Monday. Well I finished my first full week of marathon training. Lots of okay stuff going on. Nothing spectacular but I’m feeling a shift in the right direction. I’ve been working very hard on my health and fitness — 100% effort.
A couple of years ago I bought Dr. Fuhrman’s 2 volume set called Eat to Live (came with audio version and a video too). The first book is all the theory and science behind his thinking on how to Eat to Live. The second book is menu plans and recipes. I never got around to reading the first book and I jumped into the second book and declared it all too difficult and who the heck can shop and chop that much?
Last week on my drive to CT I pulled out the accompanying Audio Book that came with the package. I finally got around to listening to book 1 (well most of it, still some more to go.) I was really surprised to find some interesting tidbits in there. He was describing some of my symptoms to a tee. (Topics of Malabsorption and toxic hunger being of most interest to me.) As a vegan already I didn’t have a lot of problem with much of his premise on the problems with animal products. But he really called me out as a vegan who eats a lot of bread and pasta has just as dangerous diet as a meat-eater. (My Veganism has never been so much about diet as it is about causing no harm — I always figured a bagel wasn’t hurting anyone — except me apparently.) He talked about a lot of other problems with eating for calories instead of micronutrients. He is anti calorie counting and measuring. He works well with the Geneen Roth idea of learning to let your body tell you what to eat so I’m hoping to work these two plans together (and then bring in Dr. Beck for the triple whammy — these are three books that make the most sense to me). Furhman’s philosophy boils down to high micronutrients/low-calorie eating. Along the way a lot of illnesses are cured. Of course I grossly simplify a 200 page book.
I was already off sugar and that has been going fine (except I did have some wine with Thanksgiving dinner…) But now I’m ramping up even more on the vegetables. Pounds of raw fruits and veggies every day. (Don’t get all excited, one tomato is 1/2 a pound.) I’m working this week on eliminating white flour (no veggie dumplings or Pita chips for me) and upping all the veggies, particularly the green ones. I’m eating salads with everything but the kitchen sink. One full serving of a bean soup every day. 3 fruits a day. I’m eating big meals, TONS of veggies in there (if you could have seen the size of the spinach salad I ate yesterday — would be family size at Carmine’s…) But interestingly, I lost weight this week and I think I feel a smidge better. I’m still tired but I think I feel just a little better. I woke up the morning awake instead of groggy like I have been for months. It’s a lot of work but I’m viewing this as a medical treatment ala Hippocrates “let Medicine be thy food and food be thy medicine.” I have a kitchen full of fresh fruits and veggies and a vitamix at hand to whip up powerful medicinal potions.
Workouts went okay… I’m still confused why it is so hard for me to run (gee, you think it might be the extra weight you are lugging around?). I keep remembering workouts from this summer where I didn’t totally stink. Okay I think there were only 3 but they were pretty big. My Litchfield Hills bike ride — 100 miles. I ran 15 miles at training camp in May (okay my knee gave out at mile 15 but I thought I could keep going.) I can’t remember the third one but I think I had three where I didn’t cry afterwards. I don’t understand why my ability to do workouts has slid back instead of getting better. A good friend of mine who commiserates on recovery with me keeps reminding me it’s not the workouts — it’s the recovery. That’s been my problem. Yeah, do 100 miles and then be in bed for a week. I keep forgetting that part.
On Monday I woke up with a weird lump on the side of my knee. I kind of freaked out about it. Of course I immediately jumped to the most dramatic of conclusions. I couldn’t bend my knee without it hurting. I did nothing to it so I was confused. I didn’t run on Tuesday and I kept putting Boswellin cream on it. After the swelling went down the remaining lump seemed to have some kind of pinched nerve in there. I don’t even know how to describe it — it was right at the outside joint of my knee. I was just worried I wouldn’t be able to run on Thanksgiving with my niece. I kept massaging and Boswelling it and prayed for the best.
Thursday morning my knee felt okay. I figured I would just take it easy. I picked up my niece and headed to Manchester for the 79th running of the Manchester road race. 15,000 (yes that’s three zeroes) people signed up to run (plus the couple of thousand who were obviously banditing the race). What a hoot. People come dressed in all kinds of costumes. There are just as many spectators along the course drinking their bloody marys, wines and beers (yes at 10 a.m.) Bands playing at every mile. No this is not a half marathon — it’s a 4.7 mile race. I was laughing so hard. 4.7 miles and they had more entertainment than most of the half marathons I’ve done. Turns out this is a HUGE tradition. Was really happy to do this with my niece — her first race ever. She has real potential — for an avid rugby player. We did a 1/1 the entire way (1 minute run/ 1 minute walk) except on mile 2 which has the biggest freakin hill I’ve ever seen in a race where I had to walk. We made up the time by running down the other side. We were picking off victims right and left (okay, we were picking off a lot of power walkers but who cares it was fun anyway!)
Thai Vegetable Curry
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups carrot juice
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large eggplant, peeled, if desired & cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups green beans, cut in 2 inch pieces
3 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 (8 ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest or other no salt seasoning
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups watercress leaves, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted natural chunky peanut butter
2 pounds firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
unchopped mint, basil or cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Place the garlic, ginger, mint, basil, cilantro, carrot juice, bell pepper, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, VegiZest, curry powder, and 1 cup of the watercress in a wok or large skillet.
2. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender.
3. Mix in the peanut butter.
4. Add the tofu, bring to a simmer, and toss until hot.
5. Add the coconut milk and heat through.
6. Top with the remaining 1 cup watercress and the cashews.
Garnish with mint, basil or cilantro leaves, if desired.
Note: This can be served over brown rice or quinoa. Frozen vegetables may be used instead of fresh.