My Omaha Pilgrimage: An Interesting Weekend

How I Started This Post Last Sunday (Before a Busy Week Hit)

Let me start off by saying that I’m still not caught up on sleep: I’m mad at myself. It’s just poor choices, one after another, and I feel like most normal people right now. With how I’m eating, I should be on another level, but hey, just as they are eating meats, dairy, and heavy starches, I’m not sleeping well. I can fix myself up easier & faster than they can.

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I missed my flight this morning. I looked at my flight from Omaha into Memphis, and then the flight from Memphis to Indianapolis and got the times wrong. I thought my 2nd flight was my first one, so while I was ready for a 1:10 PM flight, my flight from Omaha actually left at 11:25 AM. It was from being super sleep deprived and zombie-like in my attention to detail. Oh well. The Delta attendant set up 2 new flights for me free of charge. The world is smiling on me today.

Real-Time Now (Sorry Guys, A Long Post Since It’s Been Awhile)

Okay, so you can see how disappointed with myself I was when I didn’t sleep much last week. It really is a huge drag on the rest of your day, and although I know most people don’t eat as I do, I feel that same drag whenever I eat the Standard American Diet (SAD). On those nights when you get 2-4 hours of sleep, you now know how I feel when I eat steak and potatoes.

On Friday I graduated college, having taken my last final at 8 AM. I wore the most ridiculous gangster jumpsuit to the exam to celebrate and finished first in the room as usual. I was in a hurry to get to the airport shuttle and I only just barely made it. Fortunately, I had packed a salad from a local grocery co-op and ate it at the airport right next to a McDonald’s. The expressions I got from a few people on what I was eating were pretty interesting; most people don’t expect a male at my age to eat like this. (My gangster outfit below with me on the right, back 4 years ago):

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Omaha was an amazing time. I woke up at 4:15 AM the next morning to make it to the meeting by 5 AM, which allowed me to be one of the first in the doors. I brought 2 red bell peppers and a few apples to eat outside the door, which attracted a bunch of attention from my investing friends. They went so far as to start a betting pool on what I might bring with me to eat next year (jokingly of course).  Once inside, we had a great view of the entire executive management team and of course, Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger.

I was hungry before it all started and there wasn’t a single thing to eat. They had a bunch of free packaged pastries- which made me sick to look at- coffee (which I decided to grab even though not healthy), and bottled waters. The concessions were serving pizza, hot dogs, etc. (typical stadium food), and I asked a guy if they had any fruits or vegetables. He told me he saw a patch of grass outside and that would be my best bet. With my lack of sleep coupled with being in a hurry (meeting was about to start) I simply walked away without acknowledging his joke. I’m usually not so cold, but I don’t do well when sleep deprived. But he’s absolutely right. They didn’t serve anything remotely resembling food and it was tough to find anything. I ended up going across the street to a Starbuck’s and grabbed a bunch of fruit, despite trying to generally avoid sugar.

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Speaking of sugar, Warren and Charlie each downed 3-4 Cokes throughout the 8-hour meeting, as well as a few boxes of See’s Candies (one of their companies). It has become a tradition and they enjoy the sugar rush, but it hurts me to think what they’re doing to their bodies. Warren’s diet consists of burgers and fries, steak, and Dairy Queen, among other things. He eats like a child and loves every minute of it, but I seriously doubt his body does. Even when questioned about it, they joked that it leads to the best mental performance for quick analytical thinking; I would challenge them on this 100%. I feel better mentally when eating like this than I ever have in many ways: increased mental clarity, more energy through the day, and a “high on life” feeling that doesn’t go away. Prolonged exposure to sugar has too many side effects for my mental clarity, not to mention the toll on the rest of my body.

Enough about Warren and Charlie- just some thoughts I had from being around them all day last Saturday. It truly was a great day though.

On my way home, I flew through Minneapolis, MN, and let me say one thing- if you’re vegan or even vegetarian, good luck. Seriously. The lack of actual food was atrocious. I walked about half the airport before realizing I had to suck it up and pay a premium $13 for a simple salad that costs $3-4 to make. McDonald’s and Ben & Jerry’s had much cheaper food, but I won’t ever sacrifice health for money. I’d rather be poor than eat SAD.

A Very Busy Week With No Responsibilities

After Omaha, there was no school at all. Along with many of my senior friends, I celebrated in a number of ways, much of which is outside the scope of this blog. But I put health on the sidelines for this week when it came to drinking and sleeping. I felt pretty lousy all week because of it- no surprise there!- and it just reinforced how much I desire to be healthy in the future. But it was nice to enjoy the college lifestyle one last time.

One of my best friends had his birthday mid-week and I cooked for about 20 people. Unfortunately, only about 5 people ate. This was mainly terrible planning but it still sucked- I wanted to do something nice for him and I didn’t feel as if many people really appreciated it. Everyone was gearing up to drink and didn’t want food. They did like the hummus I made though- I’m getting better at perfecting it! I made Gypsy Stew for everyone, and the recipe is as follows:

Cooking Time: 0.5-2 hours (depending on amount of vegetables used)

  • 1 Jar of Indian Curry Sauce (I used Madras, next time am looking to try Tikki Masala or Vindaloo)
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes chopped into bite size pieces
  • Any and all Chopped Vegetables You Want (I used Kale, Spinach, Sweet Peppers, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Broccoli, Jalapeños & Habaneros, Carrots, Tomatoes, and probably others as well)

Directions:

  • Boil potatoes in water until soft (this is discretionary for how long, if you want the potatoes to turn into the sauce then boil until very soft; I prefer them to be a part of the dish rather than the sauce, so I only boil for 10 minutes or so)
  • Add potatoes to curry sauce in a pan, turn on Medium Heat.
  • Add all chopped vegetables to pan. It will all cook down into a stew, stir regularly.

And that’s about it! I’ve made it a few times now. I’d recommend playing around with adding vegetables at different times so that some are crunchy and others are soft. You want to make sure all vegetables are bite sized so that it’s easy to eat (think about it like you’re making a salad). I’d also recommend playing around with how long you cook the sweet potatoes. But beyond that, it’s quite simple. I like mine spicy, but this could easily be mild.

The dish was a big hit with the 3 AM crowd- all the drunk kids that came through after the bars. I think that’s saying something, especially considering we were next door to a popular pizza place. But not enough people were hungry when I served it around 8:30 PM. I can say it’s my favorite cooked meal I’ve made, although it is cooked. Keep in mind: you’re destroying the enzymes in the vegetables when you cook them, as well as some nutrients. The pH miracle likes about 70-80% of your vegetable intake (which also supposed to be about 70-80% of your diet) to be raw, so I only eat a fully cooked meal like this once every few days.

A Farewell To RJ, College, and Heading Home

RJ and I said goodbye to each other a few days ago and it may be awhile before we see each other again. Every time I hear one of his songs in my iTunes it brings him to mind; it really is too bad we didn’t spend more time together in school. After I got sick last year, he took me under his wing by letting me live at the house he bought, and then later with health. He’s one of those few role models I’ll ever have in person. Most come from books for me, so that’s saying something. He means a lot to me. Its sucks to see him go. (Picture of RJ below).

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College was easier to say goodbye to than RJ. I’ve been waiting since day 1 to move on to the real world and I’ve been preparing for it nonstop. I have my friends from IU, sure, but the few I want to stay in touch with will be rather easy to (since there’s only 4-6 of them!). The education itself, well… I don’t want to get myself into trouble through an online forum. Ask me in person and I’ll tell you. But let’s just say I’m glad it’s over.

I’m now in the car with my family, who graciously drove out to pick me up and celebrate my graduation. We stopped at Wendy’s on the way home and I ordered a salad. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t bad! I’ll never go there on my own, but if I had to I’d honestly say I would eat there. So props to them. The greens were fresh, tomatoes in decent shape, candied nuts weren’t healthy but tasted good, and I used as little dressing as I could. But it was still real food!

This upcoming week I’ll be cooking every single night for my family. I missed my mom’s birthday back in April and today is her Anniversary with my dad, so I figured I’d cook dinner all week to take the burden off her shoulders. I’ll also be cooking my extremely healthy diet, so it will be interesting to see how they take to it. I won’t be cooking tonight, but starting tomorrow you will be seeing pictures and recipes for what I make. It should get interesting. Stay posted.

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First Time’s the Charm: Awesome Hummus Recipe

I made a great salad for myself only to discover that there was no hummus left. This depressed me, but luckily I had a bunch of garbanzo beans sitting around. So I looked at the container in the recycling in our kitchen and saw a simple recipe of ingredients on there. There were no directions, just listed ingredients. Using what I had of them, I made hummus with this recipe:

Time: About 5 minutes

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime’s worth of juice (not through a juicer, just squeeze it. I didn’t have any lemons as their recipe called for)
  • Few pinches of salt, pepper, cumin seed, and chile powder for flavor (I put in a little more cumin than the other 3)

Blend until liquified, add water to desired consistency

I’m amazed at the result. This is literally my first attempt at making hummus and it is a home run- the best I’ve ever had. Sorry Sabra.

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Incidentally, I’ll be posting tomorrow about my weekend. I wrote out a post already but it got deleted, so you’ll have to forgive me for not keeping up with my usual pace. I have a lot to say from this weekend so I may split it up into multiple posts.

Anyways, enjoy the hummus! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

RJ’s Dog: Much Healthier Than Pavlov’s

A lot happened today. I’ll try to keep them short, as I have an exam tomorrow morning and am not well-versed on tax accounting just yet.

RJ’s Dog Story: A Look Inside The Body

dogRJ was asked to house sit for a family who had a dog of medium size. It was a very hyper dog, always nipping at people and pulling the leash on walks. The family left the traditional bagged dog food and told RJ so many scoops per day. Him, being the Zen master, chose a different route.

He blended up a number of greens and other vegetables, thinking it would improve the dog’s health, and put it in the bowl. Of course, like most Americans, the dog refused it. But then RJ did something profound: he mixed in peanut butter and the dog couldn’t get enough. He also then ran the dog every single day, about 5 miles, which was far more than it normally got.

The result was spectacular: after just one week, the dog no longer needed a leash and stayed right at his side (this without any sort of disciplinary actions or sternness). The dog was calm and at rest during the day, even before his daily run.

To me, this is remarkable in a number of ways. The body can rebound and heal far faster than most of us realize. It’s possible to get mentally healthy alongside physical fitness, even after eating crap for your whole life. And if you make it taste good, which is very possible on a vegan diet, you can get just about anyone to consume the food.

This is why I want to learn to cook. I want to share it with those who are addicted to the best-tasting foods in the world, and no matter how much they destroy their bodies, they have groupthink pushing them to feel like it’s okay. Let’s change that paradigm, and I’m not talking some random blog; a business that is based on real science and gets people healthy quickly. This is my goal: something real I can bring to the people.

Diseases Can Be Cured

My post yesterday was about Forks Over Knives, which instilled in me the idea that cancer is a disease we do to ourselves and that it can be reversed, or at the very least halted in its tracks. My cat died this year of cancer; I can’t help but think the cancer came from her food. We should be like a car- we break when our pipes break, whether its transmission fluid leaking or the turbo shutting down. But to rust from the inside out is just poor ownership; it’s not possible given the way the car was made. Everybody is rusting in the U.S. and yet nobody seems to care or feel how sluggish and diseased they’re becoming. Everyone chalks it up to genetics, as if the level of health and wellness in their lives means nothing.

Cancer is like rust. Let’s take better care of ourselves. Start feeding our pets and our loved ones real foods; we feed our lizard kale and I didn’t actually know kale was edible until I started living with RJ. I just figured it was pet food.

2 Partially Finished New Sources

ph miracleToday I started reading the pH miracle, as per RJ’s request, and I’m absorbing so much knowledge. I’d highly recommend it to those who want something to read, although I haven’t gotten too far into it yet. There’s also a video of him here on YouTube, explaining the basic necessity of fixing your blood so that it fixes your body. It’s a great thing to know.

The other is a documentary called Fathead, recommended to me by someone who had seen FSND. I didn’t know it, but it’s a documentary trying to debunk being super healthy, almost making it seem ridiculous and old fashioned. At one point he asks 10-15 people if they like carrots and every single one said no; it kind of annoyed me. Anyway, he went out to do 30 days on McDonald’s and other fast food to prove he wouldn’t gain weight on it; basically that Morgan Spurlock lied about his results and should be exposed for what he really is. I’m 35 minutes into it currently and just unable to believe what I’m seeing. I’ll be posting a full rebuttal sometime this weekend. Don’t watch this one as fact folks!

A Semi-Gross Anecdote

bathroomI ended my juice fast today after going to the gym hard. I ate salads all day and it was delicious. I no longer crave most shitty foods and I had no trouble today at all on 80-10-10. I passed my first bowel movement at 12:30 AM, which after eating at 2:30 PM and not having gone #2 in 4 days, was pretty surprising. Depending on the source, you will see anywhere from 33-70 hours as being about average for an American today, so for me to pass my first meals of the day in 10 hours is pretty cool. My body doesn’t have to work hard to break it down, it gets more nutrients and less calories than the normal diet, and it allows my body to focus on healing itself from all the food I’ve eaten my whole life. Pretty cool stuff.

That’s that for today. Off to an 8 AM exam tomorrow and then a full day with the people I care about here at school. Should be a great weekend. Going hiking tomorrow if it doesn’t rain.

Also, I wrote this post but didn’t add pictures/links yet, and while studying, I drank 1 German beer with 5.6% alcohol proof and I had a nice buzz for about an hour. 1 beer. I don’t need to poison myself with 10-15 drinks to have a good time.

Being healthy will help those who help themselves.

Great Documentaries!

Today I watched a fabulous documentary- Forks Over Knives- and I’d like to share that with you, as well as another I watched recently. I don’t want to make it a habit of putting up long posts or short posts only; I figure a good mix depending on the content is the best approach. For this one I’ll keep the descriptions short so you can explore for yourself.

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

This documentary got me into juicing, which has completely altered my body and mind in so many ways. It’s a powerful story of two men that are just as the title implies- FSND- and how juicing changed everything. Although I’m not the most fit person in the world- even after my 2 juice fasts I’m still not where I should be- the sheer healthiness of what I’m putting in my body has given me an aura. Girls look at me now, whereas even before I got sick and fat last year, I wasn’t healthy so it wasn’t noticeable despite being skinny and toned. Now, on the other hand, all the beta carotenes and various nutrients I’m putting in my system has given me a bit of a glow. I’m not shining like RJ (my zen master roommate) just yet, but the glow is starting to come out. I hope to keep it going and see my progress!

Forks Over Knives

This is, quite simply, the greatest documentary I’ve ever seen. It’s about the importance of eating the right way and it was passed along to me by a friend who saw that I started this blog. The blog is paying off already! I can’t think of a better way to spend 90 minutes of your time and learn something you can use for the rest of your life. Happy Gilmore or Saw IV can wait- try to do something real with your time this upcoming weekend. You won’t be disappointed. And rather than comment on all the themes it covers, I want to explore all the subjects brought up in it further before writing. Anyone can watch a documentary and write about it; I want to go that extra step and learn more.

The good news: both are on Netflix! Happy learning!

As An Aside

open closeYesterday I went to the bar with my best friends and we did open to close: 11 AM to 3 AM. It was a great environment to study during the day and celebrate at night as we approach finals later in the week. You’ll see us there with our computers out around 2 PM here. My buddy set up a live feed on YouTube, which was hilarious to send to my family & friends so they could watch us at the bar. It’s on the TV above us; we really did make a scene yesterday. They required us to buy a drink every hour, so I consumed quite a lot of alcohol, and above all else I could feel the negativity immediately. Our bodies are equipped with so many senses to let us know when something is wrong. Most people interpret them wrong- I will write about this sometime- but I’m especially in tune with it now that I’m healthy. Alcohol is something my body detests, but I’m on a juice fast so it rebounded quickly. I was able to get work done all day while my two close friends both sat around the TV or slept.

RJ tells me I’m underestimating just how bad alcohol is for me; I’ll have to look into it more but I can definitely feel it. I have no defense of any sort of unhealthy behavior now that I know better, but I won’t miss out on events like yesterday- which turned out to be one of my favorite days in college- just to be perfectly healthy. Everything is a choice, everything is in your hands, and it’s up to you to decide what to do with your body. A lot of people simply don’t know any of this stuff though, so it’s important to at least share it with them so they can make their own choices.

But it’s important to keep in mind- if you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?

(On the lookout for more documentaries, let me know if you have some recommendations! I’ve also seen Super Size Me, but that’s common sense; nobody really needs to watch it to know the story)