Quinoa! I think I have fallen in love (Day 1)

Day one of my detox. Not only am I focusing on healthy eating, but also committing to exercising every single day, with perhaps one day rest a week if I feel the need to. Normally what I do on an exercise day is I have a black unsweetened coffee first thing in the morning. I then head straight to Valentines Park in Ilford for my morning workout. It’s only 5 minutes walk from where I live, its beautiful and has many facilities, so while its summer I have no excuse for exercising at home. It has a free outdoor gym run by The Great Outdoor Gym Company which is fantastic to use in the sun. Exercising outdoors is good for two reasons, you can benefit from the fresh air and you also get your daily dose of Vitamin D from being exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is good for fighting depression, strengthening bones, building muscle amongst many other essential benefits. 

I have the coffee to kick start my metabolism and also encourage my body to burn fat while I exercise. It’s virtually calorie free and the caffeine also slightly boosts my performance in the gym. However as of the detox, caffeine is a no, no. So I wondered whether I should continue to do my workout on an empty stomach or start my day with fresh lemon juice. Lemon juice first thing in the morning also kick starts your metabolism, acts as a detox and though contains citric acid has an alkalizing effect on the body. After a few minutes of deliberating I decided to have juice before going out. I figured the extra energy would boost my performance whilst in the gym and also probably be burnt off by the time I start my pace walking exercise in time to burn my body’s fat. Then I realised I didn’t have any lemons so had the juice of one whole lime mixed with water instead. 

As I left the house I noticed I got a bit of a headache and was wheezing on my way to the park. Not a good start. In the gym I do circuit training using four of the apparatus: Dips, then Lat Pull Downs, then Chest Press and finally Crunches. I do each one for as many repetitions until fail (I’ve noticed for me this is usually giving up psychologically rather then physical failure), then move onto the next machine until I’ve completed the whole set. I repeat the process two more times. When I started my second set I felt as though my energy crashed – this is not something I’ve noticed before whilst doing these exercises on black coffee or on an empty stomach. It felt as though having the lime juice before coming out was a bad idea. 

Once I completed my three sets of resistance training I briskly walked around the park twice. To get an idea of the size of the park, it took me 1 hour 14 minutes and 20 seconds to complete both laps. I am choosing to walk for the entire 40 Day Detox as I have a history of injuring myself every time I get adventurous and try and jog or run. Last time I injured myself my right foot was so sore I couldn’t walk without limping and suffering from a lot of pain for at least two weeks. To reduce the risk of injury and to consistently exercise everyday for forty days I shall continue to briskly walk rather than jog or run. Although this isn’t my primary reason: briskly walking is a more efficient way of burning body fat compared to running or jogging the same distance. Once I completed my walk I then returned to the outdoor gym and vigorously used the cross trainer for 10 minutes to get my endorphin fix. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel good chemicals which boost your mood. Besides, it doesn’t feel like I’ve exercised enough unless I’ve broken a sweat! 

Speaking of exercise liquids, I consumed a litre of water during my whole morning workout. One down, one more to go! 

On my way home I called my wife Naadira and asked her if she would be so kind as to squeeze me a glass of fresh orange juice. She did. It was ready when I got home (thank you Naadira!). Post workout, I’ve found, a natural alternative to sports drinks to provide quick carbohydrate energy to your fatigued muscles, is the fresh juice of a sugary (fructose) fruit. It certainly has worked for me in the past. 

I was visualising what I would have for breakfast on the way home. I thought I’d be adventurous and try something new. I wanted to make a vegetarian fry up. It would be high in protein and with some carbohydrates to contribute to energy for the rest of the day. 

I fried 4 slices of Tofu in olive oil with 5 small chunks of onion, 4 small-medium sized mushrooms, 1 ½ fresh tomatoes, all flavoured with a sprinkle of soya sauce, sea salt, pepper, cumin seeds, a clove of garlic and 1 green chilli. I also chucked in 3 slices of haloumi cheese. This was accompanied by 1 slice of multiseeded wholemeal toast with peanut butter (peanut butter is high in protein). What can I say?! It didn’t look great, but it tasted absolutely divine! Yum! Though I felt I over did it a bit and decided next time I would reduce how much I ate for breakfast. 

When I finished, I remembered reading that chocolate milkshake was a good post workout recovery drink. Couldn’t have chocolate, but settled for a glass of skimmed milk instead. 

Quinoa with vegetable curry and a glass of cucumber, celery and ginger juice

Quinoa with vegetable curry and a glass of cucumber, celery and ginger juice

For lunch I tired out quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) for the first time ever. Uncooked, they are small round grains about a millimetre in diameter. You boil them like rice, and once cooked they expand to 2-3 times their original size. You would normally consume quinoa as a substitute for rice or couscous. Its Glycemix Index is 53 (less than rice and couscous). Not only is it a source of slower digesting carbohydrate but it is also a source of complete protein needed by humans. It has all the amino acids needed by the human body which is rare for a plant-based protein source. To prepare quinoa it is best to soak the grains in water for 15 minutes and give them a rinse. You then boil them in water for 15 minutes (add sea salt while boiling to taste). I ate this with a mixed vegetable curry that my wife made and both were absolutely delicious! Really I think I am in love with quinoa! It has a light feel to it, even lighter than couscous and has a fluffy texture, whilst being soft and springy. It just feels and tastes so good in the mouth and its great for you once swallowed! 

I ate my lunch with a glass of fresh cucumber, celery and ginger juice, courtesy of my juicer. Cucumber is good for the skin, celery is good for the blood and ginger is good for all kinds of things including the digestive system. 

Yellow Pakistani Sindhri Mango

Yellow Pakistani Sindhri Mango

During the day I snacked on a handful of green grapes, a Pakistani Sindhri mango, an avocado and a handful of nuts. Please note: if you have sweet tooth and love mangos then you must try Pakistani mangos. They are unbelievably delicious. You can get them from most Asian or Pakistani grocers during the summer. Make sure that the mangos are yellow, and firm. They are not cheap to buy but worth every penny. Trust me one this one! 

Despite all this eating I must admit I felt very tired most of the day and went to bed around 10.30 (I normally go to bed about 2am)! I am writing this on the night of Day 2. It’s 12:30pm. Looks like I’ll have to write today’s (Day 2) entry tomorrow on Day 3. This seems to be the way this blog is working out so far. Good night!



Enter Search KeyWord:     



August 2010
« Jul   Sep »