This interactive body map on Stuff.co.nz brings together the evidence on proven cancer causes. Choose your gender and then select from a list of risk factors such as sun exposure, smoking, and alcohol to assess your cancer risk. The percentages portrayed are “relative risks” which are different to “absolute risks”. The difference is explained in more detail here. Users should note the absence of categories such as cellphone, computer screen, and artificial sweetener. The big issues are diet, obesity, smoking, and lack of physical activity.
It is the antithesis of the online advert for "pills that melt belly fat" and it is the truth. Along with "eat lean" and "70% of how you look is about your diet" the other 30% is covered by "train until you want to throw up". There are no easy answers. From Asteron's excellent blog interview with Hugh Jackman. Link.
If one of your favourite pass-times over the holiday is eating food you would not normally permit yourself then this advice might not be for you... or maybe its tailor made for you. Those in our industry should be familiar with the contribution that excess weight makes to a whole range of disorders: from the big ones such as cancer and heart disease to any number of other minor disorders. This article highlights the benefits of choosing smaller portions. Link.
I typically put on about 2kilos over Christmas. My nutritionist tells me that is roughly 16,000 excess calories (this link for calculations) - or 38 Starbucks muffins. I think I've done well to get it down to that.
While there are all sorts of diet tricks, and you should certainly use whatever strategy works for you, there is one, really simple one: eat less. That means that for me I can still enjoy the range of foods, but I choose a smaller portion. I'm aiming for less than 2 kilos this time.
Holiday weight gain = 1/2 a kilo. That's 4000 calories (give or take) which is pretty much eating twice as much as I should for a day and a half, which is as you would expect, considering that on Christmas day I did not get in my customary run. I did on Boxing day, but it was a sad little jog dragging my slow and sorry arse around Birkenhead. Yesterday was a marked improvement, and today at the gym I felt quite a bit better. However, it will be a long slog.
You see, your body is a set of scales, energy in minus energy out. But it is considerably harder to force energy out (refer, for example to this calculator which shows the calories expended in exercise) than it is to force in another mince pie. Then there is calorie restriction: I can rarely manage a deficit of more than about 250 calories a day, so you can see that it would take a good 12 days at that rate to get back to where I was. However, it is unlikely that I will manage a deficit until after New Years Eve, so I will probably be lugging the fatty residue from my indulgence around for the better part of a month before I am back to pre-Christmas levels.
Such is the grim mathematics of eating. As my nutritionist said once: you can always out-eat your exercise programme.
Our kids had to be chased back to bed on Christmas morning at 3.44am! One of my best presents was chosen by my four-year-old son (Matthew). He 'bought' (with Mum's assistance) a Nerf Gun. It's a Nerf N-Strike with night finder sight - that's the cool red dot that you can scan mennacingly along a wall towards your intended target. You can have a look here. Although I have since discovered that you can get fully automatic Nerf weapons complete with big banana-clips full of ammo. I suspect I shall have to obtain something like that for the office.
Although Barrel of Monkeys was not one of our gifts we did spot this review which makes a good case for BoM (as it is known to afficionados) being the gold standard in fun, indeed, the yardstick by which all other fun is measured. Apetastic!
Actually I did receive Dixit, which is a beautiful game. It's won dozens of awards, but best of all has a dreamlike quality in its presentation. If you've been raised on an Anglo-Saxon diet of average board games (like Cluedo) right on down to the truly awful (which is Monopoly, in my humble opinion) then you may have a jaded view of these cheerful family-focused diversions. Try German board games, try Dixit, try Settlers of Catan. Hell, try Barrel of Monkeys!
Well, there were still four page views on Christmas day, so whether those were just miss-keys or perhaps, like me, a few of you needed to escape the constant badgering to build something out of lego, put batteries in a new toy, or prepare for the next meal - I just don't know. However, I love to write, so I will keep up the odd post in these days between Christmas and New Year just to keep in touch.
Speaking of the next meal, I did a whole baked salmon. I found a Tesco's video clip to enable me to break this new ground, and it was easy - and looked very impressive.
Our holiday programme of activity includes picking up visitors from the UK the day after tomorrow and a trip down to Ohakune for a few days. A friend has recently bought a property that sits right next to a trout stream and has a lovely view of the mountain. Later in January we have a short trip to Nelson.
Work-wise I have a couple of projects which need to keep getting pushed along over the next couple of weeks so we can be off to a flying start in the New Year. The most I can say about those is that it is really encouraging that after the worst few years financial services has seen in a long time there are still people who are keen to do innovative new work in the field.
You probably know that yours truly does not drink. However, I will be serving it to my guests on Christmas Day (with host responsibility, of course). I can do so with a slightly easier conscience as there has been some good news on the impact of beer drinking on cancer. Check it out.
It is well known that I drink coffee both for enjoyment and effect. Adrian Riminton at Sovereign once wryly noted that it certainly had an effect on me - maybe I'd racked up one too many that day :-)
Still - a good cup of coffee is a great thing. So I was delighted to receive a completely manual espresso coffee maker as a gift recently. I have longed for one since my sister in law explained the device that they had recently purchased over two years ago. The device is demonstrated on a video at this link. It makes great coffee, and looks very good too.