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Archive for the ‘chess’ Category

in the zone

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

That’s where I was yesterday as I contended a couple rated chess games. At least until my blunder under pressure of the clock in game two. LOL. The battle was a tactical slugfest and far too complex to be done justice by the accelerated time control of Game/60. (Each side gets an hour to allocate as s/he sees fit for the entire game, making for a maximum session of two hours. Overstepping the time limit also counts as a loss.)

My opponent, Braden Bournival, is a titled master, officially recognized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). He is a three-time, repeat champion of New Hampshire, the first of which we shared, and is more than 400 rating points above my “Class A” rank. Ratings are statistical measures, and this kind of disparity predicts a 99% win ratio for the higher. So, if we were to play 100 games, the odds are I would only manage one win. This was almost it! Quite literally, “The one that got away.” All in all a fun afternoon of chess in the wilds of NH. (Replay games)

Could the healthy fuel with which I provided my body and mind be responsible for such clear thinking? Perhaps… ;)

From a kitchen table loaded with goodies:

Here’s what I packed for the day:

  • 16 ounces watermelon
  • one big papaya
  • one orange
  • 1/3 avocado
  • six ounces romaine lettuce
  • 2.5 ounces red cabbage
  • three ounces broccoli
  • three ounces chicory
  • brown rice protein
  • 32 ounces coffee (black)

On another note, what’s this about Edwards not knowing of PETA?!

“I can honestly say I have never heard of PETA,” said Edwards. “They don’t want people to eat meat? Well I am not in favor of that.”

Yikes. Go Kucinich! :)

restricting for chess

Monday, May 21st, 2007

I recently received correspondence from Paul McGlothin, Vice President of Research for the Board of the Calorie Restriction Society. He knows I’m a competitive chessplayer and fellow practitioner and thought the following might interest me and others in the chess community.

Paul and his wife Meredith are inveterate self-experimenters and, via extremely diligent testing and record-keeping, they have devised an eating strategy (more accurately, a lifestyle) that maintains optimal (i.e., low) glucose levels for mental clarity and energy. They accomplish this using a combination of calorie restriction, meal and exercise timing, and a ketogenic diet. If high fat plans, like Atkins, just came to mind, you are not alone. What I find intriguing is they purport it can actually be done with consumption of complex carbohydrates!

Here, in his own words, is the concept and goals from the perspective of those desiring improved cognition, such as chessplayers. He has also documented therein several references supporting his position.

This second document is the press release for the workshop they are facilitating in NY from August 10-12 and a description of the research it helps benefit.

Finally, I should mention this lovely couple has a new book due out in October entitled The CR Way: Using the Secrets of Calorie Restriction for a Longer, Healthier Life. You can bet I’ve pre-ordered mine. :)

If anyone ends up attending the hands-on workshop, please let them know you heard about it here, and more importantly, report back. Seeing as I’m not much for travel (just ask my family in NC), I’ll have to live it vicariously.

chess in the raw

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Get your mind out of the gutter! ;)

On Saturday, I competed in a one-day chess tournament in the pleasant, small town of Bow, NH. Here is what I packed for raw sustenance.

A bag of lettuce and collard greens, a veggie spread, a banana, half a cantaloupe divided into two servings, pineapple, dates, and (ok, this isn’t raw…) soynuts.

A closer look at the pâté, displaying all its colorful flecks.

So, how’d I do? I won my first game in a satisfying reversal before being duly punished for some inaccuracies in the second round. Then, even though placing was not yet out of the realm of possibility, with the weather so nice (finally!), I decided to head out. Still, I had a good time, and it was great catching up with everyone in our little chess community.

It seems this has become something of a pattern with me. As concentrated as I can be at the board, my attention span for sticking out an entire event often wanes, unless I’m really doing well. The craving for a serious game or two quenched, it just feels like there are other things I could be doing. <shrug>


Saturday, February 24th, 2007

I have been without a kitchen scale for a while now, but a new one is on the way, having just been shipped yesterday. I got the same model again, hoping it was just a fluke. This time, I’ll be sure to keep the warranty card though!

It’s been a challenge. The temptation to purposeful sloppiness in measurement is even greater, and certainly easier, than when there is a digital readout indicting your indiscretion. Furthermore, even with due diligence, studies show we tend to underestimate our caloric intake. For example, this one from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. I do, however, have a lot of practice and a fairly consistent meal plan, so that helps.

Having been relegated to measure by volume and count alone, I had to devise ingenious tricks and somewhat shift my usual foods to those more easily quantified. One favorable creation emerging from these tactics was these bean muffins.

Each muffin represents 1/4 cup of cooked beans. I left them relatively plain in order to vary their flavors with spreads or to simply add water and make into a soup. One of my favorite toppings was the dessert-like addition of sliced banana and peanut butter. (I’m categorizing this post under chess as well because this idea could be a useful addition to my travel and snacking repertoire for tournaments.)

Speaking of doing things by volume, I wanted to mention the excellent book The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories, which I have added to my recommendations page. Like CRON and E2L, it also espouses high nutrient – low calorie dense foods and explains how, by volume, they are a much better bargain than nutrient poor – energy dense foods. You can eat so much more and feel fuller on the former. The author, a researcher at the Food Lab at Penn State, has also written an accompanying cookbook, The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories, but I caution, it is definitely not vegan.

The following pictorial brings home the point of her books by answering the question, What does 200 calories look like?

My Cookbook:

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