Monday, May 20, 2013

Dr. Oz and the 1 1/2 day adventure...

Okay you've heard me expound many times on the virtues of diet and exercise. It's a lifetime/lifestyle change for many people, Survivors or not.

To that end, I am always interested in other points of view, other options, heavy on the yadda yadda.

We could be talking new ways to exercise, see Insanity and Crossfit, or new ways of eating.

One of the tried and true proven ways of total nutrition is obvious - eat your veggies.

Here is where it gets a tad muddled. In my learning, what I see, hear, read and experienced with my own habits can be broken down into the following mistakes made with people adjusting to life after Twinkies:

  • Eating 5 - 9 fruits and vegetables a day
    • What the hell is a serving anyway?
  • Thinking one vegetable suffices for all
    • 10 lbs of mashed potatoes a week isn't the answer
    • Subsequently, 10 glasses of apple juice a day isn't either
    • Neither does potato chips...
  • Don't like the taste
    • You've trained yourself not to
      • Possible culprits are the addicting forms of processed foods
      • The chemicals that make meat hit the pleasure center of the brain

So I ventured out to the land of Oz. That immortal, Oprah-made, doctor we all love to sit and admire for his words of wisdom that sing to use in our LaZboy chairs.

During one of his shows, a particular cleansing diet, called, of course, the Three Day Cleanse, was illustrated as a great way to get your body sync'd. Get you on the right track. Reset you. Get it?

Now I'm an avid juicer and all that. How hard could this be? Just get the allotted ingredients, prep, then smoothie yourself to heaven.

Day 1...

You start with what Ozzy calls the breakfast shake. It has all of your ceremonial 'stuff' in it. Everything from raspberries, kale, bananas etc etc. You can even go all Vegas and add a tablespoon of almond butter - crazy talk!

Oh and don't even bother with coffee....nope. Done. Your caffeine days, organic or not, are done, my friend.

Instead, you will insert an IV of green tea. Add some lemon and you surfing with the alien.

Trust are full....for a time. It's not like this is the ambrosia from the gods but it tastes pretty
darn good. You get huge greens, reds and whatevers. Plenty of melatonin from the raspberries and no coffee should make for better sleep.

Hurdle number 1...No midmorning snack. I eat every 2-3 hours and sucking down tea just wasn't cutting it. Lunch came early.

At 11(ish) I decided to go for the lunch time shake. This was made up of many cruciferous vegetables. Celery, cucumbers, green apple, and the list goes on and on. It wasn't just green it was ANGRY green.

I'll admit it - I was intimidated. This green monster was tough to stare down. I gave it my all and to my surprise, it wasn't half bad. Again......not hungry. I was full. Walk away Joe.....walk away.

More tea in the afternoon. My bladder and kidneys wondered if I was aboard the Titanic. (Insert eye know who you are).

The all mighty and powerful Oz deemed I get a snack which is just another rendition of your favorite shake. Well that would be some type of strawberry Awful Awful back in the day.

I made a miscalculation here. I lost track of time and was imbibing in my tea-fest that I was encroaching on dinner before I had my mid afternoon snack.

No way in hell I was gunning down two shakes at once.

Hurdle number 2 - I was on edge. I didn't chew a damn thing all day. Seriously? Artisan soap? With a ribbon on it and everything? Who gets this stuff and why did they make it childproof when you just want to get it out of the bejeweled package to wash your friggin hands...

Dinner shake was different yet the same. A green was in there, kale, I believe, along with mango and a dash of coconut oil. Cayenne pepper made the shake exotic. I gunned that bad boy down.

I'll restate it. Not hungry. Not something else though either. I couldn't put my finger on it.

Day 2.  I woke up. Period. Now there are many out there who go off on the energizing effects of these drinks. How they woke up and learned to levitate. How this drink made them flush their viagra prescription. How they now see the reason for saving the egyptian asp from extinction.

Okay. I woke up. I went and performed my intervals.

I didn't feel bad. I wasn't even hungry per se. I gunned it down again. Breakfast shake. I was full but I was not satisfied.

With my keg of green tea in tow, I went to work with all the shakes a boy could use on a Tibetan harvest walk.

Again, no mid morning snack. I got to 11:15 and took down my Merlin's potion of green. Full. Sort of. I don't know.

Oh but I enjoyed the algae at snack time too which came only 2 hours later.  Now I am searching the floor for an Ezekiel crumb of sorts. If I found the mouse that had one, I'd probably bite its head off.

One and one half day. That was it. I called it quits.

I felt weak but then again, I reasoned it out.

This little adventure is surely aimed at those who are on the Twinkie Diet. It's for those who bow to the anti-nature Pop Tart.

You do a 5k in calories and not in kilometers, then this little ritual will seem like a march to the Himalayas to meet your maker. Oh the heavens have opened and the doves will fly.

But what if you are sort of already there? It made me wonder. This isn't so far out of the ordinary for me....outside of that chewing thing.

For me, there was no massive weight loss. There were no visions of diet deities. I felt okay with it. I felt full. I also felt something was missing.

I don't condone fads or quick fixes.  Does this cleanse work? I think it's good to try. If you aren't in the green or need to adjust your portion controller? This is a good start.

And we all need a good start, don't we?

Remember, you diet for life.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What slows you down....makes you stronger

It happened in December 2012. I was running in the Jingle 5K and at mile 2, something was amiss. My right knee started to throb.

Of course, being an ass, I kept going.

As I approached the finish line, I am now in a full limp.

That was 5 months ago...

I have not been able to run with any distance since. This is more taxing mentally than it is physically. In fact it was downright stressful.

The miles have turned into fits of frustrations - Longer walking than running. Pain filled events that make me wonder what the hell am I doing out here.

This impacts my survivor mentality of 'keep moving'. I firmly believe that if I can keep my body as tuned as much as I possible, I can always give myself a fighting chance. I don't care if anyone else believes that or not. This is just me.

To that end, I can't move the way I want. I can't race my heart the way I feel I need to. I pour supplements and juices into me in hopes to compensate. The gym is the second home. Early hours of harsh activity...that's me. Yet, I am still held to human standards.

At a recent doctor appointment, for the ailing knee, it finally dawned on me. What I keep preaching to all, I had forgotten myself.

I am breathing.

When you remind yourself of this, you start to feel what it is like to believe again.

Breathe. Just try it.

A simple, reflexive act. Your body is the perfect machine. Fill it with the fuel it needs and do the simplest of tasks - breathe.

I left the doc's still limping but with a new resolve. Dammit, I am breathing. I know too many who aren't any longer.

The visions start to splay in front of me - fragments of fantasy.

A shrink once asked me to write down in a notebook what I wanted to be. Who was I? What was I?

I wrote down one word - Superhero.

I wanted to be that. The fragments of memory often collide with fantasy. As a child up to this day, I still feel the ripple effect.

I still fall asleep to thoughts of being superhuman. Someone who can't be touched. I've done it so much that I keep testing to see if I have super powers. Two attempts at lifting a car, and I realize I am still a puny human on this planet.

But mentally...well, that's the trick and that is where the true power lies.

We can't leap tall buildings, but we can build them.

We aren't bulletproof, but we can choose not to shoot at all.

We aren't hulking monsters whose rage conquers all. But we can bring peace to an entire world.

We are breathing. We are walking. We are living.

Maybe more like limping. Maybe we slow down at times. Maybe we simply cry until we can't cry any longer.

But the limp goes away. The aches just remind you that you are living and tears always dry.

And you simply breathe. An uncomplicated and mostly unconscious act.

Everyone's time is coming. Just choose later than sooner.

Me? I'm running tomorrow.