So far its going pretty well. I have now been a full week without meat products, caffeine or booze. The toughest thing has been the caffeine.
I definitely have a hell of a caffeine habit. On an average day I probably drink about 6 or more cups of coffee a day, so going from 6 to 0 has been hard. The first few days I was getting headaches, feeling unfocused, grouchy and generally was not a joy to be around.
Its getting better but its still tough. I still WANT coffee.
My aim with the coffee thing though is not to give up coffee completely, but to top drinking it in the way that I do. I currently drink coffee completely mindlessly. I couldn't tell you for sure how many cups I drink a day for the simple reason that I'm not really 100% aware of how much I drink. I have a cup in the morning, then once I arrive in the office I pretty much drink it all day. The worst thing is, the coffee in the office isn't even good. In fact, its pretty dreadful. My aim is not to stop drinking coffee altogether, but to now only drink coffee when I am focused on drinking a cup of coffee. Like when I go out for a coffee, or I am sitting down with Steph to have a cup of coffee and a chat. Or just when I feel like I want to drink a cup of coffee for enjoyment. I picked up this tip from my buddy Christine the HolisticGuru and it seems like a good approach. Its also following the zen idea of focus.
"when drinking coffee, only drink coffee."I am probably going to set some kind of limit on it too, like no more than one or two cups a day.
Next up... booze. My aim is simply to drink less. I have had a tendency since I was a teenager to drink too much. I'm toying with the idea of just staying booze free completely. However, I do live in Ireland and its not easy! Its so ingrained in our culture. I have given up drinking on numerous occasions before. Once I just randomly gave up for three months. During that time I continued to go out to clubs etc. This is a real example of what happens when you try to stop drinking in Ireland
Friend: "what are you drinking"Now admittedly this was a fair few years ago when we were all a bit more into going out and enjoying ourselves. These days its a bit easier as people settle down, have kids etc.
Me: "nothing I'm OK"
Friend: "Ah sure have a drink"
Me: "OK I will have a coke or something"
Friend: "Vodka and coke?"
Me: "No Just a coke"
Friend: *Uncontrollable laughter*
At which point friend goes to bar, buys me a pint anyway and places it in front of me.
I remember one particular night that by the time I left the bar, my table had 5 full pints of beer on it, completely untouched by me.
The additional problem is, however, that I LOVE red wine. So we will see how that one goes.
As for the veganism... Well, I personally don't think that a vegan is really the best diet that human beings can eat. We are not really designed to live on such a diet. However for a one month detox sort of thing, I think its great. We've been eating really well. Ive even cooked once.. and BAKED! Yes, for the second time in my life i baked something. I have vague memories of baking scones when I was about 10. On Saturday me and Zane baked vegan Banana muffins. They were delicious! That night I cooked vegan french bread pizza. this consisted of a baguette base topped with a sauce made from tahini, soy sauce and lime topped with sauteed kale, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. It was go good I'm cooking it again tonight.
As for training. Its been going pretty well too. Ive hurt my foot so am taking two weeks off from running, but have been cycling and doing strength training. Last week was actually my highest mileage week for cycling to date with a total of 80 miles over 4 sessions. I know this isn't a lot compared with most cyclists, but its a lot for me as a novice. My previous highest mileage week was 70 miles (although I did admittedly run 35 miles that week too... This week Ive only run 6 miles). Three of this weeks rides were 13 milers... so to bring it up to 80 I did my longest ride to date of 41 miles on Sunday morning. This took me 2.5 hours and was hugely enjoyable.
Ive also been doing push ups, dips and core work. I tend to fail to keep up on doing this so Ive been working to a new challenge of doing this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and have had my buddy Josh the Speedy Sasquatch doing the same thing. Having mutual support/ encouragement/ competition really helps with this sort of thing. Originally the challenge was to do 100 push ups and 100 reps of core work 3 times a week. We are now both doing 150 push ups, 100 dips, and I'm doing around 200 reps of core work with Josh doing about 4 million or something like that.
On the whole I am feeling great, going to sleep earlier, getting up earlier, training in the morning and sometimes again at night. I still miss coffee.. and I'm permanently hungry. That, however, is nothing new... Its the training, rather than the vegan diet, that does that. I do think its worsened slightly due to the fact that I used to have a constant intake of appetite suppressant (caffeine).
I will update again next week.