Thank you for joining me!

Welcome to the Happy Grappler. The key to a consistent practice is joy. As an aging athlete, I continue to seek out methods that help to keep a smile on my face, relatively fit and pain free. This is my mental graffiti. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

No-soda-vember update.

Greetings one and all!

It is time for another coat of paint to my mental museum.

I trust that you all had a great thanksgiving. Mine was absolutely wonderful. Although the dietary excess was fun and enjoyable at the time, this also marks me going back on the "No Grain Train". I am re-tweaking the paleo diet and basing my new venture on some old mistakes. So far it has been nearly a week that I have been on my revised version of the plan and it is working rather well. The 80/20 rule will allow approximately 4 meals per week to deviate from the plan. While I will not attempt to make all four, this will give me enough "wiggle room" should I feel that I need it. While I also plan on deviating, I will also fast up to one day per week, maybe one meal or maybe one day...but to fast one day per week. After listening to a podcast of Les Stroud and Joe Rogan, it really reinforces the importance of intermittent fasting. I have also found that a tablespoon of raw honey really suppresses my cravings for super sugary things, and you know what does as well? Kicking soda. Tomorrow marks 1 month and while I retain the right to have a soda now and then, I believe that I am done. Upon reflection, letting go of the soda habit has had an amazing supressatory effect of my desire for refined sugars. It may have been the step that I have been missing all this time. While I am re-acquainting myself with the taste of water and will never have the "taste" for it, it is much better than what it was. Kicking the soda habit has also had a profound effect on my digestion. For me it would appear that most dairy, nearly all grain products, and soda are intestinal culprits. It is not a pretty subject, but I believe the health on the intestinal tract is a fairly good measure of overall bodily health. No-soda-vember has been a success. Now onto my December challenge.

For the month of December, I am focusing on sleep quality. I have been a long time insomniac. Issues that I encountered at DCFS as a social worker introduced me to sleep medications and my time as an overnight worker at a hospital threw my sleep schedule completely off. I currently continue to take medications for sleep, but I have been sleeping better now than I ever have. So I now believe that the time is right to see if I can lower my dependence on medications and increase my sleep quality. I currently use a blackout mask and a fan for white noise and our bedroom has no TV or computer and is fairly cool in temperature at all times. The experiment for December will be to conduct about a thirty minute routine to Taijiquan, Qigong and Vipasana (mindfulness) before bedtime to see if this routine will aid in stress reduction and have any effect in sleep quality. If it does, then I will begin to periodically reduce the medication usage and keep the routine. Should be an interesting adventure.

Speaking of old challenges, I wasn't able to keep up with the "yoga until the end of the year challenge." While I tremendously benefitted from the practice and will keep performing a yoga routine, I was seeing detriments in other parts of my performance, conditioning being one of them. Plus, to be honest, I really missed walking and have picked up the kettlebell again, but am using it as a form of cardio conditioning. Joe Rogan talks about the "Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout DVD" and I really want to get it. I have fashioned a workout with a 16 kg kb after some of the descriptions and in 30:00 I was nearly broken (in such a good way!) I have also done ten minute Tractor Tire workouts where I will flip it and hit it with a sledgehammer as many times as I can in 10 minutes. In terms of variety this month I will plan on a walk/tire session (weather permitting), and/or a kb session or yoga practice on my non-bjj days until the end of the year.

BJJ training continues to progress and I can feel progress in parts of my game. I was saddened to learn that Professor Occloo will be leaving our academy and moving his travels on. I knew that his stay was temporary, but am saddened that he is leaving now. He is truly an extraordinary man. His judo is amazing and I will be forever indebted for the lessons that he has taught me.

Video candy this week includes a preview of the Extreme Kettlebell Cardio workout DVD and a clip of Occloo's Judo.

Have a great week. Stay thankful and stay happy!


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