Low carb, high fat

If you’re trying to loose weight, like I am, there’s one hard truth: You’ll only loose weight if your daily calorie intake is less than your calorie expenditure.

There are no miracle hormones, or fat burning exercises, it all comes down to calorie intake.

To reduce your calorie intake, there are basically three types of diet:

  • Overall reduction
  • Low fat
  • Low carb (high fat)

If you’re going for an overall reduction, the danger is that you trigger a survival mechanism – your body will believe that you’re going through bad times and reduce its overall consumption, to make its own stores last as long as possible. While this might definitely lead to short-term weight loss, chances are that as soon as you’re off the diet, your body will start to replenish and prepare for the next period of hunger. Bummer.

A low fat diet might certainly be sustainable, I just don’t like the bland taste of low-fat food.

That leaves a low carb / high fat diet – together with my GP and a dietician I settled on a diet somewhere between Atkins and Keto, with good, steady results so far. The definite benefit of a LCHF diet is that the food tastes really good and you’re almost never hungry (you stay sated for longer) – I went down to two meals per day, sometimes one, without any cravings.

From personal experience, if you need / want to loose weight, I’d highly recommend trying a LHCF diet, but: Never without ongoing medical supervision!

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Inbox Zero

Today is a slow day – Friday after a bank holiday (Ascension), which most people here take off from work (including myself).

Time to appreciate my inbox. My empty inbox, that is.

Ever since I came across Inbox Zero, I tried to stick to it, most of the time. According to its inventor, Merlin Mann, it’s not so much about reducing the number of Emails in your inbox, but about reducing the time you’re thinking about the things in your inbox. From personal experience over many years of working I can fully and wholeheartedly agree – an empty inbox makes your day much less stressful!

I’ve settled on Outlook, Tasks, and OneNote to manage my work, but it’s not the tooling that makes the difference, it’s the mindset.

Give it a try – you won’t regret it!

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(Screenshot of an empty inbox, Microsoft Office 365)

Europe goes Green

I am very happy about voter turnout in Sunday’s European Elections and even more happy about the strong support for the Greens!

Many people have understood that we need to take urgent action to protect our climate and our environment, and that we cannot do it alone – it needs a regional and global approach.

With their newfound power, the Greens can now affect change in Europe and work with S&D, ALDE and EPP to protect our climate for future generations!

I’m also quite happy that in Cologne the Greens came in first, with almost 33% of votes – in the city center the Greens were almost at 43%. Yay!

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(Screenshot from Tagesschau, during election night)

Speed limit? Speed limit!

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity again to drive long distance in the US.

Speed limits are now at 65 to 75 mph on most highways, which makes for very smooth and relaxed driving; it’s much easier and less stressful to drive 600 miles in the US than to drive 600 kilometers in Germany.

Speeding doesn’t really benefit anyone:

  • The environment suffers a lot due to much higher consumption
  • The risk for fatal accidents increases greatly
  • You arrive a lot less relaxed (if at all)
  • You won’t save time overall

Then why are we so obsessed in Germany with having no speed limit on our motorways? I have no idea.

Or, as Virginia signposts it:

“Speeding over 80 mph (130 km/h) is considered reckless driving – Fines will be higher”

There you have it.

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(I-81)

Nissan Rogue

During our last trip we had a Nissan Rogue (Nissan X-Trail outside of the US) from Hertz; according to Wikipedia it’s a compact crossover SUV.

It’s a pretty comfortable car, with a roomy interior, good suspension and reasonable maneuverability.

Even on long drives of a couple of hundred miles, the Rogue handled well and kept us safe.

The online downside was the engine, which was still old style using fossil fuel – I hope Hertz will move to more modern electric vehicles soon!

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(Outside of our hotel, near Charlotte airport)

Rancher 2.2 User Meetup

This week we had a Rancher User Meetup in Cologne, and Jan Bruder of Rancher introduced us to the new features in 2.2:

  • Built-in cluster and application monitoring
  • Global DNS
  • Multi-tenant catalogs
  • Backup and Restore for Kubernetes configuration (etcd)
  • Bitbucket support for pipelines

It was a great session and many thanks to Jan (and Rancher) for coming!

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(Taken at location: Gute Botschafter GmbH, Cologne)

European election

This is a crucial election for Europe – if you care about our online and offline worlds and want to support Europe, make sure to vote!

There’s still ample time to participate through postal ballot, if you cannot make it on election day – don’t let your vote go to waste!

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(Public mail box)

Elyas M’Barek

During the weekend, we saw “Der Fall Collini” by Marco Kreuzpaintner, based on a novel by Ferdinand von Schirach.

The film paints a very accurate picture of West Germany in the time after the war and before the 68 unrests, a time when a lot of Nazis were still in positions of power and used their positions to escape prosecution for their war crimes.

Der Fall Collini is most definitely a very important film, especially given the rise of the new Right in parts of Germany and Europe, but most striking is the lead actor – Elyas M’Barek in the role of the lawyer Caspar Leinen.

Elyas handled the transition from comedy to drama really well and excels in his role, torn between family, law and justice.

I believe he’s probably the best young German-speaking actor in the moment and am very much looking forward to seeing him again on the big screen!

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(Movie poster at Rex am Ring Lichtspiele, Cologne)

Last Day Worked (LDW +1)

A year ago today was my last day at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As part of the many reorganizations, HPE were offering very generous redundancy packages at that time and I decided to take them up on their offer and go back to University (FOM), to study Computer Science in Cologne.

I’m now at the end of the first year, and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s such an enormous privilege to be able to concentrate just on learning, given my age and the fact that I have two (almost grown-up) kids.

To stay on top of all the developments around cloud computing I also work part-time at a small Cloud Consultancy, supporting customers on their journey to cloud; by now I’ve become pretty experienced on all things related to Containers and Security too. Serverless will be next!

In the process I’ve also lost over 40lbs – can’t complain! There’re still a couple of pounds to go, though …

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(At FOM, looking out from our lecture hall)