Entries from September 2016 ↓

Person Profile: Elina Byeloborodova

Whether it’s exploring crumbling buildings or complex academic ideas, Elina Byeloborodova has always had a hard time staying idle.

Elina is a student at UW-Whitewater and a first generation immigrant who traveled from Kharkiv, Ukraine to the United States with her mother at an age of only 10 years old.

The adjustment period was tough for the young traveler, who didn’t speak a word of English when she and her mother moved to Wisconsin.

“It makes you very observant.” She reflected.  “I didn’t speak for probably the first three months I was here.”

Hearing her family’s background, her ability to learn and adapt should come as no surprise. Elina’s grandparents in the Ukraine were both college professors and her mother worked as a chemical engineer in Kharkiv.

This record of accomplishment looks to continue with Byeloborodova, as she is double majoring in Accounting and I.T. and also has two jobs, splitting time between U.S. Cellular and Toppers Pizza here in Whitewater.

“I really do think it comes from the way I was raised,” Elina said when asked about her ambition. “although as I’m talking to you I’m realizing I might be working too much!”

The 21-year-old student didn’t shed much light on current hobbies, but lit up when asked about happy memories back home in Ukraine. She told me about experiences with her and relatives exploring abandoned buildings and scaring each other in their spare time.

“It was mostly ghost stories and scaring each other.” She said, “It was a lot of fun!”

As we were nearing the end of our coffees, I asked Elina what advice she had for other immigrants who might be having a hard time assimilating to a new culture.

“I think it’s important to be open-minded. Being open to new ideas will definitely help because people communicate much differently. It will eventually get easier. I believe that all people from all different countries share many of the same experiences, and it’s important to remember that.”

The Ketogenic Diet: Body by Bacon

A ketogenic diet refers to a manner of eating that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. Under 20 grams of carbohydrates a day is low enough to trigger a process called “ketosis” in most people, causing them to use ketones (components from broken down fats) for energy instead of glucose.

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This eating strategy has been surging in popularity as of late, as many keto-ers tout tales of 100, 200, even 300 pounds lost by way of eating things like bacon and butter every day.

Hundreds of purveyors can be found at r/keto, a forum on reddit where the enthusiasts share success stories, recipes, and the answers to frequently asked questions for those who are just beginning a ketogenic lifestyle.

The keto movement can be credited to health professionals who examine the effect of carbohydrates on our bodies. One such professional is Dr. Gary Taubes, author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat.” Taubes suggests that the cause of the obesity epidemic in the United States is due to a high consumption of carbohydrates; particularly sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

When carbohydrates are ingested by the human body, the hormone insulin increases in the bloodstream. This is a mechanism that determines how much fat is stored for later use and how much is burned for energy. More carbohydrates means more insulin, and more insulin means more fat is stored, rather than burned for fuel.

This approach gained a head of steam with the Atkins diet, which is similar to the ketogenic diet in that it advises a low-carb style of eating, but they differ on the subject of protein. Most keto practitioners advise eating only enough protein to maintain lean body mass and instead eating fat for energy, while the Atkins diet does not limit daily protein intake.

Keto-ers will tell you that this protein surplus is what makes Atkins users experience “brain fog” and nausea, and that the diet is sustainable when protein is replaced with fat.

While the war of public opinion rages on between advocates of low-carb high-fat approaches and those who support the standard American diet, the keto community lifts each other up, this author included.

I personally have lost about 20 pounds since switching to a low-carb diet in August and feel fantastic. While I can’t say the diet is for everyone, I am happy to summarize my own experience in three words: Body by Bacon.

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