Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What to Eat for Health - Thoroughly Confusing

I've had it. Too many books and too many opinions have officially confused the hell out of me. Food is all that's on my mind lately. Eat local, don't eat processed, eat whole foods, don't eat saturated fat (but that eliminates a bunch of local staples like MEAT, MILK and EGGS!), don't eat meat, don't eat salmon or tuna or shrimp, grow it all yourself, don't eat the Nature's Promise organics - its from China, make sure nothing is from China. ARGH!!! And if you don't eat meat, you still have to buy it because you're husband eats it. Maybe we shouldn't eat at all. For the past 7 years, I trained, raced and tried to eat the best foods to maintain a healthy diet to endure the training and racing. Carbs, protein, fat, calcium, iron and of course calories were tracked on a daily basis to assure the proper ratios and RDA were being met. At first I tried it as a vegetarian and was tired nearly constantly, then I added lean meats and felt pretty good. One year I actually dropped about 8 pounds. How? Lowering carbs and eating lean meat at nearly every meal, keeping calories under 1500 per day, and exercising like a mad woman. Then I quit racing and tried the vegetarian thing again (for the environment), but got fat -- mostly on the local meat, milk, and eggs. Now what? Is it ok for the enviornment if you eat local meat (but its making you fat Jill!)? And then there's my idol -- Vegan Rob (Rob Lichtenwalner) who manages to do ultra-endurance sports and maintain his strict Vegan diet. To me, that's the most intriguing diet of them all (VEGAN) -- BUT, does he do it local? How can he do that and still stay vegan? Is there a food processor in Lehigh Valley that processes tofu and soy products? (or in PA for that matter). If so, fill me in! But then again there's that dirty word -- PROCESSED food. Something I read (huh, imagine that) that we stay away from. At the BASH this year, I met a really cool dude that actually cooks for Vegan Rob and his menus sounded aboslutely delightful -- but are they local? He used to work on an organic farm so many of his foods were just what a Vegan orders -- vegetables which are easy locally. But is Vegan the most healthy? So there's the question of the day. What, EXACTLY, is the most healthful diet? And can any of these be adapted locally. Here are some that claim to be the most healthy - but can they be local and non-processed?:

Paleo Diet (lean meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts)
$3.57 a Day healthful diet (Beans, Lentils, Fruit, Vegetables, walnuts)
Eat Food, not Too Much, Mostly Plants - Michael Pollen's Philosophy
Mediterranean Diet (includes an ad for McDonalds).
More from NY Times on the Mediterranean Diet - are they telling us something?
And to add to the confusion - choosing the right diet - all the kinds of diets out there. I even more confused now.


DailySAHM said...

I don't think there is a one size fits all diet. It depends on the person. Perhaps not eating meat made you tired, but it works well for Vegan Rob, so what's good for one isn't necessarily good for everyone. I do agree, it is very confusing, frustrating, and not always easy to eat the way we'd like to, or the way we think we should. Imagine how much easier it would be for you if you, like Vegan Rob, had someone cooking for you? And money wasn't an object.

In the whole scheme of things Jill, you are doing far more good things for your body, health, and environment than the majority of the people on this planet.

The Wiser Weiser said...

I like the see-food diet! ;)

Steve Parker, M.D. said...

A Sept. 11 article in the New England Journal of Medicine outlines exactly why the Mediterranean diet has such staying power. I blogged about it here:

Please give it careful consideration. But as you know, it's not a vegetarian or vegan diet.

-Steve Parker, M.D.

veganrob said...

Oh the fun of google. and all the fun comments you see on yourself. 1st off , chilibloggin, we should chat. i used to weigh 212 in 96'. i've learned quite a bit since then, and would love to help. And as for you, dailysahm, i word hard and should not be catagorized as someone your description portrays(a spoiled person). I own 2 companies, work 60+/week, train 15+hrs/week, and keep my wife happy. After all that i choose to help a friend with some side cash and have him cook for me. Should i be judged for that? watch what you say on these things. you never know whos watching. love, veganrob