My liquid diet: a valuable lesson learnt on the importance of having a healthy and varied diet (Day 27)

I stayed around my parent’s house last night so I couldn’t weigh myself first thing in the morning. For breakfast I had a Pakistani Chaunsa mango. It was a poor specimen of a Chaunsa mango. It didn’t look too bad from the outside. It was the firmest in my dad’s fridge, but once sliced open it was a pale colour on the inside, as if it had been picked too early. It lacked a distinct flavour, and wasn’t juicy. Not a great Pakistani Chaunsa mango experience.  

The force is weak with you, old man

The force is weak with you, old man

I came back home in the morning as I knew I would struggle to find food in my dad’s kitchen to eat that would fit my detox requirements, let alone be of liquid form. Though it seems the last few days I have unintentionally come off the liquid diet as I have increasingly been breaking the rules. Also I don’t feel so good. It seems an unhealthy approach to this detox diet. I went onto it as a kneejerk reaction to putting on body fat, undoing a week’s worth of effort in just one day. As the days went on I noticed waking up with a tingling feeling in my fingers. I was increasingly feeling weaker, as if the life force was being sucked out of me. I felt more vulnerable. When I walked around in the town to do shopping I felt wobbly and hazy in the head. My skin seems to have started to breakout in rashes and spots, and I think my immune system may have withered and feel as though I’m about to come down with something. Overall I have felt first hand how important a healthy diet is to feeling optimum, which I have increasingly been feeling prior to going onto a liquid only diet during the day. I think I could have improved on my liquid intake by having fruit and vegetable juices. However for most of the week I didn’t have anything in the flat to juice. In future if I decided to go down the liquid only route again I would plan for it and make sure I am taking in the nutrition (vitamins, minerals, protein, fat etc) that my body requires for optimum performance. There was at least one good thing that has come out of this experience: an increased intake of water which I think I need to do more of even when I do return to my previous detox diet. 

When I got home I weighed myself. I was dreading weighing myself as I snacked on a bit too many Haldiram’s Chana Dal. I must have consumed half a pack all by myself while watching Four Lions with my family. So I stood on the scales. My weight rose 0.4kg to 68.1kg… oh oh. This sounded real bad. Then I had to wait for the scales to work out my body fat readings… it was 17.2%. Phew! That was an increase of only 0.1%. Not as bad damage as I had thought! My body water and body muscle stayed constant at 56.0% and 43.1%. No decrease in muscle mass yet. This is quite surprising as it’s been a week since I’ve done a workout. When I first joined a gym about 12 years ago I remember I was skinny and wanted to get big. My fitness trainer advised me that it was only necessary to work a particular muscle once a week. The irony is, after I joined the gym, the workouts got me really hungry and as I didn’t know so much about food and nutrition I ended up putting on fat around my belly, and ever since then I’ve been trying to lose the belly fat! Crazy! 

Exercise can make you fat if you eat poorly after a workout

Exercise can make you fat if you eat poorly after a workout

I hadn’t slept well at my dad’s place and felt like a zombie. I ate a couple of dates and went to bed. I still couldn’t sleep. Eventually I got up to make some quinoa with rice milk and blueberries. The quinoa pack was towards its last grains, so I drank mostly rice milk with a few grains of quinoa inside. Around the same time my wife made a vegetable fry up (tomatoes, onion, garlic and mushrooms) with wholemeal coucous. It looked and smelled too good to miss so I had some before going back to bed and finally managed to get some sleep. When I woke up a few hours later I had some apple and carrot soup my wife had made earlier. I picked a couple more dates too! It’s a real bad habit! I then had my first ever dandelion tea. It tasted meh. It tasted like someone had cut the grass in my dad’s back garden, stuffed the excess blades of grass in a tea bag and brewed it. It hardly had any flavour. Maybe it’s an acquired taste. But apparently it’s really good for you so worth giving it a go.  

Later in the evening my wife made a vegetable fry up again and some lentil soup. I put some buckwheat in the soup to get proteins from a more varied source. I made organic rice, spinach and tomato pasta to eat with the fry up. Later in the evening I snacked on a handful of nuts and seeds and some Iranian dates. I drank some caffeine free teas and finished off the apple and carrot soup. 

Orgainc wheat free pasta with vegetable fry-up

Orgainc wheat free pasta with vegetable fry-up

 

To be, or not to be a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore? (Day 26)

Waking up feeling not so good

Waking up feeling not so good

Over the last few days I’ve noticed that I’ve been waking up with a tingly feeling in my fingers. I feel weak and just don’t feel as energetic or as healthy as I have done during the earlier part of this detox when I wasn’t restricting my diet to just liquids during the day. I don’t think what I’m doing right now is healthy – even though I haven’t stuck to it that strictly. I’ve also been struggling to write. Even though I haven’t been exercising so that I can focus on catching up with these blog posts, it seems my brain is finding it hard to concentrate and I feel very tired. Actually I feel malnourished. 

All my readings this morning stayed constant: Weight: 67.7kg; Body Fat: 17.1%; Body Water: 56.9%; Body Muscle: 43.1%

Rice milk, quinoa, blueberries and agave nectar

Rice milk, quinoa, blueberries and agave nectar

I had a hot lemon juice first thing in the morning followed by a mug of decaf coffee (I didn’t know at this point in time that decaf coffee contained caffeine). I then ate quinoa and blueberries with calcium fortified rice milk. Like other alternatives to cows milk, rice milk also tastes quite nice. It tastes a lot better than soya milk and slightly different to oat milk. I do prefer the taste of oat milk and coconut milk though. Rice milk mixes well with a hot beverage like decaf coffee. Soy milk, oat milk and coconut milk however all start to curdle when put in a hot drink. 

Apple and carrot soup (tastes nothing like apple and carrot juice)

Apple and carrot soup (tastes nothing like apple and carrot juice)

Through the day I snacked on apple and carrot soup and mugs of various caffeine free hot drinks. 

In the evening I went to my parent’s house as my brother is visiting from Dublin. There I snacked on a handful of almonds, a can of sweet corn and an apple from my parents’ garden. They have three apple trees and one plum tree. The plums are really small. I tried one and it was super sweet. I and my wife picked some cooking apples from the garden. When she made the apple and carrot soup earlier this week, you couldn’t taste the apple much. I think if she has another go with these cooking apples she will get much better results. I’ve just done a Google image search and I believe we have picked Bramley apples.

Bramley Apples

Bramley Apples

Baingan ka Bharta

Baingan ka Bharta

My dad cooked lamb mince meat with peas and a vegetarian dish called Baingan Ka Bharta. It involves flame grilling a whole aubergine directly on a flame, so that the resulting dish has a delicious smoky flavour and aroma to it. My dad did good. It came out really delicious. I ate it with some salad. Eating food cooked by my dad with my immediate family was a very enjoyable experience. 

Previously when I experimented with vegetarianism, I partly did it for moral reasons and partly experimental spiritual reasons. At the time I perceived the world through a pantheistic perspective and didn’t like the idea of murdering a fellow conscious being and eating its flesh. While I was experimenting with vegetarianism I happened to see animals killed for their meat whilst travelling in the Middle East. These acts of dehumanising brutality re-enforced my disgust for eating the carcass of creatures. After a while however, it’s easy to desensitise yourself when eating meat. It’s easy to see a chicken leg as a delicious piece of food rather than what it is i.e. the butchered leg of a helpless chicken.

Bon Appétit!

Bon Appétit!

When I started this detox, I did not give up meat for moral reasons. I did it for selfish reasons. I reminisced about how good I felt after day 10 of my previous detox. I literally felt fantastic. I was full of energy and felt like skipping down the street rather than just sluggishly walk. I felt psychological and emotional joy at just being. I strongly believe that amazing feeling was partly due to me giving up meat. I was seeking that feeling again. I am well past day ten and passed half way through this forty day detox, and I am afraid I have not regained that amazing feeling. I was hoping to get it again and share the experience with you on this blog. Unfortunately it hasn’t happened. Not yet anyway. But for the first time during this detox when I saw the mince of lamb my family were consuming, I didn’t look upon it with an eye of envy or temptation. I looked at it as what it really was: the mangled flesh of a dead lamb. I imagined it in its raw form rather than the wonderful colour it had with peas and Indian spices. For the first time during this particular detox I felt disgusted at the idea of eating a murdered animal. I am starting to feel as though eating meat would some how make me unclean. 

Dirty meat

Dirty meat

I’ll be honest, and confirm that my thoughts about eating meat again after the detox are mixed. If I had regained that amazing feeling I would more than likely stay a vegetarian. However I have not. I also know from previous experience that I have lost fat in the past by eating just vegetables with lean forms of meat like fish while eliminating starchy carbohydrate foods like rice, bread, pasta and potatoes. Though because I am detoxing and not eating meat, in order to get complete proteins from vegan sources I feel like I give myself a better chance by eating rice, buckwheat and quinoa along with legumes and nuts. After the detox I may come back to eating lean meats so that I can get my complete proteins in a lean form and avoid starchy foods altogether and thus accelerate muscle gain and fat loss.

Salmon with salad

Salmon with salad

I can see the subject of eating meat from many perspectives. Part of me wonders what if vegetarianism and veganism is a more evolved way of looking at the world. Another part of me realises that as humans we have survived all these millions of years and got to where we are because we have a versatile digestive system that is capable of extracting its nutrients from both plant based foods and animal based foods i.e. by being omnivorous. I wonder, if we evolved to just eating foods from plant based foods: could we increase the risk of becoming extinct by decreasing the adaptable abilities of our digestive system? Could developing kindness to animals be a step back in evolution rather than a step forward? Is the ability to be brutal a necessary component of a species that is fittest to survive? I’m not sure, and my mind is not made up. I’m not even sure if looking at things from a competitive evolutionary perspective is the right way of looking at things anyway. Whatever your perspective on this subject I am sure you will be amazed, shocked and perhaps delighted at what is captured in the following video:

 

After dinner I drank some detox tea (luckily my sister had a few tea bags left) and I snacked on Haldiram’s Spicy Chana Dal. I checked the ingredients and it didn’t seem to break any of my detox rules. All ingredients seemed natural. I also figured the Chana dal would provide me with a source of protein, which I believe my diet was lacking today. I overdid it though. These Haldiram snacks are really addictive once you start. I think I ate half a bag all by myself. I was enjoying the moment, but dreading the impact on my fat content the following morning at the same time. Ah well…

Haldiram's Chana Dal

Haldiram's Chana Dal

 

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