I’m supposed to be finishing a job application. I’m not unemployed. On the contrary, I have three jobs, but they’re all “on-call”, which means sometimes I’m working happily five, six, or seven day weeks and sometimes I just stay at home watching Youtube, reading, running or painting tattoo flash. This post was written early in the morning on one of my 7 day work days–the sabbath to be precise. But this post isn’t about employment, it’s about food.
You may be wondering what delicious foods have passed my lips and bowels this past year? You are weird for wondering about my bowels, but I forgive you. Mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’ve read my previous post, you also know that I gave up coffee. For the past year, you might say that I’ve been a hardcore vegan. And when I say hardcore, I mean mostly raw and mostly whole foods. Every morning, I punch in a fist-full of raw kale into my gut. I usually eat around 5 to 10 bananas a day, one or three apples, an orange or two, some dates, and “raw” nuts.
I have, however, decided to add meat to my diet. Why? First let me describe my experience with a mostly 80 10 10, raw vegan diet. For the first few months, I felt absolutely fantastic. My digestion cleared up, my energy levels soared, and my anxiety faded. But after the honeymoon, things got strange. First of all, no matter how much I ate, I always felt hungry. Although I didn’t gain weight, I was constantly grazing–to the point where my jaws were soar. I’d eat five oranges, seven bananas, eight or nine dates, and bowls of salad and be hungry fifteen minutes later. My stomach was full, but appetite had not been satiated. I felt great, but I also felt like eating was a full time job and I felt that something was missing. It was difficult to work and to socialize because food took up such a huge part of my life. I had to plan my meals and I couldn’t just enjoy a meal with friends and family. I felt isolated. Although I didn’t preach or make my friends and family feel bad for eating “their” food, I did feel a sense of isolation and separateness.
As the months rolled on, I began to feel more and more spacey. My mind was filled with brain fog. My memory would short circuit. I’d be typing or talking and lose my train of thought. It was difficult to hold thoughts in my mind. I would be driving to work when, suddenly, I’d wonder if I was going to work or coming home from work. I’d be completely disoriented for a second or two. It felt as if I had been lobotomized. It was quite frightening and distressing. I seriously wondered if I had a brain disease or had suffered a stroke. According to the fruitarian community, I wasn’t eating enough. What a load of BS. I was eating plenty. Eating wasn’t the problem. Energy wasn’t the problem. The restrictive diet was the problem!
As I researched nutrition, I discovered the cause of my problem. BTW, nutrition is a fascinating topic. In terms of science, human nutrition is still very young. My research on 80 10 10 and raw food diets alarmed me. I quickly discovered many other people who shared similar experiences to mine. After some study, I have come to the conclusion that a 100% vegan diet is not optimal. To be fair, I’ve got a lot of health benefits from eating lots more raw food. But I have noticed that after eating a small amount of LOCALLY raised chicken to my diet that I feel much better. I’m not as hungry after a meal and my ability concentrate and to hold thoughts has improved.
I wasn’t vegan because I cared about animals. I was vegan for my health. When my health declined, I decided to listen to my body. I’m still eating whole foods and I’m still eating lots of raw fruits and veggies. In fact, I still consider my diet to be “plant-based”. But plants are the ONLY things that I eat. Human beings are omnivores. There is no denying that. All of the vegan, fruitarian, or vegetarian cultures use the diet for spiritual reasons, either to avoid bad karma or to punish the flesh. It’s not a “natural” diet. And the fact that Dr. Graham claims that its the “human diet” is absolutely ridiculous. I won’t even address the fact that the fruits and vegetables that we eat today are farmer’s foods. Truly wild potatoes, wild tomatoes, and even bananas are inedible–wild potatoes are toxic.The fruits and veggies of today would NOT have been available to our ancestors. The fruits and veggies that we enjoy today taste good because we’ve bred them taste good. Doug Graham is also dead wrong about the perils of cooking food. Cooking vegetables, especially red vegetables makes some of their key nutrients MORE absorb-able and it activates their cancer busting properties. It also makes it easier to eat higher quantities of healthy food. I’ll probably write another post debunking Dr. Graham. But for now, I’ll conclude this long and rambling post: The secret to a healthful diet is to eat whole foods.
Last summer, I reached my goal of running a 10 miler once a week with 3-5 milers on my other run days. I did so with much effort and to be quite honest my 10 mile pace was pathetically slow. After my long runs, I would “treat” myself to beer and pizza. It would take me a full day and a half to recover from my long run and I would still be a little stiff on my subsequent run.
This summer, I’m running 10 milers 3 minutes faster than last summer and I’m running 5-7 miles on my light days!!! I am no longer plagued by the nuisances of last summer’s long runs. No sluggish running pace, no more pizza cravings, and no more bent-over-elderly-man-with-a-secret-knife-and-flask-cane exhaustion.
What is my secret? What have I changed?
I no longer defileth my body. I’m eating REAL food, recovering faster, and I’ve lost fat and built lean muscle. I gobble as many fresh fruits and vegetables as I care to eat throughout the day. For dinner, I enjoy brown rice and beans with assorted vegetables or quinoa or sweet potatoes or some other homemade vegan dish.
BTW, I DO take 3 KEY SUPPLEMENTS (not present in a vegan diet):
Vitamin D (I use in for the gray cloudy days in Oregon)
DHA (Dr. Bernard recommends it in Power Foods for the Brain)
The results are amazing. I no longer crave junk food. My hair, teeth, and skin are radiant. I have more energy and my recovery for running is absolutely fantastic. I feel twenty years younger! I’m in better shape now than when I was 18. Best of all, I haven’t lost any muscle. I have been eating this way since Christmas.
If you’re interested in giving healthful eating a try, here are a few plant based running resources:
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When I was a wee lad, my parents refused to buy me hostess cupcakes, twinkies, and other delicious junk food products. “They turn you into a hyperactive- punch Scotty in the gut monster!” my mother said. My principal agreed. The magical white swirly tops of the chocolate cakes and any other mystical incarnation of sugar did not mix well with me.
But I was determined to fill my innards with spooky preservatives, my tongue with tasty candy, and my fists with superpowers; so, I got a paper route, which meant early mornings of throwing heavy stuff at strangers’ homes. It wasn’t a bad gig at all.
The very first payday, I strode past the winos into the Quick Mart armed with a massive amount of cash for a kid of the verge of teenager-dom, $10. I bought exactly two wine bottle sized brown paper bags of my own private Halloween. My sack brimmed with Twinkies, Chocodiles, Now & Laters, Hostess Cupcakes, and one chilly Chocotaco, which I ate immediately. Hopped up on sweets, I spotted my friend Scotty on the corner. After Scotty caught his breath from a wicked surprise punch to the belly, I gave him a twinkie and we feasted together upon the scrumptious hostess bonanza.
Without Hostess, I will not longer have an excuse for punching people in the gut.
So sad 🙁
Hostess Cupcakes Requiescat in Pacem. May the Heavenly Holy Trinity chomp upon the delicious brain rotting delights of your creamy centers and smash their fists into each other’s tummies for eternity.
I was talking to a friend of mine who eats fast food, she told me about a sticker she saw at KFC drive-through. It was for “KFC Scholars”; some BS program that purports to help their employees pay for college or something like that. I HATE KFC and fast food in general; so, I couldn’t resist writing some stupid barefoot take-offs:
KFC Scholars: Fill your Mind with Fowl Thoughts.
KFC Scholars: We teach you How to Pass Chicken.
KFC Scholars: Learn to Hatch It Yourself! (Gotta say that one fast.)
KFC Scholars: Because you don’t need to be an egghead have bird-brains.
KFC Scholars: Surround yourself with chicks and cocks.