Monday, April 26, 2010

Real Time.... Too Fat to Fight

Watching the Real Time episode from this past week. Bill does an excellent commentary on what the U.S. Army's new Fitness Report... It seems that the thing that is keeping folks from joining the Army is weight (27%). I, being one of those overweight people who wouldn't be able to serve (well, that's one reason), actually find this not surprising. The interesting part of the discussion was the picture that was shown from the early days of the Barnum and Bailey's Freak show. It showed "the fat man".. who really looked like someone who you can find almost anywhere these days... probably even if you looked at me. Since I don't have a really accurate self image, its possible that I look exactly like this one time freak show "fat man". On the flip side, i happen to live in Minneapolis... one of the healthiest cities in the U.S. I am working towards losing weight and have successfully lost over 50 pounds. The point is that it was a real wake up call to me about how we really live compared to 100 years ago. But with all the information out there about how and what we eat now it really shouldn't have been as surprising. I've read Pollan, watched "Food, Inc. and am choosy about what I put in my body, especially now that i'm getting older and that hasn't always been the case. So if you get a chance to look around the web... go to and you can see the picture that Bill showed on his Real Time episode this past weekend. Here's love for you all and especially for my favorite family in Tashkent, who just got bigger by one for at least a few weeks! (bigger in Tashkent... not in general)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cleansing the system... retraining the palate.

So I have a fantastically funny friend, who just finished a cleanse, but during the cleanse sent me the following text... "I just had a pot of coffee, but didn't drink it. Discuss." For those of you who don't have any fun knowledge of cleanses, what he meant was that he'd just given himself a coffee enema. I've been told that it's invigorating. But I'm not trying it.... my response to his text (fyi) was "Hot coffee in between hot crossed buns?" No apologies will be made for this, he laughed and that's what's important. He also was required to eat all his meals (consisting of vegetable soups and fresh made juices) in liquid form, meaning he could not CHEW anything. I've also had friends who've tried numerous bizarre juice concoctions for days and days on end with nothing else to take in besides plain or even distilled water.

My point in all this is that the things we do to "cleanse" ourselves of the "toxins" in out bodies seems to be goofy in a way that I would have never 20 years ago even considered. Even just 10 years ago, the idea of any enema made me shudder, ugh... but now I'm older.... and the enema can be a useful tool when needed. But ugh, don't want to need one... EVER AGAIN!!! Too much information? Sorry.

What I had the opportunity to do when I did a cleanse was very different from my friends enema or weird beverage heavy regimen. I used a program (whose name I will give if asked) that required me to use a powder at least twice daily to make a "shake" along with fresh fruit juices and frozen fruits and vegetables, eat all the fresh veggies I could lay my hands on (in an almost 2:1 ratio with fresh fruits and forgo anything dairy or processed in any way. I could include lean proteins on the 11th day of the 21 day program. There were also a truly baffling number of capsules to take each day along with the shakes and fresh veggie filled meals. And of course water, water, water!

The first few days were a struggle... O.K. by day 3 I was ready to kill for anything even remotely processed, especially in a bakery! But I had awesome support around me and made it to day 4, when it was like I had been born again with a new palate when it came to the things that I craved and ate. During the 21 days I slowly lost pounds (weighing myself everyday, religiously) and found a new love of vegetables... especially GREEN vegetables. I still preferred them raw to cooked (yes Holly, still difficult), but I couldn't get enough of them. And when the program was over I continued to eat well...BY CHOICE! I shunned dressings and cheeses on salads to my friends surprise, I ordered grilled (eek) FISH even and enjoyed it. I lost 30 pounds total and felt awesome and as long as I kept away from the processed foods that had for so long run my diet, I continued to lose weight...consistently.

Sadly the diet soda, the occasional meal replacement bar, the processed foods overtook my palate again. But I know that it's possible to live and eat ENJOYABLY without the processed, fast-food, 'single serving', 'pre-portion controlled' (pardon my use of the word) crap that most of us use every day! So, I'm on a mission. A mission to cleanse my system and retrain my palate once again. I hereby promise not to get overly preachy about it here and only update occasionally how things are going. Wish me luck! Thanks in advance!!!

P.S. My dear enema using friend after doing another week of his "cleanse" admitted that he was happy with his results.... well, except for those last 5 pounds. LOL