Diet


My diets have changed during the course of the ten plus years I have been getting this done. I doubt I am unique. There was even the dramatic and sudden change to Vegetarianism 😮

My absolute advice is to learn to cook. Cook your own food from raw ingredients and the more of this you can do the better. Even down to cook-in sauces, mayonnaise, chutney etc. Though I do cheat on mayonnaise and chutney 😏
The longer this project goes on, the more interested in cooking I’ve become and the easier it gets to be experimental and give things a try. 🤞🏼 I’ll even make my own mayonnaise and chutney.

Essentially I’m eating a very clean diet.

I’ve never been that keen on processed foods.
Here’s a comment from someone I met who used to have irritable bowl syndrome.

Food is the energy we consume and a pleasurable activity. We are genetically programmed to like it, make sure it is high quality without any additives 😉

I’d also add on a personal note that I don’t like food with anything taken out of it either, i.e. anything that says low fat or low calorie, be it a soft drink or ready meal is to be avoided !
Reliable research suggests that low fat substitutes actually make you eat more and therefore gain weight. (source BBC radio 4)

What stands out

There are a few foods and beverages that have been significant to me:

Good hydration is very important !

I’ve used several different types of water filter over the years

  • The popular jug type.
  • A plumbed in three stage under the sink with a separate faucet.
  • A counter top multistage water filter which I have used daily for several year now and continue to do so, its fabulous 😁

Up until the later part of 2023 I mostly drank Green Tea and Ginger, then inexplicably changed to weak black coffee, a table spoon of ground coffee into the cafeteria in the morning and top it up with boiling hot water as required.
I hydrate a lot, usually around 5 to 7 liters per day.

The health benefits of Green tea and also ginger are numerous, in particular Green tea is claimed to increase fat burning and improve physical performance. I did change to drinking Green tea and ginger more or less exclusively for the year before I went Vegetarian and I did lose more than ten kilos in that year, though there were other factors which I think were more significant.

  • I changed to eating sourdough bread.
  • I stopped putting probiotic Sauerkraut and Kefir in the fridge, consuming them at room temperature.
  • I did a LOT more aerobic exercise after buying the rowing machine.

Other claimed benefits of Green tea and ginger

  • Improves brain function.
  • Lowers the risk of some serious diseases.
  • Kills bacteria and lowers the risk of infection.

Probiotic foods

These are very important, especially if you have been, or are an alcoholic or eaten a poor diet with lots of processed food over the years.

I had tried probiotic foods in the past. The shop bought ones. Personally I don’t think they are that effective.
Properly fermented Sauerkraut and Milk kefir are ! Sauerkraut had a dramatic and immediate impact on one particular craving I was prone to.

I’ve detailed how I prepare them, the equipment I use and their impacts and benefits to my health and obesity on separate pages:

Initially I put my probiotic food in the fridge after the fermentation period. I now drink and eat them at room temperature. I’m convinced this make them more potent and increases their ability to improve the flora and fauna of the digestive system.

Seaweed

For a long time after I started what I term this final attempt, my breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs on toast with Wakame and Pumpkin seed mix. Very tasty 🙂 and Green tea and Ginger was a good complimentary hydration beverage afterwards.

There were a few other seaweeds that I tried, though the only other one that I had on a regular basis would be Samphire, though it is seasonal and so not always available.

Going Vegetarian

I don’t think I have ever been a particular meat or poultry fan, though one of my goals was to build muscle and I assumed eating animal meat was important, it’s not 😉 though there are caveats. Vegetarian food does contain proteins, though not the complete range needed for muscle growth. I’m not vegan though, and still eat eggs and dairy, cheese and milk, so I am getting the complete range of proteins 😁
I have enjoyed fish in the past, and would definitely eat fish again provided it is fresh. I really enjoyed Haddock in particular when I was in Scotland. Growing up in a fishing village with a mother who made the most delicious Lemon Sole with salad an chips ever; I would have several helpings. Wonder why I wasn’t ever overweight then 🤔 Aerobic exercise; I was a very outdoors and active kid.

I started reading Vegetarian cook books as far back as November 2019, so my change to Vegetarianism towards the end of 2021 had been coming for quite a while.

I cleared out a cupboard to make room for all the ingredients and bought some more containers, so that I could batch cook and freeze the surplus. Later I started using freezer bags; You can get a lot more of your own home cooked ready meals in the freezer with the bags, and I’m not pedantic about the glass containers, the all have plastic lids anyway.

Supplements

Supplements can get out of hand, there are so many to choose from !

Some micronutrients you can buy over the counter in tablet form, such as zinc or magnesium etc. can’t be absorbed by the body directly. They need to be carried by e.g. in the case of magnesium, banana’s, which contain magnesium. So if you think you need magnesium, eat bananas, that simple 😉 Other foods are carriers for other nutrients.

Health Supplements

  • St Johns wort is claimed to help with depression. Not something I have had too severely, though like most people ups and downs along the way. I thought taking St Johns Wort would perk me up and help with my motivation. Perhaps early on it did have some impact, though I only took it during the first attempt.
  • Milk thistle is claimed to help repair damage to the liver, and as I had the alcohol issues I gave it a try and continued to use it on and off even once I’d moved to Ireland, though not since around 2018 from memory.
  • Echinacea is claimed to help with colds and flu etc. I still have allergic rhinitis and thought it might help with that. Not sure if it did or not, I was at the last place when I used it last.

I dabbled with quite a few other herbal remedies to try and cure my allergic rhinitis and generally improve my health.

  • Inulin is dietary fibre taken to improve the digestive system, it is a prebiotic which helps the probiotic bacteria in the gut thrive and multiply.
    I took it for quite a while, though I do get a lot of dietary fibre from other foods and stopped taking it.
    Inulin can be found in many foods, Bananas which I eat regularly. Asparagus and Garlic are another two I’m found of.

Body building supplements

  • Glutamine is used by body builders to increase the intensity and duration of their workouts. I used to take it daily with my Kefir shake. It’s claimed that Glutamine also aids digestion, so I would link it with the bodies ability to extract the nutrients it needs from the other food I consume. I’ve always been keen on it and started taking it as far back as 2001
    You can get L-Glutamine from eggs, of which I eat a lot. The last time I added it to my diet was around 2021.
  • Whey protein is widely used to promote muscle growth and I mix in varying amounts to my lunchtime Kefir shake.
  • BCAA is claimed to help with muscle recovery and I also include varying amounts to my lunchtime Kefir shake.
  • I started taking Creatine midway through 2023 to help with muscle growth. I think it does work.

Super foods

I did try a few other flavours of the month so to speak:

  • Acai berries
  • Goji berries

They are full of healthy vitamins and antioxidants, though my interest was fleeting.