OK, I know you're all dying to know how the Larabar cleanse went, but before we get to that, I'd like to stress that the following claims are mine alone, and nothing about my experience is backed or recommended by Larabar, doctors, science, research or common sense. In other words, read this column at your own risk.
For those who don't remember, this was the Larabar-cleanse experiment: Three different eaters -- a vegan (Subject L, my neighbor), a mostly healthy omnivore (Subject C, my wife) and a voracious carnivore (Subject Me) -- eating nothing but Larabars for seven days, with one exception: We each got to have a non-Larabar dinner on a night of our own choosing.
I chose Oct. 8, the first night of the cleanse. A friend came over with beers and some elk meat from a huge buck he'd shot a week earlier. So, after eating Larabars all day, I made chips and guacamole, sweet-potato hash browns, broccoli and cherry pie to go along with some ridiculously good steaks, and we had us a feast.
Since then, it's been six days of nothing but Larabars, fizzy water and a two-shell bite of my son's shells and cheese each night to make sure it tasted OK.
Sure, I got a little hungry at times, but to be honest, the hunger wasn't that big of a deal. We'd allocated as many as nine Larabars a day per person to meet a roughly 2,000-calorie diet, and I don't know if I ever ate that many. No, the bigger problem was -- no offense to Larabars -- I was getting really bored despite the wide variety of flavors I had to choose from.
A couple of days into the cleanse, a friend emailed to see how things were going, and I emailed back that it wasn't difficult and that I didn't usually have a hard time losing weight if I wanted to; my problem is that I just enjoy food and eating so much more than I enjoy being slightly less fat.
There was one unintended consequence to the cleanse that I should note, as some folks had foreseen digestive dilemmas for me. I had occasional hunger pangs and rumblings, but otherwise, I felt great. And, as I'd gone from a diet that my body could only use about half of to a diet that my body could use 100 percent of, I -- how to put this delicately? -- I saved money on toilet paper, but I fell behind on my reading.
It was pretty easy sticking to the cleanse, though, and I made it the whole week just fine. Not everyone was so lucky. The funny thing is, you'll never guess who caved first -- well, maybe you will now that I wrote that, but you probably wouldn't have.
That's right: the vegan, Subject L, the one who said to me before the cleanse began, "I figure by Saturday you'll be eyeing the cat as a nosh."
First there was a Facebook post about how she was craving kale and broccoli, which seriously might be the saddest thing I've ever heard, and then she admitted she'd caved and started eating veggies.
The cleanse ended last night. This morning, when I asked Subject L for a weigh-in, here's what she wrote: "I would say I'm up 5. Not only did I have trouble sticking to just Larabars, but I ate things I would never eat. Like half a birthday cake and a pie. Total backfire. I need to go on a cleanse to recover from my week of shame."
Subject C, my omnivorous, health-conscious, beautiful wife, did better than that and for all intents and purposes completed the week. She had a hunk of cheese one night, and she called me from work to say she was going to break down and get an egg sandwich, but she didn't get that sandwich, and for her diligence, she'd shed a couple of pounds when she weighed in Thursday morning.
As for the carnivore with the horrible eating habits, Subject Me, you may recall that last week I weighed in at 210.6 pounds. It was my unwritten, unstated and probably unreasonable goal to see if I could get myself below 200. So I drank nothing but water for a week, stuck to the cleanse and got a little exercise.
I stood on the scale this morning and read 199.6. Then I promptly went out and had huevos rancheros with pork, a breakfast burrito with bacon and a big can of Arnie Palmer. God, it tasted good.
Todd Hartley apologizes that there's less of him to love. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.