Welcoming the New Year

DSC_0009 I know I’m almost a week behind, but better late than never, right? Happy 2014, everybody! I know I’m sure looking forward to this year and I hope you are, too.

For those of you who were following it, I successfully completed my 365 Days of Activity challenge, logging at least 20 minutes of activity every single day in 2013. This year, I’m turning my focus toward better nutrition in an attempt to find the perfect diet for me. Of course I’ll still keep up with my workouts – an early May marathon will assure that. I’ve made some specific, performance-related goals with that marathon in mind, but I’ll get to those in another post.

For now, I’d like to share with you what I’ll be shooting for in the dietary department for the coming year. If you follow my blog, then you’ll remember that about seven months ago I took the plunge and went vegan. I did so for humane/ethical reasons, and I’m still working out how best to care for my own body while respecting the lives of others in the animal kingdom.

While I haven’t noticed any negative changes in my health or fitness performance since going vegan, I also haven’t noticed any huge improvements, and I had kind of been hoping that I would. My biggest health-related goal this year is to find the right combination of foods that will leave me feeling less tired and more energized throughout the day, without the peaks and valleys that can sap my productivity. I’m suspicious of processed foods, especially high-carb ones, caffeine, and (I hate to say it) beer. I guess I mean alcohol in general, but my drink of choice is a good, robust, local brew, and there are many to choose from. Making matters worse, in a few months a new tap room will be going in on the ground floor of my building. Talk about a mixed blessing!

Anyhow, I’ve been studying up on nutrition a lot over the past few months, and at the end of January I’m going to attempt my first radical dietary shift – a one-week trial of what Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls the “Nutritarian” diet. Basically, it allows NO processed foods at all, including flours, sugars and oils, very limited caffeine and alcohol, and NO ADDED SALT! I don’t think I can totally abide that one, but I will cut down a lot – how about that?

I’ll be sure to take careful notes and write a detailed post following my trial week that should be humorous, and hopefully also enlightening. Between now and then, check back here for posts on Weight Loss for Anyone and Running for Beginners.

If you’ve ever tried a strictly whole-foods diet, I’d love to hear about your experiences, preferably before I start mine so I can know a little more about what I’m getting myself into.

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