A long long time ago I blogged about my terrible diet that consisted of pizzas, hamburgers, ice cream, and a variety of other foods that had an absence of fruits or vegetables. I always suffered from the work out like a maniac and eat like a pig syndrome. So for the last 4 days I have stopped eating all forms of meat. I have allowed myself some cheese, milk, and yogurt and most of the other things I have eaten has been vegetables and fruits. It has only been 4 days so the jury is out as to any long term affects of following an lacto (milk) octo (egg) vegetarian diet, but I do have a few observations to share.
Let me make it clear I don’t despise meat it is just that I loved it so much that I tended to eat very little vegetables and almost zero fruits. This obsession with animal protean was really limiting the consumption of other good foods and my diet was not really great, although I did a pretty good job limiting the amount of simple carbohydrates I consumed. As I seem to have a problem with moderation I just decided to eliminate the meat which would force me to consume more fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. Here is what I found out:
- I feel lighter
- I don’t gorge myself anymore and don’t feel so bloated
- I swear my stomach is shrinking at least a little
- The additional fiber is doing wonders for my digestive system
- I feel like I have more energy
Not bad for 4 days.
There are additional reasons that I am pursuing this lacto octo vegetarian diet, but some of those might sound like preaching, so for now I would rather talk about how it makes me feel versus some meat eaters vs. vegetarianism world view. I would love to hear from others who have tried vegetarian diets.
I just finished reading an article from my Twitter feed called “7 Nutritional Hacks” published by Bodybuilding.com. Lots of good advice, but one thing that struck me was HACK NO. 5: DON’T BOIL YOUR VEGETABLES. Now think about this it really makes sense, they are not saying eat them raw, but don’t boil the heck out of them leaching all the nutrients into the water. They are suggesting in this article if you want to cook them you can saute them in butter or steam them, or if you must boil them then drink the water they were boiled in. This all seems very logical to me, but now I must find a steamer that won’t turn my vegetables into mush, maybe the saute route would be better. This is really about taking something that is good for you and making sure you are getting the maximum nutritional value and not pouring most of the good stuff down the drain.
Can anyone recommend a good steamer?
Read about the other 6 nutritional hacks at Bodybuilding.com
Last time I posted on the topic of nutrition I spent a little time talking about how spinach is a good choice for a vegetable, but I can’t eat spinach all the time. Another big favorite vegetable of mine is the Lima Bean. So again pulling out my Nutrition Data app and it says that 100 grams of Lima beans has the following nutritional makeup:
- Calories 105
- Total Fat 0.3g
- Saturated Fat 0.1g
- Total Carbs 19.4g
- Fiber 6.7g
- Sugars 1.4g
- Protein 6.6g
I guess for me another revelation is how much protein you can get from some of these vegetables. There is almost as much protein in 100 grams of Lima beans as there is fiber. So if we convert grams to ounces and assume I ate about 7 ounces (200 grams) of Lima beans we find that I consumed 13.4 grams of fiber and 13.2 grams of protein. Not bad for some baby Lima beans and very little sugar. Yes I did throw in a little butter, salt, and pepper to make it all palatable. I guess one could recommend Lima beans as a decent source of fiber and protein, and this is what continues to amaze me. My quest to discover the fat, sugar, fiber, and protein content of vegetables will continue. Something all you nutrition experts already knew, but including some veggies can boost your protein intake like I never would have imagined.
Sure it took me a few days to start interjecting some vegetables into my diet, as old habits die-hard. So last night after I worked out I decided not to eat a pizza, but instead had a few ounces of tuna fish (no bread), and about 8 ounces of frozen cut leaf spinach cooked of course. Strangely enough I felt better than usual, more energy and not as bloated as when I consumed the better part of a pizza myself, or as in my dinner the day before of 4 hot dogs and baked beans. I like spinach and have made some assumptions about it being a pretty decent vegetable to consume, but a bit of research was in order. Pulling out my handy HTC One Android phone I checked my Nutrition Data app and it says that 100 grams of spinach has the following nutritional makeup:
- Calories 34
- Total Fat 0.9g
- Saturated Fat 0.0 g
- Total Carbs 4.8g
- Fiber 3.7g
- Sugars 0.5g
- Protein 4.0g
So without getting to technical I learned that frozen cut leaf spinach is low in fat, high in fiber, and contains a surprisingly high amount of protein. Figuring I must have consumed at least 8 ounces I converted this to grams which means I consumed about 250 of them. So the spinach I ate contained about 85 calories, 9.25 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of protein. So next time you go shopping pick out some high fiber, low-calorie, high protein spinach to go along with the rest of your meal. Maybe Popeye knew what he was doing. Next we will analyze another of my favorite vegetables the Lima Bean, now that should be nothing short of fascinating.
You workout every day, doing strength training, cardio, yoga, pilates, you are reading motivational works, you take all the right supplements, spend time meditating, and still you feel like crap. Maybe just maybe your diet needs some analysis. This is exactly what I’ve been asking myself lately and I’m sure most of you are saying Joe come on your diet is at least 50% of the equation and you didn’t know that. Well I think I realized that what I was consuming was not optimal, and in my own warped way I thought if I took the right vitamins and supplements it would fill in all the gaps and I would feel great. Seriously there are days where I don’t consume a single vegetable or fruit, and I’m not sure that slice of tomato or pickle on my hamburger or that bag of fries counts. Maybe that pepperoni pizza with a bit of tomato sauce and mushrooms counts as my daily allowance for vegetables; who am I kidding?
Sure I throw in an occasional salad in every week, but that can’t overcome the other 6 days of the week where vegetables and fruits have been omitted from my diet. Just last week I was at a Mediterranean restaurant and ordered the vegetarian feast, basically a buffet filled with various salads, bean dishes, humus, bread, pastas, etc. and after consuming a large plate of this good stuff I thought I was going to explode. I’m not sure if my body was revolting against the foreign substances, but for the next 6 hours the gas was trying to escape from all orifices. And while I try to limit sugar and simple carbs from my diet as much as possible I am in need of a diet overhaul. So I am on a quest of start this diet overhaul and I mean now. So I plan on putting together some future posts on how I have overhauled my diet, and what it does to my energy levels and overall well being. I am open to any suggestions you may have.