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Weekend Movie: Bruce Lee in The Chinese Connection

31 Aug

Though Lee gained most of his repute through the movie, Enter The Dragon; The Chinese Connection is, at least in watchability, its equal.  A gripping, action packed, tale of courage, honour and Martial Arts; this movie delivers with the power of a roundhouse kick.  The movie also introduces a political back-story unfamiliar to much of the Western world, without pointing fingers or getting over-involved in the political element.

Bruce Lee was not only a charismatic teacher, actor and the first to bring kung fu to worldwide fame and repute.  Lee was a model of fitness and discipline, maintaining coordination, strength and self-discipline to the extent of keeping at a constant 2% bodyfat and the ability to do fifty one-armed pull-ups.

Rather than list his hundreds of virtues and feats of strength, readers are encouraged to read about Lee on their own if they care to do so.  In any case, without further adieu, Bruce Lee in The Chinese Connection.

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How to: Increase Testosterone Through Diet and/or Exercise

13 Jun

Human beings are not by any means, self-sustaining organisms.  In fact, mankind’s physical condition is fickle and vulnerable.

When people think of testosterone, they often imagine overly-vascular, disgusting body-builders that look like comic book villains.  Taking artificial testosterone and supplements while lifting unsafe and inhuman amounts of wait would certainly cause this.

Testosterone is however, more than just an artificial performance enhancer.  It is a hormone naturally created by both male and female body’s and increases muscle building capability, energy, sex-drive, athleticism and other, “masculine,” traits.

In men, the normal ratios for testosterone to estrogen to progesterone are approximately 100:1:0 respectively, in women the normal ratio is approximately 10:80:10.

How much you can actually beat the ratio is questionable, but you can definitely take steps to do so at least to some degree.

Finally, here we are, how to increase testosterone through diet and exercise:

A list of foods and exercises that increase it can be found at the bottom, for those who want to take the easy way out.

Step one:

Evaluate how active you are:

How much time are you active.  Do not ask, “what’s activity?”  Are you sitting for a good portion of the day?  Do you take walks, lift weights and participate in activities that require physical effort?  Be honest with yourself, if you could do more then you should.

Step two:

Evaluate your diet:

This is a tricky one.  Everything you have ever heard about, “dieting,” is true and false.  Do not focus too much on more or less of any one macro-nutrient.  This means, no low-carb, no high-protein, no high or low fat.  Balance.  You already know to cut out sweets and to an extent at least, white flour.

Your carbohydrates should be whole grain foods, steel cut oatmeal, legumes, quinoa, grains, brown rice, fruits, vegetables etc. are all very good for you.  Look for high fibre content, you’d be surprised, this does not necessarily mean that it will taste like cardboard.

Quality carbohydrates will generally contain a good deal of protein, so you will not have to worry too much about having to add a lot of protein.  Your protein should come from quality sources, such as lean meat, lean poultry, fish, eggs with and without the yolk, dairy and peanut butter.  NOT tofu*.

Fats should be consumed in moderation, but do not worry too much, if you are eating good fats then it is hard to overdo them unless you are just drinking a tall glass olive oil with every meal.  Fats should, whenever possible, not come from candy, processed foods, cakes, or deep fryers.

Fats should come from extra virgin olive oil (unheated if possible), egg yolks, omega 3 fatty acids, nuts and legumes.

It is never appropriate to consume foods containing hydrogenated oils or trans fats.  I cannot tell you not to indulge, but I can tell you that these are inorganic compounds which are directly linked to several forms of cancer, speculated to cause obesity and are indisputably science projects with no positive effects on the human body.  If you don’t believe it then I encourage you to research any positive effects of them and show me what they are.

List of things that increase testosterone with ADD-appropriate explanations:

Spinach, asparagus, kale, chard, lettuce, celery, cabbage, cauliflower and virtually all other green vegetables, especially cruciferous and high in chlorophyll.

Why those: These are all high in zinc, which is partially responsible for causing temporarily elevated testosterone, many foods that are traditionally known as aphrodisiacs, such as asparagus and oysters, are high in zinc.  Why spinach first?  Because Popeye ate Spinach and who does not want to be like Popeye?

Eggs with yolks, peanut butter, olive oil, salmon, tuna, sardines

Why these?  You may notice that these are all relatively high in fat.  Dietary fat is not to be mistaken with, “bodyfat,” the oil on  your salad is not automatically turned into that gelatinous mass covering your abdominal muscles.  Good fats are actually metabolised into testosterone, especially when you are younger.  This means that they should constitute a good, though not overwhelming, portion of your diet.  Why eggs first?  Egg yolks contain a lot of b vitamins, which are water based vitamins that are said to improve metabolism, in addition, they help the body properly digest the protein from the egg white.

Squats, deadlifts, overhead press, military/dumbbell press, pull ups, rows, bench press

Why?  These exercises are all compound exercises, meaning that they stress several muscle groups.  Compound exercises lead to higher testosterone because the body senses the stress being placed on it and feels the need to give reinforcement in case it continues to face more stress than it can handle without it.

Implementing these tips should really help you to gain more testosterone and achieve whatever goal you would like to build toward.

Make sure you get adequate sleep, if you can get 8 hours, that is terrific, not only will you start to eat exactly as much as your body needs but your body will produce more HGH, which is not testosterone, but is closely linked to it and will all the more increase fitness gains and vitality.

*Tofu is highly processed and phytoestrogenic, this means it contains plant-based compounds that are converted into estrogen in the human body, which in turn increases the risk of breast cancer, gynecomastia, moodiness and all the other effects of high estrogen.

How to: Make Fresh Italian Garlic Bread

8 Jun

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Garlic bread tastes delicious, is easy to make and believe it or not, is in some ways very good for you. Garlic lowers the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease), improves digestion and has been shown to increase testosterone in the human body. Olive oil is a free oleic fatty acid, it binds to protein albumin in your body and improves your metabolism by serving as a fuel source for muscular contraction and being consumed by mitochondria thereby allowing them to create ATP. There are dozens of studies on these two foods, but before we delve too far into the lab, let’s enter the kitchen.

Necessary items:

Oven or toaster

Tin foil

Garlic press (suggested, but optional)

Knife

Ingredients:

Bread; a fresh baguette works very nicely, but feel free to experiment.

Basil

Dried Parsley

Parmigiano cheese (optional) (same thing as “Parmesan,” except that, “Parmesan,” is French)

Olive oil and/or butter

Garlic

Salt (optional)
Steps:

  1. Cut the bread horizontally and then into vertically.  Each two half section should be about 3-6 inches.
  2. If you are using olive oil then pour it evenly across the inner half of each section so that the bread is not drenched but you cover the entire surface, you could use a brush for this if you prefer.  If you are using butter, melt it in a pot or container and do the same thing.  Feel free to use both, it turns out very nicely when you do this.
  3. If you are using a press then press your garlic onto the bread, if you are using a knife, dice the garlic into very small pieces, the most effective way is cutting along the length so you get little circles and then cutting those in four pieces or so.  If you like garlic a lot then use about 1.5 cloves per square.  If you like garlic, use 3/4 of a clove per square.  If you are okay with garlic then use .5 cloves.  If you don’t like garlic, why are you reading this?
  4. Sprinkle on the parmigiano if you are using it, about 1 tablespoon for the whole loaf of bread.
  5. Sprinkle basil across.  Fresh if possible.  Use about a teaspoon and a half.
  6. Use about half a teaspoon of dried parsley.
  7. If you want salt on it then lightly sprinkle the baguette with salt now.
  8. Close the bread like a big, sectioned sandwich and wrap it in foil.
  9. Put the foil in the toaster or oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. You will probably smell when it is done, but just in case you don’t, the idea is that the outside will be crispy and the inside will be soft, so check periodically and press the foil.  When you feel a “crunch,” on the outside it is done, the inside should be soft enough to be pushed in without much resistance.

That is really all there is.  Enjoy your garlic bread with friends.  It may look slightly green due to the oxidation of the garlic, but don’t worry, it is safe and will not affect the taste or quality.

To make Caesar salad croutons, cut into crouton shapes, cook unwrapped and allow to harden or use my method, leave on a windowsill and sun-dry.

Top 5 Marinades and How to Make a Good Steak

14 Feb

Steak, either you love it or you hate it.  You love it though, otherwise why would you be here?

Measurements should almost always be to individual tastes so I will not include them.  I never use recipes, I just put in what I think will work and it has never not worked, so I am putting 5 of those into writing for you.  Without further ado, well, you know the deal:

I suggest leaving your meat to soak in these for twenty-four hours if possible and leaving it out for one to two hours so that it is at room temperature when cooked.

Photobucket

Marinade one:

This one would be nice to pair with veal, which should be considered a sub-genre of steak.

Rosemary

Dry White Wine

Basil

White Pepper

A small amount of white vinegar

Marinade Number Two:

Nice, basic and subtle.  Great for date night.

Dry Red Wine

Black Pepper

Basil

Oregano

Cayenne Pepper

Fresh garlic-Minced

Sliced Onions

Marinade Three:

Cajun Style.

Beer

Hickory Smoked Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Cumin

Cinnamon

Cloves

Thyme

Black Pepper

White Pepper

Red Pepper

Paprika

Marinade Four:

All-American.

Whiskey (Do not, under any circumstances, use good whiskey for this.  It needn’t be cheap, but using a good single malt scotch to marinate meat is a crime against humanity)

Hickory smoked garlic powder

Mustard Powder

Cumin

Marinade Five:

Tequila (Go easy on this, too much will nastify your meat.  You may choose to exclude it completely.)

Lime Juice

Red Pepper

Paprika

Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Part 2:

Creating a steak.

“Great steaks are not born, they are made.”

You will need:

A nonstick pan; preferably a cast iron skillet.

Oil.

A rill or an oven.

Granted certain cuts give you more to work with, but better to have a bad steak made right than a good cut ruined.

Now, let us go over the 10 commandments of meat.

1. Though shalt not base your recipes on, “what is cheapest and/or easiest.”

2. You will never fry steak. (The frying pan will be explained soon.)

3. Prepping is directly related to cooking but it is independent and either one does not necessitate the next.

4. As with all foods, but especially fish and meat, fresh is preferred over frozen.

5. Ketchup should be eliminated or at least minimised.

6. Remember the pnemonic “RAMSAC.”  Rinse and Marinate, Sear and Cook.

7. Try to avoid spice mixes, they are the easy way out.  The Mona Lisa was not paint-by-numbers.

8. White wine is absolutely, terrifically, completely, abhorrently innapropriate to consume with red meat.  In some social circles you are subject to capital punishment for violating this rule.

9. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

10. Meat can be good even if you don’t put much into it.

Now, on to the process.

Step One: Marinade and let sit until the meat is at room temperature, take care to occasionally turn the meat so that it is marinated on both sides.  Preheat oven to 275-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Two: Heat your skillet and add not more than a table spoon of oil, you want in fact, as little as possible.  This step is not “frying,” it is “searing.”

When smoke starts to rise off of your pan and your oil is evenly distributed, put the steak in for no more than 15 seconds on the first side and then either flip or turn it for no more than 15 seconds on the next.

Step Three: If you cut onions, mushrooms, garlic or other supplementary items then put them in your skillet before the end of the second 15 seconds.  If you are using a cast iron pan, put it directly into the oven.  If you are using a frying pan, slide everything into a prewarmed baking dish.

Step Four: A true coinoisseur has discerning tastes.  The answer to, “How do you like your steak?” should never be, “Mmmmmmmmmeye dunno.”  When the steak is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven.

Step five: Do not let it sit for more than 5 minutes, now is your chance to add garnishes, such as a bit of parsley, onto the dish and to pour some wine, scotch, or what have you.

Step Six: Stop reading.  Enjoy your steak.

Vegetarianism+Organic+Anti-War=The End of the World.

14 Feb

Could a “peaceful lifestyle,” lead to world destruction?

Do not harm others, this our society believes to be of the utmost moral importance and very few arguments could contradict this key principle.

War is generally not categorised as a general type of “harm,” or “murder,” although elements of both are clearly involved in the actions of either side.

Before delving any deeper into discussion point number one of three, let us briefly examine anthropological theory.

We, human beings, are part of a system: The World.

Since the dawn of time, man has been evolving, adapting and fusing that which is necessary for his survival with that which becomes a habit.

The strongest survive, this ensures the continued survival of the human race so that they do not deteriorate to lesser beings and find their way to extermination.  This is always how things have been and natural selection has run its course historically.

This is the part pertaining to our story, to read more on the subject, buy a book.

Now, back to war.

War is a form of natural selection.  The strong and the cunning survive, the weak are, well, not selected.

Our population is growing exponentially with each generation, what are you going to do?  We like sex.

Whether you want to blame religious devotion in the bedroom or mere decadence for our mass breeding, the fact of the matter is that life can only be sustained on our planet in moderate numbers.

It is unquestionable that once we are struck with a high enough population we will not have enough drinking water, let alone food and other resources.

Assuming that we implement world peace and hit a population of seven billion, we have now evolved to the point where we know better than to consume animal products or genetically engineered foods.  Now what?

Now we are limited to consumption of grains and vegetables which are produced in natural quantities with no human intervention, we have limited protein sources and we all rush toward them.  You are thinking of this all wrong, remember that the water that is usable on crops must be spared so that it can be consumed by the masses, so each crop will not be self-sustaining, it will use our drinking water which is at this point more than ever, limited.

As of right now, pre-scenario, .007% of water on earth is accessible for direct human use, keep that in mind.

According to the US Geological Survey, as of the year 2000, the United States alone uses 323 billion gallons of water daily, on average.

Given even a 50% rise in population, assuming the per person volume stays consistent, on a yearly basis we will be using 1.768425 × 1014 gallons of water, quite possibly more than we have available on this planet; and of course we will need to water our crops with some, so that we do not starve to death.  What a fine balance we have the privilege to maintain.

Through basic math and statistics, we have conclusively shown that world peace would be the end of mankind and if we had a single organic granny smith to show for it, we would be luckier than we could ever deserve to be having been so unrealistic and asinine.

Thus our banners must be waves, our differences maintained and our adversities flaunted for the strong to overcome and if we are lucky we will make the cut.  If we do not then our families can tell the tale of how we, at the end of our lives, saved the world.

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