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On Refining Diet

I eat pretty well and take pretty good care of myself. But it's taken quite a while to get here - before 2006, I had a pretty standard American diet. Lots of pizza, junk food, fast food, liquor, soda, sweets, etc. I smoked cigarettes, cigars, sheesha, and other kinds of tobacco.

Since then I've refined my diet and I eat pretty well. I have more energy, feel better, look better, and God willing, I'll live a lot longer as a result. It's a gradual process though, and I'm still improving. There's a few things I use to do it:

First, I'm all about incremental improvement - I think trying to crash change your diet is unlikely to work unless you have immense amounts of willpower and self-discipline. If you do have these Herculean amounts of will and discipline, you know who you are and don't need my advice. If you're more mortal, then you'll want to pick one or two things to be refining in your diet at a time.

Second, there's two ways I quit food or habits I don't like - "hard quitting" (cold turkey) and "soft quitting" (gradually reduce my consumption and eventually eliminate it). I pick which of these routes to go based on how convenient it is to quit something outright and if there's any detox process. If there's detox (like there was with nicotine), I think it's better to just get it over with once instead of constantly feeling deprived as your body re-adjusts to its new biochemical levels. The most successful method for quitting smoking is cold turkey, isn't it? Something like 80% of successful attempts to quit smoking are cold turkey? I don't have the statistics onhand, but that's the general idea. Quitting something like sugar, bad oils, or excess salt might be easier to do incrementally, since you need to replace the consumption with something else.

Which brings us to third point - I actively introduce new good behaviors before and during the time I quit something. Now, I don't know if the following is a good strategy, but it's what I did - when I started cutting down the sweets I ate, I increased my consumption of the kinds of salty foods I already ate: Chips, french fries, nuts, etc. Later I cut the salt content back. I don't know if that's a good habit, but it's worked okay for me. I also try to actively introduce fruits and vegetables before I quit something - it's hard to go from no fiber food that's highly processed to stimulate you immediately to fruits and vegetables. Fruit tastes bland compared to ice cream. So I introduce fruits and vegetables first, get comfortable with them, then increase my consumption of them as I decrease or eliminate bad consumption.

Day 10 Updates

On Fresh for February

So far I'm succeeding in not eating any cooked carbs and thus avoiding the major pitfalls of the cooked diet: addiction, mucus, and body odor.

Let's talk about addiction. Perhaps it's the wrong word. Perhaps the right thing to say is that cooked food excited me. Cooked food is an adventure. Cooked food is a buffet of drugs. There are so many options! (not really) But it is exciting! The idea of spices and oily carbs  with salt is an evolutionary dream :P and on a daily basis I'd have the option to pick between whichever food I want be it tasty refried bean tacos which I'd make from these great new tortillas, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, refried beans, and mixing salsa with avocado. Yum. For real yum and easy to get plenty of calories in which I love. It's always a plus to be able to knock out 2000 calories in one sitting in my book.

See that's a big difference between myself and another health food bloggers is that I am pro-nutrition. I am pro-getting-more-nutrition-in-you. Why?

Because if they're the right foods, more calories should mean more fuel which means more energy to do more. I ran a marathon on this principle. Simply increased my fuel, allowed myself to eat as I wished, allowed myself to sleep as I pleased, and found myself running long distance with ease. It is there where choice of food matters greatly, because pizza does not inspire movement. Potatoes do not inspire movement. Eggs, fish, bread, cheese, beef... do not inspire movement.

Fruit inspires movement. Foods that digest well inspire movement. Vegetables like celery have a deeply nourishing healing feeling upon their consumption and recharge the body with electrolytes. Being HYDRATED inspires movement. Being dehydrated does not. 

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