What you should know about LCHF for vegetarians – and GI diets for that matter

LCHF for vegetarians – how does it actually work in practice? LCHF is a diet that has been popular for a long time and now and even LCHF cookbooks for vegetarians is abundant, but do they stay within the range of what is defined as a low carb LCHF diet?

LCHF – if anyone has missed it – stands for Low Carb, High Fat and involves removing the carbs from your diet that can be removed and eat most of your calories in fat. Some authors advocate as much as 75% of the energy intake of fat.

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The tomato that will make you more effective – the Pomodoro method

cooking-timerHard to get stuff done even though you are working constantly? A colleague comes over to chat, you reply to an email, you surf on a link in the email and, whop, there was 15 minutes gone. Multi-tasking won’t make you particularly effective either; it takes a lot of time and energy switching between different tasks. The pomodoro method is one way of becoming more effective and organize your time – and as a bonus hopefully get more spare time!

All you need is a timer. Your phone or a cooking timer will work well. This is what you do:

  1. Write down all the stuff you need to do in the next couple of weeks on a paper.
  2. Choose the tasks you will do today on a new paper. Try to estimate how many pomodoro each task will take – a pomodoro is 25 minutes.
  3. Put the timer on 25 minutes. Start working with the first task. Nothing else. No mobile. No Facebook. No email.
  4. When the alarm goes off, draw a line next to the first task to mark a pomodoro.
  5. Take a break for a few minutes. Move around.
  6. After the break, set the timer again and start the next pomodoro. Continue with the task until it’s done – even if it takes several pomodoros – and you have achieved the goal you set for the task. For example: “Finish writing the report”.
  7. Make sure you use a little bit of the time to recap what you’ve done and to review the result.
  8. After 4 pomodoro you take a longer break. Perhaps eat a snack and move around.

If distractions appear you note them on a paper and deal with them after your pomodoro. You may remember you need to call someone or you get a good idea. Park them on a piece of paper.

This article took 3 pomodoro to write. In the first pomodoro I did the research – and chewed on my pen for a while. In the second I wrote the article. In the third I spellchecked, fine tuned and published it.

The Pomodoro technique is nothing new. It’s been around since the late 80s and was developed by and Italian – Francesco Cirillo. The reason it’s called pomodoro is that the Italian cooking timers look like tomatoes.

Pomodoro is an agile method used by many progmers. The short break means you stop to think regularly. Using this method you also get a good overview of what you need to achieve. It feels like you’re getting stuff done and that you are working on the most important tasks first. Do try and let me know how it goes.

The pomodoro method will also increase your health. Sitting still can kill you!

Sitting still can kill you

stolBoth adults and children spend more than half their awake time sitting down. To counter this, the earlier recommendations were to be active 30 minutes a few times a week – focus has been on exercising regularly. But now scientists are changing and spending more time analyzing the time we sit. If you sit all day it’s no longer enough to go to the gym a few times a week.

In the ”Canada fitness survey” 17 013 people were examined and the result was that if you sit still you increase the possibility of dying in cardiovascular diseases (your heart!) with 50%. It’s even worse if you some, are stressed or overweight.

The scientists now recommend taking a break at least once an hour. Walk about the office or fetch a glass of water. If you’re sitting still in front of the TV, get up during the commercial break and move about.

You know all this already, right? And the suggestions are quite easy fixes. But, do you do it? Didn’t think so… The difficulty – at least for me – was to break the work pace in front of the computer. The one thing that worked was to set the alarm on my mobile. An ordinary cooking timer works too. I get very focused when I work and easily forget to take a break. Now I set the alarm on 25 minutes, put the mobile on the other side of the room and start work. After 25 minutes the alarm goes off. The sound is so annoying I just have to get up and turn it off. And, once I’m up I may as well go and fetch the paper in the printer and make a cup tea. There, I got my break. Do try and let me know how it goes.
Oh, yes… why 25 minutes? Read more about the Pomodoro method to find out why!

Lipids – or fat – types and functions

Lipids concept mapLipids – or fat as most people call them – have a bad rep and people who diet try to stick to “fat free” diets. It may work in the short term, but we do need some fats. Fat is needed to store energy and also to digest fat soluble vitamins. So, which ones should we eat and which ones should we avoid?

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Proteins – types and functions

Protein is essential for growth and repair of the body – tissue, hair and nails. It forms the structural and functional elements of body cells.

So, what is protein?
Protein is a macronutrient made up of amino acids. Protein contains carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) like carbs do, but unlike carbs and fat, protein also contain nitrogen (N).

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