Day 1 “LFRV”

I put that title in quotes because I it really wasn’t 100% LFRV. I’m much more emotionally attached to food than I thought and attempting to cut all of those ties when I’m most emotionally stressed with the husband away was difficult. I would probably have been OK if I could have found a ripe banana anywhere in town, but as it was I only had items that didn’t sound as good as a banana (or 12) at my disposal.

Another problem I had was I experimented some and wasn’t fond of the results, once with celery and once with a avocado in a green salad. Both weren’t so great. I had better luck with the fruit.

Well, let me just let you know what I had today (separated by meals):

  • 8AM
    1 L water first thing in the morning (this made me feel great!)
  • 11 AM
    2 cups white seedless grapes (nasty ones from Sam’s)
  • 5 PM
    2 gala apples (yum! from Sam’s)
    1 cup organic grape tomatoes (eh)
    1 tbsp hummus (just trying it, it wasn’t homemade)
  • 8 PM
    1 tall Starbucks White Mocha
    1 medium brownie
  • 12 midnight
    1 pink grapefruit (yum! organic from Natural Foods)
  • 1 AM
    3.5 cups Campbell’s tomato soup (hit the spot!!!)
    1 biscuit

Overall (c/p/f), 79%/8%/13% with 1685 calories.

What’s funny is this was a “bad” day for me but actually much better than any day by my old dieting standards. I had a horrible time eating under 30 grams of fat with my old eating habits but I only had 24 today, even with the white mocha and brownie. I was on the typical SAD (standard american diet) diet where more then 30% of my calories would come from fat, on a good day! Bad days were 40-50%.

Anyway, so I was kinda down with a huge headache (could be LFRV detox, could be caffeine detox) and carb starved around 8pm when I gave in and had a coffee and a brownie at Barnes & Noble. I think I would have felt better if I’d had a bunch of bananas and gone for a run or bike, but the weather was yucky also and I just didn’t have the energy. I wanted to, I was just in a fog and ended up napping a lot.

I did take my stats this morning:

  • Weight: 210.2
  • Body Fat% (scale): 42.7%
  • Body Fat% (Navy Method) 43.4%
  • Lean Body Mass: 120.4
  • Bust: 44″
  • Waist: 35.75″
  • Hips: 47″

Just to reiterate, I’m not tracking these stats just to see if I’ve lost weight, but to see if a diet like this makes one lose muscle mass or if the weight loss many report really is everything else. If my “lean body mass” drops rapidly then stabilized, then I’m just losing water weight without muscle loss. If the number keeps dropping week to week, then I need to reconsider somethings, even if it’s just more strength training.

I hope tomorrow is sunny. I was able to lay in the sun on Friday and it felt so good. And I love biking in the sun and I want to really break in my new clip pedals.


Shopping trip and pre-100% raw :-)

I went shopping today for my fruit and veggies!

Then I sat outside eating watermelon (which didn’t seem sweet enough so I don’t think it’s quite in season) and caught some rays.

Right now I’m snacking on pineapple, then a dinner party with some people from work. It’s easier to keep busy while I’m getting use to my husband being gone.

A Tad Depressed

My husband is in the process of packing for a 5 week geological field camp where he won’t have Internet and might not have very good cell coverage. I’ve been only thinking about the positives up until today, such as the freedom of only having to deal with my own wants and needs. But today, knowing he’ll be gone tomorrow morning, is depressing and I’m simply sad. I feel like how my puppy sounded after we’d leave him, before we got him a mate to keep him company. Just a gut-wrenching sad.

I know many couples do this all the time, but we don’t. I think a week has been our longest when I had training for work. And since it’s just us out here in our town, with no family near and limited friends, we’re pretty dependent on each other.

I just had to let these emotions out. I don’t really know who I would tell this too right now without feeling like I was asking for pity. I’ll be fine and I have too good a life for pity, but this blog is acting as a pillow to cry in, and I’m ok with that.

Well, on a brighter note, tomorrow I’m going to Sam’s and the natural foods store for produce to start my three week LFRV trial. I’m going to make every possible effort to stick to it 100% for three weeks and then see how I feel. From there I will either continue or modify.

Getting ready to go raw

When my husband leaves on Friday, I’m going shopping, getting ready, and going on a low fat raw vegan diet for at least three weeks, hopefully longer depending on how I feel after three weeks. If I’m feeling better than ever, then I’ll continue eating this way through a two week visit of my mom to my house. This will be tough, so I’ll really need to be mentally “there” by then. She won’t like it one bit.

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle…modified!

For the last year I’ve been a big fan of Tom Venuto’s “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” book and the priciples are (mostly) sound. I’ve read probably thousands of weight loss, healthy lifestyle books, articles, papers, posts, and after reading BFFM everything made sense (mostly). Tom’s philosophy of “this is what I know but I’m open to new ideas if they are proven and I’ll let you know if I find out something new” is refreshing and put me completely at ease in trusting his research and findings (moslty).

Basically, he focuses on losing fat and not losing muscle, emphasising the importance of muscle. His book also goes into great detail on mental readyness and prepardness, how to track progress, how to workout, how to include cardio, and how not to go into starvation mode.

I’ve tried following the original BFFM food plan and I just can’t eat all the eggs. Cheese, milk, sea food, red meat, white meat, uncooked meat, cooked meat…it all turns my stomach sour. I tried to substitute turkey sandwiches for the eggs in the morning and I could only last a week before the turkey became an odd/ick thing to eat. I never really ate much meat while growing up, and since I’ve been making my own meals it’s just become harder and harder. It’s not like I want to throw paint on a person wearing a fur coat, and I wear leather boots (at least at the moment), but the idea of eating animal products, well it’s like watching that show where the guy shows you how to survive on frog legs and big amazon bugs in an emergency.

Substituting artificial foods for the protein just seems wrong. I don’t think I should have to doctor food and buy from specialty organic blah blah stores just to enjoy potato chips. It all seems so fake. So I don’t want to eat real animal products and I don’t want to eat fake animal products. This lead me to research a healthy, natural way to eat, which lead me to the Low Fat Raw Vegan lifestyle (also known as the 8/1/1 diet, but I haven’t read that book yet). It just seems healthy, makes sense, seems simple enough, and looks like it would work. Only one way to find out.

This LFRV lifestyle doesn’t include anywhere near the amount of protein BFFM endorses. I think I’m OK with that until proven otherwise. The point of all the protein was to help build/repair muscle and to speed metabolism. I’ve yet to see where a LFRV diet does not speed metabolism or causes one to gain weight (unless intentional), and the muscle loss will be determined through experiment. One thing that Tom endorses is to use weekly lean body mass measurements (through body fat % measurements) to determine if the current plan you are on is working to keep lean mass and remove fat if you’re losing weight. I agree that every plan will likely need individual tweaking to end up where you want to be, much like a pilot of an airplane makes constant corrections to the actual path to follow the intended one.

My body fat is around 42% (210 lbs @ 5’6.5″, medium frame, female). I’ve always gained and kept muscle easy, but my poor diet keeps any weight from ever coming off. This encourages me that I don’t need as much protein as BFFM recommends so long as I’m not starving my body.

NUTRITIONAL GOALS: Consistently eating a clean, healthy, 95% LFRVdiet with limited refined sugar. I will crave healthy food (not sugar), and I will drink sufficient water.
BODY GOALS: 15% body fat (~140ish), possible figure competition, bikini ready, in a dress size less than a 10 (so I can shop in normal stores). I’m giving myself until 2011 for these.
FITNESS GOALS: MS150 bike ride in July 2010 (I did it last year but this year I want to be BETTER!), Austin Marathon Feb 2011, 50 real push-ups (that’s right, 50).

-BFFM book
-30BananasADay community
-Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet (and cookbook)
-Various Vegan/Vegetarian websites/cookbooks/books
-P90X (I love the strength training routines)
-Road Bike (road biking outside is my favorite cardio, but only if the weather permits)
-Running Shoes (my second favorite form of cardio)
-Body Fat Caliper, Myotape measure, “body fat” scale, Navy Method
-Excel (I’m an engineer; I breathe in Excel:lol
-Family/Friends fitness daily email check-ins
-Logging progress/setbacks/findings/feelings here

Great bike ride today!

So today I had a great bike ride with some friends from work who are on the MS150 team with me. We were going on a 26 mile ride and I rode my bike to the place we were meeting. Mapped my ride when I got home and it was 32 miles. Not too shabby! Under 3 hours and I talked to the guys before they packed up their cars so I think the average was around 12 mph.

Would have been more had it not been for the 20 mph winds on the way home. A cold front hit about 3/4 the way through and started blowing some nice winds our direction. Made it colder than it was when we started out, which was already chillier than I prefer (I don’t like anything less than 60, and I like it sunny). I think I was going ~6-7 mph into those headwinds around mile 30.

I like riding long. I think I’m going to increase my miles before the MS150. Last time I only ramped up to 28 miles before the big day. I think it’d really help me if I could at least get up to 50 miles.  Each day is 75 miles and 28 miles just didn’t prepare me. I might also try doing a few back to back weekend long rides to see if that helps prepare me.

This time I’m also including strength training in the mix to help with the hills. I need to do more shoulder work too since I get such sore shoulders after long rides.  A few pounds off the bike from a little weight loss wouldn’t hurt with the hill either! That extra gravity is a killer.

So, Why a Raw Food Diet?

Being part German and part Irish, my family get-togethers are full of meats, starches, and sweets. Maybe a salty veggie here and there. Little to no fruit. And this is what I was raised on.

My dad grew up eating whatever he wanted. No veggies, no fruits, lots of salt, lots of sweets. His mom just let him. So my mom then had to cook to his likings and us kids ate his same diet. But he did like some fruit (pears, peaches, though canned) and he liked sea food. My mom loves veggies but hates fruit. And sea food. We cooked to please all.

So now I have a very limited range I choose from. Over the years, now that I’ve been making my own food choices for a while, I’ve slowly gravitated towards more and more processed sweets (chocolate, flavored coffee, sweet cereals) and more salts (lots of soy sauce, raman noodles, salty seasonings on everything).

The things I found was the more sugar I ate, the more I craved. If I started with a bit of chocolate in the morning, or a sweet white chocolate mocha, I would sit at work simply DYING for another chocolate bar, I’d want another coffee at lunch, and an then I’d want a huge bar of chocolate for dessert, sometimes in lieu of a real dinner.

When I try to reduce my sugar, I often end up substituting salt. I have raman, eggs with cheese and salt, Chinese food with tons of soy sauce, and cuts of meat with loads of salty seasonings. I do this because my taste buds are so unresponsive to regular foods and I try to mask the fact that I really don’t like a lot of the foods I’m eating.

I am an animal lover, but I’ve never thought of going vegan for the sake of animals. But when I eat beef or chicken, I just don’t like it. The texture, the idea of it all, the fat attached to most cuts…ick. I just eat it because turkey and chicken are suppose to be healthy and have a good protein to fat ratio.

Pork products (ham, bacon, sausage. etc) have always made me very nauseous long before I realized these products came from a pig (I was pretty young) and eggs are the same way. I can only eat these things with lots and lots of salt. I guess it masks the taste?

So I’ve never really been comfortable with eating meat. Personally, I’m more than happy to give it up. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to go about it with the huge influence animal products have in our culture.

That leaves all the varieties of cooked food though. Why raw?

1) Frankly, I’m interested if it is true about the health benefits and I’m going to test it on my own. I have several little health issues that I’m interested if they will “magically heal” as so many others mention (I’m a skeptic).

2) I never drink enough water and I know this is a huge factor in many of my health problems (I’ll detail these later). Raw food has a higher water content than cooked foods and my trial of raw food for breakfast and lunch earlier this week already had my lips getting softer and had me urinating more often. This can’t be a bad thing.

3) Yes, certain foods are better digested when cooked, but I think it’s best to start simple. There are so many additives to cooked foods (mostly fat and salt) that I’d like to try to get away from and eat less of. I certainly don’t think that all cooked food is bad for the body. This is more an experiment in personal growth. A discovery of how to adapt to a diet not laden with artificial sweets, loads of salts, and unhealthy fats. I’m just not at the point, and neither are my taste buds, to do that with a large amount of cooked food.

Honestly, I know the diet I’m currently on is leading me to a life of obesity (I’m already 60 lbs overweight), diabetes, and high blood pressure (though it’s currently at normal levels). Possibly cancer. All of these are in the family so I’m predisposed to all of these.

If you don’t agree with my decision to try a raw lifestyle, at least agree that what I’m doing right now isn’t working!