Coffee

So ya… sorry and all that for falling off the face of the planet.

Things that have happened recently:

  1. I got engaged and have been doing lots of planning and celebrating including taste tests.
  2. I bought a house which required sooooo much house hunting and ate up a huge amount of brain power and time, not to mention stress.
  3. I decided not to compete on June 14ths due to the above 2 things and proceeded to eat delicious food and gain weight instead… it’s been marvellously gluttonous though I am not looking forward to having to take the weight off. 😦

So that’s my explanation for basically exiting stage right with no word of warning. I’ve even stopped instagramming and posting on facebook! Ahhhh, I’m a terrible blogger. I’m sorry!

I literally have been in the gym about once a week. I haven’t been that infrequent in YEARS and it kills me.

But enough whining, and explaining. Here some info on coffee for you!

Some of you may have picked up on the fact that I adore coffee. And I espouse it’s beneficence to whomever will listen. I cringe when people say things like “Isn’t it bad for you?” or “You shouldn’t drink that”. I firmly believe that the benefits of coffee far outweigh the negatives for the average individual.

Most (if not all) of the negatives of coffee are either related to drinking too much of it, or related to a condition of the person drinking it. Here’s a snazzy little infographic highlighting this fact. If you’ll notice, all the Pro’s are things like lowers risk of disease… yay! And all the Con’s are things like MAY or CAN cause this issue… if you are prone to that sort of thing and/or decide to drink 10 cups of coffee a day.

What’s funny is it doesn’t even mention the obvious number one Pro. Coffee makes life so much easier, it increases brain function and has been shown to make you smarter in addition to just feeling more awake and productive.

It unfortunately also doesn’t mention some of the softer Con’s. Things like adrenal fatigue which can happen with excessive long-term coffee use to replace appropriate amounts of sleep. Or increased caffeine tolerance leading you to need more and more just to feel human throughout the day. Or the worst one in my opinion, which is the inability to self regulate and relying instead on coffee to run your daily rhythm.

Because of that, about once a year I GIVE UP COFFEE! (for 2 weeks to a month)

Oh my god right? But I love coffee?! WHY?!?!?!

Basically I go on a little coffee detox in order to reset my system, give my adrenals a break, decrease my tolerance and try to get back into a good sleep rhythm. Also, I’m not going to lie, that first cup of coffee after detoxing is magical. Full on bliss.

I’m currently on day 4 of the detox and normally would have a withdrawal headache around now, but I have been drinking black teas so have been getting a little caffeine and seem to have avoided that unpleasantness. I am however unreasonably sluggish in my thoughts and super tired. But the tiredness has resulted in fabulous sleep… so there is that.

If any of you feel that you are addicted to coffee, you are not alone. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes it’s good to give our bodies a break from things. Food for thought.

Advertisements

21 Day Sugar Detox and tests of will power

First off: the answer to the 2 truths and a lie is (drum roll please) I do NOT have a tattoo, though if I did, my sister would most certainly have designed it because she is a crazy wicked artist of whom I’m incredibly jealous.

Things my Dad says…

I have talked about will power in some of my posts before. I have spoken about the fact that it is like a muscle and needs to be worked in order to be strong. I have talked about habits helping you fight temptation. I have not, however, talked about the terrible temptation that is the food aisle at a craft show!This weekend, my boyfriend and I went to the One of a Kind Craft Show to do some of our christmas shopping. A successfull trip if I do say so myself. I managed to acquire some things for myself along with some gifts, including high quality wild, smoked, canned salmon and tuna. It was delicious and had nothing bad at all in it 🙂 I also grabbed some garden crackers from a vegan health booth along with some sprouted buckwheat granola (the crackers actually fit into the 21DSD, the granola is extremely healthy, but a grain, so it will have to wait until after). But imagine walking down 2 loooooooong aisles of spreads and jams and peanut butters and candied salmon and candied nuts and chocolate covered fruits and christmas fruit cake…. and ALL of them are giving out samples. My will power was supremely tested. But I was pretty good! I did not use any crackers to taste the dips and I stayed away from jams or spreads that had sugar in them. I didn’t taste the fruit cake, or the chocolate covered fruit. I was doing great!

And then I got to the nuts.

Side note: while I have really enjoyed the 21DSD so far in that my sugar intake and cravings have gone way down. I have seemingly replaced all things grain based or sugary, with nuts and nut products. It’s a problem. It’s not healthy and is not what I want out of this experience… but more on that later.

So we get to the nuts and it starts well. I sample the hickory, mesquite and garlic flavours… all sugar free. Them my boyfriend decides that the maple candied almonds look too good to pass up. Well its just one right? He made a face of pure joy when biting into this and cajoled me into trying it (he really twisted my arm 😉 NOT) and they were heavenly. This led to us also trying 3 additional flavours that were “candied” but still, it was a total of 4 candied nuts.

Further on we got to the aforementioned granola, which has no added sugar including natural sources and is only sweetened with dates. The buckwheat is not 21DSD approved but it’s something that I would like to have afterwards and didn’t want to buy without trying… so I sampled… and bought because it was awesome, along with the crackers.

Those were the only cheats! Pretty proud of myself to be honest… except when we got home my boyfriend commented on the ridiculous amount of nuts both of us have been consuming. We discussed the following things about our 21DSD experience so far:

1 – Neither of us have recovered from our heavy leg workouts very well (my legs are still sore from my workout on Thursday night and I couldn’t walk properly all day saturday). We both think that this is because were are used to being able to go really hard and recover well because of supplements; supplements that are not allowed on the 21DSD because of the sweeteners such as protein powder, Carnitine powder and BCAAs. Maybe people who don’t use these regularly or who workout less vigorously would have had an easier time of it.

21DSD approved banana bread!

2 – Our energy levels are really inconsistent and we can’t really pin down a pattern. It didn’t seem to matter the amount of sleep we got or how hard our day was or whether we had just eaten. There likely is a pattern, but we can’t figure it out.

3 – We seem to have replaced our normal fruit snack or protein shakes or other go to easy snacks with nuts and cheeses… mostly nuts. While nuts are healthy, we have definitely gone overboard. It’s partially that nuts are delicious, but a lot of it is that it’s hard to come up with snacks that fit into the 21DSD and we are both used to eating 5 – 6 times per day. We made some 21DSD approved banana bread (recipe to come later) which will help for snacking, but it’s been pretty difficult so far.

4 – Other than that it hasn’t been really hard, we are enjoying the food we eat and aren’t having any big cravings for anything. He is definitely missing grains, but I don’t generally eat many grains, so it hasn’t affected me too much. We haven’t noticed anything major other than maybe some fluctuations in our skin (mine has been very fickle and starts to clear up then breaks out again).

So what does this mean? Well after we discussed, my boyfriend, genius that he is, asked the following question:

What were you trying to get out of this detox anyways?

Really I was just trying to hit the reset button on my body and brain and stop the excessive eating of sugar I had been doing after the competition. I quickly realized that replacing excessive sugar with excessive amounts of nuts is not really my goal. We talked about it and decided to make a couple of modifications to the 21DSD as follows:

1 – limit nuts and nut butters to a reasonable amount such as 2 times per day

2 – protein powder and BCAAs are allowed around workouts in order to help recovery.

3 – if pressed for time, a protein shake with fruit is allowed instead of a handful or 5 of nuts 🙂

We agreed that the benefits of adding this in would help us better achieve our goals that just continuing to eat nuts like they are going out of style.

What are your thoughts? Has anyone ever modified a detox/diet before to better fit your goals or lifestyle? How’d it work out?