Monday, January 17, 2011

Raw Vegan Challenge 2011, update

It's now been over 2 weeks - I've lost almost 10 pounds.  I confess - the first week of January, I didn't do very much to push myself to get into the gym.  I did, however, get my refrigerator cleaned out and put together my workout regiment tracking sheet (this is not new - I've used some version of this for the last 10 years).

EXERCISE: My workout regimen - granted - it's getting off to a slow start and I'm lazy, is something like this:
  • Visit the gym (3-5x/week)
    • Ride my bike to the gym & back (4+ miles total)
    • 80 minutes on the recumbent bike - it's good for hamstrings & I can read my book!  I usually work out around 160-170 bpm for an hour, then step down from 150 to 100 in a 20 minute cooldown
    • Strength training
  • Crunches/push ups (2-4x/week)
  • Yoga (1-2x/week)
  • Hiking (1-2x/week) 
Yoga at home is different from going to a teacher-led class, that's for sure.  Cats interfere, space is limited and there are more distractions.  In December, I went to about 20 classes at Square One Yoga - and I love the space and some of the teachers were really great.  However, it reminded me that I really don't like Hatha yoga - it's too "busy" and fast.

I like iyengar for the precision, the slow stretching and the long held asanas that are more body weight training than yogaerobics I get in Hatha, Vinyasa or Ashtanga.  Also - as a swimmer, I value my shoulders and just a few weeks of Hatha had my shoulders crying "foul!" from too many repeated vinyasas.  I am going to go back to yoga with Stack Buss - she's a certified iyengar instructor and and very patient.

DIET: Breaking one of the cardinal rules of good dieting and nutrition, I have not been keeping a food journal.  My basic diet is that the bulk of my meals should be high nutrient, low glycemic index vegetables, with some fruit.  Over the past couple of weeks, my diet has looked like this:
  • Breakfast:  decaf organic coffee (french press) with sucanat & So Delicious coconut milk creamer, carrot juice or green juice if feel like it, maybe 1-2 apples or a couple of carrots.
  • Green smoothie: my favorite is 3-4 leaves of kale, 1 small zucchini, 2 cubes of frozen persimmon puree or 2-4 frozen strawberries, brown rice protein powder and psyllium husk powder
  • Snacks have included:
    • "I Am Spirit" sprouted teriyaki almonds (from I Am Grateful)
    • Kale chips
    • "I Am Relishing" Buckwheat crackers & sprouted almond hummus (from I Am Grateful)
    • Flaxseed & carrot pulp crackers
  • Dinner varies, and I have skipped a few dinners after having a great big green smoothie late in the afternoon.  Dinner has looked like this:
    • Kale & fennel salad
    • Romaine salad with red pepper, avocado, carrots & dressed with lemon juice, salt, black pepper and olive oil
    • Green papaya salad
    • Raw cabbage salad/coleslaw
    • Raw enchiladas from I Am Grateful - the spinach tortillas came out a little thin, but delicious, and the two fillings I made were Red bell pepper & Cashew, Pumpkin Seed & Green Chiles with raw cashew sour cream (also from  I Am Grateful) and a nice spicy sauce leftover from kale chips
    • Cauliflower couscous - holy cow!  who'd have thunk?
    • Kim chee - I'm very fortunate that a friend passed on a 7.5 Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock to me last summer for kombucha.  The kombucha mother lives on in the compost pile in the backyard and my first batch with green cabbage came out great! A couple of friends came over for a motorcycle mechanics tutorial and they helped me test it extensively!  For recipes check out  I Am Grateful and  Wild Fermentation - there are also plenty of resources on the web.
    • "I Am Authentic" Koi Teow soup, from I Am Grateful, a super delicious and easy miso based soup - equal parts miso, agave & lime juice mixed with hot water, add 1 cup of spiralized, shredded or julienned veggies, a bit of garlic & hot chile oil.
  • Herbal tea (unsweetened)
 My goal is to keep my caloric intake around 1000-1200/day, which - combined with my activity - should effect the weight loss by end of April.  Never fear - I eat appropriately for my activity level and weight loss goal.  My salads are quite big - a whole bunch of romaine with half a red bell pepper, a whole avocado, a carrot & 1/4 c sprouted seeds (sometimes).

SIDE EFFECTS:  Other than weight loss, there are definitely some side effects to switching to a raw diet.  Detoxing will happen when you cut out wheat anyway - but I was quite unprepared for some of the effects.  After the first week or so, I started noticing a few things.

First, a few sips of port tasted like cough syrup.  I tried having a glass of wine last week and again on Saturday and it just tasted sour - and not in a good way.  Late last week, I noticed that my eyes felt goopy - I was waking up with lots of crusty bits in the corners of my eyes, and for about two days - my eyes felt blurry and bleary, and I noticed a decrease in distance vision.  I had a few headaches, too, so I thought I was coming down with a cold or allergy attack but the symptoms passed after Saturday.  I also noticed that my skin has gotten a lot drier - and yes, I am eating avocados in salads & smoothies, in addition to nuts. 

Finally, I noticed that - well - I don't feel as "hungry" as I did before I started this regimen.  I don't have the desire to snack.  I feel pretty well satiated - after chewing through 3 bowls of kim chee, you get to mandibular workout  and enough nutrition.  I haven't had any unusual cravings (though tempted by the knowledge that Cha-Ya's expanded location is open to go get agedashi tofu!).

    No comments: