Sunday, March 13, 2011
Since the weather is still not that great for many of you to get your adventure on outdoors, I'm going to help you get ready for these future adventures and adventurous living by working on what we can now. Last week, we dealt with documentaries and how they stimulate your mind and make you start asking questions. Today, I want to discuss getting your body in the right form to do whatever you can imagine when you are planning these adventure jaunts.
As a ghost hunter, one thing I run into in the industry is a lot of people who are weekend hunters who have trouble keeping up with the simplest of ventures. A hike up a hillside to a building, climbing stairs, sitting on floors and being able to get up from the sitting position on the floor are all difficult things for people who are not in the shape to do it, i.e. huge bellies and no daily exercise. I sometimes worry that we might be contributing to the ghost population by having these ill-prepared people wheezing their way through such locations.
Something happens when you develop a lot of belly fat. Insulin resistance. This means that the more fat in your belly, the less your body is able to utilize sugar for important tasks like muscle use and mind use. You feel weary and tired. You eat sugar to perk you up and guess what happens? When your blood sugar spikes, it later drops and then you feel voraciously hungry and jittery and uncomfortable and so you eat more simple carbs and guess what? You get more belly fat. Then, you need more sugar. Vicious circle.
I made a choice to give myself a go at a plant-based vegan diet. I figured I would put up a list of things about my health I'd like to see change, everything from sleeping better to clearer skin to more stamina and being able to wear a bikini again. I put this list on the fridge. I told myself--one week! I will give it one week! My diet included things like:
oatmeal with nuts and blueberries and a little drizzle of maple syrup.
Salad made with a ready made salad mix and added mushrooms and chickpeas and grated carrots with a Paul Newman dressing.
A homemade bean burrito with a whole wheat tortilla, some canned diced green chilies and lots of diced tomatoes and lettuce and salsa on top.
Brown rice and loads of frozen and fresh veggies stir fried with General Tso sauce.
Sweet potato fries cooked in the oven to crispy and then spread vegetarian chili with beans over it and sprinkled with some soy cheese.
Snacks and dessert? Trail mix with nuts and dried fruits, bananas with almond butter spread on them, berries and cantaloupe dipped into melted peanut butter and Nutella mixed, hot cocoa made with my own rich cocoa mix with spices and soy milk.
I advise a half hour of walking a day to get you into hiking shape, but for me and my goal (the bikini) I chose over an hour of exercise a day. I never ever felt hungry. I've heard people say that about diets and laughed, but the truth is, when you don't start your day with sugar and get on that rollercoaster, you lose that craving and hunger feeling. No sugar drops. No sugar highs. Just a feeling of total satisfaction.
Sometimes, I felt guilty when I looked at my huge salad. Then, I reminded myself how I prepared it. I measured 1 tablespoon of dressing into a large mixing bowl, poured the salad in and tossed it around. It was drenched but only 1 tablespoon of dressing! That's all you need. So, I got over my guilt at eating so much and the list on the fridge within days was whittling away. I was checking off tons of improvements in everything and especially the cravings. I used to be caught on a sugar ride and this diet immediately stopped that wild ride.
One week--over 4 pounds of weight off and feeling freaking amazing.
My goal and your goal too should be to have those adventures now when we can. We have no guarantee our old age will be healthy enough to hike and explore and ride rapids or go camping. Do it now and be prepared. Think of yourself as in training to go exploring. If you want to wander cemeteries, woodland paths, abandoned sites and row a rowboat, climb a lighthouse's stairs or take a walking ghost tour, do so when your body is already ready to walking daily long distances. You don't want to be the weekend explorer who has to stop and rest and be limited by your body. Go as far as your mind will let you go, over that next hill, that next one and the next one because your curiosity cannot not extend further than your body's limitations.
And me? I ordered this bikini. I can't think of a better motivation.