Thursday, July 28, 2011

Limerick #2

My pantries are filled full of starches
My cabinets with cookies and tartses
‘Til these stuffs dissipate
Eating Paleo must wait
‘Cause I’m poor and I can’t waste these carbses.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Limerick #1

There once was a boy on a diet
When he saw a new one he would try it
The "Slow Carb" was "fruitless"
Eating raw: cold and ruthless
Each new plan, he would swiftly defy it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Dry Post Mostly Consumed with Details About What I'm Eating

The evening snack I made for Sam last night. It inspired today's meal plan.

Hi, I made it so anyone can comment on the blog. Before you had to have some type of ID. Sorry, I didn't realize that was the case. Also, I fixed the time zone problem. It had been Pacific since I started the blog, and I just started playing around with the settings and found the option by accident.

Writing blogs in the morning is hard, because I have a tendency to zone out. Now it's almost 8, and I need to leave. I use the word "zone" too much.

July 19 - Back on calorie-restricted "Zone"

  • 1/4 cup raisins, 109 calories, 1 gram of protein, 29 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat
  • 1 oz. almonds, 180 cal, 7 P, 6 C, 14 F
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts, 207 cal, 10 P, 6 C, 18 F
  • 8 oz. almond milk, 45 cal, 2 P, 3 C, 4 F
  • soy protein, 130 cal, 30 P, 0 C, 1 F
  • can of lentils, 300 cal, 24 P, 51 C, 0 F
  • barbecue sauce, 40 cal, 0 P, 10 C, 0 F
  • 20 fat-free saltines, 240 cal, 8 P, 52 C, 0 F
Totals: 1251 calories, 82 grams of protein (25%), 157 grams of carbs (49%), 37 grams of fat (26%)

July 20 - "Toddler's Delight"
  • Lots of pickles, 0 cal, 0 P, 0 C, 0 F
  • 1/2 cup of raisins, 218 cal, 2 P, 58 C, 0 F
  • 2 oz. almonds, 360 cal, 14 P, 12 C, 28 F
  • 1/2 cup high fiber cereal, 70 cal, 4 P, 27 C, 1 F
  • 1/2 cup rice milk, 60 cal, 1 P, 12 C, 1 F
  • 4 jumbo Smart Dogs, 320 cal, 60 P, 12 C, 4 F
  • 4 Whitewheat hot dog buns, 360 cal, 20 P, 80 C, 4 F
Totals: 1388 cal, 101 P, 201 C, 38 F

"Toddler's Delight" is a reference to a comment my mother made about my son Sam's food last night. I intentionally increased my calories and carbs and decreased my fat (as a percentage) from the day before. I don't have time to go into that part. Also, no P90X this morning. I woke up a little too late for that.

Argh, I better go. Toodles.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Off the Wagon

Sorry for going a week without posting. I've been drinking, binge eating, and lounging for over a week now. In a fit of restless energy I did P90X again for the first time in recent memory. Without calorie restriction, I realize I have no self-control. The Zone with calorie restriction seemed to be working. I'm going to try to jump back in with that. Details to follow.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Raw Food, and Whatnot

The plum thief strikes again!

I didn't find going raw for a day difficult. That could have been in part because I didn't. My son Sam ate four of my plums, so I made up for it by eating leftover chickpeas and lentils.

But yeah, that still put me at close to 90 percent raw for the day, which is probably the most raw food I've had in one day in years. I've tried to do the raw thing for brief periods at a time, but I've never done it while counting calories. It takes a lot of food to hit 2000 calories raw.

I am a big skeptic of the raw craze, but I also like to challenge myself to do things that seem difficult. So, raw on a budget. Bam.

The next several days after tomorrow are going to be semi-raw, because my tofu and hummus are about to go bad. Is hummus raw?

Raisins I am purporting to be raw.
July 11 (Raw #2 - low fat)
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts - 207 calories, 10 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, 18 grams of fat ($0.16)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels - 205 cal, 8 P, 7 C, 18 F ($0.21)
  • 1/2 bunch spinach (6 oz.) - 39 cal, 5 P, 6 C, 1 F ($0.44)
  • 4 bananas - 420 cal, 5 P, 108 C, 1 F ($1.41)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (no oil, sugar, salt, sulfur - raw enough for me) - 109 cal, 1 P, 29 C, 0 F ($0.20)
  • 1 pound strawberries - 145 cal, 3 P, 35 C, 1 F ($0.97)
  • 2 pounds peaches (7 medium) - 354 cal, 8 P, 90 C, 2 F ($0.94)
  • 1 pound plums (7 small) - 209 cal, 3 P, 52 C, 1 F ($0.99)
  • 1 pound apples (3 Jonagold) - 236 cal, 1 P, 63 C, 1 F ($0.99)
Total calories: 1924; Total protein: 44 grams (8%); Total carbs: 396 (74%); Total fat: 43 (18%); Total cost: $6.31

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Raw on a Budget

OK, you can disregard the percentages on that last post. They were arbitrary anyway. I'm worried that I've gotten too good at this, and I know how to eat healthy without obsessing over ratios and quantities. I had a meal plan today that I followed for the most part, but I subbed a banana for the one and a half cups of beans I had already prepared. I just wasn't hungry anymore. Two thousand calories seems like a whole lot when eating nutrient-dense foods. Hopefully I'll get used to it eventually.

I've been spending more time with Emily, my mostly raw (75+ percent) vegan friend, and she's been reading David Wolfe's "Sun Food System" (or whatever) book recently. I think it has inspired her to go completely raw, which bothers me, because I felt like she was too raw already. To be honest, one of my biggest problems with the raw diet as it is typically practiced is that it is way too expensive. With all the obscure sea nutrients, $50 tubs of dry green powder, cocoa powder that seems to cost 20 times what Hershey's does, and with everything being organic, I don't even want to think about what the actual costs of such a diet might be for me.

With that said, I was thinking about apes today, and what they eat. Fruit, nuts, seeds, and greens, right? (I actually don't know, but that sounds right to me.) Why is this important? I'm an ape. A pale, mostly hairless ape. If I give the raw people any credit, it's on the grounds they are eating a diet more in line with the one nature provides. Wait, scratch that. They are potentially eating a diet along natural lines, so long as they aren't overdoing it with all the dehydrated, powdered, and liquefied stuff.

So, what I want to know is, can I sustain myself on a balanced raw diet for less than $200 a month? Because of my current ape infatuation, I also want to do it without buying anything processed, or processing any of my own food. I chose $200 a month for a goal because that's what the government provides in food stamps to an individual making no qualifying income (at least for Austin, Texas).

I decided to look at the weekly grocery store mailings for the cheapest produce, and I also calculated (and here's the part where I feel clever) the amount of calories per dollar for each item, to use as a factor in making food choices. Below is my meal plan for tomorrow. It's mostly (all) conventional produce, and I guess apes only eat organic, but you know what? I don't care. I'm poor.

July 10 (raw)
  • 1 cup raw Virginia peanuts - 828 calories, 38 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbs, 72 grams of fat, $0.64
  • 1 pound peaches (3 medium) - 177 cal, 4 P, 45 C, 1 F, $0.47
  • 1 pound Jonagold/Braeburn apples (1 of each) - 236 cal, 1 P, 63 C, 1 F, $0.99
  • 1 pound plums (7 total, some black and some red) - 209 cal, 3 P, 52 C, 1 F, $0.99
  • 1 pound strawberries - 145 cal, 3 P, 35 C, 1 F, $0.97
  • 1 bunch spinach (12 oz.) - 78 cal, 10 P, 12 C, 1 F, $0.88
  • 3 bananas - 315 cal, 4 P, 81 C, 1 F, $1.06
Total calories: 1988; Total protein: 63 grams (11%); Total carbs: 312 grams (57%); Total fat: 78 grams (32%); Total cost: $6.00

Thursday, July 7, 2011

McDougall/Blue Zone

Well, I'm back from "vacation," i.e. my break from religiously tracking my food and having self-respect. The thing I notice most when I don't have a set eating plan is that I eat a whole lot of fat and sugar. I guess that's not surprising, but the astronomical quantities really wowed me. Gross.

I finished reading The Blue Zone today, and I have broken down the main food points from the book, in a way that I can easily include them into my new eating plan:

Food group servings:
  • fruit (2 per day)
  • nuts (5 per week)
  • legumes (3+ per week)
  • tomatoes (3+ per week)
  • vegetables (4 to 6 per day)
  • B12
  • D2
  • DHA
Per the recommendation of the book, I am going to consume 1900 to 2000 calories as my long-term average intake. My biggest goal right now is to have adequate energy and avoid indigestion, rather than having any weight/fat loss goals. Now that I'll be consuming more carbs, I really should get more exercise too.

The main things I'm incorporating from the McDougall plan are high carbs and low fat. I will also be eating significant quantities of whole grains. After a discussion with my equally food-obsessed friend Raquel, I will be making a point to consume at least 50 grams of fiber a day.

Here's the protein/carb/fat breakdown:
  • Protein: 10-20% (50 to 100 grams)
  • Carb: 60-70% (300 to 350 grams)
  • Fat: 15-25% (22 to 44 grams)
[I realized that I was making myself crazy trying to hit numbers exactly, so I included a +/- 5 percent cushion. Ideally I would be doing exactly 15-65-20, but then I would stress myself out. And stress causes inflammation. And inflammation kills you.]

Because one of my new projects is to get enough sleep, I'm going to have to quickly jot down my eating plan for tomorrow and hit the hay.

July 8
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts - 220 calories, 8 grams protein, 6 grams carbs, 19 grams fat
  • 2 cups oatmeal - 294 cal, 12 P, 51 C, 5 F
  • 2 packets of McDonald's preserves/jam - 70 cal, 0 P, 18 C, 0 F
  • 1/2 can of lentils - 150 cal, 4 P, 9 C, 0 F
  • 3 T barbecue sauce - 60 cal, 0 P, 15 C, 0 F
  • 1 bag lima beans - 550 cal, 30 P, 100 C, 0 F
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce - 160 cal, 4 P, 26 C, 5 F
  • 1/2 package spelt elbow pasta - 420 cal, 18 P, 84 C, 2 F
Total calories: 1924, total protein: 76 grams, total carbs: 309 grams,  total fat: 31 grams, total fiber: 71 grams

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Veganism is not a diet.

I know what I ate the past two days. Every calorie of it. But I'm not going to tell you what it was. I haven't weighed myself, so I simply don't know the extent to which the earth's gravitational pull is compelling me toward its center. I do not know. I do not care.

On Wednesday I attended a lecture given by Neal Barnard at the main office of Whole Foods in downtown Austin. He was promoting a book of his, 21 Day Kickstart, and I was less than impressed by the experience. It was clearly geared toward health and nutrition neophytes, and it made me feel kind of bad about associating myself with veganism. "Not in my name!" screamed my unspoken sense of propriety.

To set straight any possible confusion, I am vegan. I am not vegan because I do not like the taste, feel, or texture of animal products. I am not vegan because I think it is healthy to do so. I am vegan because it is fundamentally immoral to be anything but. With all my concern about my weight, appearance, health, and drive for longevity, my veganism is a completely unrelated life choice. I can stop eating carbs, consume nothing but seeds and nuts, drink spicy lemonade for a fortnight, or run in place for six hours a day, but during any of these thought-provoking diversions, one thing, if nothing else, will not change. I will still be vegan.

My sense of well-being is perhaps the most important factor in my being a healthy person, and having a morally sound purpose in life is a centerpiece of that. I don't know that I've been looking out enough for that part of myself. I had not been blessed by a sense of moral outrage until a couple of recent, awkward interactions with animal exploiters, and it made me feel really good. I have never been especially active in animal rights-related activities, but something about being surrounded by "health" or "dietary" vegans recently made me want to punch a beef-eating American in the face, instead of offering them a mango salsa sample. Don't worry. I didn't actually do that; I'm just saying I would like to. That was not one of the awkward situations I got myself into this week. I have punched no one at all recently.

I don't want to be nice. I don't want to cure type 2 diabetes. I don't want to blame society for the individual choices people make to destroy the lives of sentient beings. I want people to stop abusing animals, and that means I want them to stop buying or wearing leather. It means I want them to stop buying and eating/drinking milk, eggs, honey, cow, pig, beeswax, D3, goose liver, etc. I don't want to see any of it anymore. Because I don't choose to believe that people simply "don't know better." I choose to believe they are wrong, they are callous, they are hateful, and that they willingly consort with evil. I choose to believe that in a society where crimes are punished, animal abusers fall into the realm of a guilty party. And when you choose to fund the exploitation of animals, you are an accomplice to those crimes.

No diet news today, kids. Peace.