I stopped eating plants, started rowing, and never felt better.

Maybe because I started both at the same time, they are linked in my brain somehow. However, I thinks it's because both are lifestyle changes that have had a positive impact on my health.

Rowing scratches the same itch that drives me to long-distance hiking and trail-running: a love of endurance activity, and a strong need to spend time in nature. Rowing is a technical sport that requires a lot of skills, but it's also a fantastic low-impact workout. (Low-impact means easy on the joints, not easy like a light jazz-aerobics class. There aren't many other sports that burn more calories per hour than indoor rowing).

Anyhow, most people understand what's going on when you admit to being a rower, even if it's not something they do personal. Zero-carb, on the other hand...

Tell people you are a vegetarian, and nobody blinks an eye.  Say you stopped eating plants, and everyone looses their minds.

Yet, it's working for me. I have the best energy and digestion of my life, and my body composition has been steadily improving, despite only working out once or twice a week. (I'm not losing or gaining any weight, but I'm putting on muscle, so it has to be coming from somewhere. I'm guessing it's from visceral fat, which would also explain why I'm fitting into my pants better).

Looking back, there's been a steady progression:

  • About seven years ago, I removed gluten from my diet, and felt better.
  • Next, I went paleo by removing grains and legumes, and felt better.
  • Then I cut starches (low-carb paleo), and felt even better.
  • Finally, I jus cut out all the plants, and feel the best yet.

It took my body about two months to really adjust to the zero-carb, plant-free way of eating, but now that I've shifted over, plants don't really look like food any more. The only downside is the social cost. There's not really much for me at most restaurants. And anyone that hears what I'm doing either gets really concerned for my health, or they look at me like I've got five arms.

So, let's tie this back to rowing.

The classic fall head races are an endurance sport. The shorter olympic distances like the 2k are much more like a sprint. Either way, everyone generally agrees that one needs carbs to fuel performance in these activities. I've got this crazy idea they might be wrong.

I won't know unless I try, so here I am, trying to rebuild myself from scratch as a zero-carb athlete.

We will see how it goes. I'm hoping I can make a bit of a splash!