Tag Archives: yerba mate

Thursday Folderol

The week so far has been:  Monday off, Tuesday a 12-miler, yesterday 8 and today 9.  Yesterday was a late run due to Fran leaving my apartment at 2pm only to call a few minutes later with the words “My car’s not here!”  After asking him 3 times if he was serious before realizing his car had indeed been towed, I got a Zipcar and we anxiously made our way down to the creepy towing company area of Philly (they have their own icky enclave down there).  $251 later, the world was once again restored to normalcy…the shysters.

I’m running a bit slower this week, btw – purposely trying to widen the pace gamut because yeah, it’s fun to be running peppy all the time but then where do you go?  You end up wanting to top yourself each week and I can’t play that game, otherwise this is gonna turn into a grind.

Besides, while I’m not doing quality runs right now I have re-entered 60-65mpw so it’s not like I’m slacking.  Sure, it’s not nearly as effective as doing both workouts and mileage, but at least I’ve got one in the mix.

Appetite Suppressant Wrap-Up
I’m apparently a fickle creature; this experiment was far more interesting when I wanted to get back to 115lbs.  Once I realized my runs were trending for the better despite being 4 lbs up, I stopped giving a shit.  Even so, in the name of faux science, I did a few more tests this week since I said I would.

I tried Hoodia and Glucomannan after dinner (on different nights, of course) and while they do seem to help stave off hunger for an hour or so, neither is like “Wow, I couldn’t eat a thing!”   I’d say between the two, Glucomannan wins, not that it worked more effectively – they were pretty much the same – but at least you know what you’re ingesting with it. That said, I didn’t give Hoodia a fair shot since it should probably be taken a few days in a row to know if it works but I’m not into messing around with it that thoroughly.

The other thing is, I think both Hoodia and Glucomannan are probably more effective for those who don’t have a Stop button on them at meal time.  If I ate the way I did as a young chunky thing, to the point of always leaving the table stuffed, then I could see it having more of an impact.  They are, after all, meant to be taken before meals, but if you eat small meals already and just want to fend off occasional evening munchies, they’re kind of Meh.

Yerba mate remains the winner for my purposes.  I like the fact that it staves off hunger efficiently, doesn’t have any funny stuff added or processed into it and that it’s a common beverage for zillions of South Americans.  I won’t be drinking it all the time but I bought a french press specifically for brewing it.  It’s cool stuff.

A Death In The Family
It’s time to say goodbye to a trusted and longtime running companion, my Garmin 305. Even though it came back to life after the last rainy drowning, it lost another button and started acting strange this week – it starts beeping out of the blue and then the buttons stop working.  As much as I hated to admit defeat, I finally gave in and ordered another 305 at Amazon for $128.  They also had the 405 on sale for $169 but I prefer this version.  Now, please join me for a moment of silence in appreciation of my little mangled baby before I say goodbye for good.

Note the bottom strap is held on with fishing wire, the other strap's clasp is held on with electrical tape, it has 2 replacement buttons made out of wadded-up foil and attached with tape, numerous scratches from taking a few tumbles plus a weird oily drop beneath the screen that won't go away. It had a good life. Amen.




Next To Last Appetite Suppressant Post

I want to give everything a real chance before I report any conclusions, so I’m going to post my final observations in a week.  In the meantime, here’s how the testing’s been going:

Yerba Mate
I got my order from yerbamate.us on Wednesday and had some fun trying the different brands & flavors out. One thing’s for sure, I much prefer these yerba mates to the one I got at Whole Foods (Guayaki brand).  That one is extremely grassy/smoky tasting while the ones I ordered taste more like teas.  The one from Whole Foods works though, so it’s definitely worth trying if you want to test it out – just remember to buy loose tea – if you get teabags by mistake, you’ll need to infuse 3 or 4 to get the right strength.  If you decide you like it, order online; it’s cheaper and tastier.

A whole lotta Yerba Mate

I haven’t tried the Rosemonte Especiale yet or the free sample flavor they sent (Mountain Nut Premio) but I’ve tried the white chocolate and really liked it.  It has a relaxing, slightly sweet flavor (it contains stevia but I add more sweetener and milk) and while it’s not a dead ringer for white chocolate, it’s a great evening drink and didn’t give a buzz at all, though I only used 2Tbs so I wouldn’t get much caffeine.  I had a cup at 10pm and was able to go to sleep at my normal time, though because I brewed it conservatively, I was peckish an hour later and went for the carrots.

Now, yesterday morning I had the super-duper strong one, Mahtay.  That one has guarana seed, ginseng and extra yerba extract added and is touted as having “twice the kick of of any Yerba Mate on the market today .  I friggin’ believe it!  About 30 minutes after I had a cup, I was an absolute buzzing bee at the sewing machine! It was kind of funny actually, how I became uber-motivated and focused on the task at hand.

For a daytime pick-me-up it can’t be beat, but avoid it at night (not that I tried, you can just tell it’d keep you up).  I’m going to drink some before my next early morning voiceover gig – sometimes it’s hard to get my brain wrapped around medical/technical jargon at 9am but this stuff will have me zoned in from the get-go.

Like the other yerba mates, it keeps you from getting hungry but it’s not like you want to stop eating completely.  I had no problem downing my meals, I just didn’t get as hungry between as I ordinarily would.

I was timid about trying Glucomannan, which is interesting since it’s just fiber so in reality, it’s the least mysterious of any of these things I’m testing out.  But as I mentioned on a Facebook update, it has me thinking of the gelatinous creature from Alien, so when I tried it a couple nights ago, I only took 2 capsules instead of the suggested 3.  It seemed to fill me up some but didn’t last too long.  Since I didn’t choke, poop excessively or discover any jelly-like creatures bursting from my stomach, I’m going to test it with the proper 3-capsule dose next.

I tried it last night.  Since my interest in all this is focused on apres dinner snacking, I was tempted to take it a couple hours after dinner but followed the directions and took it an hour before dinnertime. I actually wasn’t expecting it to work since I’d read that you might have to take it for a few days before it starts working, which is one reason I was ready to dismiss it summarily.

Surprisingly, it seemed to work right off the bat. I held off cooking for an extra hour because I wasn’t hungry enough to go for it (and I’m always ready for dinner).  Btw, the kind I got, Source Naturals Hoodia, is the priciest of everything I’m testing but as I mentioned in another post, it’s worth it to me to spend the extra dosh since there are fakes out there and I trust this company.

Anyway, I found myself wanting to snack a couple hours after dinner, so next time I’ll try it mid-evening to see if that works because I don’t need or want my meals affected, I have no truck with those.  Ditto with Glucomannan, btw…it’s suggested to be taken 20 minutes before a meal, so I’m going to experiment with the timing of that, too.

Almost There
So the jury’s still out on Glucomannan and Hoodia.  I need to give them a couple more tries taken at different times to judge their effectiveness properly so keep an eye out for my final conclusions in a week or so.

Yerba Mate is genuinely effective for appetite suppression, however it can give you some added energy along with it, more or less depending on your brew strength.  While it won’t give you caffeine jitters, you’d have to do your own experimentation to figure out the right amount for the job.

I’ll close by giving my most humble apologies to those of you who don’t give a crap about any of this.  Normal posts will resume with the next one (not that there’s anything interesting going on anyway, but one can always hope).  In the meantime, have a great weekend, all!


Last Week’s Runs
…continued.  Saturday was an 8-miler @ 8:03 and Sunday was a 13-miler @ 8:15.  The week ended with 57.3 miles averaging 8:10.  I usually don’t pay attention to how the week averages but this was worthy of note because, in looking through my logs, the only times I’ve had such a quick weekly average was when speed, tempo or a race were included but this was all “regular” runs.  The combination of the weather mixed with a happy head from no “have to’s” or “shoulds” made for some lighthearted, lightfooted miles.

I also wore my HR monitor for Saturday’s run and was very pleased with the result.  As a matter of interest, right after my 2-week break I wore the monitor see what time off does to a girl’s heart and was shocked by how high it was: 162 (76%HRR) for 8:42 avg.  Not a bad HR as a whole, but very high considering the pace.   Comparatively, Saturday’s run was 164 for 8:03 avg…way better!  Additionally, the knee is happy again.  It’s all good in Flo Camp.

Appetite Suppressants
…continued.  I found an entertaining video of a guy taking us through Yerba Mate preparation and explanation.  Not only is the guy charming and quite a cutie, but it’s informative, too.  I’m supposed to get my Yerba order in tomorrow, btw, so I’m looking forward to trying the different ones out.  As far as taking it late, since it does have caffeine (more or less depending on if it’s a first infusion and the amount used), I’d say you’ll have to experiment to see if it messes with your bedtime or not.  Here’s an excellent article that a commentor linked to in the last post (thanks Illiterate Primates) if you want to read about the chemical and study stuff behind it.

I also found another appetite suppressant that doesn’t contain anything stimulating at all.  This is a good thing if you don’t want the energy/mental boost Yerba can give (and is surely better for evening consumption if caffeine is a problem).  This one is called Glucomannan and all it is, is fiber.  It comes from a  root that’s been consumed in Japan for over 1000 years.  Here’s some info on it.

You have to take water with it or you can choke (seriously, that’s on the bottle) because it turns into gelatin, which fills you up.  Apparently, it’s also good for constipation due to its fibrous properties so it’s used for that as well.  I haven’t tried it yet though I did get a bottle at Whole Foods this morning.  I’m holding off on testing it out because tonight is date night and if it makes me fart, that could be problematic.

A common way to use it is to open the capsule and put it directly into a smoothie or in oatmeal which seems to thicken it up.  I read some woman used it for a sauce thickener.  I’m not that brave so I’ll be testing it out by keeping it in capsule form.

That’s it so far in the land of experimentation.  I’ll check in with the results of this stuff in the next post.  In the meantime, have a great day, all!


Suppressing the Appetite

First off, it’s been a great running week.  I had another soaking run on Thursday but this one was way more fun and I wore my backup Garmin that can handle getting wet.  The 305 is back from the dead and working fine, btw.  I can’t seem to kill it no matter how hard I try.

Anyway, my paces have consistently been on the faster end and while I have moments in my runs where I tell myself to slow down (and might, slightly), I have this rebellious feeling right now that, because I’m not “in training” I can run however I damn well please.  “Screw text book ‘best training’ paces!” is my latest philosophy.  I should note that I don’t think I’m running outside my range, but I could do a wider range of paces rather than sticking in the top quadrant of 8’s.  If I cared.

This week so far it’s been:

Monday: off
Tues:  8@8:13
Wed: 9@8:07
Thurs: 9@8:14
Fri:  10.30@8:06 (this one had a mile at 7:10 where I was hanging on some schoolboys’ tails…’twas fun)

All but one day was in the 50s, making everything infinitely better.  Running in shorts again is a slice of nirvana.

Appetite Suppression Experimentation and a Clear Winner!
Bet you didn’t know I was searching for a way to suppress my appetite.  Neither did I till a few days ago.

As background: I don’t feel like being strict with myself for food lately – not that I eat unhealthy, I eat clean as ever, but I’m enjoying going out to dinner and not worrying about it and I’ve been off the calorie-counting parade all winter, just not interested in being as strict as I was a few months ago, besides…I’m not that far off racing weight.  BUT, what bothers me is I’ve been feeling hungry quite often, especially at night after dinner.  I know it’ll get easier once summer’s here but until then, I’m kind of annoyed by wishing I could eat more.

So over the last few days, I began doing some research on natural appetite suppressants.  Truthfully, I wondered if I should admit this on the blog because just the phrase “appetite suppressant” connotes something bad, like Anna Nichole Smith pimping Ephedra or the Dexatrim of my childhood (aka Speed).  I was looking for something natural that wasn’t dangerous or weird or made by some shyster company with the picture of a big-titted bikini babe on it.

I just wanted something to quell my evening nibbler impulses in a healthy way (as much as manipulating natural urges can be healthy).  Lets face it kids, I’ve done enough real drugs in my life that I’m not afraid of being a human guinea pig but I’m also a healthy human being now and plan to remain that way.

I looked at 3 things: Tyrosine, Hoodia and Yerba Meta. I’m not going to say a whole lot about them, you can look them up on Google and WebMD, etc…but here’s my experience so far:

This stuff is supposedly great for ADD, improving concentration and as a sidenote, also helps with appetite.  I could use the concentration help so I figured what the heck and I bought a bottle from Whole Foods.

The pain in the ass thing about this stuff is you need to take it on an empty stomach and since I eat regularly through the day, there are only small windows where “empty stomach” applies.  So I tried some right after waking, which is the normal time to take it anyway.  I did feel focused for a few hours after taking it, not really buzzy or speedy, but aware of having taken it…energized.

It seemed to help with appetite but only around the period that I took it, and I don’t really need it during the day, nighttime is my downfall and since it requires an empty stomach, I’d have to take it an hour before dinner or a couple hours afterwards and 1. that’s too much trouble for me to think about and 2. I think if I took it in the evening, it’d mess with me being sleepy, something I cannot fool with.

This is a controversial one, it has to come from a South African plant and there are lots of fakes out there.  You can’t even get it in Whole Foods or my local drugstores, but I found some at Vitacost under a brand I trust, Source Naturals, so I ordered it.  It hasn’t come yet but I’m regretting the purchase.  Something about it embarrasses me and makes me think I’m heading toward Anna Nichole territory with it.  This is crazy, though, because Source Naturals requires some major certification process so it’s supposed to be the real stuff, but the fact that I have to wonder at all is kinda creepy.  So anyway, I haven’t tried it yet but will when I get it just to compare.  It’s one of those things that works for some people and not for others.

Yerba Mate
This. Stuff. Rocks!!!  It’s not a pill or a capsule or anything questionable at all…it’s tea!  Or rather, it’s an herb that is steeped like tea and is a common drink of Paraguayans, Argentinians and Brazilians.  The traditional way to drink it (you want the loose stuff, not teabags) is to fill a gourd or wooden cup about 2/3 up with the tea, wet it with cool water to release the nutrients, place the special filter straw called a Bombilla into the cup and then add hot water.  Then as the day goes by, you keep adding water to the cup.

Yerba Mate

I went to Whole Foods this morning and got a bag to test it out.  It’s too expensive to buy there again and also, the brand they sell isn’t the best which I know because I found a MONSTER thread about it on a bodybuilding forum that I’m still only half-way through (basically it repeats itself after the first chunk of pages).  But anyway, Yerba Mate also has some mood-happy/concentration properties that make you feel quite good as well as energized but unlike green tea (which it reminds me of) it doesn’t have much caffeine.  We’ll find out tonight as I had some at 9:30 to test it out.

I don’t have the traditional gourd/bombilla so I made it a couple different ways today, once using the coffee machine and another by steeping it cold for 10 minutes and straining it.  I sweetened both and for the cold one, I added lime too.

But the crazy thing is how well it works.  After dinner, I’d usually have a little low-fat ice cream if it’s around, some nuts and dried fruit and then have to chomp on carrots and celery or even cooked veggies to hold me over until bedtime.  Tonight I had dinner, a little ice cream and that’s it – I don’t want anything else.  I honestly can’t remember when the last time was that I didn’t want to snack through the evening.

Another cool thing about this stuff is that it doesn’t lose it’s effectiveness the longer you take it, it will always work just as well as it does when you have your first cup.  I’m sold!

I just ordered some of the recommended ones on that thread from YerbaMate.us (really inexpensive, instead of paying $7 for 8oz at Whole Foods, you can get 2.2 lbs for the same cost and it’s higher quality Yerba).  I got a really strong, cadillac of plain Yerbas called Rosamonte Especial and a couple flavored ones: white chocolate and mint.

I’m going to skip the traditional way of drinking it (not really into sipping through a straw) since the alternative ways are as effective – coffemaker and brewing cold worked for me.  Here are four videos of how to make it:
1. The traditional way
2. With a French Press
3. In a Coffemaker
4. or Cold

Also, here’s a really good article on it if you’re interested. (I’m sure there are tons more all over the net)

Yerba Mate is da bomb.

22 New Headband Styles!
Check it out if you get a chance, click here for the new goodies at GIMheadbands.com