Friday, September 18, 2015

What diet are you?

MI've been thinking about writing this blog post for a while to capture some further changes that I have made to my diet. Having just watched Cowspiracy has tipped me over into writing.

For a few years I have predominantly used milk alternatives, soya, almond, hazelnut, coconut etc... I used them on breakfast cereal and sometimes to drink. If I made tea or coffee I would use cows milk. Similarly if there was no milk alternative available I would put milk on my cereal. I also ate yoghurt, cheese and eggs. A lot of all of those products.

Then...... I listened to David Carter on the Rich Roll podcast and resolved to change my mind. The catalyst was when he spoke about tendonitis and how milk is a contributor to that. As someone who aspires to run a lot and who has suffered with injury this struck a chord. From that point coffee was black and black tea with milk replaced with herbal tea (specifically the Pukka 3-ginger tea). I also stopped eating cheese and dairy yoghurt. So far so simple.

When you look further there are things like cake - made with butter, eggs and milk. Home made pasta dishes with cheese. Milk chocolate, pizza, ice-cream the list goes on and they are all littered with dairy. Chocolate was easy to stop, same with cake - particularly as the BTP does a hippie seed bar that is vegan - home cooking is less easy as the family continue to eat everything and already make adjustments for me. Plus I have not given myself the label.

That's where, for me, this is most interesting. It seems that if you modify your diet there's a label. Vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, there's some that eat chicken but no red meat and once again the list goes on.

What I am is less important than how I feel. My diet is probably around 95% dairy free. Most days I am vegan occasionally I am not. I have always eaten a lot of fruit on a daily basis easily munching through 3-4 apples and the same number of bananas a day. Sometimes there might some others thrown in, Sharon fruit, persimmons, grapes, strawberries. What I do now is make my sandwiches with vegetables. Courgettes and mushrooms are a favourite. As is spinach, tomato and again pretty much anything we have in the fridge drawer.

In the evenings I am lucky in that Sue does not like to eat that much meat and certainly not regularly. We have a lot of stews made with chick peas, tomatoes and again any veg that's around. We also eat a lot of burrito's which are easy to make vegan, just leave out the cheese and sour cream (these were inspired by the Whole Foods burrito's).  

I've been doing this for around 3 months now, the impact is subtle but noticeable...

I feel better, I feel less clogged up. It's difficult to really describe this but it's like cleansing. I am due some blood tests soon as part of my type 1 diabetes care and it will be interesting to see if there's any changes there.

My weight and body fat has changed. I have lost around 5lbs in weight and dropped 2% of body fat in that same period. I wasn't trying to lose weight but it's happened and as its natural I am going with it. The body fat is a great bonus though and makes sense as meat and dairy are a lot of fat. 

My skin is better than normal. My eczema patches on my hands have gone and I'm not getting the mild irritations that I was. 

My blood sugar control has also improved eating this way. Less hypos and more steady control.

I'm going to continue with this. It's easy and works for me. I like the food and how i feel. It's very easy to get sucked into feeling like a crusader as there's much propaganda about how great vegans are and how crisp animal agriculture is. 

Me making this change is small in the grand scheme of things. It needs more and more people to do the same then thee can be change. 

What I do find weird is why wouldn't everyone want to feel this good?