Raw Vegan Diet Deficiency–Brain Damage?

English: This is my own work, Photo by Gila Br...
Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m supposed to be finishing a job application. I’m not unemployed. On the contrary, I have three jobs, but they’re all “on-call”, which means sometimes I’m working happily  five, six, or seven day weeks and sometimes I just stay at home watching Youtube, reading, running or painting tattoo flash. This post was written early in the morning on one of my 7 day work days–the sabbath to be precise. But this post isn’t about employment, it’s about food.

You may be wondering what delicious foods have passed my lips and bowels this past year? You are weird for wondering about my bowels, but I forgive you. Mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’ve read my previous post, you also know that I gave up coffee. For the past year, you might say that I’ve been a hardcore vegan. And when I say hardcore, I mean mostly raw and mostly whole foods. Every morning, I punch in a fist-full of raw kale into my gut. I usually eat around 5 to 10 bananas a day, one or three apples, an orange or two, some dates, and “raw” nuts.

I have, however, decided to add meat to my diet. Why? First let me describe my experience with a mostly 80 10 10, raw vegan diet. For the first few months, I felt absolutely fantastic. My digestion cleared up, my energy levels soared, and my anxiety faded. But after the honeymoon, things got strange. First of all, no matter how much I ate, I always felt hungry. Although I didn’t gain weight, I was constantly grazing–to the point where my jaws were soar. I’d eat five oranges, seven bananas, eight or nine dates, and bowls of salad and be hungry fifteen minutes later. My stomach was full, but appetite had not been satiated. I felt great, but I also felt like eating was a full time job and I felt that something was missing. It was difficult to work and to socialize because food took up such a huge part of my life. I had to plan my meals and I couldn’t just enjoy a meal with friends and family. I felt isolated. Although I didn’t preach or make my friends and family feel bad for eating “their” food, I did feel a sense of isolation and separateness.

As the months rolled on, I began to feel more and more spacey. My mind was filled with brain fog. My memory would short circuit. I’d be typing or talking and lose my train of thought. It was difficult to hold thoughts in my mind. I would be driving to work when, suddenly, I’d wonder if I was going to work or coming home from work. I’d be completely disoriented for a second or two. It felt as if I had been lobotomized. It was quite frightening and distressing.  I seriously wondered if I had a brain disease or had suffered a stroke. According to the fruitarian community, I wasn’t eating enough. What a load of BS. I was eating plenty. Eating wasn’t the problem. Energy wasn’t the problem. The restrictive diet was the problem!

As I researched nutrition, I discovered the cause of my problem. BTW, nutrition is a fascinating topic. In terms of science, human nutrition is still very young. My research on 80 10 10 and raw food diets alarmed me. I quickly discovered many other people who shared similar experiences to mine. After some study, I have come to the conclusion that a 100% vegan diet is not optimal. To be fair, I’ve got a lot of health benefits from eating lots more raw food. But I have noticed that after eating a small amount of LOCALLY raised chicken to my diet that I feel much better. I’m not as hungry after a meal and my ability concentrate and to hold thoughts has improved.

I wasn’t vegan because I cared about animals. I was vegan for my health. When my health declined, I decided to listen to my body. I’m still eating whole foods and I’m still eating lots of raw fruits and veggies. In fact, I still consider my diet to be “plant-based”. But plants are the ONLY things that I eat. Human beings are omnivores. There is no denying that. All of the vegan, fruitarian, or vegetarian cultures use the diet for spiritual reasons, either to avoid bad karma or to punish the flesh. It’s not a “natural” diet. And the fact that Dr. Graham claims that its the “human diet” is absolutely ridiculous. I won’t even address the fact that the fruits and vegetables that we eat today are farmer’s foods. Truly wild potatoes, wild tomatoes, and even bananas are inedible–wild potatoes are toxic.The fruits and veggies of today would NOT have been available to our ancestors. The fruits and veggies that we enjoy today taste good because we’ve bred them taste good. Doug Graham is also dead wrong about the perils of cooking food. Cooking vegetables, especially red vegetables makes some of their key nutrients MORE absorb-able and it activates their cancer busting properties. It also makes it easier to eat higher quantities of healthy food. I’ll probably write another post debunking Dr. Graham. But for now, I’ll conclude this long and rambling post:  The secret to a healthful diet is to eat whole foods.

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Is Your Personal Information Safe? Dangerous Privacy Glitch in Google Exposed

Opt Out of Google Advertising Today
Opt Out of Google Advertising Today

A few days ago, bizarre ads filled my screen. Many of them aimed at women: Maxipads for instance. They appeared on Youtube & in MY private google account. Even on Spotify I received ads for Christian books and mascara. At first, I was amused. But the offbeat ads have become downright annoying. So, I delved into my Google Ad settings.

I was shocked to discover that Google pegged me as a 17 year old girl!

And it’s not just Google. I’ve had issues with Amazon as well. For instance when my WIFE was logged into Amazon. MY wishlist appeared on her suggested buys–when she clicked on the “Your Wishlist” link, MY wishlist appeared. What’s even worse was Amazon’s sending HER purchase suggestions to MY google e-mail. I received direct  e-mails from Amazon suggesting that I buy things from HER private wishlist for myself. Somehow Amazon’s cookies crossed our wish lists. Our names are different. Amazon has no way of knowing that we’re married. It’s disturbing because her personal preferences were sent to me without her consent. And mine were sent to her without my consent. The privacy hole is huge and frightening. We contacted Amazon and they have fixed the issue.

I’m sure that I am not alone. Anyone who shares a computer with someone else has probably endured similar glitches. Here’s how I was able to “Opt Out” of Google advertising.

Step 1

Step One for opting out of Google Advertising.
Step One for opting out of Google Advertising.

Log in to your account. Just below the gear/configure icon, click the link that says, “Why this Ad?

Step 2

Step Two for Blocking Google Ads
Step Two for Blocking Google Ads

A balloon will appear  it will say:

This ad was based on the email you were viewing. Ads Settings puts you in control of the ads you see.

Click on the link that says, “Ads Settings

Step 3

Step Three to Avoiding Creepy Google Ads
Step Three to Avoiding Creepy Google Ads

Click on the links that say, “Opt Out“.

 

For added privacy, you might also want to disable Flash Cookies.

To find out more about Safe Browsing Visit:

OnGuardOnline.Gov

http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0042-cookies-leaving-trail-web

 

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Miracle Mile of the Century

Amid the sultry sticky gloom, I stroll through derelict East Village of Vancouver, British Columbia. (Forgive the florid prose, it won’t last.) Soon, I stumble across a bronze statue of two barefoot runners. Oh, wait! They aren’t barefoot. They have cleats attached to the thin fabric encasing their feet.

What on earth are these lanky runners doing on this side of town? Turquoise blotches surround the graceful serif lettering on the plaque. As I read the inscription, the mysterious pieces neatly snap into place. I am standing on hallowed ground; this is where thousands of fans cheered as they witnessed an epic race between two of the fastest men on the planet. It is one of the “Six Most Dramatic Events in Sports History“.

Who are these runners?
Roger Bannister & John Landy

Roger Bannister breaks the 4 Minute Mile!
Roger Bannister breaks the 4 Minute Mile!

Anyone who listens to Anthony Robbins, Marshall Sylver, or any other motivational speaker is familiar with Roger Bannister. At age 25, Bannister accomplished an impossible athletic feat. On May 6th, 1954, he became the first human being to run a mile in less than four minutes. He achieved his record breaking time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds at the Iffley Road track in Oxford. Sports enthusiasts refer to his remarkable accomplishment as the “miracle mile“.

Anyone who listens to Anthony Robbins, Marshall Sylver, or any other motivational speaker will be entirely ignorant of John Landy. Probably because Landy fell between the cracks of history.  A few weeks after Bannister set the record for the fastest human mile, John Landy, smashed it with a time of 3 minutes 57.9 seconds in Turku, Finland.

This set the stage for the ‘mile of the century‘ at the Empire Games in Vancouver.

John Landy beat Bannister's sub four minute mile. The stage is set for the dual of the century.
John Landy beat Bannister’s sub four minute mile. The stage is set for the dual of the century.
Both men had conflicting running styles and training philosophies. Roger Bannister was known for his phenomenal ability as a “kicker”. His talent for hotfooting on the last lap was legendary. His final lap was always faster than the previous three, it was this strategy that allowed him to zoom past the four minute barrier. Bannister’s training system was to workout lightly and stay fresh. In fact, his breakthrough for the sub-four-minute-mile was discovering that rest periods were the key to faster times. His rest days gave him time to reflect on meaning of running: “[Running] gives a man or woman the chance to bring out power that might otherwise remain locked away inside. …The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom.”

Landy’s approach to running was poles apart, he was a front runner and he trained hard, never letting up. His tactics for racing were also different. Landy liked to build unbeatable leads by smoking the competition from the beginning of the race. He said, “The mile has a classic symmetry. It’s a play in four acts.” It was a boring play because Landy’s acts were all the same. Being a front runner made sense to Landy, “I just like to run fast.” He also wrote, “We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. It also does us good because it helps us to do other things better. It gives a man or woman the chance to bring out power that might otherwise remain locked away inside. The urge to struggle lies latent in everyone.”

Which mortal would achieve glory and victory at the Empire Games, Landy or Bannister?

Watch the Miracle Mile on YouTube.

Mile of the Century. John Landy versus Roger Bannister Race in Canada.
Mile of the Century. John Landy versus Roger Bannister Race in Canada.

In the early part of the race, Landy took the lead. Bannister hung way back in third place. He planned to run easily through the third lap, but became nervous when Landy shot so far ahead. Bannister stepped up his pace after the second lap. This was not his typical style, he preferred to run hard on the last lap, not the last two laps.  “With great poise, he spread his effort evenly over the entire third lap. In the middle of the backstretch he had cut Landy’s frightening lead in half.” When the bell rang to mark the last lap, Landy was clearly head of the pack, with Bannister chasing close. In front and on his way to proving that he was faster than Bannister, Landy made a colossal mistake. He turned his head to check on Bannister. That fraction of second was enough for Bannister to use his powerful “kick.” He beat Landy by a shoulder and won the race in 3:58.8, against Landy’s 3:59.6.

I look again at the statue on the delinquent side of town. It commemorates the moment Bannister passed Landy. I stare at John Landy. He is forever looking over the wrong shoulder as Bannister rushes past him. He’s frozen in bronze in second place forever. The statue irks me. The Vancouver Games were Landy’s to lose. And that’s exactly what he did. Landy lost because he was running against Bannister instead of running against himself.

Let’s face it, John Landy ran the mile faster than Bannister ever could. Bannister’s best mile, the one he ran against Landy at the Empire Games, was 3 minutes 58.8 seconds. Landy’s best mile was 3 minutes 57.9 seconds. So even though, Landy wasn’t the first human to run a sub-four-minute-mile and even though he lost the mile of the century, he was still faster than Bannister.

It’s tragic, Bannister retired after his victory ending his running career on the highest of notes, while Landy raced on and continued to lose race after race. Eventually, Landy burnt out and injured his Achilles tendon. His running career fizzled out.

After gazing at the statue, I search for the track. As I step toward the field, I see weeds jumping up around the cyclone fences, I wretch from the stink of rotting fish guts. The busy street buzzes with traffic. I wince when I hear the loud shout of a semi-truck’s air-horn blaring at a rusty Toyota. The once glorious track is dilapidated and barely recognizable. It’s fenced off in chain links. It reminds me of a prison yard. Like the rest of city, it decays. The track markers and rings are wiped out. The event center is filled with carnival rides. It is a forlorn amusement park. Looking at the place now, it’s hard to believe that it was here that two of the world’s fastest men ran the “Mile of the Century.”

Dilapidated track where the two of the fastest runners of the time competed in “Mile of the Century”

The current fastest mile record is held by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran a time of 3 minutes 43.13 seconds in Rome, Italy, on 7 July 1999.

Patron Saint for Runners?

St. Sebastian Patron Saint of Sportsman
St. Sebastian

I was baptized as a Catholic, I was partially raised Catholic, I took Catholic Communion, but I am NOT Catholic. Why then, am I tempted to pray to Saint Sebastian?

It all started a few weeks ago. It was a frigid, rainy day in Sandy Oregon. I didn’t at all feel like running 8 long miles barefoot on the rough and icy streets, not only because of cold, but also because the city was doing roadwork, filling the streets with the infamous tiny pebbles I have deemed “pain pyramids”. The stone triangular spikes must have been formed in the very bowels of barefoot-runner hell.

After watching some Youtube videos, sitting in front of the heater, and pretending to myself that I was not procrastinating, I finally convinced myself to put on my running clothes and hit the streets. As soon as I shut the door, the skies did not open and the sun did not peak through revealing a lovely rainbow, instead fierce black clouds swarmed above, an arctic blast surged over me, and the first biting darts of sleet struck my tender feet.

For the first few miles, my hands trembled and I wondered what the hell I was doing outside, then I noticed that according to RunKeepr, my last mile was a two seconds faster than the previous mile. Even though I was miserable, the encouragement from runkeepr boosted my pace–at the very least running faster would get me out from cold dark clouds faster. Around mile 6, the nerves on my feet were telling me they needed more skin. I ignored the pain. At mile 7.5 I stepped on a slice of glass or a metal scrap or a rusty nail. But I didn’t stop because I had only half of a mile left! I would treat the cut later.

When I finished my run, I wasn’t all that shocked to see blood prints behind me. I could see my life juices swishing with the rain and swirling peacefully into the gutter. When I examined my foot, I didn’t discover a shard of glass or even a gash on my foot. Instead I gazed into the tiny hole I had run into it.

Luckily, I was able to bandage the wound and run comfortably with sandals. I even comfortably ran 10 miles three days after the injury. Unfortunately,  the bandage must have altered my gait because I developed a pain deep in my ankle. It felt like a sprain, but worse. My foot swelled so I decided to take it easy until it healed.

As soon as I got back up to 11 miles for my long run, I caught a wicked chest cold. Cough cough cough, no phlegm just a hacking dry cough and not even dreams of sleep for about three days. I rarely get ill, but this virus sneaked past my defenses.  Maybe that’s because I weakened them by running barefoot through a storm.

I am well again. I am once again on my feet. If I were to pray to Saint Sebastian for anything, I think I would ask him to protect me FROM MYSELF.

 

May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.

Have You Seen the 5 Surprisingly Bizarre Images of the Day?

I’m constantly scouring the Web for weird stuff. When I came across these images, I couldn’t resist captioning them. Since no post with visuals is complete without some form of annoying mood music, here is an ear tickle.

Enjoy.

Man sweeping near wind storm wreckage.
For once, Karin from QVC (late-night infomercial) wasn't kidding. This really is a super-broom.
Surreal Photo of family wearing Pancake Masks
Together, we can end battered families.
Weird black and white picture of two men holding a humongous rifle.
I told you Charles, violence makes us small men.
Strange image of a man swimming in a sink hole.
I know that dang GEO Cache is here somewhere!
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What Shifts Desperation Into Inspiration?

Yesterday, I saw something that made my soul feel soggy and wet: a repulsively obese woman driving an automatic wheelchair–she could walk, I watched her stand up grab a box of donuts. Her flab oozed over the filthy gray arms of the chair in appalling globs of loose, baggy flesh.  The woman didn’t even bother to take the curlers out of her dirty stiff hair. Her nightgown looked as if it hadn’t been changed in weeks and blistery soars around her lips made her brown streaked teeth glisten in the fluorescent light.

The image of that woman infected my mood as I drove home. What disturbed me most was the neglect. To clean my mind and rejuvenate my soul, I watched Gangnman Style for the millionth time. When it ended, I saw this video hanging on the side of YouTube.

Want to discover another REAL LIFE inspirational story about LIVING HEALTHY & Barefoot? Read my exclusive interview with Rosey Etsuler.

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The Day My Cardboard Dream Came True

my barefoot  break dance gear

To school, I wore a shiny red sweat suit with white stripes running down the arms and legs. Back in the day, it was the raging style. In that boisterous outfit when the lunch bell rang, I darted off to the gym,  where I would bust some “fresh” break dance moves.

I could robot well, I could crab crawl, and I could even do front flips. But there was one move that I could never master. It was called the windmill. The break dancers of today still twirl it out because it’s a lovely move. The legs scissor overhead, then they swing down, and when the movement is perfect, they are shifted towards heaven so that the downward motion is transformed into a surging magical levitation, the torso pops a rotation and the cycle repeats. The magical surging levitation was the crucial part of the Windmill that I could never get right. Instead of gracefully swinging overhead, rolling down, then floating up, my knees would just bang on the hardwood floor.

Maybe it was  the memory of the thrill of learning to ride a unicycle at age 35 or maybe it was the retro bubble letters I saw on a Web page, but

I had this desperate urge to conquer the dang Windmill.

First stop: YouTube. Break-dance instruction video, check. Makeshift amazon cardboard dance floor on the living room carpet: check. Silly 80s break-dance music: Doug E. Fresh on Spotify: check. Determination to succeed: double-check.

Maybe my mind had never stopped working the mystical timing problem with the windmill break-dance move.  But something had changed. The decades of accumulated wisdom all kicked into action, for as soon as I attempted the move, success embraced me with her loving arms and my legs whipped around at just the right time without banging the ground and I, Mister Middle Aged Barefoot Runner, was doing the windmill like a feral teenager full of joy and hope! It was like that day my parents picked us from the last day of school and took us to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and my dad made us yellow painted skim-boards in the shape of rockets and we slide on top of the thin sheet of cool ocean water at high speeds and flipped into the oncoming foamy waves and the sun was out and everyone was happy and it all smelled like sweet Mr. Zoggs coconut surf wax. That thrill filled me as I busted out some delicious break-dance in my living room. Suddenly I was remembering  moves I thought time had eaten; I was doing the bronco, back-spins, snap-twists, and of course, the freaking windmill. Someone should have filmed it; it was so beautiful and I was sweaty and barefoot at the end, but there was a smile tattooed on my face the rest of night and I slept well and dreamed of apples.

The next day, my triumphant re-entry into the fabulous world of 80s break dance turned into a dull pain on my side an inch or so from my heart. It got worse as the day rolled on. The following day, I suspected a cracked or bruised a rib or maybe the popping of delicate internal organs; deep breathing hurt as did moving my torso in any direction, but I didn’t care. I conquered the dang Windmill and it was worth it.

Tout disparaîtra mais. Le vent nous portera.


HIT PLAY TO HEAR THE EPIC BREAK-DANCE SONG.

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Twitter Blacklist: Will Your Site be Next?

Twitter blacklisted Barefoot Runner’s Life!!!!!!!

All existing Twitter links to this blog, many of which show up for searches, bring this warning page:

Twitter inexplicably bans barefoot runner's blog

If you click on the “Tweet” button above or try to TWEET a link to Barefoot Runner’ Life , you’ll see the error message:

Twitter CEonsorship. Blacklisted Blog
Unjust Twitter blacklist blog

I contacted Twitter support asking them to remove my site from the blacklist. They took off the list for a matter of minutes, but then placed it back. Twitter has NOT provided a reason for banning and maligning my Blog.

Here is the e-mail I sent:

False Positive for Blacklist

Someone blacklisted my site on Twitter. I am NOT a spammer or malicious hacker and my site does NOT and has NOT had any malware installed on it ( http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=http%3A%2F%2Fbarefootrunnerslife.com ). I’m just a blogger who runs barefoot. I would like to know why my site has been blacklisted. If I’m violating any of your guidelines, please let me know. I will correct whatever issue you have.

I urge Twitter users to contact Twitter support and request that this site be removed from the Blacklist.

Twitter censors blogs

Twitter you may censor my blog, but you will never censor my SOLE!!!! :0)

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My Blog My Content

Valen Longfeather Barefoot RunnerAs many readers know, the content of my blog is anything but focused. So I was shocked when someone offered to buy my Website.

I immediately thought about what I have written over the year.  Rifling through the archives, I found posts about ghost encounters, an interview with a fictional reptilian from Star Trek, a remarkably handsome long haired fellow ranting about Vibram Five Fingers on a YouTube Video, some silly jokes, a few Podcasts with too many sound effects, and even crappy poetry.

I have, of course, slanted all my content and media for this blog toward barefoot running and what it means to me. But I must admit that some of my “popular” content was written with keywords and search engines in mind. I used the keywords as a writing prompt–similar to the way I write sonnets, I start with the end rhymes, then write the lines. I never published anything that I could not spin into a worthwhile post. As you can tell, I speak my mind and I do my best to be transparent and honest about my affiliates–even going so far as write “shameless affiliate plug” next to affiliate links.

The offer to buy my Website forced me examine the blog. Looking at it, I realize that impressions and affiliate income isn’t my main goal. I want to express myself and I don’t want to box myself into writing posts from a list of keywords. I HATE blogs like that and I HATE how dirty SEO has rendered Google and other search engines useless.

It’s time to get uncomfortable; it’s time for a change. I started it off with an ultra conservative haircut. And I’m continuing it with this blog.

The disquieting truth of life is that everything is transient. People, pets, prizes,and possessions sparkle bright in the darkness for a bit then fade away. There’s something that seems inherently sad about that. Buddha said that the pain of impermanence/transience arises from attachment. We cling to the world, our lives, our relationships, our families, our possessions, and accomplishments. We expect them to remain present, predictable, and permanent. They aren’t. When the earth rumbles and land beneath our feet sinks, we scream and claw at crumbling dirt instead of floating into the Great Abyss.
It’s odd that I find myself compelled to shake my personal universe, to write about my personal life, “to explore strange new worlds, to seek new life and civilizations, to boldly go where no barefootedly written split infinitive has gone before.”

Since I don’t always wear shoes, barefeet will stomp through my posts. But on the whole, the writing for my blog will not be as instructional or as heavily “barefoot runner”; instead, it will shift to the “life” part of “barefoot runner’s life”. I will, from time to time, write how to posts or offer tips about running without shoes as learn them. And I will also preserve the content  and media that I have already produced. I hope you continue read. I hope you comment, and I hope you become a new friend not only in cyberspace, but also in real life.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease.

–Valen

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