Weight loss and the New Year

Can a picky eater slow down weight gain? Well not if the eatings picked are full of fat and sugar. However, this past year, since Lent, I tried a reduced animal protein diet. Specifically, for Lent, I gave up meat. This was something all new for me. I never practiced a Lenten fast before. Yet, I had never been old enough before to see higher cholesterol levels in my physical. I run barefoot and I didn't have my recumbent bike then, see my ice bike story.

I didn't give up fish or dairy products (or insects). So that makes me an icthy-ovo-lacto-ento-vegetarian. In the beginning, I ate rice and beans at dinner almost every night and a whole grain cereal for breakfast such as Ezekiel 4:9 brand with almond or rice milk. I learned how to use my pressure cooker and tried all sorts of spices to provide variety. I also practiced eating when I was hungry, but only small portions at a time. I lost weight. I kept the fast for the most part after Lent, except for the roasted lamb on Easter. Yummy. 

I got most of my diet ideas from Sans Auto, see his Sabotage Fatty series. Once I resumed running in the spring, weight was easy to keep off and numbers such as blood pressure and cholesterol were happy also.

I didn't stay completely land meat free, though. For example, Easter lamb was great. I tried a free-range-steer hot dog over the summer. That was disappointing. When visiting, I never declined a meat dish offered to me out of consideration towards my hosts. The only other intentional partaking was at Thanksgiving, when I ate with my family at a community meal. Turkey with gravy is nice.

As I look back over that past 11 months I think I've only missed variety, but only a little. I can still enjoy Mexican night with my family. My grocery bill has remained steady despite the rise in meat prices. My kids have to eat the same meat leftovers for much longer now. The only thing I really miss is a big pulled-pork sandwich. It's a treat I could rarely find here in New England anyway, so I'm not that deprived. I'm a picky eater of a sorts now. When I wasn't picky, I could, and I would, eat everything at the Christmas parties. But now I have increased my vegetable intake a great deal. I have fallen off the small portion wagon though, especially in December, when every plate of cookies I see makes me hungry. I still have a sweet tooth, but my weight gain is not as bad as I feared.

I will be back on my recumbent soon and I actually bought a pair of Nike Frees (3.0) for winter running.

In conclusion, I highly recommend the mantra of all successful diets, EAT LESS EXERCISE MORE. Additionally, I recommend the lower global impact diet (minimal land animal protein) with smaller portions and the lower global impact cycling life (recumbent especially). It's cheaper, it's healthier, and it gives you something to blog about.


Janet Rubin said…
I commend you for sticking to your new eating syle. It's hard when you are part of a family who is eating differently. I think I could easily live without meat, but not Dave-- not by a long shot! I'm feeling the effects of minimal to no exercise. FATIGUE. You sure can tell the difference...
Anonymous said…
JPU, I bike in the summer and walk/stationary bike in winter. The recumbent bike is interesting, although it looks dangerous to me, being so low to the ground etc...And they are extremely expensive. For now I'll stick to my much cheaper 21 speed Raleigh.
jpu said…
It's not too bad to eat differently from your family. The SmartMom considers herself a weekday veg and a weekend omnivore...So she is trying out my diet, not the insects though...
The recumbent allowed me to keep biking despite bad wrists and back. The couple times I've fallen off it have been far less painful than falling off my big bike, only 2 feet to fall instead of 4. Actionbent bikes, where I got mine on ebay, are the cheapest entry into recumbents.
God is good
Jim said…
Interesting blog ... but "icthy-ovo-lacto-ento-vegetarian"? I hope I don't get that word in a senior spelling bee competition.

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