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The Flexitarian Files

Posts Tagged ‘diet’

  1. Eliminate This!

    January 13, 2018 by betaman

    elimination diet


    Today is the first day of the rest of my life. We are now on Day One of The Elimination Diet. Detox Day.

    elimination dietWe are basically eliminating everything from our diet. No meat, no problem – it’s been nearly five years now since I’ve enjoyed that. But no dairy, no grains, no gluten, no nuts, no coffee, no alcohol! Basically, nothing fun. We will eat fast on only vegetable and fruit smoothies and soups for two days. Then for a few weeks we will be eating a very limited diet keeping track of what we eat, when, and how we feel.

    Why? The wife needs to rule out any specific foods as contributing to her high blood pressure. We’ll do that by eliminating everything from our diet then introducing foods back one at a time and judging any reactions.

    But why am I  doing it? Good question. Because I support everything she does and want her to succeed with this thing, which would be difficult if I’m still drinking cocktails, chomping on nuts and and eating cheese, eggs, fish, mmmm…

    I’ll also use this as a way to identify any foods that might be adversely affecting me. Most importantly, I plan to use this program as a way to adapt new portion control for all my meals. After speaking with some super seniors, and asking them about their diets, one common thread was portion control. I like to eat, a lot, and we have a tendency to load up our plates enjoying a big meal. After basically not eating for a month, it should be no problem adjusting the amount of food we eat to feel satisfied.

    What can we eat?

    There are long lists of yes and no foods for each phase of the elimination. Thank god detox is only two days. I’m leaving the meal planning to the wife, but we have already discovered some favorite foods – sweet potato kale tacos, tropical green smoothies, homemade gluten free tortillas…can’t wait to discover more! Really.

    I clearly remember the last meat meal I made myself before going veg. I prepared sweet and sour pork with homemade sauce. The night before this first detox phase, I found myself going through the cabinets eliminating everything we won’t be eating for a while, if ever again. I stood dipping store-bought croutons in the remaining ranch dressing. The next morning, we discovered we started a week early. We had seven more days to ween off all the bad goodness. Good thing, since we received a package from my sister filled with Christmas cookies. Once again, we scoured the house for anything left that might tempt us.

    We drank every last drop of alcohol. We ate all the pasta, packed away ant grains, and started preparing foods from the Yes list. Getting rid of everything on the No side. This head start has helped. The transition has pretty easy, considering we haven’t had any eggs or cheese for a couple weeks now. Mmmm…cheese.

    So far so good. Only 42± more hours in phase one.

  2. Portion Control Is Key

    February 15, 2013 by betaman

    We seldom repent of having eaten too little.
    — Thomas Jefferson

    I’ve always been one to enjoy a great big meal. The feeling following a major food fest always seemed worthwhile for enjoying mass quantities of flavorful food.

    Not so much anymore.

    Hara Hachi Bunme

    Or, “Hara hachi bu” (腹八分). The literal translation of this healthy Japanese saying means to eat until you’re 80 percent full, a common practice of the Okinawan diet. On the Japanese island of Okinawa, natives have practiced this for hundreds of years, and they are among healthiest, longest living people on the planet.

    Another healthy lifestyle proverb throughout Japan and Korea recommends we “eat like a crane” which eats slowly and delicately, picking at its food deliberately so as not to damage its pointed bill. Perhaps this is where the ancient cultures learned the benefits of using chopsticks.

    When we eat slowly and stop before we are full, we give our bodies a chance to digest our food completely and properly, signalling fullness before we have overeaten. As a Westerner who commonly eats too much too fast, this is proving to be a challenging task to master.

    A lack of meat should not be compensated with huge helpings of whatever is for dinner. I have discovered it is still easy to overeat when going back for seconds of fried rice or tuna caserole. So it is without regret I say goodbye to my megameals of yore.

    Florida's Southern Fried Food Platter

    I now look forward to greater satisfaction from the food I eat based on a few simple rules.

    1. Eat until you are 80% full.
    2. Eat more healthy foods, primarily veggies (especially greens) and whole grains.
    3. Get necessary protein from tofu, fish and other legumes.
    4. Drink plenty of water.
    5. Stay active to burn extra calories.


    Recommended Reading:

    Simple Living in Japan: National Geographic Profile

    The Okinawa Diet Plan: Get Leaner, Live Longer, and Never Feel Hungry

    The Okinawa Program : How the World’s Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health–And How You Can Too

    50 Secrets of the World’s Longest Living People

  3. My Flexitarian Diet Logistics

    February 14, 2013 by betaman

    First, don’t call it a diet. Diets don’t work, ask Dr. Jenn. This is a lifestyle choice for better health and nutrition.

    Second, I’m sure there are hard core vegan types who would laugh or call me a hypocrite. Well I’m not going there. I’ve enjoyed plenty of tasty vegan meals, but it’s better we just not go there.

    Third, I am not nor am I sure I ever could be a strict vegetarian. I am now one of those lacto-ovo-pesce types. I am an omnivore and I like my cheese, eggs, and fish.

    What I have done is given up consuming land animal meats, for now. That means no more chicken. No more steak, pork chops, or hamburgers, and no more lamb, mmm… lamb.

    I Am:


    This semi-vegetarianism is defined by various sources as one who eats a primarily plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat products. For this little project of mine, however, my only meat product shall either swim, crawl, or attach themselves to the ocean floor. Any questions?

    Recommended Reading:

    The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life

    Spice Up Your Life: The Flexitarian Way

    The Part-Time Vegan: 201 Yummy Recipes that Put the Fun in Flexitarian

    The Healthy Hedonist: More Than 200 Delectable Flexitarian Recipes for Relaxed Daily Feasts

    Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet