 

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

Acetyl L Carnitine (aka “ALCAR”).

This is perhaps the most significant and impactful of all NO-TROPICS I’ve felt so far as accordingly to what I can afford.

Generally perceived and marketed as a “fat-burner” – I do not mainly reach out for this intended outcome alone for “losing fat” on a CKD regiment (though of course, always a good vanity based outcome – there goes my honesty). More rather – I am reaching for its efficacy on raising and potentiating my level of “activeness”- both  in how I “receive” and “initiate”; almost all psychological intents, inner actions for any purpose and/or motives before it’s “too late”.

In other words, “Proscratination Management” – all for the better.

ALCAR is indeed working efficaciously, at least within my physiological interpretation. That is – I feel  “activated” and coordinated in mind – such not only that it cognitively sustains my “up-and-go” mentality, but also especially convincingly helpful to maintain that mental endurance as needed during my training workouts.

There are times I find myself able to cohesively arrange and coordinate speech with a little more fluency. Whenever and wherever I want – especially within public spaces whereby I do not usually feel comfortable.  Though at other times it was simply a matter of me being left with “switched” on state of cognition in a general sense; that I feel “receptively” ready; to receive any incoming external speeches, thoughts and/or oral feedbacks.

…Very difficult to explain. I wish at times I could have gotten a degree in Biochemistry to explain the thousands of neurotransmitter-pathways into plain English.

Nonetheless –  whenever I feel “down” from just lack of motivation or due to brain laziness for not able to continue doing my everyday task/s – I simply resort to ALCAR with my coffee and (almost) immediately – its profound effects are consistently noted each and every passing hour/s as noted within my dietary journalling.

HOWEVER one advice I’d like to share; which is contradictory to some source/sis to NEVER take ALCAR with food. Especially with large or actual meals. With or without carbohydrates. During CKD re-feeds as well as regular SKD days.

It just does not do well on me with food. Interestingly however I felt fine from using ALCAR with small, 5-7g of protein powder with water as my first portion post-workout feeding. I can’t speak with what happens to you, so your mileage may vary.

Upon immediate presence of large food intake – with ALCAR – I feel agitated and suffocative at times similarly as symptoms of very bad heartburns; perhaps it is my own given physiology, I do not know. There are some anecdotal accounts for further supporting this phenomena and hence advise consuming it on an empty stomach. Officially, here is another source that concurs such preference as well. Another paper suggests similarly as well.

At least, the best way for me seemingly thus far when it comes to supplementing ALCAR is to simply relax with a cup of straight black coffee; at least an hour away before or after eating food. Or just not on a full stomach. Within the coffee I use a pinch (no more than 400mg at a time) of ALCAR. Sometimes also with Creatine on my training day as preworkout coffee if training commences soon within the hour (with driving time).

I have also noted its reportedly insulin sensitizing effects – as I use it sparingly with no more than a 4 to 6 grams worth of protein of my first post-workout protein feeding (4-6 grams with water + ALCAR then my protein fluff with 15g WPC) on a training day. Interestingly this way – I do not feel any nasty heartburns at all. Only within actual meals it seems – triggers it adversely.

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

Mucuna Pruriens (high strength 20x extract).

This is perhaps the most confusing and disappointing if compared against both ALCAR or Gingko.

It is important to note; that whilst Mucuna and L-DOPA are contextually similar (in that Mucuna you do get some minerals and small number of micronutrients; where as the separately available supplement L-DOPA – is the concentrated element being the precursor to Dopamine only and nothing else). Mucuna itself is a plant bearing of many qualities and characteristics beyond its famed NOTROPIC effects widely proclaimed anywhere from being a cognitive enhancer and all the way to libido (both men and women), and testosterone raising effects via endogenous increases of Dopamine within the brain and its dilation/reduction of the Prolactin hormone.

Sadly – within various dosing on this 20x strength velvet beans – there was no “euphoria”. No uplifting of moods despite my convinced down outlooks on life. I thought my condition would be at least conditionally legitimate enough for the mucuna to portray its effects – but sadly it didn’t.

I’ve scrutinised, researched even more compulsively for hours and hours, days-upon-days – on end on why this is happening. I have tried with or without food. During CKD refeeds and during normal SKD days hours on empty stomach in between meals coffee (no solid food), that includes isolating one supplement at a time, upon rising, before sleeping. Pre workouts. After workouts. Small doses. Megadoses (several capsules per day) to normal and lowered dosages (half to quarter of a capsule).With coffee, without coffee. Tea and straight water (interestingly, it is somewhat has a sweet aftertaste).

Nothing seems “activated”. Nothing seems out of the ordinary.

There is however, a sensation as though something is “hitting” through my brain; something is “trying” to be “received up there”. I speculate this as the mucuna’s attempt of crossing the blood brain barrier. Interestingly compared to ALCAR; ALCAR felt as though it always “arrives” successfully to wherever it needs to hit the brain. No traffic “jam”.

The 20X Velvet Bean Extract did not make me a social butterfly nor do I look forward on Mondays.

Nor does it turn me instantly to a flawless PUA the next time I’m at a gym (or anywhere else politically approachable for allowing whimsical interactions with the opposite sex). Nope – no overly-hyped libido improvements either.

Once again, I may perhaps am a genetic exception, or possess some sort of enzyematic resistance to this as an outlier of some form that leads me being resistant to it. I do not know. Despite week/s of patience and documenting I therefore would conclude that sadly I have to abandon Mucuna’s supplementation.

Would I be compelled to try again? Perhaps but for some time later unlikely. But things will need to convince me greatly as to do so once again.

My early experiences with NO-Tropics.

98% L-DOPA Extract from Mucuna

Following upon weeks of disappointments of solely testing out the highly concentrated Mucuna / 20x velvet bean extract; I began trying out the 98% L-DOPA; or at least – the principally concentrated amine precursor to Dopamine “L-DOPA” (L3,4 Dihydroxyphenlylananine) in over 98% concentration extract from Mucuna Pruriens. Yes, this is STILL coming straight from the plant itself, but only the L-DOPA component being extracted in such very HIGH amounts; purportedly claimed and reported as such as that it is often reassured to be nothing else but precursor to Dopamine itself.

Plus one other “promise” – it guarantees a much more succesfull penetration to the blood-brain-barrier for it to be “received” successfully.

My initial week/s upon it were once again; disappointing and dubious if anything just like Mucuna. However, interestingly overtime as I abandoned it, settling down with ALCAR & Gingko for quite some time and then trying back to exclusively dosing 98% L-DOPA weeks later (less ALCAR & Ginkgko intake) – I notice a somewhat “care-free”, mind freeing effect.

“Whatever happens, happens.” Mentality. For once out of the ordinary I feel much more sane and collected. Euphoric? Not really. But just more content. I have never smoked any illicit or recreational drugs in any kind before; so I wouldn’t be able to make any comparisons between 98% L-Dopa extract versus other recreational herbs (eg. weed, hemp / cannabis, etc) on this effect alone.

This feeling somewhat strucked me nostalgically back when I used SAM-e (S-Adenosylmethionine) for the first few time/s.

That however was almost a decade ago as I praised SAM-e for its joints-rehabilitative and mood potentiating effects; especially when used as an “intra” supplement during intense training workouts.

For the longest time under my early scrutiny and analysis has been based upon taking the 98% L-DOPA with straight blackcoffee and teas. Coffees however – in my opinion thus far – represents the most disappointingly dubious and ineffective outcome as I tested with various dosages between low and high.

Where as it seems to work best and quickest – when flushed straight with water.

Another synergistic combination I felt is with straight green tea.  There are some very detailed, complex and nuanced discussion surrounding L-DOPA with green teas to help with L-DOPA’s uptake to the brain. Further reading points me to a plausible consensus that it is the Green Tea that helps INHIBIT an enzyme called “COMT” (Catechol-O-Methyltransferase); which is responsible for reducing Dopamine, norepinephrine, epinepherine and (interestingly) – estrogen hormones. 

Genetic polymorphisms; interestingly also plays a role for expressing this enzyme in either “slow” or “fast” mechanism/s which further dictate this COMT inhibition effectiveness. All those things – indeed seem as plausible factors in determining absorbability and utilisation of L-DOPA.

But how exactly is it relevant though if used as a preworkout? My preliminary thoughts so far on it are sadly; quite disappointing.

Mental acuity, physical exertion capacity, DOMS, muscle-fatigue time to failure – seems more or less unchanged. According to my notes, I even wrote some quite noticeably more difficult but nonetheless surviveable – accounts from trying to maintain an average of 250+ reps of each depletion-training day (during the SKD regiment, obviously). In other words – no “wow!”changes. However I may yet to change my opinion on these specifically surrounding such application. Because not only my thoughts on the 98% L-DOPA is still somewhat in its infancy – they are also EXCRUCIATINGLY expensive; cost per dosage wise for me to keep experimenting under a wide variety of usage scenarios.

Being the most expensive of all NO-TROPIC investments – a 25g pouch immediately costs $25 straight out. As reassuring to see that each 25g pouch carries anywhere between 120 to 150 serves – beware nevertheless that you will need a micro gram scale (found on ebay for < than $10) to track dosages as accurately as possible.

Other no-tropics / going forward

Pexels.com
Pexels.com

Of course, I am no CEO of Google®, Microsoft® or Monsanto®; hoarding every access to every known no-tropics there is on the planet. I am yet to try or afford the more other well-researched no-tropics – Piracetams, Aniracetams, Modafinil, 5-HTP, Noopept; only to name a few.

Regardless, it is clear that if I were to compare myself back years ago – even before sustaining on any Ketogenic interventions – I still would firmly believe I would have it far worse off today; if it weren’t for the help of no-tropics.

Our current Normalcy immediately frown these supplements as if they are nothing but “cheats”; assuming that these would significantly improve their motions of living that much easier. It’s instilled deep within their head. Their speculative imagination. As well as hypes and expectation.

As such as that they consider such use or submissions to supplementations as simply “weak-willed”. Or worse, push such users to the sideline as though they are nothing but iconographic examples of “juvenile”, and/or “abhorrent” representation of social morality.

Reality on the other hand – is far more complex and unassuming.

As what I wrote before in my manuscript – my belief upon rationalising usage of any supplements and/or “drugs” mainly revolves around the pre-existing living, socio-economic and subjective contextual – conditions. Drugs or supplements does not necessarily “do” the work. They “augment” the work but needs the conditional initiations. That “initiation” – is the surrounding conditions upon which the user has been subjected to; for quite some time until some physiological concern of inadequacies – remains sorely unaddressed nor unfulfilled.

Further adding salt to injury – our current normalcy remains fixated within antiquated, paternalistic – black or white mentality. Preserving every paternalistic notion of what is “good”; whilst banishing any or everything else being the remotely opposite as useless or irrelevant. Hence, the desire for labelling and categorisations. That includes – labelling entire human beings through their behavioural, visual based outcomes – as “juvenile” or “morally abhorrent” pejoratives.

I have never smoked “weed”, or knowing what a “bong”, “Mitsubishi”, or a “Toyota” is; until a friend of mine showed me what they are. Yet, to this day I still have never ever smoked or snorted “ice” or ectasy.

….Yet also to this day – I still would caution anyone to never lay a word of disgust, frown, scorn or contempt – against them.

I have met and befriended individual/s who have used and abused such substances before. Both recreational and illicit…. And my prior prejudices; were so sorely embarassing far so much so to the polar opposite – in finding that these people are human beings.

They have weaknesses and desires to escape the momentarily disconnectedness of the present – away from reality; much the same as I too find such relative escapism amongst video games, the caloric surplus carb re-feed days, noting down new “PR” lifts in my 6×6 exercise journals, listening to chillhop essentials after having done 250+ reps of depletion each per four days of training…. and general attractions to the opposite sex. 

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. I must be writing as a poster boy to legitimise drug use.

I have never ever said that illicit drugs alone – be it morphine or heroin – are benign to human biological interpretation. I am simply reconciling a food for thought once again – we must remain pragmatic yet progressive in our thinking to never ever dismiss anything as deemed or grown within Nature’s own surroundings – as simply irrelevant for human cause/s. It is the question of synthetically lethal analogues of nature – that I perceive them as damaging and adverse.

If anything – I am willing to bet that – “heroin” – is a societal, institutionalised solution no differently to that of Rivastatins®, Plavix®, Nexium® or other proton-pump inhibitors / stomach acid suppresors; all of them seemingly to treat (ironically not solve) – chronic “painful” states of the body. By fooling mother nature’s intricacies with something else so foreign; it instead interprets as something else far too incompatible to existing delicate systems between every organs, nerve and hormones.

I dearly hope that one day everyone can learn from this article which they too; are never immune from any sort of calamity from within.

As pessimistic as that may sound – I have learned thus far as of my third decade of life – I have accepted that any solution – must someway or somehow involve ourselves to be dissolved so much within our own predicaments – only then we are able to reflect and reconcile – the most pragmatically sensible course of action for our own physiological individuality.

…Not as per what cancer-foundation institution/s, mental institution, Legal institution, dietary institution, religion/marriage/court institutions – dictate or define all the thinking’s on our behalf.

…Because they will NOT change their stance FOR you. That; I can almost guarantee.

Alex Wigan / Unsplash.com
Alex Wigan / Unsplash.com

Do you have any experiences amongst NO-TROPICS you wish to share? Do you have or recorded any side effects of its use upon your existing physiology or sociological circumstances? What or how does it affect you, your sustenance, physiology, your life and your sociological surroundings? Feel free to share in the comments below!
Humility Through Frugality™ Version 1.4 / 4th Edition

Humility says hello to the world – Manuscript Version 1.4

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Version 1.4 / 4th edition / April – August 2017 Manuscript is now available for Download.

First of all, what can I say. This must be the most exhausting, the most difficult, the most controversial, series of changes ever to be implemented throughout its intensive five-month long development. I would say with confidence this would have been the biggest revision since version 1.2. If not, leaps beyond “bigger” than previously thought possible.

With almost 37,000 words; rewrittenPlus many structure layout and content re-coordination to coincide with the parent branding pallette of This Is™ Humility and Nutritional Humility™. 

After (roughly) 500 hours over a period of five (5) months; it is now available for download. The updated motion graphics promo, with Behance® folio feature presentations on BOTH rebranded projects (This Is™ Humility & Nutritional Humility™) will soon follow.

Humility says hello to the world - Manuscript Version 1.4All mock renders with Apple® Motion 5.

 1/4

New topics// Self Authenticity & Primal Admissions. Link between Sexuality, and Suicide.

It’d be a understatement to say that this book/manuscript written squarely about weekly budget plans or more indepth FAQs about a Ketogenic intervention. Dare I say it – anyone can write about those two things objectively, be done with it and receive wild following instantly everywhere.

But nobody – has yet even contemplate beyond connecting everything there is of our own senses to that as a systems theory; all in relative to addressing our persistent problems in our ability in answering these questions:

  1. What is it that consume us; shaped us – our own behaviour as they are today?
  2. Are we being consumed by something else that we no longer live towards our own authentic selves?
  3. Are we being distracted by societal conformities to demonise and shame one another in our own conquest for self supremacy? Against those whose surface or objectivist appearances differ from our existing manifestation in both body and mind?
  4. …And most importantly – Do we take “shyness” for granted? Is this an overall state of mind or physiology, that we are yet to fully understand empathetically? Or is it something else of a sign of a much adverse, and imploding state of a human being him or herself; forcibly cloaked in silence?

Humility says hello to the world - Manuscript Version 1.4

Here, I propose to discuss; in all things frank and honesty – about Sex, Identity, Sexuality; and how suicide – is a valid, eventual result due to absence from reconciling all three needs. I hypothesize therefore – that it is due to our extreme lack of initiation of our ownselves; to reluctantly self-admit and reconcile the underlying importance of Primal Senses; comprising of Vanity, Volume and Symmetry.

I deliver and remind readers – that the above three parts, are equally ubiquitous in everything around us. Both animate and inanimate being/s much through our own creativity, simile’s and metaphors. How we have been unaware; all along for their hidden yet passive role/s throughout civilisation and ubiquitously as part of Nature itself.

Further I hypothesize how the lack of these admission and awareness; contributes to our incessant conformism to Institutional belief/s by way of our current behavioural climate of excess, implied derogatory alienations. That is – by ways of categorising and <attributed> shaming. The new “Bullying” of the 21st century. Aka. “Fit”-shaming. “Sex”-shaming, so on and so forth. The many comments we see everyday splattered across the web news articles upon anything unsettling or “cringe worthy”; remains both proofs and testimony for this assessment.

As you can see, these given new topics being controversially open for all to see – nevertheless puts me forcibly prepared to receive a lot of flak. At any given moment….Especially amongst “feminists” or any female readers.

What this book implores is not an agenda or a “bias” to state whether men OR women  have the “worst” of all “living outcomes”. All social arguments of insufficiency or insecurities – remains largely a connected, Human issue which we somehow still cannot admit and realise this all along.

Hopefully if given by proximal chances of self-curiosities – readers will finally understand why and how these turbulences can be easily delineated back to two thing/s only.

Self-Authenticity and Self Primal Admissions.    

2/4

Structure // individual chapter’s dedicated introduction & grid systems update attempt

Humility says hello to the world - Manuscript Version 1.4

What has been structurally updated also is that ALL chapters now have their own distinct introductory layout.

This is a transition away from the previously conceptualised linear “chapter-less” style of reading. But having thought for weeks and month/s on end, I have decided to forego this altogether and instead adopt a conventional style of having a individual chapter distinct to its own introductory statement.

As I myself am a designer; I have succumbed for many years – a true love-and-hate relationship with grid systems and visual conventions as dogmatic rules rather than considering every pragmatic concerns. In that regard I have spent a great deal of time; in trying to decide whether to change the grid system of the book. I have for almost one whole week alone – experimenting further grid modifications between Van De Graaf’s method (with my extended margins) versus that of Rosarivo’s Gutenberg Canon method.

The result? So dubiously inconclusive. Such to the point I finally resorted back to the existing layout but this time; concentrating on further adjusting the justification settings to as evenly distributed to provide the most succint eye-travelling possible at a-sentence-level of justification; as opposed to previously set as paragraph-level.

Hence, to those with very discerning eyes from the creative industry, I do hope that I can rest well at night (hopefully) that this should be received well, in some proximity.

If I still fail, or things do look clumsy; then I can only apologise.

Nevertheless, I look forward  (one day) to rest my eyes away from all this blue light.

3/4

The merging of Ketogenic Nutrition section with the Extended  FAQs as One (1) Chapter.

A major content recoordination had to be somewhat done and dusted to pave the way for future modular updates.

The previously separate two chapters concerning on the overviews, history and FAQs on the Ketogenic intervention are now combined as one entire chapter – Ketogenic Intervention – History & FAQs. As opposed to two entirely separate chapters placed far away from each other.

Readers might be confused in previous iterations as to why the need to have had two separate chapters on the same overarching topic (Ketogenic Diet); especially when these are situated far away from each other (the first chapter on Ketogenic Diet as an overview was before the Wars Coercions and Realisations, and the other before Inspirational Media and Resources).

Humility says hello to the world - Manuscript Version 1.4

The reason for this original setup all along was to essentially “divide” the interest-span of the readers into two groups –  one whom are only interested in it as a nutshell or as an academia pique of interest or general curiosity.

…And the other – those who are already familiar, or aware and thus expecting nothing but new/unforeseen details, and nuances of its current practice.

Ever since this manuscript’s first ever iteration (back since December 31st, 2015), my intent was to ensure all readers for not being overwhelmed or being intimidated by the many fine, crucial details of this dietary intervention (Ketogenic and its variants). Hence some sort of “general curiosity” chapter was somehow needed to cater for the uninformed, general population AS WELL AS having another chapter entirely reserved for the seasoned enthusiasts.

However upon realising and reading the previous iterations over and over I am well convinced that this previous / divided structure strategy – make things all the more difficult and cumbersome for any prospective audience. Hence, an extra dozen upon dozens – of hours – were once again invested throughout the June of 2017 to combine these two chapters as one merged chapter.

4/4

The (everything so far) list of changes to the Manuscript

Humility says hello to the world - Manuscript Version 1.4

Finally, these are REST of the changes…(phew)….

  1. Every section now has their own introductory header layout. As a transition away from the original concept’s section-less non-linear reading, I have decided to forego this concept and instead adopts a conventional chapter by chapter navigation to maintain conservative readibility.
  2. To form in accordance and consistency to the typographic rebrand of the branding initiative This Is Humility – the manuscript’s Typographic selection limited to two family of selections: “Rajdhani” and “Asap”. Approachable, Humanist yet Stern in all visual characteristics. “Geo”; being the former typeface for displays and headers; is now removed due to its readability issues amongst digits and numbers.
  3. New cover design to accomodate consistency of the typographic rebrand of the branding initiative This Is™ Humility.
  4. Once again in keeping with accordance to the typographic rebrand – colour scheme is now apparent throughout the manuscript. Yellow is by default – the highlight colour. Where as very dark grey or Dark blue, are the dominant complimentaries.
  5. 90% of all content revised and rewritten for periodical readability refinement/s.
  6. Added feature explanatory chart Nutritional Humility™. Please note that this is highly a condensed “summary” thus far and still subject for elaborations and visualisations in possible future manuscript revision.
  7. Added feature table THE THREE CONTEXTUAL ASPECTS. This serves as the over-arching emphasis of the book’s “softer” skills and theme in addition to Nutritional Humility™; guiding and explaining to the readers a highly condensed and illustrative concept behind Life; and their physicality makeup ultimately consisting of three Aspects: Objectivities / Meritocracies, Subjectivities / Physiologies, and arguably the most important and still is remaining the key backdrop of the entire manuscript – Leverages / Socio Economics.
  8. Added feature table and question what to eat upon onset of injury / illness. This is a highly reflective piece based on my recent adverse turn of events (from having damaged and torn an L5/S1 fluid annulus tear). Thus upon which I wish to share my strategy as a workaround to those; especially amongst the fitness and  health enthusiast circles who are injured or are in the midst of recovery period. PLEASE NOTE: this is by no means an absolutely and exhaustively correct list on what to do. If you are TERMINALLY ill or injured, you must make do with additional clinical supervision whenever possible.
  9. Added feature table Ketogenic Sustenance Timeline: What to expect. This is a personal outline and overview for those who are unfamiliar with the Ketogenic intervention as a “summary” over what to expect in a space of one whole year of practise. Summarising the cognitive, physiological and fitness / energy expenditure changes and effects upon the individual as he/she persists on a ketogenic dietary intervention. Please note that this is highly emotive rather than a concrete, technicality disclosure; as all based from the author’s own resilient experiences across one and half years of SKD and to this day remaining – CKD and intermittent TKD account/s.
  10. Added feature table Ketogenic Interventions: Physiological Incompatibility. Understandably that (however few readers thus far) may expect; Ketogenic interventions may pose initial concerns and scrutiny upon a myriad of pre-existing conditions. Hence, a table is created to outline; ON A GENERAL NON EXHAUSTIVE LEVEL – a series of known concerns along with available citations to support their relevant issue’s authenticity.
  11. Added feature table Ketogenic Safe Foods. As a general, non exhaustive level – a chart outlining what to eat, what to limit and what to abstain foods for those persisting within a Ketogenic intervention.
  12. Added feature table Ketogenic Interventions – Types and Many Faces. Again, to visually help and guide those who are new to the intervention – a quick overall summary overview of the three types of interventions (SKD, CKD, TKD) along with brief rationale on how to discern between what is Low Carb and what is Keto.
  13. Added a feature table APO-E Genotyping by ethnicity & racial distribution. Ever since my earliest  awareness upon such implications of APO-E genotyping towards Ketogenic interventions in 2015-  I remained hesitant to actually share this table; for fearing that it proves little or no “usable” purpose to the reader. However times have changed and hereby I’m convinced of a need to show these as a readapted chart upon showcasing the APO-E gene statistical distribution by race and ethnicity. Please note however that these are highly subjective in their correctness hence; readers are highly encouraged to augment further research themselves outside the scope of this manuscript.  
  14. Updated list of weekly budget plan/s to reflect the latest seasonal and inflationary effects of pricing on various food/s across both dietary interventions (Standard Low Fat and Ketogenic).
  15. (Various) new photography on select sections.
  16. (For a bit of fun for a seriousness change) a feature table reserved for how to make protein fluff/s. There are two methods for achieving these – one using a blender and the other using a hand mixer method.

 

Closing thoughts for this manuscript revision
(4th edition April – August 2017)

Humility says hello to the world - Manuscript Version 1.4

Call this book, or this manuscript – as whatever you wish pejoratively.

I call it turbulent honesty and charity for self-development; despite some proximity of it being received as nothing more than mere soap opera. Ironically it’d be not for me, it’d be more for the readers – or anyone conforming to the Pedestrian Normalcy –  to make whatever they will from what they can willingly to understand their own living and interpretive – potentials.

I’ve submitted every blood, sweat and tears to readily accept every possibility for every (however few) readers two (2) overall conclusions from having read this book :

  1. Increasingly uninspired, annoyed or dubiously convinced. They can either approach this book and the questions it contains; conventionally or as pragmatically to the point whereby some sections would challenge them; their existing moralities so much so to the point of moral disdain, scorn, and discomfort that they remain consumed (thanks in no small part by the Pedestrian Normalcy) to entirely dismiss this book as a useless account of survivorship. Or simply just become sick of its overly ambiguous, moral Utopia.

    OR
  2. Self-Suspecting, challenged, or curious. Within some proximal chances; willingly let go of all preconceived notions and look at each and every questions whilst also reflecting; to that of his or her own contexts of living whether what they are reading are true and representative to what they are currently going through. Partially true or subtly relevant.  Or not at all. Rinse and repeat from one question to another. The more relevance they feel; the more it implores true that this book pleas for its own hypothesis – in that everything is connected symbiotically as a system. From how we nourish, flourish and of all – cherish – one another’s being, from the social to the molecular. 

 

This book after all; ever since its first submitted completion during the midnight (right on the dot) of 31st December, 2015 – was never meant to be a “thesis”. It is a progressive “journal” that asks itself back to the reader whether each question relates to them, their circumstance/s in full, in partial or none at all in their current manifested implications; of both cognitive morality AND metabolic physiology.

So all that is left is a journey upon discovering yourselves; all starting from answering this question:

Are you living towards yourself? Or away from yourself?

Now available for download, reviewing and reception. No price tag, likes or social-media narcissism required.

 

AW™.
thisis-humility.com

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 – $40 per week (Summer)

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Here I am sharing to all yet another sample of what I actually eat; from the budget range that’s markedly higher to accommodate the CKD principles.

From a rock bottom $30 and all the way to luxurious $40 per week’s worth of spending – welcome to Keto once again since my brief three-week “diet-break” in early November 2016. This is an insightful share across a span of at least three months (Nov’16 -> Early Mar’17) based entirely from self-written and recorded accounts.

What rationalised me to pursue and to share all these remained as one reason only – my own inner curiosity to subjectively improve anything of how I live and how I feel – both limited and stratified by my physiology and imposed socio-economical context/s of living.

As well as obviously – to proactively share amongst those who are curious and still unaware as to how or what exactly “Life” – in the day of frugal and minimal Ketogenic Eating truly entails, from day to night.  As well as how resistance-training regiment/s CAN INDEED be made possible within the above contextual constraints.

The noticeable increase of budget from my absolute previous article (Keto-Pescan-Vegan) $20/$25 per week is due to the need to facilitate carbohydrate re-partitioning principles of Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD). This – has certainly been a regiment I have since throughout 2016 adopted and experimented between long/sparse and short refeeding window/s. Allowing me to pursue and maintain a slow but progressively improving (within sensibility & few deviations) – strength and/or personal fitness conditioning. 

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)
Ranging anywhere between 0.8 to 1.8 mmol.

Disclaimer

1/2 You are you.

Let me remind to all once again that when you see somebody else’s “plan” or “a day of eating”; it is only there to be interpreted as an averaged-out sample of such a plan or a way of life. A snapshot of a day in the life of humility, resilience and of course – mild, not truly or objectively very deep – metabolic ketosis (technically measured under less than 1.0 MMOL via Blood metering).

Let us also recall the tiringly obvious. I am not you. Therefore, you – are not me. Once again reciting Friedrich Nietzsche‘s memoir – “There are no facts. Only interpretations.” Whether or not CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet) or even the SKD (Standard Ketogenic) is even “for you” requires a lengthy and timely reading from my previous article/s, my manuscript and any other source/s searchable BEYOND this blog.

You are your own rationale as well as responsibility for what and how you live.

Determining whether all of these is “for” you” or not for you – inevitably and contextually varies to your own perpetual differences within socio-economical/structural, metabolic and physiological circumstances. Next in the disclaimer comes the need for me to address this question below:

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 – $40 per week + training

2/2 Do supplements, BCAAs, whey protein etc already accounted for in the price tag?

No. Of course not.The $30-$40 per week is the average expenditures on FOOD resources alone. Wait…. hang on I’m hearing groans already – “How contradictory! How is this not frugal / minimalist!? You cheated! You lied!”. 

I see each and every “supplementation” – be it extra magnesiums, zinc, antioxidant recycler (eg. selenium, vit e) etc – to NOT ONLY insures against my perpetual minute inadequacies for life – but also see it as resourceful investments themselves.

Let me ask you this – HOW LONG do any of this supplemental one off purchase actually lasts in terms of resource / consumption longevity? One week? One month? Or just one (gulp!) as a “snacking” necessity?

…Yet I see people live on perpetual / constant desires to abuse themselves from pizzas, doughnuts, designer brand ice creams one hour and the next. One day and the next. Beyond just food – I wonder how they perceive other things as “wants”. One brand new TV over another. Next translucent iphone…..Or perhaps their greed – being confused as meritocratic pursuit/s? Their one empty apartment investment to the next and the next….ah, La Dolce Vita. 

Furthermore – I am also aware of those at a discomfort immediately upon hearing the word “supplements”; quickly dismissing as though they “do not need” any of it further.

“Supplement” and “Food” coexists together on the same coin. However, you can only look at one side of the coin at any one time within a given moment. Is what you are eating will suffice this moment, this purpose or context? Perhaps yes, but only at this given time, circumstance and context.

…But perhaps not quite so in another moment, time and again – CONTEXT. So flip the coin over. Now see what you are missing. I don’t care how “healthy” you are by institutional, or entitled belief/s – macro AND micronutritional gaps are inevitable in any human dietary paradigm. Even if you’re an athlete. I’m cocky. I know. But that is grim reality.

So what fills in these gaps of ensuring your diverse micro-perpetual contextual needs are met? Supplementations. Supplementations are there to supplement your on-going LIFE inadequacies against any cellular energy expenditures, repair and maintenance. Full stop. End of story. For life. 

I don’t care if you are amongst many “purists” believing we should never take an extra synthetic vitamin or a mineral.  But just consider our present and impending – reality of environment and consumption abuse from overall GROWING FOOD DEMANDS. What do you say about our soil minerals being depleted upon where all of our food grows? 

If you think overpopulation is not a problem, well inevitably – it IS a problem. Full stop. I am not simply saying to gorge on tablets. Be sensible. Take only what you feel you need. Write down how you live and consume throughout life. Therefore, the costing/s as expressed in this article do not account for the additional expenses of micronutrients and supplementations. 

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)

Monday – Friday : SKD

I’ll proceed into describing my accounts chronologically from day to night.

Note that throughout all images / photography you see for this post, you’ll see a 30cm ruler placed closely to the meal’s proximity. This is to show you just how small / large in perceptive dimensions of any given meal/s.

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week + training

 Morning / Meal 1

Monday mornings usually marks the starting cycle of standard Keto for me.

Typically I started the day with a half boiled water on a glass and down two (2) fish oil 1000mg caps, and 1x or 2x vitamin d tab and to ease myself for my first meal which consists:

  1. One or two hard boiled eggs, depending on how hungry I am.
  2. 1/4 teaspoons of both Sodium Bicarbonate + Cream of Tartar, One or two eggs mixed with at least 35g of flaxmeal or almond meal (if I’m feeling rich!), microwaved for two minutes.
  3. 25g (about two and half heaped teapoon dollops) of sour cream.
  4. 7 to 14ML of spanish extra virgin olive oil.

Chicken salt flavouring mix with turmeric, bit of extra salt to taste. Sometimes I alternatively use 30g to 50g shaved champagne leg ham/s (your local IGA® sometimes have them on special $9.99 per KILO) to save an egg or two for other meals later on. Also two teaspoons of mayonnaise with 15-20g of butter sometimes replaces the sour cream and olive oil combination.

This breakfast tolls down to: 450 to 500 calories range average. 68% to 70% fats. 15 to 20% proteins. Zero or trace carbs.
Supplementation: 1x Magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, 4x vitamin d 1000ius, 2x fish oils. 

Inbetween meal/s 

Three or four hours later, if I’m hungry I’d make a glass of warm water mixed with two teaspoons of psyllium husks and drink that under a few minutes, but not too long as it is a potent gelling agent.

If approaching colder seasons – I’d most likely rely on two shotglass of warmed chicken stocks. If whenever feeling mineral-depleted, I’d sprinkle an even mixture of himalayan and potassium lite 50/50 salt in the warmed stock.

Or otherwise – I’d usually make a cup of good ol’ black tea (Coles® Ginger / Green tea – ACTUAL POWDER left in the cup). Or two cups of straight instant black coffees. Either tea or coffee these should be good for me until around when I’m due for my next meal usually around four or five hours later.

Supplementation: Milk thistle with taurines, magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, CoQ10, Zinc, vitamin d, vitamin E.

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)
70g Beef liver oven baked, 2x 600g eggs with 30g coconut flour / flaxmeal / almond meal, 14 to 20g dollops of sour cream, 14 to 20ml olive oils, garlic salt seasoning.

Lunch / Meal 2

An introduction of meat based proteins.

  1. One hard boiled egg
  2. Any protein source/s – up to 100g of oven baked beef livers. Or 100g of economy beef mince or turkey mince (if I’m feeling rich). Or otherwise 90g tuna / salmon / sardine / mackerels, 45g TVP (dried weight before reconstituting), etc.
  3. 14g to 20g (about two and half heaped teapoon dollops) of sour cream or 15g of brazil nuts.
  4. 14 to 20ml of spanish extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Chicken salt flavouring mix with turmeric, bit of extra salt to taste.
  6. 100g to 150g of greens – cabbage, lettuce, etc.
  7. 35G to 45g of generic sliced mushrooms

Sometimes if I’m really hungry I’d opt for the “flax/almond meal base” like the Breakfast – 30g of flaxmeal or almond flours if I’m feeling rich with an egg mix then 2 minutes on the microwave.

However, generally – this is sufficiently replaced by a generous 150g serving of raw greens. Cabbage, cabbage, and more cabbage….Again, up to 20g of mayonnaise + 10g or 15g of butter sometimes replaces the sour cream and olive oil combo.

This breakfast tolls down to: 600 to 700 calories range average. 68% to 70% fats. 15 to 20% proteins. Remaining carbs from greens. Supplementation:  half to oneMagnesium citrates/nonahydrate, CoQ10, 2x Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Aspirin 100mg (only sometimes, not every weekdays).  

 Preworkout

I’d use 10g of BCAAs, and the remaining left overs of creatine + green tea or leftover coffee. More often than not, I prefer to train with “less” solid things in my stomach.

If there are no BCAAs I would down teaspoon or half a teaspoon of coconut oil and off I go in the car, not a guarantee of painless workout but no choice but to put a blind faith – that anything would do.

On training days I’d take another 100mg baby aspirin just for insurance and extra pain tolerance/s or else I’d be looking into cycling in Cissus Quadrangalis for the week and/or even during the weekend’s refeed.

Training

Effectively since January 2016 – I have adopted the classic Vince Gironda’s variation of 6×6 training. Limited rests (no more than 30s on all exercises except compounds / squats or sumo deadlift compounds this I require up to the mid 30s).

This demands high repetitions, SENSIBLE levels of intensity – four day splits. The number of workable days vary from climate / season to season, I am using 4 as a close yearly average number of training days per week.

I’ve done little to no cardio. It is only coming from my experience over ten very. long. years. That cardio (even a brief elevated hill jog/s) only compromises joint mobility far too early. I feel it is only far more logical to do mobility stretches/movement adaptations instead, and start the first (of 8 or 9) exercise’s set compound lifts to be slightly lighter then move on up depending on how far my ligaments can handle.  

I always begin with (all barefooted / socked) – either a barbell squat (usually low-bar position to somewhat ease knee pain), sumo-deadlifts, jeffersons or dumbell (resting on front delts / shoulders) based squats. For these compounds depending on the load I’d take one rep less (making it 6×5) with more resting period under 40 seconds.

… And for the rest of eight or so exercise across 45 to 55 minutes – it’s no holds barred glycogen depletion working set/s one after another. No facebooking, no chatting, no sitting around, not even checking the phone unless if I need to skip a track or quickly read my previous workout/s. Recuperate just under 30s and off I go to the next set.

If 200+ reps worth of nine or so exercises in less than one hour is “easy” by your standards – or that your hips or joints are not challenged – then obviously, you are not depleted enough. Try upping the weight. Up it to seven sets instead of 6×6. This is not a “hypertrophy” workout.But the main difference? It only involves your brain ticking the seconds, and with (hopefully) plenty of grit. 

Unlike many advocating on drinking those glucose-fested postworkout fluids immediately – I do not believe this to be as necessary as previously thought…. unless if I have been training back to my old habits on high carb, low fat (which that WILL make me hungry). 

I’d argue that normalising your overall nervous system is far more important first before ingesting ANY exogenous nutrients. I have no scientific literature to support this other than how I feel from experimenting one thing over another.  I always finish the workout with the same brief hip and mobility stretches at the start of training then a rinse. 15/20 minutes later upon arriving home I’d start downing a 30g scoop of flavoured whey protein concentrate on a 500ml to 650ml water content on average.

As given from my negative/adverse experience – downing a whey shake so soon without letting your nervous system and blood pressure to stabilise – does contribute to mild or even noticeable heartburn’s. Especially when driving at the sametime.

Also most important to note – MINERAL DEPLETION/s during the warmer seasons. I’d like to reinforce once again on the importance of chewing just a bit of himalayan + potassium 50/50 lite salts (even just a tiny lick surprisingly works). If you at any stage felt too “numb” or hazed out, this is surely a sign to replenish the electrolytes. NEVER ignore its symptoms or you will be forced to deload your training to survive the 200+ reps.

YOU WILL be minerally depleted after having done 200+ reps. Unless if you’re on PEDs, you are a false god among men/women if you believe you aren’t feeling depleted with that much training load day in and day out. 

That’s it. No dextrose. No sugars. No postworkout cheatmeal doughnuts and tubs of icecreams (yup, even on leg days). The 30g postworkout WPC shake is usually done in about from as quick as 30 to 40 minutes to all the way an hour before my next meal below.

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)
Whole egg, 90g sardines, 20ml olive oil, 10g of sour cream, garlic powder, and 100 to 130g of riced cabbage. No, not the carby “rice” I’m referring to.

Dinner / Meal 3

More or less the same as lunch.

  1. Any protein source/s – up to 100g of oven baked beef livers. Or 100g of economy beef mince or turkey mince (if I’m feeling rich). Or otherwise 90g tuna / salmon / sardine / mackerels, TVP, etc.
  2. 17g (about two and half heaped teapoon dollops) of sour cream.
  3. 15 to 20ML of spanish extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Chicken salt flavouring mix with turmeric, bit of extra salt to taste.
  5. Another up to 150g serve of cabbage.
  6. 35 to 50g mushrooms sliced.
This meal tolls down to: 500 to 600 calories range average. 65% to 70% fats. 15 to 20% proteins. Remaining carbs from greens.

Supplementation: half to one Magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, 1x Zinc / Selenium combo supplement, Vitamin E. 
 
 

Meal 4

About one and half hour I will then have another meal, of course not as heavily as a standard meal.

  1. A sprinkle of both cream of tartar + sodium bicarb, One egg with 25g of flaxmeal, microwaved for two minutes.
  2. 10g of sour cream or 7ML of spanish extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Chicken salt flavouring mix with turmeric, bit of extra salt to taste.
  4. A small serving of sauerkraut / celery sticks / or just small handful of cabbage.
This meal tolls down to: 300 to 450 calories range average. 65% to 70% fats. 15 to 20% proteins. Remaining carbs from greens.
Supplementation: half Magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, half Zinc / Selenium combo supplement. 

Meal 5 / prebed

Last meal would certainly call for a shotglass of warmed chicken stock with 2x fish oil caps.Or otherwise, in hot summer months – up to 4 fish oil caps (2 and 2 about 30 minutes apart) before retiring for the day.

That concludes for a daily sample meal breakdown of SKD Monday to Friday.

The Refeed : 24 hours sample

Now, during saturdays and sunday – we have the refeed period.

I have well experimented different refeed windows in the past. Once every few months. Once every few weeks. To more recently – once or twice (48 hours) every week. 48 hours is usually my preferred refeeding as given to my physiology and training scheduling.

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)

Meal 1 “Bro-food” Oats or cereal+milk+whey

Classic oatmeal “bro-food” breakfast. Just like Mondays I started with a half boiled water on a glass and down two (2) fish oil caps, and a vitamin d tab; just to ease myself for my first meal which consists:

  1. 100g of oats (once reconstituted with water and 3 mins in the microwave) = 1 large bowl of cooked oats.
  2. 30g scoop of flavoured WPC.
  3. Teaspoon of cinnamon.
  4. Two heaped teaspoons (approx 25g) of honey.
  5. 1x banana or 200ml of Hi-Lo milk (see my short thoughts on this below) 

Alternatively – I’d mix 120g of sultana bran cereal, 240ML of hi-lo milk and 20 to 30g scoop of whey (also put in a bit of creatine in the mix to encourage glycogen uptake) and eat. I’d warn anyone however who haven’t eaten back these “roughage” cereals – you will HAVE TO prepare yourselves for some loose stools and some gas in the mean time as well, so be aware and always write down how you feel.

This meal tolls down to: easy 700 to 800 calories range on average. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats. Supplementation: 1x Magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, 4x vitamin d 1000ius, 2x fish oils. 

My (short) thoughts on using milk for refeed

For those of you who are thinking of rebulking / refeeding (men or especially women) – think twice before hoarding over those GOMAD / Gallon of Milk A Day protocols. Yes, it’s tempting and convincing that milk actually do provide an array nutrients on the cheap.

…But I’d say no to incorporating a full GOMAD daily. Or even 1/2 the GOMAD PER DAY. Predominantly that most of us, including me all are; in some margin of respects – pasteurised-milk intolerant.

You may have all usual predispositions towards its side effects. My side effects certainly speaks to me intensely far more on the UHT / Long Life boxed ones than those UHT’s from the FRIDGE. If the gas, the headaches, the excessive bloat, etc goes on far too often  – I strongly recommend you to NOTE DOWN what type and longevity of milk (box vs fridged), lactose-free- or not (lactose-free from my experience gives an “off-tasting” finish) before then lowering your overall milk intake. 

Try other ‘easier’ dairy sources to palatably volumise your food – Yoghurt is one of them.

Do I still condone drinking milk?  I’d say a moderate yes to quench that creamy palatability we’d often miss during the SKD period. But milk on its own alone – should never of course taking up the MAJORITY of all your daily refeed macros.

55g sultana bran cereal, 30g of frozen berries, 120ML hilo milk, 15g of wpc powder, 7-10G of Palatinose®.


Inbetween meal/s 

Three or four hours later, depending on how hungry I am I will either make myself a cup of tea / coffee and another meal that consists:

  • Multiple fruits OR
  • 55g cereal sultana bran with 15g of flavoured WPC mixed with 120ml milk / water and 7-10g of Palatinose®.

Supplementation: Milk thistle with taurines, magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, extra multi-vitamin, vitamin d.

From 200 to 350 calories range average. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats.


What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)
100g spirals, 70 to 80g (about 3x heaped tablespoons) tomato paste + water + garlic + herb powders, 100g of wholemeal flat bread and 100g of red kidney beans.

Lunch

Actual meal obviously varies from potatoes to rice or pasta.

  1. 100g pasta dried weight (88g carbs) or 275g of cooked rice (90g carbs) or 350g cooked / nuked potatoes (approx 80g carbs).
  2. Any protein source/s (IMPORTANT : MUST BE HALF the usual palatable serving) – Usually 45g tuna / salmon / sardine / mackerels, 25g TVP (dried weight before reconstituting), etc. Or 100g of chicken breast / redmeat based proteins (if I’m feeling rich; as to the above picture). Otherwise, beans – 100g red kidney or butter off canned ones.
  3. Condiments : varies. This is the biggest markup of pricing.
  4. A boiled egg or a spray of spanish extra virgin olive oil.
  5. 100g of greens – 100g of cut celery, or 100g cut lettuce, boiled / microwaved cabbage, sauerkrauts, etc.

Easily be 700 to 800 calories range average. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats. Supplementation: Zinc, half to one Magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, 2x Vitamin D.

Inbetween Meal/s (again)

Two hours later depending on how hungry I am I’d choose two of the following inbetween meals about 1 hour apart from each other for it last all the way to the evening.

  • Multiple fruits / or two bananas. OR
  • 50g oats, 15g scoop of WPC, 12g of Honey, Cinnamon OR
  • 55g cereal sultana bran with 10g of flavoured WPC mixed with 100ml milk / water OR
  • one and half full wholegrain wraps (approx 45g carbs), salsa, low-fat cheese / yoghurts OR
  • 250ML of HiLo milk, full scoop of whey shake / mass gainer shake to fill 700ML shaker.

Supplementation: Milk thistle with taurines, magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, extra multi-vitamin, vitamin d. Easily anywhere 500 to 700 calories range average. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats.

What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)
280g cooked rice, 2 dollops low fat yoghurt (30g), 80g kidney beans, Kikkoman soysauce, garlic powder + a sheet of nori.

Dinner

Actual meal again – obviously varies from potatoes to rice or pasta.

  • 100g pasta dried weight (88g carbs) or 275g of cooked rice (90g carbs) or 350g cooked / nuked potatoes (approx 80g carbs).
  • Any protein source/s (IMPORTANT : MUST BE HALF the usual palatable serving) – Usually 45g tuna / salmon / sardine / mackerels, 25g TVP (dried weight before reconstituting), etc. Or 100g of chicken breast / redmeat based proteins (if I’m feeling rich; as to the above picture). Otherwise, beans – 100g red kidney or butter off canned ones.
  • Condiments : varies. This is the biggest markup of pricing.
  • A spray of spanish extra virgin olive oil.
  • 100g of greens – 100g of cut celery, or 100g cut lettuce, boiled / microwaved cabbage, sauerkrauts, etc.
Supplementation: 1x Magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, Multi-vitamin, Zinc. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats. From 400 to 500 calories range average. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats.

Dinner #2

Another meal, perhaps not as big as a standard meal. More or less the same setup but only a fraction of the size. For example:

  • 70g / one serving of Kal wholemeal turkish wrap
  • 35 to 50g of beans / kidney beans
  • Some cabbage
  • 35 to 40g dollop of tomato paste and,
  • garlic powder to taste
From 300 to 350 calories range average. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats.
Supplementation: half to one Magnesium citrates/nonahydrate, Multi-vitamin, Zinc. 60 to 75% carbs. 15 to 25% proteins. trace fats.

Pre-Bed

I’d usually have a (one) choice between
  • 250ML of HiLo milk, full scoop of whey shake / mass gainer shake to fill 700ML shaker. OR
  • if I’m still quite hungry = 50g oats, 15g scoop of WPC, 12g of Honey, and a tsp of Cinnamon.

Overall Macros

So that’s it for a breakdown sample.

During SKD my calorie range has been anywhere between in the low 1900s (“struggling yet thriving pauper”) to as luxurious as 2400 (“king of the estate”). Realistic average remains to be sub 2200 cals per day. The 1848 calorie mark I’ve set within MFP® is my minimum calorie intake.

There is one or two odd days every few months where I lived on as low as sub 1700 calories; due to finance /resource scarcities / to hold-on until the next $35 grocery cycle. Whilst I still am nonetheless able to live, this much calorie restriction is NEVER what I would condone as objectively sustainable. 

My SKD days macros are about 65 to 68% fats, 18 to 22% proteins, and 0% to 3% carbs (just strictly traces).
What I actually eat (CKD Keto) $30 - $40 per week (Summer)

The refeed day/s

During each Refeed day (typically no more than 48 hours) my calorie range would be at least 3400+, but no more than 4000. Avoiding fats may seem depressing to me; but what makes the refeed period strictly that more difficult is to WATCH OUT FOR EXCESSIVE protein intakes. I cannot believe how easy it has been through many, many months of sporadic refeedings whereby I can easily trip over 200g worth of proteins in one day.

My Refeed days macros are SKD’s inverted. About 65 to 68% carbs, 18 to 22% proteins, and fats generally restricted under 60g or just trace. The lowest I’ve gone on record was 41g of fats.

Ironically I find (thus far) – that it is FAR MORE DIFFICULT to go down REALLY low on fats….as compared to going REALLY low on total carbs (including fibre).


So there you have it folks, my complete breakdown share of what’s it truly like sustaining just under $40 p/wk on average AND adopting a Cyclical Ketogenic regime. Persist and insist – you will subsist. Feel free to share / post your thoughts below.