Wednesday, June 27, 2007

10 day detox: starvation or rid-ation

So some friends of ours have decided to do the 10-day liquid only detox...not for weight loss reasons but because they think it is a good idea to rid their bodies of all the toxins they've been packing in with Burger King and McDonald's over the last three or four decades. I completely agree. But 10 days of no food? I read that Beyonce did it right before shooting the Dreamgirls and lost 22 pounds -- because of course, super skinny model/singer types need to lose more weight. She claimed that it was not a good weight loss method but she did feel better.
So I've been digging to see what I can find.
The premise is this: toxins find ways to get in your body through the food you eat and the air you breathe and it must find a way to extracate the crap. It can do it by coming out your pores on your face, rot for years in your colon or come out with your daily bowel movement. The 10-day detox diet or "lemonade diet" helps your body grab the stuff rotting in your colon and pass it through your bowels...but more often than once a day. So that by the end, theoretically, all the bad rot is gone through the bottom end.
And what do you get to put into your body during that period? A sea saltwater concoction in the morning and throughout the day, a cocktail of water, lemons, cayenne pepper and organic maple syrup. My friend says the sea saltwater makes her gag and tastes like crap but she rationalizes that it's only once a day.
And, as many times as she runs to the toilet, she can not understand why she is still going after six days on the diet. Evidently, she had a lot of rot in her colon. I'm sure my husband and I will also as we spend most of our meals rotating the fastest food in town. Chefs, we aren't.
So the other night at dinner, we tried the cayenne lemonade and believe it or not, it wasn't so bad. I know you're thinking, yeah right. But it seems like the key to success is to keep stirring. Stir the cayenne until little round red balls float homogenously through the water. Can't let them settle 'cause a throat full of cayenne will also make you gag.
So what happens when the ten days is up? No way can you plow back in solid foods like before. The idea is to go slow with fruits and salads. You know mushy foods like bananas to help you get used to eating again. Peas, carrots, potatoes...all mushed up. Be careful of the tottler flash backs.
Anyway, so we're convinced. I bought the book. Read the testimonials. Listened to a real live participant. No problem. Sold.
Now I just have to find organic maple syrup and we'll be in business. If you don't see another post about this particular topic, you'll know I failed miserably and am sitting comfortably on my front porch swing with a pizza in one hand and a Guiness in the other.
Happy eating!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Where we rank

So where do you think we rank against the world in production, consumption, military spending, adult literacy, doctors and hospital about Olympic medals and Noble prizes? The Economist Magazine just put out their annual "how the world ranks" book and it surprised me ... a little.

I love the Economist. I'm a political junkie and love foreign/world politics. So of course as soon as I got my subscription in the mail, I ripped open the plastic cover and devoured the stats in less than an hour. Most of it is what you would expect. Germany was in the top ten in Beer Consumption. France in the top 5 for wine. African nations ranked highest in infant mortality rates and AIDS but not too surprisingly, they also ranked highest in clean air.

Ireland did not rank on the list for Top Beer or Alcohol consumption. So much for the whiskey, Guiness lovers. In their defense, I think the caveat on the stat was skewed against them. It didn't count consumption per capita but sales per capita. Either way, they claim they're up there.

Switzerland and the US tied at 28 for defense spending. If you can believe that. We spend 3.8% of our GDP on defense. North Korea spends the most at 25% and China spends 10%.
Funny enough if you compare that to how much we spend on medical care (12%) and education (5.7%), it makes me wonder how our military is so spectacular but our education system is dismal. Theoretically, it should be the other way around.

Our divorce rates are comparable at 50% (not the high 80s like my family thought) but so are our marriage rates. And our crime rates didn't even make the list! That makes me feel much safer than the news.

I'm working out of the library today since we're in the process of moving so I'll stop here. But if you get the chance to check out the stats. You should.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Give me running with the wind

So, I've decided I'm a runner.
Since I was a junior in high school, I've tried running. Just simply dragging my "wanna be eating in front of the tv" self into my blue and white Nikes seemed like it took an eternity. But eventually I'd do it and heave down the road at a lumbering pace huffing red faced and bent over. All passer bys and onlookers shook their heads in pity and had only one thought. Why bother?

My sister and I even helped start the women's track team that year; although neither of us was tall enough to do anything but long distances. And since no one else volunteered for that, the coach grudgingly agreed that we could race in two events. We'd trade off. One race I would pound around the track for four laps and she would run eight, the next race we'd switch...never coming close to breaking any records; although we may have set them for longest events in history. But we kept at it. Every Saturday was a new race, always finishing at a different line. And the next year we did it all over again. Watching the clock became an obsession. Beating the time before was essential. But for some reason, my stocky little legs would not break a 9-minute mile pace. Could be the reason it took another five years before that school finally started a cross country team.

And in college I ran in a club that more resembled an Army platoon than a club. The lead runner screamed my butt all the way to kingdom come for two years before I'd had enough. My beloved Nikes were worn through before Christmas the first year. Given that we ran five days a week, that's probably believable. By far, I was the worst runner and being the shortest at not even five feet tall, I had to set the pace during group run day. Me, setting the pace for these super macho, skinny, tall run fanatics who could all outsprint a cheetah. It made a little faster but I never broke 8-minute miles. And let me be clear. Group running is NOT my thing. And neither is running to a predetermined finish line only to have the screamer leader shriek at me to keep going right passed it. I would break down in misery as I could not eke out another step. I took a year off.

Then I ran "the loop." It was 1.8 miles around campus. Right passed my boyfriend's fraternity house so I got to wave to all my friends as a sprinted by. No jogging on that section of the loop was allowed. Occasionally my roommate would run with me and it was a nice easy pace. If I could do it in 15 minutes or less, then I belonged in a runner's hall of fame. It was thrilling to have the wind whip my hair skipping away on the pavement down roads I had known for years. People honked. I waved. I was a runner. Then it happened. Volleyball at the fraternity house one late summer afternoon. Not too many people around. Enough for fun and a couple of beers. But then she ran by. A deep voice behind me commented in an extremely appreciative tone about how that was the second time he'd seen her already. Yep, Ponytail had shown me up. She ran the loop twice. Everyday. And my boyfriend had noticed.

It became my goal in life to run that loop twice and after years of on again, off again running three miles or less, I did it this past fall. Ten years after Ponytail had impressed my boyfriend (a guy I of course quickly dumped after that), I made it an easy 3.6 miles. Two laps around familiar territory that I had not seen in a long time. That fraternity house was now owned by someone else and there were no people there I knew. But the motivation was the same. One lap was ordinary. Two laps was impressive.

Wearing down the Nike tread, pushing passed three miles. Over and over again. Even after making the two laps, I realized what I had actually discovered was that I love running. There were no cheering fans or old boyfriends around when I crossed the finish line; although a couple of trucks honked as they drove by. And I don't need to run half marathons like all of my office mates. Discovering trails and watch-free wrists increased my enthusiasm for aching lungs and sweat-clung hair. Feet on gravel or dirt or road, air racing into my lungs. An overwhelming feeling that I can run as far as I want. Oh, I still time myself to see if I'm improving but having fun with the rhythm and the scenery is much more important now than mileage. Times have gone down and distances have increased because I've understood that it isn't a chore to run. It's a blast and I love the way I feel when I'm done. All hot, sweaty, tired and all of a sudden, at the same time exhilarated and full of energy.

And now I get to run with my husband which makes it even more fun. It helps that he was impressed when I made it further than my brother the other day. Guess the competitive spirit didn't totally go away after all.