The Kashi experience

After taking about 3 weeks off, due to a back injury, I’ve resumed my work-out regimen.

I continue to be surprised at the dramatic improvement that Nathan Williams’ 40 Minutes of Fitness program has made in my life. After years and years of an extremely sedentary lifestyle, I committed to 3 months with Nathan, beginning last September. My goals were to increase my stamina, energy, and strength, to decrease anxiety and levels of stress-related pain in my neck, back, and right leg.

With no pain and no strain, I was increasing my work capability with nearly ever workout. I was able to do four sessions a week, up from 3 a week. We were about to get my schedule set for 5 days a week when I did something to my back one day BEFORE a workout. I worked through the twinge, did some extra stretching, took it a little easy, but the damage was done and I was down for the count. With the short weeks through the holidays, I missed about 3 weeks, except for a quick session or two designed to give me some stretching exercises I could do at home 3 or 4 times a day.

By the time the gym opened on January 2, I was ready to get after it, but Nathan insisted I take it slow and easy. We did lots of stretching, before and after, and only did one round of four exercises.

Today I felt much better. No “knot” in my back, and I was ready to push it a little harder. We did two rounds of five exercises. Nathan said if I survived that, then tomorrow we’d go back to a more normal routine — four rounds of four exercises with 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds rest in between. He pointed out that it’s only taking us three days to return me to the level it took a month or better achieve when we first began.

The increase in my energy level from Monday to this evening is noticeable. Monday night, I dragged myself home from work and barely felt like rustling up some supper.

Tonight, I left the gym and went grocery shopping. I actually looked for fruits and vegetable products I could fix or eat quickly, and store for longer periods of time. Naturalists will cringe at my selection, but it’s a lot better than not caring what I eat. So we’ll try Nathan’s suggestion that I consume four vegetable equivalents per day, four fruit equivalents per day, and lots of protein. After that, he says if I have room for more, I can eat anything I want on days I’m working out.

He’s had to work hard to convince me that changing my diet is a necessary part of helping me achieve my objectives to feel better, be more productive, and live a pain-free life with a manageable level of daily stress.

I’m finally beginning to understand that what I put into my body, and how efficiently my body functions — exercising and in daily activities — will greatly impact those objectives, as will losing fat and gaining muscle mass. So, while these aren’t my primary reasons for changing my lifestyle, they are and important part of the process.

So imagine my surprise at the different aisles I walked down in the grocery store after tonight’s workout!

I even found some Kashi Go Lean products — you know, the health food brand with the new-agey music and the laid-back kinda CEO spokesman who just talks to the viewer about how food that’s good for you should taste good? He seems to be a world adventurer instead of the modern-day version of a Shwann’s TV dinner.

My mood was just right tonight, and I was hungry. So I threw 2 Kashi TV dinners into my basket, and later came across a box of Kashi oatmeal bars.

By the time I fed the animals, unloaded the car, and put up the groceries, I couldn’t decide if I was more tired, hungry, or in need of a shower. My shaking quads told me my body needed food, so I heated up the Kashi All Natural Lime Cilantro Shrimp. I must say, it was darned tasty! I finished with a Kashi TLC Honey Almond Flax with 4 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. It had an okay taste, but was a tad bit chalky. Just sweet enough to feel like I had a treat, and it finished filling me up.

I never, ever thought I’d be a target customer of Kashi but a gander at the corporate website begins with this:

You’ve said, I will eat well. GOLEAN® helps make it easier to not only stick to your healthy living goals, but to also maintain them for the long haul. You get what you need to look your best and feel healthy with our unique combination of protein, fiber, and whole grains to help you stay satisfied.

Indeed, I’m all about establishing and maintaining healthy living goals, and the ONLY way to get me to include a change in diet within the framework of my relatively new objectives is that I continue to enjoy food, and that I don’t walk around hungry half the time. Life’s just too short for that. Ya know?

I’ll try the Lime Cilantro Shrimp again, and I’ll finish the Kashi granola bars but I probably won’t buy those again. I also bought some Special K breakfast bars. For fruits and vegetables, I have some V8 products that taste pretty good (a quick way to get a fruit AND a veggie), and I bought some fruit cups and apple sauce, along with some frozen vegetable medleys and some fresh grapes and fresh carrots.

Yeah, yeah, yeah — it’s the new year. People do strange things in January that seem to drop off the map by February or March. The thing is, I’ve been at this since September. My 3 week layoff has me more convinced than ever that daily exercise can transform my life for many, many years. Now, let’s see if my new-found interest in better eating habits sticks with me for the duration.

And here you have the very first health food review at tracyplaces. 🙂

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