Friday, December 3, 2010

I choose bliss

Dumb: Going for a long meandering run in a t-shirt and shorts in 40-degree weather, with no water or energy gels, in unfamiliar neighborhoods, and for nearly twice as long as the vast majority of my runs for the past half year.

Blissful: Running toward a stunningly silhouetted Mt. Rainier, plowing up and barreling down huge hills, getting utterly lost in unfamiliar neighborhoods, and listening to beautiful bluegrass music while at it.

Perception is everything.

Either way, warming back up with tonight's Vitamix blender creation = Unarguably blissful.

Yummy Thai pumpkin soup

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My first juice fast

From my blog entries here to the new kitchen appliances to my raw food musings and experiments to the dinner parties I've been sharing with many of you lately, it's clear that I've had food on my mind a lot lately! I've been cooking much more than ever before in my life, as the new blender and juicer have amped up my confidence to buy copious amounts of produce at the grocery store. If I can't find a way to prepare it (I've lost every single eggplant I've ever purchased this way...*sigh*), I can always just toss it in the blender!

My reading list has also been pretty heavy on the food and diet spectrum lately:

So, I've been toying a lot lately with the idea of doing a juice fast. I have, undoubtedly, a ridiculous sweet tooth, and I often eat beyond the point of satiated comfort. (Why do you think I run so much?) Incorporating green smoothies into my morning routine has already helped me cut out coffee completely and maintain steady energy levels, even without ample sleep. I recently talked with one of my coworkers who juice fasted for an entire month, and saw huge health and energy benefits because of it.

Well, I decided yesterday to stop toying with the fasting idea, and just go ahead and try it - just a 24-hour one. I had dinner around 5 p.m. last night, went to school, went to bed, woke up, made a big glass of my Unpalatable Chlorophyll Juice and several mason jars to go, went for a 5.5 mile run, drank some more juice, walked to work, drank more juice after my shift, walked to school, sat in class for 3.5 hours (which took me into the 25th hour of my fast and beyond!), then walked home. And...ta-da, I felt great! No real hunger bothers or rumbling stomach or anything. Some cravings, sure, but those happen even when my mouth is already full of food and chewing, so I can't blame it on the fasting. Being out of the house and away from food all day certainly made it easier. Overall, it was much less of a big deal than I thought it would be.

Unpalatable Chlorophyll Juice in action: the last swig in my mason jar.

My run was especially excellent. I'm sure running (and doing sprints at the end!) are not what you're supposed to do while fasting for the first time. It would up being about 29 hours total with food...honestly, probably the longest stretch of time I've ever gone without food in my whole life. Even fasting for Ramadan with my host family in Turkey was only a 16-hour fast or so...though there was no juice or water then. But you know what? I'll trust my body's intuition over someone else's opinions any day - and I've felt great all day long.

I considered briefly extending the fast through tomorrow since I felt so good...but ultimately decided against it, not wanting to get ahead of myself. Went grocery shopping instead - which is definitely a crazy idea when you haven't eaten all day long. I must have looked at least mildly ravenous, because in spite of my modest $53 grocery bill, the checkout guy who was scanning my food said, "Dang girl, you must have been hungry today!" Fresh apple slices with Trader Joe's Blue Stilton cheese was a most excellent way to ease out of my fast.

And now, because I failed to post this when it was timely...why you shouldn't try to drive your car in Seattle when it snows: