Thursday, August 13, 2009

Real Life Stories 2: The Antioxidants Experiment

This is the second Real Life Stories blog, but the first one went by a different title, so this is the first time you've seen a blog by this name. I wanted to call it "Our Brief Excursion into Self-Control," but that seemed like a mouthful.

About three years ago I was taken by the urge to experiment with my diet. I was presented with the idea by a friend who told me that for an entire month he had eaten nothing but raw vegetables and foods high in antioxidants in order to completely cleanse his system for a drug test. Antioxidants work like a cleanser and flush the toxins from your body, but according to him, they also gave him an amazing amount of energy. He said that he had never felt better, each morning jumping out of bed at 7 or 8 a.m. regardless of the amount of sleep he'd gotten. He went through the month feeling like a seven year old, with more energy than he knew what to do with.
This struck me as incredibly interesting, and since then it has occurred to me every now and then to try it. As I mentioned in the Drawbacks of Farming blog, humans are not supposed to eat very much meat in the first place, and as Americans we consume an especially high level of red meat, which should be very sparse in our diets. It always occurs to me that maybe I feel sluggish and lazy and tired and don't even really realize it, and that eating better might work like putting on glasses when you didn't even know you had a vision problem.
Upon looking up a list of foods high in antioxidants and discovering that they were primarily berries, beans, and nuts, I was excited to learn that upon attempting this experiment I would be eating much as our bodies are intended to eat. Instead of a month, I planned to try the diet for a week, just to get a taste of it.
So, on Monday, Lindsay (who agreed to try this experiment with me) and I went to Meijer and spent upwards of $90 on nothing but these antioxidant foods, vitamins, and some alphabet magnets for the fridge. We got home, cleaned the fruit, and began the week-long journey in to the land of self-control, abstaining from all forms of liquid except for water and eating nothing but the fresh fruits we had collected.
The end result: Three and a half days (if I'm being generous.)
Let me tell you something: I'm sure that if you're lost in the woods or trapped on a desert island, you'd be more than happy to see strawberries, blueberries, and pecan nuts every single day. Thing is, I live on a strip where you can pass two Taco Bells within ten minutes of each other, and between those there is a Wendy's, a KFC, a Pizza Hut, an Arby's, and the Mongolian BBQ that I work at, and a slew of other convenient places to eat delicious foods. I think I was doomed from the beginning.
I just don't have the patience, I guess. I love fast food, I love salty food, I love milk, I love basically everything except for water, fruits and vegetables. And I didn't feel different at all, except for a little spacy and irritated. Oh, and my stomach has been trying to eat itself since Monday, which hasn't been pleasant. I mean, I know I didn't give the effects much time to set in, but I wasn't waiting around, eating like a wild animal, passing Taco Bell everyday on my way home from work, just to have the effects come on the seventh day. No thank you, I'll just give up now.
As I sit here writing this blog I am waiting for Lindsay to come home from work, bearing a Pizza Hut buffalo chicken pizza and breadsticks, which she is picking up on her way back. Later tonight we're going to a friend's house to watch Indiana Jones and have some beers.
Antioxidants Experiment = Fail.
Life = Success.

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