April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

It's Been Six Months. She Hasn't Shut Up Once.

Great line from The Tubes' song, "Talk To Ya Later," which is on the same album as the best Tubes song of all time, "She's A Beauty."

And the title of this post because today is my six month CRON anniversary! Or should I call it my six month birthday? I've noticed that a lot of CRON folk call the day they started CRON their CRON birthday, and it makes sense because CRON definitely gives you the feeling of being reborn.

Just to recap, since I began on March 26, 2004, I have:

-- Lost 29 pounds

-- Gone from eating fewer than 30 grams of protein a day to eating 60 - 70

-- Confronted my fat phobia and purchased and consumed both olive and canola oils

-- Experienced remarkable, shocking effects on my moods, including a near cessation of all anxiety, unless I go over my calorie target for several days in a row

-- Learned the difference between nutritional yeast and brewer's yeast

-- Memorized large chunks of the CR Society's archives

-- Met lots of wonderful new friends!

Not bad in the "What has CR done for me lately?" department!

Meanwhile, yesterday's clubbing adventure was fun. We all met up at the apartment of College Friend Who Used to Date My College Roommate and Now Works For a Very Big Financial Group. His apartment is a block from Penn Station, which is convenient since I took the train in (no one with serious life extension ambitions would drive in Manhattan.) He lives on the 20th floor, and the view was beautiful. Guests arrived, and an informal dinner of pizza and tacos was served. I ate a lot --- had my "dinner out going over target" day yesterday. Two slices of pizza, three vegetarian tacos (in my defense, they were small), and a slice of this heavenly cake that CFWUTDMCRNWFAVBFG made fromhis mother's German recipe. It consisted mostly of "nut meat" which even we vegetarians can eat: hazelnuts and walnuts mixed with eggs and sugar formed the cake, and the frosting had hazelnut, cocoa, sugar, butter, and eggs. I figured at least the nuts were good for me. Drank two glasses of red wine with dinner. Felt extremely stuffed.

Then everyone went out clubbing. For the first time, I felt like I was wearing the right thing in NYC because for my 30th, Myrna bought me a pair of those tight jeans that all the women are wearing out these days, and I was wearing it with a bright purple shirt that was slightly shiny and a pair of heels (I actually almost always wear shoes with some kind of heel... when you're 5' 2" and want to be able to talk to people who are six feet tall without having to ask them to (literally, not figuratively) pick you up, you really have to wear heels.) All the other women were wearing almost the exact same outfit, some variety in the color shirt, including the two extremely thin twin women who are both corporate attorneys and gorgeous... the kind of woman I now look at and think, "Wow, if you ate 1000 - 1200 calories a day, you'd look terrible. Poor dears!" And then I thank the Gods for my figure's ability to hold its curves on a low calorie diet! Who would have thunk it... my slow (I prefer "efficient") metabolism is a blessing!

I drank vodka with cranberry and caught up with old friends of Myrna's whom I hadn't seen in ages. It's funny... there's a group of Myrna's friends who really didn't see each other for about eight years, and now that she's bringing us all to each others' 30th birthday parties, we're seeing quite a lot of each other. It's fun to catch up. I was exhausted and took a little nap in the cab between bars. College Roommate and I cut out a little early to crash out, but as always, I was up at 5:30 and caught the 6:14 train out of the city.

By 8:07 am I was at the Whole Foods in Marlton, New Jersey (near where I used to live... I took the train from a station near my old place because I had to be over there cleaning and moving stuff) reading the labels on Brewers' Yeast.

I've decided to cut out my Grape Nuts... they are messing with my Zen. I think they have bad blood sugar effects (no kidding) and I eat them in a way that reminds me too much of my high carb days... quickly, kinda snarfing. I don't need that in my life right now, so I gave the half finished box to my mother and went about looking for ways to get some of the nutrients that the fortified cereal had been providing.

Unfortunately, in spite of my requests, the entire CR Society archives have not yet been uploaded into my brain, so I wasn't quite sure what I was doing, but I had a clear memory that all the cool kids on the list eat brewers' yeast a lot, so I thought I'd check it out. Pretty good stuff. Lots of copper... I won't have to eat pennies. I'll enter in the nutrition info on the kind I got tomorrow. It looks helpful, but I picked it mostly for the label, which said, "This is the only kind of brewers' yeast that actually tastes good!" I thought that was a winning slogan, so I bought it. Now I have to figure out what to do with it. Back to the archives. I also have to deal with calcium and iron supplement stuff, so back to the archives. Oh, I also bought some flax oil because there had been a lot of talk on the list about how flax oil is better than fish or fish oil for Omega 3's (I hope I'm getting this right.) I have no idea what to do with it. Again, back to the archives. I'm glad I wasn't so attached when the archives crashed this spring... if that happened now, I would probably be beside myself with grief until they were restored.

Speaking of back ups, I am worried about not having a back up of my blog. Can one of you dedicated readers back it up for me? I'm not quite sure how to do it. You're awesome, I'll send you a refrigerator magnet and an autographed copy of your favorite blog entry, even if it's the one where I missed a very obvious piece of multiplication and everyone thought I was really stupid.

On my way home this morning I noticed that my CR Zen had been disturbed. I found myself worrying about silly things and feeling anxious. No wonder, thought I, after that big trip to high carb nightmare last night. The food was fun to eat, and it was entertaining to be eating it while wearing jeans that six months ago I would have been shocked to hear that I would one day wear, but today I felt ICKY. Not to mention exhausted, but that tends to make me calm, not anxious... it's the calories that cause the anxiety spikes. So I took corrective action, like I always do after I have my going out dinner of the week. I ate nothing until about 2 pm (this while running up and down stairs at my old place loading yet more stuff into my car), drank about a liter and a half of water in that time, and when I finally got home, drank even more water with unsweetened cranberry juice (great detox drink that is). Then I took a shower and went to lie down with the cat for a few minutes. When I woke up about fifteen minutes later (I can never sleep during the day) I was ravenous, so I went in the kitchen and did the weirdest thing: I mixed some of my plain nonfat yogurt with one of my olive oil dressings that is just olive oil, red wine vinegar and some spices, no added sugars. It was 190 calories for a cup and delicious! Just what I needed.

Then I went to the grocery store to restock (I was very low on food, so I didn't have many choices when I woke from my fifteen minute nap) and on my way there, I realized that I had inadvertently made a Zone like snack. Protein, carb, fat. Weird. I did that by accident. Maybe all that archive reading I've been doing is finally starting to sink in.

And you know what? My Zen was back. Insulin control will do that to you. The snack was small and nicely balanced. I hate to admit it, but just like with the breakfast thing, I think MR is right about this.

Of course MR is right about this, as about many things, it's just a matter of how long it takes to get through my head and into my refrigerator.

Btw, you can read MR to be either Michael Rae or Mary Robinson, as Mary has been telling me this for months and many of Michael's collected works in the archives are on the Zone topic. I just wish he has started out the Albatross by saying, "Don't go out and buy tons of tofu, it causes dementia." Could have saved me a lot of money on soy products. Oh well, small price to pay for a totally revolutionized world view.

Here's an interesting factoid: Tall MR has started eating meat once per month, for reasons see his post entitled "Eating Non-Food Food: Now Eating Meat" in the archives. Little MR (Mary Robinson) has been a meat eater as long as I've known her, and carefully choses fish, nitrate free ham, and things like that to get her Zonelike ratios. I'm a vegetarian, and I was vegan for ethical reasons for five years. I was vegan because I oppose factory farming, and even now, I try to get cage free egg products and free range cheese. My other two CR heroes, Kenton and Dean, are both vegan. I agree with MR's reasoning about environmental impact being a matter of degree, not an all or nothing thing, and I don't oppose eating animals on the face of it, just factory farming. So I would theoretically eat free range meat, or something I or someone I knew had killed (I never opposed hunting, btw) For example, if Kieffer killed a deer, I could ethically justify eating it. I wouldn't want him to drag the corpse onto my new white carpet, and I would wonder how the hell my cat killed a deer, but I could ethically justify eating it.

That being said: after all these years of vegetarian and veganism, I just can't bring myself to do it. There's an "ick" factor that I can't get past. Even though I have read Tall MR talking about zinc deficiency and I know from DWIDP that my zinc is low every day. Even though Little MR says that it's almost impossible to get enough iron without eating meat. I'm just not there. The combined weight, both literally and on my conscience, of Kenton and Dean is greater than that of MR Squared.

That was one of the silliest things I've ever written. Mary, I hope you take being called Little MR as the compliment it is intended to be. Everyone should just indulge a little goofiness in me today... I've had about three hours sleep and it's my six month CRON birthday!

Tonight I'm going on with this Zone thing. I'm going to make an eggwhite scramble and serve it with these gorgeous veggies I bought at Whole Foods: tall skinny asparagi, fresh brussels sprouts, and these tiny little organic red peppers. I'm going to make olive oil dressings for all of them, definitely lemon pepper olive oil for the asparagus, not sure what for the other two. I'll have fun playing with veggies and oil. I also have spinach for a spinach salad, which will be topped with oil and vinegar. Look at that: big protein in the eggwhites, carbs in the veggies, and lots of oil. Not vegan (sorry Kenton and Dean), but I think I could invite both MRs over for dinner for this one. Of course, it would be a long trip and the CR friendly dinnerguest who is coming over would be confused by the appearance of Strangers from The Zone, but I think it would be really fun. Maybe tomorrow I'll have to make a Kenton and Dean friendly CR meal, with some cabernet for Kenton and some green tea for Dean. Of course Kenton and Dean eat the same thing every day, so I'd have to figure out how to make a Dean meal before I could have those guys over to dinner. If I start chopping now, I could have dinner ready by the time Dean could walk here... from Pittsburgh.

Speaking of cabernet, I'm skipping my usual four ounce glass of wine tonight... detoxing from last night... so that frees up more cals for olive oil. Not that I'll be anywhere near target today: other than the 190 yogurt, oil and vinegar creation, I've had 80 cals of skim milk in an iced latte and that's it. But I usually go under target the day after a big calorie blow out. It's how I rescue my Zen.

Thanks for indulging my nuttiness today... it may be silly, but it's high in MUFAs.



  • At 6:12 PM, Blogger Mary Robinson said…

    I love the "little MR", but in no way want to claim guru-equivalence to Michael Rae! I agree that you've made enormous progress in 6 months. My first 6 months were a huge change too. The good news is that you will continue to improve and the benefits just don't go away.

    I really understand your anxiety issues. I was never the most moody person, but now I am a rock. No one I know is calmer. And my work life is very stressful. I couldn't do it without CRON. I can't quit CRON and go back. It would be like hurting myself and I love myself too much.

    You know, on the meat thing - when I started CRON I was also eating 20g of protein a day. I was a quasi-vegetarian. I could barely stand to eat chicken - which my husband seemed to cook incessantly (CHICKEN AGAIN - ARGHH!). I would eat only small amounts of beef. When I figured out I wasn't eating enough protein, I started eating large amounts of tofu. I ate tons of tofu - like 6 oz a day. Now, I know better now. But the tofu seemed to snap me out of my protein funk, sort of like your egg whites seem to be doing for you. I have this theory that protein deficiency has some downward spiral effect. It makes you feel like crap and you have no appetite for protein. When I started supplementing iron, something else kicked in and I craved beef. I wanted to eat meatloaf all the time! Iron also made a big difference in my overall well-being.

    It took me a couple of years to convince my husband that we should not be buying chicken and eggs produced by chicken torture. We get our eggs at the farmer's market - and they are "free walking". If you get grass fed beef or buffalo, then the animals were never put in a feed lot. I actually feel like buying these items creates more demand for them - a good thing - and supports farmers that will be more humane. In general, I think the meat tastes better - though today's brisket was a little tough. There was an article today about in the Washington Post about the ground buffalo I eat from the Whole Foods. It's produced in a humane and environmentally friendly way. All American buffalo meat sold commercially is.

    We've also put more effort into buying only "good" fish. We won't buy farm-raised salmon and buy the Alaskan wild varieties. I have a little card in my purse that says which species are environmental.


Post a Comment

<< Home