rant at their management, they finally left me alone and stopped shutting down my internet connection every couple weeks. But now some new issues are coming up, and my hours have been cut back at work due to some issues with the sister company my company does work for. Yeah, it is a frustration, but that doesn’t stop me too much. I still took my mother out for Mother’s Day this past Friday, partaking in an old tradition that I was trying to establish a few years back but got sidetracked for a while due to jealousy from my father. hehe. One year I took her to this unusual Mexican fusion place called Zivaz, which had some amazing mole beans as well as some delicious hibiscus tea. Just about everything there was cheese or meat laden, so unfortunately I haven’t been back since. It was gotten so unusual at that place recently that they were named Tucson’s Best burger a couple years back. Who would have guessed?
Anyway, it felt great to take my mother to Food For Ascension Cafe this year and treat her to some good gnocchi that I know she likes so much. Coupled with some good hummus that I got everyone and a nice chocolate tiramisu, it was a pre-Mother’s Day meal made in heaven. Personally, I was glad I decided to not get hung up about the money side of the issue, mainly because it was a rare opportunity to hang out with my sister as well, who is soon moving to Maine. I find it so interesting that we equate a good life experience with the food we eat. For the remainder of my life, when my mother mentions Mother’s Day 2015, I will remember the amazing Cauliflower Leek Coconut soup and the beet Rueben I had as a reference to the moment. I still remember the last meal I took my mother to when we went to Caruso’s a couple years back, when I engaged in the homemade ravioli filled with perfectly cooked cheese in the middle (I believe it was a four cheese if I am not mistaken). But on the other hand, I still have to say my dad ultimately stole the show when he and my mother took me to Food For Ascension on my birthday. Not only did we all have a great meal, he was able to get the staff and some carolers to sing me a birthday song. There was a Christmas concert going on next door and the people at the restaurant gathered a couple of the singers. It was weird being the center of attention at that moment, but it was also quite a wonderful sentiment.
Anyway, this past week was quite the culinary adventure for me. While I ended it with a bang by going to Food for Ascension, followed by a great potluck filled with some other like minded vegans and then an actual Mother’s Day brunch, it started off rather strange so to speak. You see, I knew I would be a little light in the pocket book because I opted to pay all of my bills and leave myself pretty dry for the week. But thankfully, the Tucson Heart and Stroke Walk had come to the rescue. Typically in years past, the event would have a bigger variety of free food to choose from, but this year it just seemed to be a lot of granola and bananas. Since I can’t eat Nature Valley anymore, I decided to stock up on some bananas…and then some more…and then some more. It got to the point where I was no longer just taking a few, but hoarding a lion’s share! But what can I say, they were giving it away for free and I wanted to take it! In the end, I maybe ended up with at least thirty pounds of bananas, and figured I could live off them for a few days to help lessen the blow of a light bank account. I figured, if a whole legion of weird people that live off the so-called “30 Bananas a Day Diet” can do it, so can I! Well, here is the horrid account of my three days (Yes! I only lasted three days on this diet!)
It started off innocently enough on Monday, when I started eating banana after banana to get my day going. Since Monday was my coffee day, it tasted much sweeter than expected. And yes, I am still on coffee, but down to every other day at the moment. I tried cold turkey and it felt like a screw was being hand plowed into my head. So on Monday, I chomped down on a good 15 bananas, and I really felt no residual from the loss of variety. Monday I did some heavy hang cleaning work with Geoff, one of Christa’s clients, who’s been nudging me to join him in on one of his workouts. Now Geoff is a little more advanced with the weight lifting stuff, mainly because he was a collegiate football player at Navy and at one point hang cleaned 395 pounds when he was at his strongest and most nimble. So yeah, I had to be careful to not get too swept up in the competition. I did get up to 165 pounds, doing that weight about 15 times in the span of the session. Now it has been a while since I had actually done the hang cleans, but the last time I did them, I was topping out at 170 pounds. With a little goading, I was prompted to try out 185 pounds, which I ultimately failed at because A) it was a little heavy and B) I was tired from doing all the cleans at 165. Either way, I was looking good the next day. I once again plowed through about 16 bananas, thinking to myself “This actually kind of works.” While I do like bananas, I still don’t know how anyone can possibly eat 30 of them in the span of one sitting. It’s ridiculous. I was starting to hate life itself when I would swallow the last bit of potassium laced goodness, but to eat another dozen or so after? Physically I did okay, running a little short run at Reid Park even though I had donated plasma earlier in the day, which is a good way to dehydrate and tire yourself out I might add. Wednesday proved to be the day of my discontent.
Having been sick of the damn bananas at that point, I was also put through a rather harrowing workout. I labeled it my Anniversary Workout, and it was hell on wheels. Everything I did was combined with another workout movement. We were not only gunning for speed, we were gunning for some decent weight. I started off with some back squats and TRX jump squats, which were easy enough. Then we switched to some plyometric push-ups and chest presses with 55-pound dumbbells. Now this was all stuff I could handle, but I was already starting to feel a little woozy and tired. That was when Jon gave me a nice little challenge. 50 dead lifts at 135 pounds, 50 clean presses at 75 pounds and 50 kettle bell rows. Sounded so easy when I looked at the weights. Nearly 15 minutes later, I was ready to actually throw up. I was so light headed and out of it that I physically felt awful for the longest time during one of my workouts. It was like my first day at Parsons all over again. And it wasn’t like my day was over at the point either, for I needed to do 100 sit-ups and push-ups. Considering how badly I felt the next morning, I said to hell with the banana-exclusive diet and ate some oatmeal. Needless to say, the change was much needed. While I definitely didn't mind eating all those bananas, it is still pretty obvious that I prefer to utilize complex carbohydrates to fuel my body rather than fruit sugars.
Now I have seen some success stories for this mode of eating, but I can tell you one thing, I am not one of them. In fact, I was so fatigued and tired that I took Thursday off and then resumed on Friday with a 7.18 mile run, which pretty much told me that my leg is ready to start pushing to longer distances again, for it was feeling pretty good and injury free after the run. While I was about 20 seconds slower per mile than normal, I got through it. I ultimately had some bean burritos that night for dinner and then found myself staying up too late, chatting with a good looking woman in Canada online (sorry, couldn’t help it). Fortunately I had some gas left in the tank and managed to survive the 4.44 run I did with my younger sister the next morning. I could have gone a lot faster during that run if I had wanted to, but I opted to stay fairly close anyway (but I did start doubling back on the back half of the run). And even then, I still had enough gas in the tank to last through my Saturday workout, which turned out to be a lot of movement intensive training that saw me add extra legs to the workout. I ultimately wished I hadn’t, because then I had to do some hang clean presses at the end of the workout, and doing so was quite difficult due to all the energy I had blown up to that point in the workout. Before lunch had even hit, I had burnt 1,500 calories, which is about half my daily intake, and managed to survive. Over the course of 12 hours I had spent 3,000 calories! Now of course, I decided to go to the farmer’s market at St. Phillip’s Plaza and get a taste of Christa’s Pro-Nuts, which is basically what she calls her protein laced donuts. The maple infused beauties tasted like a stack of pancakes and got rid of my shakes. So much so that I was confident enough to drive to Zia and get the new My Morning Jacket album.
I think Saturday pretty much confirmed that I need to keep going with a more variety based diet as opposed to some fad that has been hitting the internet. If I didn’t work out so hard and hit the track so much, I could probably live off some kind strange fruitarian offshoot diet that seems to be hitting the internet, but I’m an athlete! I need to stay strong and fueled and doing a fad diet ain’t going to cut it. Though I might try a raw vegetable and fruit diet later this summer, I doubt it will last me very long. Anyway, I hope you all have a good Mother’s Day and enjoy the day with the most important woman in your life. I know I will!
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.