The first week of my nutritarian diet challenge is now in the books. I’ve had some good food experiments, I’ve made some progress on my body composition, and I’ve survived some of the challenges. I’ve also stumbled a bit, but that’s I guess why I called it a challenge in the first place. So, how did I do with each of my goals?
Goal1: Eat a strict nutritarian diet (B+)
The primary component of this entire challenge was the notion of trying to incorporate a much healthier diet into my life in order to get back to being as fit as I was two years ago. The nutritarian diet and the Blue Zones diet were the two that looked most promising, and in fact the two look very similar to me but with nutritarian being more prescriptive. The six week transition period of the nutritarian diet therefore made for a perfect experiment. For the most part I’ve stuck to it.
When I first read about the nutritarian diet it sounded like it’d be all raw fruit and salads with no dressing. There is certainly a lot of fruit, and a lot of salads, but I’m finding that there are some pretty tasty recipes as well. I’m seeing how they’ve adapted some of them so this next week will attempt to tweak one of the Blue Zones recipes to be nutritarian compliant. I was also able to stay completely off of artificially sweetened beverages, including my Coke Zero crutch, and avoid caffeine. If that was the end of the story I would have given myself an A, but I’m dinging myself for compliance. I was almost completely compliant except for two transgressions.
The first transgression was mid-week. After catching up with a friend for dinner we went back to his place to hang out for a bit before I had to get on the road. He had a new bourbon that he wanted me to try. After at first demurring, having skipped my traditional glass of wine with dinner, I decided I had to at least try a sip. So I took up his offer and had him give me a small splash, a few sips worth, to taste it.
The second, much larger transgression comes with eating out. I’ve eaten out three times this week. The first two times I was able to avoid substantially breaking any rules. Salads or lightly (though not water) sauteing the foods got me by on the first two. However at the third, Macaroni Grill, the options were really slim. I ended up doing a “make your own pasta” with tons of veggies, a tomato sauce, and what was supposed to be a “very very small amount” of pasta. The thought was I’d get a whole bowl of the sauteed veggie toppings in a tomato broth, albeit loaded with far more fat and salt than I would have had at home. Instead I got the traditional pasta with not that many veggies. I was able to pick through the pasta to get to the veggies and only eat a fraction of the pasta, but that whole thing really is a big ding.
Goal 2: Sleep at least 7 hours (A)
Despite having to wake up very early three mornings out of seven with an alarm, which I hate, I was actually able to get seven or more hours of sleep in a night. I think being jet lagged from European trip probably helped with that. Now that my body naturally wants to go to sleep at 11 pm or so, and I still have to wake up well before 6 am, I’m going to have to be more diligent to keep that up
Goal 3: Walk (and/or Run) for a total of at least 10,000 steps (C+)
Again here I was mostly compliant, but nowhere near as good as on the diet aspect. Most days I was close to but didn’t exceed 10,000 steps. One day I got as few as 2500 though. If that was the one hiccup I’d probably rate myself as a B, or maybe even a B+, but because I couldn’t bring myself to walk the extra 10-15 minutes it would take to hit 10,000 steps on the other days I’m not giving myself a good grade.
Goal 4: Do at least 5 minutes of calisthenics (F)
I actually only did this one day of the seven. That’s pretty pathetic. Five minutes is a blink of an eye, but I kept rationalizing to myself why I didn’t have time. I need to redouble my efforts tomorrow.
Goal 5: Do at least 15 minutes of yoga (C-)
Again, fifteen minutes isn’t that much time to ask for, yet I managed to only get it in three days of the seven, and another I did a lackluster ten minute version. This too has to be addressed.
Summary (Overall grade C):
The overall grade across all those is a C. I nailed some of them but, as I expected, the exercise components I can so easily dismiss. This coming week I need to try to hone my diet to get that up to an A and make better progress on my other scores. That said, I’m pretty happy with my first week of the trials. I’ve adapted to the diet much better than I could have expected, and can easily see eating the regular nutritarian diet pretty easily.