Friday, July 21, 2017

Another way to eat

If you are like me, you are eternally searching for a healthy way to eat. In the past, I tended toward the high-protein, low-carb diets for weight loss, but found them unsustainable. Similarly, I like the idea of being vegetarian but could not get it to work for me, particularly the emphasis on soy products (ugh).

Then my ex had not one but two heart attacks recently. Now I'm more concerned about overall health rather than just weight loss. Coincidentally, my neighbor across the street turned me onto How Not To Die, by Dr. Michael Greger, and his Daily Dozen (available as an app).

For the past month or so, I have been migrating toward Dr. Greger's plant based way of eating. It hasn't been that hard, as I like fruits and vegetables (and they are all in season right now) and nuts and beans. Not one to throw out food, I have been gradually clearing the cupboards of foods not on the list.

One thing I like about Dr. Greger's approach is he promotes what to eat instead of what not to eat. For example, if the only way you will eat salad greens is if they are topped with Bacon Bits, go for it, because eating the greens is more important than not eating the Bacon Bits. For me, I can't seem to live without dairy.

One thing I do not like about the Daily Dozen is it is WAY too much fiber for my system. I find it more doable if I alternate bean days with salad days, and choose Cheerios over oatmeal. Also, I cut some of the high fiber portions by half.

A surprising side effect of eating this way is my craving for carbs has begun to fade away. I like to eat something salty followed by something sweet. Now instead of chips and a Snickers bar, popcorn (with butter and nutritional yeast) and then a piece of fruit usually suffice.

I'm not 100% compliant, but then that is not the point. I no longer buy meat to cook at home, but when eating out I usually have some kind of animal protein (bacon still tastes wonderful but other meats now seem rather meh). I still enjoy ice cream but add fruit and nuts to my sundaes.

So far, I am finding this an enjoyable way to eat. I haven't lost any weight (see ice cream above) but I feel more self-righteous. We'll see if it affects my cholesterol numbers in six months.

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