Stray Dog Revolution
The week before last I started thinking about how I am a huge proponent of mixing up my workouts in order to keep my body guessing, how this challenges our bodies to achieve new fitness heights and gets better results than just doing the elliptical day after day after day. And then I thought, "I wonder if this might apply to diet?" That's when I had the crazy idea that maybe the lack of results that I've seen has been due to exactly this: my inability to deviate from how I normally eat. I'm a total creature of habit when it comes to my diet; I eat real food, mostly plants, and I try not to eat too much. Yes, Michael Pollan struck a chord in me all those years ago and I've never really deviated much. It got me thinking, which is dangerous. Maybe I should conduct an experiment? Hmm...
Then, as if it the Universe was speaking to me directly, I picked out a podcast by Chalene Johnson called Why You Can't Lose Weight and it was like BAM! I now had to do this. (Her podcast was all about metabolic adaptation and how our bodies are really good at adapting to whatever "diet" we're on, and learning to thrive, maintain our weight. Which is something many of us are working on changing, thank you very much body.) So it was decided: I would be rotating my diet week by week to see what, if anything, happens. I love being a Guinea pig, apparently.
As I write this I'm on day 7 of my week-long raw vegan diet. Yes, I've felt like a gorilla all week. And although it's been tough to eat salads every meal, it hasn't been terrible. I've felt pretty great: sleeping well (and needing less of it), strong in my workouts, and not craving any crap, which I find unusual. I was even offered a fresh baked batch of chocolate chip cookies this week and didn't even feel a twinge of want. It was weird, to say the least. But I am sick of salad. In fact, yesterday I went to a local health food restaurant in the hopes that they would have something else. They did!
It was amazing! Stuffed avocado and raw tacos!! Which, to me, really tasted like they had refried beans in them. So much so that I questioned if they actually brought me the right thing. Hubbie assured me that it did not, in fact, taste at all like refried beans, so I think something happened with my taste buds this week. :) And that hidden gem in the back left corner? That, my friend, is a raw chocolate mint pie that was too die for. OMG. It reminded me of Frangoes, this dessert my mom made for us growing up. Frangoes are not in any way, shape, or form vegan or raw, but this dessert was and was so rich that I actually wished I hadn't devoured the whole thing in one sitting. It made me feel a little sick, to be honest. What the hell is wrong with me? I can eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's without the slightest consequence, but feel sick as a dog when I eat this? I guess it's not really a fair comparison, though, since I usually don't eat ice-cream smack dab in the middle of eating so clean.
But I digress. The week ahead I will be sticking to a Paleo/Whole 30/Primal diet. Again, none of the diets I'll be adhering to will be anything other than whole foods based, so no weight watchers, or protein shakes, or Lean Cuisine. It will be more diet in the sense of "having a diet" rather than being "on a diet." The week after this I'll be switching back to a plant-based regime by following Dr. Furhman's 6-week plan guidelines. Then Intermittent Fasting with Paleo. Beyond that, I don't know. And? I'm open to changing my mind depending on how my body feels.
What do I hope to gain from this experience? Well, for one, I'd like to gain a more intuitive sense of what my body needs. Not what it wants, but what it needs. I would like to shock my body into responding as it currently seems to be so efficient, that I could easily survive the apocolypse. And I would like to find a way of eating that feels healthy, sustainable, ethical, and enjoyable. Is that really too much to ask?
Oh, and in case your wondering, after eating this way for a week I've lost no weight. But the pants I tried on Monday and decided they were too snug to wear to work now fit me ever so slightly better. Curious to see what next week brings...
I'll be blogging at the end of each week, but if you'd like more of the day to day, come join me over on Facebook in our Stray Dog Revolution community.