Tag Archives: weight

NFL moves toward slimmer players, former players explore healthy eating

There is a new trend in the NFL, slimming down those plump players. After years of super-sizing lineman with each team stocking a dozen 300 pound players, speed and agility is starting to get wins.

The stars in the NFL last year were at much healthier weights in the mid-200 pound range. Players with a height of 6 feet go from weighing 340 to 270 pounds, and some new draftees are even making a difference at 220 or 230 pounds.

Trevor Pryce, who played in the NFL for 14 years and was one of those 300 pounders, discusses this in the N.Y. Times. He recognizes the change as turning players into specialists, asked to perform specific roles for only a few plays:

Those 260-pound run-stoppers were suddenly asked to learn how to line up with their hand on the ground and rush the quarterback, and linebackers became 225-pound hybrids who could run with wide receivers, blitz when asked and make the occasional tackle on a running play.

 

Not really on-topic for this blog but I felt like it was good news. Maybe the slimming down of the NFL to healthier weights could inspire a trend among the rest of us.

Here is another article from Grantland, where many of those players share their tips and experience trying to lose weight:

The common threads between the players who successfully shed weight are motivation, momentum, and reachable goals that are determined by rigid rules. Damien Woody’s faith is now in what he calls his “hand rule.” If a meal portion does not fit in his palm, it does not go in his mouth.

In the morning, he eats proteins and carbohydrates for the energy to sustain him through two daily workouts. As the day wears on, he eats more proteins than carbohydrates. Water is his beverage of choice.

 

#200PoundsIsBig

#SlimFL

#HealthyNFL

#NFLDiet

 

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The rise of wooden surfboards – alaia’s

Have you seen a wooden surfboard in the water yet? If not, you will soon as these earth-friendly boards grow in popularity.

The famous shaper, Tom Wegener, gave a talk about his designs for the ancient Hawaiian board, the Alaia (pronounced: ah-LIE-ah):

According to Wegener, this historical Hawaiian surfcraft – which appears to be little more than a flat piece of wood in the shape of an ironing board – may not only be the most enviro friendly surfboard available today, it might be part of one of surfing’s next big leaps in modern board design.

It is also a much-needed design, since the foam boards of today are nearly as toxic as you can make something. The recent movie, ‘Manufacturing Stoke’, discusses this strange development, as well as a detailed post I wrote on Green Surfboards.

The next step is finding the right type of wood that can match the ultra-high performance of the industrial-era poly/resin/chemical boards used by professional surfers today.

Phil Joske introduced him (Tom) to a sustainable board building material called Paulownia wood. With a much greater strength-to-weight ratio than balsa, an easy-to-work-with nature, and an imperviousness to saltwater, Tom used this unique wood and his innovative longboard designs to help revolutionize the genre of hollow wood surfboards.

Many in the industry are taking note of these designs, there is a certain beauty to a glossy wooden board. Especially, knowing that it is handcrafted and great for the environment.

Learn more at Patagonia’s – Wood is Good series (featuring videos, interviews, and lots of links to surf films and designers).

 

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10 reasons to drink lemon water

I’m not sure how many of these are scientifically accurate, but if just a few are true…

Drop a slice of lemon into your hot/cold water to:

 

1. Boost your immune system: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds.  They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure.

3. Help with weight loss:   Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.

6. Clear skin:  The vitamin C component helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well. It can actually be applied directly to scars to help reduce their appearance.

8. Relieve respiratory problems: Warm lemon water helps get rid of chest infections and halt those pesky coughs. It’s thought to be helpful to people with asthma and allergies too.

 

Source: La Jolla Mom - 10 Reasons Why You Should Drink Lemon Water in the Morning

 

 

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Soon cars will be ultra-light-weight and made out of carbon-fibre composites

The race is on to replace steel cars with carbon-fibre cars. All of the major automakers have inked deals to make the switch. The reason being that carbon-fibre is:

Interior view of a production line for carbon fiber heavy tow.

“10 times stronger than regular-grade steel and one-quarter of steel’s weight.”

“Using carbon fiber in lieu of conventional steel can lower the weight of a vehicle component by up to 50 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Cutting a car’s weight by 10 percent can improve fuel economy by as much as 8 percent.”

via Reuters

Weight is a big deal in cars. The heavier the car, the bigger the engine and, typically, the lower the fuel economy. This is especially true for electric cars who face limited mileage on one charge, reduce that weight by 10% and you can go an extra 50 miles.

Currently, carbon-fibre is expensive to make and only really used in racing cars. BMW, the first company to invest heavily in carbon, has already found ways to cut production costs.

“The carbon fiber fabric is placed in a mold, and resin is injected under high pressure and temperature. The process, which once took 20 minutes per part, now requires less than 10 minutes. Robots cut and handle the material and components, which previously were made by hand.

The robots will help BMW achieved big savings. A pound of carbon fiber now costs only a third as much as a pound used in the M3 CSL coupe’s roof when the limited-edition car was introduced in the 2004 model year.”

via c|net

50K carbon fibers can be shaped and cured to produce spars for wind energy blades, golf shafts, compressed natural gas tanks, and pultruded beams.

 

Much of this production will happen in Germany or China, with both Volkswagon and BMW working with Germany’s SGL Carbon and General Motors signing with Teijin Ltd. But, just last month, Dow Chemicals signed a deal with Ford to begin research and production.

It’s exciting to think what this technology can do, not only for cars, but trucks, planes, boats, etc.

Energy researcher Amory Lovins, in this TED talk, thinks that when we fully start using carbon-fibre vehicles fuel economy in cars will shoot up to 200 miles/gallon. He says that halving the weight of the car creates compound effects: lighter car, requires a lighter engine, which makes the car even lighter.

 

Carbon aircraft brake disc.

 

// Photos – SGL Carbon

Top 4 ways Americans lose weight – exercise, eat less, portion control, & natural foods

Trying to lose weight is something most Americans can identify with. Two-thirds say they have made a serious effort to lose weight at least once in their life, including 25% saying they tried once or twice, 30% trying between 3 and 10 times, and 8% trying more than 10 times.

The 52% of all U.S. adults who say they have succeeded at losing weight at some point in their lives were more likely to credit dietary changes than exercise.

The top three diet-related tactics Americans said they used were eating less, counting calories/portion control, and eating more natural foods. In terms of those who relied on exercise, just working out in general was the most frequently mentioned form of activity.

Working out/exercising is the dominant exercise-related response, but 5% specifically credit walking and 3% running or jogging.

via Gallup and Thrive

And, what are the most effective strategies for those losing weight?

31% – Worked out/exercised
23% - Ate Less/Dieted
12% – Counted calories/portion control
10% – Ate more natural foods

While I respect all of these methods, especially portion control, I have to wonder when “natural foods” will make it higher on the list?

To me it is the most important factor in weight gain/loss at it is the fuel you put in your body. It provides the energy to exercise, the desire to eat less, and the improved health that supports long-term weight loss.

Top 4 ways Americans lose weight – exercise, eat less, portion control, & natural foods

Trying to lose weight is something most Americans can identify with. Two-thirds say they have made a serious effort to lose weight at least once in their life, including 25% saying they tried once or twice, 30% trying between 3 and 10 times, and 8% trying more than 10 times.

The 52% of all U.S. adults who say they have succeeded at losing weight at some point in their lives were more likely to credit dietary changes than exercise.

The top three diet-related tactics Americans said they used were eating less, counting calories/portion control, and eating more natural foods. In terms of those who relied on exercise, just working out in general was the most frequently mentioned form of activity.

Working out/exercising is the dominant exercise-related response, but 5% specifically credit walking and 3% running or jogging.

via Gallup and Thrive

And, what are the most effective strategies for those losing weight?

31% – Worked out/exercised
23% - Ate Less/Dieted
12% – Counted calories/portion control
10% – Ate more natural foods

While I respect all of these methods, especially portion control, I have to wonder when “natural foods” will make it higher on the list?

To me it is the most important factor in weight gain/loss at it is the fuel you put in your body. It provides the energy to exercise, the desire to eat less, and the improved health that supports long-term weight loss.

What's your ideal weight? I bet in 1991 it was 10 pounds less (chart)

The latest Gallup poll on weight is scary. In the last twenty years our standards for weight have changed. We actually believe we need to be larger.

Of course, this could be due to us all getting taller, moving away from skinny as ideal, or the obvious obesity epidemic. The latter is most likely true.

If you put these average weights into the CDC’s body mass index calculator, then our averages are way overweight, borderline obese.

The graph doesn’t show a downward trend…

Gallup

What’s your ideal weight? I bet in 1991 it was 10 pounds less (chart)

The latest Gallup poll on weight is scary. In the last twenty years our standards for weight have changed. We actually believe we need to be larger.

Of course, this could be due to us all getting taller, moving away from skinny as ideal, or the obvious obesity epidemic. The latter is most likely true.

If you put these average weights into the CDC’s body mass index calculator, then our averages are way overweight, borderline obese.

The graph doesn’t show a downward trend…

Gallup

5 reasons to love the Kindle

This is a personal piece about my experiences owning a Kindle for 2 years. There were many early fears and unknowns but they’ve since been wiped away. I am able to do everything I want with it and more.

Here are my 5 favorite things about the Kindle:

  • Saves time
  • Lighter, easier on the hand
  • Cozying up with it
  • The classics
  • Exotic books

Saves time

Let’s talk about the entire Kindle buying experience. I lay back on my comfy pillow, browse the online store, purchase and begin reading.

Now, compare that to the bookstore experience. Hop in a car, drive in traffic, park in traffic, walk to store, hang out in a cozy cool community-friendly store, wait in line, purchase at cashier, and then reverse the walking, parking, and driving.

I’m just saying. It’s a whole lot easier on me and my stress level.

Then there is the free trial which allows you to read the first few chapters without buying. A perfect way to purchase books, after all, if you’re not ready to buy after the second chapter then it’s not worth it. Plus, I don’t have to sit on an awkward couch in a crowded store to read those chapters.

Lighter, easier on the hand

Sometimes when you really get going, a real page-turner and finish 100 pages, your hand gets sore. It’s not that books or e-readers are heavy, it’s that holding them steady for a few hours is like some ancient torture session.

To compare the weight of different books, the Kindle weighs 8.5 ounces and, on average, hardcover books weighs 20 ounces and paperbacks about 12 ounces.

Add that up over the long run and you get the idea.

Cozying up with my Kindle

Believe it or not, but, on cold nights it is nice to cozy up with an e-reader. The hot cocoa, warm blanket, and my Kindle.

I don’t miss the smell nor the look of paper books. I just like to lose myself in the story.

Of course, there is one more important reason why I enjoy cozying with it. The e-reader allows me to increase the font size on any book, which saves my eyes, and allows me to read for much longer than I could with a paper book.

The Classics

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Edgar Allen Poe, Sun Tzu, Edith Wharton, William Shakespeare

All their works are free and sometimes you can get their entire life works with one click. Yes, the classics are all free. Thousands and thousands of books, it’s like a modern-day Renaissance.

I could read for years, not spend a dime, and become incredibly educated. I love this because I grew up in an era when the classics were banished from the classroom. We were asked to read maybe 1-2 books a school year and most were contemporary novels.

There is so much I don’t know about the enlightenment, greek philosophy, romantic literature, modern economics, and even early 20th century pieces.

Exotic Books

I cannot write a piece on e-books without the inevitable nostalgia for real, physical books. I have that feeling too, but with a Kindle everything changes: I actually buy the books I always wanted.

It turns out there are two kinds of books: ones you read and ones you keep. The first, you finish and put on the shelf to collect dust. The second, you pick up every few weeks when you’re bored.

With the Kindle I am able to save money (space too) on the books to read and then spend the savings on the special exotic books (which always cost more).

I call them exotic books because they are oversized or rare, often with glamorous pictures. Basically, they are coffee table books but since I don’t, and have never owned, a coffee table I don’t like that term.

My exotic collection of books is growing and I am absolutely in love with them. Here are a few:

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Tartine

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The History of Surfing

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Japanese Caligraphy


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Photos by: Tim D (coffee), Stephen (girl reading), 3Water (close-up nickel)