Saturday, April 30, 2011

Results Of My 10 Day Raw Vegan Experiment

A 10 day raw vegan diet - my longest ever. Between Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 7:00am and Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 7:00am, I ate nothing but raw fruit and vegetables. I've done this before but never for this 10-day length of time.

First off, I have to say that people that can adhere to this diet at all times must live an energetic and healthy life! So - why would I stop? Good question. That's one I'm still looking for the answer to.

My goals at the start of the 10 day experiment were pretty simple:
  1. Increase my energy level.
  2. Lose 10 lbs. fast.
  3. Kickstart the running season now that hockey was coming to an end for the year.
I met all these goals. Sort of...

My energy level was increased to an unbelievable level. My night time sleep hours did not diminish like some say will happen. This is because I simply love to sleep! The sleep I got was good quality and I didn't feel the need to fall asleep on the couch after work each day.

I exceeded the weight loss goal by two pounds. This might seem dangerous to lose weight that fast but gone was the bloated feeling at the top of my stomach that sometimes made it difficult to bend over and tie my skates.

I did kickstart the running season. I felt like I was running on air the first few runs of the season. However, I played in one final hockey tournament three days after the raw vegan diet ended and was the victim of an extremely dirty move. I was cross-checked from behind across my lower back and I am still certain that I have a cracked rib (my loathing of doctor's offices has prevented me from finding out just what is wrong back there).

Therefore - my running has come to a complete halt because of the pain in by lower back.

With this 10 day raw vegan experiment, I cut out coffee and green tea as well. This resulted in some pretty serious headaches for the first few days. Headaches are also a symptom of simply going raw. I would suggest killing the caffeine first then killing the cooked food.

Is this a great weight-loss technique? Yes and no. It's a great diet to go on if you have a follow-up plan if and when you return to cooked food. Using it as a kickstart to a fitness plan is great - you lose the weight quick then keep it off, and gradually lose more, with the fitness plan.

What did I eat?

I was heavy on avacados, mushrooms and bananas. These were the 'thickest' items I could find to satisfy my appetite. However I also ate:
  • pineapple
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • clementines
  • apples
  • dragon fruit
  • cucumbers
  • grapes
  • onions
  • radishes
  • sweet peppers of all different colours
  • tomatoes
  • lemon
About halfway, I discovered that covering everything in the juice of fresh lemon acted as a seasoning to make the raw veggies a little more appetizing.

I stumbled across an interesting quirk of nature. If you soak radish chunks in fresh squeezed lemon juice for a few hours, the strong tastes of each counteract each other and changes both to a mild sweet flavour.

I also noticed that I could smell everyone around me! I assumed that if I could smell them then I must, in turn, have a unique odor. Not so. EVERYONE had garlic breath! I didn't eat any raw garlic throughout the 10 days and my diet usually consists of traces of garlic in pretty much everything I eat. Apparently, most restaurant food and processed food also contains garlic...

The Aftermath

It's been two weeks. I've gained back about five pounds which I mostly attribute to my in-activity. I will be able to start running again in the next few days. I will be trying a modified diet where I eat totally raw Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and see where it takes me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hockley Valley Provincial Park

If you live in the west end of the Greater Toronto Area and you're looking for a new set of trails to train on, Hockley Valley Provincial Park is your spot.

This day-use Provincial Park that is classified by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources as a Nature Reserve, has no facilities (ie. washrooms, running water, roads...) and only has one main parking lot. However, the trails within the park are exceptional for the trail runner.

The famous Bruce Trail runs through the park and there are several side trails looping off it. With a little familiarity of the trails, it is easy to spend a good 3-4 hours roaming the park without doing much backtracking.

Hockley Valley Provincial Park is located on Hockley Road, ten minutes northeast of the town of Orangeville. The main parking lot is basically directly across from the Hockley Valley Ski Resort on Hockley Road. There is a back entrance with a small parking lot off of third line.

What the trail system provides for the trail runner (or hiker) is some steep hills along the niagara escarpment, so nice flat stretches through shaded hardwood forest and, for the most part, smooth and soft trails.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm back! - the war cry of the blogger who lost interest for a few months (or more) but claims to have renewed interest but will most likely disappear again after a couple of lame posts...

Well - that could very well be true. However, it seems that someone out there is reading the backposts on this site on a daily basis, so maybe people really do want to read about the vegan world.

So, what's been going on? Well, I just finished up a 10-day Raw Vegan challenge and it was a grand success. It's nearing the end of the hockey season and the start of the trail running season. During the winter, I really fell into a rut with processed vegan food (no-meat hot italian sausages are my weakness. smothered in hummus, fried onions and mushrooms, mustard and salsa!). I was constantly bloated and was getting to the point where it hurt to bend over and tie my skates.

The ten days of raw veggies along with no tea or coffee was just what I needed. I lost 12 pounds and began running again like I'd never stopped. I've moved back to cooked food - but NOT processed. I'm also back on my recently rejuvenated coffee addiction.

I had been off coffee for years but in February while on a vacation in Cayo Largo, Cuba, I started having a cup at breakfast and found I really liked it.

Anywho - I will be documenting the challenge and posting it at either Factoidz, Infobarrel or Hubpages with an excerpt and link here.

btw - if you're interested in earning a little cash and you like to write, Factoidz does work. It's free to sign up and it will never cost you a dime to write there. They scrutinize your first 10 articles after you sign up then if you meet their approval you become a staff writer and your stuff is published immediately. You then get an upfront bonus for each article you publish as well as the regular dinero you get for page views. They pay without hassle and without a minimum payout at the start of every month. You may not get rich quick but you will get paid.

If you're interested, go through this link to check it out and sign up. Yes, if you go through that link, I may get paid for the referral - I appreciate it - thank you!

On a closing note - my man Georges Laraque, the former vegan NHL hockey player who last played for the Montreal Canadiens, is playing a prominant role with the Green Party in the upcoming election in Canada. Way to go Georges and good luck Green!

I may be back!