Sunday, January 22, 2012

Vegan January: Day Twenty-Two

1:30pm: Two servings of vegan lasagna, same stats as yesterday.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Vegan January: Day Twenty-One

2:30: Big lunch at the local Mongolian fusion all-you-can-eat: one bowl with white noodles, edamame, mushrooms, black beans, peas, carrots and various hot sauces. Second one features spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, broccoli, eggplant, squash, brown rice, tomatoes, and teriyaki and jalapeno ginger lime sauces.

5:30: Two cups of green tea, one with about one ounce of Hennessy.

10:00pm: Two large servings of vegan lasagna (pasta, tomatoes, spinach, onion, garlic, tofu, swiss chard); about five bottles of ale.

Totals: days, 21; miles walked, 180.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Vegan January: Day Twenty

9:30am: Rice Chex with soy milk and one whole grapefruit. Coffee with non-dairy creamer at work.

6:00 pm: Three pints of ale at the Carolina Ale House. First beers of the year. My lord, they tasted good.

8:30: four tacos with black beans, brown rice, tomatoes and avocados, followed by one burrito with the same filling. Probably a bit much, but hey, it's Friday.

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Vegan January: Day Nineteen

Busy morning with no breakfast. Had two cups of yesterday's reheated Earl Grey tea with soy milk.

4:00 pm: A large serving of snack mix (peanuts, dry-roasted edamame, Rice Chex) and a large salad (baby spinach, carrot, parsnip, tomato, mushroom, artichoke hearts) with some balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Parsnips are vile uncooked. Will not make that mistake again.

Around midnight: Bowl of black bean and tomato soup.

Totals: days, 19; miles, holding at 180. This is the first time I've officially dropped off the pace for the month. Lame.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vegan January: Day Eighteen

9:30 am: Two pieces of rye toast with chopped tomatoes, salt, freshly ground pepper, and maybe a tablespoon of olive oil; one grapefruit; two cups of tea with soy milk.

12:30 pm: About a cup of snack mix, shelled peanuts with Rice Chex.

10:30 pm: Two bowls of tomato/vegetable soup.

I'm incredibly tired and the semester is getting busy, so no walking. The 300-mile January is beginning to look increasingly unlikely.

Totals: days, 18; miles, 180.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegan January: Day Seventeen

8:00 am: Juice of three-quarters of a pineapple, one grapefruit, two tangerines, about six ounces of cranberries, plus two slices rye toast with sriracha. Had three cups of Earl Grey tea with soy milk. I hadn't slept much and needed some caffeine.

1:30 pm: About one cup of a snack mix consisting of shelled peanuts and Rice Chex. Took six-mile walk around Greenfield Lake, later another three-mile walk with Rachel and dogs Downtown

10:30 pm: Two bowls of vegetable soup (collards, tomatoes, mushrooms, edamame), with a handful or Rice Chex here and there as a snack.

Totals: days, 17; miles, 180.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Vegan January: Day Sixteen

Well, folks, we have officially crossed the halfway mark on my radical January austerity program. There are a couple of observations that I've noted on the transition from the juice-only diet (days one through ten) to the return to solid food and the reintroduction of caffeine. First, I assumed that weight loss would level off, and it has. I neither had the weight to lose nearly a pound a day for very long, nor is it especially healthy in the long term from what I understand. It can cause the body to produce hormones causing food cravings while storing fat more efficiently. This is, obviously, the opposite of what most people on diets are looking for, and the last thing that I wanted to do. My goal was to have a second phase of diet change. The first has already occurred in the last several years when I eliminated pork and beef altogether and asked (with exceptions here and there) that we only eat poultry that was humanely raised, and eggs from the same. Nevertheless, a lot of cheese and eggs were still around as a result of this, and that's something I'm looking to severely curtail in this second round of modified eating.

Second, I realized that use of black tea as a cheap and effective stimulant is something that I can completely live with. Even when we are well-rested, the natural circadian rhythms of the body provide natural lulls during the day, and I've found that I'm remarkably unproductive during those periods. Caffeine in reasonable doses helps considerably with this, and is about 1,000 times better for you (okay, that may be an unscientific assessment) than  Red Bull or those bottled Starbucks drinks that either have 300 calories or toxic levels of artificial sweetener. The trick with caffeine, of course, is not to use it as a substitute for proper rest.

As a third note, should I make it until sunup tomorrow, this will be the longest I have gone without a drink of alcohol in over ten years. I have no plans at present to give it up  permanently (or even to give up drinking in large quantities when the occasion strikes me), but this has been a fun experiment in seeing if the one-day-at-a-time stuff that AA has popularized works: it does. One needn't envision never doing something again, so long as one can envision simply delaying it until tomorrow. This nifty psychological ploy allows one to build success and goals retrospectively rather than going forward. Thinking that one can go without something that has been a constant companion (be it booze, cigarettes, drugs, or whatever your demon of choice) seems impossible when we envision going cold turkey and as yet have no experience of successful abstinence. Imagining going 20 days, however, when one already has 16 seems perfectly reasonable. 

As is any successful program of change, it's important to look at change as a concurrent opportunity for gain rather than simply a sacrifice. Otherwise, we're likely to be glum about the entire experience and sour on it quickly. As such, seeking to integrate many more fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet has spurred new methods for shopping for them so that the food bills don't skyrocket. Vegetables are typically not expensive, but the added quantities required to provide calories as well as their generally poor shelf stability can make them compare unfavorably with various dried and canned foods.

So to address the cost issue, we found a small local produce shop that buys the less-attractive food off the truck and then turns it over at prices below those at the supermarket. They will also sell us whole boxes of blemished items such as peppers or tomatoes at a huge discount, to be immediately washed and sorted at home or turned into a batch of soup.

The issue of variety has simply involved the inclusion of things that I hadn't thought to eat before: parsnips, cranberries, kiwi, different types of lettuce, locally raised cabbage and greens, etc. In its own strange way, learning to know the history of the food that you eat can be empowering, and watching the 80-year-old who runs the radiator shop down the street pick greens from his garden and hand them to me is a fun experience for a lifelong city kid.

Anyway, on to the show...

1:30 pm: I boil some tomato skins and shredded collards left over from juicing a couple of days ago, add a few mushrooms, a carrot, and some spinach, add cumin, freshly ground black pepper, salt, and have at it. It comes out a sickly brown color, but tastes pretty good. This one's not for guests, I suppose. I have two small pieces of rye toast (the heels) with some sriracha sauce as a side.

No cardio for me today, as my legs are ridiculously sore and need a day off. I go stand for two hours watching the MLK parade, which begins a block from my house. It's the closest we're getting to walking anywhere. I intermittently do sets of free weights throughout the day in an attempt to compensate.

9:30 pm: Rachel makes an incredible tomato soup with the puree from the box of ripe tomatoes I brought home on Friday. I have two small bowls, the second with dry-roasted edamame for added texture and flavor. It's a good trick, and one that I'll use again.

Totals: days, 16; miles, holding at 171.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vegan January: Day Fifteen

1:30: Bowl of Rice Chex with soy milk, one grapefruit, 800mg ibuprofen. Followed by eleven-mile brisk walk. Took second walk (three miles) with Rachel and puppies from 6:45 to 7:30.

9:30: Bowl of stir-fried veggies (carrots, parsnips, broccoli, edamame) with brown rice.

Totals: days, 15; miles, 171.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vegan January: Day Fourteen

Okay, after a ho-hum kind of yesterday, we're getting back on the fitness horse. We'll begin with something totally unrelated, adding some yeast to a small batch of beer that I began brewing yesterday, so that there's something to look forward to in the month of February, or, as I shall geekily rename it, Febrewary. Ha! Wasn't that funny? Okay, I'll stop. Many miles to walk, and I have to perform rehab exercises on my shoulder today lest I have to pay extra money in evil co-pays for physical therapy.

12:00 pm: Quart of tomato, collard green, spinach juice, with 800mg ibuprofen. Followed by 15 mile walk (two jogging mixed in).

7:30 pm: A healthy serving (maybe 1.5 cups) leftover wheat penne with a tomato/veggie ragout.

10:30 pm: A small bowl of veggie soup--carrots, tomatoes, red potatoes. Had Dan and Becca over for some Rummicube. I have to say, sitting around playing board games with company while everyone else drank alcohol and ate cookies was probably not one of the more fun experiences I've had in recent memory

Totals: days, 14; miles, 157.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Vegan January: Day Thirteen

Today was a bit of a letdown from the pace of late: idiotic planning (setting my alarm this morning for 7:30 pm--well done, genius) made me badly late for work, so I had to install a new battery in the scooter on the fly and ride in instead--no walk for me. Since we went out to dinner (first time going out to eat since the fast began) and didn't get back home until Downtown would be populated by weekend drunks, that effectively killed the possibility of a late-night walk with the dogs, so I have my first essentially zero-exercise day since the beginning of the month. Lame.

12:30 pm: About a cup of snack mix consisting of Rice Chex and peanuts.

8:30 pm: Dinner at Ida Thai, a restaurant at Carolina Beach with Rachel's boss and coworkers. Had fried tofu triangles with sweet-and-sour sauce as an appetizer, and a fairly large portion of pan-seared tofu, bell peppers, onions, green beans, and zucchini with steamed white rice and a garlic black bean sauce--still vegan, so far as I could tell. It's not the healthiest day on record, I suppose, but hell, it's Friday. Can't be a Buddhist monk every moment.

Totals: days, 13; miles walked, holding at 142.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vegan January: Day Twelve

12:30 pm: About a cup of a homemade snack mix consisting of dried edamame, peanuts, and Rice Chex, chased with 8oomg ibuprofen. Followed with 10 miles of walking (Downtown to UNCW and back). Got home around five and realized that I'd left poor Iris in the backyard! I am the worst dog parent ever. It was cool and dry today, so the only harm done was that she probably annoyed the neighborhood significantly with her relentless baying.

5:30 pm: A second cup of the same stuff above, plus one grapefruit (eaten, not juiced) and a couple handfuls of red grapes. Later took a three-mile dog walk. Legs are tired from walking long distances in boots rather than athletic shoes. Ah well.

11:30 pm: One (largish) serving of wheat penne with tomato sauce.

I'm considering setting a new exercise goal--300 miles in January. Given that schools and work have started back up, that's going to be difficult to achieve, so I'll have to think about it.

Totals: 12 days; 142 miles walked.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vegan January: Day Eleven

Dear everyone,

I know that no one in his or her right mind would read someone else's dietary blog on a regular basis, so you may all be forgiven for that. In fact, I would probably think you a bit odd if you did follow the dietary blog of a stranger with any great passion. As an educator, I can, in fact, recommend many better, more entertaining, and more informative reading resources; you need only ask.

That said, I have decided that I rather enjoy both the therapeutic function and record-keeping aspect of dietary blogging, so while the juice fast ended with breakfast (in the literal sense) this morning, I've decided to keep a dietary journal going at least until the end of January, to record the longer experiment with veganism.

8:30 am: Juice fast ends modestly, with a smoothie: one ripe plantain, about a cup of soy milk, and some frozen blackberries, along with 800mg ibuprofen for the fubarred right shoulder. This is followed by a brisk five-mile walk from Downtown Wilmington to UNCW. Since I did not sleep much (up working on the cursed PhD applications), I immediately decided to jump off the juice fast's "no caffeine" policy and had a cup of yesterday's reheated coffee. Ugh. I could have done without that for another ten days. It did its job, though.

12:30 pm: About one cup of Rice Chex mixed with salted peanuts.

5:00 pm: Two medium-sized carrots, cut into sticks, served with sriracha sauce.

9:00 pm: One serving of whole wheat pasta penne served with a tomato sauce made from yesterday's juice scraps. I think we get extra green points for finding soup and sauce uses for the leftovers instead of tossing them, an option now that I'm eating solid food again. Woo!

10:00 pm: Two-mile walk with Rachel and dogs.

Totals: 11 days; 129 miles.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day Ten: Reflections

Dear Juice Fast,

It's actually been pretty cool getting to know you. We got off on the wrong foot, it is true, and I though that I was going to hate you and possibly only stand you for a day or two, but like a proper shitty Hollywood comedy, we made our differences work to great hilarity.

In any case, here I am at day ten, and although the juice diet has let me drop between eight and 10 pounds while still feeling all right about the world, it's time to let it go. I have no plans to abandon juicing altogether, as I've learned that it's a delicious and incredibly healthy way to have breakfast or a light lunch, but  I like eating dinner, and, come to mention it, I like eating fruits and vegetables as well, and not just drinking them.

So here is what I'd like the diet going forward to look like: grapefruit and other miscellaneous juice in the morning along with rye toast topped with diced tomatoes and perhaps a little salt and olive oil, three to four days a week. Other days: Rice Chex with soy milk, at least until we're out of it.

Lunches: Salads with mixed greens or baby spinach, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and one can of white tuna on days when we're not having fish or shellfish for dinner; tomato and greens juice or plantain and soy milk smoothies on other days.

Dinner: Whatever Rachel feels like making, with an emphasis on beans and pasta with veggie sauces.

I'm still trying to figure out if I can walk to school (five miles) every day and have that work with out overall household schedule. It would be, hands, down, the easiest way to integrate daily long-distance walking into my routine. Setting aside free time for these things is difficult and annoying, which means, in practice, likely to fail.

In any case, and without further ado: day ten...

9:00 am: Eight ounces of pomegranate juice from a bottle (yuck) to wash down the 800mg of ibuprofen.

3:00 pm: Following a ten-mile walk (to and from UNCW), about 20 ounces of grapefruit, strawberry, cranberry, red grape and tangerine.

9:00 pm: Following three-mile walk with Rachel and the dogs, had quart of juice: mustard greens (better than I was expecting), romas, mixed salad greens. This is the last obligatory meal of the juice fast, but I may keep going until dinner tomorrow. We'll see how I feel when I wake up.

Totals: days, 10 (!); miles, 122 (!). Both goals reached successfully.

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Day Nine: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Trip to the student health center today to meet the sports medicine specialist and see if we can't figure out what the hell's wrong with my right shoulder. While waiting, I helped myself to the scale in the hallway, and clocked in at 167--probably about eight pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of the fast, which is right about what I was expecting based on the reduction in my waistline. So, I'm completely satisfied with that, and although I'd like to get down to a trim 160, that will happen (if it happens) while gradually reintegrating solid foods into my diet and taking down the exercise from 80 miles a week on foot to more like 30 or 40. A pound a day is, after all, not a sustainable weight loss strategy in the long term, so I'm shooting for more like a pound a week from here on out.

Walked five miles to the campus med center, pushing the total to 106. News from the doctor sucked--likely an old rotator cuff tear that has since accumulated scar tissue and inflammation known as Adhesive Capsulitis, or "frozen shoulder." This typically requires a combination of steroid injections (boo!), anti-inflammatory meds, and physical therapy (can't afford copay) in order to avoid becoming permanent, so that should generally blow all around. It could be a million times worse, I know, but that's not the same thing as being good.

In any case...

6:30 pm: About 20 ounces of juice: Red grapes, strawberry, cranberry, grapefruit, granny smith apples. Yum. I hadn't done strawberries since day two or so and had forgotten how wonderful they are juiced. Took three mike walk with Rachel and the dogs between about 8:30 and 9:15, followed by a pint of sparkling water with lemon and lime. It's one of the best on-the-cheap appetite suppressants that on is likely to find. Thank you, San Pellegrino! (Perhaps they will offer me money for this ringing endorsement. One can dream, after all.)

11:30: About a quart of juice, mainly romas with mixed greens and a couple of carrots. I've noticed that I'm accidentally using less juice than I'm allotted for the day, and wondering if this is good, bad, or indifferent. I suppose it doesn't matter all that much, as tomorrow is the end of the all-juice diet and the beginning of using juice as an additional part of a diet that was already pretty high in vegetable intake. 

My plan is, as it should be, to ease the solids back in slowly over the course of a couple of days so as not to make myself sick. Some toast with diced tomatoes Wednesday morning sounds good, as does spicy cabbage and rice for dinner. Rachel and I are planning to do January all-vegan, as a separate-but-related kind of experiment, before I go back to regularly eating fish and shellfish in February.

Totals: days, nine; miles walked, 109.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Day Eight: One Goal Down, One to Go

Awoke feeling splendid this morning. Since we're at 83 miles, one huge effort will get me to my goal two days early. I'm shooting for it, but who knows?

11:00 am: About a pint of juice: cranberries, a green apple, one grapefruit, one tangerine, some red grapes. Followed by walk of 18 (!) miles. One toe is bleeding as a badge of honor. That, however, put me at 101 miles, and while I have no plans to spend the next two days sitting around doing nothing, I could if I wanted to, as I'm pretty sure that there are no negative yardage plays in life, and the mark is secure. Uncork the sparkling carrot juice! Wait, what? There's no such thing? Damn.

6:30 pm: About a quart of tomato (romas and hot house), mixed salad greens, carrots, and a habanero. (Incidentally, Blogger keeps underlining the spelling of that pepper whenever I write it to indicate that it's spelled incorrectly. Dear Blogger, that is how you spell the word for a commonly eaten pepper in two continents. Update your dictionary.) Mixed in some sriracha sauce for spice and variety.

Skipped the late meal, even though I had some juice allowance left. Sometimes you just don't want to clean the damned juicer one more time before bed. On that note, has anyone else noticed how stray vegetable matter clogs the pipes? I had not included a Drain-o allotment in my juice fast budget, but perhaps I should have.

In any case, onward and upward to day nine, already drooling about spicy cabbage for dinner on Wednesday. Did I say dinner? Okay, drooling over Spanish toast and a plantain-and-soy-milk smoothie for breakfast Wednesday. Okay, I know that these are things that few people drool over, but: A) about damned anything sounds good when you haven't eaten in ten days; and B) none of this will have done me much good if I have a glass of oatmeal porter with a six-egg omelet  come my first day of freedom.

Weigh-in at the doctor's office (for something completely unrelated) tomorrow: days, eight; miles walked, 101.

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Saturday, January 07, 2012

Day Seven: Still Standing

Still around for another day, as the finish line begins to appear in the distance. I have no scale and hence can't tell with any certainty (I never would have viewed daily weighing of myself as a priority, anyway), but I imagine that I've probably lost about five pounds through the first six days. Once again, I'm looking to trim the waistline and to look and feel healthier, so the pounds were never really that big of an issue for me. Because I've heard that various severely low-cal diets (which, after all, is what this is) can cause the body to consume muscle while leaving fat, I've been using free weights and noting the results to make sure that I'm not losing any strength (I'm not).

Following yesterday's poorly chosen distribution of juice, I went back to the format that I'd been doing previously: roughly three servings, around noon, 5pm and 9pm.

12:00 noon: About 20 ounces, juice of three-quarters of a pineapple (ungodly delicious), one grapefruit and some cranberries--a fine start to the day. This was followed by a walk/occasional sprint at the beach with Rachel and the dogs. While technically this only counts for two miles, walking and running in sand burns off considerably more calories than moving over hard and level pavement, so I think I did okay.

6:45 pm: About 20 ounces juice of a number of hot house and roma tomatoes, two carrots, and some mixed greens (spinach, lettuces). This was followed immediately by a three-mile walk downtown with Rachel and the dogs. Rather than walk the loop around Greenfield Lake, which is how I usually pile up the ridiculous mile totals, I decided to give the legs a light day and to push for a higher total again tomorrow. Afterward took a three-mile walk downtown with Rachel and puppies.

10:30 pm-ish: Another pint-or-so of tomato juice (more like puree, as the juicer was acting up) with a habanero and some worcestershire and freshly ground black pepper. I wasn't actually hungry any longer (I'm usually not in the evenings), but don't want to drop the calorie content too low and sacrifice necessary energy or nutrients. Plus, had to get rid of the giant box of tomatoes purchased a couplle of days ago on discount before they all rotted, and to make room for the new box of romas that I just bought at the same place.

So that does it: days, seven; miles, 83. See you on day eight.

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Day Six: The End is Nigh!

Today was managed somewhat poorly, leading to hours of hunger and a very irritated me. I should have remembered that having a large juice first thing in the morning simply makes me hungry faster later in the day, but I had a meeting about one of my new work tasks at 10:00 and I didn't want to go without anything at all in my stomach.

9:00 am: 20 ounces of grapefruit, granny smith, cranberry. Went to my work meeting, was picked up by Rachel at 11, then went to Costco, so I could walk around hungrily surrounded by cooling food while Rachel ate samples and then made me buy her a piece of cheese pizza. If I had to pick the worst plan for an early afternoon imaginable, well, it would have been worse, but perhaps not by a lot.

Walked 14.5 miles (no breaks) from about 2:15pm-6pm. Following walk, had liter of sparkling water with lemon and lime and passed out for two hours. Awoke feeling hungry and crabby.

8:30 pm: About 48 ounces (I was ridiculously hungry) of tomato, carrot, radish, parsley, lettuce, spinach, and a single habanero for some spice.Followed with a few minutes of free weights, interior bench and reverse curls.

Nevertheless, the end is coming into sight and I'm well ahead of the 100-mile walking pace.

Totals: six days, 78 miles walked.

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Juice Still Pours: Day Five of Ten

Hello all, and welcome to another rousing tale of what I'm not eating today. Oddly, this is getting easier. I'm not sure if the decreased hunger is a good or bad sign, though, as it may mean simply that my metabolism is slowing down to conserve calories. I always considered this possibility, but figured that ten days couldn't really mess anything up that badly. I was never really looking to lose more than about 15 pounds anyway, and the essential purpose of the fast in the first place was to see if I were capable of fairly radical behavior change.

Let me explain a bit: my girlfriend and I have a diet that is probably about 80% vegetarian to begin with. Mine is closer to pescatarian/vegan, in that I eat mostly plant foods with several weekly servings of fish or shellfish, whereas she has an attachment to dairy products that I don't share. Knowing how animals are treated in factory farms (horrible beyond measure), she tries to keep her animal product purchasing decisions ethical, buying from producers who use local and sustainable farms as their suppliers. Every once in a while we'll pig out on the local Indian buffet, including the chicken that was probably bought from one of the evil farms mentioned above, but nobody's perfect and it's generally best not to get too preachy about these things, anyway. It just makes everyone think that you're superior and obnoxious.

So why am I doing a juice cleanse? Last semester, due to scheduling difficulties and an upper arm injury that I sustained, I quit going to the gym altogether. Given that I'm a student and that all of my jobs are sedentary academic jobs, and given that I love to drink beer like it's oxygen, I started to gain more weight that I'm comfortable with. I'm not technically overweight, and only have been once ever in my life. Nevertheless, motivated by plain vanity or a legitimate desire for self-improvement (you pick it), I've decided that I would like my 17-year-old waistline back and a body that is generally fit and athletic. This takes a lot of work at 38, and I thought that a juice fast might be one way of both getting started and testing to see if I have the discipline for any kind of sustained change. So there will be no tales of how I lost 30 pounds in ten days, because if I lost 30 pounds I would look as if I belonged in a cancer ward. This is simply about losing some belly fat and segueing back into a healthy lifestyle that features regular sleep, reduced caffeine intake, moderate alcohol consumption, and regular exercise.

A second reason is that I have three weeks off between semesters. With some travel mixed into see the respective families, I usually spend much of this time drinking beer and playing PS3 continually until five in the morning. So we're reverse-engineering the plan from previous years, to see if I can come back from the holidays in better, not worse, shape than when I left. On that note...

1:30 pm: 20 ounces of juice, mostly tomato with two carrots, seasoned with some worcestershire and black pepper. It's going to be a tomato-based few days, as (see yesterday's post), as I bought a box of blemished/soft tomatoes from the local produce shop that don't have a lot of time left in this world, and, lest I not get my three bucks worth out of the purchase, I have to juice as many of them as possible before the reminder gets thrown out.

7:00 pm: Following ten mile walk/hike to my university and back, 20 ounces of tomato, radish, carrot, green onion and spinach juice, followed by a pint of sparkling water with lime. As a way of being less wasteful, Rachel's going to put the leftover pulp and skin from the juicer into some lentils for her dinner, to see how well it works. Composting in the side garden was another idea, but the dogs will inevitably just get in there and eat it, and a lot of human produce ranges from vaguely upsetting to mildly toxic for them, so that's a no-go. took second walk of roughly two miles with Rachel and the dogs around 9pm.

12:00 midnight: About 12-14 ounces of the same juice listed above (leftovers from earlier). I'm noticing considerably less hunger in the pm hours in particular, and really only finished the juice because I wasn't sure how well it would keep uncovered in the refrigerator. Since few temptations seem to lie between me and bed in an hour or so, we will consider day five successfully completed.

Totals: Five days, 64 miles walked.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Still Juicing: Day Four

Despite my threat in yesterday's post to abandon juicing in favor of a fruit-and-veggie-solids-only diet, I've decided to stick with just juice for at least a little while longer, trying some different kinds of foods to see if I can't make it work the way that I would like to.

Woke up shortly after six this morning, having fallen asleep only five hours earlier, but felt refreshed nevertheless. There's a legend that these diets make people require less sleep, but thus far I'm going to chalk it up to coincidence and remain skeptical on that point.

12:30 pm: Following 14-mile (frequent breaks) standard-pace walk, had 32 ounces of juice: one granny smith apple, one orange, two small, ripe bananas, one ripe plantain, cranberries, two oranges, three tangerines. It was delicious, but I now have to budget my two remaining juices or else have them both for "dinner" around nine. Incidentally, the long walk takes me to 50 miles--halfway home!

5:30 pm: Following a two-mile walk, stopped at the local produce shop for some radishes, a pineapple, and the whole box (probably seven or eight pounds) of the blemished tomatoes that they doubtless either take home or throw out at the end of the day. The incredibly cool Mexican woman who runs the shop sold me all of them for three bucks, so I have at least several days worth of juicing tomatoes before they go off. Drank about 25 ounces of tomatoes (roma and hot house), radishes (which produce more juice and taste better than I thought they would) and spinach. I may cheat a little (I have walked 16 miles, after all) and go slightly over the daily 64-ounce limit by having some more yummy tomato juice with worcestershire, hot sauce, and freshly ground black pepper later--a virgin mary nightcap, if you will.

Totals: four days, 52 miles walked.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Still More Stirring Tales of a Juice Fast: Day Three

12:00 noon: As we enter the waking hours of day three, I have to admit that the times I like best about this program are the ones in which I am asleep. That noted, sleep takes its usual appetite suppressant effect, so that once again I wake up feeling all right and not hungry. The prospect of getting a lot of walking in today, however, is looking iffy based upon the fact that it's about 29 degrees out. We'll see how tough I'm feeling after some brunch juice and waking up a bit more.

Weirdly, the accidental reading choice of Hesse's Siddhartha is a perfect fit for the austerity program that I've put myself on. Perhaps I'll try to pair book selections with the program deliberately to see if it helps lend perspective.

1:45 pm: 16-20 ounces: two tangerines, two kiwi, red grapes, cranberries, two carrots, one granny smith apple, plus 800mg ibuprofen.

6:00 pm: Following ten-mile (medium pace) walk (I toughed it out), twenty ounces juice: apple, grapefruit, tangerine, two carrots, cranberries, followed by pint of San Pellegrino with lime and 800mg ibuprofen.

9:30 pm: Following three-mile walk, quart of juice: canned tomatoes, two oranges, one tangerine, two carrots, red lettuce, spinach, followed by pint of San Pellegrino with lime. Based upon review with the girlfriend, have concluded that this may be the end of the diet in liquid form. Since I regularly eat fresh fruit and veggies anyway, I'm going to see if I can simply finish the ten days consuming them in solid form. It's few-to-no additional calories, and may leave me less hungry, given the presence of indigestible roughage. Other rules remain the same: no caffeine, no alcohol.

Totals: three days of juice only, 36 miles walked.

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Tales from a Juice Fast: Day Two

Went to bed late and woke up around noon. Not feeling especially hungry nor in a bad mood. These are, given yesterday, good signs. The plan today is to have 16 rather than 32 ounces of juice at a time, spaced out through more even intervals.

1:00 pm: Following three sets of bicep curls, had pint of juice: strawberries, red grapes, cranberries, two kiwi, a granny smith apple, a carrot. One 800 milligram ibuprofen for the tendon injury in the right arm.

5:00 pm: Following brisk ten-mile walk, 16-20 ounces juice: red grapes, grapefruit, cranberries, a carrot, two tangerines. Followed with a pint of San Pellegrino sparkling water, flavored with a slice of lime.

9:00 pm: Following three-mile walk with Rachel and dogs, had quart of tomato, carrot, red lettuce, spinach, (one) habanero, grapefruit (plus another 800mg ibuprofen). Tasted better than it sounded. Followed with pint of sparkling water with lime. This actually kept me full for about three hours.

Totals: days, 2; miles walked, 23. This was better then yesterday, due to better pacing and distribution, but still no walk in the park (despite the long walk in the park). The idea here, of course, is to keep the body provided with nutrients while depriving it of calories, assuming that the combination of that and a good deal of exercise will cause my metabolism to start consuming fat. I haven't noticed this happening yet, but it's only two days.

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Notes on a Juice Fast: Day One

Weirdly inspired by a documentary film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, that on some level is essentially an infomercial, I have decided to attempt a ten-day diet of nothing but the juice of fresh fruits and vegetables. This will roughly equate to 64 ounces of juice daily, based mainly in grapefruit, apple, carrot, and tomato with various smaller fruits and leafy vegetables thrown in for variety and nutrition. To be specific, as part of the fast, I will also refrain from caffeine and alcohol. This is not going to be easy.

As a supplemental program, I'm going to attempt to walk 100 miles over the same duration. This is less difficult than it sounds, as I already have intermittently done long-distance walking for several years as an easy-on-the-knees form of cardio. 

I'm in a position to do this because all three of my part-time jobs are attached to my university, leaving me with three-plus weeks of down time between fall and spring sessions. With a nod to tradition, I've decided to run the experiment from New Year's Day to the tenth of the month, provided that I have the will to survive that long.

9:00am: Slightly hungover from New Year's Eve celebrating, I juiced two grapefruit, one tangerine, two granny smith apples and two carrots. This produced roughly a quart of juice, which I consumed all at once. Bad idea. I was already hungry again by eleven, something that might have been avoided had I split up the servings or started later in the day.

2:00pm: Following a 3-4 mile walk with Rachel and the dogs, I have roughly a pint of juice: spinach, carrot, fresh tomato.

6:00pm: Following a second, brisker, six-mile walk I have an additional pint of juice: one 14oz can of tomatoes (technically, I suppose this is cheating, but we have a giant surplus from a recent sale), two large carrots, baby spinach, red leaf lettuce.

On the whole, this sucks so far. I'm hungry, irritable, and using ibuprofen to fend off the inevitable headaches that come to me from caloric deprivation. Large glasses of water following the juice help stave off hunger for a little while longer. Will attempt to ration juice better tomorrow to reduce periods of hunger.

2:00am: I have completed the first 24 hours. This was more difficult than I would have imagined, but it is encouraging to know that the whole thing is already 10% complete.

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