Experimental eating: a simple diet

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you changed your diet completely for two weeks?

I have. Will I go crazy and drive madly to the nearest McGreasies for a bingefest? Will I break down and huddle in a corner, muttering fish and chips, fish and chips over and over and over again? Or will I don a balaclava and rob the local chocolate shop?

I like to think it will change me for the better. So for two weeks I’ll see how I cope with no added sugar, no caffeine, no junk food, no desserts, no fizzy drinks, no added salt, no dressings, no chocolate, and no processed foods.

I’ll be eating the same simple menu day in, day out. The only thing that will change will be the meat I eat for my night time meal.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’ll be the only one doing this in my family. The kids will continue to be fed normally.

 

What I’ll be eating.

Here’s the menu I’ve settled on:

Breakfast: Two eggs and cooked spinach.

Morning tea: Berries, mushrooms, or raw carrot.

Lunch: Tuna with horseradish, 6 nuts and green veg plus quinoa.

Afternoon snack: An apple

Dinner: Meat (or vegetarian alternative) and vegetables (plain) with cooked quinoa.

Evening: A shot of whisky.

To drink: Water with lemon juice (no sugar added) or plain water, green tea or miso soup (optional).

If I wish, I can choose to season my food with herbs and spices, tahini, or flavoured vinegars.

A typical breakfast for me. On the experimental diet, I'll be dropping the eggs to two. I'd love to add tomatoes, but it's early Spring and they're too expensive right now for everyday.

A typical breakfast for me. On the experimental diet, I’ll be dropping the eggs to two. I’d love to add tomatoes, but it’s early Spring and they’re too expensive right now for everyday.

 

What’s the point?

I’m curious. I want to see how I like eating the same thing day in, day out. In our world, we’re absolutely spoiled for choice, and it’s assumed that we need to eat something different every day. I’m not sure we need to, or that all this variety is actually even good for us.

I don’t think packaged and processed food is particularly good for us either, and I think it might be addictive. I want to find out just how addictive.

I want to explore what it is like to eat simply and very healthily.

It’s on for two weeks. I figure I can cope with anything for two weeks!

I’ll let you know how I’m going, and take photos of my meals.

 

Why the quinoa?

Quinoa is a high protein grain that is yummy, healthy and very filling. It’s also very affordable. I like it, the kids like it and it goes well with anything. Plus, unlike rice, it grows well in our cool temperate climate here in New Zealand and can be sourced locally and organically.

Quinoa can also be eaten hot or cold, so it works well for lunches (cold) and dinners (hot). An all-round winner for a simple diet.

quinoa

Why the whisky?

There’s good scientific evidence that whisky lengthens our telomeres. In other words, it may help us live longer. Caffeine, on the other hand, shortens our telomeres. The science is still new, but I’m going with it, and avoiding caffeine and including whisky in small amounts.

 

What I’m avoiding – the dairy gap

The obvious gap is dairy products. I won’t be drinking milk or eating cheese. Personally, I think these products are vastly overrated and I don’t think they’re healthy at all. There is no evidence they reduce bone fractures either.

What does seem to help is reducing meat intake and increasing intake of green leafy vegetables, so I’m doing that instead and eating green leafy vegetables at every meal including breakfast, plus including tahini and nuts. I hope I don’t miss my cheese too much!

 

6 thoughts on “Experimental eating: a simple diet

  1. Hi there, I just accidentally found this blog while tag surfing and I recognised the photo from Facebook (it’s not showing here, but on the tag page it did). I never knew about this blog – I thought yours were all on Blogger.

    Anyway, some interesting thoughts here. I kind of agree that we probably aren’t meant to have so much variety in food, except for seasonal differences.

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    • I moved over from blogger a while back now, after getting increasingly annoyed with the interface. WordPress was just easier to use, although I’ve had my issues with it!

      Yeah, food is that Final Frontier of experimentation, and we’re all creatures of habit in one way or another. I thought it would be interesting to bend the barriers and try something different, to see how I coped with a much more restrictive diet, based on simple foods.

      I’ve only gone a couple of days, but so far I’m liking it. I’ll see how things are at the end of the fortnight! 😉

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  2. I’m curious to hear how this goes!

    I have several friends who are on a Paleo diet (or the 80/20 Paleo plan – which basically just allows them to have burgers and beers on Friday nights) but that has never sat quite right with me because of the ban on quinoa and legumes, which are perfectly healthy options in my opinion.

    We got really lazy with our eating this summer and bought a lot of not-so-good stuff because it was cheap and quick to prepare. We’re actually eating through the remnants of it over the next few weeks, and pledging not to bring any more crap into our home once its gone.

    Lastly – alcohol is such a funny thing. One serving is one serving, right? Most people I know wouldn’t bat an eye at a nightly glass of wine/beer, but mentioning taking in hard alcohol every night would have them worried.

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    • Well, so far it’s going well. Of course, I’m really early in!

      I don’t get the ban on quinoa and legumes with paleo either – it always seemed a bit of an oddity, and with no scientific justification at all that I’m aware of.

      Eating well is really just a matter of doing the right thing most of the time, as I see it, so I think your friends are on to something with their 80/20 idea though.

      With alcohol, I’m basically just having a sip every night. It’s probably actually less than a shot, but it’s enough that I enjoy it and don’t feel at all deprived. I enjoy it, it keeps me happy and I don’t have a problem with it. I’m actually not much of a drinker – I maybe have wine once a month when friends come over, and beer even less than that, but I do enjoy my shot of whisky, and am glad that science seems to be on my side with that one!

      Hard alcohol…hmmm…I guess it is, but maybe Kiwis don’t see it that way. I know cultures view things differently, but I’d be more worried about someone drinking wine daily or smoking (I don’t) than the odd shot of whisky. People can be so different in their view of these things, hey?

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  3. I am enjoying reading this blog. I’m interested to see how you find this diet. I eat a mostly simple diet, but mine is quite varied because I buy whatever is on the reduced aisle in the supermarket, so it’s different each week. I often eat the same meal several days in a row, but then I get bored of it and want something different. I find I crave a variety of different fruits and vegetables. I like all the colours to be included in my veg, partly because the different colours are supposed to have different nutrients, and partly for aesthetic reasons! At the moment I have no red veg in my fridge, so I will either buy tomatoes or red peppers next time I go shopping. Coincidentally, I am also drinking a shot of whisky tonight, but it’s not a daily thing for me. My reasoning is more that I work with kids so I get exposed to a lot of germs, and shot of whisky will kill the germs!

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    • So far I’m finding that breakfast and lunch work really well, dinners not so much. In fairness, it’s been a chaotic week, and I’ve had to deal with eating out twice because of family events I couldn’t get out of.

      But when you’re there with waiter literally holding plates of truffles and smoked salmon in your face and asking you if you want more, and would Ma’am like another glass of wine, well! Ma’am finds it hard to say no! 😦 So it has been a mixed start of things. I’m hoping I’ll settle down. But I’d say I’ve been about 70% successful so far, with definite room for improvement!

      Yes, whisky definitely kills the germs! Maybe that’s why people who drink it live longer? 😉

      Like

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