Did you know, over 1.4 billion adults are overweight and more than half a billion obese. Obesity has become one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century...On a totally unrelated note, I'm experimenting with a new format for upcoming posts. In addition, I will be sharing some of the meals that I have in my limited culinary arsenal. This is mainly an excuse to write less while exams are around the corner, however, I will try my very best to keep the 5 or so readers I have entertained whilst suffering.
I am in the process of designing a logo and figuring out what template is best suited for me, so feedback would be extremely helpful.
I thought it would be fitting to write about the benefits of activated charcoal, and how it relates to my seriously penetrating hangover this past weekend. Also, meal of the week is pan-seared salmon w/ a large-ass salad. Zum Wohl!
Not the charcoal you gooi on the braai to char-burn your R20 Pick n’ Pay steak, but an ancient medicinal substance that has been used for centuries. The Egyptians and North American Indians supposedly used it for treating skin infections and bruises. It is a standard amongst hospitals for the treatment of overdosing and poisonous exchanges. Black in colour and usually finely ground, this versatile substance transcends time and cultures providing relief from severe hangovers, inflammation, ingestion and heartburn.
'Tis the season of 21st Birthdays, exams and immense pressure—for most, that can only mean one thing, alcohol. I’ve been on quite the bender this past weekend myself. I attended The Beer Run, an event that involves copious amounts of beer drinking paired with, what was supposed to be a “run,” which turned out to be more of a drunken stumble through the woods with great company. So, I thought it would be fitting to write about activated charcoal.
Activated charcoals immense ability to adsorb (not absorb) substances to its surface is what makes it so effective. Picture millions of tiny people yielding tiny magnets entering your digestive system, attracting unwanted materials. This is possible due to the many pores that are present on the surface of activated charcoal, allowing chemicals and toxins to bind to the charcoal. In fact, according to Natural Holistic Health, “one teaspoonful of it [activated charcoal] has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet.” That’s just insane.
5 reasons to include activated charcoal in your biohacking arsenal:
- Hangovers: your body produces many toxins while drinking alcohol, so drinking a teaspoon of activated charcoal in water before and after a night out will reduce the symptoms of a severe hangover.
- Keeps the pearly whites, white: I regularly use activated charcoal like toothpaste to cleanse the mouth. It is known to keep those beautiful teeth of yours whiter than my thighs on a winters day—trust me, you don’t get much whiter.
- Indigestion and heartburn: most of the activated charcoal you will buy will say this. As an anecdote, I can say this is true.
- Relief from Diarrhea: ideal if you’ve consumed to much MCT oil with your Bulletproof Coffee
- Removal of poison: as mentioned above, activated charcoal is stock standard in hospitals and should be in every home.
What activated charcoal I use
You can either have activated charcoal in a gelatin pill or just finely ground into a powdery substance. I personally have the powdered form by Natures Choice from Dis-chem, or if you’re the lucky few in the Northern hemisphere, Bulletproof have the pill form which looks great, but I haven’t tried it. The one I use has little to no flavour—however, this could be due to my taste buds being totally eradicated after a bender. Some additional benefits of activated charcoal include; purifying the blood, bad odor control, and even keeping bad breathe at bay.
Meal of the week: Pan-seared salmon w/ a large-ass salad
Salmon is the ultimate omega-3 fatty acid containing food with enough EPA and DHA to make your cell membranes buzz with excitement. Salmon is like a goodie bag that provides tons of sustainable energy. People often think of energy as quick, direct and diminishing—I would argue that is a modern definition derived from our materialistic, sugar-filled paradigm. In my opinion, energy should be lasting, well-rounded and transferable. The major benefits of consuming salmon according to most sources include; reducing inflammation (believed for being the driving force for most chronic diseases), lowering blood pressure and protecting the brain from neurodegenerative diseases. Including salmon to your weekly meal schedule will ensure that you get the full range of benefits.
Salmon gears my week in the direction of optimal cognitive functioning and physical well-being—starting your week on the right foot is so vital. When my student budget affords, I jump at the opportunity to gorge on Salmon. I preferably have it with a large salad tossed with cherry tomatoes, avocados, cucumber and micro-greens. On colder, less summery occasions—I will have it with zucchini spaghetti as per The Bulletproof Diet Cookbook.
The thing I love about this dish? The sheer simplicity. Who says eating healthy is hard work? It literally takes 10 minutes.
My attempt at a ‘how to cook’ guide:
- Salmon (preferably wild caught)—ideally with the skin on (the skin has the highest EPA and DHA containing omega-3 fatty acids).
- MCT Oil (optional)
- Grass-fed ghee or butter
- Himalayan/sea salt
- Baby leaf lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- On a board of some sort, rub the salmon with roughly a tablespoon of MCT oil and sprinkle salt on both sides (if you don’t have MCT oil, don’t stress, it’s simply a way to get added ketones).
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon of grass-fed ghee or butter.
- Slice the avocado and cherry tomatoes however you please.
- Place the prepared salmon skin-side down on the pan and grill for around 6 minutes. Flip over, and grill for a further 3 minutes on the other side. The skin should have a lovely crisp to it, guaranteed to make your night.
- Toss the sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes and micro-greens into the pile of baby leaf lettuce.
- Take various Instagram worthy pictures before you consume this absolute banger of a meal.
There you have it, I’m sure Tim Ferriss would be proud—maybe add some beans or lentils to the salmon to ensure it fits into the slow-carb regime. There is just so much to learn, and writing this blog is like an intuitive experiment that tests my knowledge and simultaneously refines it.
One thing is for sure, it’s easy to sit around and make excuses as to why eating healthy is not an option. But, I can tell you first hand, it really isn’t that difficult. It's the social anxiety and pressure that makes self-discipline hard.
I hope this blog post gave you a sneaky bit of inspiration for the week. I urge you to experiment, track, manage and have fun with dieting.
Be yourself. Be present. Be Boundless.