Here is a story how I finally found a diet that makes sense. It is not about something that I have designed for myself, I believe it can work for almost everybody. After a few decades and a multitude of trials and errors I must admit it is not even about the rationale alone. Care to see my point?
So here it goes. My history of dieting. Such a gruelling beginning. Does it need to be so?
I guess every breakthrough comes from a shock or a crisis. I found myself overweight and with an unhealthy skin condition back when I was 21. I was lucky to find a friend who was straightforward enough to literally say this to my face and open my eyes on the fact that my health is being compromised. In fact, she was mostly concerned about my weight but hey ho, looking back at things, I think it was really good to hear that without the nicey nicey. It was indeed as it made me think about my first diet. Many people would be jealous at this point, but I am happy to report that in a course of 3 months I have lost over 21 kgs of weight. I needed to replace most of the items in my wardrobe and I’ve never felt better.
Yet it did not stop there. I have consulted a lot of books in my history of dieting. Some instructions were surprising (like you need 60-80% protein in your daily diet), and some are just ridiculous (like the horoscope-based or blood type diets). Yet I’ve tried them too.
Since then, I have managed to maintain my weight, but the more I read about the diets and what works, the more questions I have. Should I try juicing or not. Are some carbs OK or should I abstain and minimise my intake. Is there such thing as healthy fats or should I limit all fats? Are food supplements safe or not? The more I read national press and digital media, the more I get confused.
You can get my point, I am sure. French diet with salads, low carb meals and and stuffed tomatoes or maybe you’ve collapsed like me after 5 days of juicing? Rapid weight loss was great, but do you think drinking loads of cold water a day is such a great idea? What about slow intensity exercises or do you prefer HIIT?
I have turned to the hype of superfoods.
Generally these are amazing products that are good for you, but no avocado will make it OK for you to eat a bucket of KFC a day.
These are those super recommended foods: avocado, broccoli, brown rice, brussel sprouts, buckwheat, cabbage, chia seeds, olive oil, flax seeds, green beans, herbs, kale, nut butters, pulses, quinoa, rice milk, seaweed, seeds, spirulina, tamari, tofu.
They do make sense individually, don’t they? But what to do next?
This may seem like a long introduction, but I am sure you can relate to this. It can remind you of a close friend too.
We are not that un-alike..
We all want a slimmer waistline, a flowing face, a healthier digestion and all of that without a major sacrifice to our diet.
What do you say is a diet?
One can say, it is how we eat and how our eating fits our lifestyle. Yet this can be totally wrong: we fit our meals around our busy lifestyle. We are programmed to have less time with our busy 9 to 5 (or 6 or 8 or, dare I say, 10) schedule. We then go and buy ready meals injected with sugars, trans-fats and other nasties.
But you know what surprises me, there are calls to introduce vegan burgers at MacDonalds and Burger King (and similar chains). Yes, it might be vegan (no animals killing, thankfully), but it is going to be cooked in all those nasties that are not good for you.
For years I was reading magazines and clipping different articles with references to diets and scientific proofs that something works better for our diets than the other. As many of my friends reported, we all accumulated lots of information that is coming from the media we consume – TV, Internet, newspapers and magazines. This is all scattered across the board and sometimes doesn’t make sense at all.
Oops, this seems like a very long introduction. Yet we all know the issue at stake: our health is of a whopping importance.
Summary of diet do’s and don’ts
When I am trying to sum up my experiences and the information I’ve accumulated, I come up with the following list of things or facts that make sense:
– Red meat is a definite no-go for your health, blood pressure, cholesterol and so on. I’ve had an elevated blood pressure for a few years and my GP asked me whether I could reduce my red meat intake. It was few years ago and it only now I realise that they don’t do advise it anymore. They are instructed by an oversight not to make any connection between meat and blood pressure issues.
– White meat is maybe more gentle in terms of calories and cholesterol, but it is again about killing the bird who was injected with antibiotics before the slaughter. The amount of antibiotics that is going to protect an industrial poultry farm is shocking, why would you want to eat that? I am not even going to the point of killing an innocent creature…
– Fish is probably what most flexitarians regard as a good alternative. Recent studies confirmed that fish has got excellent long term memory: they are capable of finding a hole in a fishing net after a year. Yet they are not farmed in their natural habitat anymore. A lot of fish now contains nasties like mercury.
– Dairy and eggs are those items where vegetarians and vegans differ (the latter group insist on no exploitation of animals). When I hear that it is really no big deal I want to remind my opponents of a fact that you need to impregnate a cow for her to start producing milk. What happens next is that she will get you a lot of milk, but also will give birth to a few calves. Male ones will go to a slaughter house for your veal cutlets. By the way, I am crying when I am typing this. And eggs, well it is just as bad, it is about killing an embryo. It is not just exploitation, it is the whole system of meat and dairy consumption. The system was created to benefit those people who are in charge of it. In addition to that, nutritionally you are getting a lot of question marks too. Milk is obviously designed to help grow cow’s baby into a fully grown one. We are talking about a growth from a few kilograms to hundreds kilograms. Imagine those growth enzymes are injected into your baby?
– No doctor or a health organisation will say that refined sugar, processed foods or refined oils are good for you. Thank you guys for at least some honesty! Yet we all eat it daily with our curries, burgers, fish and chips, breakfasts or puddings.
I must say that after so many years of trying, doing some research on nutrition and dieting, I came to a conclusion that it is very simple. I eliminate foodstuffs that are definitely a no go, avoid question marks and simply eat plant-based wholefoods.
You can take out of your diet everything that doesn’t make sense nutritionally, ethically and logically. If you follow this principle, the most logical step for you will be to follow a vegan lifestyle based on plant-based nutrition.
It started to make so much sense now!
It is just so satisfying to realise that I am eating an amazingly tasty salad of organic tomatoes, cucumbers, variety of lettuce leaves and a scrumptious dressing, and I am saving animal lives, but also helping my community to live in a better world (see pollution and waste reasons why to go vegan). This sense of meaning makes it feel like it’s not a diet, it is a more mindful lifestyle!
I am a happy vegan now.
Join me on this plant-based journey!
It is simple but so tasty and healthy.
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