Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Getting Dark, Too Dark To See.

Over time I've come to think of myself as what I like to call an "Early Resister". This is the polar opposite of an early adopter - you know, the first guy on your block with an iPad, or the guy that knew about that cool new band before you did. Instead of taking new ideas and embracing them, I tend instead to hear of a new idea and think, "That sounds dumb." And, as this blog attests, I'm not particularly shy when it comes to expressing my thoughts.

The upside to being an Early Resister is that sometimes, when something does prove to be a short lived fad, you dodge the bullet. So, for example, I never wore a pork pie hat (think 1993) or thought The Offspring were an ok band (1996/7). The downside to being an Early Resister is that a lot of the time you're wrong. In fact, I distinctly remember arguing with Pete Hyde about Email. I was, unfortunately yet unsurprisingly, arguing that it was dumb. "If I want to get in contact with someone," I remember stating forcefully, "I'll just write them a letter."

The first email I ever wrote was to Pete. It said, "Dear Pete. You were right. From Brendan."

Incidentally, I was telling someone else about being an early resister just the other day, and related the same anecdote. "How could you be so stupid?" he asked, "Arguing against email is like arguing against telephones." I agreed, and added that I probably would've done that too. When you're wrong so often you get pretty good at it.

With this all in mind I should probably confess that when it comes to nutrition - and food science as a whole - I largely thought that it was bullshit. I mean, I've been vegan for a very long time, so obviously I took note of my diet, but anything beyond "this has no animal products in it" was alright by me. There were two sensations within my body that I took note of: Hungry (aka Undesireable) and Full (Desireable). The journey to each particular destination was pretty irrelevant. As such, I've been on some pretty interesting food adventures - I've lived on peanut butter and jam sandwiches for two weeks; I've eaten fifty shoddy dumplings from Camy Dumpling House in one sitting; I've battled the vegan chocolate cake at Vegie Bar singlehanded and won; and I've tried my best to disprove the myth of the skinny vegan. None of them - well, apart from the Dumplings - made me sick, and I certainly didn't notice any change in my day to day 'performance'.

Nowadays, of course, I ask a bit more of my body. I started off simply eating a little more of what I was already eating, which meant that even though I was exercising a lot, I wasn't really losing any weight. So eventually I started paying a bit more attention to what went in my mouth. People had been recommending that I read this book for a long time, but initially, true to form, I thought it was dumb. Some of this initial skepticism was due to the fact that Brazier is a triathlete, and as a cyclist I'm hardwired to view triathletes as slightly below wombats in intelligence. Casey bought the book nonetheless, and eventually I - in a moment of weakness - picked it up.

Now, I'm not following the diet meal for meal, so I can't state unequivocally that it's fantastic and you should live by it forever and ever and ever amen. I have, however, made a few changes to my diet as a result of reading it - trying to have one big salad a day, drinking the energy smoothies, exploring the weird and slightly gross world of dried fruit, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, cutting out bread and coffee and processed food, and paying more attention to my recovery. Hell, tonight I even got busy with the food processor and made a whole heap of homestyle energy bars. And when I eat them, I'll be paying attention. So far, it's been working out pretty well.

So, I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I was wrong. Apparently it is important to eat well, and the Thrive book isn't dumb. There.


nikcee said...

my friend BJ has good praise for the book (thrive). he was climbing a LOT in canada and played with the different meals a fair bit. he gave me a bunch of feedback on it.

vegan pulse said...

good to hear brendan. how fun are food processors !!!