05 May 2013

Spring in Boston, Plant-Based Whole Foods, and Getting My Act Together

It's spring in Boston.

Today is Sean's birthday. We went downtown, had two rad meals, and walked around the museum.

I'm still recovering from my micro MS relapse. Apparently it always takes three weeks to get back to normal, no matter how mild the relapse is. This week I've been able to run 15 miles, which is good when I consider that I have active MS, but not great when I think about my big running goals. Coach Erin says the rest won't hurt me, and I actually believe this. The 15 miles were spread over four runs and were mentally and physically tough. It was like running through water.

Since we got back from Utah, I've been obsessed for the umpteenth time with plant-based whole foods. It helped that I was once again completely stopped up in the GI region. Travel tends to do that to me. I've been vegan or mostly-vegan for about 13 years. I know that a plant-based whole foods diet is the best way to treat my disease and keep me feeling good, but for the past few years my diet has been guided by marathon training (hundreds of pop-tarts) and the desire to be flexible and fit in with other humans (yes I can eat with you at the Cheesecake Factory). I'm lazy.

This week, I was desperate to get things flowing, and to take care of my fragile nervous system. For two days I ate only fruit and veggies, then I added grains on the third day.On the 4th day I ate pizza and woke up with a pizza hangover. Bet you didn't know there was such a thing.

It's been fun eating differently. I've been making messy salads during lunchtime meetings at work, eating whole avocados every day, drinking green smoothies and juice, and eating weird stuff at weird times. This morning I had crushed tortilla chips for breakfast. I needed carbs before my run!

My nutrition obsession led me to watch three food-related documentaries: May I Be Frank, Hungry for Change, and Crazy Sexy Cancer. Watching these movies with Sean was so much fun. I love a well-done uplifting doc about personal transformation. May I Be Frank was definitely the best of these three. It's about a middle-aged guy who turns his life around with the help of some amazing guys from Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco. I highly recommend the movie, as well as Cafe Gratitude if you live in California. I also bought The China Study for my Kindle. It's full of science and citations and it's hard to imagine reading it and ever eating animal products again, but of course, I have.

I also spent a lot of time this week working hard on The 15-Step Bullshit Free Goal-Setting Formula. First of all, I am proud of supporting cool people who do great things, like Nicole of Second, this formula whipped my scattered ass into line by getting me focused on what I really want for the next 6 months (and beyond), and writing down the concrete steps I need to take to accomplish those things. I'm pretty excited about it right now, and I'll let you know how it's going after a month or so.

I am hoping to return to regular training this week, but it might not happen and that's okay. My body is the boss right now.


  1. I completely understand the plant based eating. I've been diagnosed with IBS which is often the 'catch-all' for having some kind of sensitive digestive system but the doctor is not sure exactly what the issue is. I've found plant based diets are my best method too, keeping things flowing smoothly. I try to eat a huge spinach/fruit bowl every evening (I just posted about it, ha ha) and it really helps. It's hard to stay perfect with any kind of dietary method, I have slip ups, like a kids birthday party for example, but somehow if I go heavy of leafy greens it really seems to help me the most. Not cruciferous veggies, though. Those are a little rougher for me :) Hope you get to feeling good and back on track soon with your training!

  2. I'm glad to hear things are getting back on track for you. I have become fascinated the past few years with how different foods react in my body. I have slowly switched to more veggies and away from meat and recently have cut out gluten after hearing that was good for us peeps with MS. Wishing you continued healing from this recent MS relapse.

  3. Christina - I completely understand the birthday party slip ups. It's challenging for me to deal with workplace lunches and parties. I love your idea of having a spinach and fruit bowl at night. I just ate two mangoes like I was some kind of caveman. ME EAT FRUIT! ME LIKE!
    Beth - It is so interesting, isn't it? Especially with a chronic disease like MS or IBS. It seems like everyone has something these days. I hope you write about your gluten-free adventures sometime. I've tried it a few times and I went a bit crazy each time, but right now I'm focusing on whole foods and lots of fruits/veggies and it's easier to deal with low/no gluten. But one of these days I'm going to get a mad pizza craving!

  4. I didn't realize you have MS... my dad also has it. Good for you for taking such good care of yourself diet-wise. He could definitely cut some junk out of his, but I don't think he's all that willing to! I also know that omega 3s are HUGE for MS... fish oil is a great supplement, too. In any case, you're right. Rest will not hurt you. Hope your full strength is back asap!

  5. I love Crazy Sexy Cancer, her book, the Crazy Sexy Diet is amazing, highly recommend.
    Hope you start feeling better!

  6. Hi Laura, Thanks for stopping by! I'm having fun on the sugar detox. I've had MS for almost 10 years now, and I've been lucky I guess. Still running! I am still taking fish oil but not sure I want to since it's not vegan. What do you think about chia and flax? I know about that whole parents not wanting to change their diet in spite of their health. My dad has heart disease and refuses to change his diet too.
    Hi Kristy! I am reading Crazy Sexy Diet right now, and it's great. I kind of thought I wouldn't like it, that it would be too flaky or something, but it's full of good information and it's a fun read as well. I am feeling much better now - thanks! Even did my speed work this week. :)