My Salad Days: Streakus Interruptus

Two weeks shy of 180 days, almost six months after I began a daily habit aka streak, something completely shocking happened: I forgot to eat a salad. At first I was incredulous, like “How the hell did I let that happen?” But it realitiy, it is not that big a deal. I mean, the country of Afghanistan just lost its government and is now being taken over by an army of pissed off religious zealots with some beliefs that are culturally very different to mine, like girls shouldn’t go to school. I’m among the majority of people in the US who are for getting out of that fruitless $85 billion, 20-year old war i.e. quagmire. It’s not our country to run. So yeah, there are more important things than some dude’s salad streak. But this is a lifestyle blog of a fathlete, so I’m going to get back to my lane and stay in it. And if you don’t like it [insert a salad-centric insult popularized by comedian Chris Rock here].

A salad I made. Eat the rainbow, taste the rainbow, poop the rainbow!

Anyway, regarding salad, and how I came to eat it for 166 days in a row: starting back on March 1, I stringently adhered to the maxim, “Eating a salad a day keeps the gastro- and proctologists away.” But a disruption to my routine this past weekend meant it slipped my mind, and by the time I realized it, it was too late to do anything about it. Fortunately I kept up everything else, though: my 30 minutes of walking, yoga, writing, and reading, and another 30 minutes total for flute, foam rolling, and meditation. I biked less than my usual 90 minutes, too. Like I said, initially, was a little upset with myself about the salad, but I fairly quickly felt a sense of relief since this pressure I’d been putting on myself was relieved. No one else gives a high-fiber crap if I do it, and it’s really not something I should stress about. And well, because, Afghanistan.

Keeping a streak going for many days, weeks, months or years is something I’ve learned to do with a few things. However, it’s challenging and takes mental effort. A simple thing can be really hard, actually, especially when there are multiple activities and habits. However, it’s not always sustainable for the long-term. Take my friend who did about 240 days of walking. He had to travel, and that threw him off his stride literally, so his streak ended. Worse, he has yet to restart. He’s a bit of a perfectionist or something, I guess. The point is to make progress, not to be perfect. As my brother says, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”

The Bard was the original salad wisdom dropper.

Back on March 2, I blogged 60 Days of New Years Resolutions: How YOU Doin’? That’s when I realized thanks to Sorryless that resolutions can be just for a month and don’t have to begin on January 1. Somehow I eventually got myself organized to buy the right ingredients, get them ready, then eat them. Sounds so simple, but it’s not when you’re not used to eating a certain way. One of those ingredients is organic cucumber. They cost more but smell great, are much tastier, and you can eat the skin with fiber and nutrients in it. That’s unlike the greasy petroleum skins of the pesticide-treated variety. Why using oil costs more than growing without chemicals I still don’t understand.

In keeping with not being perfect, I chose to not feel bad about missing that one day, and rather to focus on the fact that I ate 166 salads. That’s pretty awesome. Then, I got back on the horse, and started again to eat a daily salad. Will I start up another daily streak? Maybe, but if I miss a day, I won’t care as much. Sometimes I think streaks are smart, other times silly. But regular is realistic.

Half Fast Cycling has said as much, and he’s probably on to something. Regular is easy because if you miss a day, you won’t feel embarrassed. And again the larger goal is to eat more vegetables and hopefully to reduce my excess weight that way. But so far, nothing has worked for me to be less of a fathlete. I suppose those goals are still remotely possible. In the meantime, making marginal gains like James Clear and others like Team Ineos use to improve health and performance is a worthy objective.

An Afghan salad Source

I think another lesson here is to plan ahead for the unexpected, and to be prepared. If you don’t have time to make one, stop and buy a salad if you can. Would a fruit salad count? What about pureeing the salad into a smoothie to take on the go? And what about the whole Big Salad question? If you eat a Big Salad one day and no salad the next, does the Big Salad count for both days? In Seinfeld, the Big Salad dilemma was about getting credit; George bought a salad for someone but Elaine got the credit. So don’t make that mistake.

Of course, many places don’t have access to clean water much less fresh salad ingredients. In some cultures’ cuisines, eating raw food is frowned upon. I bet salad is the last thing on the mind of the people of Afghanistan. So take this post with a grain of salt. (Although I don’t use it on mine, it would probably be good on salad with some cracked pepper.) As it turns, out there is an Afghan salad. It is prepared with the primary ingredients of diced tomato, cucumber, onion, carrot, cilantro, mint and lemon juice. And, salt and pepper may be used to season it. Sounds delicious.

Peace out, homies!

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2 thoughts on “My Salad Days: Streakus Interruptus

  1. Sorry, I made you miss your salad streak, I am not a bit salad eater except for the notorious taco salad, which is not really a salad anyway. Good discussions last week about streaks and what motivates / drives you to keep them up. One of Gretchen Rubin’s books is also about healthy habits, although to me that was my least favorite one she wrote so far. I am glad though I was able to help you keep your biking streak up with some short but healthy rides. Glad to be able to host you, but don’t get me started on those marginal gains from Sky, you know what there real gains were right 🙂 ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello DutchHorn! Thanks very much for the excellent hosting and conversations! Wish wed had more time. I aim to share a nice review on Warmshowers and your welcome to do the same if so moved.

      Did you finish the Bike film fest?

      Better living through chemistry, sure. I should try some of the legal ones. US Postal and Discovery also made gains with lighter components, wind tunnel tests, etc

      Ride on!


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