Thursday, May 27, 2010

D.I.E.T results

Jason and I recently went on an experimental carbohydrate-restricted, high protein diet for a week (see last 2 blogs). As someone who is fascinated with the science of nutrition, the results didn't really surprise me.

After just the first day, both of us felt like we had swallowed a billiard ball whole, and that feeling lasted throughout the week. Jason complained daily about his disruptive bowel movements (thank me for not elaborating). Although we found it not-too-difficult to come up with satisfying meals, it did seem redundant to eat so many meat products (turkey, turkey-bacon, turkey-kielbasa, and ham - we do not like eating beef, in fact we usually don't eat red meat at all) and the same sides of cabbage, green salad, or broccoli. We also missed our high-fibre bread & cereal. I originally thought we may adhere to this diet for 2 weeks, but we weren't feeling very good, and knowing that restricting carbohydrates may be tough on the liver and other internal organs, we quit after one week.

So was it worth it? I lost .45% of my body weight and Jason lost .48%. He attributes his weight loss to exercising more that week, and mine could very well be normal fluctuation. In fact, in the few days since we resumed eating our usual low-fat, low-meat diet, I've lost another .8 pounds! So no, I'd say the diet was not beneficial in any way, and as predicted, I wouldn't recommend a long-term low-carbohydrate diet to anybody.

So much for the miracle diet. We're happy to be back to our usual way of eating!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

D.I.E.T. Day 1

I received a really cool scale from my sister for Christmas. It not only tells you what you weigh, but also your BMI, fat/muscle ratio, how many calories you need a day to sustain your current weight, and what your "body age" is. I have no idea how it works, or how accurate it can measure these things by the sensors under your feet and in the hand grips from which it gleans information, but it's cool, none-the-less.

So, today being the first day of my experimental low-carb diet,  I stepped upon my cool scale to set the base mark. 113.2 pounds, BMI around 20, and I'm only 32 years old! Not bad. I'd still like to lose the muffin-top, though. Almost-daily exercise and eating a nutrient packed diet hasn't done it. Jason has weighed himself as well, but he won't tell me what the scale said.

We've already survived a bread and cereal exempt breakfast of egg white scrambled with freshly chopped green onion, green chili, and tomatoes. Lunch will be lean turkey kielbasa and sauerkraut with spicy mustard. Supper: leftover dark turkey meat & a romaine lettuce, celery, tomato, and cucumber salad with home-made olive oil & vinegar dressing.

We'll see what several days of complex-carbohydrate deprivation will do when I stand on my scale in a week or two.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Me? A D.I.E.T???

Those who know me best know that I am a freak when it comes to nutrition. What the same people don't know is that I think most fad "diets" are downright dumb, if not dangerous.

But lately, there's been a couple of pounds that just don't want to leave my hips despite regular exercise, and for the most part, eating right. My husband has a few pounds or thirty he could stand losing, himself.

So, starting Sunday, I've decided that we are going to try healthy variations of a couple of different diets, for only a week or two at a time, to see how we feel and look by changing things up a little. The first will be a healthy low-carb diet.

This diet will allow:
  • sautéed, baked, steamed, lightly stir-fried or BBQ, LEAN meats, fish & seafood, poultry and their products, barbecued, (such as lean lunch meat, turkey bacon), in MODERATE PORTIONS. None of that "all-you-can-eat steak, bacon, and ribs" from a popular fad low-carb diet. I'm talking like a deck-of-cards size.
  • egg whites and no more than 2 yolks per week.
  • low-fat dairy and soy products (including skim and sugar-free soy milk, & tofu)
  • cheese in small amounts for flavour
  • healthier non-processed vegetable oils such as olive & canola
  • green vegetables such as Romaine lettuce, spinach & other greens, green onions, parsley, cabbage, & broccoli
  • tomatoes: fresh, cooked or canned without sugar
  • peppers of all kinds - the spicier the merrier
  • all herbs & spices, and fresh garlic
  • beer or wine in same moderation as usual diet, no hard liquor drinks or coolers.
  • salsa & sugar free hot sauce, horseradish, sugar & fat free mustard, smoke flavoring, sugar-free soy sauce, lime & lemon juice in small amounts
  • sugar free pickles & unsweetened sauerkraut
  • tea & coffee
  • no more than 4 ounces of unsweetened orange juice per day
  • a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement
  • home-made oil-and-vinegar dressing
  • plenty of water
  • artificial sugar-free sweeteners
  • grapefruit, lemons, lime

What it won't allow:
  • Fatty meats or dairy products including wieners, bologna and hamburger; whole milk & high-fat cheese
  • Fried ANYTHING!
  • beans, including soy beans (edamame)
  • nuts & seeds
  • berries
  • rice, cereal, breads, corn, pastries, cakes, cookies, granola, pasta, crackers, or any other grain products

  • sugary condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce, mayo, whipped dressing, store-bought salad dressing, store-bought spaghetti sauce, sweet pickles
  • high complex-carb veggies such as potatoes, carrots, yams, beets (don't even THINK about french fries!), cauliflower
  • processed meals (like I ever eat those anyway)
  • canned vegetables
  • juices besides 4 oz of OJ/day
  • anything with sugar or corn syrup in it including jams & jellies
  • more than 2 egg yolks a week
  • peanut, soy, saturated, or tropical oils or anything with those in them, including butter or margarine.
  • brown, yellow, white, or red onions in large amounts
  • candies, chocolates (it should go without saying, but...)
  • fruit except for grapefruit, lemons, and lime
We'll follow this for a week, two if we can handle it. My husband is reluctantly willing - we don't enjoy eating meat all that much - and will miss the high-fibre bread and cereal products, as well as the rice & beans, for sure. After this trial we are going to try something altogether different to compare results.

Feel free to try along with us, and I would love to hear your results - good or bad. There's a great web site that will let you know the carbohydrate, protein, and fat content of most foods at Let me know if you have any questions.

Bon appetite!

photos courtesy of