Now a Flexiterian - a month of eating healthy

Categories: The Home

For the last couple years, my wife and I have been talking about changing our diet; Eat less meat, drink less soda, get rid of most processed food.  The problem is it’s been mostly talk.  We’ve made some minor changes, and probably like a lot of people, make a radical change here and there, only to bounce back from it because it wasn’t practical for one reason or another.

The other day, I was having lunch with a friend, and we talked about food and how he’s changed to a vegetable based diet. It had been about 6 weeks, and it was easy to do. He recommended a movie, Forks Over Knives, which is one I haven’t seen yet, although I’ve seen a ton of other documentaries about the current state of food. We talked about what he’s eating daily about preparing food ahead of time to make this really easy.

As I was driving home, I was thinking “what he was saying doesn’t seem too unreasonable.” I should give it a try…So, after talking it over with the family, here we are, giving it a try. We’re going for a month, and we’ve now made it through the first week.

Right after we started this, we saw a story in the news, and found out what we’re doing has a name: Flexitarian. That’s trying to do mostly vegetarian, but maybe have meat a couple times a week. I think the name is pretty silly sounding, and will probably never use it. But hey, who doesn’t want to be labeled as something new and trendy?

As for weight loss, that will be interesting to see also. So far, I’ve lost 4 pounds.  That includes this official first week, plus about 4 days before that when I was debating about doing this.  That’s not bad. We’ll see if it continues, since I think a bit of it was just the first few days not eating enough because we were trying to figure things how.

Below is a FAQ I put together to cover some questions:

Why a month? A month seems like a reasonable about of time. Long enough to notice any changes, but not long enough to be intimidating. Really, it will be a day-by-day process where we’ll watch things as they come. But seeing where we are now, and where we are in a month gives a decent amount of time to evaluate things.

Also, I had a 1/2 marathon on 2/18, and have a full marathon on 3/18. Assuming my training stays even, this gives a good way to see what this has done.

Are you a vegetarian? No! No! No!

Are you going to become a vegetarian? Nope. We’re planning to reduce our meat consumption. Currently, we eat meat most days for lunch and dinner. We’ll see how it goes with getting rid of meat, but if we really feel the need for a steak, then steak it will be.

Are you cutting out all junk food?  Are you nuts! Phhhhfft! We’ve cut back on a whole lot of it. But I’ll be honest, I ate a donut and some jelly beans this last week.

However, I did cut out artificial sweeteners.  No more diet coke (a couple cans a day).  No more splenda in my coffee (A few packets a week). Very little high fructose corn syryp (man, that stuff is everywhere! Even in mayonnaise.)

And for the record, potato chips are still in. My coworker and I have a silly thing going where we try any chip that says it’s “hot”, and coincidentally we both found some to try this weekend. But that’s a whole different topic.

How much do you eat? That is really based on individual needs, and what’s going on at any given moment. If I am training for something, I eat a lot more than during non-training times. Well, at least I should eat less….which is part of the process of learning.

If you’re going to try this, I suggest looking at a calorie calculator to determine your basic needs, than adjust from there.

What are you going to eat? Ah…that is the question. We’re still trying to figure that out: rice, beans, quinoa, bread (whole wheat), a whole lot of fruits and vegetable, smoothies.  Really, a bunch of stuff that we like but don’t eat enough of now, and throwing in new stuff.

Exercise? You do what? I like to run, and get out 3-4 times a week for a few miles. I’ve been trying to incorporate more strength and muscle building, so that will be part of this plan.  I don’t do yoga, but try to sit and get a good stretch in.

If you don’t run, that’s okay, you can still play along. There are a ton of things you can do that don’t require getting all sweaty and dirty.  I’ll try to share anything I come up with, and hopefully you’ll let me know what you’re doing.

What documentaries and shows have you watched about this? A whole bunch. When I would take care of Max at odd times, I usually through something up from Netflix to watch. Since I can’t watch too many hours of kung-fu movies in a row anymore, I started watching documentaries. Some I’ve seen are:

  •  Food, Inc.
  • King Corn
  • Food Matters
  • Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Is this good? Is this bad? Is to little protein affecting my reasoning?



Written on February 26, 2012