One of the most difficult elements of learning our own personal nutrition profile is the number of variables associated with how energetic we are at any given time. It can be pretty confusing.
Suppose you have a headache. You drink a tall glass of water, take Advil, eat a bunch of anti-inflammatory foods, go for a jog, sleep for an hour and wake up without your headache. What was responsible for healing your throbbing dome? It may have been the aggregate of your steps or it may have been just one. Even if every time you had a headache, you took just a single action, you’d still be left unconvinced. The sample size would inevitably be too small, and there would be even more data points left unexamined.
Today, I took a friend’s Ford Excursion to be serviced. I’m borrowing it for an upcoming trip to Mammoth, where I will be snowboarding with my young men (be on the lookout for posts from the High Sierras). While the truck was being checked out, I went to get work done at Sunlife Organics, a juice bar offering organic juice, smoothies, bowls and…you know this kind of establishment. I got lost in emails and phone calls, looked up, and it was time for lunch. If you’ve been following the blog, you know I eat mainly animal flesh, and there was none on the menu. You also know that I’ve been eating grain free for quite some time. Lunch wasn’t going to be easy here, but I was locked in with strong wifi (from next door at Umami Burger), so I wasn’t leaving.
I decided to go off my normal schedule and display some flexibility. I first asked about the tomato basil soup. I was curious about the ingredients. Charming and cheerily smiling Juliet (“like Romeo and Juliet,” she said) and the rest of the crew at the counter did their best to help out with the contents. No sweeteners. Hurdle leaped. The second part of my lunch was the “Paleo Bowl.” Its contents, from the Sunlife Organics website:
Grass-fed maple yogurt, cinnamon, and MCT oil topped with Paleo granola (blend of nuts, coconut, etc), blueberries, and shredded coconut
This meal was phenomenally tasty. That said, it was sweet. I ingested my first refined sugar in quite some time. It may have been honey, it may have been maple syrup, it may have been organic, but it was sugar. You know my recent routine. I’ve only been eating sugar naturally occurring in fruits, veggies and sweet potatoes. Nothing removed from its original form. This meal was a monster deviation from my recent norm. I crushed that lunch at 1:15pm this afternoon.
Here’s the thing. It’s 9:30pm now. Normally at this point in my day, I can barely keep my eyes open. I’m struggling to get my last bit of work in and desperately needing a brain break. Tonight, I have stamina. Is it the sugar? Perhaps. But I also spent a substantial portion of the day outside. Additionally, I had an off day from my workouts. I didn’t have a meeting today. I connected with my boys at dinner. I had a strong, productive work day. Tricky, right?
Variables. They make proving theory hard. Sometimes, anecdotes are all we have to go on. In this case, I’m betting my body has been needing some sugar. I’ll just have to be comfortable with not being sure. For me, that’s a challenge.