My normal diet is optimal (!) but meat is weird.

by Health

On January 1 I was assigned the Whole Foods Diet with the Lift Quantified Diet Project or #quantdiet.  Since this was not a far cry from my current diet, it wasn’t that difficult.  I have found in 11 days that the only thing that I would have eaten that was processed was a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger.  As veggie burgers go, they are one of the least processed but I still skipped it.  I did start adding organic, antibiotic and hormone free chicken (about 6 ounces total in 11 days).  I had tilapia arepa last night but preferred the vegetarian so I won't get that again.  The addition of some flesh has been a little weird since I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had meat in the last year.

The basics of the whole food diet are:

Veggies and fruits (duh) – no prob here.  Already part of my diet.

Dairy products without added sugar or chemicals – No prob here either.  I drink unsweetened almond or coconut milk and plain Greek yogurt.  At most I probably have an ounce of cheese a day.

Eggs – already eat ‘em.

Meat, poultry or fish that is baked, roasted, grilled or boiled – added a little but was considering it anyway based on some recent health ‘curiosities’ that are none of your biz.

Legumes, nuts, beans and products made from them – again, no prob here except for some peanut butter my mom lovingly bought for me when I was home.  She thought she was buying me the healthier option because it came from a health food store but it was actually more processed because it was defatted and had additional binders. She didn’t realize that I am perfectly happy with Smucker’s Natural.  Just because it comes from a health food store doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  Just because it’s made from ‘cane sugar’ doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  Just because it says ‘gluten-free’ doesn’t mean it’s healthy!

To avoid:

Anything from a box or bag with lots of ingredients – don’t really eat a lot of this anyway.

Pretty much anything prepared from the frozen food aisle that would be heated in a microwave. – Other than the Praeger’s, really don’t eat a lot of this either!

At first I was disappointed that I didn’t get something different but then realized that I should be happy that my normal diet is considered an optimal diet to go on.  It took me years to get to this point.  I’m glad I didn’t get Paleo because I don’t believe beans are the enemy and I would never want to eat that much meat.

Meat.  I’ve been vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian (fish only) or plant-based (what I’ve been the last couple of years with meat only 1-2 times per year) for almost 20 years.  A few times I’ve added in chicken, turkey, venison or bison but then removed them.  I haven’t eaten pork since I was twelve.  Don’t like the smell, the taste…nothing.  Seen Pulp Fiction?  Yeah, I related to Jules Winnfield as soon as I heard that line.

Meat is expensive.  Especially when you are only eating organic, crap-free meat.  I can take it or leave it but I’m experimenting with taking it a little while going through the quantified diet program.  I’ve never judged meat-eaters, but as a whole, I definitely think most people eat too much of it. Six ounces at one sitting?  Dyed, pumped full of water and only evil scientists know what is in it? How do you have room for any veggies?  Get some plants in that belly!

What has been great about the program is the discussion questions.  I have written my typical breakfast, lunch, dinner, eating out options etc. based on the question of the day and have received great feedback.  I realized that even though it wasn’t new and exciting to me, I have the experience to help other people on the diet who haven’t tried it before.  I just had someone today tell me my typical dinner sounded delicious and they couldn’t wait to try it.

I♥ Lift for giving people the tools to try a new nutrition plan and habit.  I ♥ them because they aren’t saying one diet is bad and another is good.  They are looking at several diets to see what works and doesn’t and how easy it is to follow. In the end, that is very individual to the person.  The only thing I think is missing is a group with intermittent fasting.  It’s becoming trendy right now and almost all studies have been done on lab animals. It all comes down to one thing across the board and what I always say to my clients.

You will never find a diet that says ‘Eat More Processed Food’. 

If you stay away from that, you are already 5000 steps ahead of the game. As Michael Pollan says ‘Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much'.

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jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects