I thought that it was time for an update.
200 days ago, on Ash Wednesday, I started what I thought would be a temporary personal mortification… a Lenten sacrifice. I adopted a pescetarian diet and committed to 30 minutes of daily exercise.
My Numbers, Pre-Pescetarian Life Transformation
Blood Pressure: 130/85
Resting Heart Rate: ~74
Athletics: I could only run 12 minutes at a maximum speed of 8 km/h. I could not make it up the (very) steep hill next to my house on a bicycle without taking a break.
Here is the 200-day punchline (i.e. my numbers now):
On Animal Product Days (cheese/eggs/fish):
Blood Pressure: 110/65
Resting Heart Rate: ~63
On Vegan Days (only plants):
Blood Pressure: 100/58
Resting Heart Rate: ~59
Athletics: I can now comfortably run 5km at an average rate of 9-10 kph. I can comfortably swim 2k (breaststroke) in 55 minutes. I go on regular brisk 90 minute hikes in the woods behind my house in Ancaster.
Surprise Benefit: Acid reflux is gone (except sometimes on animal product days)! I had been taking Zantac regularly – I stopped two weeks ago and have only had heartburn on days when I ate cheese, eggs or seafood.
This experiment will now go from being the Pescetarian Life Transformation Experiment to… The Vegetarian Life Transformation Experiment.
Why vegetarian? I am sufficiently convinced that I am healthier and happier on vegan days. However, I am not yet ready to go vegan – I still love cheese and eggs too much. So it will have to be a vegetarian experiment for now.
I will also try experiments with:
- Intermittent fasting
- Different combinations of cardio and resistance exercises
- Schedule Planning
Why these experiments? I am finding that the key to happiness and balance is discipline. I am going to experiment with different disciplines around the four things mentioned above.
How do I keep all this going? Excel is my friend – I have a great spreadsheet with a lot of these data. For swimming I use a PoolMateHR from Swimovate, which tracks lengths, speed, force, stroke count and heart rate. For nutrition, MyFitnessPal is super useful – it allows me to fairly easily and accurately track nutrition goals so that i make sure I am getting the macro and micro nutrients I need stay healthy.
I have been thinking of getting a sports watch with HR that can track swimming, running, cycling, etc. but I have done a lot of research and still find even the best products (mostly from Garmin) feel like they are still not quite out of beta.
My goal is to find my healthiest, calmest, most productive, creative and compassionate self.
I wish you peace and health.
I will keep you posted.