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diet update december 2016

2016 will soon be coming to a close, and this is how things are going where my diet and overall health is concerned.

Chicken

Living off a whole food plant based diet will make you drop pounds and there's no arguing that. But I decided to put some meat back into my diet and went with chicken.

Why chicken and not red meat? I honestly really don't have a taste for red meat these days. It's not that I won't eat it, but it really doesn't go with anything I cook.

For example, chicken stir-fry is good. You put together pieces of chicken, bell pepper, carrot, green beans, onion and rice, and that's a good meal. Try the same with red meat and it's a disaster that just doesn't work.

The chicken I buy is boneless/skinless breast. Easy to prepare and the price is fairly low.

Sardines

I tried sardines for the first time in my life recently. Why? Because I wanted to know whether sardines are as gross as people think they are.

Answer: They're not gross at all. Sardines are actually quite good.

What do sardines taste like? Pretty much like tuna with a slightly different texture.

After I found out that sardines aren't bad at all, this made me wonder why I ever thought they were gross in the first place. It's probably just from the appearance of them, because I admit they don't look appetizing. But they taste just fine.

Frying stuff

I've began to fry more stuff just to put more variety in my diet.

I mentioned chicken stir-fry above. I also make vegetable stir-fry from time to time as well. This involves using oil and soy sauce.

Frying food is not a bad thing as long as you're not drowning the food in oil. I've tried both canola and olive oil, and canola seems to work better for cooking consistency. That, and the calorie count between the two is basically identical.

No bread

For a few months I put bread back in my diet. Then I cut bread out because it was causing weight gain.

At some point I'm going to have to learn how to make my own bread. It's actually really easy considering all you need is a breadmaker (which takes a ton of hassle out of trying to bake it the old-style way).

There are basically only two ways to get good, quality bread. Pick up a loaf from a bakery that makes fresh bread every morning, or make it yourself. I haven't any local bakeries near me, so at some point I'll need to buy the breadmaker.

Bread itself is not bad. But the processed crap in the grocery store that's full of preservatives is.

Water

I am drinking a lot of bottled water these days. In fact, I drink so much water that I can now detect minor taste differences between water brands.

My body responds well when I drink a proper amount of water. Proper is 2 to 3 liters a day. I usually get in 2.

For the longest time I was not a water drinker. The taste of straight water was something that didn't agree with me, but it does now.

I can honestly say there's no way I could ever go back to soda. If I did, it would literally make me sick to do so because my tolerance for carbonated acidic drinks is pretty much gone.

On the pH scale, 1 is completely acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 is alkaline.

Water has a neutral pH of 7. Battery acid has a pH of 1.

Most colas have a pH of about 2.5, and yeah that means soda is pretty much the most acidic thing you can drink. Not even beer is that acidic as it usually has a pH of 4.

Losing my tolerance for junk

I think the only true major change that's happened is that I almost never have "cheat" days now. Once a week I used to get pizza or Chinese food. That once-a-week thing turned into once every 2 weeks. Then once every 6 weeks. And now it's to the point of once every few months.

As noted above, I don't have a taste for red meat these days. I'm also losing the taste for Chinese food and pizza.

The reason? It has a lot to do with that I'm cooking more at home. For example, the local Chinese place even on its best day cannot make a stir-fry better than I can do it, and I know exactly why. I use fresh produce and the Chinese place does not. Big difference.

As for pizza, there was a time when I genuinely loved it, but now I don't. This isn't to say I don't like it, because I do. But I'm not in love with that food anymore because I know how heavy it feels in the gut afterward. When I think about pizza now, the first thing that comes to mind is, "What is this going to feel like later?" The answer is "not good".

Putting it as politely as I can, food I eat that I cooked myself using fresh ingredients goes in well and comes out well. Pizza, Chinese takeout and pretty much any other junk food does not.

The more fresh stuff I eat, the less tolerance I have for junk.

Knowing the difference between stuffed and full

I remember when I considered feeling stuffed as good, but now I know better. Feeling stuffed does not mean full. Rather, it means that I overate.

There are times when I feel a craving for something where I have to ask myself, "Am I hungry?" For the majority of the time, the answer is no, I'm not.

Ever since I was little, I always thought stuffed meant full and did not know what actual hunger truly felt like. Yeah, I know that totally sounds like a "first world problem", and I suppose it is.

I know now what hunger actually feels like, and yes it does help keep my weight in check.

No, I do not starve myself. But I do know the difference between actual hunger and a craving. Eating when you're hungry is okay. Giving in to cravings and stuffing your face is not okay, because that's what makes you fat in the first place.

Overall health

There have been diet adjustments here and there, but I've not fallen off the wagon. I still feel good, exercise regularly and am staying the course.

The only thing that sucks? Trying to eat healthily when out and about. All that's readily available are bananas, unsalted peanuts, water and that's it.

I suppose I should look on the bright side. At least there's something. There was a time not-so long ago when convenience stores didn't carry any of those things.

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