Diet Update #1 – Zinc & Omega 3 + Other Changes

I decided I would try to keep track of the changes and things that I am experimenting and learning about diet.

I was taking a whole food multi-vitamin then I just went to taking spirulina then around 2009 I stopped. I was thinking do these things really work? But I started to take it again maybe 6 months ago or so when I started the ketogenic diet.

Since then I have added Omega 3 Algae oil, Vitamin D (for my teeth) and just recently Zinc. As mostly a vegetarian I don’t get much omega 3 since I don’t eat fish. I occasionally ate some seafood when I lived in Asia, but not since I lived here.

The highest source of zinc is oysters. I tried oysters once in Xiamen, China in like a green onion sort of pancake. I don’t remember much taste, but it was a bit sandy.

They don’t appeal to me that much so I decided to take a supplement.

I might have been on the lower end for getting zinc, so I decided to try it out on the high end.

Why I am taking zinc?

I read that it helps:

  • Allergies
  • Prostate
  • Warts (I have had these little plantar warts on my feet for years and I tried burning them and duct tape to no avail)
  • Prevent injuries
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Aromatase inhibitor (boosts testosterone/lowers estrogen)

Other changes

I eliminated cucumbers from my diet and some other night shade vegetables that I rarely ate. That was part of the plant paradox book on avoiding certain lectins.

I am trying to stray away from foods that are high in phyto-estrogens. I don’t eat stuff like flax or soy or grains. However, I was occasionally eating tahini which I read was high in phyto-estrogens.

Despite it’s high in that it’s also pretty high in Zinc (aromatase inhibiter which blocks estrogen). So I am not sure, but I’ll stop eating it for now.

Probiotics…

I recently have been making my own kombucha and yogurt. I have been making yogurt from coconut milk/cream and A2 cow’s milk.

Root vegetables & green bananas/papaya

Recently I added some sweet potatoes and taro into my diet. I guess these do I have some phyto-estrogens but nothing compared to soy, flax or sesame.

Apparently green papayas and bananas are better for you because of resistant starch (prebiotic).

Reducing omega 6 from nuts

I guess some nuts have a lot of omega 6 fats in them. Nuts are like my favorite food. I think I may eat too much at times so I am trying to cut back a bit. Omega 6 causes inflammation and pain.

Increasing omega 3

I have been taking algae oil which is high in EPA and DHA and from what I have gathered a better/cleaner source of omega 3 than fish oil.

Omega 3 is supposed to reduce inflammation.

Books I read recently:

  • The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance
  • The Plant Paradox

The “Pleasure” Of Getting Promoted To JUDO Green Belt

I got promoted to green belt in judo yesterday at CCSF. And I am being a bit sarcastic when I say “pleasure”. When you get promoted there is a certain sort of ritual and part of the ritual is that you line up and get to throw the people who got promoted 3 times – once for yourself, once for the teacher and once for the person promoted.

Me about to get thrown by a big black belt

Me about to get thrown by a big black belt

Last week Jackson got promoted to 3rd degree brown belt. I thought it looked a little brutal when I saw some people throwing him pretty hard. I was thinking that maybe that treatment was reserved for the higher belts and maybe newly promoted green belts wouldn’t get thrown.

I was wrong.

The moment before getting thrown

The moment before takeoff

The four of us promoted got thrown 3 times by each classmate (16 classmates). So that means we got thrown 48 times in about 10 minutes or so. This isn’t like randori. You have no fair chance. You just have to accept it. You let the other person throw you.

And some won’t throw you that hard and others will. I was a bit worried about that.

But I survived.

The four of us in the front row were promoted to green or brown belt.

The four of us in the front row were promoted to green or brown belt.

I have been practicing judo since around 2015. I started with jiu-jitsu and gradually got into judo. I didn’t take it as seriously as jiu-jitsu and didn’t practice as much, like 2 half classes a week.

I realized that it was important to learn judo because if you don’t know any take downs or throws then how are you going to get your opponent to the ground?

So from a self-defense perspective I think you have to know some judo to be a better grappler.

Jessica getting thrown with the osoto gari throw

Jessica getting thrown with the osoto gari throw

I didn’t really do a lot of randori (sparring) with judo. I would often go to jiu-jitsu Tuesday and Thursday at 6 and then stay for the first hour of judo which follows jiujitsu. I would do some technique and then go home.

Then I tried to add a little randori with a few people before heading out. And I recently started to stay a bit longer to do some more.

I don’t think my judo is very good, but you know it’s getting better, slowly

Learning to fall is part of it too. I try to work on my falling. Sometimes it’s fun to fall like when you have it timed right and you break the fall with your arm(s) just right.

Then…

Other times it’s not so fun especially when you don’t see it coming or you get the wind knocked out of you.

The photos are from the CCSF judo page.

Related:

How I made KOMBUCHA without a scoby at home

This is how I made Kombucha at home from scratch without a scoby. This was my first time and I thought it turned out pretty good. It was easy and cheap to do.

HOW TO DO IT

1. Get a large glass jug. Glass is better as plastic leeches into your tea.
2. Get some green tea (loose leaf, bags or just bagged green tea).
3. Buy some kombucha (plain) at the store. I suspect flavored might work too, but was told plain.
4. Get some sugar.
5. Heat your water.
6. Fill your jar.
7. Add the tea and steep 5 minutes or so.
8. Take the bags out and add the sugar. I was told a cup, but did about half of cup and it was o.k.
9. Stir and dissolve sugar.
10. Let it cool a bit then add the kombucha.
11. Cover the jar tightly with a thin cloth or coffee filter.
12. Keep it at room temperature out of the sun.
13. Wait 7-10 days or longer if you want less sugar.

Mine turned out good. I tasted it around 8-9 days and then partook on the 10th day. It was good!

A little scummy thing called a scoby starts to form. Mine was pretty thin I did read a 1/4 inch think was o.k. Mine was probably an 1/8th of an inch thick.

HOW I MADE MY SECOND FERMENTATION

Today I made a second batch. I poured out the kombucha into bottles and my tummy;) Then left that little scummy scoby in there. Then poured back in the mixed tea and sugar.

But before I did I let it COOL. I figured the hot water could damage the scoby.

The scoby kind of sank to the bottom as it was pretty thin, but I think it will be alright.

We’ll watch and try it out in 7 days or so.

New Judo & Jiu-jitsu gi Size A3 [For Sale] CCSF

This is a brand NEW judo gi that I have for sale. It’s cheap and it’s good quality. It includes a jacket, belt, and pants.

Works fine for jiujitsu too, yet it just has a bit longer jacket. I tried it on, but it was a bit big for me (5’11, 155) and they wouldn’t return it for free.

judo-gi

Guess it would fit someone about 20-40 pounds heavier and/or a bit taller. I normally wear an A2 yet this was a bit big and may be closer to A3. It has a different sizing which is 4/170.

If you are a student a CCSF [or not], in San Francisco and are looking for a new gi for judo/jiu-jitsu then let me know and I can bring it in sometime.

You can buy it on Ebay too for $59 +shipping or directly through me for $50 which is what I paid for it.

 

How to Increase Your Bone Density & Improve Balance

“Spend more time in a squat position throughout the day. Just doing that will improve your digestion, your knee health, your hips, and it will start to move things in the right direction. Another is hanging, which is so beneficial for shoulders.” – Ido Portal

Squatting has actually improved the mobility of my legs and knees. I had stopped doing them or positions in yoga like child’s pose and after a few years realized I couldn’t kneel any more or put all of my weight done in a kneeling position when I started jiu-jitsu.

But after months of simple squatting I regained that ability.

Yoga is also a great way to improve your balance as there are many single leg positions to do.

I have been doing some squats as an exercise too, but starting tomorrow I will add some single leg squats in there as those are supposed to be better in that they add variable resistance and balance into the mix.

Those things will supposedly make your bones stronger. And when your bones are stronger your muscles can get stronger according to this video.

Listen to the last few minutes starting at (55:09) of this podcast to get some ideas on how to improve your bone density.

Jump

Funny, while watching the above video and listening to the guy talk about bone density and some exercise one of the things I thought of were burpees.

He said something about Tony Robbins jumping on a mini trampoline probably helps his muscles and tendons, but maybe not his bones because of the give in a trampoline. That’s when I thought of doing burpees.

That’s when you combine a push up, squat and jump in one quick exercise. If you do a bunch of them fast in a row you’ll get a good work out.

Before I kinda wondered if they were bad for your knees jumping. But here is some evidence that jumping is good.

How to do burpees

  1. Stand up
  2. Raise your arms to the sky
  3. Jump up
  4. When you land jump back or step back into a plank position
  5. Do a push-up or if you can’t just hold the plank for an instant then…
  6. Jump forward so your arms are outside of your feet
  7. Stand and jump up with your arms raised
  8. Continue

When I first did these I would be out of breath after 10, however with time they get easier. It’s a good exercise as you are using a lot of different muscles too as well as making your bones denser.

If burpees are too difficult you could try jumping jacks or even box jumping.

Here’s a 5 minute workout on Youtube

Poisonous foods that you are probably eating [Lectins]

When I weighed myself at the last jiu-jitsu tournament I weighed a bit more than I thought. I have been doing a ketogenic diet for a while. I think the reason why I gained a few pounds was that I was eating a jar of peanut butter or occasionally almond butter every 2 days.

I was also eating a lot of cheese and coconut. Despite burning a lot of calories doing jiu-jitsu and working out 2 days a week I still gained weight and I think it went to my mid section.

Some people in Keto forums thought I was also getting too many carbs from nut butters.

But some things have changed and I am going to stop eating peanut butter and almond butter at least for some time. But not so much for the fat as it is for the lectins.

I started watching some of Steven Gundry’s videos about lectins in plants. I have heard before of people having allergies to peanut butter and others having lactose intolerance.

I never really noticed a problem with those things except for a bit of acne if ate a lot of cheese or peanut butter.

So I am going to try to cut those things out from my diet. As well as some other things like the cucumbers that I used to dip in peanut butter.

Cheese and peanut butter do have some nutrition, but are high in omega 6 fat which causes inflammation. That was the main reason why I was going to cut those things out.

Too see if some pain disappears.

Then I just found some new information —> there are the lectins… which may be causing inflammation

  • Foods with A1 dairy milk (from what I understand is most of the dairy in this country)
  • Peanuts (according to Gundry 94% of people react to it)
  • Almonds although if the skins have been removed then they are better
  • Cashews
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Zuchini
  • Grains like wheat, rice, quinoa, etc.
  • Beans

And a whole lot of other foods…

http://gundrymd.com/wp-content/pdf/Plant-Paradox-Shopping-LIst.pdf

All of those things have lectins that can cause inflammation like arthritis and digestive, heart or other problems.

Since I started keto I haven’t been eating grains, potatoes or rice. I have occasionally eaten beans which are not keto, but I have occasionally indulged. Which I guess if they are pressure cooked or boiled are better but not totally free of lectins.

According to Gundry sweet potatoes and other tubers are o.k. I haven’t been eating those either but I might try. Those aren’t keto foods as they are high in carbs, but…

His diet or approved food list is kinda similar to keto in some ways in that he recommends lots of healthy fats like avocados and olives and only seasonal fruit.

Keto

What differences have I noticed since starting keto? Well I may have not always been in a state of ketosis over the last 6 months or so as I may have been eating too much peanut butter at times.

It’s higher than some nuts in carbs.

However, I can’t say that I notice any major changes. I was pretty lean prior to starting it. I might have lost a couple of pounds initially, but as I mentioned I gained a few pounds. A lot of people do keto to lose weight. I don’t think it did for me.

Maybe if I go back to occasionally eating sweet potatoes, carrots or other carrots I will notice a difference.

I watched a lot of Dominic Augustino’s videos on Youtube. In fact he was the one that probably inspired me the most to try it. But he said some people do o.k. with some carbs.

Keto seems pretty strict I have been o.k with eating that way yet occasionally may want to eat a carb like a carrot or parsnip or a piece of fruit which I have hardly eaten since starting keto.

Eating less fruit is also what Gundry recommends. And so does keto.

Gundry – lectins

His work sounds pretty interesting too. I found his stuff by digging into foods that were high in omega 6 fat. Here’s a video by him…

It’s kind of similar to keto in some ways as I mentioned, he also recommends intermittent fasting which I have been doing for a while too.

Yet it’s specific to certain foods and how they may affect your health. So we are going to cut those out for a couple months at least and see what kind of results we get.

http://gundrymd.com/wp-content/pdf/Plant-Paradox-Shopping-LIst.pdf

My 3rd Jiu-jitsu Competition At CCSF

The beginning of the match. Vincent and I starting on our knees.

The beginning of the match. Vincent and I starting on our knees.

This video is of my 3rd jiu-jitsu competition at CCSF on Friday Aug. 21, 2017. This one we started on our knees as some of the students didn’t have much training with falling.

There were a few divisions based on weight and then one division he called blue belt which is the one that I completed in. There were maybe 5 other people in that division that included white belts like myself with quite a bit of experience, 2 judo brown belts and one jiu-jitsu blue belt.

Me doing a collar choke on Vincent. I won with a collar choke like this, however I don't think this one was the one. It doesn't look quite deep enough.

Me doing a collar choke on Vincent. I won with a collar choke like this, however I don’t think this one was the one. It doesn’t look quite deep enough.

Matches were 3 minutes long. I had one match that finished with a tie and then we went like another 4 minutes until I got a submission.

This took place at CCSF city college in San Francisco.

I won three by submission: collar choke, armbar from guard and kimura. I lost 2 by points. Sensei said I lost my last match because I didn’t attack… I played defense.

Triangle choke from the side. I let go of his arm you can't see and did a kimura on his arm you can see.

Triangle choke from the side. I let go of his arm you can’t see and did a kimura on his arm you can see.

When I watched the video I look pretty half there. Friends said I looked pretty gased out.

Richard taking my back.

Richard taking my back.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to compete in this one as sensei asked on wednesday if I would ref. I also tweaked my back and thought it might be wise to rest, but then come Friday sensei said Robert would ref and I should compete.

Me going for an armbar and Richard defends.

Me going for an armbar and Richard defending.

So I did.

It seemed long. I did 5 matches and one lasted nearly 7 minutes.

I edited this video to make it short and just focused on some of the techniques being done.

Getting promoted to blue belt. Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

Getting promoted to blue belt. Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

At the end of the match sensei promoted me to blue belt.

Jiu-jitsu: The Road To Blue Belt

My white belt for jiu-jitsu

My white belt for jiu-jitsu

Wondering how long it will take you to get a blue belt in jiu-jitsu? Funny I was thinking of writing this article “the road to blue belt” about a week or so ago and then I got one.

I remember when I first started I had a goal where I wanted to get a white belt in a year. I wrote it on my wall. I was kinda destination driven. Then there was a bump in the road that knocked me out for 6 months or so.

I hurt my knee. But I got back into it. As time progressed and when the year started to come to a close I started to think I wasn’t a blue belt and I scratched the goal out and replaced it with something like “have fun learning jiu-jitsu”.

That became my goal. Sure I still wanted to get promoted, but it wasn’t the main thing. I thought I’d rather be a good white belt than a bad blue belt.

I had learned that intrinsic rewards were better than extrinsic ones too. In other words you should do something because you enjoy it not because you want the carrot, paycheck, black belt or whatever.

So anyways…

The road to blue belt in jiu-jitsu was a pretty long one for me. I looked back over my history and added up the time that I spent on the mat practicing jiu-jitsu.

I practiced in 3 different schools. Here’s my technical answer to how long it took me to get a blue belt in jiu-jitsu…

About 35 months of training on the mat

  • 14 months with Romulo Melo
  • 4 months CCSF Aug-Dec 2015
  • 4 months CCSF Jan-May 2016
  • 2.5 months Caesar Gracie May-July 2016
  • 4 months CCSF August-December 2016
  • 1 month Romelo Melo December-Jan 2017
  • 4 months CCSF Jan-May 2017
  • 1.5 months CCSF June-July 2017

Normally I practiced 4 days a week. That translates to 16 days a month x 35 months = 560 days. There were times when I managed 5 and others when I did 3. Over the recent summer session at CCSF I did 2 days. But again normally I did 4 days a week.

At Romulo Melo I normally did hour long classes. Occasionally I would do an hour and a half. I’d estimate 4.5 hours a week, 18 hours a month for 15 months = 270 hours.

At Caeser Gracie I did a mix of classes that were 1-1.5 hours long. I’d estimate 4.5-5 hours a week. I’ll round down to 4.5, 18 hours a month for 2.5 months = 45 hours.

At CCSF I probably spent more hours a week on the mat. I also took judo classes there a couple hours a week. Jiujitsu classes were 1-2 hours depending on the class. I’d estimate 6 hours a week doing jiu-jitsu, 24 hours a month for a total of about 17 months = 408 hours.

I actually started at CCSF when I was still going to Romelo’s. I didn’t go there much my first semester so I didn’t include it above.

So between the 3 schools that’s about 705 hours of jiu-jitsu.

So that white belt above saw quite a few hours. In fact I replaced two of the stripes that fell off. The only original stripe on it is the really dark and dirty one. Those stripes were from training with Romelo Melo. They were from 2014-2015.

These numbers are just my experience and are kind of arbitrary

For you – if you’re wondering I have no idea how long it will take.

For me I think it took longer because I changed schools and had a few injuries. Had I stayed with Romelo (my first school) I think I would have gotten it a while ago. 

But…

I couldn’t afford to keep going there and also I wanted to learn some judo. So I went to CCSF.

Obstacles and pain on the path

I hurt both of my knees (bone bruises and a torn meniscus). They seemed to heal pretty good though. I had a rib that bothered me for a long time.

A couple of armbars. Yes, I tapped, but not fast enough as in both cases the person didn’t let go immediately. Tap hard and tap early. Nothing ever popped, but the joints locked.

The only thing that ever popped was my ankle in a toe hold. I didn’t see that coming and then the next thing I knew I heard and felt a pop. It bugged me for a while, but it’s o.k now.

There were a lot of bruises, jammed toes and fingers and I recently cracked the enamel in my tooth. I wasn’t wearing my mouthpiece when I got kneed in the face…

Ahhh…

White belts;)…

Funny some say white belts are sometimes the more dangerous ones. They are a bit more unpredictable and spastic as they haven’t learned much technique so they rely more on strength.

As sensei says, “do the technique”.

CCSF summer 2017 jiu-jitsu class

CCSF summer 2017 jiu-jitsu class

Fun and friends on the path

I have made a lot of friends through jiu-jitsu. Most of the people that I have met have been pretty cool. And despite the pain I have had a lot of fun.

There’s been ups and downs when you don’t think you’re learning or your getting tapped out, but mostly it’s been fun.

I think jiu-jitsu gives you energy too. There have been times when I went in there not feeling very good and then I’ll leave pumped up.

Fear

Jiu-jitsu is scary. Competing is twice as scary. I still get a bit scared before every class. I would get scared of getting hurt. Sometimes it’s scary sparring with new people too.

But I remember and say to myself something sensei Palacio said, “Do the technique”.

I think I also just imagine dark sh*t happening sometimes too. Maybe I have a dark mind. It’s not just jiu-jitsu. Walking over the bridge to the competition the other night I just thought what if I fell of that bridge? And got hit by a car.

Game over.

But actually what’s really scary is not jiujitsu, but the anticipation of it. When you are doing it all the fear pretty much goes away.

It’s a weird mix of excitement, fun and fear.

Sensei promoting me to blue belt

Sensei promoting me to blue belt

How long will it take to get promoted?

Probably longer than you think.

I guess it depends on a number of things, but based on my experience you’re more likely to get promoted if you stick with one school.

Although I think moving around was actually good for me. I got instruction from different teachers, but as far as getting promoted goes it probably didn’t help.

Different schools have different ways of promoting. Guess it’s up to the teacher.

Romelo Melo only did promotions like twice a year or so. During those times he would promote a bunch of people at the same time.

Caeser Gracie seemed to have no formal promotion. I saw Alessandro promote someone at the end of class once.

CCSF doesn’t seem to typically do jiu-jitsu promotions. I only know of one other person who got a blue belt there. CCSF is more focused on judo. They do promotions once or twice a semester for judo.

Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

Sensei, myself and Samir. Both are judo and jiu-jitsu teachers at CCSF.

Getting promoted

I actually got my blue belt after the recent competition on Friday July 21, 2017. That was unexpected. Funny I got a little choked up too. I don’t know it just kinda seemed like an abstract thing.

At times I thought maybe I am doomed to be a white belt forever. Self doubt…

But…

Most of the time I just figured I’d get it eventually and just tried to focus on doing it and having fun. I know other people who trained at CCSF who were white belts for a long time. Some even longer than me, like 4 or 5 years+.

At one time I wondered how long it would take.

It might take longer than expected or it could come sooner. So I’d just say enjoy the ride.

Is a college degree worth it?

I am going to speak from experience here. It’s not worth the debt. Don’t take out debt. I still have debt from 20 years ago. Yikes sounds scary. Time flies.

It’s a good experience and it might help you, but for me not really. I mean by itself it didn’t get me ahead. I studied art with an emphasis on painting.

If you are not sure then wait till you are. Do other stuff. Travel, learn, get experience and do the things that you want to do.

I guess it depends on what you want to study. But I repeat it’s not worth the debt. Stay debt free. A lot of people are going to tell you to do it probably but…