The Fairy Tale of the Magical Shoes
The king and queen worried about their princess. They watched her from the castle window as she ran around and around the moat, huffing and puffing in her heavy old clunky shoes, and the king had a wonderful idea. He would obtain magical shoes for his little princess so she could run as free as her dreams.
The king called in the best cobbler in the land to make the magical shoes for the princess. He sent runners to every corner of the world to find the best, most magical shoe materials. The elves and fairies pitched in to help, and before long, the shoes were ready. They were white and silver, they sparkled in the sun, and when the princess wore them, she could run faster than ever before.
Alas, she still huffed and puffed. Even with magical shoes, she still had to keep running every day to get a little stronger every day. But with the magical shoes she had more spring in her step, she could feel the energy coursing through her muscles, and as she kept after it, week after week, she began to feel light and free as she sped across the land.
I've know for a while that it was time to replace the ones I bought last year. So I've been saving up, and this week I went back to the Portland Running Company to buy some new running shoes. Magical! They are the same brand and model I bought last year (why fix it if it ain't broke?) but I definitely notice the difference.
And then...since I'm such a novice runner, and since I'd been saving up my pennies...I asked the clerk for recommendations for running pants. Oh, my! These make a difference, too! I was surprised at how they feel. Their snug fit feels good when I run. She talked me into a shirt made out of the technical fabric that wicks away moisture--not that I sweat hard enough to notice it yet--but it feels good and I know I'll get years of wear out of my new running clothes.
I had an interesting "ahah!" moment yesterday. Mark and I were laughing and reminiscing about a memory from our trip to Guatemala in 2004. We had gone to the Mayan ruins of Tikal, and we were huffing and puffing along the trail to one of the pyramids. I remembered thinking at the time that it was embarrassing that I was so out of breath. But it hit me yesterday--I weighed 175 pounds back then! The "ahah!" moment was the realization that now I weigh 40 pounds less than that.
Wow--I am healthier at (almost) 57 than I was when I turned 50. I am maintaining a healthy weight, I can run and lift weights and do yoga, and I am eating better than ever.
Speaking of eating...that little "letter to my mouth" I posted last week actually helped me get my head straightened around about making food choices, and I've been doing much better this week. I followed most of the recommendations for an "elimination diet" in Dr. Alejandro Junger's book, Clean. I first heard about the book in this article in Outside Magazine. The article piqued my interest, so I bought the book. I'm not sure I agree with all of his ideas, but he had some suggestions that really got me thinking.
For the last week, I have not eaten any of the following foods:
The "NO" List:
Citrus, grapes, bananas, dairy, eggs, gluten grains (wheat, oats), beef, pork, soy products, peanuts, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, butter, margarine, mayonaise, alcohol and coffe (I don't use those anyway), soda, refined sugars, honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, chocolate.
Here's what I've been eating instead:
The "YES" List:
All fruits except the ones listed above, all vegetables (preferably fresh), dairy substitutes (rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk--unsweetened--YUM!!), brown rice, quinoa, other non-gluten grains, fish, chicken, turkey, lean lamb, split peas, lentils, legumes, sesame/pumpkin/sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds, walnuts, nut and seed butters, olive oil and other healthy oils, water, herb tea, agave nectar (small amounts), stevia sweetener
How did the week go?
To my surprise, I have not been hungry. I thought I would miss my favorite breakfast, but I switched over to brown rice for breakfast, and I actually like it better. I bought some gluten-free crackers and I've had a little turkey or kale butter on them at lunch instead of a sandwich.
(If you're going to use brown rice, follow Polly's suggestion and go with the short-grain brown rice. WAAAAY better. So yummy. I cook it in my cheap-o rice cooker and it is so easy-peasy. I buy the short-grain rice in the bulk food / health food section at my grocery store.)
I lost 2 pounds. The dark circles under my eyes are lighter. My sinuses aren't congested.
Hmmm...maybe I have some food sensitivities I haven't been paying attention to? Maybe.
Dr. Junger recommends eating this diet for a week, and then going on a 3-week cleanse to rid the body of toxins. The cleanse consists of eating a "liquid meal" (soup, smoothie, etc) for breakfast and dinner, and a regular meal from the Elimination Diet for lunch.
The health teachers at my high school have their students read articles about not going on cleanses, because they are too extreme and unhealthy. After reading Dr. Junger's book, his program seems more moderate and healthy than the ones the health teachers are concerned about.
I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do that or not. If I do, I'll check with my doctor first, and I might wait until summer vacation, when the food prep would be simpler.
In the meantime, I'll be traveling to visit out-of-town family several times in the next couple of months, and I'm not going to impose special eating plans on my hosts. For now, I'm impressed with not only this week's weight loss, but also how good I feel, so I'll probably try to eat mostly from the "YES" list as often as it's practical.
Well, I've blathered on a bit today. I'm feeling good and grateful to be healthy and have running gear and an abundance of nourishing food easily available. Reading about the struggles of the Japanese people at this time really makes me appreciate grocery stores and the farmers who grow the food I eat. We are so blessed, and my heart really goes out to the people and their struggles.
On to a new week! It's spring break in Oregon, and I get to meet my newest granddaughter this week! I hope you are healthy and happy, too.