Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Diets

A while back, I heard about this thing called the Paleo Diet.  I was instantly interested, since I am a huge fan of prehistoric things.  And the premise was pretty interesting - basically, you try to emulate the diet of a caveman.  Lots of meat, vegetables, and nuts.  Seems reasonable.  But there was no way I could switch to this sort of lifestyle when I lived in a house with Chris: the king of cheesy rice.  Rice and cheese are not allowed in the paleo diet.  So I wrote it off as impossible and forgot about it.

A month or so ago, Steve and Meghan decided to start the slow carb diet, which is pretty similar to the paleo diet, except that you eat beans instead of nuts.  And you get a cheat day once a week to sort of reset your metabolism (or something like that; I'm a little blurry on the details).  They were really excited about it and talked about it a lot, which got Chris interested.  So I started looking into the paleo thing again, figuring that if Chris was slow carbing it up, I could do the paleo thing and everything would work out perfectly.  While looking up information about the paleo diet again, I found a somewhat less rigid system called the primal blueprint.  Perfect.

We were going to get started right away, but unfortunately Thanksgiving got in the way, so we decided to reschedule for this week.  I was really excited to start, since I've been fed up with the unhealthy, dine out two or three nights a week lifestyle we've been living.  So I started out strong on Monday, eating eggs for breakfast, some nuts and meat for lunch.  I made dinner (shocking, I know) of seasoned chicken and garlic lemon broccoli.  I had some sunflower seeds for a snack.  Fine, but I was still really hungry.  I wanted to have an apple, but that would have put me over the 50 carbs necessary to stay within ketosis (whatever that is). So instead I went to bed hungry and feeling a little sick.  I started feeling a bit uncomfortable about this diet.

Tuesday, though, I forgot to pack breakfast.  So I ate some dried cranberries I happened to have in my desk at work.  Fine.  Still hungry, still feeling a little sick.  For lunch, I ordered a salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  When it arrived, I was distressed to find croutons in there.  And it came with a pretzel roll - one of my favorite things in the world.  Suddenly it seemed very strange to me that I should have to pick croutons out of my salad and discard one of my favorite snacks in the world because cavemen didn't eat them.

On the way home, I started fantasizing about Reese's peanut butter cup trees.  I imagined pulling into Wawa, buying a tree, and eating it illicitly in the parking lot, destroying the evidence before Chris could fine out that I'd "been bad".  Now I was feeling very uncomfortable about it.  It felt too dangerous to me.  I decided that I was going to quit this diet immediately.  So I went home and ate an english muffin with lemon curds.

Now, I know that some people reading this are going to think that I am suffering from a simple lack of willpower.  You are free to think that, I really don't care.  But let me assure you that you are wrong.  I have plenty of willpower.  If you do not believe me, take a look at this picture.  I was 86 pounds at 5' 6".  This purposeful limitation of food is not, I have decided, something in which I am interested.  When eating a thing starts to feels forbidden, I'm going to have to bow out.  I'm not saying that the paleo, primal, and slow carb diets are bad and dangerous for everyone, I'm just saying that they are not for me.

But this does not mean I am going to pig out on cheese fries and fried chicken for every meal, either.  Chris has decided that he probably wants to stick with the slow carb thing, and that is perfect.  This way, I will still have motivation to eat healthy meals.  Which is really all I wanted out of this diet - to eat more fruits and vegetables.  I can eat more fruits and vegetables while enjoying the occasional peanut butter tree if I want.  I can be more healthy and still sometimes have an english muffin for breakfast.  I can eat a salad without picking out the croutons.

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