As a fan of eating in bulk, for better or for worse, I was always looking forward to trying the “Rip’s Big Bowl” breakfast from the Engine 2 Diet book. Rip provides the full recipe description on his website. So I don’t mind sharing the full details of it here. This breakfast is basically an assortment of various cereals and fruits with a good dose of your favorite milk substitute (or milk if you are not vegan). I found it quite tasty and filling, although I did make some modifications. Bottom line, I would totally eat this again!
I have been thinking, and tweeting, that I should do a mini-experiment week that mirrors the full size experiment. I want to get a mini-taste of even just a single day in the life of the various types of diets: Mediterranean, Paleo, Pescatarian, Vegetarian and Vegan. So, next week I will take the plunge and for each day I’ll do a different diet.
In my quest to plan out my “day in the life” experiment on eating, I have started devouring (no pun intended) books on the various diets to pull out some sample meal plans. I just need one day for each of the diets that week, so I don’t have to get too dramatic. I got out my Paleo and Vegan books. Most of them have meal plans in them. From that I can make up most of what I want for vegetarian and pescatarian too. The SAD diet is easy, that’s just what I eat now for the most part. Mediterranean was the sticking one for me. I could guess at what it looks like based on the rules of the diet, but like Paleo and Vegan I would like to follow a sample meal plan.
Week was pretty solid from a nutrition standpoint. I met or exceeded all of the RDA’s for all micronutrients and fiber. Carbs were over 50% of my total calories, and saturated fat was a little high. Overall though calories were in check, I ate mostly well with the exception of dessert indulgences. That’s what happens when I make Key Lime Pie, ice cream and frozen yogurt.
Exercise wise I hit my target long run but I didn’t hold up on my cross training days. I’ll have to redouble my efforts next week.
On the blogging front I’m considering trying to setup a “day in the life” scenario for each of the diets. For each day in a week I’ll plan out and eat each of the suggested diets for that day. It will get me in the habit of planning of planning a healthy and complete daily diet for each of the eating regimes, as well as getting me used to trying to cook some of the food.
Growing up I was never a fan of beans in general. In college I remember thinking how disgusting it was that my roommate would eat these bean burritos. Refried beans looked like caca, regular beans tasted like chalk and any kind of beans would spontaneously conjure up why the tried and true limericks were invented by children. As I grew older I learned to appreciate and then like beans. After learning a few techniques I didn’t even have to deal with bad side effects of any sort. After listening to Dave Ramsey talk about “rice and beans” eating to save money for months on end I started to actually crave the stuff and have tried some recipes!
Lots of commentary on diets get down to measuring efficacy by how much supplementation you need to add to the diet. A common criticism of veganism is the fact that you must supplement for B-12 and that you must be careful with how varied your food selection is to avoid other deficiencies. The problem of deficiency is actually possible with any diet selection.
Regardless of whether I choose a 1, 2 or more month duration for each of my diet trials I do intend to phase into the diets in a methodical way. Each diet poses it’s own challenges and cycling between diets that can be diametrically opposed will be even more challenging. I likewise need to get back in the habit of being on a constrained diet. While I have been judiciously tracking and budgeting food and exercise, I haven’t been on a specific diet, per se. So nothing prevents me from having a night of hearty eating and drinking on crap foods and then make up for it the rest of the week. In fact my entire methodology to date is based on the notion of saving up for these “binge” days throughout the week and over time. Think of it like saving up for a vacation rather than going on the vacation and then paying down the credit card you charged up to go on it.
Experimenting with recipes for each of the types of diets I’m planning on trying is going to be key to having any success. I have tried some Paleo recipes off the internet for health bars and some other things, but I only have one Paleo cookbook in my library, Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo. This is the first entree I’ve ever attempted from this book. I was hoping for the best based on the description.
This was a good rebound week from the weekend long food orgy that is Memorial Day weekend. For the most part I ate a much cleaner diet. Dinners, sadly, were often capped with ice cream and yesterday was another big feast day. I ran 7 miles, supposed to be 8, yesterday morning though so even with wolfing down sumptuous food and some good beer continuously for an entire afternoon and evening, I still was only 500 calories over what I burned for the day and while it was excessively high in bad fats and refined sugars, the micronutrient profile was actually pretty solid. This week I’m hoping to lay out a relatively clean diet heading into an awesome yoga retreat weekend. I’ll be experimenting with some ice cream, yogurt and cheese recipes so will be indulging in those a bit. I’ll also be experimenting with a Paleo Bolognese recipe. We’ll see how that all turns out.
A successful diet is built around foods that you enjoy, that are nourishing and healthy and that fits within your budget. This applies to everyone from vegans to your average joe just walking down the street enjoying his SAD diet. One of the tricks behind this experiment is going to be finding that combination for each of the diets that I’m going to be trying out. I’m going to be employing several tools to do that.