Four Hour Body – Mostly

If we are just counting straight time like a normal person would (or I think a normal person would – I am pretty sure I’m not normal), it has been nine weeks since I started eating a slow carb diet. The thing is, a visiting friend and a trip out to San Francisco means I’ve really only stayed strictly with the meal plan for five full weeks. I’d like to say that I don’t consider it “a diet,” like the South Beach Diet or Atkins or something like that. For me, it is a change in diet, a change in the way I eat.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you can see that I have, over the years, made a number of changes in the way I eat. I went to a strict vegetarian diet many years ago, which lasted until I moved to Italy. Living overseas, I was often confronted with meat in my food that I did not expect. So I loosened my strangle-hold on my vegetarian identity. I went back to being a bit more strict after coming back to the states, but by then I had learned to enjoy sushi (what? I said I loosened!). At that point I started calling myself a “mostly vegetarian.” I would eat sushi once or twice a year (not because of my ethics, just because I was too poor to afford it). And occasionally I’d eat fish and chips if I was out and the occasional salami from Italia.

From my fav place in Mpls

After being back in the states about a year I stopped taking in any dairy. I think I stayed off all dairy for about a year or maybe two. Then I became “mostly dairy free.” Do you see a pattern here? I found that I could manage to eat hard cheeses once in a while without ill effects. Even ice cream, if I was willing to suffer a bit after.

Around that time I got hitched and the family was not particularly interested in being vegetarian. I began buying turkey (from a happy turkey farm) and ate that once in a while with the family.

Ok, well, happier birds, anyway…

My sister got diagnosed with celiac and I went off gluten for about nine months. That was some trick. But I managed. And I didn’t really miss it – except for a nice, fresh loaf of Italian bread and cake. I did miss cake. The thing was, I did not really notice much difference in the way I felt the way I did when I changed my eating habits in the past. So I went back to some gluten, becoming, you guessed it, “mostly gluten free.” I don’t often eat bread, or wheat pasta. If I did eat a bunch, though, I would feel heavy and overly full. And the last time I ate some on a day off, my stomach got tight and I was all congested. So, yeah, I don’t eat much of that.

Oh, and then I heard that brown rice might be leaching iron from my blood! I’ve had anemia a couple of times in the last three years. Guess how long I’ve been eating a lot of brown rice? Yeah, about four years. So then I had to stop eating brown rice, which had become my staple carb.

So when I started reading the Four Hour Body, I was very interested in this diet change. I loved the idea of using beans for my carbs. And I already love beans. I also already knew that eating on a more regular schedule worked well for me. However, the big thing was how to get in enough protein. Given my many food rules (I now try to stick to just three from Michael Pollen – Eat food, Not too much, Mostly plants), I did not want to have to ingest lots of processed proteins, so I went with the whole foodiest option I could think of. I added meat back into my diet on a regular basis. My plan was to eat meat until I move from here, just to get my body going, then go back to my vegetarian diet.

I have four weeks left in Massachusetts. My current food goals are not to buy any new food (besides picking up my CSA shares) and to start to find ways to get the protein I need from other sources. And I’m ok with losing a few pounds, too. Nine weeks out of thirteen counts as mostly, don’t you think?

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