I’m A Cleanse Quitter

quitter
Photo by hellojenuine

So hey, I quit the cleanse. I’m officially a quitter. And I’m OK with that.

When I quit smoking in 2005, it actually wasn’t that difficult. I was sick as hell for two weeks at the end of the semester, and I figured that if I’d gone that long without smoking (or doing much of anything aside from lying on the couch and watching TV from Netflix), I could stick it out through the holidays. And once I’d made it that long, I was done. I’ll have a cigarette now and then, but I’ve stayed quit.

I reached a similar turning point in this whole cleanse business yesterday. In week two, I added back beans, soy, and seafood. I made several delicious meals. And I felt terrible. Like, really terrible. Canceling plans, not going to yoga, lying on the floor with a heating pad terrible.

Part of this was to be expected. After all, part of cleansing is ridding your body of the bad stuff that has accumulated. But after a week, give or take, of that, I’m ready to throw in the towel. I’m OK with making inconvenient changes. I’m not up for electing to do things that make me very uncomfortable. I mean, other than distance running, but at least in that case, I feel great before feeling really uncomfortable.

So today I’m calling it quits and starting to reintroduce dairy, eggs, meat, and whole grains. I’m going to keep eating hella veg. I’m going to do my best to continue avoiding sugar and processed foods since hello, that’s a good idea anyway. I’m glad I tried it, and am equally glad to be done.

Some thoughts in parting:

  • I’m surprised that the WLAP didn’t include any guidelines on caloric intake. I would wager that most people need more than 200 calories of juice to get started in the morning, especially if you’re used to eating a full breakfast. I struggled the first few days because the recommended meals were so light – if the menu was followed explicitly and with no snacks, you’d be taking in less than 1000 calories.
  • I’m also surprised that the WLAP didn’t emphasize – or even mention – fermented foods, which are very good for you for a variety of reasons. I strongly suspect that one of the reasons I had digestive problems was that I generally have (plain, unsweetened Greek) yogurt every day, and eliminating it from my diet meant eliminating my primary source of beneficial bacteria for 2+ weeks.
  • I am newly infatuated with tahini, miso paste, and Marcona almonds.
  • I have a newfound respect for vegans and other friends with dietary restrictions. It’s really, really hard, and you guys are awesome for making it work by choice or by necessity.
  • Here is some green juice:
    Day 7: Green juice

On Cleansing

May is all about getting my shit in order after six months of chaos. Between job hunting, moving, moving, teaching, job hunting, leaving my job, moving, moving, starting a new job, and other things that I will talk about eventually, my day-to-day life has lost all sense of order. An important part of fixing this is getting my diet in order – and getting my ass back in the kitchen after months and months and months of not cooking.

The Whole Living Action Plan seemed like a good way to kill a few birds with one stone: get my food stuff under control, eliminate foods that might be causing me trouble anyway, and help my body bounce back from a few months of abuse. I started on Monday, and will continue with it for two more weeks.

Biscuits & Gravy
Everything in this photo is forbidden. Including the silverware.

Week One (right now): no dairy, eggs, meat, seafood, animal fats, beans, soy, grains, gluten, processed food or beverages, or added sugar. I’m also not supposed to be having caffeine or alcohol, oops, so I’m enjoying the latter in moderation, and the former at the normal rate of consumption.
Week Two: add back seafood, beans, lentils and soy.
Week Three: eggs and gluten-free grains, yum.

Some observations thus far:

  • Juicing is fun! And noisy! And messy! This week’s breakfasts are all about juice, and I’m very thankful for Steph‘s loan of her beast of a juicer. I’ve had carrot-grapefruit, beet-carrot-apple, and carrot-grapefruit-ginger. Tomorrow’s juice might involve mangoes.
  • Monday night I was so grumpy and hungry that I nearly started crying at Home Depot while trying to find the right bolts to mount my new Illinois license plates.
  • Man, I really don’t like drinking water. And I really need to drink a lot of water or else I get headachey and dizzy and my contacts start behaving weirdly.
  • The monstrous headaches from Tuesday and Wednesday have finally subsided – only to be replaced by terrible abdominal cramping, which may be due to the cleanse, or may be due to the questionable avocado I ate Wednesday night after walking my bike 3 miles home after getting a flat on my first ride out of my neighborhood.
  • When I weighed myself yesterday morning, the scale claimed that I’d lost 7 pounds since Sunday. That isn’t actually physically possible, and is a good lesson in why you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. Today showed a much more reasonable 4 pounds, most of which is probably water weight from pre and post-race carbs.
  • If you eat a lot of beets, your pee might turn pink. Apparently this is less common than I realized.
  • I appreciate that the meals were built around produce that is readily available in the winter – citrus, root veg, and dark greens – though I think the menu would be more fun in the summer.
  • I feel like a giant pain whenever I try to order something at a restaurant. Next week should be easier.
  • Running has been OK but not great. I had to walk a little on Wednesday, but was fine this morning. I couldn’t do this while training, which is another reason it’s perfect for May.

Foods I have been craving like nobody’s business:

  • Ice cream, but that’s pretty normal.
  • Cheeseburgers.
  • Pizza, especially after reading this post.

Five days (almost) down, sixteen to go. And then maybe I need to see a man about one of those burgers at Kuma’s Corner.

My Race Plan (or: what are you doing in DC this weekend?)

At lunch yesterday, Tina (or maybe Abigail) asked about the race plan for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler tomorrow. A race plan is still a novel concept for me – actually thinking through the race before it happens, rather than just getting out there and hoping to survive. As a race plan novice, this is the best I’ve managed:

  1. On Friday – two days til the race – think about starting the day with a slow, easy run, but instead get the deepest, longest night’s sleep in weeks, and spend the afternoon walking and talking with a good friend.
  2. Spend more time than is really logical debating whether I can go to a Depeche Mode dance night at the Cat and still be up for a 730am race. (No.) (What are you thinking?!) (But 3 weeks ago I pulled off dancing til 2am followed by a 9 mile run!) (But that run was in the afternoon, and you were reasonably well rested before!) (But the last dance night at the Cat was amazing!) (But you still have to be up at 530 in the damned morning.)
  3. Eat other people’s fried food and drink plenty of beer (carbs = fuel!).
  4. On Saturday, HYDRATE. This is important as race prep and because of the previous step.
  5. A lot of stretching so that I don’t feel like I’ve broken my butt immediately post-race.
  6. Avoid weird foods if possible as the actual race plan doesn’t involve any stopping at on-course port-a-potties.
  7. A solid night’s sleep if such a thing is possible, despite my burning desire to go to the Depeche Mode night.
  8. Awake by 5:30 in hopes of fitting in coffee, something small to eat, and the all-important pre-race poop. Seriously, you’ll rue the day you skip that step.
  9. Lube up any part that might chafe. You’ll also rue skipping this step.
  10. Kit up: my second pair of Kinvaras in the last year, science pants, sleeveless top, toss top for starting line warmth. Bandana because my hair seriously will not stay out of my face. In the pocket of my top: phone, ipod, ID, gel. No Mr. Pickle, alas.
  11. Head down to the Mall, where Tina and Abigail and I will line up with whatever damn wave we please.
  12. Feel inadequate as we round the first curve and see the elite women already four miles into the race.
  13. Pace at a 9 minute mile. I’ve been doing 9:15 in hilly-ass Ann Arbor, so I think this is possible.
  14. Get choked up running back across the Memorial Bridge as the sun comes out.
  15. No water before mile 4. First gel around mile 5.
  16. Stop for beer and Oreos at the tip of Hains Point if such things are on offer this year.
  17. Don’t save anything for the way back. Regret it on that last little incline.
  18. Hope for a space blanket or at least a banana at the finish line.
  19. Find Tina and Abigail. Smile big!
  20. Eat all the food

Team Astronaut Mike Dexter!

A2 Bucket List

I have two weeks left in Ann Arbor. Two weeks from today, I should be in Chicago, and a week after that, I’ll be getting ready to start my new job. I asked the internets for recommendations for my last two weeks here, and they responded in great force. I can’t obviously accomplish all of these things in two weeks, but it’s good to have a place to start.

  • Filmfest, foolmoon, festifools
  • Get into that little playground on the roof of the old Mott Children’s Hospital.
  • Coconut cream batido from frita batidos
  • Frita batidos, Sunday brunch at Aut bar
  • Canoe the Huron (if they’re open?) If not open or too cold, go to the DIA. That never gets old.
  • Dunny purchase from Vault of Midnight. Go see Lewis the orange tabby cat at Downtown Home and Garden. Go to Ashleys for beer on the busiest night, take $20 and play the same song (bad or good) over and over again on the internet juke box. Walk in Gallup Park.
  • If the weather is right & you still have your bike, you can take the b2b trail to downtown Ypsilanti.
  • Run through the Arb, brunch at Eastern Market, good beer at Jolly Pumpkin and then a bad beer over at the Eightball and definitely go visit Lewis!
  • Happy Endings at Berkley Front over City Club this Friday.

This is in addition to the list that Shana and I have been compiling:

  • Bell’s bi bim bap with Amanda
  • Nachos somewhere with Shana and Javan
  • Night out in Detroit with housemates
  • Biscuits and chocolate-bacon gravy at the Roadhouse (post-race brunch of dreams
  • Brunch at Raven’s Club
  • One last bakefest (Oreos!)
  • Another Knights of the West Side

Already checked off the list in the last few weeks are:

  • Afternoon Delight, which is hands’ down my favorite breakfast place in town.
  • Taco Tuesday at Sabor Latino
  • Donuts and/or ice cream from Washtenaw Dairy, which has the best donuts on the planet.
  • Plastic Passion at Necto
  • My first and only visit to the Arb
  • A very long walk along Huron River Drive
  • Treasure Mart
  • Zingerman’s

What am I missing?

Weekend in Brief

Friday: skipping the upper body workout due to residual Wednesday soreness, impromptu stir-fry, stocking up on MEAT, ice cream treat, did we watch TV?, going to bed early.

Saturday: sleeping in, 9 miles, too busy farmers’ market, $12 for 1/2 bushel 2nds tomatoes + 1/2 peck 2nds apples (and 2 bonus pears) + 3 ears corn, Afternoon Delight, nap, cleaning (by Shane), canning, dinner of 3 new recipes and 1 old one with 2 new friends and 2 not-so-new friends, records, beers, games, SLEEP.

Sunday: coffee, garden, canning, cleaning, canning, baking, cleaning, test-writing, nap. Exercise intentions perhaps done in by the previous activities.  Bowling is in the plan.

Ten on Tuesday: Great Snacks to take to the Beach

So I may have mentioned that we’re not good at relaxing – particularly relaxing on the beach. We’re just not. So you’ll forgive me when I admit to speculation on this list, as the only snacks we’ve actually taken to the beach are sodas and ice cream.

  1. Ice cream, though I’d suggest buying it at a concession stand rather than bringing it from home.
  2. On a related note, pick up some delicious fried foods: cheese curds, green beans, etc.
  3. Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
  4. Doritos. Do you really need a reason to eat Doritos?
  5. Jelly beans – small and unlikely to get coated in sand.
  6. Sandwiches, preferably carefully wrapped so as to avoid the sand issue
  7. It probably makes sense to eat things that come from the beach, right? Like fish, grilled by the beach?
  8. At all costs, avoid foods that might taste like they contain sand or otherwise have a sand-like texture. I like pears, but not on the beach.
  9. Also avoid sticky foods that will require hand-washing and/or attract bugs.
  10. A cooler full of ice. Granted, this isn’t technically a snack, but it is pretty essential for snack enjoyment.

Ten on Tuesday is a listserv-driven meme thingamagig.

Things I’m Super Into At the Moment

A brief list in a few moments of stolen Internet:

  1. The crazy serious SF coffee scene, including but not limited to the beautiful equipment and perfect coffee at Blue Bottle and Four Barrel.
  2. So much walking.  I love it but am not walking anywhere for a few days when we get home.  Including to the end of the driveway.
  3. Lemon cookie ice cream from Three Twins.
  4. Very nearly swooning from joy at Ferry Plaza Saturday morning.
  5. Lots of unlimited quality time with my husband.
  6. Sweet corn in pasta and frittatas and with lots of other summer veg over creamy grits.
  7. Finding hella cheap housing through Airbnb.  Seriously, $40/night in Noe Valley?  Yes please.
  8. Stripes, apparently.  Today I wore a black/white striped tank top under a grey/white striped top with black/grey striped knee socks.
  9. It’s knee sock weather out here, u guys.  It’s also blustery, and I’m Not Into That.
  10. Whirlwind tours of awesome things courtesy of Kiya and Demitra.

50 Concerts!

This meme’s going around Facebook, but I wanted to post it here.

Here are the rules. Test your memory and your love of live music by listing 50 artists or bands (or as many as you can remember) you’ve seen in concert. List the first 50 acts that come into your head. An act you saw at a festival and opening acts count, but only if you can’t think of 50 other artists. Oh, and list the first concert you ever saw (you can remember that, can’t you)?

  1. The Tea Party (x10)
  2. VAST (x6, I think)
  3. Tool
  4. Nine Inch Nails (x2)
  5. The National (x2)
  6. Andrew Bird (x4)
  7. Of Montreal (x4)
  8. The Decemberists (x3)
  9. Neko Case (x3)
  10. Bloc Party
  11. Britney Spears (seriously!)
  12. Jimmie’s Chicken Shack (x2)
  13. Orgy
  14. My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (x2)
  15. Metric
  16. Amy Grant (x2)
  17. Tori Amos
  18. Arlo Guthrie (x3)
  19. Yo La Tengo
  20. Broken Social Scene
  21. The Wallflowers
  22. Morrissey
  23. Sleater-Kinney
  24. Phish (x2)
  25. Ben Folds
  26. Damien Rice (x2)
  27. Blue October
  28. Better Than Ezra
  29. Ludo (x4)
  30. Pigface (x2, I think)
  31. The Frames
  32. Over the Rhine (x2)
  33. Tom Jones (!!!)
  34. MIA
  35. Chairlift
  36. CSS
  37. Jamie Lidell
  38. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
  39. David Byrne
  40. Aimee Mann
  41. Tegan & Sara (x2)
  42. Luna
  43. Iron & Wine (x2)
  44. Cat Power (x3, and NEVER AGAIN)
  45. Ladytron (x2)
  46. Daniel Lanois (x2)
  47. Alanis Morrissette
  48. Garbage
  49. Eric Bachmann/Crooked Fingers (x2)
  50. Melissa Ferrick

I included festival shows, but only those that I specifically went to see, not people that I *happened* to see.