Just the fact that I mention I have a ‘diet’ probably sounds ridiculous to most of you who know me in person. In fact, I went to the doc the other day and when they weighed me- somehow (with shoes on), I weighed four pounds less than my last visit. Which is kind of nuts, considering I am not really doing anything that different.
So back to “the diet”.
I went out to dinner with someone very cool and interesting, and I thought it was funny that diet came up as a conversation. At dinner. So here we are, trying to order something that fits both of our diets… and having a bit of struggle of it. And we are finding it quite comical because perhaps only in L.A., S.F., Portland, maybe Seattle, Austin, and parts of NYC actually have conversations like this. I mean, are people in Arkansas talking about their various diets – at dinner?
We are both currently trying out different diets. He is on the Paleo Diet… which if you are unfamiliar (as I was), is the original cave-man diet. Basically, If a cave man didn’t eat it, then he can’t/shouldn’t either. This Nerd Fitness site describes it pretty well.
Now as for me, and I am coming straight off watching the documentary Forks over Knives, which is actually a vegan diet if you break it all down- whole foods/grains, and vegetables/fruits – no dairy or meats of any kind.
So, Why A Diet If I’m Already Thin?
The purpose of my diet has nothing to do with losing weight… I think I mentioned in a previous post that my cholesterol is over 200… in fact, it’s 213. Pretty high for someone who is fairly in shape and thin… my culprit, I had believed, was the inordinate amount of shrimp, oysters, omelettes, and lobster I was consuming. So I’ve been trying to back down on that. And then I saw this movie.
It’s unusual, because normally I would just order anything, but this documentary affected me in one specific way: the guy’s cholesterol literally dropped like 60 points on this diet, and I want the same for me. My biggest fear is to have to take Lipitor one day. Any pill will make me upset. I do not want the pills!! This particular documentary links the majority of all heart attacks, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and obesity directly to meat/dairy related sources. No matter that it’s grass-fed or organic- meat and meat products are causing the issues- and guess what else they cause as a root of these issues- high cholesterol.
This experience caused me to think about how I was going to balance going out to restaurants and keeping to my cholesterol-lowering regimen… as my two favorite activities in the world are traveling and being a foodie. How can I possibly get around Anthony Bourdain-style, trying everything and living and loving the experience that is the food life- with all this tiptoeing around??? Do I have to limit my experience for the sake of lowering the ol’ cholesterol?
So I came up with my own diet. The Inside/Outside Diet.
Here’s how I think it will work. I am going to aim to try and make most meals at home- not only will I save money on this front, but I can control the whole grain/dairy consumption. So- at home? As many veggies, legumes, and fruits as possible. I just tried Almond Milk and actually like it. I don’t know if I can live entirely without fish/seafood, so I would like to incorporate fish into my diet… and many types of fish are sources of Omega-3s and HDL cholesterol (the good kind). That’s the Inside Diet.
The Outside Diet- that will be different. If I am out to dinner with friends, I’ll try my best to stick with the Inside Diet. But if we are going to a new restaurant, a foodie-lovers delight- I’m going to have to try it. Or I go to a friend’s house for dinner- I’m not going to be one of those guests. I will just manage to not go overboard. If I am going to Malaysia, Africa, Beirut, Croatia, or wherever, I want to discover the street vendor food and get my hands on everything I can taste and try.
That’s the Inside/Outside Diet. My own made-up world. I don’t know that I could live my whole life not LIVING my whole life. Part of me thinks a little bit of fun in food is worth the risk… if I can keep it manageable, I just might be able to have my cake and eat it too.