So, this was my lunch today. From a calorie standpoint, not too shabby. 450 total calories and surprisingly low fat. It was actually quite yummy too. But deep down inside I know that these choices are killing me, slowly. Look, I have acknowledged that despite any of my best efforts I am certain to not be the first human to avoid death. It will happen someday. But I do plan to make my life as vibrant and complete as I can. So I need to make some changes. The first, most obvious place I can begin this transformation is through my diet.
Which is, in a word – horrible.
I am a fan of overly processed, salted, and carbo-loaded foods. Afterall, my lunch consisted of;
Shelf meat – my chicken breast and dressing had a best by date of July 2019!! Not to mention it is meat that can be stored on a shelf, at room temperature.
Flaming Hot Funyuns – I know they are irresistible but anything that starts in a powder form and turns into food cannot be good. And the sodium alone is terrible. Afterall I am taking blood pressure medication. Damn it, am I mental?
Oikos – I know Greek yogurt is good for you (I think) and this is likely not a bad choice in the long run but I have to think that cow’s milk is not for us. Not sure how I kick my cheese habit but I really don’t like milk anyway so that is a good thing.
So here is the plan. I have been looking over two major sources for dietary change. The first is the Slow Carb Diet by Four Hour author Tim Ferris. I like his approach of slower (no no) carbs, lean protein, and eliminating the sugar, salt, and other additives. I also appreciate the one major cheat day a week to find my food joy and keep me on task but not miserable.
The second is using many recipes from the Forks Over Knives website and meal plan. I think my best bet for variety and also systemic change is by looking at becoming a part-time vegan. I don’t plan on going all in because, well, BBQ and steak, on occasion are amazing and I just don’t buy the whole total vegan thing. But I do know I eat WAY too much animal protein. And I also know this is selfish. I am not really an animal rights guy because I am okay with meat consumption but I also know that we cannot sustain our planet if I am eating meat during 16 or 17 of my 21 meals a week. So I am going to try to flip that and consume meat maybe 3 or 4 meals of my 21 per week and find meat alternatives to fill in those gaps like beans, grains, tofu, and such. Go like 80% plant based foods.
There is one other reason why this appeals to me. I notice that I eat the same foods over and over again out of habit. This new way of consuming can add tremendous variety and force me to eat some new foods and in different ways. This struck me as important about a month ago when I ate a stuffed grape leaf at a dinner. Where have these tasty little things been my whole life? I never knew I liked them so much. There has to be other foods that I think or thought I did not like but now I love. What else is there out there!?
I also recognize that this could also mean savings for my wallet. By purchasing whole foods, making them in sizable batches and eating reasonably I can stretch my budget as my waistline hopefully shrinks. From time to time I will post on how my diet is going, the foods I am exploring and how I am doing.