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[icon] Eating experiment update - Patti
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Subject:Eating experiment update
Time:01:02 am
I haven't posted one of these in a while.

I just finished reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. This man makes crazy good sense when he talks about food, and I really feel like he's changed my life. I don't make that comment lightly, either. I feel like I've found religion.


I'm still avoiding HFCS and heavily-processed food, and eating almost exclusively fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, seafoods, eggs and dairy, grains, and legumes. I'm cooking almost everything that I eat myself, eating out a little bit, and eating almost nothing that comes out of a package. There are a few exceptions-- I'm eating a packaged applesauce that's easy for me to take to work for lunch, but the ingredients list is simple: "organic apples". OK, some of it has cinnamon too, and sometimes I go wild and eat the version that also has organic apricots.

I'm recording everything I eat, and loosely managing my total calories. I have a target zone for daily calories, and I'm almost always on the low end of that. Nothing is forbidden, though. If I'm craving ice cream then I haul my butt over to Tara's or Humphry Slocombe and get some ice cream, enjoy the heck out of it without guilt or remorse, then record the calories in my food diary.

I do have "days off", which basically means that I eat whatever I want to in moderation and don't even try to record the calories. Thus far, these have all centered around times that I was traveling.

This is the first time in my life that I really and truly feel like I'm eating well, eating sanely, and eating *right*. Not only am I making healthier food choices, but I'm also eating more enjoyable foods and consuming rational portion sizes.


Of course, this is all really easy to do in summer in California, when there's an abundance of fresh, organic produce available from local farms. I expect I'll have to work harder at it in winter.


I have a favorite style of jeans, Levi's 580s. The thing that pushed me over the edge for losing weight was putting them on one day and feeling like they were too tight... this did not make me happy.

A couple of weeks ago I found them on sale. Since I expect to be outgrowing my current ones in the next couple of months, I ordered a couple of pairs in a size smaller than I'm currently wearing.

They showed up on Monday morning. Even though there was no chance in hell that I'd be able to get into them, I decided to try them on anyway, just for amusement. "Hrmm. Maybe I *can* squeeze into these, but I doubt they'll zip."

I squirmed into them. "Hrmmm, maybe they'll zip. They'll be too tight to wear, though."

Zip. "Hey! These fit perfectly!" I wore them to work.


My mother is in town this weekend, which means lots of eating out. There's also a cupcake competition at work tomorrow. I therefore declare that Friday through Sunday are days off
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caged_ape
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Time:2010-09-17 03:02 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you're doing *exactly* what you should do. Enjoy the weekend!
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desiraes
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Time:2010-09-17 04:34 pm (UTC)
I have been following your "journey" here and find myself wanting to imitate you. It seems you have found something that really works for you as a lifestyle not a "way to lose weight". I have been struggling what seems like forever and am looking for something to make sense. I am planning on buying the book and hoping it gives me the "same breath of fresh air" that it seems to have given you. One question though...are you still running? If not what is your exercise level right now?
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whipartist
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Time:2010-09-17 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not currently running. I've been trying to ride my bike a few times a week, but it's not happening as often as I'd like. One "big ticket" change at a time, though.
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abostick59
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Time:2010-09-17 05:36 pm (UTC)
I'm a big fan of Michael Pollan (modulo my sense that he has a blind spot to issues of social class). I'm also an admirer of Dr. Steven Bratman, author of Health Food Junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa: Overcoming the Obsession with Healthful Eating.
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whipartist
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Time:2010-09-17 07:43 pm (UTC)
It sounds like Bratman is arguing against a different sort of what Pollan calls nutritionism. Am I approximately right?
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prock
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Time:2010-09-17 10:58 pm (UTC)
Places to eat out in Oak Land that have pretty good food for healthy eaters.

Mama's Cafe
Cactus Taqueria
Berkeley Bowl
Cafe Eritrea D'afrique
Bay Wolf
Le Cheval
Souley Vegan

You could also go into the city and eat at The Greens, or Millenium.
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whipartist
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Time:2010-09-17 11:08 pm (UTC)
Finding healthy things to eat out really isn't much of a problem... I can find something at least passably good almost anywhere I go. Plus, that's not likely to be my primary criterion for choosing restaurants... I need to learn to eat well no matter where I wind up eating.
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prock
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Time:2010-09-17 11:11 pm (UTC)
It's not that difficult to do once you learn how to order off the menu. Having learned how to eat meatless at 99.9% of all restaurants, it's always amusing to me when people show concern about my dietary restrictions when eating out.
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whipartist
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Time:2010-09-17 11:17 pm (UTC)
Other than artificial sweeteners and HFCS, I have no dietary restrictions... and those two are just general principles rather than hard-and-fast rules. Making good decisions in whatever circumstances I'm in isn't difficult.

My ex said he only once wound up in a restaurant where he couldn't find something vegetarian to eat. It was a Chinese restaurant, surprisingly, and they wouldn't even serve him just plain rice.
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piercedmarionet
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Time:2010-09-18 10:45 am (UTC)
Having just spent two weeks in europe where there are laws that heavily restrict the amount of preservatives that can be in food, I have to say I'm motivated to change my diet similarly to avoid the heavily processed. Mainly because while in europe my angry tummy symptoms were pretty much nil only the achy joints were an issue. When I came back to the US the angry tummy returned. I find doing what you are doing makes my crohn's behave soooo much more.
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[icon] Eating experiment update - Patti
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