Dietary Intake: The BIG Change

In January 2015, I decided that I was going to take up a Kosher diet.
A personal experience through that year, though, caused me to actually look at why I was following the diet. This, in turn, caused me to actually research the diet itself.

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In January 2015, I decided that I was going to take up a Kosher diet. It seemed pretty simple at the time. I simply wanted to do what I thought was right, in accordance with the diet set out for the Hebrews in the Old Testament and, for the most part, it was just a case of giving up pork and certain seafoods that I loved. A personal experience through that year, though, caused me to actually look at why I was following the diet. This, in turn, caused me to actually research the diet itself.

The first thing that I looked at, regarding the Kosher diet, was the ‘seething a kid in its mother’s milk’. This is found in Deuteronomy 14:21 and has the modern-day equivalent of eating a cheeseburger. In brief, my finding was that it is OK to eat a cheeseburger. The actual reason for not seething a kid in its mother’s milk is something I’m still undecided on but I found a web publishing by Keith Hunt to be a good starting point for study. You can find it HERE.

As I continued my study, looking at why I couldn’t eat pork and the other ‘meats’ that were prohibited, I came to a realization. In the Torah (I will stand corrected if I’m wrong.), there is only regulation as to how vegetation should be GROWN and not necessarily how it should be EATEN. I’d found myself doing the very thing I tell others not to do. I read the books of law with a focus on what shouldn’t be done, questioning why, with no focus on what can be done without fear of consequence.
Coupled with the knowledge that, in this period, the common man would eat when hungry, as opposed to eating food because it was there, I began to question if really our diets should be vegetarian, with an option of eating meat if it was necessary. This hit home when I read through the story of Noah, followed by Abraham and Joseph.

We could be exact about the measurement of the ark but that is for another forum. For the sake of this post, I’m going to go with the Wikipedia measurement of 450ft x 75ft x 45ft.
Pre-flood, micro-evolution had not yet begun so there were nowhere near as many sub-species as there are now. I think the ark would have been very basically populated with creatures so the question would always taunt me. How DID Noah and his family survive in the ark for almost 6 months. After much deliberation, and looking at the Kosher diet, I’ve come to the conclusion that they would have to have eaten at least a primarily vegetarian diet, if not a totally vegan diet of starches, grains or both. A heavy meat diet could have, based on the calories meat provides and how long meat lasts once an animal is slaughtered, caused the animals to dwindle in numbers very swiftly. Causing sickness, disease and, ultimately, death of the animals, Noah and his family.
Grains, starches and legumes, on the other hand give you more ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to the provision of carbohydrates for energy and last a lot longer than any meat product.

Abraham was a nomad with many, many people in his tribe. To the point, he was able to muster a nomadic army of 318 men to rescue his nephew, Lot, in battle. His herds were enormous. Understanding the nomadic lifestyle of the time, we can again see that, in the very least, meat was only eaten if necessary, if at all. Having such a large tribe, living in a primarily desert region (We see this when Abraham and Lot part ways), a primarily meat diet or any other excessive intake of meat would have meant a decrease in animals to actually work the land, in order for any food to be planted or for any other work that strong animals could have been used for back then. The erection of large tents, for example.
What actually comes to mind at this moment of typing is that, there are very few instances in the beginning of the Old Testament where meat is used for food.

Joseph’s story sees him become a leader of the Ancient Egyptian empire. When famine was predicted, the first step he took was to create large granaries and fill them with grain. The grain lasted through a 7 year famine. There is also archaeological and historical evidence to suggest the common Egyptian man of that period would have eaten a rice-based diet. Interestingly, hair analysis of the Pharaoh mummies we have now shows that they ate more meat than their ‘common’ counterparts, which could go to show that meat is more a consumption of choice than need.

As I started decreasing my meat intake and focused on eating the right meats, according to scripture, a good friend of mine (You can follow his great mind HERE. He has a good spirit to share.) pointed me in the direction of a video called the Starch-based Diet, on YouTube.
John McDougall MD gives a lecture, where he breaks down how, scientifically, historically and archaeologically, we are to be eating a starch-based diet. He then goes on to, a lot better than I could right now, break down how the starch-based diet can better our bodies, our pockets and the environment. It’s the combination of ‘all of the above’ that has driven my decision to make this big change.  I really do strongly suggest watching this gentleman’s video. You will find it most informative, even if you chose to not follow a starch-based diet afterwards.

The key aid I have in this change is my choice of sports to make headway in. That is Track & Field (400m Hurdles) and the Triathlon. Indeed, I’m currently heading down the pathway of my first Iron Man, which I hope to attempt in 2017. These sports don’t require the muscular growth of, say, a bodybuilder. I have several friends that are heavily involved in the sports of bodybuilding and sculpting. I would say that their requirement for protein wouldn’t be adequately met by a natural intake of carbohydrates and fats. My sports, on the other hand, require massive amounts of energy. The long miles, running, cycling and swimming and the constant repetitions on a track, over hurdles. These are energy-intensive feats that I have ahead.
For my vegan friends and followers reading this, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I won’t be joining your ranks. Although, I’ll be eating a primarily vegetarian diet, there is still a necessity for muscular repair (As opposed to development.) so, if you see me somewhere eating some chicken or fish to top myself up, don’t scream at me. I’m thoroughly aware of tofu and qinoa. No need to mention. Thank you!

So, there you have it! My reasoning for making a shift to a heavily vegetarian diet, which is, in my eyes, what the Kosher diet is supposed to be. Please, feel free to share any recipes you may have!

I’ll let you know how this goes in a few weeks!

 

Uber: Fun, Potholes and Drunks!

I decided to drive for Uber to help offset my road trips. The longer road trips I do won’t necessarily make me a profit but, hey. Every little helps, right?!

So, this past weekend was my first weekend as a driver for Uber. I could really get used to it!

I decided to drive for Uber to help offset my road trips. The longer road trips I do won’t necessarily make me a profit but, hey. Every little helps, right?! Plus I love driving. I love sitting on long, scenic roads, cruise control on, music quietly playing as I take in the sights and sounds of somewhere I’ve never been before. Some like to soak in baths, others like to curl up on sofas with good books (I do like a good read!). Me, though. I’m the one to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive for 6 and 7 hours to some random destination because there is something different to do there. Being able to drive for Uber in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware means I can drive for several hours, north, south and west and get paid for doing so. Works for me!

So, Friday was my first day. I cleaned the car, took some steps to look smart and, with a slightly raised heart rate and moist palms, headed towards Philadelphia. My music choice was quiet worship gospel music. Marvin Sapp, Smokie Norful, Donnie McLurkin and others. I found that it helped to keep the car peaceful, even when the lively party-goers stepped in.

As it was my first day, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, so I headed to Market Street, instead of South Street, so I could pick up those more likely to be leaving to go home, as opposed to those overly hype, ready to step out and it worked.
My first 2 rides were, strangely enough, Brits! A student from Norwich, with his Bajan girlfriend (Both complete with their relative accents!) and a Nigerian gentleman who was born and raised in Stonebridge, north London. Particularly, the gentleman from Stonebridge was very unassuming. I chuckled to myself when I saw that he lived in a pleasant gated community, which is a far cry from how I remember Stonebridge being! Stereotyped judgement? Maybe. I still laughed unashamedly, though! LOL!

I clocked up 9 rides for the few hours that I spent in Philadelphia. I had a range of customers that varied from those that wanted to just sit quietly in the back to the more jovial characters that wanted to ride up front and chat. Being someone that easily makes friends and is pretty good at holding a wide range of conversation, I found the variation in character pretty easy to deal with. I had discussions on Music, Politics, London and BrExit, American Football vs. Rugby, Religion, Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter and a most interesting conversation about what it is like to be drunk with the 3 young ladies that were my final ride of the night. Ironically, that ride was cut short so the quiet one could be allowed to purge on the sidewalk. We agreed that they should probably use the night air to sober up before they found themselves in another vehicle. All in all, a decent evening.

Potholes!

For all the money that must come through Philadelphia, from tourism and entertainment, I can’t understand how the roads can be in such disarray! I mean, I’d expect any city’s quieter roads to be a little chewed up but, come on now, Philly! A single traffic cone in the middle of a 6ft x 6ft 12-inch drop in the road?! Really?! I have rims to preserve!
Needless to say, come 2am, I simply took to apologizing to my passengers as I swerved through the narrow back-streets of Philadelphia, in my Buick, like a low-budget attempt at a Batman movie! Smoking man-hole covers being avoided, dramatically, while Donnie Mclurkin aptly, but quietly, sings Great is Your Mercy! You could say ‘oxymoron’!

Saturday was my time to use the Uber driving to pay for a small road trip. This time, it was to go to the Caribbean Carnival in Jersey City.
The carnival was a small-scale affair, compared to what I’m used to, having the Notting Hill Carnival back home, in London. But carnival is carnival. Smiles, flags, badman (LOL!), food, drink and conversations with the Black Hebrew guys (A blog for another day.). I also got to meet a friend that I’d made on Facebook but never had met. It was good to finally meet him and chill with him and his son.

The festival began to pick up from about 6pm but I chose this as my time to start heading home. Uber offer guaranteed hourly rates between certain specified times and I wanted to be on the road when the time came.
There were another 9 drops for me on Saturday, where I realized that the New Jersey fares pay a bit more than the Philadelphia fares. I’m guessing because the distance travelled is somewhat longer. In Philadelphia, riders generally want to take a quick ride 5 or 10 mins up the road. In New Jersey, however, the rides were lasting about 15-20 minutes. The majority of the riders were also not as friendly but I put that down to the demographic.
My first two riders were going to the Guns & Roses concert, in the MetLife Stadium. They insisted on having some rock music play for the ride so I entertained a little, playing it low so they didn’t get too amped in the back of my car and also so we could have conversation. The ride passed off without much event and I worked my way through business professionals, clubbers and an interesting truck driver before I started heading in the direction of home. My final ride was taking 3 military guys, visiting from California, from Hamilton to near where I live. We had good conversation regarding deployments and a love for the Spanish accent! Driving home from carnival, I made about $40 profit, after subtracting what I’d spent on putting fuel in the car and buying a large Jamaica flag. Not bad maths, in my opinion!

I was pretty disappointed in myself on Sunday. My church had planned to go to New York. Brooklyn, to be exact. We were supporting a church up there. Unfortunately, I’d put the date in the wrong calendar day and had planned to get my chores done on Sunday evening.
I decided I’d put the Uber Partner app on, on the way home. Squeezed out 3 jobs, totalling about $20 so couldn’t complain. Two individuals recovering from Saturday night shenanigans and a gentleman who insisted on not listening to gospel music. Needless to say, there was good conversation to be had and I finished my weekend with a 4.92 star rating. Not bad work in my eyes!

I’m sure there are those that are wondering about how I fared financially.

Being my first week, I had to buy a holder for my phone, in order to use the navigation and Uber Partner app. I also had to buy an EZ Pass for the toll roads and I went through 1.5 tanks of petrol. I surpassed the amount I spent, comfortably, and earned about $15 per hour.
I wouldn’t have driving for Uber as a sole source of income. However, if you have no ‘adult’ responsibilities, I think one could actually fair pretty well.
All in all, I’d say I have the perfect setup. I have my regular job, from which I maintain a budget and the Uber driving allows me to fund other things, both personal and social.

Need a ride? Let me know!!

Noticing Some Changes. Iron Man Changes!

I’m not even too sure how far into this training I am but I do know it’s about 12 or so weeks and I’m noticing some pretty big changes.

My fitness has changed drastically. I’m beginning to feel more like an athlete again. Something I haven’t felt in a long time, to be honest. Just this past weekend, I went for a 2 hours run. Something I’d never done before. I covered a half-marathon, which I’d never dreamed of doing 3 months ago.
On the track, I’m beginning to feel that I can run more efficiently and not feel so heavy in my stride and, my HIIT sessions are becoming more aggressive as I am losing bulk but gaining endurance.

I have to admit, it’s somewhat of a dent to the ego to lost my bulk up top. I’ve never been the biggest of guys so, when I saw that my upper-body was developing earlier this year, I was pretty excited! I was wondering today, though, if it may come back once I start a swimming routine. I know I become very defined when I swim regularly but this time, there will be very little lifting to support the definition. It’s going to be interesting!

I dare say I’m destined to be a slender triathlete! LOL!

Things that are surfacing that I need to begin working on focus around diet, sleep and flexibility. The first two can also be listed as financial budget and time management. I’m pretty sure that getting a grip on these two aspects of my life, while stretching EVERY day, will help me to make progress in leaps and bounds!

It’s starting to dawn on me that, just as I was with track & field, I have to be about this Iron Man/Triathlon life. It can’t be something I do. It has to be something that I AM. Loving this journey so far!

My Own Boss

The 5-year plan is to
Give the paycheck a permanent rain check
They’ll fear me.

The 5-year plan is to
Give the paycheck a permanent rain check
They’ll fear me.

Black businesses, and I don’t mean
Black fools with crack businesses.
I mean blacks with the tools and a
Unity that stacks businesses.
Snatch back businesses, born, raised
And supported by whipped back businesses.
Black Star Line was to be trade, where there was
Growth, followed by shipped back businesses.
But we are too busy being entertained.

Wrapped up in Scandal and Empire
And Hip-Hop’s side-chicks,
Where Kings become ‘niggers’ and
Queens become a ‘side-bitch’.
We cast pearls before swine and
Then complain because we aren’t rich,
While our role models tell us there is
Value in money and selling of coke bricks
And then we bathe in the falsehood of their statements.

Well, I don’t care for money and jewels.
I’ll stick with shelves of unread books.
Knowledge then applied so I can stride
In confidence, without feeling shook.
A humble protest but my ‘Click-click’
Still causes pauses and cautious looks.
But it’s never the carbine. Just my pen
Balancing my own books.
I declare success in my life in Jesus name.