So yesterday I thought I was having a heart attack:
About 4:30 pm at work my heart started racing, I was WIDE awake on the train ride home (which is insane for a Friday), and it didn't stop pounding until after the gym at around 6:30.
I have over trained myself before in the past, but I haven't been going THAT crazy recently . I added some cardio recently, and I've been going 6x a week, but for me that is average.
So fast forward to today: I made sure I got a really kick ass night of sleep last night, and slept about 10 hours. I went to Coney Island to do a little running this morning, and on the way out I saw these two young girls giving out free Red bulls.
I was about to take one, but then I remembered I just had coffee before the run so I better not. That's when it hit me: "I had a free energy drink yesterday".
On Friday right after lunch I was walking back to my building, when I noticed they were giving out some free chocolate energy drinks. I don't even remember the name, but it was a larger bottle than a red bull, and I was thirsty so I downed it 2 seconds.
I always get strong coffee with my boss around 2 pm, so I had an unknown large energy drink at 1:15 and my normal coffee at 2pm. I am used to drinking coffee, but definitely not used to energy drinks or any type of sugar. I actually never have sugar. But whatever fatigue my body was experiencing was just shot off like a rocket from all that caffeine. Thankfully no heart attack.
So the moral of the story is be careful with what you put into your mouth. I took an energy drink a couple years ago when I worked at a gym, and I remember that it kept me up for hours.
I also had a bad reaction with chewing tobacco in college where I was holding on to a fence and vomiting. But that's a whole another story.
Certain things my body can handle and others it cant. I stay away from sugary energy drinks, Alfredo sauce, and chewing tobacco.
Captain Power getting some rest...
Yesteday Todd and I were choosing a place to go to lunch. I normally go to Whole Foods because they have healthy delicious food, unlike almost everywhere else. However, we wanted to try somewhere new. How about Veggie Heaven?
I'd never been there before, despite living across the street from it for two years. I used to eat awful food on a daily basis, and considered vegetarian and vegan food to be for hippies. I still do, actually.
Anyway, we get to the restaurant and are handed three menus each. The main menu had almost fifty items in it. Many were marked as being vegan. Hey, this must be healthy, right?
I eat pretty well and take pretty good care of myself. But it's taken quite a while to get here - before 2006, I had a pretty standard American diet. Lots of pizza, junk food, fast food, liquor, soda, sweets, etc. I smoked cigarettes, cigars, sheesha, and other kinds of tobacco.
Since then I've refined my diet and I eat pretty well. I have more energy, feel better, look better, and God willing, I'll live a lot longer as a result. It's a gradual process though, and I'm still improving. There's a few things I use to do it:
First, I'm all about incremental improvement - I think trying to crash change your diet is unlikely to work unless you have immense amounts of willpower and self-discipline. If you do have these Herculean amounts of will and discipline, you know who you are and don't need my advice. If you're more mortal, then you'll want to pick one or two things to be refining in your diet at a time.
Second, there's two ways I quit food or habits I don't like - "hard quitting" (cold turkey) and "soft quitting" (gradually reduce my consumption and eventually eliminate it). I pick which of these routes to go based on how convenient it is to quit something outright and if there's any detox process. If there's detox (like there was with nicotine), I think it's better to just get it over with once instead of constantly feeling deprived as your body re-adjusts to its new biochemical levels. The most successful method for quitting smoking is cold turkey, isn't it? Something like 80% of successful attempts to quit smoking are cold turkey? I don't have the statistics onhand, but that's the general idea. Quitting something like sugar, bad oils, or excess salt might be easier to do incrementally, since you need to replace the consumption with something else.
Which brings us to third point - I actively introduce new good behaviors before and during the time I quit something. Now, I don't know if the following is a good strategy, but it's what I did - when I started cutting down the sweets I ate, I increased my consumption of the kinds of salty foods I already ate: Chips, french fries, nuts, etc. Later I cut the salt content back. I don't know if that's a good habit, but it's worked okay for me. I also try to actively introduce fruits and vegetables before I quit something - it's hard to go from no fiber food that's highly processed to stimulate you immediately to fruits and vegetables. Fruit tastes bland compared to ice cream. So I introduce fruits and vegetables first, get comfortable with them, then increase my consumption of them as I decrease or eliminate bad consumption.