A day at a time.

Our experiment has gone through such changes in my absence of two weeks. The process of mixing and creating a product takes a great chunk out of our limited time, but we are pulling through. Before I get to a brief summary, let me introduce myself. 

My name is Pad Ramaswamy, and I have recently graduated from USC with a bachelors in Economics and a minor in Accounting. I have recently changed my career, and because of that i’m back in school once again. 

Yesterday, I was reading something interesting and stated that, “studies show that physical activity and obesity are both on the rise in the U.S.”

Image

You see this fit woman jogging on the pavement overlooking the beautiful view. Don’t you want to be like her? Everyone does.

Isn’t that statement regarding the physical activity/obesity rise a bit paradoxical? Well, initially I though to myself that it doesn’t really make sense, but now I get it. Though there is a fitness boom going on, it certainly isn’t enough to curb the obesity epidemic. 

What’s the solution you ask? Nutrition. People in general have a lack of what “nutrition” actually is. Eating till you’re full is not knowing nutrition. It’s simply ignorance.

Wheat bread is not the same as White bread. If you were to get full with either one of these, you would consume a copious amount of white bread compared to wheat bread because of the nutrition and glycemic values involved. Most people do not understand this concept of “not all food are created equally”. A majority of us overlook the importance of micro-nutrient intake as well. These are a few reasons that motivated me to start our liquid diet experiment. 

 

Advertisements

Day 1 & Day 2

6/17/13 Day 1

 

Well, here goes. Finally I get to start writing my thoughts on our experiment. We have finished our preliminary mix of our product and sorted them out in multiple baggies and labeled them, “AM, lunch, post-workout, dinner, and night.” We have five different labels for 5 different meals, and have all our macros/micros spread strategically throughout the day.

 

I woke up this morning feeling excited and unaware of what to expect with our product. We put substantial amount of effort and tried to make everything “perfect” in terms of what nutrients went in the body. I felt really hungry in the morning as I always do, and went to make my first “AM” shake. I added 20 oz of water and added the powder in my shaker and shook it up. not knowing what to expect, I had a little taste of the shake and it was a mildly sweet, but i noticed it had a lot of clumps in it. I started to gulp it down, and the taste wasn’t particularly pleasing. I wanted to make the taste better so I added 2 tbs of hershey’s unsweetened and a tablespoon of stevia. It tasted a lot better, but still wasn’t satisfactory. Well, to picture it, it went from being unbearable to bearable. I would give it a 3 on a taste scale of 10.

 

After finishing the shake, I felt really good and energetic. I had a pleasant feeling in my stomach and felt satisfied, even though the taste wasn’t comparable. An hour and half passed and I still felt energetic, and decided to hit the gym. I felt really good going into the gym and pumped up. It turned out that I had a fantastic workout, and today (Monday), was leg day. Feeling great, I headed back home, and quickly made my post  workout shake. I shook up 16oz of water, but had to separate the powder into two different shakes because it was too much. So I created two 16 oz water for each half. The taste had a mild sweetness to it, but I felt that the flavor was overpowering. I didn’t like it at all. I managed to add a tablespoon of hershey (unsweetened) along with 2 tablespoons of stevia. It tasted better, but still unsatisfactory. After i finished the shake, I felt amazing though. Usually after a workout i would feel really tired or lethargic, but the shake minimized that feeling greatly. I don’t know if it is because of the shake since it’s only the first day.

 

An hour later I drank the  “lunch” shake. This tasted similar to the AM and post, but a lot more grainier. I didn’t like the grainy part. I decided to add a tablespoon of hersheys and 2 tablespoon of stevia. The taste became tolerable, but surprisingly better than the AM for some reason. I wouldn’t buy it from the store if it tasted like this, so we still need to work on the taste.

However, what i really noticed from these three shakes so far is that my energy levels and mood are enhanced dramatically. You know how you get that bloated feeling after a big lunch? I didn’t feel any of that, but instead I felt satiated and content, even though the taste was sub-par.

 

It was almost 8:00 pm and I was just about to have my dinner shake. So far I am content with the satiation that the shakes provided, and my energy levels as well as my ability to focus have noticeably increased. I made my dinner shake, and when I took a gulp, i immediately had a gag reflex and went straight for the sink to spit it out. It was the most disgusting tasting shake I have ever had. Oh my god. It was extremely salty and I couldn’t handle it. I gave it to my dad and he straight out went to the restroom to yack. Hilarious.  I added 2 tbs of nesquick and 4 tsp of stevia to this crap I just had. I tried it again. It was ALOT better, and the taste went from being a -5 to a 3.5. Still tons of work needs to be done on taste.

I felt hungry again 3 hours later and made my last shake of the day, “night-night”. After experiencing the previous shake, I felt that nothing could compare to the nastiness that I had in my mouth. No pun intended. My friend who is part of this experiment as well, Dimitri, arrives at my house and we decided to take the night night shake together. We made our shake and added 20 oz of water, and took in a good gulp. Oh my god, I seriously almost threw up all over my table on this one. This has got to be the worst tasting crap i have ever had. We didn’t know what to do with this and no matter the amount of hersheys and stevia, the taste was still horrible. We call it the “Poo-trid” shake.  We drank it anyway, but took us a little over an hour. Bleh.

 

Overall, the shakes gave incredible amounts of energy, and my mood was certainly enhanced. The satiation was great and I never felt hungry in between meals. However, I did crave salt a little bit, but I think that was because I was feeling hungry at the time. I never felt sleepy during the day, and best of all, my workouts were fantastic.

 

6/18/13 Day 2

 

The moment I woke up I felt rested. In fitness, being fully rested is particularly important to achieve your fitness goals. Without sleep, your muscles will not grow and all the fat burning hormones that is secreted during REM sleep is withheld. In addition, your muscles won’t grow as well. Sleep is important!

 

I took my AM shake, and this time i decided to add some orange koolaid instead of the hersheys. I didn’t have much koolaid left so for a 20oz shake i believe i added about ½ tsp of orange koolaid to my shake, and the taste was sub par. I think this stuff has some potential in terms of taste so next time I am going to add more when i get enough. The taste at most was a good 4 on our utility scale. Well at least the taste is getting better..

 

Once again, I felt really good after i drank the shake, and I feel so refreshed. Comparing this to my normal diet, which consists of whole grains, rice, dairy, bread, and veggies, I feel much lighter and experience no “bloated” feeling after drinking the shakes. I believe i don’t even get all the necessary RDA nutrients i need in my normal diet because it is so difficult to analyze everything i put in my stomach. If you were wondering why I didn’t mention any meat is because I am a complete vegetarian. That means I cannot eat fish, beef, or chicken. It is so much harder for me to get my protein, and calculate how much of what is going through my system on a constant basis. Trust me, it’s difficult. Thus another reason that this shake will be beneficial; everything is calculated!

 

Well i’m going off on a tangent, but what I’m saying is that i don’t have the heavy and distressful feeling that makes you overly sleepy by consuming whole foods. Of course, this depends on what and how much of it you ingest, but come on, it is a fact that the U.S. has about 70% overweight or obese people eating unhealthy on a constant basis, so it is safe to surmise that on the “average”, people eat too much and they feel the consequences afterwards.

 

My workout today was great. Today was chest day, and my tri’s were slightly sore, but I just widened my grip a bit so the tricep activation was less. My incline bench press went up, and I felt really happy about that. It has been stated that on the day you work out, you use your “last night’s” nutrients to determine whether you will have a good workout or not. Simply eating breakfast in the morning may give you the energy you need, but the intake from yesterday will highly determine whether you will have a good workout or not. Debateable? Yes. But, if you eat absolute crap and not enough protein and sub-quality food the night prior, you won’t perform as well as you want the following day. This brings me to the conclusion that I had a great workout today because I had all the macros/micros I needed the day before and had a healthy breakfast shake in the morning. It still tastes like garbage, but I’m working on it. Thank heavens the body doesn’t care how the shake tastes.

 

This time for my post workout shake I added 8 tablespoons of nesquik (no sugar added), and to my surprise it tasted actually semi-good! A rating of 6.5 in my opinion, but 8 tablespoons would mean additional unnecessary calories throughout the day. We could substitute and what not, but hey, its only day 2. I’m liking the progress.

 

Lunch shake was really grainy. It bothers me. I’m going to try to figure out a way to make our shakes less grainy and smoother. Everybody likes smooth shakes. I like chocolate shakes, but too bad we can’t have em all can we? My goal is to create shakes that tastes so good that I would look forward to drinking them. Imagine that? Well, for this shake I added 2 tsp of hersheys and 4 tsp of stevia. I drank it all, but I didn’t like it. We need to work on the taste for this shake.

The other shakes need to be re-evaluated because they taste simply terrible. I think that is the worst quality of our product, but at least the product served it’s primary purpose: they are fulfilling and nutritional, gave us energy, and enhanced our normal everyday activities by being able to focus more and inhibited sluggishness.