Archive for July 2011

Barefoot calorie counting on both sides of the equation

July 31, 2011

The simplest model of body weight dynamics says there are g’zins and g’zouts and to lose weight the g’zouts must exceed the g’zins. So, if you are really aiming to lose some weight, it’s an excellent idea to track your caloric intake versus output. For me, that practice turned the daunting endeavor into a game with my score reported by the scale every morning. My competitive juices provided the discipline to keep the calories down and the exercise up.

Years ago my mom would diligently look up various foods in a little paperback pamphlet. Today, if you are at all technologically bent, software makes it a lot easier. Google “counting calories” and you’ll find scores of options. Most are free web apps where you get an account, enter your stuff and it tracks it for you. They all are pretty similar; the key is to find one with a good database. Piecing together what’s in a salad from McDonald’s is tedious, but if you need only enter “McSalad- Southwest,” that’s easy. Some of the sites have social media aspects, so you can “friend” with other dieters and build a support group. For me a key feature was having an iPhone app available, so I could carry my tracking software in my pocket. I did a little research (more…)


Barefootin’ on Boston TV

July 27, 2011

One morning in mid-June, ten or so of the New England Barefoot Runners faithful gathered by the Charles in Cambridge for our TV debut. Channel 5 weather guy (and avid runner) Dave Brown was working on some stories about running in Boston for Chronicle and had contacted Barefoot Preston Curtis who put out a casting call.

Although we didn’t get a great workout, it was fun and interesting to see how local TV sausage gets made. Dave and his photographer started by interviewing Barefoot Mama, Therese Withee, the first woman to run a barefoot Boston marathon. Next up was Todd Byers, a buddy of Ken Bob Saxton’s, and the world record holder for barefoot marathons with 102 under his belt. Both are great folks,

Phil’s unlimited barefoot wonder diet

July 26, 2011

By popular demand…here’s what I was eating when I was losing about three pounds a week:

Breakfast- The easiest breakfast for me, because I tend to eat at work, is a packet of instant plain Oatmeal. It’s a little dull, but when you are diet hungry, even dull foods taste wonderful. Oatmeal, although a little carb heavy, is also good for cholesterol. More in line with most of the low carb diets is 2 or 3 ozs of meat and a bunch of vegetables, leftover from the night before.  So, I was mixing it up between the two. Vegetable omelets are great too; I usually just don’t take the time.

Lunch- Salad (about 8oz) including 2oz of chicken or hardboiled eggs with oil, vinegar and black pepper. This was really easy for me and continues to be my daily lunch. I’ve come to love the plain o/v dressing. We have a cafeteria at work with a salad bar, so after I exercise at lunch, I swoop in there and toss together a salad. It is completely satisfying. They come in a plastic container with a top allowing (more…)

Phil’s recommended reading for barefoot dieters

July 24, 2011

There have been countless wonder diets published over the years. Nephew Dan Gould was questioning how there can be so many different right answers. How can one diet tell you to eat X and another to avoid X and eat Y? I can’t claim to have done exhaustive research, but my sense is that there is reasonable consistency amongst the popular diets today.

The common theme is that to burn vs. store fat, you want to keep your blood sugar levels low and flat.  You get there by losing the carbs, eating lots of vegetables, and drinking lots of water. A helpful rule of thumb is to avoid white—Rice, potatoes, milk, sugar, bread, etc. (The notable exception is cauliflower, a great potato substitute.)

My reading started with The Four Hour Body. It’s not a diet book per se, rather an empirical study of many aspects of how bodies work (more…)

Barefoot running may not be the whole answer

July 5, 2011

Ok, here’s a little secret: My knees still bug me a little. Like many barefooters, I shed the shoes for health reasons, among with others. In my case there we no acute issues, but I did have the sense that my knees and hips could impede my running one day. I can unequivocally state that I don’t even think about the hips any more.  And, I’ve definitely improved on the knee front, but more, maybe, from shedding pounds than shoes. So, I’m broadening the discussion here to diet and general health, as that’s where my research and attention have been going of late…still doing 15 miles of barefoot running per week.

Sadly, casual running alone is no longer sufficient to keep my weight in check. I have difficulty not consuming large volumes of food, perhaps in part due to being active, and my metabolism ain’t burning the cals it did when I was a younger man. Most guys I know observe that the ol’ bod  significantly downshifts at 40. No doubt getting exercise is a net positive, but nonetheless, last December 31, I found myself weighing 228. For context, I’m 6’2″ and over 50 (uggh) and that weight was 30 lbs over my soccer/rugby, in-shape weight, 25 lbs over my unstated goal, (more…)