jordanddunn

@jordanddunn
Creative director for Green Pepper Studios, vegan, wannabe athlete, lover of all women.
http://jordanddunn.tumblr.com/
Guy fell asleep on the couch in Costco. (Taken with instagram)

Guy fell asleep on the couch in Costco. (Taken with instagram)

We just got our diplomas!!! I’m officially and finally a graduate.
Waiting to walk for commencement.
My new hair is officially here!
60 Day Health Study: Creatine

After doing the 30 day health study on vegetarian living I received a lot of feedback, mostly positive and some negative. What I was greatly interested in was the increasing number of people wanting me to try new studies. One of the top things that was requested that I try was creatine.

What is creatine?

According to About.com

Creatine is a compound that’s involved in the production of energy in the body, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Made in the liver, approximately 95% of the body’s creatine ends up being stored in skeletal muscles and the remaining 5% is found in the brain, heart and testes. Once it’s used, creatine is converted to a waste product called creatinine and excreted in urine.

Creatine is basically an acid that is emitted from your body when your muscles are put under stress. This acid is sent to your muscles to help maintain and rebuild the muscle quickly and efficiently. Body builders generally take it to help decrease the time between workouts for their arms to recover. Studies have also shown that it can help increase your lean muscle mass. This is believed because creatine promotes water retention. Muscle is made up of 70% water so this belief has some weight to it. *pun intended*

Believed negatives / side effects

I have heard quite a bit negative through my life about creatine and that people should avoid taking it. I was at first a little sceptic of being a guinea pig, but I figured I should try to either concrete the beliefs people have, or show them what benefits creatine can create.

I’ve heard quite a few things that creatine will do to a person. This study is to help show whether or not these side effects happen to a young, healthy and physically fit individual.

The (supposed) side effects of creatine use have been said but are not limited to

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Hypertension
  • Water weight gain (little to no muscle gain)
  • Poor disposition to other acids (i.e. bad things happen when you drink orange juice)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Labored breathing
  • many more…

This list is just a small sampling of what I have been told may or may not be the side effects. These are what I see as being the common beliefs of what creatine will do to you. Now you can see why I might be apprehensive to try and be the guinea pig for such a product.

As before, I will give you my stats including weight, dimensions, and caloric intake and weekly photos. I am following the creatine loading method, which in the first week you take creatine 4 times a day to help get a store of it in your body, then only once a day on the days you workout thereafter.  It’s one week since I began the study and there are changes happening, I will go into further detail once I see what all creatine does to the body while continuing my research on what all creatine is and does to not only me, but others. I will be posting an update on this in one month from today. The final post, a month after that.


If you have any comments, questions or concerns you can comment below, hit me up on twitter or email me at hello@homelessinhawaii.com

Elliptical or Treadmill?

Beginning a new workout routine can be daunting. One of the big questions that is asked when joining a gym or buying home workout equipment is, which is better, an elliptical or a treadmill? I’ve noticed a lot of comparisons on the obvious parts of buying equipment, but there is so much more to it than burning calories. There’s no true answer for the question, but hopefully I can help you decide on which works better for you.

Calories

The amount of calories being burned on each machine has been debated quite a bit in many articles all over the internet. From personal experience and the observations of my own workouts on both machines, it seems as though the treadmill can burn around 150 calories more per hour than that of the elliptical going at the same rate with same resistance level on each machine. This is not a huge differentiation seeing as all machines vary and hopefully the treadmill or elliptical will not be your only source of exercise.


Endurance

After searching I could find no research done to make any claim to which machine on average helps a persons endurance. This is solely based on my observations of others in a public gym and from my own personal experience. The endurance level on ellipticals seems to be better than that of the treadmill for the simple fact that the elliptical has arms which allow you to use more of your arms in order to help you get through the workout once you begin to feel tired. The ability for your arms to bear some of the burden can be done on the treadmill by holding onto the rails, but in my experience I noticed myself running the same speed, just basically holding myself higher off of the treadmill so there was not as much impact which made for less of a workout.

Form

A problem associated with running, is that most people when just starting out run incorrectly. Running incorrectly can lead to shin splints, tiring quickly, rashes, and not being able to keep your endurance up, among other problems. With this in mind the treadmill has no way of providing any form adjustment for you while running. It reacts as though you were outside and have no guides or ways to adjust your form without you making mental note of it yourself.

The elliptical however, has areas for your feet to be put in. This allows your feet to be forced in the correct direction while having your arms grabbing the handle bars which forces you to be in a proper form for the machine.

Breathing

A large problem for me which has kept me from the ability to run on a treadmill or outside is asthma. I have a real problem with it and have realized that running outside is a serious problem for me, this lead me to look into the elliptical.

The elliptical allows for breathing to differentiated somehow from a treadmill. I am able to push myself as hard as I can on an elliptical than I am able to on a treadmill. I am able to do 8 minute miles on the elliptical trainer compared to half that on the treadmill. Again, I would point to research, but for some reason there is little to no research done on what is better for those with breathing problems.

Pacing

Pacing yourself on the elliptical or treadmill is key to a successful workout. The ability to last for the full 30, 45, or 60 minutes on the machine is what helps you burn the calories, not the box telling you that you can burn that much. From my experience and with dealing with others (especially beginning runners), pacing on a treadmill compared to an elliptical can be quite difficult to do. For some reason, your brain wants to take over and tell you that you can run faster than your current speed for the next half hour, but then you realize that you can’t even last 30 seconds!

For me, the elliptical is much easier to pace myself with, offering the ability to use the arms on the machine to help compensate which goes back to the endurance factor. I am able to mentally pace myself better on the elliptical because of the resistance and change in the way I workout with the machine.


Joints

If you experience any sort of knee or joint pain I would not push you in the way of treadmills. I highly recommend you check out an elliptical machine. Having zero impact on your joints is beneficial  for those with arthritis or any sort of pain in their bones. This not only helps those in the current state, but also helps those in the future to avoid the problems as well.

Conclusion

While in this article I’ve been a bit biased towards the elliptical, I feel there is good reason to. Simply for the ability to avoid joint pain, shin splints, and breathing problems I’m sold on the elliptical. This does not mean that you will feel the same way as I do about the machines. I suggest you join a gym for a month, or even if they are having a free introductory week, try one machine half of the week, then switch. See which works better for you, and see which keeps you more entertained, remember that you’ll be on these machines for a half hour to an hour, 3 to 5 times a week. That’s a lot of time where you can get bored.

Comments, questions or suggestions? Comment below or email me at Jordanddunn@gmail.com

30 Days of Strict Vegetarian Living: Final Weeks Results
The study for whether or not a strict Vegetarian diet would work has now come to a close. It’s been an interesting month seeing the changes in my body, attitude, and overall well being. The biggest change I have seen is the ridicule and outright hatred for choosing to eat a certain way. In the past month I have never been judged as much as I have been in my life. Most of this criticism has been from those who have no regard to their health in terms of the proper diet and nutrition. One great thing to note is how great the Vegetarian/Vegan community is and how they continue to encourage and
share new stories, recipes and examples of others who have made the switch
to a healthier diet.




This study was not meant to convince anyone that they should switch to vegetarian/vegan eating styles. In the end it’s a person’s choice whether or not they are going to begin their own research on what foods do to their body. For me the results can’t be argued in terms of my physical well being and the great benefits it has had on my attitude. After a month of not eating any animal products I can tell you that I have not once had a craving for any animal products. I haven’t wanted cake, steak, burgers or anything else made of or containing animal products. There has been such a great increase in vegan alternatives that it has been easy for me to do the switch.

What’s happened over the past month


In the past month I’ve gained muscle mass in my chest while losing half a percent of fat which hasn’t occurred for a couple of months into my diet. I’ve been told countless times while doing this study that I must be starving, but I’ve had more of an opportunity to have my palette expanded, not restricted. I now enjoy eating raw vegetables like cucumbers, celery, carrots and green peppers raw, without any condiment aids straight from the store. Never before could I enjoy such a light snack and actually get cravings for these foods.

Some say they would rather eat the sweets and die happy. I say I want to run and play with my children, have joints that work, I want to be able to avoid cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. I want to see my grandkids grow up and be able to play with them while I age. I want to age gracefully, not have my body tear me apart. I’m in control of my body, the food industry isn’t, I’ve learned that this past month. Eating only whole foods and plants has helped me see how much say the food industry has in our every day lives. If you think you aren’t addicted to sugar, meat, or fat, try doing this “diet” for a month and see how you do. Most aren’t willing to try it because they think it’s pointless, it’s not pointless in fact it could be the difference between you having early onset diabetes or not.

I’ve found the joy of natural foods. The food that is naturally here for us and doesn’t hurt the environment, doesn’t hurt or abuse animals, and above all doesn’t hurt my body. I’m not asking everyone to make a switch as drastic as mine, I’m asking you to watch what you eat. This can be started by simply watching your caloric intake, and making sure you only have good calories, not bad. Watch the videos below that I’ve posted, see what the professionals and critics are saying about what the food industry is doing to our country and more importantly, you. I ask that after you watch the videos posted, and do a little research yourself to seriously think about the consequences of what the food is doing to your body. I’m not telling you to be a Vegan or even a Vegetarian. I’m asking you to think about that big mac, or whopper you put into your mouth.

My conclusion / my choice


If you haven’t guessed it by now, yes I’ve chosen to stay a strict vegetarian for my life time. What does this mean? This means that I will not eat animal products, I will not eggs, milk, meat, whey or any other animal products put into food. I’m not only going to be a strict vegetarian, I choose to eat whole natural foods, this means that the foods need to be as natural as possible, cereals that I eat must be whole nuts, grains and natural sugars. Most meals I eat will have come straight from the ground. This includes my bans on sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. Keep in mind I will occasionally choose to eat home made sweets like dark chocolate covered strawberries and things like that. I choose not to eat any products that have chemically altered sugars or plain sugars in them. Too many people are dying from diabetes and other food related diseases. I can’t sit idly by and allow it to happen to me.

Starting this study a month ago I never thought that my choice to just do a study would change so much of what I believe about nutrition, about the ways I look at food and people. I believe our body is the most precious thing we have, it’s the only one we have, and we have to live with it for our entire life. We don’t get to trade it in for another, we’re stuck with what we’ve got. I would rather at the end of my days choose to be chemically killed in a matter of minutes than to live my life not being able to run with my children because I chose not to eat right.

Changing your eating habits is a change in priorities


I will be honest, it’s not cheap to live the way I live. It has cost me over double my normal food budget to switch to eating whole and natural foods. This is an investment in your future, more than your car, more than your cable, more than your internet. Switching to a healthy life takes effort and money. Instead of owning the premium channels on your cable, choose to buy more lettuce, apples, and bananas. An even better choice would be to go on a walk or bike ride with your kids the next time your favorite show on one of those channels comes on. Walking and running has been proven to help not only your heart, but also your mental health, which in turn helps create a healthier relationship in your family.

If you have been reading my posts I hope it has spurred an interest in at least trying to refute what I am saying. If you are angry with what I have said over the past month, or with this post, by all means get a hold of me and be willing to back up your beliefs. I’m willing to listen and talk to anyone about diet and nutrition, but be willing to hear my arguments from my side as well. As I said in the beginning of this article, in the end, it’s your choice. I’m here to ruffle your feathers and push you to try and prove me wrong or show me your results. I’ve gotten so much feedback from people who started reading my blog at the beginning who have noticed considerable weight loss just by watching their calories. This is such an encouragement to hear about them trying to change their eating habits and their lives. With that being said, here’s my results.

Body Stats


    My stats from last week are:
    Current Weight: 150lbs
    Current Body Fat Percentage: 10%
    Bicep Dimension: 14in
    Chest Dimension: 38.25in
    Waist Dimension: 31in
    Daily Caloric Intake: (roughly) ~2,400 cal.
    Daily Protein Intake: (roughly ~120 – 140 g.

    My stats from this week are:
    Current Weight: 151.6lbs
    Current Body Fat Percentage: 10%
    Bicep Dimension: 14in
    Chest Dimension: 38.25in
    Waist Dimension: 31in
    Daily Caloric Intake: (roughly) ~2,400 cal.
    Daily Protein Intake: (roughly ~120 – 140 g.


As you can see, not much has changed from last week to this week. The change was slight and most likely water since the fat percentage and muscle did not increase. Something to be noted is that since the first week I have not really lost any weight, which as stated in earlier posts wasn’t the goal. The goal was to gain muscle while losing fat. Overall in the past month I have gained .25in in my chest and dropping .5% of my body fat percentage. This drop is larger than I had been able to drop in months so to me it was a great month. Keep in mind this past month I increased my caloric intake by 900 calories. I’ve been eating more than the average american does each day and still gained no noticeable weight, but gained muscle and lost fat.



[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”491” caption=”30 Days of Strict Vegetarian Living: Final Week Results - Flex”]30 Days of Strict Vegetarian Living: Final Week Results - Flex[/caption]

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”453” caption=”30 Days of Strict Vegetarian Living: Final Week Results - Side”]30 Days of Strict Vegetarian Living: Final Week Results - Side[/caption]



[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”538” caption=”30 Days of Strict Vegetarian Living: Final Week Results - Relaxed”]30 Days of Strict Vegetarian Living: Final Week Results - Relaxed[/caption]

Videos


Here’s the videos I highly recommend viewing.











Below is a trailer for food inc. You can find the video through netflix or amazon.


If you have any questions, comments, criticism or concerns please feel free to post a comment, email me - Jordanddunn@gmail.com or @JordanDunn on twitter.
Love it: Dove Men+Care

A new line of facial scrubs, bath soaps and shampoos has been launched by dove. I personally love the new scents and think the branding for the new line is phenomenal. The large bold brackets encasing the text with the use of clean but masculine looking colors. The branding for the new line of bath products fits well into what dove already has established and is great if you have a guy in your life looking for a new scent in the shower.

Hate it: UGG Boots

UGG Boots to me are one of the most hideous accessories a person can own. They are named UGG for a reason and should never be worn by any person. I don’t care if there are no other boots sold in the store and all you own are flip flops. Yes, there will be some sacrifices that will have to be made, like amputating your toes from the bitter cold, but in the end you will not have committed one of the most offensive fashion mistakes. Wearing UGG.

Hate it: Virginia Drivers

Virginia drivers are some of the worst drivers in the country. I’ve been to some of the largest cities (NYC, LA, etc..) and no where else do you have people cut you off and wave at you as though you did them a favor. No where else do you have the fast lane taken up with people going below the speed limit.

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