It’s been a busy few days. I had the work event on Thursday, and then yesterday I was working like a madman all day, and felt like I got nothing done.
Kids, stay in school and study and stuff, because otherwise you’ll end up in a job where what you do all day is field calls from whackjob parents of unappreciative kids and data entry.
The Thursday bonding event for work was better than I expected, actually. I thought it was going to be uncomfortable silences and no fun at all, but it turned out that we all had a nice time. No small credit for this goes to the entertainer at our charming event, an up and coming magician by the name of John Ensor. He’s skillful, interesting and kept the children and adults alike entertained throughout. The end of it was a display of fire work, including juggling, fire eating and fire breathing. His website is at http://www.itsjonnie.co.uk/ and you can see a clip below of his children’s act, some of which, like the floating table, he does for adults too:
The food wasn’t too bad, either, although in the end, my oriental stirfry turned out to be a veggie burger… I ate fairly well, really, having some salad and a baked potato alongside it. Nice, generally.
Yesterday I didn’t eat so well; I skipped breakfast, and ate bagels for lunch, along with some unhealthy maize crisps, followed by some suspect biscuits at my grandfather’s house.
Not a good day for me, really. Today hasn’t been great, either, if I’m honest – I spent a lot of it cutting back the hedges in the front garden, which was a job, I can tell you. I then discovered a blocked drain, which I failed to unblock. It reeks. It’s probably blocked by old dishwasher powder or washing powder. I then came inside, thinking I was going to go into my bedroom and have a little sit down, call my wife and so on, and the door was just jammed shut. I could not open it. In the end, I pulled off part of the door frame and eventually ended up chiselling part of the frame away so that the locking plate would fit properly.
Door Frames 0, Tools 1.
Tonight, I’ll be doing something a little better, I think. I’ve been craving macaroni cheese, or mac and cheese as your Merkans call it. Unfortunately, recipes for it seem to come at it from all kinds of different directions. Some use cashew nuts, some use tahini, some use white miso, even. All of them look fairly complicated. Some use vegan cheese substitutes, like Cheezly or Sheese, although most of them seem to use nooch as a jumping-off point.
I eventually found a very simple recipe, although being me, I’m going to mess around with it a little, maybe add some Cheezly that I have kicking about. And some turmeric, probably, just for the colour, maybe a little smoky sweet powder. Either way, it looks good!
Now, I promised I was going to talk about veganism and weightlifting this week, and now I will, finally.
I’m a big guy. You can’t tell from my picture, obviously, but I’m 6’4″ tall, and I carry a lot of weight. Throughout most of my life, I was fat. And I mean fat in the sense of dangerously obese.
A few years ago, I started exercising, changed my diet for the better, and lost a lot of weight very quickly. I went from 320lb or so to around 235 or thereabouts in under a year. And while 235lb sounds a lot to most people, bear in mind that it’s stretched over more than six feet of me… This was all done with aerobic exercise, mainly treadmills and stationary bikes. I didn’t use a lot in the way of weights at the time, concentrating instead on the cardiac stuff so as to lose body fat. After a while, I left my gym, and started exercising at home, using free weights. This, combined with vigorous bicycling recently, has put me back up to around 280lb or so, most of the gain being muscle.
One of the main concerns a lot of people have about vegetarianism and veganism is protein: they think that living a vegetarian lifestyle entails lack of protein, because most people associate protein intake with meat. This in turn would lead most to suspect that someone on a veggie diet would be unsuitable as a weight lifter, which ties into the “weak vegan” stereotype.
However, there is ample evidence to the contrary, such as the revelation by Viennese scientists in 2007 that Roman gladiators ate an almost entirely vegetarian diet, not to mention vegan bodybuilders like Robert Cheeke.
In fact, a quick use of the Google on the internet machine shows that vegan bodybuilding is now only alive and well, but also growling and lifting like there’s no tomorrow.
It is not only possible to maintain the diet and lift, it is relatively easy; or at least no more difficult than any other vegan diet!
I haven’t noticed any muscle loss or degradation since I started this thing and it’s been nearly three weeks now. I still lift every day, and I still feel as strong as ever. Better in a lot of ways, if truth be known. While I’m still considering whether or not to maintain the vegan lifestyle after the experiment is over, I can honestly say that it has not proved a hindrance to my fitness and exercise regime while I’ve been doing it, and might even have given it a boost.
More tomorrow on some other subject…