Going Vegan all the way!

This is the guest post that I promised in my last post, in here. This is written by a friend of mine who also happens to be a Health and Fitness aficionado. Enjoy…

The Vegan way!

I think the one thing that went well this year was my relationship with my body. I have never felt this comfortable, this fascinated, and this excited to be myself as I have been for the past few months. Vegan diet has been the driving force behind this transformation!

I posted about this a while ago (in my personal journal) that I was going ‘Raw’. Meaning I would only eat raw foods, like Fruits and vegetables (raw f&v). I kind of kept it up for a few weeks, but then I was at home, where my mother lives; and to make her accept the fact that what they’ve been feeding us, and eating herself, for her entire life, was basically ‘shit’, is a little tough; but I’ve managed.

After my internship ended, I moved (finally), into my own PG (kinda like a Dorm room with much more independence), where I got to make my own food. The problem was that now I had to buy my own food, which was kind of a big deal, because our college is sort of ‘between’ two cities, and it takes a while to get to the city, buy, and then wash all the f&v, every other day, while going to college, working on a startup, and trying to become a web developer, especially during exams. I actually did all that for about three weeks, before I had to admit, the awesomeness I experienced while having those salads, was actually not worth my future, so I had to change. I also started eating boiled stuff like eggs, and potatoes at this point.

The third phase was interesting because it lasted a pretty long time. I would have potatoes (6-7), and eggs (6) everyday, along with a small salad I’d put together. I’d get so hungry, that I’d settle for milk and Parle-G, hoping It’ll be alright, the diet is perfect (It was not, I was was having only about 1100-1200 calories). Adding rice to the equation, was when it started to become a bit normal. Like, the calorie count would easily go toward 2000, which is a healthy place to be (If you’re exercising as regularly as I was). I’d then simply add the potatoes to the rice (plus soya balls), and have just two meals: a bowl of rice, and 6 eggs + salad. This is the part that made it all okay.

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“I had oats for breakfast, and soya balls completely replaced potatoes”

The last part that I resorted to was after Demonetization. I basically bought my potatoes, and my eggs, and my fruits and veggies with cash, and suddenly, cash couldn’t be used. So, instead of resorting to chaos, I had to take my tactic to something that wasn’t as bad as cooking something, or eat ready-made food, but good enough to still be healthy. That led me break my one promise: minimize the milk and sugar. I had oats for breakfast, and soya balls completely replaced potatoes. My advice is to not go for oats unless you’re boiling them in water, adding fruits to it, and honey to substitute the sugar.

In closing, what I would say regarding getting healthier is that, it was more difficult to convince other people to stop feeding me ‘shit’ than it was for me to stop eating it myself. I literally had to have a stomach ache for a week before my aunt finally realized that: ‘Chole Puri’ is bad for health; so is rajma, or kheer, or sabzi (the f’up of version of vegetables), or anything that basically comes out of a packet, or has been cooked with oil!

I have developed a love for fresh food, and I cannot comprehend why I ever chose candy over fruits, or even chocolates for that matter. The goodness I feel emanating from the inside is priceless and I’d advice anyone who’s out there hating themselves for how they look or feel: CHANGE YOUR DIET.

Paritosh Mehta.

More resources to check out!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Sheky Rambles and/or the publisher.

All images used are under CC license, unless stated otherwise.

 

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It’s time.

So, I open my browser. Hit up reddit. Fuck around there for a while. And while scrolling, I find a post about Time. The perspective of time.

That got me thinking. Time. It’s something we all have in equal amounts, mathematically at least. 24 hours. One complete rotation of Planet Earth. The one which we currently inhabit.

You feel me?

Last time I posted on this blog was on June 5th, 2016. 106 days have passed since that post. Almost 1/3 of a year. That’s a long time. But it feels like it was just yesterday.

It’s all in the perception, they say.

Time is one of humanity’s greatest fallacy. People say there is always a tomorrow. When I say people, I’m also included. There’s always a tomorrow. We can always get it done someday. Right?

But, what most people don’t realize (and certainly I did not), this habituation of telling to to oneself that there is always a tomorrow creates a neural loop in the brain that fuels the fallacy even more.

As the time goes on, this neural loop only gets stronger and stronger until one loses perspective.

You may feel things look familiar. In fact, they are. That habitual loop is called procrastination. It’s one of Humanity’s greatest curses. The Internet, as useful as it may be, is a massive bottomless pit for the wandering minds.

Procrastination, contrary to most beliefs, is not binary. It’s not like, “This guy procrastinates” and “This guy doesn’t procrastinate”. It’s more of a spectrum.

Reality is, everyone does. Even Elon Musk. The person I admire and so do millions.

Tim Urban of WaitButWhy beautifully explained procrastination and it’s ties to our evolutionary history in his post, way back in 2013. I read that post a week after it was out and at that time I was in my 12th grade. I then had eureka moment of finally cracking the Procrastination puzzle. I thought I had the answer, I thought reading Tim’s post would be the final nail in my procrastination coffin.

As it turns out. There is a difference, a MASSIVE difference in knowing something and deliberately acting on it.

The bottomline is. We all have aspirations. We all have dreams. We all want to advance, grow, develop, *more adjectives*, but our evolutionary circuits make it super hard. Advertising only works to break our resistance and give into temptation.

Signed up for diet plan? Here’s a big fucking billboard, OMG OMG McDonald’s happy hour is on, can’t miss it!

Anyway, the point of the post is not to educate you. In fact, I haven’t even structured the post in such a way. This is more sort of a rant. A rant about Time, Procrastination and Evolution. As brief as it may be, it certainly helped my synapses to offload some cognitive stress.

With that said, there’s more.

Updated my blog’s theme to match my shift in perspective. Less visual, more text.

Internet today is all about grabbing eyeballs. As much as you can, just hold reader’s attention until he clicks on that Ad. Most blog posts (especially sites like BuzzFeed/similar shitty sites) are 90% unrelated pictures/gifs/ads and 10% content (you should be very lucky to find even that).

My inspiration came from one of my favorite blog of all time. Zen habits.

It’s an incredible blog. Clean as fuck. 100% content. Nothing else. It’s the true definition of WYSIWYG.

That’s about it for now.

And, I am not going to make any posting promises.

Abhishek. :3

The Shallows - Review - Book Cover

The Shallows – Review

Finally, here I am posting the review of the book I finished reading a couple of weeks ago, now that I’ve finally got some breather space.

The Internet, in just a couple of decades has become THE most powerful tool for nearly everything, be it ordering stuff online, or starting a political revolution or even completing a degree online (apart from the obvious like staying in touch, looking up information, satisfying unmet personal needs).

And, parallel to the development of the Internet, people from the other side of the spectrum, the Neuroscientists and Brain Specialists made an astonishing discovery about our brains. They found, through their extensive experiments and research that Human brain structure was not fixed, but was incredibly “plastic”, and they called it, Neuroplasticity. They concluded that society’s conventional way of seeing brains of people as something of fixed was completely wrong. Brains can change and they change quickly. How they change and what their structure turns into though depends completely on how you use it.

Now, one can think of the internet as a giant brain in itself with its massive memory capacity ands trillions of interconnections, transferring petabytes of data every second.

So, what happens when The Internet meets our extremely plasticky Brain?

A lot, according to Nicholas Carr, a well known tech writer. In his book, aptly named, “The Shallows”, he talks about how *excessive* internet use (which is becoming a necessity in today’s always on world) is impacting our extremely plastic brain.

The book starts off with the super famous penultimate scene in the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The conversation between HAL 9000 and Dave. Then, the author starts off on a personal note by describing his own experiences with the Internet and how his habits have been impacted by his internet use. The author also cites some recent experiments which show how hyperlinks on a webpage distract the readers from reading the actual content.

The author makes some fine arguments in the book, such as how the Internet, because of it’s rapid fire delivery nature, encourages shallow thinking and skimming, instead of the more calmer deep reading. The author describes his own experience of how he was once an avid fan of deep reading and how now his incessant use of the internet has eroded his attention span. To quote him:

Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

The book is a fascinating read. It starts off by referencing Martin McLuhan, a 20th  century media whiz (theorist), who predicted a lot of things about media, including the internet, way back in 1960s. The author argues how, given enough time, the medium itself becomes the message, impacting nearly every aspect of our thinking.

The book then delves deeper into the history of the mind and its tools, starting with the first idea of writing, as an extension of the brain, the Gutenberg revolution and through the period of renaissance and awakening. Includes the insights of great thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates all the way to Marshall McLuhan.

The author argues how the book encourages us to read deeply and how the internet is shredding the very fabric of our depth by constantly bombarding us with one distraction after another. The author argues that the  world’s finest thinkers, revolutionaries and artists across history were people who had the capacity to think deeply through a problem, often locking their minds onto a single problem and going into a mode of depth where solutions are abound.

 

According to the author, the excessive use of the internet is also harming our ability to remember things for long. Our memory works in 2 modes, short and long term memory. For content to get transferred from short to long term memory (by the process called “Memory consolidation“), the brain needs some downtime. A time away from distractions of all sorts, the state of reflecting on something, which unfortunately our hyperconnected Internet world doesn’t provide.

In the last few pages, he writes about the current technological trend, on companies like Google and Amazon (specifically the Kindle eBook reader.) et cetera.

And, by the end of the book, it is clear how the author tries to bring about a sharp contrast between reading a book (often deeply) and using the Internet (often shallowly).

Overall, it is a pretty good read and is highly insightful. A highly recommended read for people who are curious about what goes on in the inside of their heads as they follow one hyperlink after another.

Feature image source: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/files/import/116529-SHALLOWS.JPG

Next up is the review of Deep Work, by Cal Newport.