Exercise, Life, Resources

No Sugar, No Salt, No Caffeine, No MSG, No High Fructose Corn Syrup

For the first time in the last, I don’t know, twenty years? I went an entire day without consuming any off the following foods, food additives, or beverages:

Salt: According to this article at Web MD about the relationship between salt and heart disease, the appropriate amount of salt for an average adult is about 1 TEASPOON per day.

Sugar: According to this article, the World Health Organization recommends that the average adult consume less than 10 TEASPOONS of sugar, per day. (One granola snack bar has TWO teaspoons of sugar!)

Caffeine: According to this article at the Mayo Clinic website, caffeine may (temporarily) enhance weight loss, by increasing the amount of fluid that our bodies excrete, but, in the long run, caffeine may contribute to heart disease, loss of sleep, and high blood pressure.

MSG: There are many conflicting reports about the effects of consuming mono-sodium glutamate. Whenever I eat foods that have MSG in them, I feel bloated and my fingers swell.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Again, there is much debate about the effects of consuming HFCS. My opinion? I find it odd that many of the foods to which I am “addicted” contain HFCS.

Soft Drinks: (Soda, Pop, Cola, Coke) I once heard, and this could be COMPLETELY FALSE, that it takes 10 cups of water to “remove” the harmful chemicals from one can of soda from your body. Is this true? I have no idea. But, I cannot imagine that any beverage containing “acid” could be good for me or my body.

I went to the gym today and I WORKED OUT. I really pushed myself to FOCUS on one specific goal and to push myself. Normally, I go into the gym without a “game plan”. Today, I focused on forty-five minutes of intense “cardio”. I used the elliptical, my new favorite piece of exercise equipment. (Am I the only one who wants to put a “z” in the word “exercise”?)

How do I feel after working out AND avoiding all of the above foods? Strange, somewhat hungry, and exhilarated.

After getting home from the gym, I was still a bit “restless”. So, I headed to the local track and I walked for 1/2 a mile and I RAN FOR 1/2 MILE! Yes, my friends, your chubby little pf blogger actually RAN FOR 1/2 MILE! (Okay, I ran for 1/4, walked 1/4, ran 1/4, walked 1/4, but still, you get the picture!)

Basically, I consumed raw fruits, stir-fried vegetables, lots of water, and a little protein. It amazing how LITTLE food I actually needed to eat to feel “full”. My theory is that, when not slathered in the above “unhealthy” food additives, the food actually gets to “do it’s job” of “filling me up”.

7 thoughts on “No Sugar, No Salt, No Caffeine, No MSG, No High Fructose Corn Syrup

  1. I agree wholeheartedly that soda is junk. Tons of sugar and no nutritional value. However, I can think of at least one beverage that has acid in it that is pretty nutritious… Orange juice. Lots of Vitamin C (in the form of ascorbic acid) and potassium. Fresh apple cider has tannic acid too and I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to my kids.

    Kudos for the workout! Just don’t push yourself so hard that you injure yourself and then have a setback. No pain, no sprain!

  2. I started cycling a few years ago and I have never felt better. Last night I got on my indoor trainer even though I was super tired and worn out (having a 1 year old does that). I actually had more energy (perhaps from the oxygenation) after my session on the bike. There’s nothing better than a great cardio workout. If you get the chance outdoor cycling is SO much fun. Last year I did organized group rides in town, exercise in a group doesn’t seem like exercise.

  3. ah, I love using the elliptical at the gym. I discovered it a few weeks ago.

    And I agree with your conclusion that food with unhealthy additives doesn’t fill you up. I’ve noticed that when I eat junk, it just makes me hungrier, but if I eat fruits & veggies I get full and stay that way for longer.

  4. HFCS is nasty stuff. It’s in everything too, and in giving it up I’ve lost a bunch of weight simply because 50% of the food in the grocery store contains it. Any loaf of bread without it is the needle in the proverbial haystack.

    But I can say this, after 2 weeks of no HFCS, my body felt completely different in a really good way. I had only lost a few pounds but I felt so much “lighter.” I dunno, hard to explain, but exercising was easier, sitting up straight at my desk all day was easier, everything just felt BETTER.

    Now I’ve got to give up diet soda or at least cut down. I drink at least six cans a day of diet Coke. TOTALLY ADDICTED. I’ve tried giving it up before only to suffer horrible migraines. I don’t know if I’m addicted to the caffiene or the aspertame more. But it’s a bad, bad deal. Just like a junkie, I have to make sure I have a couple cans nearby. When I go camping, I have to make sure to bring diet Coke! It’s bad.

  5. @Amber: yeah, it’s not unusual to get headaches when you stop consuming caffeine, especially if you drink a lot. Try switching to black tea (no sugar if you can take it) to cut down on the amount of caffeine you are ingesting. If you don’t get headaches when switching to tea, you know it’s the caffeine you are hooked on, not the aspartame. At least black tea has a few antioxidants. Diet soda has nothing going for it. And a teabag is cheaper than a can of soda any day too!

  6. Congrats!
    Also, doing your running in increments like you did can help you meet your fitness goals faster. Doing interval training where you work intensely for short spurts and recover for long spurts greatly increases cardiovascular fitness and fat-burning during workouts (even future, non-interval workouts!) There was a great article about it in the NY Times recently, you should read up on it!

  7. When I started reading this, I was wondering what you ate since even a lot of healthy foods contain sugar. In fact if you avoid sugar, you technically avoid high “fructose” corn syrup.

    Most likely, the article on needing 10 classes of water to flush a can of soda is due to it’s high acidity. The theory is that in order to balance this, you need to drink something equivalent in “alkilinity.” Unfortunately, for this to work, it has to be alkiline water. It’s fairly controversial overall… For more info see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_ionizer

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