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Diet Update!

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Despite my various forays into more structured approaches to eating, I eventually tend to drift back to my more holistic approach. This approach is primarily founded on the principles I outlined here. I eat a lot of plants. I tend not to stick to strict carb counting ways of eating for very long simply because I get frustrated that I must arbitrarily limit the amount of broccoli or cauliflower I want to eat. High carb lower fat vegan diets also don’t really appeal to me because I’m not convinced high fat quality animal foods are inherently unhealthy. So, my general dietary pattern is more of a plant based whole food Mediterranean diet. Typically I favor higher fat whole foods like 100% chocolate, nuts, and seeds. I don’t eat tons of oil simply because I’d rather get my fats from whole food.

While I don’t specifically reduce my whole food carbohydrate intake, they are also not a significant part of my eating right now. For example, I ate ~1/3 cup cooked amaranth for breakfast and had, in total, ~1/2 cup berries yesterday. I also had some lentils I cooked in my InstaPot with my lunch. I include cooked and cooled sweet potatoes on occasion. Cooking and then cooling increases the amount of resistant starch which is super good for your gut microbiome.

So, there isn’t really a “food list diet” that incorporates the wide variety of unprocessed foods I like to eat in a way I like to eat them. On paleo you can’t eat grains, beans, or dairy. On whole food plant based vegan all oil is a no no and so is all animal foods. Low carb eating eschews higher carb foods even though much scientific research supports a predominantly plant based diet for long term health. What I am left with is my vast amount of nutritional knowledge coupled with my holistic preferences. Here are some lifestyle tips that enhance my ability to truly nourish my body:

  1. The concept of eating a predominantly plant based diet just makes me feel more in tune with nature. I like feeling a deeper connection to the rhythms, cycles, and flows of life. Circadian rhythms are pretty important, as it turns out. Satchin Panda at Salk has done some fascinating research in this area. In contrast, eating lots of processed man made food or letting an electronic app tell me how much I’m supposed to eat feels very much opposed to this “natural” preference of learning to trust the wisdom of my body.
  2. I let optimal long term health be the primary guide instead of “weight loss”. The vast majority of scientific literature supports eating more plant foods and less animal foods. In this conversation between Emeran Mayer, MD and Valter Longo, PhD, at about 6 minutes 30 seconds in, Dr. Mayer asks Longo about ketogenic/paleo diets. Longo notes that potentially vegan low carb diets seem to be “actually pretty good” but overall low carb diets (which tend to have a lot of animal products) are not particularly healthful in the long term. You do you but I prefer to get my health information from qualified sources like these guys instead of some Instagram Diet Guru.
  3. I meditate regularly and do some yoga pretty much everyday. As with #1 above, I feel these activities put me more in tune and in touch with myself.

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