Archive for the 'Whole-Health Journey' Category

Healing People & Honoring Creation: Joel Salatin on Sustainable Agriculture

I was pleased to open up my copy of Sojourners this month and see an interview with one of my heroes, Joel Salain, founder of Polyface Farms.  Some sweet excerpts:


Jeannie Choi: What’s the vision behind Polyface farm?

Joel Salatin: Healing—healing in all dimensions. We want to develop emotionally, environmentally, and economically enhancing agricultural prototypes throughout the world. We want to heal the relationships of the people involved with the farm and our business and our family. We want to heal the land, soil, air, water, and, ultimately, the food system.

From what disease is our current food system suffering?

Well, when is the last time a farmer went and asked for money from a banker and the banker said, “Well, that’s all well and good. I’m glad you’re going to be able to grow a corn crop. But what is that going to do to the earthworms? Or to the topsoil? Is that going to go down the Mississippi and add to the Rhode Island-sized dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico that’s been created because of erosion and run-off chemicals?”

We don’t measure those kinds of things, and yet each of us intuitively understands that those immeasurable or non-quantifiable parts in a business plan are actually the most precious resources we have.

How can we revolutionize the food industry?

Healing the food system would fundamentally flip-flop the political and economic powers of our culture. Wendell Berry says that what’s wrong with us creates more gross national product than what’s right with us. It’s a fantastic observation. Right now, our culture thrives on things being sick. Dead soil brings more people to chemical companies because they need chemical fertilizers, which makes people sick. When people are sick, obviously the medical establishment thrives. If a neighborhood or community’s food system is sick, then of course you need to import food from a foreign country, which stimulates global trade. So when you start talking about healing the food system, we need a fundamental realignment of all the power and money in our culture, and that’s why there is a tremendous amount of inertia against healing the system.

So what can we do? If you want to dream out of the box for a minute, here’s an idea: If every American for one week refused to eat at a fast-food joint, it would bring concentrated animal feeding operations to their knees. What can one person do? We have a sick, evil system, and a healing system, and the question is, which one are you going to feed? Have you gone down to the farmers market or patronized local livestock farms? Or have you had candy bars and cokes? Whichever one you’ve fed is going to get bigger, and the one you’ve starved is going to get smaller.

How does your faith inform your work?

It makes me want to farm like Jesus would if he were here right now, in charge of this place. God actually loved us and provided a salvation experience for us that shapes the way we should, with the same grace and appreciation and respect, honor the creation that God made. It’s in respecting and honoring the “pig-ness” of the pig that we create our ethical and moral background for respecting and honoring the “Tony-ness” of Tony and the “Mary-ness” of Mary. And so it’s how we respect and honor the “least of these” that creates a theological and philosophical framework for how we respect and honor the creation that God made. It’s in respecting and honoring the “pig-ness” of the pig that we create our ethical and moral background for respecting and honoring the “Tony-ness” of Tony and the “Mary-ness” of Mary. And so it’s how we respect and honor the “least of these” that creates a theological and philosophical framework for how we respect and honor the greatest of these.

Our culture simply views our plants and animals as so many inanimate piles of protoplasmic structure to be manipulated however cleverly hubris can imagine to manipulate it. I would suggest that a culture that views its life in that respect will be a culture that views its citizens and the citizens of other cultures in the same manipulative and arrogant way.

For the entire interview article, go here. And for an expanded audio interview with Salatin, go here.

His books are well worth reading (Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal is illuminating and outraging), as are these other articles about Polyface Farms.

Finally, I leave you with a video of Salatin and Chipotle founder Steve Ells, a food activist superstar in his own right.

Recommended ROM Drinking – ChlorOxygen

I just finished my morning ROM – whew! It always leaves me gasping & panting. And no wonder – after four minutes on the ROM, your body is gasping for oxygen. This helps burn fat. As ROm distributor Alf Temme puts it:

Most everyone believes (incorrectly so) in the myth that a cardio workout requires at least 20 to 45 minutes per day. The truth is that if you want to improve strength, flexibility and cardio vascular endurance, that you must do slight damage to each of these systems by putting a slight overload on them. An overload on the muscles will create micro tears in the muscles that will in the repair process cause the muscles to become stronger. An overload on the tendons will create small damage by creating a very mild tendonitis and that will create more flexibility during the healing process of the tendonitis. An overload on the cardiovascular system is measured by way of total oxygen consumption during an exercise period. It can be low oxygen consumption during a long period of time or a very high oxygen consumption during a short period of time to reach the overload. An added advantage of a high oxygen consumption during a short time is that the length of time required for a cardiovascular workout becomes exponentially shorter with a linear increase of oxygen consumption. Oxygen consumption is expressed in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (mlO2/kg/min). With conventional forms of exercise it is nearly impossible for the untrained general public to reach the high levels of oxygen consumption required for a short and effective cardio workout. With the ROM machine untrained individuals will easily reach the very high levels of oxygen consumption that require only minutes for an effective aerobic workout that yields the same or better cardiovascular benefits than the conventional 20 to 45 minute aerobic workouts practiced by the general public.

This is certainly the way my body feels it. Particularly after the lower-body ROM workout. On those days if I’m especially gasping, I’ll drink a glass of water infused with ChlorOxygen – a chlorophyll concentrate that brings oxygen to the blood. I hope this isn’t cheating, because it feels great – it’s like the liquid is breathing within me. I also drink copious amounts of ChlorOxygen-infused water whenever I’m in the mountains of Colorado.

ROM By-the-Numbers: November 7


Not quite there yet...

Range-of-motion results this week:

  • Overall weight: 255
  • Bodyfat: 28.7%%
  • Muscle: 34.3%

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

ROM By-the-Numbers: November 1

Range-of-motion results this week:

  • Overall weight: 256
  • Bodyfat: 28.9%%
  • Muscle: 34.1%

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

WCW Wrestler takes on the ROM!

My father-in-law

My father-in-law

Here is part two of Sgt. Craig ‘The Pitbull’ Pittman taking on the ROM. (Did you miss the first video? It’s right here.) We had a blast filming these; he’s heard me rave about the ROM since I started using it earlier this year. (I think he was impressed that I’m getting any kind of regular workout; probably one of his greatest disappointments when his daughter & I started dating in the 1990s was how his precious little girl – scion of two Olympic athletes! – was seeing, not quite a 98 pound weakling, but someone who didn’t have much athletic attention span. The ROM is changing all that.)

The Sergent (that’s how I thought of him as a teenager; the first time I took his daughter out, with some of our mutual friends, he said to me & the other guy with me – “You take care of these girls, and bring them home on time – otherwise I’m going to have fun playing with your carcasses!”) has had an illustrious career, beginning with Olympic and Marine wrestling, continuing with Japanese Vale Tudo fighting, and culminating in WCW wrestling. These days? He lives the quiet, sedate life of a law enforcement specialist in Florida. You don’t want to mess with him.

With that said, the ROM gave him quite a run for his money – as you can see in the video! What I appreciate about the machine is how it matches the level of athleticism and energy you put into it. It’s gentle enough for my dad – who’s no physical slouch himself, but has back problems – and yet can wear out a world-class athlete.

And me.

(To see my complete ROM health & fitness journey to date, go here!)

ROM By-the-Numbers: October 18

Falling Weight!

Range-of-motion results this week:

  • Overall weight: 256
  • Bodyfat: 29.4%%
  • Muscle: 33.9%

A pound a week? I’ll take it!

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

ROM By-The-Numbers: October 10

Range-of-motion results this week: Slow & Steady

  • Overall weight: 257
  • Bodyfat: 29.6%%
  • Muscle: 33.7%

Slow & steady is winning this race!

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

Celebrity ROM I: And My Father-In-Law Is…

So I got my father-in-law in the garage recently to try out the ROM for himself. He can be a bit picky as to his choice of workout equipment – after all, he’s a Marine, Olympian, WCW, and international wrestling veteran. Who is he..? Watch and find out, my friends!

For the whole saga-to-date, go here!

ROM Experiences: 30 Years in 30 Days

ROM in RoomIt’s October 1, 2009 – in 30 days I’ll be 30 years old! Truth be told, I haven’t felt like a twenty-something in years, at least not the kind that marketers market to – getting married and having a child probably effected that. As you know, this year I’ve been using the ROM, a high-end workout machine that boasts a complete cardio, strength, and fat-burning workout in just four minutes a day. I’ve been more consistent by far in using the ROM than any other workout regimen I’ve attempted in my life. With that said, there have been some setbacks (more on these this month). Even so, Jeff V. from Maryland (remember him?) continues to be a motivator and fount of practical wisdom for me in my unfolding ROM journey. When I asked him for some advice for myself, other ROMmers, and potential ROMmers, here is what he told me:

Keep up the efforts on the machine. I think the key to positive results is committing to the machine each day. Every now and then I’ll catch myself taking it easy during the 4 minute effort. Then I push it (I mean what the heck, it’s only 4 minutes, right?). I believe the key is making a full effort each time you get on the machine.
Each time I do the upper body, I do one set of 40 crunches and two sets of curls with 25 pound dumbbells. Each day I do the lower body, I do one set of 40 crunches. That’s it. Total time spent each day working out is 6 minutes. I weigh the same. I have the same muscle mass as 6 months ago. My pecks look a little more defined. Overall, I’m fully toned. I can eat a barn … and I sleep well each night. One other side effect … I haven’t had a cold or any type of sickness since starting the ROM 6 months ago. If I feel a cold coming on, my body shakes it off before lunch time.
I live in a condo. My little one bedroom unit is too small for the machine. So I added the ROM to our gym. I’ve got 30 people trained up. They’re all believers. There are also a fair number of folks who still sweat it up on the tread mills (all caught up in the rat race of pushing it, sweating it, all while being plugged into their iPods, watching the TV monitor, and reading the Washington Post … all at the same time). They all look so busy.
I roll into the gym each morning like I’m on vacation. No stress. No rush. No debilitating physical effort. No huge commitment of time. In at 6:50 Am. Out before 7:00 AM.  After 6 months, you’d think the folks sweating it up (and investing so much TIME and effort each morning) would have a more open mind to the ROM … especially after seeing with their own eyes the fact that I’ve maintained a high level of fitness.
Thank you, Jeff. You continue to be an inspiration. Here’s to 30 days – and 30 more years – on the ROM!

Four Minutes, $14,000 and Thou

Washington Post Logo III enjoy reading what others are saying about the ROM. I recently came across this article published in the Washington Post a few years back. Here are some highlights:

When I heard that a machine could deliver a complete cardio and strength workout in four minutes a day I, like you, yearned to believe. The device is called the ROM (for “range of motion”), sold by Romfab, of North Hollywood, Calif. It resembles an amalgam of a classic cruiser motorcycle and a Space Age rowing machine, and ostensibly forces users to employ significantly more muscle fibers than they would doing traditional exercise. This translates into higher oxygen demands on the body and increased calorie burn. But a full workout in 240 seconds?

The ROM allegedly moves the body through a wider range of motion than other gear and, by requiring continual pressure, provides resistance throughout each movement — no recovery moments like those between pedal strokes or bench presses. The premise, at least, is sound: Research has shown the muscle-fiber/oxygen effect and one study concluded that eight minutes of sprint intervals, for example, offer cardio benefit roughly equal to an hour of brisk walking.

One four-minute ROM session, says Romfab, burns 465 calories (40 on the machine and 425 more throughout the rest of the day due to “afterburn,” a phenomenon known by fitno-nerds as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC). By comparison, an hour of treadmill walking, ROMiacs assert, burns 415 calories — 350 on machine, the rest through EPOC. (The EPOC effect is scientifically validated, but some research questions whether EPOC can exceed exercise calorie burn.)

The front of the ROM, for upper-body work, has a long-backed seat, footpads and moving handlebars; the back, for leg and butt work, looks like an elliptical-StairMaster mix. The manufacturer recommends four minutes on the front one day, four on the back the next, repeating for life. Retail price: $14,615 (!). That’s about the cost of 225 hours of personal training — or a year of tuition at a fine in-state university.

But cheaper access exists: I went to ROM Works, a studio in Catonsville, Md., that charges $50 a month for unlimited use. Owner Ron Price, a strapping 62, credits the device with saving his life after a heart attack 15 years ago.

When I tried the ROM, it performed as advertised, providing resistance throughout full strokes and mandating a broad range of motion…

Again, you can read the full article here. The ROM in all her glory

A reader sent in a follow-up statement, adding

I was very pleased to see your column on the ROM machine but I don’t believe a fair evaluation can be made without long term use. I have owned one for three years and it is my primary exercise activity. I have lost 15 pounds and greatly improved my general fitness level. It works for me because there is ‘no excuse’ for not being able to exercise four minutes a day and because the high price of the machine is a great incentive to use it. -Bob

P.S. I happen to be 74 years old but I believe it is suitable for any age group.

At age 29, I’m not as spry as I was, say, in high school. But if Bob can ROM on, so can I!

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

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    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

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