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PAGG stack components I’ve found:

February 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is what I’ve found in my initial search for starting the PAGG stack.  I have not used any of this yet so I can’t comment on its effectiveness.  I also can’t comment on the quality or bioavailability of any of these.  How could I?  I don’t have a laboratory in my living room.  But these will be my choices since I’m on a budget.

Policosanol – $14 per 60 servings @ 20mg total (23mg is ideal)

4HB recommends 23mg of Policosanol per day.  This is as close to perfect as I could find.  $14 gets you enough to last 2 months.
NSI Policosanol BioCosanol – 60 Servings — 20 mg – 120 Capsules

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) – $8 per 120 @ 300mg each (300mg – 900mg total per day)

4HB recommends 300mg – 900mg ALA per day.  For $8 you get enough to last you anywhere from 1+ months to 4 months depending on how much you decide to use.
NSI Alpha Lipoic Acid — 300 mg – 120 Capsules

Green Tea Flavanols (EGCG) – $21 per 100 @ 725mg each (one per day)

4HB recommends a TOTAL of 725mg per day of decaffeinated green tea extract.  I was having trouble finding decaf EGCG but this one fits the bill.  It’s an extended release once-a-day pill that gives you your recommended daily amount.  I’m not crazy about “timed release” compared to taking the recommended dosage at times I can control, but I have zero research to back up that opinion.  So there ya go.
Life Extension Decaffeinated Mega Green Tea Extract 98% Polyphenolds, Vegetarian Capsules, 100-Count

Garlic Extract (Allicin Potential, S-Allyl Cysteine) – $15 per 150 servings (200mg per day)

Unless I’m missing something, I couldn’t find an actual daily recommended amount for garlic in 4HB.  If someone can shed some light on this for me I’ll update this page. 2oomg per day.  Right on page 116.  After doing some research it looks like Kyolic garlic is the least “offensive” to use… Perhaps the daily recommended amount is just how much of it you can stand to smell.  J  This particular version is 600mg of garlic powder per serving (two capsules) and is supposed to be odorless and tasteless.  At 150 servings for $15, that means one bottle will last you 5 months.
Kyolic Garlic Formula 100 Original Cardiovascular Formula (300 Capsules)

If my math is correct, which it is (keep in mind I’m using estimates), that works out to an “opening order” of approximately $58 plus shipping.  Since each product gets you a different number of servings and therefore a different amount of time before needing to reorder, you can break it down a few different ways.

With the above pricing:

Policosanol:        $7 per 30 day supply

ALA:                      $2 per 30 day supply

ECGC:                   $6.30 per 30 day supply

Garlic:                   $1.50 per 30 day supply

Or you could look at it this way:

That gives you a total cost of $259 over a 12 month period and you’ll still have a PAGG supply sitting in your kitchen at the end of the 12 months.

2.5 weeks in…

February 10, 2011 3 comments

Well I’m almost three weeks into doing Slow Carb.  Considering I STOPPED working out and am taking zero supplements (yet), I’m impressed with the results.  I’m putting NO effort in except to eat what’s “legal”.  Not only have I lost 10+ pounds, but my wife and I are spending less money on food than we usually do.

The need for sweeteners (either natural or artificial) is GONE.  Let me say that again.  It’s GONE.  I could care less.  The worst part about it is finding UN-sweetened drinks.  I’m on the road a lot and hit a lot of gas stations, convenience stores, etc. and it’s pretty useless to look for unsweetened drinks at any of them.  I found one single unsweetened drink at Target – Gold Peak Tea (http://www.goldpeaktea.com/#/unsweetenedtea) but that was it.  Everything else that was low calorie or “diet” has artificial sweeteners in it.  I now stop for bottled water if I run out of the bottle I bring with me and occasionally grab a black coffee from Burger King.  I don’t know if they’re doing this everywhere, but the BK’s around here are serving Seattle’s Best coffee.  Pretty darn good with nothin’ in it!

On days when I was at the office I used to grab a (huge) K-Cup of Kona Blend or Midnight Magic or whatever we had, throw three powdered creamers in it (eww), and three Splenda packets.  Now I just do a K-Cup of Earl Grey and am totally happy.

One interesting fact – I did a pre-Slow Carb experiment with the amount of Splenda I was using.  I was used to three packets, but after reading 4HB I decided to see what it would be like to just drop to two.  I did three for a few more days then switched to two.  I have no idea how else to describe it other than saying that I felt much less “harsh.”   It was like my body was working less to deal with what I was putting into it.  Normally I was jacked on caffeine and the Splenda-effect was just part of what I was feeling – and I was attributing it to the coffee.  One less packet and I felt much clearer and like I wasn’t straining.  Sorry but I just can’t put it into words.   If you’ve ever done the ECA stack (ephedrine, caffeine, aspirin) then you have some idea what it feels like… except there is zero positive benefit to Splenda.

Pitfalls

Oddly enough, the biggest problem I’m having at the moment is that I’m not eating enough.  I do my egg whites, salsa, and veggies for breakfast every morning, but I’ve been so busy at work that I’ve been pushing lunch for hours and hours to the point where I just eat it for dinner or even the next day.  I do bring a little bag of mixed cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, etc. and snack on that while I’m driving to and from jobs, but I’ve been slacking on stopping to actually eat.  I think part of it is I can’t eat a spinach salad with beans and chicken while I’m driving.  I think I just need to slow down and take a real lunch.  That’s a bad habit of mine.  Work, work, work, work, oops I haven’t eaten in 9 hours.

Last cheat weekend went a little “wrong” for my wife and I.  It was her birthday on Saturday and for some reason we talked ourselves into grabbing a pizza Friday night.  That was the first time I had cheated since my start date.  I did do 30 air squats before I ate it, though.  J

Another issue was that we were going to my parents’ house for a birthday dinner on Sunday.  Damn, that’s not on cheat day either!  So we already knew we were going to have some “illegal” food on Sunday and I think that helped us justify the Friday night pizza.  I snuck off for a few air squats before this meal as well.

Measurements

So last Friday I picked up a new scale.  My old Tanita was OK, but only gave half pound increments for weight and full percentage points for body fat.  I was at 29% for 5 days straight.  I have no idea if I was at 29.1% or 29.9%, and no idea if I was going up and down that whole time or if I was “stuck.”  I picked up a Taylor that does weight, body fat, water, and bone mass.  Also it has a user memory feature where you save your sex, height, and age.  With the Tanita I had to enter my sex and height every time.

Now I don’t know if it’s just because the Taylor is taking more factors into consideration, but wow is it different from the Tanita.  The weight is pretty close between the two, but I have yet to figure out the best way to take a body fat measurement.  When I got it home I tested on both of them.  That day I was showing 27% on the Tanita and… 37% on the Taylor?!?!  Tried it again and again and it was different each time, but right in that range.  I did some research online and found people complaining about just that.  Some of them said they had to use “Athlete” mode to get anything close to accurate.  So that’s what I tried.  In Athlete Mode I was 34%, but it was much more stable when I tested multiple times in a row.  Huh.  An obese athlete.  How does that work?

I don’t really care about accuracy, but I just want something that is consistent.  I just want to know if I’m going up or down; if I’m making progress or not.  However, I didn’t really expect something that was going to be THAT far off from what I had been measuring.  I was tracking weight and body fat percentage every day since I started Slow Carb and even have a fancy little graph.  Now my graph makes no sense.  I went up 5% body fat overnight.  The weight stayed right in line, but now I can’t post the chart without having to explain it.

I have had a decline in body fat percentage readings since I’ve worked out a way to get a semi-accurate reading (I think…).  So really that’s all I am looking for.  I don’t care if it says I weigh 100 pounds as long as it consistently says I weigh 100 pounds.  I really don’t feel like I’m still over 30% body fat, though, especially since I’ve lost almost 15 pounds since I started.  But what do I know?  My perspective has been skewed for the past few years… but I do wish my graph didn’t look like it does now.

Next?

I’ve been busy trying to keep up with a few projects at night, but next week I need to introduce kettlebells twice a week.  I meant to start this week but have been overwhelmed trying to create some OTHER habits in my life.  Exercise will come, just need to get some other things in motion so THEY become “normal” in day to day life.

I’ve been looking at the PAGG stack as well.  For about $65 I can get enough to last a long time.   It breaks down to about $17/month.  That is awesome.  When I think of supplements I think back to my days at GNC when I would take a bunch of EAS supplements.  $90/month for this, $60/month for that, etc.  At one point I was taking $240/month worth of supplements and meal replacements.  $17 a month?  Hell yes!

More later…

Categories: Health Tags: , , ,

Not so sweet anymore

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Day 3

Zero natural or artificial sweeteners.  None.  Not even a craving.  Nice… 🙂

OK, so “Day 3” is actually just the 3rd day I haven’t had any sort of sweeteners, but whatever.  It’s actually day 9 of Slow Carb.  I like it.  Moved down one belt notch already.  This is NOT difficult at all.

Morning – jasmine green tea, egg whites, black bean salsa, spinach

Driving – mixed nuts (almonds, macadamia, cashew, brazil), half a liter of water

Working/Lunch – huge bowl of baby spinach, mushrooms, chicken, black beans, and oil & vinegar – plus one liter of water

Driving – mixed nuts

Home – jasmine green tea, haven’t decided on dinner yet (edit – went with grilled chicken thighs, green beans w/almonds, and mixed vegetables…)

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