Tag Archives: health

Monkey Wrench

My nemesis, Pneumonia, decided to pay me a visit last week and throw a monkey wrench into my life.  Thankfully, this go around is of the lesser impact type and can be treated with medicine and patience.

I knew that it had been a while since pneumonia decided to show it’s ugly face. Using the search feature, I was able to find a few references to when I had it back in December 2010. I have had it a couple of times in the past and even have warning symptoms that throw up red flags. This particular time, there wasn’t the standard order of symptoms, they all seem to be unique and unrelated. My guess, is that I was experiencing several little things, that opened the door for it. However, since these little things kept me feeling ill for over a week, when the pneumonia finally set in, I was already at the doctor’s getting medicine. So, they helped catch it early on.

One of the biggest impact of my illness is to my running. Specifically, my training for 2 upcoming races: Flying Monkey Marathon (Nov) and The Pistol 50k (Jan).

Training for Flying Monkey was supposed to have started 4 weeks ago in mid-August. Since August 1st, I was in a “base” mode, where I didn’t really worry about workouts/distance, just get some mileage under my belt. With not feeling well, since around August 20th or so, I hadn’t ran hardly anything. In fact, my log book says 0.0. At best, I’ll be able start running again during the weekend, but that’ll be bare-bones type of mileage, with only 10 weeks until race day. Thankfully, this isn’t my first time toeing the line for a marathon. I’m just going to have to be very creative. I won’t have any miracle workout that will get me a personal record or even a course record on Race Day. I’ll get from the Start Line to the Finish Line without killing myself (much).

The 2nd race, The Pistol 50k which I am running in memory of James Rich #WarriorMode, is still okay in terms of time to train. The Flying Monkey is one training component for The Pistol, and I am hoping for a good run at Flying Monkey to help bridge the 6-7 week gap between the 2 races.

As of writing of this post, I’m finished with the antibiotic protocol but still have an inhaler to keep the lungs open and drive everything out. I’ve also been resting when I can, but still have a few days before I start getting back into moderate exercise.

Post 14 Day Sugar Detox Week 1

I was happy to add sugar back to my diet, it at least gave me a little more variety. Since I was making this detox strategy up pretty much on my own, I decided that I would add “more natural” forms of sugar first. I would add back Grade B Maple Syrup and Honey as they are “less” processed than others.

When I had my first teaspoon of maple syrup… wow it was sweet. Tasted really good but sweet. I almost was thankful for not having these food for 2 weeks, just to have them taste so much more vibrant! I also added fruit back as well. We had a pluethera of cherries that I dove into. I also had some apple leftovers from The Elder’s Morning Fruit. I also went for some grapes at the grocery store and on the weekend hacked up the first watermelon of the season. I also added rice and potatoes back into the mix which I made sure to measure our serving size for the rice.

I did not get a chance to run at all that week, but all the soreness was gone from my legs, plus what ever was up with my triceps at Expo 10k was gone. I felt pretty good at tae kwon do as well.

Tracking my food intake was going well using the MyFitnessPal app. In fact, everyday but 1, I was hundreds of calories short of my 2060 Calorie goal. I’m not sure why it picked that particular number, but I went with it  [Ed. Note: I found out later it was set to get me to a goal weight of 165lbs]. In the weight department, the lowest reading that week was 166.6. That was 9.4 lbs lost in a 2.5 weeks. Again, I wasn’t trying to lose the weight but it was a nice bonus. Over the weekend, I went back up to 169. I have noticed in sparring at TKD, while I don’t have the extra “weight” behind my attacks, I feel much more agile.

On Saturday night, I enjoyed my first “candy” chocolate with just a tablespoon of some Enjoy Life Chocolate chips. These chips are as allergen free as you can get and so it was a little reward.

In Post Week 2, I’m going to add in foods that have sugar, straight up sugar, back into the mix. I’ll still limit the amount that I eat, but won’t avoid it.


Post Week 1: Mon May 26th – Sun Jun 1

Starting weight: 170.6, Ending Weight: 169


14 Day Sugar Detox – Days 13 and 14

It’s come to a close and I only cheated once. We went to friend’s house on Saturday (Day 13) because their cherry tree was bearing fruit and while climbing in the tree picking cherries I ate a few. Okay… I had about 20 or so, but at least it was just fruit.

On Friday (Day 12), I started tracking my food using MyFitnessPal, I remembered I had an account from years back and was able to log back in. I’ll use it to track my food and hopefully change some of my bad eating habits. So far the results have been quite interesting… so far, first couples of days I have left 900-1100 calories each day unconsumed.

Now that the 14 Day Sugar Detox is over, I’ll add back in fruits, carbs (rice and potatoes) and peanuts & cashews. I’m going to avoid white and brown sugars and just add in Grade B Maple Syrup and Honey back into rotation. Then add back in everything, but just in moderation. I do want to make some homemade chocolate ice cream this summer.
Day 13 – 5/24/14 Saturday
Weight: 170.4
Day 14 – 5/25/14 Sunday
Weight: 171.2
My Expo 10k race went well. I ran much faster than I thought I would but my quads and triceps really hurt. Full Race Report in near future.

Now that’s over, I’m glad that I did it. It was a nice little “reset” program that will hopefully get my eating back in order or at least on the right track. I have to not starve myself because I don’t want to take the time to figure out the nutritional facts or just stressed out that I’m not getting the exact numbers. I tend to do that.

14 Day Sugar Detox – Day 11and 12

I’m ready for these 14 days to come to a close. While I have been able abstaining from sugar, my food choices have been pretty limited, especially with what I am used to eating. I plan on having a big Ole Watermelon on Monday and getting back to a more balanced course of eating. Although I am motivated to balance everything out, I’m not too motivated to type anything today…


Day 11 – 5/22/14 – Thursday

Weight: 171.4

Day 12 – 5/23/14 – Friday

Weight: 171.0


My Thursday lunchtime run stunk something fierce. My mile splits for the 4.45mi run were 9:06, 9:41, 10:43, and 12:28. So I started okay, but then it wasn’t pretty at all. I’m not sure how I will fair at my race on Saturday.

Friday I am taking as a complete rest day. I didn’t have a lunchtime run and will forgo taekwondo tonight as well. My legs have felt more “normal” today.

14 Day Sugar Detox – Day 10

Zhan commented on my Tuesday’s post (Day 9) “why not let fruit back in after the 14 day mark, and no processed sugar for two more weeks.” Which intrigued me greatly. After all, you’ll see below how things are progressing with my running and I do want things to get better. Then, my other friend, Gray (Like the Color), commented that “You don’t mention that more than half the kcal in your chocolates is from fat, and much of it probably saturated.” Busted.

Saturated Fat. That’s my real (health) enemy here. It’s not necessarily the sugar (it’s evil enough though) but my will power broken down to avoid the easily accessible (and free) high quality (as in not crappy chocolates). I find this lack of will power, disturbing.

On Tuesday, I took into account Jen’s suggestion of One Dessert A Day and made a draft of a tracking chart with allocations of chocolate for morning and afternoon. Now, after Gray’s enlightening comment about Saturated Fat, I know that I am going to have to track what I eat now (at least for a while). Because if I track, then I will have more will power to control what I put in my mouth. Then I make it a habit… then slack off a bit and then…. INTERVENTION!

So, track I will, except… I’m going to take into Zhan’s little suggestion/challenge with a little modification. Monday (5/26) will be the end of Sugar Detox, but I will not just jump back in sugar eating full tilt. I’m thinking that I will add back in foods that have sugar “naturally” and avoid processed sugar with one exception. That one exception will be Grade B Maple syrup but like I mentioned above, I will be tracking so I will be in the know about my intake. And I’ll do this for another 2 weeks so that as Zhan wrote, “See what happens…”


Day 10 – 5/21/14 – Wednesday

Weight: 172


My legs were dead, all day long. However, despite them feeling dead similar to how they feel after a strenuous trail run, I didn’t change my schedule. I walked about 0.3 of a mile from my car to the office but the one flight of stairs was tougher than usual. My lunchtime run wasn’t terrible, but the hills were killer. I did breakdown when I got back from lunch and took the elevator.

My legs felt drained going to taekwondo practice, but I went at full speed the entire time. However, that evening they felt really drained. It was kind of weird because they felt heavy but they didn’t feel “sore”. Usually, when they feel drained, they feel sore. I dunno.

14 Day Sugar Detox – Day 9

I will shed a little light on why I needed to do this Sugar “reset”. I am very much a chocoholic and this intervention, while I won’t abstain from chocolate in the future, will give me some proof that I don’t need to eat it 24/7 and to be aware of how much I eat.

Here are a few of the chocolates that are available with ease at my work along with some of the nutritional facts. There are other candies that are accessible, these are the main culprits.

Hershey Kisses (9pcs) – 210 calories, 12g total fat/7g sat fat, Carbs 25g (23g Sugar, 1g fiber), 3g Protein

Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (5pcs) – 220 calories, 13g total fat/ 5g sat Fat, Carbs 26g (23g Sugar, 1g fiber), 4g protein

Mini Nestle Crunch (3pcs) – 180 calories, 9g total fat/ 6g sat fat, Carbs 25g (21g Sugar, 1g fiber), 2g protein

Mini Snickers (4pcs) – 170 calories, 8g total fat/3g sat fat, Carbs 22g (18g Sugar, 1g fiber), 3g protein

I don’t know how many pieces of chocolate that I happen to take in any given day. Sometimes it is less, sometimes it is more (especially if work is real stressful).  For giggles sake, I am going to speculate that on average, I might get 24 pieces of chocolate, to make the math easier. 12 pieces before lunch and 12 in the afternoon. And it’s usually like 2-3 pcs when I go to the restroom or something like that, so it’s typically spread out over a few hours.

This totals to 861Calories, 49g total fat/23g sat fat, Carbs 105g (90g Sugar, 5g fiber), 15g protein

I’m going to use the 2,500 Calorie Daily Allowance values as I am a fairly active guy and by default need the extra fuel. So, just on this guess of chocolate alone, the chocolate eating accounts for 34% of Caloric intake, 61% of Fat, 92% of Saturated Fat and 28% Carbohydrates. Funny enough, there is no recommended daily allowance for sugar by itself, only total carbohydrates and fiber but not for sugar or  protein. And this is for the day, not including breakfast, lunch, dinner and any other snacks.

So, the decision to make, is how much to allow back into my diet. I have that schedule for the content portion of Day 12 write up.


Day 9 – 5/20/14 Tuesday

Weight: 171.6


It’s only 2 data points per category (the HORROR!) but the distances are the same routes, so that helps the comparison.

running before sugar

5/7/2014 3.35 31:14 Pace: 9:19 min/mile
5/9/2014 4.45 40:43 Pace: 9:08 min/mile

running during detox

5/14/2014 3.35 31:52 Pace: 9:30 min/mile
5/16/2014 4.45 45:13 Pace: 10:09 min/mile

I’m not surprised at all, I fatigue faster, but while my body is slowing down, mentally I still feel strong. This is unlike what happens when someone hits “The Wall” (as in The Matrix, there is no spoon, there is no wall) where the physical and mental energy levels are at a low.

I ran 8x400m repeats and I couldn’t keep the pace very well, my best lap was a 1:50 min (7:20 min/mile equivalent) whereas earlier this year, I was able to run repeats in the 1:35 min time frame (6:20 min/mile equivalent). What does this really mean? I’ll speculate on it real soon.



14 Day Sugar Detox – Day 8

20140520detoxOver the weekend I was asked about the program that I was using and so I promised that I would make one of the “content” portion of the posts about the program.

Disclaimer: I am using this program as one might use a power tool without any knowledge. I’m quite sure that one could reap more benefit out of this by following the tutelage of the brain trust, Olga Arnold, NTP.

Here are the claimed benefits listed on the website:

Why Sugar Detox?
Lose unwanted pounds
Eliminate energy spikes and crashes throughout the day
Reduce or eliminate your cravings for sweets

Sugar is linked to:
Elevated triglycerides, increased LDL and VLDL (“bad cholesterol”)
Increased rate of aging
Negatively affected mood and depression
A suppressed immune system

You can get the eating guidelines if you do a Google Search for “14 day Sugar Detox”. I don’t believe that it’s all inclusive and you can do a little bit of sleuthing on what you can and cannot eat. For example, in the NO FOODS section, it says that you stay away from “Milk: Skim, 1%, 2%, Low fat, Rice milk, oat milk” BUT in the YES FOODS it says that you can have Whole Fat Yogurt. Our conclusion is that Whole Fat Milk is acceptable.


Day 8 – 5/19/14 – Monday

Weight: 171.6


Since it was Monday, I brought Stevia (here’s a link some info on stevia) back and I have one word to describe the return of the first sweetener in my Sugar fast, “meh”. Stevia is not my favorite sweetener, more on that in a future post. I ended up only using a little less than 1/2 tsp, most of which was in a protein shake that I had for dinner before Taekwondo.

Today was the first day that my weight actually increased. I really don’t care because this little endeavour wasn’t about losing weight, that was just a bonus. In the end, it’s weight I don’t have to carry while running, but in tomorrow’s post, I’m going to outline the negative effect of this sugar (i.e. energy fast) has on my running and how it will effect Saturday’s Race.


14 Day Sugar Detox – Days 6 & 7

I am in the initial process (i.e. just thinking) of how I will reintroduce sugar and what rules I will make in my sugar consumption. I don’t think that I will track the actual numbers of what I eat, which I did back in my “modified” Atkins regiment of 2003, but rather an allocation of sugar yumminess. For example, one of the eating rules for The Boys is they may have 1 dessert a day. The definition of said “dessert”, by crafty design of My Lovely and Talented Wife, is ambiguous and we have liberty as to what is and what is not a dessert.

Since I know this methodology works, I am leaning toward something like this, so that I have some guidelines of moderation. I’m planning on making some sort of checklist that I can follow, so that it will be easy and visual. My goal is to present it on the Friday the 23rd post.


Day 6 – 5/17/14 Saturday; Weight: 171.2

Day 7 – 5/18/14 Sunday; Weight 171.2


It’s much tougher being at the house all day and trying to avoid eating certain things. I made bread in the bread machine and I stopped myself when I went to eat the dough stuck to the spatula. Then the aroma of the bread didn’t help.  Now when Jen asked if she could eat some cake, that was fine… not a problem with that.

I ate some popcorn during Family Movie Night (Friday) because that is what we do. Technically, I can eat corn, but I think it’s referring to unprocessed corn… not popcorn, but I’m going with it.

Sunday proved to be pretty comfortable in the hunger-type games. I typically have coffee with some creamer at our church’s coffee bar, but had to settle for black… no issues. My meals consisted of curry chicken salad and cheese.


14 Day Sugar Detox – Day 5

Come Monday, it’ll be all right. I’m going to add back only stevia to my diet. I may even limit the number of times that I use it. Really it will used mainly for sweetening coffee and making a protein shake. I tried unsweetened coconut milk and unsweetened chocolate in an effort to make something chocolately delicious. It did not reach expectations. If I add egg white protein powder and a touch of stevia, I think that will work better. Best chocolate thing right now with no sweetener is Almond Butter with some unsweetened chocolate.


Day 5 – 5/16/14 Friday

Weight: 172.2


Today my legs felt sore. Like, post hard race sore. Despite the cold and the rain, I went for a run at lunchtime. Crazy Tennessee Weather was that it stopped rainy and I had to take off the long-sleeved shirt because I was starting to overheat. A strange thing happened and that my arms started to hurt in the same fashion my legs were. I started in my right arm which I thought was just from a massive bruising injury I had from taekwondo back in April, but then my left arm started up as well. My uneducated, I did NOT stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, guess is that my body is starting to shift gears in how it acquires energy. That is, it’s burned through the simple sugars and since I have not lowered my activities levels, it is now have to get fuel from fat and protein.

But it’s enough that I didn’t go to taekwondo, because if I’m having trouble moving my arms and legs, that’s not going to be very productive.

The chocolate cravings were minimal while I was gazing at the basket of chocolate today. Still hungry, but the hunger pains are less pronounced. I didn’t drink as much water at work as I usually do, maybe 28-30oz. If I had remember to bring either my Lime Juice or the infused cucumber water that would have helped the situation.

14 Day Sugar Detox – Day 4

This isn’t the first time that I have done something drastic. Back in late August of 2003, I did the Atkins Eating Plan for a month. Basically, I was upset because I was “overweight”. At the time, I was pushing 178lbs, mainly from sympathy weight from Jen’s pregnancy with The Elder. I need to do something about it and it had to be fast and furious, I wasn’t happy with the way that I looked and felt. So, I went on what I called a “modified Atkins”, I don’t remember the specifics of the modification but if I recall, my number of carbohydrates was 20g per day. The plan was to last until just before my birthday so that I could have CAKE!

Over the course of the eating plan, I dropped down to 159lbs and while I lost a lot of weight and saw some of the desired results, I was not a happy person to be around. GRRRRRR. This feels more manageable because it’s just 14 days, I’m not trying to lose weight, and it easier for me to abstain from sugars rather than being able to have just a little per day.

Day 4 – 5/15/14 Thursday

Weight: 172


I was going to run at lunchtime, but the rain persuaded me to stay in. It wasn’t a hard sell either, as I was feeling fatigued and while I wanted to run I didn’t. I had a lot more food available to me during the day and that really helped. I was still hungry, but the feeling of hunger wasn’t as pronounced. Felt pretty good in the evening with my energy levels, didn’t crash at all even multi-tasking with folding laundry while watching Doctor Who.