This is a food blog. That it is requires me to eat. Less of a requirement and more of a default. To declare that I love food would be an understatement. Food is life and it is mine. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve and I walk my talk, so to speak. Well, I eat.
In my early teens, I have registered borderline blood sugar readings matching the soda I drank with abandon. With much pride I now register ten years of being soda-free and later notoriety for being rice-averse was matched by equal infamy for dessert buffet raids. Allowances for cheats give way to hedonistic indulgences in what are supposedly rarities. Oh, pancreas! My pancreas! The recent rediscovery of the joys of grains came well-lubricated by the bacon-grease those are fried in. Let me not start on having taken on the full-fat food trend hook, line and sinker. My alias, The Hamburgero, needs no further explanation.
On a lark I had a simplified blood exam being that I was already at a diagnostic center last month. All indices including my blood sugar were well within normal save for an alarming cholesterol count of 206.14. I’ve only really deftly danced with the possibility of diabetes and this new first came a bit unsettling. The phrase “lifestyle change” threw me into panic and I had to calm myself down with a pork chop.
When it all sunk in and settled like the fatty deposits I imagine are clogging my arteries, the next day saw me tossing a serving of oatmeal into my post-workout protein shake. Every little bit helps, I told myself. Then the rest of the month hit me with one event after another — all of which involved food, reintroduction to alcohol and a newfound appreciation for Craft Beer. I’ve kept myself in check with everything in my definition of moderation. My looming annual chronological upgrade also brought concern that all these signs point to the fact that I may have already overstayed my welcome at #forever21.
When my excesses put me on a guilt-trip, the yellow brick road always takes me to Emerald City. Mooshi Green Bar’s Cleansing Cilantro Green Smoothie washes me clean but only for a time until my next indulgence. Previously aware of their Cleanse Kits, I determined that I start my birth month good with a Detox Weekend. A recommended pre-cleanse period had us chugging herbal teas with vegetables, fruit, soup and salads. We had an entire soursop for lunch. Primarily carnivorous, the zen-state that kicked in had me hoping that meant my body had already begun Kreb-cycling my fat and glycogen stores.
Day One. Friday. May 1, 2015.
Start Weight: 145 lbs. Start Body Fat Estimate: 10.63% http://www.healthstatus.com/perl/calculator.cgi This estimate is close to the 12++% from my last scan on a Tanita Scale from a nutritional supplement company roadshow over a year ago. The margin of error is between 1-3%.
I started with Traditional Medicinals’ Everyday Detox Tea in Lemon inclusive in my Mooshi Green Bar Juice Cleanse Kit. Unexpectedly light in both the tea and lemon flavors, it also did not have any aggressive “detox” effects as you would from most such teas like terrible stomach unease or a downright colon flush out.
Months into daily Intermittent Fasting, I’m pretty much used to zero solids before noon with a full fasted workout in the morning. The program recommends only light exercises but I thought I’d maximize the possibility of fat loss within the restricted diet period. As usual, I went off to the gym shortly after rising to churn out the every other day schedule of low reps on heavy weights of squats, deadlifts and bench presses. I also threw in some volume on dumbbell lateral raises and a dumbbell shoulder & core finisher set. Bikram yoga has got nothing on a top-floor, non-aircon “bakal” gym with only GI sheets and a single layer of worn-out insulation in between this searing summer sun and the patrons. I went home soaked to the bone in my own sweat.
We hit our Detox Weekend HQ, Mooshi Green Bar at Ayala Center-Cebu, around noon. The PussyKat had her smoothie and I began with my first in a set of six juices. I am to drink one every two hours but given that I have decided to continue with Intermittent Fasting, I’ve adjusted the intervals to keep within my eight-hour feeding window.
One was to awaken the body with “Natures Green Goodness” in the Mother Earth juice. A vitamin-packed combination of Apple, Lemon, Organic Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Ginger, Kale, Spinach and Romaine Lettuce breaks the fast to allow better absorption of nutrients. It was incredibly fruity for an ectoplasmic-green liquid with an almost intangible bite from the ginger.
Two was to keep up one’s energy with Liquid Sunshine. The sweetness of Apple and the tartness of Orange mask the heavy herbals from the “Best Source of Living Chlorophyll”, Organic Wheatgrass, which has the alkalizing and energizing effects. I could take Wheatgrass straight up but the addition of fruit made it more pleasant.
Three was to fuel the body with the effects of the “Miracle Tree”, Malunggay, in the Tree Of Life juice. Moringa, as it is more popularly known in the international health community, has, yet again, gained renewed attention for its multiple health benefits. Indigenous to The Islands and of particular feature in the everyday Utan Bisaya, it was not an unfamiliar taste nor were the herbal bitters overpowering as it seemed only hinted at in the overall flavor despite the prominently green color. It was heavier on the apple and vegetal sweetness of fresh carrots. A good froth with some well-pureed fruit and vegetable solids rise to the top of the liquid giving it more substance on the palate.
Between these drinks I’ve had the inclusive Detox Water containing Lemon, Organic Cucumber and Mint Leaves from the refillable bottle. I’ve found myself topping up concurrently with the schedule of juice intakes as I also later took the same number of trips to tinkle.
Four was the intensely red Heart-Beet to “motivate” and for heart health. Apple and Lemon figures in this concoction once again with Beets and Organic Carrot, Ginger and Spinach. Beets apparently promote stamina and endurance and is big among athletes in races. As intense as its color, the beet flavor is very strong in this one but not quite off-putting with the rest of the ingredients holding that at bay.
Five was a refreshing second to the last chugger. As in the song, Mooshi Green Bar’s Summer Breeze made me feel fine and raring for the home stretch for the day. The Organic Turmeric mixes well into the golden tropical sweetness of Pineapple allowing no discernable earthy bite.
The last hurrah was in, truly, Almond Bliss. More than solid food, my body was already screaming for protein. The protein-rich and nutritious combination of Raw Almonds, Sea Salt, Dates and Vanilla Bean in Filtered Water came heavy for a good finish. It was essentially an almond milk thick with the pureed nuts and salted savory more to replenish lost electrolytes than for flavor. The date flavor was a little lost in the creamy, nutty-savory mix but the vanilla bean made itself felt in scent.
We successfully finished Day One without having to tap into our allowed cheats. While I did not feel any hunger pangs, there was a marked difference in my gut’s feel and the mastication muscle-memory seemed one very distant. I now know that to go a day without solid food is no mean feat and Labor Day finally holds significance for me.
Day 2. Saturday. May 2, 2015.
I opened my eyes feeling “wide awake” with no sluggishness weighing me down as I normally would upon rising. That 5.7 pound drop from the day before looked a bit drastic but had only left me light on my feet and without any ill effects. The PussyKat reported a smaller drop of only two pounds but the generally “happy” effect on her may mean that Grumpy Kat might now only exist as a popular internet figure. The king’s day began as it would in the throne room with no explosive event nor a change in quality of the output save for a marked decrease from the regular volume. I had two steepings of the Traditional Medicinals’ Everyday Detox Tea before I made my way to the gym to do this Reece Mander arm workout. Threw in the same dumbbell shoulder & core finisher set as the day prior for good measure.
We wisely stayed away from the temptations of the outside world and bunked in The PussyKat’s apartment for the rest of the day. Lolita, Nightcrawler and the Ship of Theseus helped distract us from thoughts of solid food and that horrible temptation of chicken nuggets. We’ve adjusted to the timing of our intake — my six juices more of timing work versus The PussyKat’s three smoothies — and pretty much got the hang of it. There was absolutely no nauseam or weakness versus the common expectation.
Day 3. Sunday. May 3, 2015.
Start weight: 138.2
The drop wasn’t as big from the second day but was still progressive. The gym is closed on Sunday’s and isometric tension from watching the “Fight of the Century” would have taken care of physical activity for the day. The disappointing match got us late for our appointment to try Flawless‘ Sculpt and Shape treatments. More on the treatment in a separate post.
The day felt rather short and it was a surprise that we already finished our Detox Weekend and without any trouble. Sleep came over us quickly and we did quite soundly.
Post-Cleanse. Monday. May 4, 2015.
End weight. 137.1 lbs. End Body Fat Estimate: 8.20% http://www.healthstatus.com/perl/calculator.cgi This estimate has a declared margin of error of 1-3%. I’m always worst case scenario and I think I’m still in the double digits. I still don’t have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle abs but I’m almost there.
Waking up has been quite pleasurable over the weekend and, for once we were excited for a Monday. We both felt significantly lighter in body and mood with a noticeable glow. The goal here was not primarily weight loss but that was what was quantifiable and is most definitely a welcome effect.
The challenge was to return to our regular routines while keeping to the post-cleanse recommendations. We’ve stuck to unsweetened teas, water and freshly-squeezed juices with much success and have strangely not suffered withdrawal from caffeine. Solids were a different ballgame but we kept to mainly greens with very little animal protein. Juicing is definitely doable and we are incorporating that in our regular diet. Contrary to my previous declaration, it’s quite easy to go green as Mooshi Green Bar makes it and makes it delicious, too.
Mooshi Green Bar has outlets in Ayala Center Cebu. SM City Cebu and Banilad Town Center.