11.26.2020

Bike Rides and Intermittent Fasting

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In addition to tracking calories in a free fitness app on my smartphone, I'm also attempting intermittent fasting again as a means to more effective weight loss. I'm not a conventional dieter. I mainly focus on eating whole food fruits and veggies, but I like to treat myself to junkier food sometimes, as long as it's vegan. So, I need to apply tools and interventions to my diet to ensure I don't overeat. Cutting out refined oil and sugar for the most part has definitely made this easier. Still, I'm a good cook and it's easy to eat more helpings than I should of my kickass recipes...like this African Sweet Potato Peanut Stew that I'll be throwing together for the vegan Thanksgiving celebration at home with my wife today.

My virtual cycling buddy and rock-n-roll bandmate AquaMunkee turned me on to another smartphone app called Fastic, which focuses on intermittent fasting (IF). The way IF works is that you only eat within a fixed time window each day, say between 10 AM and 8 PM (10 hour non-fasting window), allowing your body to rest and metabolize during the other 14 hours of the day (a fair amount of which is sleep). The Fastic app lets you customize your fasting window and sends you reminders to eat during the non-fasting time and drink plenty of water throughout the day. In theory, your body enters ketosis at some point during the fasting period, causing it to burn fat stores for energy. You can set a really strict fasting period, like 19 hours (with just a 5 hour eating window). I decided to be more moderate in my fasting, initially, doing a 14/10 or a 16/8 depending on the day. I typically don't eat breakfast anyway, and if I do it's usually later in the morning (a perk of autonomous self employment is being able to start work later in the day), and I like to eat a big dinner. So, I just need to finish dinner by 8 or 9 PM, depending on when I started fasting that day. If I am able to squeeze in an hour or so of virtual smart cycling during the day (another perk of autonomous self employment), I can earn myself a hefty calorie quota to expend on food and snacks in the non-fasting period each day. So far, it's been a good system, though I have only been at it about four days now. Per usual, it takes a fortnight to really evaluate the efficacy of a new health and wellness intervention.

Today, my fasting window will end when I'm about halfway through a scheduled virtual bike race on the Rouvy smart cycling app. As such, I'll keep some Larabars with me on the ride to scarf down when I'm able to (on a downhill). That calorie burst should propel me to a personal best in the bike race (I don't give a sh!t about winning...just finishing).

Anyway, sorry if you read this whole post. Just rambling some thoughts in my effort to do something productive, rather than be sucked into the social media scrolling sinkhole. I'm considering implementing another social media fast through the end of the year to keep me focused on my goals, whatever they may be.

The End.

11.25.2020

Thanks

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It's Thanksgiving tomorrow, the holiday that demarcates to slow decline into another depressing  round of commercialism disguised as altruism, followed by two brutal months of artic suffering in January and February (at least in Wisconsin).

But this year I'm immune to it thanks to two things: COVID-19 and indoor smart cycling. I'm kind of glad COVID put the kibosh on the usual holiday hassles. It also put the kibosh on our gym membership, which is why Deborah and I invested in smart bike trainers. These contraptions allow you to ride your own bike indoors on virtual bike routes all over the world, with high resolution videos of the places you are biking through. The trainers are smart because they link to cycling apps via Bluetooth and they respond to actual changes in terrain, increasing the resistance if you are going up a hill, for example.

I've been able to bike fair distances almost every day since we bought the trainers. This in turn has allowed me to eat more calories each day, something I very much like to do. I have two bike rides scheduled for tomorrow on account of it being Thanksgiving, and I plan to make a lot of yummie food that I'll need to compensate for.

The End.

11.22.2020

Addicted to Smart Cycling

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I got up this morning at 7:30 AM so that I could do a couple of virtual bike rides. The first one was on the Rouvy virtual cycling app. I rode just over 16 miles through the Aorangi Reserve - Greymouth, New Zealand. It was a race I had joined earlier in the week, kicking off at 8 AM this morning. Although I wasn't there to win, I pounded out that route in about 56 minutes, allowing me about 4 minutes to transition over to the RGT virtual cycling app for a 9 AM social group ride through the Lake District of the UK. I think that ride was just over 23 miles and I did it in about an hour and 15 minutes. I got a bit of a late start because I had to change devices between the rides (tablet to smartphone + laptop) and I forgot to disconnect the Bluetooth on the first device from the smart trainer, so the second device wasn't connected. So, I am in RGT, pedaling away, and basically going nowhere as everyone else took off, until I figured out my biff. I caught up to some people and we had a pretty nice virtual draft line going. Anyway, I burned something like 1,500 calories biking pretty hard for over 2 hours this morning. My knees and legs were pretty sore. It's awesome that I can bike all over the world from the comfort of my finished basement. I highly endorse indoor smart cycling for anyone who likes biking and lives in a place where weather prevents outdoor riding for part of the year. I mainly do it so I can justify eating more food. It's fantastic exercise though and really gives me a nice endorphin boost.