Some of you have noticed a long hiatus here. Recreational writing and ranting has been put on the back burner for awhile, but it was a good thing. I have been inspired to making tiny changes that make life a little bit better for me (and probably those around me). These include changing what foods I eat, how I train, the amount of clutter in my house, how I intend to manage money, and some neighborhood organizing. Doing so meant taking some time to learn about some things that are not taught well in school.
It all started when I felt that my training was hitting a dreaded plateau. I haven’t run a personal record in a long time, so I started to look for ways to up my performance. Working against me, as always, was the clock. I’m quickly gaining on 40 (nature pulling back some speed), and with young kids at home there are just not enough hours in the day/week for me to up my mileage more. So some rather creative changes were needed. That new angle was nutrition.
Around the same time I had finished reading Finding Ultra by elite endurance athlete Rich Roll. The biggest takeaways from the book for me was the transformative energy boost he got from a clean diet and the benefits of a “run slower to get faster” training approach. He ate better, felt better, then decided to challenge himself by taking up training again.
Clearly, I wasn’t ready for Rich Roll’s plant-power diet, a clearly superior version of typical veganism. He did show me how it is feasible to learn more about nutrition and make small changes that make a big difference. So I sought out to learn about what we’ve been eating — nutritional knowledge not thoroughly taught in our Biology or Home Economics classes (if you were lucky enough to have access to those). Years ago, I had seen Super Size Me and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution a few years ago, so I was already on board with the message that in creating food products, what’s good for the food company is not necessarily what’s good for your body. This fall, I sought out more.
I got a lot of useful information from these sources and they are user-friendly & accessible.
Armed with new perspective and data, I started making real changes in my food consumption decisions. I wouldn’t call it a formal “diet” with calorie counting or gimmicky points. I took a “let’s try this and see how I feel” approach. I didn’t do it to lose weight (but it happened anyway). I was driven initially by performance, then with a sense of personal indignation. I don’t think fad or commercial diet plans push this source of motivation enough or at all. I’ll explain in the next post: The Defiance Diet.