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2000 Calories of summer vacation

Taking a little break.  Have a nice couple weeks!

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1 Coldstone Creamery Milkshake

For Breakfast I had ice water, ibuprofen, and anticipation.

For lunch I had diet lemonade, and dreamed of the evening.

For dinner I had more ice water and a big helping of self pitty.

“Nobody’s making you do this, you know,” laura said while eating a a Thai curry stir fry.  I could smell the garlic, the coconut milk, the spinach and fresh basil from our garden.  My stomach churned.  But I waited.  Saving myself.

Then the pay off!

Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, desert.

Oh yeah!  The Coldstone gotta have it sized PB&C milkshake.  You’re looking at 2010 calories of chocolaty goodness.

You’re looking at the unhealthiest drink in America.

You’re looking at what I dreamed about all day long and chugged in 5 minutes.

It was 94 degrees outside, and I’d been painting outside in the sun all day.  The blast of air conditioning by itself was enough to make me sure that I’d finally died and gone to heaven.  The unenthusiastic and clearly mandatory “welcome to Coldstone,” I received upon entering the store made me sad for all the people on earth who hate their jobs.

I got the counter and ordered.  “I’ll take whatever you’re largest size of peanut butter and chocolate shake is.”  I waited to see judgement in the server’s eyes…

“You do know you’ll be obese by the time you finish this.”

but all I saw was boredom… and efficiency.  The server quickly pored a dash of milk(or heavy cream perhaps) into a blender, then mixed in seven scoops of chocolate ice cream and a huge clump of peanut butter.  I cheered as the blender began to roar!

I chugged that delicious chocolaty peanut butter heart attack.  I tried to take it slow, but I was so hungry, and hot, and man it was cold and delicious.

“You know that’s 2010 calories, right?” Laura said, eying my milk shake over her ice cream.

“So…”

“So you’re going to have to give me at least a drop.”

Never have I eaten so many calories so quickly.  That thing was barely in my hand before it was history.  Then I felt like this:

Man, I’ve heard people talk about a food coma before, but I don’t think I ever truly experienced one till after this.  Thankfully, when we left the restaurant, Laura was driving.  We had a nice conversation that went something like this:

Laura: “Something something something”

Me: “Really?”

Laura: Something I didn’t hear at all.

Me: “Wow”

Laura: Looks at me like I didn’t say the right thing.

Me: “”Look, I’m kinda trying to digest over here.”

Now, if I had gone on a run instantly, I obviously would have barfed my guts up everywhere.  So I did what any smart person would do and played a round of mini golf first.

Even after two hours of digestion, the run was horrible.

Mile one I burped up peanut butter.

Mile two I had stabbing bilateral side aches.

Mile three I ran out of gas, barely keeping a crawling pace based on sheer willpower.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 2010 cal
Fat: 131 g
Saturated Fat: 68 g
Sodium: 880 mg
Carbohydrates: 177 g
Sugars: 153 g
Fiber: 9 g
Protein: 46 g
Cholesterol: 375 mg

(that’s the saturated fat of nearly 70 slices of bacon)

Fulness Factor:  Truth, as soon as I ate it I wanted to eat something salty.  Like fries.

Cost: $5.49

Performance: Horrible

Taste: There’s a reason people eat this.

20 Bananas

First things first, I did not die of potassium poisoning.

Second thing second, twenty bananas is a lot of food. Here is how I decided to divide them up: five for breakfast, seven for lunch, two for an afternoon snack, six for dinner.

After breakfast I felt great, until 9:55 when I got seriously hungry.  This is how I was feeling by lunch time:

I ate lunch with two students I had put in detention.  I sat there and talked to them about taking responsibility for their actions, making good decisions, etc… they rolled their eyes, nodded at all the wrong times, slumped in their chairs obviously waiting for me to be done lecturing them.  The guy in charge of discipline came in and gave them a good talk while their eyes glazed over and they gradually slid below table height in their chairs.

I was wondering if we should check their vital signs to make sure they were alive when one finally piped up, “Why did you just eat seven bananas?”  I guess he was going to be ok.

I was stuffed by the time I finished lunch, and felt pretty good.  I was hungry here and there for the rest of the day, but nothing serious.

I ate two bananas before jogging.  The only hard part was deciding which one to eat first.  See my dilemma?

During the run I felt somewhat crappy.  I expected to feel great, but the first two miles were a struggle.  I had energy but kept getting side aches and had a headache to boot.

That night I had some digestive discomfort. A lot of gas, if you really must know.  It lasted for 24 hours.

And now for poop.  Truth is, if you eat a bunch of bananas, you produce something that looks startlingly like a bunch of bananas.

Cost: $7

Taste: Pleasant

Performance: sub par

Fulness Factor: low.

X Factor: A highly portable food individually wrapped with a sterile and biodegradable  miracle of science.

5 Lbs of Beets

Well look, nobody has ever called me a mathematician.  I got a little bit confused while getting ready for this week.  And thank God.  Turns out it takes 10 lbs of beets to get to 2000 calories.  I thought it was 5 lbs.  That’s why I am still here to write this blog, and why the whites of my eyes are still white and not red.

Let’s just start with a picture.

That’s 5 lbs of beets.  That’s what I ate.  I think it was enough.

I love(d) beets.  I think they are delicious.  Laura says they taste like dirt.  I think they have a wonderfully complex earthy flavor.  I threw all five lbs in a pot and boiled them with a sense of anticipation.  The whole house smelled delicious and the water in the pot turned red.  I figured it would be a great day.

At breakfast I ate my fill, and felt just fine.  I was hungry about thirty minutes later.  I toughed it out.

Just before lunch I was shocked to discover that my pee was not its normal color.  Not even close.  Here’s a picture.

I don’t always garnish and ice it…

Lunch I ate all the beets I could hold.  I put a good face on it and acted like I was enjoying myself, but that complex earthy flavor was starting to be more similar to red dirt.

I experienced something that I remembered from carrots, the feeling of being both stuffed and hungry.  It’s very strange and highly unpleasant.

Well, during the afternoon I suffered some nausea, and a headache.  I was also somewhat lethargic.  I had a giant snack of big boiled beets and had some caffeine, which knocked out the headache.

I have a friend who put himself through college and had very little money.  He grew a huge garden and ate his own produce to cut down on food costs.  He claims that when beets were in season he ate them for every meal and drank the juice in between.  This, he says, left all of his white t-shirts with pink stains in the underarms.  I thought this sounded a bit far fetched, but after stuffing beets in my face all day I planned to run in a white t-shirt and see what happened.  Lo and behold:

One run, and my white shirt is already turning pink from beet tinged sweat.  Holy smokes!  This stuff is potent.

After the run I had about a pound and a half to go.  I met some friends at Panera Bread for dinner.  They ate delicious soups and salads.  I ate beets.  And shivered.

“You ok?” One friend asked.

“Yeah, thanks for asking”

“Because you look terrible…”

“Oh, well, weird because I feel OK.”

“Maybe it’s just your hair,” he said, trying to smooth the akward situation over… like my hair indicates how I’m feeling about my diet.

I feel excellent!

Truth is I was freezing.  I couldn’t warm up.  After the run I took a quick creek swim to cool off.  My fingers immediately turned white and went numb and for the next four hours June felt like January.  I guess I just didn’t have the calories available to get my body going.

And I was nauseous.  So, for the record, sometimes I lie to people when they ask stupid questions and I am trying to eat beets for dinner without barfing red die all over a restaurant.

So I know you are wondering about the poop.  Well, it was unbelievable.  First time I ate a lot of beets I honestly thought I was dying after viewing the aftermath.  I was prepared this time, but it was still amazing.  The whole toilet bowl was filled with color.  Deep complex color that swirled and shifted.  I grabbed my camera and took about a dozen disgusting pictures, which I later deleted.  But I did accidentally leave my camera in the bathroom.  I’ll leave you with a little gem I found when I checked the pictures:

Judging by the angle, the glimpse of wallpaper, and the smile, I can say with authority that he is sitting on the toilet.

Taste: Complex and earthy slowly fading to mud.

Cost: $10

Fulness Factor: I only ate one thousand calories, and was very hungry.  I don’t think I could have eaten much more though.

Performance:  I ran six miles with friends and around a 9 minute pace.  I was tired, but felt pretty good on the whole… for the only time that day.

X factor:  Purple spit, red pee, poop that would have had me calling 911 if I didn’t know better… a truly colorful day.

Ps.  I can’t lie, I am starting to get a little bit tired of being sick one day a week.

14 Cans of Coke

I called Laura on my way home from work.  “I’m going to do coke all day tomorrow.”

Suddenly a weird robotic sound beeped in the background of our phone conversation.

“If this is the federal government listening in, let me just clarify:  I am going to drink coca cola all day tomorrow.”

You know, this stuff:

What you’re looking at right there is the world’s most recognized logo.  Apparently about 94% of people in the world know would recognize it.  I know I would… and tremble.

fourteen cans of coke.

I drank two cans in the car while driving to work.  I arrived feeling slightly flustered and a little too energetic.  I popped a third can, drank it and started feeling like $100.  Seriously, euphoric.  Jokes seemed hilarious.  Even though it was cloudy I just knew the sun was shining down somewhere.  Somebody was playing dance music and it was all I could do to not just bust out a few embarrassing moves.

It was a busy day.  I had 5 kayak trips to lead, and I fueled them each with a can of coke.  I was hungry, but energetic.  The sun came out, and it started getting hot.  No worries, I broke out a giant bottle of ice and poured my cans of coke right in there.  Refreshing?  You bet.

According to one study that I didn’t read, the half life of caffeine in an average healthy adult is just under 6 hours.  (Source)  According to several websites of somewhat questionable reliability there is a condition called “caffeine intoxication” and it sets in at around 250 mg of caffeine.

Well, I passed that threshold pretty quickly, and kept  building my levels all day long.  My sense of euphoria kept building too.   So did my need to pee.  Holy smokes, I was peeing all day long.

After clocking out at work I stopped off to empty my bladder before getting in my car.  I drove to a park about 30 minutes away where I was going to test the performance.  The discomfort started about 15 minuets into the ride and built in a serious hurry.  This is how I was feeling:

I started speeding just to be safe.  It was getting critical.  By the time I got where I was going I just dived out the door of my car and ran full tilt into the woods, keys still in the ignition, car door wide open.  I made it, but barely.

Once I started jogging rather than dashing for cover I felt pretty good… mentally.  I had a can of coke on ice, and I thought I could take on anything.  I started planning ultra marathons and iron man triathlons for the end of summer.  I stopped after a quarter mile to water another tree.  At about one mile I was still feeling awesome in my mind, but I got a nasty side ache.  I wondered vaguely if that was why people tend to drink things like gatorade or water as opposed to soda while jogging.  No worries, I was on top of the world.  A side ache never stopped a real athlete.

I powered on through the pain and started noticing something strange.  The ache in my side was intense, but somehow also felt far away, like it was happening to somebody else.  My sense of reality was slipping, just a little bit at a time.  Within a few minutes it was like I was playing a video game, or maybe watching through someone else’s eyes as the trail meandered under a pair of feet with pounded away, distantly and automatically.

My altered reality trail run.

At this point I decided it would be a great idea to go exploring, so I turned off the marked trail up a path with horse foot prints.  The trail divided, and divided again.  Soon I was just running through the woods thinking “Well, if I were going to build a trail, this is where I would put it.”

I crested a giant hill broke out of the woods and found myself in a corn field.  The corn is still about a foot tall, so I picked a row, pointed towards where I thought my car might be parked about two miles distant, and started running.  Whoever planted that field, however, didn’t have direct travel in mind.  I ran a couple hundred yards and found myself headed in a completely different direction.

Like my tie?

The corn field ran out and I was in a patch of poison ivy.  I powered through that, through a ravine and into another field.  This one had grass growing up to my shoulders, but I could see more corn ahead.  I headed for it, but something weird was happening with my body.  Any time I tried to lift my legs up high I was getting a nasty cramp in my upper rear thigh.  It was like, as some runners say, my mind was writing checks that my body couldn’t cash.

Also, I thought that the term “diuretic” didn’t have anything to do with actual diarrhea.  The run proved otherwise.

At this point I was walking a fine line between euphoria and worry.  I was cramping up, out of coke, semi-lost, and trying not to poop myself in a sea of shoulder high grass and poison ivy, in a place that if anything were to happen nobody would find me until a cow wondered what that gross thing was in his hay bale.  On the other hand the sky was amazing, there was an indigo bunting flying around, and I was really happy to see that whoever owned or leased the land I was on was sticking to some pretty respectable agricultural practices.

My potential search party

Side Note: If you ever get lost anywhere on the east coast, here is a surefire way out:  Go downhill until you find a stream (trust me, you’ll find it) Go downstream until you find a road (It’ll be closer than you think).  Walk down the road till you come to Walmart.  Buy a Rand McNally Atlas for $4.88 and Bingo!

I took a while to study the shape of the hills, and put my plan into action.  By the time I made it back my legs were torn up and I was seriously thirsty, but I had the perfect cure for that!  Three cokes to go.

My plan was to finish drinking by six so that I had a shot at getting some sleep eventually.  I had those last three cokes back to back and it pushed me over the edge.  Dysphoria set in.  I was fidgety.  Nervous.  I hung out with friends but was miserable.  My hands wouldn’t stop moving.  My feet wouldn’t stop tapping.  I picked up a ukelele and played the bass lines to hip hop songs on the stereo to try to keep myself occupied (obviously, I am very cool).  I was nauseous, tired, wired, slightly sweaty.

On the drive home it was raining, and I was terrified.  What if a tree fell on me?  I called my friend Bryan at 1 A.M. and canceled a whitewater trip we had planned for the next day.  It just seemed too dangerous.  What if my young beautiful wife drowned?  I instantly regretted my decision.  What if I had just ruined what would have been an awesome day?  Did I do long term damage to my friendship with Bryan?  I was a mess.

The next day I still felt weird.  My butt muscles were sore.  I was achy.  My stomach felt weird.  I was tired.  I needed some caffeine to wake up…

Cost: $5

Taste: Sweet and Refreshing.

Performance:  Terrible and dangerous.  See above.

Fulness Factor:  Bad.

X Factor:  Cammels like coke.  I can prove it:

So do monkeys:

40 0z. of Steak

6:45 AM found me out on the deck in my underwear setting a new record for the world’s earliest cookout.  As you can see, I was feeling pretty good about this:

Also, the neighbors were happy about it.

For breakfast I had the classic steak and eggs, but without the eggs.  It was pretty tasty.  It’s strange, butter comes from cows, and steak comes from cows, but steak is way better!  As far as I can tell cows can pretty much only make two kinds of butter, salted and unsalted.  They are way better, however, at making steak.  They can make so many kinds.  I’ll prove it.

The full menu.

I bought steaks called “eye of round” which appeared red and meaty.  They were of a mid to low price, and I am unable to locate them on my cow map above.  They were round, but I think they had very little to do with any actual eyes.

As you probably know, I am in the habit of eating in the car on the way to work, but to really enjoy this properly I thought I would eat it hot and fresh.  This was a good decision, but breakfast ended up being a good bit earlier than normal.  By the time 8:30 rolled around I was ready for more food. I fought the hunger, pushed it down, told it it wasn’t real, and what do you know?  It went away.  I felt fine, right up to lunch.

As I sat down with a pound of medium rare eye of round steak I thought about a strange conversation I’d just had.  My friend Paul loves beef with a love that most people reserve for close relatives that don’t annoy them too much.  Last week while cooking a dozen hamburgers he told me it was his “last hurrah.”  No more beef.  My first thought was a surprise terminal illness.  Maybe he’d actually contracted mad cow disease, it had made him go crazy and would shortly kill him.  Maybe his young and healthy wife had suffered a super rare heart attack.  I braced myself for the worst, and stared blankly at him waiting for an explanation.

“It’s environmental,” he said.

We’ve all heard that, but I have never looked deeper.  What are the impacts of meat?  I chewed thoughtfully on my delicious steak and resolved to learn about it… on day… maybe once my cholesterol starts giving my doctor problems.

Fact Number 1: Livestock production puts more greenhouse gasses into the environment than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes on earth? Some of it comes from methane produced by cows.   Source.

That’ll warm things up!

Fact Number 2: Between 70 and 80 percent of the grain grown in the United States is fed to livestock.  Source.

Fact Number 3: 26 percent of the ice free surface of the earth is used grazing livestock.  Source.

Fact Number 4: With all the arable land on earth and current farming methods, only 2.8 billion people can survive while eating a typical North American diet.  If everyone cut meat from their diets that number would increase to 17 billion.  Source.

 

After work, my brother Shane came over.  We had a nice little cook out involving an unmemorable cut of beef.  Immediately afterwards we ran some steep hills and muddy trails in a nearby park.  Our nieces were there swinging so we took a little break to push them “high as the sky,” which is apparently about 4.5 feet high. We ran back to the house and called it a night.  I didn’t feel speedy, but I felt fine.

Now for poop:  A lot of people warned me that I would be horribly constipated.  This did not prove to be exactly true.  The next day I did not feel any need to defaecate.  So I didn’t… for a while.  Eventually, I thought I should try, just in case.  No dice.  the next day dawned and everything was like brand new, with no apparent build up from missed time.

Cost:  $12

Taste: Tasty

Performance: Fine

Fulness Factor:  It was just about the perfect amount of food.  I was neither stuffed nor hungry.  Interestingly, to get the same amount of calories from chicken breast a person must eat twice the amount.

X Factor: I felt like an All American Man all day long.

Fact Number 5: I am not a vegetarian.  Source.

2.5 Sticks of Butter

You know that three year old kid who steals sticks of butter and eats them under the table?  That kid needs help.

I unwrapped a refrigerated stick of butter, slapped it on a plate and sat down for breakfast.  I held the fork in my hand and gave the butter a long hard stare. It stared right back.  I willed it to disappear.  It didn’t.  I willed it to become appetizing.  It didn’t.  I told myself it was chocolate chip cookie dough sans one or two ingredients.  It didn’t work.

I cut off a bite, gritted my teeth and chomped down.

Butter on pancakes?  Delicious.  Butter on butter?  Gross.

I don’t know what it is, but 11 lbs of carrots?  I’ll give my best shot without thinking twice (until I’m writhing on the floor in pain), a gallon of milk, I’ll try to drink that until I barf with no regrets.  Two and a half sticks of butter, however,  just somehow feels wrong.  I can’t pretend it’s worth it for all the vitamins or calcium I’m getting.  All day I felt like I owed my body, and maybe even my soul, a good old fashioned apology.

Normally in a day I would divide my food up into about 5 parts to stretch it all day.  Not today. Here’s how it went.

Breakfast: Used a fork.  Ate it cold. Fought my gag reflex like a champ.

Lunch: Cut thick slices off a stick, cut those into thirds, swallowed them like fat pills. Only sheer willpower kept me from barfing.  I actually felt like crying.

Dinner: Put it in a bowl, microwaved it, chugged it, and chased it with ice water.  Definitely the best method.

After breakfast I wasn’t full, but the thought of food made me want to ralf.  I taught class and suffered slight queasiness until lunch.  Still no desire for food.

When lunch time rolled around my life went dark.  But like a like little old Frodo I marched through my own personal Mordor  for the greater good.  Instead of a wasteland of volcanoes and evil forces trying to kill me, I faced a stick of cold butter trying to choke me to death, then attacking my arteries like a horde of tiny slimy orcs.  Instead of saving middle earth I was doing real science for this blog.  I think this is a strong metaphor.  Plus, 2 weeks, 2 hobbit references?  I’m on a roll.  Which is where butter is actually good… never mind… Moving on.

After lunch I felt somewhat queasy again.  And I felt regret.  Like I had just betrayed the trust of my body.  I checked in to see how it was doing, and this is what it asked:

There is actually a good answer to this.  Last week I tried rice, which is all about carbohydrates.  Butter is, of course, all fat.  Also, to my knowledge, it is the most calorie dense source of food in the world.  I wanted to see how it would make me feel.

I felt like an idiot.

The good news is whatever you do in life you can always justify it by finding a crazier idiot who did something more extreme and survived.  Like Donald Lerman, who ate 7 sticks of butter in five minutes to set a world record.

To test the performance I went mountain biking with some friends who are in pretty great shape.  It went fine.  I didn’t feel great, but I didn’t feel particularly lacking in energy.  Although every time I was going uphill slowly I blamed the butter.  Who wouldn’t though?  It’s a foolproof excuse.  Try it sometime.

Because!

That argument is over.

In other news, the next day I had the runs and pretty badly cramped up guts.

Fulness Factor: I ate the smallest amount of food possible to still get 2,000 calories and I didn’t feel hungry at all.  I find this amazing.

Cost: $2

Taste: Gross

Performance: Mediocre

X Factor: Next time I have toast I can probably just wipe it on my face and it will be buttery enough.

Special Midweek Update: The Gallon Challenge, a Photo Essay

Warning: This is not for the faint of heart.  Contains graphic and hilarious barfing imagery.

The gallon challenge is a well established tradition of stupidity.  Here are the rules: Drink one gallon of milk within one hour.  You must then keep it down for at least one hour.  While any kind of milk will be officially recognized, the pros go for whole.

We went for 2%.

Now a certain medical doctor gave his professional opinion that the gallon challenge is very possible.  He said the key is to measure out the 128 fluid ounces into 60 equal portions and drink one every minute. Here he is with his timer, regulation measuring cup, and a spirit of adventure:

Shane, my free spirited brother, showed up fifteen minutes late with a gallon and just started chugging.

Matt, a smart brother, decided to go with a half gallon and “keep liking milk.”

Although it’s may, a person gets cold chugging a gallon of refrigerated deliciousness.  In case you were wondering, a gallon of 2% milk contains 2080 calories.  Not bad for an hour.

Things went well for the first 40 minutes or so.  Then we started feeling like this:

Note how low the gallons are getting.  I was at 108 ounces when I made a dash for the deck rail and started feeling like this:

Naturally, this made Dr. Aaron feel like this:

But when he got to 120 ounces he changed his tune and started feeling like this:

Having started late, Shane had a little more time.  He powered on.

At 59 minutes he still had a good bit left.  It was go big or go home time.  He went big.  And here’s what happened:

The gallon challenge may be possible, but it it will take some tougher people than us to complete it.  Matt, I believe, would recommend sticking with no more than a half gallon at a time.

10 Cups of White Rice

Roughly two thirds of all the people in the world eat rice every day.  That’s over four billion people!  That’s a lot of rice being eaten.  I think it’s time that Science (AKA this blog) gave rice a good hard look.  What exactly is it the most of our world is eating as their main source of calories?  I set out on a journey of brand new exploration, like a Japanese tourist who discovers Times Square for the very first time.

First thing to do was check out what people are eating in different parts of the world.

According to this fascinating map the average American consumes more calories than anyone else on earth, a whopping 3,754 in one day. Compare that to The Democratic Republic of Congo, where the average citizen eats less than half of what an American does, coming in at 1606 calories a day.  This same country tops the UN’s list of the most undernourished countries in the world.  Three our of Four people are reportedly suffering from serous undernourishment.

I decided to do some real hardcore research on this topic using the scientific method.  I typed “Average American” into google images and here is the first hit:

I then searched “Average Congolese.” Again, here is the first hit.

Shoot!  Somebody get that girl some food.  And get me a plane ticket.  Somebody needs to go do some relief work.

I decided to eat  white rice, and I chose a variety called basmati, because it’s my favorite.  If this was a real food blog I would describe it for you, with all its super long grains and wonderfully earthy flavor, but let’s get back to the science.  Three and one third cups of dry basmati is 2000 calories.  I cooked that all in a pot and it blew up to about 10 cups.  You can see a picture of it right here:

Those containers are already full.

Looking at that mass of food, I thought that the best plan of attack would be to divide it into 5 roughly equal portions.  You know, breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and second dinner.  I thought these guys would be proud:

“Way to go buddy!”

Breakfast was rather bland.  I at it plain and cold.  I felt exactly this excited about it:

“Boring… I wouldn’t even beg for that.”

Two cups of rice is a lot of food, and I felt pleasantly full afterwards.  It was steady cruising all the way to lunch also.  My mind was sharp as a tack… which isn’t always the case, and I had plenty of energy.

Lunch was shaping up to be even more boring than breakfast, so I added just a hint of salt and pepper.  “Non nutritive” as my favorite doctor would say, so it wouldn’t skew my results.  I felt awesome right up until 4:30 when I had a good snack, which was surprisingly similar to breakfast and lunch.  I had already used a bit of S and P at lunch, so I just loaded it down for my snack.  It was delicious.

By this point in the day I was pretty sure I had just discovered the word’s most perfect food.  I was feeling like $100.  I went home and had an early dinner.  This time I slathered it in soy sauce.  I know… I’m on a real downward spiral here.  But can you blame me?  Plain= so boring!  With soy sauce=

It was time to test the performance.  I was pretty nervous.  I went out to a nice trail, did a bit of stretching.  I warmed up and touched my knees.  This was going to be my first run since Chocolate.  I started off at a nice slow pace.  My ankle was holding up, my muscles felt fine, my breathing was smooth, but man did the park benches look good!  My nice slow pace was turning into something glacial.  Then I saw a cute puppy so I stopped to play with him.  He licked the sweat off my ankle, and I felt a little weird about that.

I made it to a mile and a half and though I had earned a break.  I stopped and spent a while testing my auditory songbird identification skills.  I’m sorry to report they are pretty dismal.  I got running again, saw a park bench with a surprisingly nice view and sat on it for a while.  I met some nice people and had a chat about the one post office town of Strickersville.  I got running again, and finished out my last mile at a blazing 10 minute pace, which was by far the fastest of the day.

At home I had my last dinner of the day, and felt very satisfied.  Running aside, if I had to choose a favorite food that I have tested so far, it would definitely be rice!  I really felt great all day.  Didn’t exactly break the bank either.

Now for poop: I was highly impressed by my body’s ability to use such a mass of food with incredible efficiency.  Very very little was wasted.

Cost: $1.20, that’s less than the cost of a cup of coffee people.

Taste: Well, I cheated… so, great!

Performance: Terrible, but It was my first run after taking two weeks off for a sprain.  I think it deserves a re-test.

Fullness Factor: Absolutely perfect.  Not too full, not hungry, just right!

8 Avocados

Even though it is green, an avocado is technically a fruit, a berry in fact.  They are the least sweet berry I know of, but they are delicious.

8 Avocados is not a lot of food.  Think about it, I had to eat 25 apples to get to 2000 calories, so this is less than a third of that.  But avocados are different.  They are creamy and rich.  full of fat, plenty of protein.

I had two avocados for breakfast.  I split them in half, added salt, and ate them.  I felt great right up to lunch time, when I had two more.

Something I have learned while doing this project: there is a big difference between feeling full and feeling satisfied.  If you stuff your face you can get full on just about anything.  All you have to do is stretch your stomach out by eating too much.  However, your body doesn’t need to feel full to be satisfied.  Two avocados is not enough food to fill my stomach, but I can eat that and feel satisfied for five hours.

I had plenty of energy, so I went out kayaking after work.  I was practicing rolling, and got a good portion of the Chesapeake bay up my nose.

I was somewhat nauseous for the next hour or two, but who’s to say if it was the avocado or the water to blame.

I had a snack around five thirty, and was out till around 8:30.  I had three avocados for dinner and decided to do my best on a performance test.  I sprained my ankle last week and have been on crutches, so I knew it as going to be difficult. I put on some short running shorts and one running shoe.  Then I felt like an idiot and put on the other.  I grabbed my crutches (which don’t match) and headed out the door for a crutch run.

Here we go!

At 0.2 miles I was holding a 17 minute pace, and feeling good about it.  by 0.5 I was at 19.  When I finished my mile I came in at just over 25 minutes.

Cars on the road were slowing down for a good look.  I think they were admiring my new shorts.

And now to talk about poop.  Guacamole.

Cost: $6 (farmers market)

Taste:  Great, with salt!

Fulness Factor:  I felt very satisfied.  No real hunger all day.

Performance: hard to standardize, but I was active for 16 hours straight and felt good.