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:
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.
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.
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.
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