What I Eat and What I Don’t Eat – 2017 Edition

It has been 3 years since my last “What I Eat…” update. If you want to follow my journey on food selection, here are links to the prior editions:

What I Don’t Eat

My 2017 Avoid list has gotten smaller. Now the only thing that I go out of my way to avoid are industrial seed oils. What this means primarily is I avoid fried food when I’m eating out. No french fries ever. I choose foods that will require the least amount of frying. At home, I can use safer fats such as coconut oil or butter.

After following the nutritional blogosphere battles for almost 10 years now and reading numerous perspectives from people much smarter than me, I’ve decided that excess PUFA (poly-unsaturated fats) are The Common Enemy in Nutrition. The only real debate is defining excessive.

By Hayford PeirceOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Diet colas are still on the list, but I don’t think they are as dangerous as their critics claim. I just don’t think sugar colas are that bad in moderation. Plus my personal observation is that in the short run diet colas can suppress your desire for something sweet, but the effect wears off quickly and I’ve found myself much more hungry later. So the short term calorie deficit later becomes a surplus. My guess is our response is highly personal. For me diet colas were a waste of money.

Neutral Foods

I moved Wheat from Avoid to Neutral in this edition. For a more in detail explanation see the post Gluten / Wheat – The Final Chapter. I still think there are many unanswered questions about wheat and I’m not recommending others eat or not eat wheat. Do your own research. These days I eat a little wheat each week, not all is bread. I’ve become a fan of farro and will be trying other grains soon.

I debated on if I should move Alcohol back to the Avoid list. My reactions have been mostly negative and always unpredictable. I could be fine with a few ounces of a cider or craft beer or I could have a sinus headache for 18 hours. I’ve found no rhyme or reason and trust me I’ve looked. I’ve dug far too deep into this topic.

Peanuts and nut butters are on the neutral list. They contain a high amount of PUFA, so I would consume them only minimally.

Processed foods are a tool. If you are highly active and need a lot of calories, I don’t see a problem with them. However when you aren’t active and you start to displace nutritious food, that can be a problem.

What I Eat

In this edition I added oranges / tangerines to the list. It was the only food in my adult life that I knew was healthy yet I didn’t like the taste. Now I enjoy the taste. For that story see the post Overcoming My Only Irrational Food Fear.

Pretty much everything else is fair game.

There is a downside to having an overly expansive diet. We see it everywhere. People either eat food with little nutrition or they eat too much food and gain weight. Restrictive eating is a tool that has been used successfully by many people, but it is not for me.

In my next post I am going to cover how I resolved having an expansive diet without eating like crap or eating too much.


Add yours

  1. I like this outlook, partially because it’s the one I’ve adopted for myself as well 🙂

  2. MAS.
    Interesting. I recall reading that 2010 post. It’s been quite a journey.
    Yesterday my Kindle recommended a new book about Paleo. I read the description, and it seems to be a basic “watered down” description of the early Paleo philosophy (from say, around 2010 — meat and vegetables good, carbs bad), without citing to any of the evolution of the philosophy over the last six years.

    I guess a whole new crew of SAD eaters will be starting their exploration of food and diet. It reminds me of that scene in Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon’s character is in a bar and walks the cocky Harvard student through all the different philosophies that he will eventually adopt.

  3. @Jim – If only I could be more like Si$$on or A$prey. 🙂

  4. Michael,

    AFAIK you don’t travel a lot. But how would you stay true to these dieting principles on the road?

    To facilitate the discussion, let’s establish a time frame of 8-weeks traveling. Too short to make yourself feel at home, but long enough to destroy your diet.

    I’m curious as to how you’d handle issues like this, where you are forced to forego the safety a routine gives. I have problems coming up with solutions to these.

  5. @Arthur – Good question. It has been a long time since my last long trip. Back then I did more frequent fasting, which might still be a viable option.

    Using the POWS post as a guideline:

    It would be too easy to over consume Word Cuisine and Modern Indulgences. It could be a challenge to eat Peasant without a kitchen. So I’m inclined to focus on eating more protein. Solve for protein and appetite should fall.

    Maybe others have their own strategy. It is a great question that I’ll be thinking about. I’m sure the destination would also be a major factor.

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