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Losing fitness

We become unfit much quicker than it took to get in shape. To understand how the body becomes unfit, we need to understand how we become fit.

The key to becoming fitter is to do more than our body is used to. The stress from this makes us become more tolerant, leading to higher fitness levels. Some studies show that just six sessions of interval training can increase maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and improve the body's ability to fuel itself.

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Some gains in muscle force can appear in two weeks, but gains in muscle size won't be seen until around eight to 12 weeks.

12 Weeks without training causes a significant decrease in the amount of weight we can lift, but only a minimal reduction in the size of the muscle fibres. We will maintain some of the strength we gained. We lose muscle strength because the muscles are not put under stress, effectively becoming "lazy".

Blood and plasma volumes can decrease by as much as 12% in the first four weeks after a person stops training. Plasma and blood volume decrease due to the lack of stress put on our heart and muscles.

Plasma volume can reduce to about 5% within the first 48 hours of stopping training as less blood is pumped around the body with each heartbeat.

Cardiorespiratory fitness - shown by a person's VO2 max will decrease around 10% in the first four weeks after a person stops exercising. The rate of decline continues but eventually evens out.

Highly trained athletes (like a marathon runner) will maintain a VO2 higher than average. But the average person will fall back to pre-training levels in less than eight weeks.

Pairing Of The Wine With The Dish
  • Asking the sommelier or server to recommend the best wine to go with the ordered food is based on the idea that asking a wine professional will provide a pairing that will unlock the full potential of the food, and of course, taste delicious.
  • Having a recommended type of wine with a certain dish is now outdated due to our changed eating habits (now many people go for shared plates for example and the sommelier has the impossible task of finding one bottle that pairs with seven different things).
  • There is no secret code for choosing wine. Peopleโ€™s palates are inherently personal (we have different sensitivities to certain flavors and aromas), so there is no such thing as an objectively perfect pairing.
  1. Pair according to the vibe, not the food. The occasion should be the primary criteria while deciding on which wine to drink in the first place. A family reunion deserves a different wine from what one would have at a friends beach party.
  2. One can update the way the wines are described, going beyond the traditional ways the wine taste is explained. This allows the person to experiment and explore new pairings of wine that may be better than the predefined ones.
  3. Just drink whatever wine you want to drink, not being bothered about how awful it tastes while paired with the food on the plate. It is not the end of the world if the pairing isnโ€™t established by wine experts. Do your own thing.
  • Try to sleep for seven to nine hours a night.
  • Keep consistent wake-up and bedtimes.
  • Keep the bedroom cool, quiet and dark.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and exercise before bed.
  • Turn off your screens 30 to 60 minutes before you need to sleep.
When sleeping problems are increasing

According to a meta-analysis, about 40% of the population has had sleep problems during the pandemic.

We know to keep a consistent schedule, avoid alcohol, caffeine and bright lights before bed and practice other sleep habits. But it is not enough to solve chronic insomnia. Our brains need to feel safe and secure to be able to fall asleep.

  • Don't chase sleep. Don't go to bed early or sleep late. Don't nap.
  • Don't go to be until you're sleepy. Sleepiness is when your eyes are drooping.
  • Don't stay in bed unless you're asleep.
  • Establish consistent daily routines and bedtime routines.
  • Recognise when you sleep best, then stick with it.
  • Don't tell yourself you won't be able to sleep. Instead, say that a bad night of sleep is okay.
  • Keep a journal. Write down all the things you don't want to forget.
  • If you start to ruminate in bed, think about the things you're grateful for.
  • Listen to someone else's voice, like an unexciting audiobook.

We have insomnia if we have difficulty falling or staying asleep three or more times a week, which lasts for months, leading to fatigue, mood changes or difficulty concentrating.

Insomnia is partly triggered by the fear and anxiety we have about not sleeping. When we start to chase after sleep - waking up later, taking naps, going to bed too early, it decreases our sleep drive. Our brain then begins to associate the bed with anxiety about falling asleep.

Treating muscle pain
  • A hot compress. Applying heat to the area is an effective way to treat muscle pain. It can be a hot-water bottle or a microwaveable bean bag.
  • Refrain from pressing on tight, sore spots. It most likely will only give you short-term results and be uncomfortable. Exercising seems to provide longer-term improvement.
  • Weight lifting. Research suggests the most effective way of treating muscle pain is low-intensity weight training.
History of peanut butter

The Incas were the first to grind peanuts, but peanut butter reappeared in the modern world when John Harvey Kellogg filed a patent for a proto-peanut butter in 1895.

The food compound involved boiling nuts and grinding them into a paste. Kellogg promoted peanut butter as a healthy alternative to meat, which he saw as a digestive irritant.

  • In 1921, a chemical process called partial hydrogenation was applied to the naturally occurring oil in peanut butter. This made the oil solid or semisolid at room temperature, and the nut butter thus remained blended. This process made it possible to ship the spread across the country.
  • By 1920, Rosefield found Skippy, which debuted crunchy peanut butter and wide-mouth jars. In WWII, tins of Skippy were shipped with service members overseas.
  • By 2020, SKippy and Jif released their latest peanut butter innovation of squeezable tubes.

A 1908 ad claimed that 10 cent's worth of peanuts contained six times the energy of a porterhouse steak.

By World War I, U.S. meat rationing turned consumers to peanuts. Manufacturers sold tubs of peanut butter to local grocers and advised them to stir frequently as the oil would separate and spoil.

George Washington Carver helped black farmers prosper, free from the tyranny of cotton.

Carver took over the agriculture department at the Tuskegee Institute in 1896 to aid black farmers. Carver began experimenting with plants like peanuts and sweet potatoes, replenishing the nitrogen that cotton plantations stripped from the soil, and helping farmers feed their families.

Peanut butter was first established as a delicacy. In 1896, Good Housekeeping encouraged women to make their own peanut butter with a meat grinder and suggested spreading it on bread.

Before the end of the century, an employee at Kellogg's sanitarium, Joseph Lambert, invented machinery to roast and grind peanuts on a larger scale.

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