Updates: I’m Too Slow for Zombies and My Food Doesn’t like Me Much, Either

This is the, “Fail,” part of my motto.

It was expected, since I just finished the, “Try,” portion.

The Zombies, Run! app and I aren’t speaking at the moment. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I have no complaints. I just can’t handle even that level of physical exertion at the moment. Meaning that when I got to the first “training” exercise and the coach told me to do 10 interval sets of 15 seconds slow running and 1 minute walking I only managed to get through half of them before my legs locked up so badly I couldn’t stand anymore. It is extremely disheartening to realize that you are unable to do something that is supposed to be for beginners. It’s a couch to 5k program, and it’s too much for me.

And that’s okay.

There isn’t actually anyway to find out where my starting point is without trial and error. It would be nice to be able to find someone with all the answers, but even if I could I’m not a “change my entire way of living overnight” kind of person. I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of much their advice anyway. This setback is actually a win because I found out that right now my focus needs to be on flexibility not endurance. I still need to move more, but I don’t need to move as far or as fast as I was trying to. I am still looking forward to getting to use the Zombies, Run! app once I’ve worked up to the point where interval training is an option.

To that end, and to help reset my sleep schedule, I had decided to try a “Morning Mile.” The idea is that you set your alarm for about dawn, roll out of bed, walk/jog/run a mile outside, and then go on about your day. It’s a way to sneak in a consistent amount of movement without having to over plan. The sun exposure provides vitamin D and, because of the time, helps to balance the Circadian rhythm. I’ve only managed to succeed at this twice though, and even though they were right after I woke up they were still well after dawn. A couple of things I’ve noticed; when you are experiencing insomnia and don’t manage to actually sleep until well after midnight waking up at 6 am is not necessarily the most intelligent decision, also, it is unwise to move quickly and consistently first thing in the morning if one is experiencing digestive distress as it may result in discomfort unrelated to muscle exertion. Take away: this may not be my answer either. The mile walk itself isn’t so bad, but the whole “at dawn” bit is throwing me off. I think I am going to have to find a different way to work on fixing my sleep.

Speaking of digestive distress, you remember that cabbage I roasted at the beginning of this week. Such sadness. It was so very, very tasty, but I finally had to admit that it was not agreeing with me. I actually debated finishing it anyway, but the effects seem to have been cumulative and by my third exposure the idea wasn’t sounding so grand. My food misfortune wasn’t over though. I’ve made lettuce boat tacos the last two nights, and they have been unhappy with me as well. The discomfort is not the same, so it’s likely the causative mechanism is different as well, but the end result is the same. I have discovered at least two foods that I am going to have to remove from my diet for the time being. The only problem is I can’t figure out what it was about the tacos that did it. They were super simple; ground beef, garlic, onion, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne powder wrapped in a Romaine leaf and topped with sharp cheddar. The short list of ingredients should make it easy to pick out the problem, but I’m still going to have to run some trial and error. I think the culprit was the spices, but there is very little research evidence to back this up. In fact, capsaicin (the chemical that makes chilies hot) is a potent anti-inflammatory that is often used to treat digestive distress! Chemically, the most likely culprits are the garlic, onions, or cheese, however, I eat all three regularly and haven’t noticed a problem before now. That means that I am going to have to find ways to isolate each of these ingredients to see if I can determine which one makes me sick. If I don’t succeed I’ll have to simply remove the entire dish from my diet. I really don’t want to do that if I don’t have to. These tacos were tasty, fast, and easy. I would rather modify them than just get rid of them.

More importantly, these incidents imply that my digestion is more compromised than I wanted to admit. There is a strong possibility that I am reacting to these foods simply due to a compromised gut lining. Also known as leaky gut, it is often part of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) equation and responsible to a wide range of digestive discomfort.

Please, feel free to sing the Pepto song now, I just did.

Anyway, basically, there’s a good chance that due to chronic exposure to irritants, as well as chronic stress, my digestive tract is damaged and, well, irritable, causing an overreaction to certain foods. There are protocols available for this situation, but I’m not very good at following them. Instead, I prefer to incorporate as many of the guidelines as possible without stressing myself out further. Like I said earlier, I don’t successfully make huge changes quickly, but I can make little changes that build up over time. The good news is that if I can heal my gut lining there is a good chance that I will be able to reincorporate some of the foods that were acting as irritants.

I’m really going to miss cabbage.

If you’re looking for more information about digestive distress and leaky gut, Chris Kresser and the Paleo Mom have some really good articles on the subject.

I’m off to see about making some stock and looking up soup recipes. Wish me luck!