Tuesday, September 3, 2013

End of Summer Update

I'm sure I've noted this before, but apparently I am not very good at writing updates. I'm guessing part of the reason is my biphasic sleep experiment did not turn out so well, so I am embarrassed by my failure. I was having trouble falling asleep for my nap, then a few events requiring me to alter my schedule completely threw me off, and now I've reverted back to my old ways of sleeping in to 10 or 11am. My days are definitely shorter and less productive lately! I've decided to try a monophasic schedule for a while, with an optional 30 minute "rest/nap" period in the afternoon. Today is day 1 - I got up at 7am, and I will go to bed at half past  midnight. Time will tell if that is enough sleep or not.

There is good news, however, for my fat-loss Slow Carb Diet experiment - I have been very strict regarding the rules, and I have stayed consistent with my twice weekly HIT workouts. At my last weekly weigh-in, I had dropped a total of 19 pounds! I am down to 141 from 160; I don't have a six pack yet, but I can see more of the perimeter ab muscles than I have ever seen before, and veining in places I have never seen before (such as my upper front shoulders), so I am definitely pleased with my progress. I am very much enjoying this eating plan, and I will soon be sharing my go-to recipes and tips on this blog.  I will continue my fat-loss experiment until I get a six pack or until I reach 135 pounds, whichever comes first. I do not want to slim down any less than 135 pounds, so at that point I will most likely begin my bulking experiment.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for (hopefully) regular updates!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Update on Slow Carb Diet and Biphasic Sleep

I've really been slacking on the updates recently, everything is just very busy as usual. I am making forward progress on organizing my business and schedule, but I still feel overwhelmed and frustrated that everything isn't moving faster. Thus is life! I need to post updates on here more often, but it is difficult to do consistently for some unknown reason. I think regularly posted updates will make me more consciously aware of changes, progress, and lack of progress, and overall it will help to keep me on track and reach my goals faster.

My biphasic sleep experiment has not gone well, I got off-track last weekend and now I am back on my old midnight - 8am sleep schedule. I think a midnight - 6am plus one nap is do-able, so I intend to jump back on that schedule as soon as I can.

Slow carb is going great, I am noticing results - I can normally see my top two abdominal muscles, now I can start to see the next two. This is very motivating and gives me the energy to push on. I still have three main issues that are holding me back:

1. Lack of time for meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation - right now I am focused on expanding my business and that eats up all of my free time and then some.

2. I eat and prepare meals together with my family, but even though we mostly all have similar goals for food, it is difficult for all of us to agree on what to eat and work as a team to make food together.

3. Since we moved the office, I am not at home for 2-3 meals of the day, something that has been very difficult for me to adapt to. I'm used to always having access to all of my food and cooking gear, but now it feels like I need to have two of everything, and since the office is not organized yet, everything feels very chaotic.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I think I tried to change too many things at one time. I need to focus on one problem at a time, solve it, then move on to the next one.

The first problem I will focus on is meal planning and preparation - I will choose just a few simple meals that I will repeat over and over again. They will use minimal ingredients, and they will involve minimal preparation and clean up. I will have the required equipment and home and at the office. Each week I will purchase enough food so I can have extra available at both locations.

Now it's time to execute my plan; as Captain Picard would say, "Engage!"

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Biphasic Sleep: Day 21 (Back on Track)

Now I'm quite certain the main reason I slept in was because of exercise (weight lifting) or prolonged physical activity the day before. This week I'm adjusting my core sleep from midnight to 6am and my nap from 3-4pm. This only gives me one additional hour during the day, but more of those hours should be productive when compared to my monophasic sleep schedule.

I am also adding two more elements to solidify my pre-sleep routine:

1) A sleep mask to block out all light during my nap

2) A spoonful of almond or peanut butter before sleep

In other news, I am on day two of my official return to the slow carb diet. I am making it a habit to post pics of each meal on twitter (doostoo2) for meal tracking. I will share recipes and ideas here whenever I get a chance. I am starting out simple then I will experiment and diversify, adding more recipes to my collection, as time goes on. I have also ordered a PAGG stack supplement to try out, and I will have "before" measurements and pics soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Biphasic Sleep: Day 16 (Two Steps Forward, One Step Back)

I've accidentally overslept three times, between 1 and 1.5 hours too long, and I have some possible explanations:

1) I fell asleep too late

2) I had a glass of wine before bedtime

3) I did not fall asleep for my afternoon nap

4) I am changing too many things at once (sleep, diet, exercise) so it is difficult for my body to adjust

I am also still trying to find the ideal sleep time and duration, but even though I am not 100% settled into this routine after a little over two weeks, my productivity (especially in the evening/night) has gone way up.

I am experimenting with two different things in an attempt to fall asleep faster (both at night for my core sleep and in the afternoon for my nap):

1) I listen to the same relaxing song every time I go to bed ("Pink Moon" by Nick Drake)

2) I have ambient noise in the background - I always have a fan running while I sleep, but I added the sound of rain using the "White Noise" app

Time will tell if these experiments will have any impact or not.

Back to work!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Biphasic Sleep: Day 9 (Two Problems, More Energy)

Day 9 already? Wow! I have successfully stuck to my schedule so far, so that makes me happy. I still have two issues to address:

1) I am somewhat groggy with "tired eyes" until the sun comes up

2) I don't sleep much or at all for my 2-3pm nap

To address #1, tomorrow I will have an alarm go off at 4:20am, which will hopefully allow me to wake up briefly then get 30 minutes of solid REM sleep just before waking at 5am. If this doesn't eliminate the grogginess, I will try adding 15 minutes of full spectrum light exposure in the morning. I will also eat some almond butter and flax oil before I go to bed.

As for my nap, yesterday I added some soothing sounds (a recording of a rainstorm) to help block out background noise. This helped some, but I still did not get much sleep, which produced a 30 minute or so period of lethargy after my nap. I think it would also help to make my bedroom darker either using blackout curtains or a sleep mask.

Even with these two problems, I am enjoying the benefits from this sleep schedule:

1) Increased productivity during my waking hours, especially during the evening hours

2) I fall asleep quickly at night

3) The week goes by much slower - today seems like it should be Thursday or Friday, but it is only Wednesday

I am excited to see if my energy levels increase even more after I figure out a meal plan and switch over to "slow carb" eating.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

SCD Meal: Refried Beans, Eggs, Tomato, Sauerkraut, and Bacon

Here is a picture of my lunch, it was so delicious I just had to share it. It is slow carb diet compatible - I'm not following SCD quite yet, but I had a craving and it just happened to be SCD compatible. It consists of homemade refried beans (olive oil + onions + garlic, then add a can of pinto beans + cumin and mash together), Frank's sauerkraut, four whole eggs scrambled in ghee with salt and pepper, tomato, and bacon. If I was going for a healthier meal, I would have omitted the (delicious) bacon. Anyways, I'm stuffed, and my craving has been satisfied.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Biphasic Sleep: Day 5

I am feeling good about this sleep schedule so far, but I am not nearly adjusted yet. On Thursday, I did fall asleep for my nap - I only know this because when my alarm went off at 3pm there was a spot of drool on my pillow. Yesterday I did not fall asleep for my 1 hour nap, my mind was too active. The last two days, when my alarm went off at 5am I was in the middle of a REM sleep cycle again, so hopefully my body will adjust. Then again, the last two nights I got to bed closer to 12:30 instead of midnight, so I need to get to bed on time.

In other news, as part of the quest to eliminate my excess belly fat, I will drink one gallon of water each day. Yesterday I measured how much water I naturally drink in a day - I used a 1 liter Camelback bottle to keep track. I drank approximately 2 quarts, so I need to double that amount. It sounds like a lot, but with 18 hours of wake time I only need to drink 2oz of water every 15 minutes - allowing one extra hour before my nap and core sleep without water so my bladder doesn't explode while I'm sleeping.

I am also in the planning stages for quick, easy, tasty, and minimal-waste slow carb compliant meals that I can stick with long-term, stay tuned for more updates in that department.