In the last year I have read a bunch of books on diet and its effects on health. At the beginning of this blogging journey I decided to share what I was learning with everyone that I could reach, in real time. In that year I have become utterly convinced that most advice given to people about what is or is not healthy eating is actually counterproductive. I am certain that the explosion of health issues in the US that are connected to eating are a direct result of that bad advice. I probably care too much.
I went on a sugar detox one year ago, yesterday. Me and the wife went for the entire month of April without eating any sugar in any form. It was also a low-carb month, so it was for all intents and purposes the Atkins inception week. I started blogging so that I could go back and remember the feelings and physical changes in the weeks and months to follow. That journal has a link in the menu of my blog. I lost weight, I felt better, I began to preach. I have always been a very good preacher, and my problem has always been practicing the things that I preach. However, in real healthy eating I found a message that I could both live and espouse.
As time went on I found the best books so far ever written about diet. You notice I said ‘about’ diet, not diet books. These books (three of them) are about food, your body, your body chemistry, fat in your body, and fat in your food. They are about science, and how the art of science was lost in the 70s and 80s, as the cult of personality took over the discourse on dietary recommendations. They document how, as the nation’s waistline expanded as people took bad advice on diet, fortunes began to be made on the diet advice gravy train. They detail how difficult it is now to get the real science finally being conducted, which proves which foods are innocent, and which foods are guilty, into the national consciousness.
I believe with my entire being the things that I have read in “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes, and “Pandora’s Lunchbox” by Melanie Warner.
A feature of blogging on WordPress is the ability to easily find blogs that also are into the topics that your blog is. I have found some fine blogs on recipes, natural and local food issues, and of course diet and health. I have also read some on the ineffectiveness of the 12 Step method to combat addictions. Yes, if you have read my blog you know that I consider sugar and carbohydrate an addictive substance. I consider food to be something that a person can use when they don’t want to.
Sometimes, when I read fellow bloggers that are giving the same old diet and exercise advice that we have all heard our entire lives, I can’t help but interject the new science that has revealed that weight and health are not related to how much you eat or exercise. The only thing that matters is WHAT you eat. I continue to gradually lose weight. This morning I am at 136 pounds. I am five foot six inches and I haven’t weighed 136 pounds in thirty years. I don’t exercise at all, except for the occasional run up three flights of stairs between offices at work. Most of my work time is spent programming a computer. You might call it sedentary. My wife would. Yesterday I ate an entire 16 ounce ribeye for lunch.
Will what I advise work for you? I bet it would. However, the first thing you have to give up is the idea of balance. It doesn’t take very much carbohydrate to make you crave it. It’s why people kicking heroin don’t try just cutting back. If you are gonna kick, you gotta kick. The next thing you have to give up is the idea that you are only gonna do it for a while. The great thing about just eating meat and green vegetables is that you can easily do it without starving yourself AT ALL. There is no need to be hungry, ever. If you eat snack chips after not having any for a month, you will feel like you ate snack chips. When you do it, you will know what I mean. Carbohydrates actually cause a physical reaction, and I know it, but you don’t because you are living in a constant state of reaction to carbs. I suppose people who drink or smoke pot every hour they are awake also can’t remember what it feels like to be straight.
I really don’t know why it is that I care so much about getting this word out. I have convinced many of the people in my family, and several of my friends at work are proving me right. I think the results are good for me and my immediate circle. Why I care so much when I see a fellow blogger that doesn’t get it yet is kind of a mystery to me. Why I want to always help someone that obviously needs it and is obviously casting about for the right thing to do to lose weight, but that hasn’t specifically looked me up or asked me for my advice, is a mystery. I probably care too much.
I read your blog regularly and I appreciate it a lot. My opinion is that you care just the right amount. Thank you, dcarmack.
Last weekend, my sister in law, who is health and food conscious, came over and served us a “healthy” organic, vegetarian meal of burritos made of mexican flavored TVP, canned refried and black beans, a seasoning packet, a can of organic tomatoes, whole wheat flour tortillas, one small organic onion and one small organic green pepper, topped with vegan cheese. I had never had TVP before and I asked what it was. She answered texturized vegetable protein. So I asked, “what’s texturized vegetable protein?” She repeated the previous answer with emphasis on vegetable and protein. She added that it’s “natural.” Her husband, my brother in law, got up from the table to look deep in my eyes and said, in a slightly frustrated tone, it’s texturized vegetable protein. As if the name is self explanatory and why do I have to make an issue of it. He can be slightly menacing. Emotions run high on this subject sometimes, I suppose, but I took no notice of their threatened/threatening reaction to my question and asked what KIND of vegetables it’s made of. They had no idea. Awkward!
We looked at the TVP package. It’s made of soy flour. I didn’t go there with the vegan fake cheese because I didn’t want to seem more ungrateful than I already did, but I had the same bad feeling about it. The burrutos were a brown sludge wrapped in flour tortillas with the vegan fake cheese melted all over it. Totally unappetizing. I would have preferred a steak, which is way more natural and healthy, but we ate the dinner and thanked them profusely.
I looked it all up after they went home and found out that TVP and vegan cheese are made of soy that has been extremely processed in a factory setting. One step of the extensive processing is soaking in Hexane, a petroleum based solvent. Mmmm.
The point is that even “health conscious” people don’t automatically get it that eating totally unprocessed, non-packaged, living (or recently alive) food – ie: meat, poultry, fish, and fresh fruit & vegetables, plus fats, is optimum and everything else just isn’t. It won’t kill you fast, but some vegetarian, organic food is really quite unhealthy.
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That is a very funny story! Where do you blog at! Thanks so much for the kind words at the top. I may use this episode as the foundation of an upcoming post.