www.alterauslander.com - A Paleo Nerd and Outdoor Enthusiast Website

Still Drinking Sodas?

on Wednesday, 16 January 2013. Posted in General Health, Mind and Machine

Liquid Poison

Raise your hand if you have a soda within arms reach (that's Pop to you northerners)?  I used to be right there with you.  I was drinking a 2 liter about every 2 days along with hitting up drink machines through the day.  I was a Pepsi-aholic.  I drank Pepsi for the better part of my life which was the greater part of my nearly 37 years on the planet.  That's a LOT of soda.  I remembered in the 80's that Pepsi had a very distinct difference in flavor and it wasn't until the Throwbacks came out did I come to understand the difference in sugars.  I won't lie.  I loved the taste and the carbonation and I still have the urge to grab one every once in a while but for the most part my addiction is curbed.  Addiction.  Yeah that's exactly what it is and studies are now showing that sugar has a higher addiction rate than cocaine (at least according to some rats that the tests were run on).

I won't be one of those ex-people that tells you that it's a bad habit and you need to quit but I will expose the potential harm, why I stopped, and what exactly you're consuming.

Detoxing from the SAD

on Sunday, 13 January 2013. Posted in General Health, Mind and Machine

If this is your first approach at a Paleo or Primal diet after years of living on the SAD (Sandard American Diet) it is likely you will have detox symptoms. This isn't so different than that of a drug addict but less severe. You will have insatiable cravings for foods, you may have flu like symptoms, and you may just have lethargy and general fatigue. This may be referred to as a Herxheimer reaction. This is typically relegated to those taking antibacterials and resembles bacterial sepsis but I use the term for detoxing, while maybe not clinically correct in its usage it does apply here.

Detox reactions are occurring due to the fact that you're eliminating the diet of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. The die-off of critters in your gut happens at such a rate that the liver cannot handle the load and the result is a feeling of malaise. There's really little that one can do during this period which, depending on your state of health, may be a couple days or even weeks. Don't let this discourage you from taking on the change in diet though. You may go in feeling awful but on the other side it is worth the trouble and the elimination of the bad bacteria floating around the body. A lot of Paleo websites fail to mention this portion of things since there may be trepidation of those looking to change their diet and lifestyle. All I can say is to stay the course with it.

Things that can help during Detox:

  • Epson Salt baths
  • Magnesium Supplements
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • L-Glutamine (which helps rebuild the gut lining)
  • Plenty of fluids to help flush
  • Milk Thistle to aid the liver
  • Relaxation and Patience

More Work in Less Time

on Sunday, 13 January 2013. Posted in Physical Conditioning, Motion

In order to make the most of a change in diet, some physical effort should be utilized. You don't have to become a body builder, go through grueling cross-fit training regimes, or run 5 miles a day. Research into the field will prove that high intensity exercise in short bursts that fatigue the muscles is quite effective in engaging the central nervous system and muscle groups enough to compliment a healthy eating lifestyle.

From my personal experience, I began a very high intensity program, P90X, when I first started Gluten-Free and then engaged in a number of HIIT routines after getting into Paleo full swing. I am a very low-key person for the most part but adding a routine to my daily life really pushed my energy levels through the roof. I was doing the usual of slamming protein drinks and consuming multi-vitamins until I realized that I didn't really have to do all of that. I will say that P90X is a very robust program and anyone sticking with it will definitely show major improvements in strength and agility. It helped me to go from what's called skinny-fat to a ripped skinny individual. Tony Horton can be a drag to listen to over and over and over again (or at least his jokes) but the program itself is worthwhile and even doing the base minimum effort while eating properly will go a long way.

Shining Rock Wilderness

on Sunday, 13 January 2013. Posted in My Journeys, Motion

We got started Friday evening around 8pm at the Big East Fork trailhead destined for Old Butt Knob. This route was my choosing and Friday night looked like it was going to be pretty much a straight up jaunt. After checking all the gear and securing the vehicles I engaged my headlamp and set off. We were a little confused at the trail split but we ended up on the correct path and the ascent began pretty quickly. The first part of the trail was a moderate climb but as we got about a half mile in Old Butt Knob earned it's name. The trail became steep, you could hear roaring water well down in the ravine that my headlamp could not touch and trail was tight. My poles kept me from becoming a victim of sliding down the ravine a couple times. Being a Friday night I had plenty of energy to expend so we moved along quite well until we started coming across some downed trees. This made staying on the trail a bit difficult but someone had been kind enough to place some cairns on the path around the trees to keep everyone on the trail. This part of the Wilderness area does not have trail makings so be sure to keep a map and compass handy or a GPS system. The trail continued unrelenting until we linked up with the Art Loeb trail around midnight that night and settled in for some sleep at Shining Rock Gap. The ascent went up about 2K feet in about 2 miles up to almost 6K at the junction and temps dropped into the low 50's. It is definitely a climb but oddly enough it was a fun trail to conquer. Our camping spot was a little side trail pretty much right at the junction that opened into a little clearing. We more or less fell on it since it was fairly difficult to see.

Middle Prong Wilderness

on Sunday, 06 January 2013. Posted in My Journeys, Motion

Warning:  This trail is not for amateurs and will test your orienteering skills as well as your fortitude.

We met up at the Sunburst Campground area and geared up around 8pm for our usual Friday night jaunt of a few miles in.  After gearing up we discussed that this may be an interesting journey and Peter had setup his iPhone with a suitable GPS app.  So we set forth on the fire trail road which was to be about 3 miles before picking up our trail and heading in.  The hike along the road was easy to moderate in ascent and moved along very quickly chatting away.  We came across a sign (pointing uphill) with just numbers on it someone had carved into it TRAIL.  So we consulted the map and assumed that the cut in the road was actually the trail and set forth on it.  It was more like an old overgrown logging road that quickly turned into a trail.  The sound of rushing water quickly grew near and we found some water spilling out of the mountainside and we descended further down to a river.  I only showed a small blue line on the map but this was a large creek and the trail was on the other side.  So, we stripped off the boots and made our way across in front of some falls into some really chilly water.  We booted back up and got back on our way.  This trip obviously was going to have some surprises in store.  What an understatement that turned out to be.

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