Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for December 28 2016 – Unsatisfied

In this show, we start off with the Flexapleasers Xmas song; moving from the Fitbit to the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ has issues; 2016 was a weird year but is just the beginning; being a skeptic can make you a buzzkill; resolutions are a horrible way to create new habits; I still struggle with my weight every single day of my life; Evil Genius Chronicles listeners are welcome to join the Mad at Dad death pool; the death pool actually helps the grieving process; I am dissatisfied with myself and my output in all aspects of life; media consumption is a zero sum game; children need room to like their own stuff; kids have amazing media literacy.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, December 28 2016

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for October 6 2016 – Start with Compassion

In this episode, I play a song from Southern Culture on the Skids; I discuss a hurricane heading my way and being a jerk about the tragedy of others; don’t try to honor a thing by taking a dump on something else; begin with compassion and alter if necessary; I have first world problems; most security questions are terrible; mainstream media doesn’t know how to report on scientific studies; “good for you” and “bad for you” is not descriptive enough.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, October 6 2016

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for May 5 2016 – The Problems of Others are Easy

In this episode, I play a traditional springtime song from Jonathan Coulton; grieving Prince; kids today should do current kid stuff without shame; I discuss how the problems of others are always easier than your own; I recommend the Alfred app for OS X; I discuss the Alfred app for Mac; I will see Penn and Teller as well as the Tenderloins/Impractical Jokers; I am a hugger; Roger Yale wrote a profile of me for the Myrtle Beach newspaper.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, May 5 2016

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Lunch, Eat to Live Style

Big Ass Salad

For those curious about what it is like on the Eat to Live plan, this is my typical lunch. I can’t actually eat the whole thing, it usually takes two sittings to consume all that and sometimes three. It is spinach, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, avocados, carrots, mushrooms, raw sunflowers seeds, a sprinkling of flax seed, and topped with a bean (I lean toward various white beans.) Recently I’ve started adding a small jalapeño to the mix, since it acts as a natural appetite suppressant.

When I talk about how I am never hungry on this plan, this is why. It is a pretty enormous amount of nutritious and tasty food.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for December 31 2015 – Happy from Happy Things

In this episode, I play a song by The End Men; I note some accolades that Mad at Dad has received; I talk about “social media envy”; I discuss end of year rituals and resolutions and my new working in public productivity goals

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, December 31 2015

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for December 1 2015 – Risks and Rewards

In this episode, I play a song by Valley Lodge; I discuss my current state of weight loss; I talk about worry and action, risk vs reward; I tell a story about a bad handling of a situation; I talk about WTF and his “big announcement” on a show; I discuss the notion of “finding yourself on stage” in comedy and how that relates to podcasting.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, December 1 2015.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Eat to Live Before and After Pictures

BeforeAfter-JuneToAugust2015

Here is some photographic example of what I’ve been talking about with Eat To Live. The left picture was taken the day I started, the one on the right this week. There is about a 34 pound difference between the two. I note that I don’t look that radically different, but I’m more generally concave in the before and convex in the after. Although “After” is a misnomer because I’m not stopping anytime soon. “Late Middle” might be a better way to refer to it.

Also, I was not deliberately making a miserable face in the first picture. I am actually smiling in every photo I took except the first day. This isn’t some kind of late night commercial thing, where I am trying to make the before as putzlike as possible. It just worked out that way.

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Two Months on Eat To Live

2015-08-27 13.35.10-trimmed

I’ve now been on the Eat to Live plan for two months and a day. Total tally: I have lost 33 pounds so far. I started at 211 pounds in late June, I weighed 178 pounds this morning. At the 5 week mark when the plan loosened up and allowed me to eat some meat and other things prohibited in the first part, I weighed 185 pounds. So, I lost 26 pounds the first five weeks, and 7 the next three weeks. I can live with that. One of the questions for me would be whether I would continue to lose weight, stall out or even gain weight when the plan changed. That I am still losing is plenty good for me, whatever rate it is at.

If you look at the chart, it is pretty easy to identify my birthday. For one whole day I allowed myself a bacchanalia. The next morning I weighed 7 pounds more than the previous. That isn’t to say I put on 7 pounds of fat. I pigged out but didn’t eat 20,000 calories that day (nor could my body actually store that much in a single day.) I’m pretty sure most of that weight is the result of allowing myself lots of salty foods that I would normally avoid or eat in moderation. The Crafty Rooster trip with lots of bacon-cheese chips and french fries, beers and burger is not a meal I eat as often as I used to but once in a while is fine.

Right before my birthday, I went in for a routine checkup which included the standard blood work panel for a guy of my age. For every panel of my life, my total cholesterol has been low (usually low outside the normal range.) However, my HDL cholesterol is usually even lower than that, and my ratio is always too high. This time, for the first time ever my ratio was in range. This seems like a wild success to me. My blood pressure is lower than when I started, my weight is back in the range of a 24 year low for me. By all the empirical data I have, everything about this plan has been a rousing success.

Just this week Derek Colanduno of Skepticality posted a link to a blog article refuting Eat to Live. Derek himself called the diet “woo”, and the article by Adele Hite seems to want to “blow the lid” off this plan. In paragraph one she makes a big point that she’s never read the book. Then she rejects the claim that 100 calories of broccoli has more protein than 100 calories of steak. She points out that he cited older sources so using the more up to date references means that broccoli only has 75% as much, not more. OK, fair enough. However, the main point he was making is that eating less meat (no meat for six weeks, modest amounts after) will not mean that you consume catastrophically low amounts of protein.

From there, she goes on about how you can’t get all the amino acids you need just from broccoli. This is a valiant slaying of a straw man, refuting a point exactly no one makes. In the book (the one she has never read) Fuhrman does not advocate eating solely broccoli. He advocates eating a variety of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, beans, raw unsalted nuts, avocados and other foods. This is specifically to make sure you get all the nutrients that your body needs – amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. I think if the skeptic community wants to take on this eating regimen as “woo” based on a misunderstanding of the recommendation by people who haven’t read the book, that’s a bad idea. When I watch people I respect with a knee-jerk condemnation of something on a really shaky basis, it weakens the brand and means I am going to be slower to believe the next alarm.

If you think that recommending eating mostly salad and vegetables while limiting the amount of sweets, dairy, grains and meat that you eat is a bizarre fad diet, I don’t know what to tell you. Is there anyone who finds this a controversial weight loss plan? I don’t have a wealth of data points on this, but I don’t know yet of anyone who has bounced off of this plan or had bad results. I know that I am now 7 pounds under what I considered my best case outcome and still losing. I couldn’t be happier.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for Aug 23 2015 – DDOP 20

In this episode, I answer a few questions: Have I ever played role playing games? What does my family think of the podcast? Am I exercising? What is the deal with the Church of the Subgenius?

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, Aug 23, 2015

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 13 2015 – Hip Hop Family Home

In this episode, I play a song by Five Eight; I update progress on my weight loss; I give my final word on the “end of days” debate with Steve Webb; I talk about WREK, the Beatbox, Jerald Dotson and being one of the few white kids at early rap shows; I let the cat out of the bag prematurely for a project I haven’t even started yet.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 13, 2015

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

More on Eat To Live

I received a question in email asking if I felt energetic over the past 5 weeks. The short answer is yes, I do go the gym — which isn’t necessarily part of the diet. Some versions of this ask you to not exercise while you recalibrate your body’s relationship with food. Exercise makes you hungrier and there is more evidence that while it has many health benefits, you can’t exercise your way out of being overweight without changing what you eat.

I have heard other concerns that maybe eating this way means consuming too few calories to be reasonable, particularly if you start very overweight. This doesn’t seem like a concern to me. The whole point of the plan is to select the subset of food you can eat, and then eat as much of that as you need to not be hungry. The very point is to flood your body with nutrients and never be deprived of them.

I’m not schooled in the biochemistry of it, but it seems like it works because your body is almost certainly taking in fewer calories than you burn (it is difficult to eat 2000 calories worth of kale or spinach or romaine lettuce each day) but also keeping you fed at the nutrient level. Since your body knows it isn’t starving because all nutritional needs are met, fat is released pretty regularly and not hoarded.

Doing some envelope math: If I lost 25 pounds and half was water and half was fat, that means my body released 43,750 calories back into my system. Over the course of 35 days, that would be an average of 1,250 calories a day. So whatever calories I consumed, I had a good chunk of each day’s energy supplied just by the stored fat that was released. I don’t think there is much danger of lethargy on this plan, and there is no deprivation. Any time you feel hungry, you should eat. Hunger isn’t the problem, it really is more about trying to choke down giant salads. I still have the salad I made yesterday, despite eating it for both lunch and dinner.

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5 Weeks on Eat to Live

QuickMemo+_2015-07-31-16-00-57

This will be the last of these weekly updates, as I go from the first phase of Eat to Live to the sustaining part. I’m doing it a week early because of several life occasions in the next few days for which I want to consume some calories that aren’t leafy greens.

The goal I set in fall of 2013 was to get from 225 pounds to 185 pounds. I effectively did that this week. Although I was 185.2 yesterday and 185.6 today, I’m declaring that close enough to claim victory. I celebrated by getting a checkup and blood work done today. I will know next week if I have incurred any ill effects from the last five weeks, no tests done today showed any problem. I can tell you that in April my blood pressure was 155/93 and today it was 128/83 so that was a clear victory.

I will check back in via the blog around early September to report what a month on the sustaining leg of the program did for me. I hope to not be back in the 200s. I’d love to be in the low 180s or even the 170s. I’d consider even being exactly 185 good enough for celebration. We shall see. What I know now is that I am going to have some beer tomorrow and Monday will let myself go completely crazy for a full day. I have a pint of Penn Jillette’s Magic Swyrtle ice cream that was to be my reward for getting under 195 pounds. It’s been in my freezer for over a year and I’m eating that son of a bitch next week. Go me.

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4 Weeks on Eat to Live

QuickMemo+_2015-07-24-11-13-03

Not much to say this time, but just to point out that I’m down three more pounds from last week and five pounds from my first big post about my eating. The downward trajectory has leveled off but is still downward. I’m now in the high 180s and very close to reaching the 185 pound goal that I never came within 10 pounds of in the previous 18 months. Eat to Live, yo!

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Eat to Live

Weight graph

I started a serious push to get my weight under control in spring of 2014. I focused then on mostly avoiding processed sweets and eating mostly high protein, low carb foods for two meals of the day. I would have eggs for breakfast and sausage for lunch then a fairly normal dinner with the family. This worked for a while, and I got from around 225 pounds to 195 pounds in about six months.

After that, I had a very hard time maintaining that, even though I was exercising the whole time. The first three months of weight loss were without any additional exercise, but the last 15 included multiple trips to the gym on most weeks. I spent that year in a band of 203 poounds, plus or minus 7. I wasn’t gaining too much, but I wasn’t losing any.

In early spring as a listener of Penn’s Sunday School and a backer of Director’s Cut I started noticing and hearing about Penn Jillette’s weight loss. Although he is working with a guy named Ray Cronise as his weight loss guru, he mentioned on the show that the core of his eating regimen is from a book by Joel Fuhrman called Eat to Live. I figured, “what the hell do I have to lose but weight?” I bought the book, read to the key parts. Like all similar books, there is only one or two chapters that really matter and the rest is filler to make it salable at book length. Once I read the best start, I hopped on the plan with very little planning or foresight.

From the beginning, I lost weight. The sleight of hand of any regimen that restricts salty food is that coming from a standard American diet, you will lose water weight almost immediately. I have lost 18 pounds in 19 days, but 7 of that happened the first two days. It is a neat trick, because from the very beginning it helps with the motivation to watch weight disappearing quickly.

Here is the real high level summary of what I am doing. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in this. I predict a high level of success for anyone following this plan.

For the first six weeks:

Unlimited: cooked and raw leafy greens; fresh fruits; cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc), beans

Desirable but limited to a serving a day: Avocado; raw and unsalted seeds and nuts; flax seed

Allowable but limited to a serving a day: Grains and grain products

Prohibited: Sugary foods; prepared foods; meat; dairy; salty foods; canned fruits; white breads; oils

After six weeks and for the rest of your life:

Follow the recommendations above but you have 200 calories a day you can splurge on any prohibited items. Whether that is meat, cheese or a cupcake you can have them and every day as long as 90% of your food intake follows the recommendations. Unlike having a cheat day, you can cheat every day but you have very clear boundaries.

At this point, I’m 2.5 weeks in. I will probably not go the entirety of the recommended 6 week initial period because my birthday is in there. For the day itself, I will allow myself one full day of eating whatever I want that day. After that, is is back on the plan but with the 200 calorie allowance.

As of last weekend, I fell under the lowest weights I had achieved in the previous 18 months of watching what I ate and exercising. It took right at two weeks for this to occur. I really haven’t considered what I am shooting for on the low end of this. I had 185 as my long term goal initially, and now I am 8 pounds from that with a long time left on this initial chunk. I hesitate to dream too big and bum myself out, but 180 seems quite possible. Is 175 too much (little) to ask?

One of the fun things I am doing is walking backwards in time. I have weight stamps associated with periods in my life. I spent much of the last decade around 240. After I quit drinking sodas, I almost immediately went to 225 and stayed there. In Chicago in the mid 2000s I was 240 and dropped to 225 when I started biking to the train station every day. In Atlanta, I was struggling to get under 220. In Portland, I was trying to lose from 209. In grad school in Louisiana, I was 190 at the low point. Prior to that, during my fitness kick in college I was more like a muscular and fit 165. As I lose weight, I get myself back to these timestamps. If I drop under 190, that will be a 20 year low. If I get into the 160s it will be a 25 year low.

These are still the early days of this plan, and I have given back this lost weight before. I will report back in periodically with my progress or lack thereof. For now, I am optimistic and not at all hungry. Have you ever tried to eat a pound of kale and romaine lettuce a day? It’s a lot of food, so not getting enough is never a problem. I hope to see lower blood pressure, which was getting problematic and maybe a host of other side benefits.

Wish me luck and less of myself.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for July 12 2015 – Queues of Leafy Greens

In this episode, I play a song from Thacker Dairy Road and tell the story of how I ended up with their CD at ConvergeSouth one year; I talk about the inaugural EGC Patreon Hangout; I talk about how much weight I am losing via Eat to Live; I talk more about my entertainment queues and how Marvel Unlimited plays into that.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, July 12 2015.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for July 3 2015 – Win Like a Champion

In this episode, I play a song by Valley Lodge; I talk about gay marriage and how I think the victory should be celebrated; I talk about my recent weight loss and how I am achieving it; I discuss my enjoyment of MMove Bluetooth earbuds and call it a show.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, July 3 2015

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.