March Meat Madness – Day 1
As I became aware that my fortieth birthday approaches fast (100 days out), I decided to try and use it as some kind of motivation to get back in shape. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, and I find my body usually responds pretty well to a bit of a dietary shake up.
Some 18 months ago I embarked on a short stint of vegetarianism, which somehow blew out until now, and to be honest I really enjoyed it. I have eaten a LOT of fish, eggs and dairy in this time, so I guess I’m more pescy than vego per-se. Admittedly it hasn’t aided in any significant weight loss, but then again, who knows how heavy I’d be if I had been eating meat the whole time. And when I think of the benefits of these kinds of culinary exclusions, I personally think the real advantages are more psychological than physical. To exercise control, restraint and awareness three times a day is suitably challenging for my impulsive nature to make me feel like I’m back in charge.
When the 100 day count-down began, I thought I’d ease myself into a bit of routine. Now is a great time for me, as I’m the primary carer for my beautiful one year old daughter Kora. My days’ schedules are fairly regimented, unlike most of my existence since school ended 20-something years ago! (Us artistic types generally thrive on impulse and spontaneity, so routine has evaded me mostly to date.) So, to kick things off, I returned to something that has worked well for me in the past – intermittent fasting. My preferred method is at least a 16 hour fast, followed by an (up to) eight hour eating window. Strong black (sugarless) coffee in the morning, a vitamin supplement (some kind of cheap Berocca substitute), lots of water, then nothing until midday. We eat dinner pretty early (close to 18:00), so unless I sneak in some popcorn before 20:00, that’s the last meal of the day. Oh, and I’m drinking a good 2-3 litres of water after dinner while I veg out, and cutting the booze altogether for the time being.
This regime has been working a treat. My energy levels are good, mood is stable, brain seems fairly switched on. I’m still stuffed after dinner every day, but I suspect that is more to do with the small child demanding my time and attention for 12 hours a day! Weight has remained pretty constant, but I feel a lot lighter on my feet, and seem to have more energy than normal.
So… to ramp things up a bit, (and take a fair detour from my current path) I’ve decided to go on a month-long carnivore diet for all of March. That is, nothing but meat, oil, seasoning, and water for the next 31 days.