Day Nineteen

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Question of the day: Who needs a leg press machine when you have a single speed bike and a nearby canyon?

I followed through with my plan to ride that bike again today and head up La Tuna Canyon at lunch – one of my long standing weekly lunch ride routes.  Interesting psychology on a bike with one gear – to get a decent cadence going, you have to maintain a certain speed and so you just do, to an extent anyway.  I covered the shallow part of the ascent pretty quickly today and then when I hit the real climb, where the road pitches up from 3% to 6%, I stood up out of the saddle to keep the legs turning over and I just stayed there the rest of the way up.  Normally on the racing bike, I would sit down after a couple of minutes because I know I have easier gears to shift into and still keep the cadence high.  That wasn’t an option today so I just kept cranking. Armando would have been proud.  As a result, I smoked the climb, set a bunch of PRs and moved up a few places on the Strava segments.

I expect I’ll be riding that bike at lunch a little more often now – what a great workout.  The descent is slower, because the gear spins out around 30 mph and the hill is not steep enough for long enough that you can make up the difference with gravity, but the climbing was awesome.

Tonight while I was working on dinner, I was wondering what’s different about the last couple of weeks. I’m losing fat, but it’s not as hard as it has been in the past. I’m hungry, but I don’t have cravings. When I say I’m hungry, I’m hungry when appropriate – I’m hungry before lunch, I’m hungry before dinner, I’m hungry when I wake up in the morning.  I’m eating enough volume to feel satisfied though when I do have a meal.  Maybe there is some enhanced willpower due to the fact that the results are so clear.

I’ve also been thinking what is it that I have really given up? Meat, obviously, but before I officially started this challenge, I had cut way back to only eating meat 2 or 3 times a week.  By the time I decided I was really going to go full time vegetarian it was almost a relief.  It’s true that you can be an unhealthy vegetarian or vegan and equally true that many vegans and vegetarians are healthier not just because they exclude animals from their diets, but because they are very conscious of everything they put into their bodies.  I have virtually eliminated refined sugar and reduced my consumption of refined grain to a very small amount.  I eat virtually no packaged food, certainly nothing highly processed.  That all adds up.  I used to have 2 poached eggs every morning, now I have eggs in the refrigerator that are nearing expiration.  I still eat some cheese and I love that glass of chocolate milk after a hard ride on the weekend.  I’m already thinking of upgrading that to some hemp protein in the post ride smoothie.  If there is a point to this rambling post it’s that it’s all working for me right now, I feel great and I think it’s going to be amazing to look back at the end of the 90 days and see where else the journey has taken me.

Tomorrow is the first official weigh in with the new scale.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Oatmeal with molasses & agave nectar, blueberries, pecans, flaxseed and hemp hearts
    • Green smoothie: Spinach, kale, strawberries & melon
  • Lunch:
    • Banana before the lunch ride
    • Ezekiel sprouted grains wrap with black beans, tomato, avocado, onion & lettuce. ½ orange bell pepper, Greek yogurt with blueberries, apple
  • Dinner:
    • Appetizer: slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter, melon
    • Vegetarian Nachos
    • Green salad with hemp oil and balsamic vinaigrette
    • Glass of cabernet

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