Diet Confusion

In a perfect world, I would be a low-glycemic, caffeine-free, sugar-free, whole food, no-processed-goods vegan.  At least according to all the books I’ve been reading recently.

I haven’t had much to say on Recession Diet for quite some time, mostly because I am trying to figure some things out with regard to my diet and health.  I ditched Weight Watchers some time ago, not long after I became a vegetarian.  Also around that time, I started reading books like The Truth About Beauty, Becoming Vegetarian, Skinny Bitch (possibly the most ridiculous and offensive book ever written about nutrition), and The Low GI Diet Revolution.  Yeah – information overload.  I have since become paranoid about everything that I put into my mouth, and have allowed my life to revolve around food – in a good , but still stress-inducing, way.  I am still doing my research, but am considering becoming a vegan (yikes!) and have already given up coffee (okay, it’s only been three days, but still).

I plan to update more frequently as I figure out what style of eating is best for me and my body.  Until then, I will remain stressed out and confused about food.



July 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

The Homeless Are Mocking Me

This morning I arrived to Caldwell Park for Boot Camp and saw Romen’s usual instruments of torture (kettle bells, weights, medicine balls) strewn about. There was also a sort of lumpy mass of what looked like blankets. Honestly, I didn’t think twice about the new addition, since Romen’s brought everything from monster tires to sledge hammers in the past.

Turned out Romen hadn’t brought the lump. It was a homeless guy (or a guy who just happened to have a sleeping bag in his car for sleeping off a night of debauchery). Instead of waking him, or setting up at the other side of the park, we just worked out around him.

I have to admit, I was jealous. Today’s Boot Camp was close to torture, and Romen kept yelling his catch phrase, “Rest while you’re sleeping!” I wanted to be homeless if it meant sleeping like a baby instead of hurling a medicine ball at the ground.

I’ve been wanting to sleep a lot lately, since I’ve given up caffeine. Most people just have a headache for a day or two after giving it up, but, in rare cases, you can experience depression, headache, severe muscle aches, nausea and other “flu-like symptoms” for up to nine days! Guess which category I fall into? At least, when you have the actual flu, you get to sleep.

Instead, I’m busy counting grams of protein. In addition to giving up caffeine, Romen suggests that I take B vitamins (done), stagger my carbs, and increase my protein considerably. I’m supposed to be getting around 100 grams every day, which is tough on a vegetarian diet.

So I’m cooking up lots of egg whites and nodding off during meetings. But I’ll soldier on. That’s what Boot Camp’s all about, right?

Oh, and by the way, Sleeping Bag Guy didn’t wake up the ENTIRE time, even through all the yelling to work harder, Katy Perry songs blasting out of the stereo, and some yippy dog barking at his face for about five minutes. Impressive.

June 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

Decaf Carrie Goes to Boot Camp (Part II)

So, I haven’t posted in awhile. The entire month of Boot Camp, actually, which is kind of disappointing to me because I think it would’ve been funny, at least, to document the torture that included monster tires, sleds, and tug of war.

Lucky for all of us, I’ll get another chance, because I signed up for an additional three weeks. This was a really tough decision for me, partly because Boot Camp is really, really hard (I sort of hoped the name was tongue-in-cheek, but no such luck), and partly because I lost ZERO weight.

Yeah, yeah, I know, muscle weighs more than fat, blah blah. I know that, but it’s still demoralizing to look at the numbers on the scale and see that they haven’t moved, even though I’ve been killing myself with Boot Camp, running three days a week, and dieting.

I’m still pushing through, but I’ll admit I’m filled with a lot more dread than hope this time around.

Also, every single other person in my first Boot Camp class reported a massive increase in energy, when I just got more and more tired as the month went on. Together with Romen (the trainer), my mom, a registered nurse, lots of friends, and a few baristas, I figured out my exhaustion isn’t from the usual suspects (lack of rest, anemia, bad nutrition, etc etc). Romen’s guess is that I’m jacking up my system so much with caffeine that my body can’t wake itself up naturally.

So I’m going cold turkey on caffeine (sort of … I’m still allowing myself decaf coffee and tea, which has some caffeine). This is a really hard decision, and I kind of hate it. Today is Day Three. Days One and Two were marked by lots of naps and headaches. Decaf work should be interesting.

Off to Boot Camp.

UPDATE: One of the promises of Boot Camp is “you won’t get bored.” When they say this, they aren’t kidding: Today we played Kickball. Yeah, you heard that right. My first thought was “This game filled me with dread in third grade, and I don’t feel much better about it now.” My second thought was “This doesn’t seem like a very intense workout.”

On the contrary. We were informed that, while in the outfield, we had to play the field AND constantly do squats. While waiting to kick, we had to do pushups. The upside of this is that I no longer dreaded being “up to bat.” Sure, I had to kick (which I’m not any better at than I was at age 10, btw), but at least I could stop doing “Dive Bomber Pushups.” (If you don’t know what those are, you’re lucky … later we had to do “Spiderman Pushups,” which were even more dreadful.)

Then, once Romen noticed some people weren’t doing their squats while his back was turned, we did an awesome workout called “All the Stairs in the Neighborhood.” That means, essentially, that we ran all the steps in Caldwell Park, two at a time, at top speed, about five times apiece, then sprinted to the next set. This fun was followed up by Spiderman Pushups, dips, ab work, and generally wanting to die. You know, the usual.

More next time. I’ll try to keep up the blogging this time around.

June 8, 2009 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

Abort Mission … ?

There are been a few changes in my diet regime since I last posted here on Recession Diet.  In the past couple of weeks, I have made the decision to adopt a vegetarian diet, something that I have been considering for a little over a year.  There are many reasons for this change, but listing them here would seem like a campaign of sorts … and I don’t want to be one of those vegetarians (even though I have a propensity toward persuasion).  But if you’re a guessing sort of person, you are probably guessing correctly.

I had mentioned to my mother in a text message the other day that I am now a vegetarian, and didn’t get much response from her.  I talked to her last night and clarified the statement.  It went a little something like this:

“Mom, I am a vegetarian.”

“You mean my little chicken eater isn’t going to eat meat anymore?”

“Yes, that’s what I mean.”


“Yes, forever.”

We went on to discuss how I wasn’t going to eat turkey at Thanksgiving, but how that didn’t mean I couldn’t eat at all at family gatherings.  This is going to be interesting.

So, I am trying to decide whether or not I want to combine this new way of eating with Weight Watchers.  It can be done, but there are some Points-heavy items that I will be eating a little more frequently – like nuts and other forms of healthy fats.  I haven’t decided.

So, that’s the update from this half of Recession Diet.  If anyone has any pointers for a new vegetarian, feel free to leave them in the commets section.  Unless you’re going to be a tool and say something like, “You should it meat because it is delicious.”


May 19, 2009 at 4:00 pm 1 comment

Boot Camp: Day One

Well, I didn’t throw up. But I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to.

Before this morning, I was skeptical about Boot Camp. “What could we possibly do in three hours a week that could make any difference in a month?” I thought. Well, it turns out Romen (our trainer) has somehow managed to manipulate time and space (or time, anyway). He has not only packed hours worth of exercise into a short time span, he’s managed to make it FEEL like several hours, too!

It’s really no secret how we jam all this exercise into an hour, though … we just skip breathing and breaks! Romen’s philosophy is, we can rest (and breathe, apparently), when we are sleeping! I suspect this indicates a basic misunderstanding of human physiology, but I’ll go with it, for now.

Good points: I enjoyed my post-workout chocolate soy milk (recovery drink), Rushton Park was really beautiful this morning, Romen actually seems reasonably nice (he kept telling Emily she was “smoking it” … I got no such encouragement), and there are more girls than guys in the class. (Only one guy, actually, and his name is … Guy. You can’t make this stuff up.) That, and I actually got through it. I’m proud of myself for that, anyway.

One final word: “Mountain Climbers” (a so-called exercise) are from the devil.

May 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Boot Camp Rained Out

suitcase-couverture1I think this is one of many differences we will find between “real boot camp” and “fitness boot camp.” It’s too bad, because I lost a lot of sleep last night worrying about our first day. Oh well.

In happier news, I cleaned out my closet yesterday. How does this relate to Recession Diet? For one thing, I read someplace (I’d link it, but I don’t remember where) that getting rid of clutter helps you get rid of weight without even trying. I like this idea, and I can see where it COULD work, although I haven’t seen evidence of it in my life so far. Still, I figure it couldn’t hurt.

The more important part of this rehaul was to get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit me. A lot of it, I’m tossing (and by “tossing,” I mean “giving to Goodwill,” or “selling on consignment”). There are several things, however, that I really like, but are too tight … not obscenely tight, just 5 pounds or so too tight.

I thought this might be a cool way to see if boot camp really does make a difference, so I put these clothes in a rarely-used suitcase and stashed it under my bed. If, in two months, the clothes still don’t fit, I’m just going to toss them. But here’s hoping I can reclaim that part of my wardrobe (including my favorite jeans).

For now, it’s nice to know that I can actually wear everything that’s hanging in my closet. No more trying on a favorite skirt to find it doesn’t fit. No more realizing almost too late that my blazer is missing a button. No more running across that shirt that I hate but held onto because it was a gift. That stuff is now in my suitcase, in a mending pile, and in a Goodwill bag, respectively.

A lot of magazines say to throw out your “fat clothes” once you lose weight, so you don’t have a chance to grow back into them. I think this is good advice, but I’m doing them one better: What’s the point of having to stare every day at a pair of jeans I can’t wear yet? Maybe it’s better that they’re out of sight, out of mind, and ready for me to grab them in a month or two when they actually fit again.

May 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

Signing Away the Freedom to Slack

This bailout is wreaking havoc on me. I still have not returned to the diet! My solution is extreme, at least for me: Boot Camp.

That’s right, I just signed up for one of those fitness-y, wake up at 5 a.m., run to the park, work out for an hour, want to die, kind of things. And I’m PAYING for it!

I know what you’re thinking. At least, I know what you’re thinking if what you’re thinking is: “There’s no such thing as a quick fix,” or “Paying for a personal trainer isn’t recession friendly,” or “Didn’t you once say the thought of organized fitness gives you panic attacks,” or “Your blog punctuation is all over the place lately.”

Well, my answers are thus: “I know it’s not a quick fix, but if it’s even a jump start that’s good enough for me,” and “This is expensive, but cheaper than a personal trainer,” and “No, but that sounds like something I would say,” and “I’m aware of that, and it bothers me, too.”

Want to join me? Class starts Monday, it’s $150, and you can sign up here. (If it helps, Emily and Meaghan have promised to sign up too, and they are both super hot!) See you in the park!

May 1, 2009 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

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