Monday, April 24, 2017

AIP Update: 2 Weeks In

I'm on day 17 of the AIP diet.  Here's an update on how it's going, in case you're thinking of trying it yourself, or maybe are just a weird diet-voyeur.  (No judgment here!)  I'll do it report card-style, because Lisa Simpson is my spirit animal.

Fidelity to the diet: A-

  • I have been eating solely meat, veggies, and fruit.  However, I have made mistakes with spices and peppers, like when I used cumin. (I realized last week that cumin comes from seeds).  I have also willingly eaten bell peppers and little bits of tomatoes, which are also on the "No" list, when they've been served in my food.
  • Whenever Joe and I have eaten out, we've either gone to bbq places or steakhouses, figuring we have the best shot there of finding food I can eat.  (What a sacrifice!  We even had to suffer through a meal at a Brazilian steakhouse last week.  It's been rough.)
  • Speaking of BBQ, I have cheated and eaten BBQ sauce.  That's probably the most added sugar I've had in over two weeks.
  • I've patiently picked every shred of cheese out of store-bought salads, and I've thrown away every crouton and egg slice that's come my way.
  • I've carried baked sweet potatoes and fruit in my hydration pack during long runs, instead of Honeystinger waffles or Gu Chews.
  • I've been in several all-day meetings where they served lunch, and I've either 1) brought my own lunch, aka dried beef, baked sweet potato, and fruit, or 2) scavenged the catering table for deli meat and iceberg lettuce while my co-workers enjoyed sandwiches and dessert.
  • I have ignored the persistent food cravings saying, "Just one Coke Zero won't hurt you.  Doesn't ice cream sound great right now?  That Pop-Tart would really help fuel your run on the Powerlines."*
*Note: Since starting this diet and cutting out all added sugar, I've had weirdly specific sugar cravings.  After taking a shower, I thought my towel smelled like a donut.  During a run, I thought I smelled Diet Dr. Pepper.  At this moment, I'd really like to eat a brown Tootsie Pop.

Calorie management for running performance: B
  • My first couple runs while on the diet, I felt pretty lethargic.  They've improved since then, maybe because I've started eating sweet potatoes, which have 27g of carbohydrates per cup.  
  • This past weekend, I did two moderately long runs: a 3.5-hour run and a 2.5-hour run, both at Bandera.  The first one was a night run, after dinner.  I ate one apple during the run, and felt good the entire time.  The second was a morning run, after a breakfast of vegetables and fruit, and I didn't consume anything during the run.  I bonked hard enough that I couldn't think clearly toward the end, which resulted in this conversation:
          Joe (quoting The Simpsons): "Now, let's all celebrate with a cool glass of turnip juice."
          Me: Have you ever had a tune -- tunip -- tune-up?  What's that word again?
          Joe: Um . . . 

Enthusiasm for continuing on AIP: B
  • After the month-long experiment is over, I would like to continue avoiding grains and dairy and only eating whole foods -- for the most part.  I do miss going to Sammy's for an omelet with Joe on Sunday mornings, and I miss trying out different restaurants (usually carb-heavy ones) during our once-a-week lunch together.  So right now I'm thinking those two meals a week could be the exceptions to the rule.  I definitely will let myself eat nuts, spices, and peppers again without restraint once this experiment is complete.
  • One AIP website I was reading said something like, "Everyone makes mistakes on the AIP diet.  It's nothing to worry about.  But you do need to start over from scratch when this happens."  Joe and I have had fun joking about that: "Don't worry about the report you messed up.  Everyone makes mistakes.  But you're fired; go clean out your desk."  As far as this diet goes, I am happy to acknowledge that I've made mistakes, and happy to try to do better going forward, but there's no way I'm starting again from day one.
Another note: Strength and conditioning coach extraordinaire Phil reminded me that AIP is about eliminating all causes of inflammation from the body.  Thus, he told me, doing 20 miles of hill repeats is not AIP.  That kind of thing causes stress and inflammation.  So the fact that I'm still running, in combination with the mistakes and exceptions I've made in the diet, means I'm not a perfect model of the auto-immune protocol.  And I'm okay with that.  Overall midterm grade: B.

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