Posts tagged ‘Matt’
Weak title, I know, but I wanted to come up with something since I’m now a few days out of the detox reflecting back on the experience.
A funny thing happened on the way to the detox. I lost 6.5 pounds. (This was me weighing myself AFTER breaking the fast for the holidays and coming home in the afternoon the next day and then weighing myself). That’s pretty crazy. I know a lot of this is water weight, but overall, i notice a huge change in myself.
Going through the detox was no picnic, and I found it very limiting in that I “felt” very constrained in what and when I could eat. Foods felt forbidden which is something never good to feel, but one of the things I realized along the way was how addicted to sugar I had become over the course of a few weeks. Having hurt my knees set me on a path to eating poorly, which made me unhappy, which caused a cycle that was eventually broken by the detox. Interestingly, Amanda asked me if I still craved my m&m’s (weapon of choice), and even 5 days into the detox I told her yes. That made me realize that I wasn’t just detoxing from the chemical dependency on the sugar, but on the behavioral aspect as well. It’s like when I used to smoke and after eating I would have a Pavlovian need to smoke a cigarette. And then when i quit, and i got over the nicotine addiction, I missed the physical action of having the cigarette stick. It’s the same with the m&m’s. I don’t miss them because they make me feel like crap, but I do miss eating them. Needless to say since coming off the detox I’ve stayed away.
It was definitely tough to come off the detox and go straight to breaking the fast. I had wanted to come off slowly, incorporating just one of the items I had taken off my list (sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol), but of course I gave myself all three. I was surprised to see that I was actually ok, although it all wreaked havoc on my digestive tract.
All in all, I’m very glad I did the detox. It’s challenging, and I realize the value of keeping yourself busy during the process. I didn’t think I could do a week, but in the end it wasn’t bad and it made a huge impact. Since some of this weight was water I know that to keep it off I have to keep eating well and exercising, but it’s a great way to center yourself and get back on track.
If nothing else, Amanda and I will always do our best to be honest about our life in food and all of our experiences. As dictated by Amanda’s post last night on binge eating (I made my hemp-seed chocolate chip cookies last night under the guise of “I’m making it for a friend, but really i want to eat about 5), we all fall victim to eating more than we want to, and then we have to decide whether or not we want to lose too much sleep on it or just get moving again. But that’s just a precursor to the point of this posting.
As I said, we always try to be upfront about what we are doing and how we are working to continue or develop a healthier lifestyle. I can say that without a doubt that one of the biggest and simpler ways to eat better is to cook your own food. When Amanda and I met years ago, neither one of us could cook. I think I tried to impress her by picking up some pre-made steak and vegetables and cooking them in my dinky apartment. (She was polite and said it was good, but it was just nasty).
Amanda over the years has developed into a great cook and healthy eater because on top of learning what foods you should or shouldn’t eat, she also learned to cook. I think people are afraid of learning to cook because they feel like they don’t know what they’re doing and if they’re like me, they are afraid to make a mistake.
I still am, and that keeps me out of the kitchen most of the time.
Lately though, I’ve had more free time and this has given me the will to try out new things in the kitchen and learn how to make recipes. For the most part, I will find a recipe i like and then just follow it step-by step. As I get more comfortable, I will improvise, try adding in new flavors or processes, and once i get really comfortable, i get all kinds of crazy. (Amanda loves when I LOVE something, because then I get REALLY good at making it).
But still, my knowledge is very limited. There are some basic things I can’t do, like cut an onion properly, or tell when an avocado is too ripe. Being left handed doesn’t help either, as I tend to get things skewed, and they look kind of funky.
So for my anniversary gift (which if you can believe was in June), Amanda got me cooking lessons at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE). She had originally gotten me the beginner class, but when I called to sign up, they said it was for people who didn’t know how to use an oven. Literally. So i signed up for the next level, which is what she took and how she learned to cook. It makes me laugh now to think about it because she’s such a pro but when we first moved in together, she couldn’t cut carrots.
I understand that cooking lessons can cost money and may not seem like the most prudent use of money, but as time goes by I truly believe that a healthy lifestyle can best be achieved in the kitchen. I like my junk food, but I get freaked out more and more when I go to restaurants and have no idea what is going into my meals. Sometimes I turn a blind eye, and sometimes I’ll eat something even knowing that it was prepared under less than ideal standards. But I firmly believe that in order to be truly healthy, one must be willing to get a little dirty in the kitchen (not literally dirty, b/c you should probably practice good hygiene, wash your hands and food in the kitchen…unless you’re into that sort of thing). It may seem daunting at first, but like anything else, all you have to do is try. It’s ok to not get it right the first time, and truth is more often than not the first time you try a recipe it might not turn out that well. But that’s why god created take out.
My class starts next week and runs Monday-Friday, 10-3. I’ll do my best to report back each day on my progress but promise to give a report at the end of the week.
Happy Friday! In lieu of this week’s nibbles, I bring to you far more exciting content. Read on as Matt details his experience with fast food. It’s not pretty, let me tell you. As you’ll see, I too dabbled in fast food and quickly felt like crap. I seriously cannot believe that THIS “food” is what the majority of our country (including children, yikes!) is living on. Can you imagine a world where everyone had access to affordable, whole, unprocessed food? Imagine the possibilities!
And let it be known for the record that I ultimately ordered a Morningstar veggie burger, not the chicken sandwich. It was impossible for me to do after seeing Food Inc. After wiping off gobs of mayo, the veggie burger was actually pretty good. AND…I couldn’t resist french fries, so I ate those too. AND…half of Matt’s diet coke (I can’t remember the last time I had a diet coke or ketchup, or a hamburger bun). So did it taste good? Actually, yeah, it was pretty satisfying. But the way my body felt afterwards was definitely not worth it. Read on for Matt’s story!
There’s a scene in the movie Super Size Me when Morgan Spurlock, on his first venture to McDonald’s, goes through the drive-thru and orders, like a kid in a candy store, a value meal, and then proceeds to super-size it. The look of glee on his face is uncanny. It’s hard to see the unbridled enthusiasm at a chance to eat something you just know is really, truly, not good for you. But you do it anyway. For him, it was because he was making a documentary. For me, it was because I had just hiked (not even the right word, mountaineered) for 3 days and 30 miles by foot across some of the most treacherous hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and damnit, I deserved to eat whatever the hell I wanted.
So it was with great glee that I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a diet coke. Enter video.
See the look of happiness?
Later in the movie, as Morgan Spurlock is going to the drive-thru for yet another Mickey D’s run, he gets sick and vomits out his car window. Man, can I relate.
The purpose of this post is to give a first hand account of what my body went through for the 24 hours following my burger king attack. (I went to BK b/c since reading Fast Food Nation, I can’t bring myself to patron a McDonald’s).
I’ll admit, eating a Burger King burger made me feel good. Pretty damn good. The meat was tasty, the cheese and bacon tasted extraordinarily good, especially after 3 days of eating less than high quality food at the various huts we stayed in. I drank my first diet coke in over 2 months, plus salty fries and ketchup. I took satisfaction in knowing it wasn’t even that bad for me considering all the calories I had burned up over the previous few days.
All was well. Then I hit the plane ride. A quick 45-minute trek from Portland, Maine back to La Guardia.
I started to feel ill. Like really ill. Like the kind of ill where you don’t know if you have to vomit or poop, but all you do know is you need a toilet and fast. My body had a seriously violent reaction to the food. I started to sweat, head spun…I tried drinking water and green tea to calm my system down. Nothing worked.
We got home from our trip and as Amanda unpacked, I laid on the couch, feeling sick to my stomach. I barely ate dinner. The only thing that helped was sleep. I went to bed at 9:30.
The next morning I woke up, still feeling a little nauseous, but definitely a little bit better. Then I got to work, and all the nausea I had been feeling over the past day caught up with me. I know this is gross…but I spent the better part of the day in the bathroom. I thought I had caught a stomach bug because of the non-stop cramping and unpleasantness. I broke out in sweats and drank almost a gallon of water to keep from dehydrating. It took about a day before my system started to right itself.
Let’s just say I’m over Burger King and Fast Food in a big way.
It’s in reflection that I find myself continuously amazed to see people eating the same fast foods every morning for breakfast. True, I’ll admit it’s part jealousy because of the seductive power of the food, but more often I wonder to myself: How can a person eat like this and not get sick?
Of course, they do get sick…in the long run, as fast food is one of the leading causes of obesity in this country, (amongst a whole bunch of other scientific things that this unscientific opinion piece won’t attempt to attack). But it makes me wonder how a person can habituate themselves to eating in this fashion.
It makes me think back to when I was a smoker, and how when I first started even though it made me feel like crap I did it anyway. After a while, my body adjusted and I stopped feeling sick all the time. My body got used to the poison. Maybe that’s what happens when you eat fast food all the time. You get used to the grease, the oil, and the sodium. Your body adjusts and doesn’t realize how bad it really makes you feel. And it’s not until you stop eating it and have it again that you truly can see how much it disagrees with you.
Now, if I take a puff of a cigarette, it makes me feel so crappy that I wonder how I ever got myself smoking in the first place. Burger King’s motto is “have it your way.” Thanks to this latest experience, when it comes to fast food and me it’s “Have it? No way.”
For some last moment fun, here’s Amanda debating what to order at the drive thru: