Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for June 22nd, 2011

Jelly Belly inventor hopes for a second strike

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Quite a story.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 7:40 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

Cold-brewed coffee for summer iced coffee

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Two systems reviewed.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Caffeine, Daily life

It’s not merely calories

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A commenter recently offered thoughts on how to lose weight and maintain a proper weight—a simple program: “Eat less.” (I expect now that the secret has been revealed obesity will cease being a problem in the US. 🙂  Or it may be that there’s more to it than that.)

The bottom line, according to my commenter, is calories: fewer calories mean weight lost. Calories, in this view, are fungible.

Only that turns out to be not the case. Rob Stein reports in the Washington Post:

Everyone knows that people who chow down on french fries, chug soda and go heavy on red meat tend to pile on more pounds than those who stick to salads, fruits and grains.

But is a serving of boiled potatoes really much worse than a helping of nuts? Is some white bread as bad as a candy bar? Could yogurt be a key to staying slim?

The answer to all those questions is yes, according to the provocative revelations produced by a big Harvard project that for the first time details how much weight individual foods make people put on or keep off.

The federally funded analysis of data collected over 20 years from more than 120,000 U.S. men and women in their 30s, 40s and 50s found striking differences in how various foods and drinks — as well as exercise, sleep patterns and other lifestyle choices — affect whether people gradually get fatter.

The findings add to the growing body of evidence that getting heavier is not just a matter of “calories-in, calories out,” and that the mantra: “Eat less and exercise more” is far too simplistic. Although calories remain crucial, some foods clearly cause people to put on more weight than others, perhaps because of their chemical makeup and how our bodies process them. This understanding may help explain the dizzying, often apparently contradictory nutritional advice from one dietary study to the next.

“The conventional wisdom is simply, ‘Eat everything in moderation and just reduce total calories’ without paying attention to what those calories are made of,” said Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health, who led the study published in Thursday’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. “All foods are not equal, and just eating in moderation is not enough.”

The findings help explain why many people put on weight little by little over the years without even realizing it. Just by picking the wrong combinations and portions of foods, and making unhealthy lifestyle choices, people imperceptibly pile on the pounds as the years go by, eventually becoming overweight or even obese, the study indicates. . .

Continue reading. I highlighted one sentence that will be of interest to several. I’ve been the recipient of the “Eat less, move more” advice, delivered in a sort of plonking tone by people who are rail thin, fairly often. I’m glad to have an authoritative rebuttal. As Albert Einstein observed, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 5:13 pm

Tough Pilates session

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Tough session today. It’s very hard for me to be body-conscious—knowing which muscles are working and which are slack, and how to activate a muscle. Obviously, I know the overt ones: working my bicep with a curl and the link. But when you start talking about muscles in and around my chest and abdomen, I’m not so connected with those. And in particular when you talk about effort along myofascial meridians—an effort that starts in the foot and exerts tension along a myfascial linkage up into the middle of your back: that I don’t feel so well.

I asked my instructor today, who was laboring mightily to get my form correct, whether it was the case that athletically oriented people grasp the Pilates moves more quickly. I learned (a) not necessarily: she was quite athletic when she started Pilates—skiing, bicycling, swimming, and the like—and it was incredibly difficult for her and for a long time she knew she was the worst student in a group, though after a year she had begun to learn good form and finally another student joined who was even worse than she; she also found it was necessary to acknowledge that she had a lot to learn, which for a successful competitive athlete is not so easy an admission; and (b) quite a few athletes simply never consider Pilates. She said she can watch tennis matches and tell which players have done Pilates and which have not, and the same for dancers. Those who have not are not so effective in their movements and lack a core of stability.

I am doing exercises now on my own, but I think I’ll be continuing with the formal coaching sessions for a long time—otherwise I’m quite sure I’d be doing the exercises ineffectively, with bad form.

If you are interested in doing Pilates, see if you can find a good instructor and get some professional coaching along the way. At least for me, correct form has been quite elusive, though more and more frequently I am able to do it for a repetition or even two in succession.

As I learned with Spanish and with learning the practical lessons of weight control: slow and steady wins the race and persistence pays off. Impatience is the enemy of success, especially since it seems frequently to lead to quitting (because the rate of improvement is not so fast as we want it to be).

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Pilates

Marine life on the brink of extinction

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It’s picking up speed, it seems. Anna Tomforde reports for McClatchy:

The world’s oceans are degenerating far faster than predicted and marine life is facing extinction due to a range of human impacts — from over-fishing to climate change — a report compiled by international scientists warned Tuesday.

The cumulative impact of “severe individual stresses,” ranging from climate warming and sea-water acidification to widespread chemical pollution and overfishing, would threaten the marine environment with a catastrophe “unprecedented in human history.”

The conclusions were published by a panel of international scientists who reviewed recent research at a workshop at Oxford University, in Britain. They will be presented to the United Nations in New York later this week for discussions on reforming governance of the oceans.

The report warned that damage to marine life would harm its ability to support humans, and that entire ecosystems, such as coral reefs, could be lost in a generation.

“Unless action is taken now, the consequences of our activities are at a high risk of causing, through the combined effects of climate change, over-exploitation, pollution and habitat loss, the next globally significant extinction event in the ocean,” it said. . .

Continue reading. I have my doubts that any response will be forthcoming—in particular the US seems to have checked out, thanks in part to our feckless and irresponsible media. (The link there is to Al Gore’s article in Rolling Stone, in which he eviscerates the media.)

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 1:27 pm

Relearning old lessons

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I’ve been on a push to lose a final 5 lbs, but my weight has slowly increased—today to a total of 4 lbs above the point where I wanted to lose 5 lbs, so now I have 9 lbs to go.

I no longer record each bite, but I do track carefully what I’m eating. The problem definitely wasn’t my breakfast, a well-polished routine that delivers the same foods daily. And I was being especially careful of my lunches and dinners, typically cooking 4 oz of protein (chicken, usually) with a few veg, along with perhaps 1/4 c couscous added at the end for the starch and to soak up any liquids. That would generally be spicy, so I would add some nonfat yogurt as a topping, and stretch the dish to two meals sometimes. But still my weight increased.

I found the leak: part is the yogurt. I wasn’t really counting that, but I would get a 1-qt carton and eat a channel down the side. When I would pass through the kitchen, I would routinely check and eat the whey from the channel and the yogurt would thicken and subside as the whey gradually left. The thickened yogurt cheese would be my topping. The result: I was eating almost a quart of yogurt a day—that’s close to 500 calories/day even eating nonfat yogurt. Almost a meal in itself.

I was also buying an excellent brand of 2% cultured buttermilk, and swigging that as a snack, not thinking much about it—just a little glassful now and then. Also almost a quart a day: another 500 calories.

So I was taking in 1000 calories/day that was beneath my radar. Aha.

Yogurt and buttermilk are temporarily off the list.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 8:57 am

Posted in Daily life, Fitness, Food

Creamy Lather—using badger

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So I tried for a Creamy Lather from Truefitt & Hill again today, but with a Rooney Style 1, Size 1 Super Silvertip—and I got such a lather quickly and easily. The difference for me is to let spill over the (short) sides of the wooden bowl the first, fluffy lather and continue brushing the soap surface vigorously—rapidly and firmly—with the brush. I continued this longer than I normally do, and Real Soon Now I’ll remember to time it.

When I stopped, I had a sink with various clumps of foamy lather, a bowl and left hand more or less covered in lather (easily rinsed away: I held the bowl upside down under the tap and easily rinsed the lather from the outside), and a brush absolutely crammed with Creamy Lather—the real stuff.

I did three passes with Bolzano blade riding in a Hoffritz Slant, which I had plated with rhodium at Razor Emporium. On the Simply Shaving forum is a discussion of the Slant Bar. I continue to maintain that a shaver who has learned how to shave with a regular safety razor and plans to buy a second razor is well advised to select a Slant for the second razor. DE razors that cut straight across the stubble all have the same action: the difference is in the aggressiveness and in whether the razor is adjustable or not. But in all cases, the cut is made straight across the stubble: the blade is chopping the stubble.

The Slant has a different action. You handle it exactly the same as you would a regular DE razor, but the razor itself holds the blade at a slant (whence the name, obviously), with the result that the blade now slices (rather than chops) the whiskers. I notice a marked difference in the action.

The result today is an extremely smooth shave, and the balm of the day is Geo. F. Trumper’s Coral Skin Food, which is very nice indeed. I have not used CSK as an aftershave for a long time—I originally bought it to test Dr. Moss’s observation that CSK also functions as an excellent preshave, when applied to the washed and rinsed beard just before the lather.

Indeed, I liked the effect and the fragrance so much that I’m going to have to use CSK more often.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 June 2011 at 8:46 am

Posted in Shaving

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