I’ve tried a hundred fad diets for at least a short period. Almost every diet I’ve tried has failed one or more of the big three 3 tests any diet must pass to be sustainable – Weekends, Holidays, and Travel.
I’ve been in Richmond for a couple of weeks, and I’m not aware of any holidays. But of course, we did just have a weekend. So, how did my dairy free diet experiment fare this weekend?
Terribly. I guess the problems started Saturday night when I was grilling some burgers. We had a few people over to watch the PPV Affliction fight card (meh) and the free UFC card (good). I was grilling some of my favorite burgers, which come with cheese in them. Although people people were just starting to arrive, the “party” had been going on for a few hours for me. I kinda fell asleep at the wheel and burgers started to burn. For once it wasn’t because I walked away and forgot about them! Anyway, I shuffled some stuff around and got the flames under control, but one of the burgers was beyond hope. It was completely charred. I like burnt meat, so I decided instead of bringing that one in the house I’d just eat it right there. It still hadn’t occurred to me that there was cheese in the burger. The best part is I knew I couldn’t eat it on a bun, because there was milk in the buns! So I stood there at the grill and ate this charred hunk of meat-cheese. I realized what I had done about an hour later. Oh well.
The next morning I was at the US Grappling Referee Certification seminar at Richmond BJJ. We brought in platters of sandwiches from Costco. There was one platter of wraps with cheese in them. It wasn’t practical to take apart the wrap to remove the cheese. The other platter had croissants with meat and cheese. It was easy to take the cheese off those. Now this was a totally different kind of diet break down. Unlike the night before when I was just wasted and didn’t realize what I was doing, this time I made a conscious decision to eat the sandwich, sans cheese, even though I know it takes tons of butter to make croissants. I had to eat, and I knew I was hours away from being able to get anything else.
Later that night I very nearly scooped some vanilla ice cream on to a piece of apple pie (dairy free pie) before a friend reminded me that it most certainly contained dairy. I’m just terrible at this.
So is today day 1 again? I’ll never get to a month!
Just to be clear, I don’t follow these rules. Not even close. It’s just a list I’ve compiled over years of researching different diets. Most of it is based on a paleo approach to eating. I strive to follow as many of these rules as I can, but I find it impossible.
- No calories from beverages (except occasional alcohol)
- No added sugar in any form – refined, corn syrup (especially HFCS), etc.
- 3 to 6 meals per day
- Drink at least 4 liters of water per day
- Favor green tea over coffee
- Avoid artificial sweeteners, colorings, preservatives, flavor enhancers (MSG)
- No grains, especially gluten grains (No corn, rice, wheat, soy, etc)
- No legumes (peanuts, beans)
- Eat lean meats, nuts, fruits, and vegetables
- Don’t add salt to food
- Eat nothing deep fried
- Do not eat white potatoes (occasional sweet potatoes are okay)
- Avoid dairy products
- Avoid anything packaged in a box, wrapped in plastic, or found in the center of a grocery store (Factory food)
- When consuming sugar (fructose) it must be accompanied with fiber (Eat a carrot, don’t drink carrot juice)
- Favor low Glycemic Load (not Index) fruits and vegetables
- Do not eat trans fats
- 5-A-Day the color way (Blue/Purple, White, Red, Green, Yellow/Orange)
- Favor locally grown, fresh, organic produce. Grow your own if possible.
- Balance diet toward alkalinity
- Eat lean protein within 1 hour of exercise
- Avoid starchy fruits and vegetables such as bananas
- Use fresh herbs and spices daily
- Avoid dried fruits, due to the sugar concentration
- Eat raw foods every day
- Avoid “Reduced Fat” or “Lite” foods, as fat is replaced with sugar.
- Process and cook food minimally
In order to make this process a little easier I implemented the “2% Rule” on dairy products. I’ve been using this rule ever since I stopped eating High Fructose Corn Syrup. I’ve blogged elsewhere about HFCS, but maybe I’ll dig that up and repost it here. Anyway, the rule is I’m okay with eating a product if there is a banned ingredient (in this case dairy) listed in the ingredient list after the phrase “contains less than 2% of the following:” This just makes it a little easier on me because occasionally I’m going to eat prepackaged foods, and chances are they will contain something from my growing list of banned foods. Ultimately I’d like to get away from factory foods altogether, but I’m a long way off from accomplishing that. I need a giant garden, and I need to spend more time hunting. Short entry today, that’s all I have to say.