Sometimes I swear the reason blog posts don’t get done is because of the pictures. For instance, I’ve spent a large part of the last 2 weeks hanging curtains and decorations and reorganizing my townhouse apartment. I started a blog post about it last Friday and it hasn’t been published because I just haven’t gotten around to the organizing the pictures. So we’ll pretend that I’m waiting for my new couch. Yeah, that’s what I’m doing…
To add a picture to this post, I’ll show this picture and mention that Dean is going to be extremely unhappy when the new couch arrives in a couple of weeks and I’m more strict about where he’s allowed to take his naps!
Anyway, I’m here to talk about eating habits. Some people are vegetarian. Some people are vegan. Some people are gluten-free. Some people are paleo. Some people are meat and potatoes. Some people eat a little of everything. There are a dozen or more different ways to organize your diet (and when I say diet I mean the broad sense of “how you eat”). There are also a dozen reasons why people chose these diets. Allergies, ethical and environmental reasons, cost, affect on their bodies.
I have always been a proponent of the “everything in moderation, even moderation”. I have never felt like cutting out food groups was necessary for healthy living and I still absolutely believe that.
That being said I have researched some of these lifestyles extensively and I am impressed and intrigued by what I have read. For instance, people on a vegan diet talk about how their skin, hair, and nails have improved. Or how their allergies have gone away completely. People on a paleo diet claim better and faster fat loss and strength gains. Studies show that a plant-based diet (which both vegan and paleo are) can reduce the risk of heart disease and many other health issues.
Truth is, I’m a master researcher. If I get interested in something I can read about it for hours a day, weeks at a time. This is what I did back in 2010. My Uncle had passed away and I was worried about my likelihood of having some sort of heart disease so I researched veganism for weeks. I read Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet and was obsessed with her website and the personal stories of the people in the forums. This year I’m obsessed with getting my body fat down and have been researching the paleo diet. My main website for this has ended up being Nerd Fitness.
Despite all my research and curiosity, I’ve never put the information and the claims to the test for myself. I did go vegan for 3 days once as a mini challenge but that was just for fun. I’ve always wanted to really give it a try to see what it does for me.
These girls are hosting this challenge because they are interested in trying a vegetarian diet themselves and figured others might be as well.
I’ve been thinking about it for days and I’m in. I want to really try out what I’ve been researching. I want to learn from my own personal experiences rather than just reading about others. To find out what is best for you, you need to try different things.
So my plan is to not only join the Meatless March Challenge, but to take it a step further.
6 Weeks of Vegetarianism w/ a Vegan Bent
Dates: Feb 21st – Mar 31st
Actually, this is more like 5.5 weeks but it’s close enough. I will simply be starting the Meatless March challenge a week early.
Veganism is what I am really interested in so I will be sincerely trying to adopt a vegan diet for this time period. This means that in addition to no meat or fish, I will avoid eggs, dairy, and other animal products. I will eat primarily vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
This will be followed up by:
6 Weeks of Paleo
Dates: April 1st – May 9th
Paleo is sometimes called the “caveman diet”. It essentially is based on the premise that our bodies lived without grains for millions of years and we have not properly evolved to handle them. Therefore grains cause problems like allergies, digestive upset, and even weight gain. So this diet eliminates grains and sticks primarily to vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and meat. No legumes or grains. Dairy and eggs seem to be a gray area.
I chose a six week time frame because my research shows that it takes your body 2-3 weeks to adapt to a new style of eating. For instance, it will take a few weeks for the effects of the meat and dairy I’ve eaten recently to work themselves out and for me to see the effects of a vegan diet. Same with getting grains out of your system for Paleo. Six weeks should give me a chance to really experience the diet as part of my lifestyle and experience its effects.
I’m interested in the following areas:
- How I feel mentally and emotionally (the food we eat affects every part of ourselves)
- How I feel physically (digestion, allergies, etc)
- The effects on my workouts
- Weight Loss
- Body Fat Change
I’ll be writing a lot more about this in the few months but for now I have written enough.
Have you ever tried different diets to determine what was best for you? Any thoughts?