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What Do You Do With Your Oxygen?

Posted Apr 15 2010 6:59pm
This man is pretty much an oxygen savant. He breathes it and then recycles it into energy! And to think Al Gore got the Nobel...

What, you think you're doing well just by breathing the O2? Pansy. Why settle for basic respiration when there is so much more you can do with oxygen?

Top 3 Things To Do With Your Oxygen:
1. Sleep ala Michael Jackson (and I don't mean in the final sleep sense - may he rest in peace - but in the sleep sense he was so famous for in life. I know, can I make this any more complicated?) so you too can live to "see world peace, a world without hunger, a world where children and all mankind know no suffering." Who wouldn't want that kind of Coca-Cola utopia? All you have to do is live in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Fun!

2. Become an elderly terrorist by insisting on smoking while toting around your oxygen tank that you must have for your inexplicable emphysema. Tell everyone loudly that oxygen is NOT flammable (which is true) but fail to mention that it will make a very pretty combustion reaction when in the presence of fuel such as, oh, clothing, hair or skin.

3. Go to an oxygen bar just so you can use the line "Want to share my oxygen, baby? I'm trained in mouth-to-mouth." Practice in front of the mirror first for maximal effect. I'd say practice ducking too but if she's got a canula up her nose then she probably won't be too swift.

O2 4 U!
Or you could be boring and use oxygen to metabolize your food. Which technically isn't an option as we all do it and, I know, it's not funny. Sorry. But hey, at least I got to do my PSA about smoking and oxygen tanks (Hi Grandma!!). And who doesn't love a good Michael Jackson segue?

A few years ago a diet fad came out about eating for your metabolic type. At the time I summarily dismissed it as the underlying science seemed shoddy and the press very hyperactive and anecdotal. This weekend however, I decided to take a closer look at it. Why? Because it turns out that it tells me exactly what I want to hear. Research, smesearch.

Everyone's cells use oxygen to convert food into energy. This is called cellular oxidation. Back in the 1930's (incidentally the era for best women's hats ever), while everyone else was worrying about how to procure food without resorting to the Joad method, scientists discovered that the rate at which people oxidize their food varies. Researchers postulated that given this natural variation , usually attributed to genetics and climate of origin, different types of oxidizers would thrive on different types of food.

What Type Are You?
According to Making the Cut by Jillian Michaels - she of Biggest Loser infamy - there are three basic types
Slow oxidizers: "Also known as carbo types or sympathetic dominant. They generally have relatively weak appetites, a high tolerance for sweets, problems with weight management, "type A" personalities, and are often dependent on caffeine."

Balanced oxidizers: "Mixed types are neither fast or slow oxidizers, and are neither parasympathetic or sympathetic dominant. They generally have average appetites, cravings for sweets and starchy foods, relatively little trouble with weight control, and tend towards fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness."

Fast oxidizers: "Also known as protein types or parasympathetic dominant. They tend to be frequently hungry, crave fatty, salty foods, fail with low-calorie diets, and tend towards fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness. They are often lethargic or feel "wired", "on edge", with superficial energy while being tired underneath."

According to Ms. Michaels, your oxidation type changes your macronutrient ratios. Specifically, slow oxidizers should eat Ornish at 60 carb/25 protein/15 fat. Balanced oxidizers go with The Zone at 40/30/30. Fast oxidizers are Atkins at 20/50/30. She then goes on to give you a complete list of foods in every category that you should and should not eat, depending on your type, complete with menus.

This was interesting to me because a) I covet Jillian's abs and b) if I allow myself to eat how I feel best, I fall very close in line with her slow oxidizer recommendations which according to her test, is what I am. Given the hype lately around low carb and my love for Mark's Daily Apple, I have been trying to limit my carbs. This makes me feel groggy, lethargic and all-around crappy. But as soon as I get my carb infusion (usually via healthy carbs like whole grains or fruit although a box of Junior mints will also do the trick) then I feel awesome again. I love it when people tell me what I want to hear!

Want to know your type? For fear of Ms. Michaels (have you SEEN her?) and her legal team, I am not going to post her quiz although I certainly can't stop you from, say, going to Barnes & Noble and plopping unceremoniously on the floor for half an hour in front of the Fitness Section. Just remember to bring a pen & paper. They frown on writing in the books. Not that I know this from experience. Ahem.

Or if you prefer Internet tests, I found this one which is not quite the same but gives the general idea. There are plenty of other Internet tests but they all cost money. And because my skepticism is squealing like a stuck pig (a misfortune I have actually had the displeasure of witnessing), here is an interesting rebuttal to the metabolic typing quizzes.

Anybody tried this? What kind of oxidizer are you? Am I clouded by dreams of air-brushed abs? Or is there a grain of truth to all this? Nothing intelligent to add? Hit me up with YOUR best oxygen-bar pick-up line!

Confidential to the Barnes & Noble Book Boy: I appreciated your (unasked for) review of Ms. Michael's book & The Biggest Loser (which I have never seen) and I was with you right up until you said, "And you know strong women can be a real bitch." Which is not only grammatically incorrect but offensive. Jillian Michaels may very well deserve the epithet but if she does it isn't because of her strength. Which is probably why you were working at B&N at 11 o'clock on a Saturday night.
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