Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Take the Pepsi Challenge

I recently watched Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me and found it better than I anticipated. I expected a single-sided exploration of a question with an obvious answer (Q: What will happen if I eat nothing but McDonald’s food for a month? A: Duh.), which it was for the most part, but I found some of the details to be interesting. I saw this at a time when I was wrestling with some of my failures, mainly my lack of progress due to ennui, and it has inspired me to shake things up. Instead of force-feeding myself fast food for a month, I wonder what would happen if I went the other direction?

The focus of Super Size Me was not just McDonald’s food, but more specifically the lack of variety, over-processing and addition of refined sugars to most of America’s fast food meals. Therefore in my month long experiment I intend to focus on home cooking while avoiding anything laden with sugar or funky chemicals. Spurlock defined a set of rules for his experiment and I will do the same over the course of the week. I don’t intend to take things as far as he did; for example, I will not modify my exercise routine, force-feed myself, or have regular checkups during the course of the experiment. I don’t care what my numbers are on a doctor’s chart. I care about feeling (and to a much lesser degree, looking) better.

The rules (thus far) are as follows:
1) Three meals a day, starting with that breakfast thing I’ve heard about but always slept through.
2) No fast food of any kind. If I have to eat out, I will try for a salad or something that sounds reasonably healthy.
3) No foods laden with processed sugar. Again, I’m not going to be a fanatic about this. I refuse to eat a bowl of porridge without a spoonful of sugar. The stuff’s nothing but liquid Styrofoam without it.
4) Yes, I realize the last rule precludes drinking Mountain Dew.
5) Already I want to kill somebody.
6) I’m not ditching meat, even the red variety, but I will buy only organic foods and try to introduce some variety into my meals. E.g. a ribeye with a side order of steak, and to drink I’ll have chicken.

The thirty day experiment will begin next Monday, July 11, 2005. I think thirty days should be enough time to show if all that healthy living crap is what it’s cracked up to be. I will continue to blog the results until I quit or commit suicide. All suggestions are welcome, preferably encouragement instead of preferred knives for hariki, but I’ll take whatever I can get.


Nobius said...

Good luck.

And wash it all down with a regular Pepsi and ruin your daily progress. :)

As you know I took of 85 lbs last year which are still off. The key is moderation and exercise.

Toad734 said...

I did a similar experiment for a long time, actual still do for the most part.

I don't eat or drink anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup if a can help it. In other words, no bread from fast food places, no Coke, no Pepsi, Catsup with no Corn Syrup, Bread, Chips, what ever it is I avoid it like the plague. For a long time, although not so much anymore I also avoided anything such as Doritos and high sodium/preservative type foods.

What I found is not that I actually feel better when I don't eat these foods, but that I feel shitty when I do. I get jittery, sweaty, and I can feel a film of, I guess sugar, coat my body.

It's really weird; when you wean yourself off of these foods you realize how bad they are when you try to eat them again.

Perfect example: I had McDonalds on the way back from 4th of July in St. Louis, 5 hour road trip and we couldn't find anything but a McDonalds so we ate there. About 5 minutes after eating a fish sandwich, small fries and a water I felt like I was covered in grease and sugar and a couple of hours later my stomach felt like ass!

We get immune to this crap; I guess I am no longer immune to it.

What I am saying is that you may not notice the difference right away, but if you go back to that food you will notice it then.

By the way, small amounts of real sugar isn’t all that bad for you; what’s bad is eating High Fructose corn syrup in every product you consume.

Try looking for Mexican Tortilla chips rather than Frito Lay, mass produced stuff and then compare the ingredients list. My chips ingredients include: Corn, Lime oil and Salt, compare that to a bag of Doritos.
What’s really scary is the flaming hot Cheetos, there isn’t one ingredient in there that should make those hot, no peppers, no spices, just chemicals.

Also avoid anything that says “partially hydrogenated”.

Sask 1 said...

Will you really do this ?

annush said...

after i saw the movie last year i did just that...i kept the lifestyle change once my 30 days were up :)

Weary Hag said...

"Partially hydrogenated" is the absolute key. Avoid it like the plague.
Toad also gives other sound advice... don't look to 'feel better' or you might become disappointed. The focus is just to not feel like crap all the time.
I wish Toad had been my doctor for years.