Tag Archives: dieting

A Happy Middle Ground…

I think I’ve finally come to a conclusion about what diet is best for me.  For a long time, I did low carb dieting which was only effective in the short run, since every time a lost a few pounds I’d go back to carbs and gain the weight back.

And since studying LifeFood, I’ve been misled that veganism is the answer.  There is a lot of videos on Youtube about veganism and how to go vegan.  But I find neither two branches of veganism, one is raw vegan and the other starch based vegan, is right for me.

The best diet for me is essentially a low carb vegetarian diet.  You don’t have to get all your protein from meat and milk, and neither should you eat starch all day or eat fruit all day like a gorilla in the jungle.

High protein, High fiber, and low sugar is always the answer, but not all your protein has to come from meat and milk.  There are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein, and there’s also eggs and dairy in the middle.  Almost everyone ingests eggs since it is the ideal protein and they put it into everything in the food processing business.

While some people believe dairy is junk, and largely it is, there are some good dairy products like yogurt and kefir.

But what I am trying to communicate is high protein, high fiber, and low sugar is doable by everyone, regardless of where you get your protein.   There is no such thing as a protein shortage in people who eat regularly, but there is almost no excess when it comes to protein.  More protein means more muscle and energy and strength.

I am satisfied with my current diet, mostly eggs and beans and vegetables, and I still eat yogurt often.  And I’m not against eating meat, but one should see beef as an occasional blood tonic, and other meats as a scarcity food.  Fish was good in the past, but now with the environment polluted, toxicity is a problem.

Humans didn’t evolve to eat other animals.  In the Garden of Eden, man ate fruit and seed.  After the fall, they started eating starchy grain.  And meat entered the human diet later, and man’s lifespan was greatly reduced.

So really, there is no one diet or lifestyle that fits everyone.  I’ve just finally found the right regimen to keep me normal bodyweight, spending less money, and satisfied with what I eat.

 

 

Advertisements

My View on Paleo

This seems to be a controversial dietary subject, since it touches on more topics than just weight loss.  It involves understanding history, what the human race is designed to eat, and the effects of a grain based diet in the long run.

Of course, Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor advocated a grain-free diet to those seeking immortality.  And since land was so scarce in China from ancient times to present, dairy was never a big part of their diet.

The Paleo diet means eating protein, vegetables, fruit and nuts, and rejecting dairy and grain and artificial sugar.  Seems simple on its face.

This diet is by nature lower carbohydrate but is not necessarily slimming since there is no mention or restriction on calories.  Just like rice and milk or bread and cheese can be bad, so can overeating on the Paleo Diet.  And it’s not a clear license to eat as much Beef, Bacon, and Seafood your heart desires.

Eating the milk or milk products is not a natural thing after one is weened off mother’s milk.  The one best dairy product that everyone should incorporate into their lifestyle is Kefir, which is also called acidopholus milk or simple cultured milk.  If you can handle dairy and need more probiotics in your regimen, that is the one type I suggest is good for you.

Grains were invented by agriculturists by hybridizing older crops into what we see today.  Corn is number one around the world but most of it is for fattening up livestock.  Rice is number two around the world because it is so easy to digest and harvests are big.

The Paleo diet is not only good for getting to normal bodyweight, it also reverses disease processes in the body and fuels better athletic performance.  Unlike Atkins or Ketogenic, this diet talks about food groups, the desirable and the undesirable, and not counting anything.  Atkins is about counting carbs and calories and keeping protein intake high.  Ketogenic diet is about lowering protein intake on an already low carb lifestyle and eating more fat from good sources.  Fat feeds the brain.

But I find that Paleo is the easiest to do, since you don’t have to think too much.  Cavemen didn’t have wonder bread and coca cola and a lot of pizza to eat, and had they eaten that stuff they wouldn’t have lived long enough to sire humanity in its current form.

The main thing is calories in and calories out for weight loss, so in theory, all food is clean and should be eaten as sparingly as possible.  But for overall health and longevity and for reversing diseases Paleo is quite good.

 

 

Another View on Diet

In the end, your bodyweight is largely determined by the amount of calories you consume.  Ask any bodybuilder, and they will say ‘calories in, calories out’.

However, there are multiple methods of eating less calories.  One way is the low carb high protein approach which is effective in the short run.  Another is being vegan, which by nature is low calorie since plant foods are lower in calories.  But I find that the real solution to curing obesity and maintaining a normal weight is to control how much you eat and how often.

You could theoretically eat a diet of fish and chips and be slim just as long as you keep your calorie intake below your calorie expenditure.  This is the best way.  ‘To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

The problem with atkins is that you have to eventually add the carbs back to your diet and then you regain all the lost weight.  Low Carb, High Fat has some merit in identifying which foods are good, quality food and which are just empty calories.

But the easy way is to eat smaller meals with nothing in between meals.  Some people say, skip breakfast, dont eat in between meals, and dont eat after dinner.  In this way, you don’t even have to eat ‘health food’ because all food is good.  You can eat food you really really like and still not be fat if you understand the concept of ‘calories in, calories out.’

 

Worst of the Worst

There’s a lot of bad, unhealthy, low-quality foods out there.  There’s hydrogenated fat, there’s high fructose corn syrup.  There’s refined wheat flour.  The list can be quite long depending on your beliefs about nutrition.

But one of the worst foods for you is dairy products.  Of course, everyone likes creamy, milky, sweet, bland food.  But I’ve been hearing the anti-dairy facts since 1998, when I began studying Traditional Chinese Medicine.  And the facts are clear.

Dairy products are the worst foods out there.  Milk, Cheese, Cream, Ice Cream, etc… are all mucous-forming and yin-tonics in a yin-heavy world.  There are dairy products that aren’t that bad, like plain yogurt and clarified butter, but even they aren’t good for everyone.  There’s a lot of merit in going dairy-free.

The alternatives are so much better for you.  That includes rice milk, coconut milk, and almond milk.  There’s no question that the milk of a different species should not be consumed, especially after weening off your mother’s milk in infancy.  People who drink cow’s milk are the minority around the world, not the majority.

There are other things one should avoid in dieting.  Things like excessive sugar, which is acidifying, and also gluten, which brings with it a lot of toxicity.  Even starch can be bad, depending on what food you eat.  But dairy is all the way junk and should not be seen as essential to the human diet.  Because it isn’t.

And this goes without mentioning farmed meat, everything from beef to lamb to chicken to whatever barnyard animal you slaughter.  There was a time when people lived on family farms and slaughtered their own animals.  These were active people who lived on the land and healthy animals that lived somewhat normal lives.

There’s so much toxic food out there, and it’s easy to make bad decisions.  But one basic decision that can influence your life for the better is to go dairy-free.  Find substitutes in your cooking that taste similar, and you will get acclimated to the substitutes and not cow udder secretions.  Almond milk is good in coffee.  Tofu is good in stir-fry.  Tempeh makes a good meat substitute.  And coconut milk is good in curries and smoothies.

You’ll be better off if you go dairy-free.  So do it.  Even if you indulge in cheese or ice cream once in a while after going dairy-free, your taste buds will change eventually and you will notice what dairy really is.  The baby-food of a bovine, not essential nutrition of an adult human.

 

Back to Atkins.

Here is a brief insight into what I am doing in my own health journey.

The ultimate thing in weight loss, health, and longevity is to eat less calories.  To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.  That doesn’t mean starve yourself.  Since carbohydrates are the bulk of any normal diet, the best way to reduce calories is to reduce carbohydrate.  Sugar restriction is the only real way to lose weight.

In previous months, I’ve been eating less in terms of portions, but out of habit and convenience I was eating mostly brown rice and fruit with a bit of protein like chicken and milk.  That is doable, but not ideal.

The best diet is a regimen of protein and vegetables.  Water is important too.  You can’t reinvent the wheel, and people have been using the Atkins diet since the 70’s to get into shape.  Everybody who is lean and looks good does it.

Soup is by far the ideal way to eat.  It is good in so many different ways.  First of all, it contains all the best food-groups to begin with.  Soup is a combination of protein, vegetables, and water.  Secondly it is easy to prepare, even if you are cooking from scratch.  Also, it is slow simmered over low heat, so it’s already partially broken down by the time you eat it, making it easy to digest.  As well, it is cheap and uses cheap cuts of meat and fish, but since the meat is tender, you don’t really notice it.

The point is, I shouldn’t make a big deal about food but also I shouldn’t give in to eating sugar and starch out of convenience.  With a little thought, knowledge, and planning, one can live well on very little money and effort.

Quinoa: A Real Superfood

Everyone’s talking these days about ‘superfood’.  There are dozens of superfoods being discovered or rediscovered.  And I can say with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the majority of them are crap.  Food you eat in small quantities from time to time won’t influence your overall health that much.

But there is one food that truly will make you stronger and healthier if you eat it every day, day in and day out.  Quinoa is a pseudograin that substitutes for rice, or even bread and pasta if you want it to.  Quinoa has twice the protein of brown rice ounce for ounce, and is full of fiber and other good things.

Quinoa comes from South America where the aboriginal indians used to call it, ‘the mother grain’.  It is the best source of plant protein.  All 8 essential amino acids are in there in proper proportion.  Quinoa is the egg of the plant kingdom.

So my advice to you, gentle reader, is to stop eating starchy grain like rice, bread, and glutenous pasta and replace all that starch with quinoa and pasta or bread made from quinoa flour.  Given enough time, you will see results in your overall health.  And that’s a good thing.

A New Look on Paleo

Of course, the atkins approach is the best way for an obese person to lose weight in the short run and get into a healthier lifestyle with less processed foods in their diet.  But as I examine myself and my own health journey, I notice that all this grain and sugar, even whole grain and natural sugar, is preventing me from getting to my goals.  Something has to change.

The Paleo Diet is a simple concept.  Let’s eat the way primitive people eat, since they didn’t have all the chronic, degenerative diseases that modern man has.  Of course, there is a lot of variance between populations of cavemen in antiquity and aborigines in the modern day.  There is no one Paleo Diet.  But the basic premise is to remove the foods that are intrinsic to modern civilization and see what happens.

Dairy is not natural to consume after infancy.  Beans and Grains are cheap filler hybridized by agriculturists in previous millenia in order to be an easy way to meet the caloric needs of a growing population.  White sugar is a drug.

These days, people eat way too much, not too little.  They’re dying from overnutrition, not malnutrition.  They’re wrinkly faces indicate that they’ve eaten too many calories in too short a time.  Too lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

I guess all this bias I’ve learned in favor of veganism is just leftist propaganda, as if I wasn’t inundated with enough right wing propaganda from the mainstream media.  Meat, eggs, and fish is not only good for you, it’s great!  I shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to eat animal foods, there’s nothing wrong with it.  We are the apex predator, not a species of chimp or gorilla shitting in the woods.

Atkins diet is one way to lose weight, but it is temporary.  With the Paleo Diet, it goes by what food groups you eat, day in and day out, and doesn’t bother with counting anything.  The foundation of the diet should be meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and not much else.  Don’t restrict carbs at all, do what you feel.

So I know what I am going to do, moving forward, with summer coming up soon.  Hopefully I will get into optimal health and shape by beach time.

 

Anatomy of a Hamburger

What’s so bad about a hamburger?  Allow me to explain, ingredient by ingredient.  You see, it’s not all bad, it’s just the means of getting your beef addiction met that causes problems.

First of all, there’s the bun.  It’s made from wheat, so it contains gluten.  Gluten, the protein found in wheat, is allergenic to some, but not all.  If you have problems with your intestines, don’t eat bread regularly.

Then there’s the sauce, which is usually ketchup and mayo combined.  Ketchup has tomatoes in it, but it also has a lot of sugar and salt in it.  Sugar and salt is what makes food taste good, but it also makes you retain water and be flabby.  Mayonnaise is usually made with low quality soybean oil.

Then there’s the pickle and onion, or lettuce and tomato, or whatever other ‘vegetable’ you put on a hamburger.  They’re not so bad, but there are tremendous ranges of quality between brands.

And finally there is the beef.  Beef can be good, if you go to a fancy hamburger place and get high quality beef, and only eat from time to time.  But low end, factory farmed, corn-fed beef is nasty and one of the big problems in America.  It is an environmental hazard to raise so many cows for meat and milk, they deplete our land’s resources and sully the earth with gas, feces, and other not-so-nice things.

I suggest beef is ok from time to time, but get the high quality grass fed kind and eat it with brown rice and/or salad.  It’s necessary to eat both plant and animal foods, and remember, quality of the food you consume is important, just like the octane of the fuel you use in your car affects its longevity.

So if you feel like eating a hamburger from time to time, se la vi, but remember American cuisine has many flaws in it, and there are other ways to eat that are much more sensible.

The Importance of Cheap Filler…

You might think starchy staples like rice, corn, and wheat are just cheap filler.  But in their low calorie banality is their inherent magic.  You don’t want to eat a strict diet of protein and low starch vegetables all the time, it will get irritating, undoable, and downright boring after a while.

You NEED complex carbohydrates in your diet, and fiber too is one of the most important nutrients, since it cleans out your system.  The energy that moves your body is dependent on sugar, on the Krebs Cycle to be more scientific, and you need glucose from somewhere.  Starch is the best source of glucose, since it is made up molecularly of long strands of glucose linked together.  Starches like rice get digested by the enzymes and turn into a steady supply of glucose, which is fuel to the human body and it’s energy producing system.

Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘to lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.’  What he meant was, the fewer calories you consume, the longer you will live, it’s a scientific fact.  Thin out your diet with starchy grain, and you won’t be bogging down your system with high calorie food all the time.  Less is more when it comes to food, and grain extends the amount of food you’re eating at any one time without adding too many calories.

In the annals of history, people will see that the cultivation of grain was the greatest invention of all time, since that is what allowed so many people to flourish and the world to populate to record highs.  Without grain, the farmers would be unable to support life in cities, and the people who don’t grow their own food.

I know low carb principles work in dieting, but keep in mind that grain is the fundamental ‘human food’ and that it is hard to live without it.

 

 

A Balanced Diet is Best

I’ve come to the conclusion that all these fad diets are bologna.  Even diets effective in the short term, like the Atkins Diet or Paleo, are just quick fixes with temporary results.  The western man didn’t need the concept of dieting two hundred years ago, because only the nobility could afford to eat fancy food and be fat.

While athletes in sports that are based on weight use carbohydrate restricted diets to get in shape in the short term, the best diet is a balanced one from unprocessed foods.  Protein and vegetables won’t get you through life without any problems.  Sooner or later your kidneys and liver will give out from excess nitrogen in the blood, and you won’t feel as happy and energetic.

A human being needs whole grain and fruit to to really be balanced, as well as high quality fats from things like seeds and nuts.  The only foods one should keep an eye out for are dairy and gluten, and even that law can be violated from time to time.

There’s a big difference between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates.  Good carbs come from foods that have fiber in them as well, which mitigates the glycemic load on the glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Brown Rice, fresh fruits, and low starch vegetables have tons of fiber in them and don’t cause an insulin reaction.  Glucose is blood sugar and the fuel of the human body.  It’s not really wise to go into ketosis and burn away your fat stores, your brain might get deranged in the process of dieting.

Your size and appearance mean nothing, and neither does the number on the scale.  Your health is determined by how you feel, how you function, and how long you last.  Don’t be fooled by the propogandist media and their henchman, the medical establishment.

Protein should always be as lean as possible, and chicken breast and hard boiled eggs are some of the best.  There’s also vegetarian protein, like beans and lentils, which have both protein and fiber in them, which makes them a nutritional powerhouse.  Protein and Fiber are the two most important nutrients and what you should seek out when choosing good food.

My point in this essay is that there’s no magic bullet to being fit and healthy, and there’s no one common enemy you can blame all your problems on.  If you want to be fit and healthy, eat a well balanced diet and walk a lot.

It also doesn’t hurt to get into yoga or recreational sports.