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Happy In(Dependence) Day

The past few days have been kind of torturous, so before I get into the fun story of the day, here’s what up with me:

Thursday: Day 5 of the Get Yourself Together and Eat Healthy Diet. Pretty normal day, do a 20 minute interval run in the early evening. Once at home, I start to feel completely rotten. I’m hot and cold, my legs are numb, and I’m feeling dehydrated. Oh well, says I, probably a side-effect of running too much. Maybe I’ll head to bed a little earlier than normal (about midnight).

Friday: Wake up at 8:00 AM sharp, to…pain. Everywhere. My neck, my chest, my shoulders, my torso, my legs. I feel like I’m preparing for a full body X-ray with a suit of lead. I manage to get up, eat something…and then head back to bed, walking through my apartment at about 40% speed. I cave and have some cranberry lemonade that I find in the back of the fridge, then lie in bed, completely awake and completely motionless, for 3-4 hours. Torso and legs are still achy and numb, but I manage to sit up and then stand with less pain. Operating at 65% now, I manage to get some more food, get dressed, and head out for the day…at around 5:00 PM. After getting gas, I stop at Walgreens and wander around like a zombie until I manage to locate a thermometer, because my temperature is feeling wacky and I’m sweating. I take my temperature in the car, and maybe it’s the heat but I’m 99.6 degrees. No wonder I’m feeling rotten. I pop a few Advil. Next stop: Starbucks, to say hey to my favorite barista Lacey and get my daily iced coffee, probably a bad idea, but I need some caffeine. Head home an hour or two later, still feeling blah, and get ready to go to Chabad, giving myself extra time because I’m now operating closer to 81% than 65%. Take my temperature, and it’s 98.3, so maybe the heat from outside affected it. Go to Chabad for dinner, forgoing all carbs but a piece of challah, and head back home early, at about 9:45. I’m feeling a lot better now, but still I take 2 Advil and go to sleep.

Today: Up at 5:45, dehydrated and in pain. 2 more Advil and back to bed. Wake up around noon, almost as achy as I woke up the day before. Manage to get out of bed for yogurt and coffee (late breakfast) and a salami sandwich on lettuce (lunch). Now it’s just after 4:00 PM, and though my joints are less achy, this might not be the best day to go for a run since the gym is closed, which was my original plan. My temperature is 99.3, but it’s probably because I’ve been in my apartment all day, so maybe I should take a short walk outside or something.

I think I lost a little weight, maybe: Last night I weighed myself, and it looked like I had gained weight, but I weighed myself again right now, and it was five pounds LESS than last night, so by splitting the difference, I probably stayed the same or lost 1 pound since I weighed myself a month ago. I’ve heard that after about 2 weeks on the diet, the weight comes off, so I’m hoping to see what happens by this time next week and go from there. I don’t want to be on this diet forever – I want croissants when I get to Montreal! – but we’ll see how I do up until then, hopefully, which is a month from now.

But now, the story of the day…

Last night, I managed to get myself to Chabad for dinner, and just as I was sitting down at the table, we were doing the going-around-the-table doing introductions and answering a question. This week’s question was: what are you thankful for about America?

The answers were pretty banal and almost Miss America-esque, with people saying things like “I’m thankful for religious freedom,” “I’m thankful for a strong economy,” and “I’m thankful to feel safe everyday.”

Then, it’s my turn. My response?

“I’m Jacob, and I’m thankful for Target.”

A few snickers from the table, but I’m pretty serious. Who cares about freedom of religion when you can go to one store and get a laptop case, light bulbs, q-tips, bath towels, colored pencils, sweatpants, and a Nestle Crunch bar? Come on, friends, what do you think about more: free press, or shopping?

And, by the way, your freedom of religion? Tell that to black churches in the South. Strong economy? Europe has free education, and we’re not quite out of the woods with this recession thing. And…feeling safe? Try being a woman, an African-American, or identifying as LGBT. Being a cis-gender white male, I feel marginally safe in this country, and I might be totally wrong about the above three categories of people feeling safe, but were I one of them, I think I’d definitely feel at least a few moments of vulnerability here and there living in this country, especially in light of recent events in here in the good old US of A.

My first choice answer was actually Starbucks, but oddly enough, I did not want to sound too materialistic.

Happy July 4th, y’all. I’m off to celebrate with more salami and lettuce.

8

Raw Food and a Raw Deal

So much is going on in the world today, but as for me, I have finally decided to take a tighter hold on my eating habits.

As of 48 hours ago, I have subsisted almost solely on raw food. My only exceptions have been yogurt and peanut butter, because who has time to make those items from scratch unless you live on a farm.

I’ve always been of the opinion that a healthy diet consists of moderation. Protein, carbs, sugars, fats, all in harmony, just never too much of one thing. Carbs are not the enemy; well, not all carbs (hey, maybe that can be the next Facebook/Twitter movement, NotAllCarbs) but the majority – potato chips, white bread, sugar cookies – are just empty calories.

But now, I think it’s become time to purify my system, and maybe this raw food thing is the way to go. So far, my meals have consisted of:

  • Breakfasts: Yogurt and banana (the only fruit with more protein than sugar)
  • Lunches: Egg whites, salmon, tuna and lettuce
  • Snacks: Salad (sigh), chicken soup, post-workout green smoothie
  • Dinners: Chicken, some sort of veggies to pretend to enjoy
  • Drinks: Water, coffee, tea, water with sugar-free lemonade powder

I spent most of my day looking forward to my post-workout smoothie so I could have something sweet in my system. So, as you can see, my life is terribly exciting. Yeah…not so much. In fact, I’m miserable. I feel like I can’t eat anything. How do people live like this for days and months on end? Maybe, just maybe, if I make a list of foods I’m craving here, it’ll help me stop thinking about them all the damn time.

List of foods I miss:

  1. Sushi. (I wonder if I could get away with nigri or sashimi and still be on the wagon)
  2. Chocolate-covered almonds/bridge mix.
  3. Twizzlers.
  4. Frappuccino.
  5. Caramel Macchiato.
  6. Diet Coke.
  7. Cookies.
  8. Popcorn.
  9. Pretzels.
  10. Muffins.

I guess that’s not too bad or long of a list.

Here’s to Day 3, I guess.

But I don’t have the rawest deal of the day.

After Donald Trump’s crazy rant about Mexicans being drug lords and rapists, he’s been losing traction. First, Univision canceled the airing of Miss USA and Miss Universe, which, by the way, is two weeks away. Then, individuals started dropping like flies: judges including former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, the entertainment, the Spanish-language commentators, and Farouk Systems (the hair and makeup stylists). Today, NBC officially announced that they are dropping Miss USA from its airing schedule. So, basically, 51 women who have already traveled varying distances to the pageant (well, I guess Miss Louisiana didn’t have to go too far, given that it’s in Baton Rouge this year) will either a) not get to participate in something they’ve been preparing for for the better part of a year, or b) be denied the privilege of having their non-present family members watching them getting crowned. Either way, it’s most likely that these poor ladies wasted thousands of dollars on travel, gowns, and other preparation-type-things.

Prepare for some epic backlash. Meanwhile, I will prepare some vegetables.