Help with my current diet


You're killing me, man. :)

My brain is hard wired to have sex with every gorgeous woman I see, but luckily, there's another part of my brain that tells me to think again. I similarly have enough discretion to pass over the cheesecake and pick up the dish of broccoli. In his book, How the Mind Works, Steven Pinker refers to New York Cheesecake as pornography for the taste buds. It has all the creamy fat that our primitive ancestors wanted to load up on to make it through the next lean period.

Life is very much worth living even though I have to pass up having sex with everyone except my wife. Likewise, life is still worth living even though I skip the cheesecake. Humans brains have evolved into enormously complex organs that routinely shun short-term pleasures for long term benifits. I'd rather go hiking than go to work in especially nice weather, but I realize that a paycheck will come in handy when the weather turns bad. I could give a dozen examples of how we routinely exchange short term pleasure for long term benefits.

However, Fraggle, the fact is that I enjoy French Pastry dripping with butter. In my favorite Montreal patisserie (Boulangerie Premiere Maison on West Sherbrooke) I eat the most sinful croissants you've ever tasted. There's another patisserie I love called Owl's Bread up in Owl's Head, Quebec in which I make a little ceremony of having a nut filled tart with my coffee (Mmm..I so love talking about food). My point is that I only eat this way once in a blue moon (maybe six to eight times a year). I wake up in the morning like a kid at Christmas thinking about what the tart will smell like, and wondering what coffee I'll get. My wife and I once traveled to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth II. We dressed for dinner each evening and ate incredibly rich food. But I was so sick of the rich food that on the way home that I began having them bring me a plate full of boiled vegetables. You can eat healthy food and still have an occasional rich pastry. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Diet is one of the most difficult things for a person to change. So, I imagine there are some folks that might think the food I eat is bland. Nonetheless, I still look forward to every meal. Tonight we're having calzones filled with Swiss chard (from the garden), tofu and walnuts. We had a carrot cake last week (well, I did say the root cellar is filled with carrots) :)

Wow, orthagonal, I think I love to read about your food as much as you love to talk about it! I wish I had the space for a garden, and the time to invest in one. Someday...

Anyway, here I am to talk about another study that I saw, a few years ago ( this is an article, that references a book that contains the study: ) that was based on the interestingly low rate of obesity in France, despite the calorie- laden and fat-filled foods served there. Points were made about the facts that nutritional information is not required on packaging, and generally, people are not obsessive about their consumption. They eat when hungry, appreciate the food for it's taste and eat smaller portions that are rich and flavorful, therefore more satisfying than most of our "super sized" portions of salty lard dipped potatoes, etc.

This concept is very interesting to me, as a nutrition label aficionado... I have been following the Weight Watchers "1,2,3 Success" plan for over 2 years, which uses the calorie level, fat content and dietary fiber content to figure how many "points" a serving of any food is. I am almost to the point that I can figure them in my head, without the use of the "Weight Watchers Slide Rule" that is handed out in the first meeting. I wish I could trust myself to gague my food intake by hunger alone. Maybe if I could just get to France........... ;)
Last edited:
lean red meat (ie not marbaled meat like the yanks eat and with the fat sliced off, really easy to do), poltry, and fish are REALLY good for you

basically anyone who has to take a vitamin pill isnt eating right, its a cop out

i have nothing against people who are alergic to meat or dont eat it cause they cant stand the flavor (i may have a very slight gluton intolerance, i throw up if i eat really gluggy food like resoto) but those who say we cant eat meat because its evil are living in lala land

dairy products have the highest amounts of calcium
eggs (and if you say we cant kill meat but can eat a chickens child your a hipocrit) have the higest amounts of protien in the yoak
red meat has huge amounts of protien as well as iron
cant rember whats in fish, will look it up again
Wow, great discussion here. Really awesome. Just wanted to add a fact since im full of useless facts from watching too much discovery channel and the like. I also am studying digestion in bio right now, so I have some knowledge.

There is not enough plant material on this entire planet even if you took every single piece of edible plant life, to feed the population of the earth as vegetarians. Simply, our bodies can not break down Cellulose, a main componet of plant cells. Thus 80% of plant material passes right through our bodies, resulting in hardly any nutrients being absorbed. So we need to eat way more plant material in relation to body mass, then say a cow that has a specialized digestive system for the breakdown of plant material, namely cellulose.

Interestingly, Horses are the same way as we are. They have extremely inefficent digestive tracts for digesting plant materials. This is why they eat so much and produce so much waste.

T:rolleyes: (I love the roll eyes smily!!!)
So, Tristan, out of curiosity, does that lack of cellulose breakdown mean that we digest meat more efficiently? If so, and horses have the same problem breaking down the cellulose, do you suppose they were meant to be carnivorous? :bugeye:

Are you considering grains, etc, when you say "plant life", so you're including breads and pastas, rice, etc? And why are we led to believe that veggies are so good for us? I eat broccoli every day because it is supposed to have a high calcium content(and I like it), but does my inability to digest it mean that I am not really absorbing any of that type of nutrient from it?

Just a couple things I figured you could answer for me... If I am going to be a vegetarian, I need to stay informed, huh?

out of curiosity, does that lack of cellulose breakdown mean that we digest meat more efficiently? If so, and horses have the same problem breaking down the cellulose, do you suppose they were meant to be carnivorous?

Yes, we were made to be meat eaters. We digest meat much more efficenty. Its like aerobes and anaerobes. Vegetarians are liek anareobes compared to people who eat meat, their like aeroobes.

Im not sure about the evolution of the horse... But I suppose that at one time they were carnivorous since their digestive tract is not well adapted to plants like a cow. Their still in the process of evolving or "switching over" to a plant diet.

Are you considering grains, etc, when you say "plant life", so you're including breads and pastas, rice, etc? And why are we led to believe that veggies are so good for us? I eat broccoli every day because it is supposed to have a high calcium content(and I like it), but does my inability to digest it mean that I am not really absorbing any of that type of nutrient from it?

Anything that is a plant has a cell wall made primarly of cellulose (I think its the cell wall...) Cellulose, I think its the cell wall again, gives the plants its rigidness so it can grow upwords and whatnot.

Vegies are good for us, there are vitimins that we need from them. We just dont digest them as efficently as meat... which means you have to eat much more plant mass to gain the same amount of energy from eating meat mass.

You are absorbing nutrients from the plants, just not as much... or I shouldn't say that. When you eat meat, you digest more of the meat, producing less waste. BUT IN ADDITION to digesting and getting vitimins and minerals, you get a lot of raw materials for your cells to make DNA, enzymes, ect. Plants dont give nearly as much as raw materials which means you have to eat lots more.

I suggest an experiment: Eat a bowl of Spinach... Just a salad (whatever extras or dressing is fine, make it like you like it)

Then, if this is crude I apologize, look at your poop:D next time you take a trip to the bathroom assuming you have digested the material. You'll understand what im saying.

are you a vegetarian or a Vegan?

Meat and potatoes

OK, one at a time.

Orthogonal: Of course we have a lot of hard-wired synapses left over from our Neolithic ancestors. Of course we have to learn to ignore a good many of them in order to enjoy the fruits of civilization. My point is that every one of those biological imperatives that we overrule with our cerebrum is just one more little thing that festers inside us and causes a bit of stress. Why add to it? Eating is one of the most basic pleasures, and nutritional science is one of the most bogus sciences. Most people can’t stay on a diet. Most diets don’t work anyway. And there’s mounting evidence that people who keep trying and backsliding on yo-yo diets will end up being a whole lot fatter by age 60 than people who just said the hell with it.

Tristan: No. It would be no big deal to keep feeding all the people if they all decided to stop eating meat. Remember what those livestock are eating! We use up vast swaths of acreage growing food for their vegetarian dining habits. Eating meat is an extremely inefficient use of natural resources. I takes something like 30 pounds of feed to produce one pound of meat. If we ever get into that scenario where the population is measured in trillions and we’re all living in underground cubicles, we will be eating vegetable protein, not animal. Not that I endorse that. As far as I’m concerned, one of the most important reasons to prevent overpopulation is so that I can continue to eat hamburgers!

The “special digestive system” of cows is nothing but a huge colony of bacteria. They convert cellulose into protein. Bovines have the most highly evolved system with four distinct stomachs, but all the ruminants use the same trick. Horses, rhinos, camels, hippos, sheep, elephants, deer, giraffes, antelopes. Any animal that can digest grass and leaves and use it as more than roughage does it with the aid of bacteria. I imagine even kangaroos, though unrelated, have pretty similar insides, through the process of “parallel evolution.”
Your right. But I still think its not possible for the entire population of the planet, over 6 Billion people to be vegetarian, no matter how much we grow. We are just too inefficient at breaking down plant matter which is why cows do it for us... then we eat their tasty meat! Yummy!

Yes the bacteria play the primary role of breakdown of cellulose along with Chewing it, slightly digesting it, then re-chewing it, then digesting it, then having the bacteria have at it, then absorbtion, the excreation.

Interesting topic, though.:)

No, you've still got it wrong

Originally posted by Tristan
I still think its not possible for the entire population of the planet, over 6 Billion people to be vegetarian, no matter how much we grow. We are just too inefficient at breaking down plant matter which is why cows do it for us.
You're just not doing the arithmetic. If you take x acres of land and grow grass on it, let the cows eat the grass, and then let humans eat the cows, you will NOT be able to feed as many humans as if you took x acres of land and grew plants that can feed humans.

The trick is to choose the RIGHT PLANTS! We can't digest cellulose so obviously we wouldn't grow hay for ourselves. We'd grow approximately 1/3 soybeans or peanuts, 1/3 wheat, and 1/3 nut trees or sunflowers, all the right amino acids in the right proportion for the human diet. I promise that will feed a lot more humans than letting it turn to pasture and grazing cattle.

Why do you think poor countries don't allocate a lot of farmland to livestock? Because they wouldn't be able to keep their people fed that way.

Orthogonal: To end the discussion of hard-wired synapses on a more upbeat note. About 12,000 years ago something happened that, at least in my own world view, is even more important than our choice of food, in terms of defining what makes us human.

It was then, just before the dawn of agriculture, that we created the first multi-species community on Earth by learning to hunt cooperatively with dogs. (I'm not counting trivial relationships like parasitism or symbiosis.) Eventually they provided even more services to our tribe than their keen noses and running speed: cleaning up the garbage, keeping predators away, keeping us warm on cold nights. And in addition to our miraculous weapons that could bring down a bloody MASTODON, we shared our campfires, took care of their puppies while the adults were hunting, and dropped an endless supply of perfectly edible food on the ground.

We've added other species since then, notably the cat who also domesticated itself voluntarily, but dogs and humans have the oldest and most special relationship. It is a constant reminder of an ability we should really be proud of: The capacity to love someone of a totally different SPECIES! If we can do that, it should be easy as pie to not hate people of our own species who happen to come in different colors or have different names for God.

I know this has nothing to do with Tristan's diet, but I think that during these unsettling times, we should all recognize our dogs as little billboards from God. A reminder that He expects us to have no trouble at all loving all the other HUMANS on this planet.
I am vegetarian. I couldn't imagine going full vegan yet. It's only been about 6 months since I stopped eating meat, and I did it kind of as a "trial", to see if I could handle it. I was to the point that I only ate chicken anyway, so I figured, what the hell? I have done just fine, and I don't miss meat at all. Well, maybe a little, but I will blame that on instinct now that I have read all of these informative posts.

I have noticed the differences that you so nicely mentioned. I have also noticed that after eating quite a few beets, a person has the ability to make the toilet water pink, or purple, if it's blue to start with! ;)

Thanks for the insight!

I wouldn't lable myself vegan because I have my own views on diet, but vegan is as close as I get.
So, I usually just say I'm vegan to get it over with.

It's not easy.
The the longest I ever stayed away from meat was for about 2 weeks last summer.
I think a few years ago, I was able to go a whole 2 days eating my ideal diet.
Other than that, I eat meat, cheese, and all that garbage every day.
Anybody that says I'm a fake vegan, can rot in hell. :mad:
OK so I am a fake vegan in the sense that I don't actually practice my veganish beliefs, but I'm working on it. :)
I know as my financial situation progresses, I will eventually be able to eat the way I really want.

It's amazing how we use real food to make unreal food.
Real food (the water based vegitation that grows out of the earth) feeds the animals that we eat, and makes up the ingredients of the many processed/chemically enhanced products we sell.
If we stopped wasting money using real food to sell all of our garbage food products, real food would be easier to come by, and more affordable.

Thank you.
Fraggle and diet

Been away, had a couple of shows to attend. About my no flour no sugar comment. Again you are correct about instinctual pleasure. However when someone poses a question such as this one assumes [I know] that they are looking for help in a specific area. Just not saying so.
What I propose absolutely works and is by far the easiest to follow diet for good nutrition and weight loss. If I have ASS U ME D too much. Sorry.
You seem to be a very thoughtful and well=read person. Good for you, and better yet, good for us:D
I hate diets

I think I am addicted to carbohydrates. seriously. I get cranky without them and headaches if I go too long without eating them. I am going to revise my dietary habits, I am pretty sure I am hyperinsulinemic...
and not only that but I am truly the laziest human being when it comes to actual "working out". Last time I went to the gym I sat in the jacuzzi the whole time while my friends worked out...
I love to swim though so at least I have that going for me...
Re: awww

Originally posted by pumpkinsaren'torange
:( what about those poor carrots and potatos....they have feelings too, ya know...:mad: :p

To quote Tool:

" 'Angel of the Lord, what are these tortured screams?' And the angel said unto me, 'These are the cries of the carrots, the cries of the carrots! You see, Reverend Maynard, tomorrow is harvest day and to them it is the holocaust.' And I sprang from my slumber drenched in sweat like the tears of one million terrified brothers and roared, 'Hear me now, I have seen the light! They have a consciousness, they have a life, they have a soul! Damn you! Let the rabbits wear glasses! Save our brothers!' Can I get an amen? Can I get a hallelujah? Thank you Jesus. Life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on........ This is necessary..."

I think I will become a bread-a-tarian... but I guess the grains have feelings, too. Great. :rolleyes:
I think you're right... I have been thinking about it as I sit here (I am supposed to be working, why can't anybody pay me to think about stuff that I am interested in?) and what bothers me the most about eating animals is the way that they are treated. They are "mass produced", fattened up, killed in terrible ways, and quick frozen for long-lasting freshness. There is no respect in the process anymore, not like the way it was when humans hunted their food and used every part of the animal, respecting its life-giving spirit.

I feel like there is still some respect in the farming industry. Sure, it's probably diminishing, becoming corporate, but you can still find veggies grown by local farmers, and buy bread baked with organically grown grains. I know that everything I end up buying at the store probably isn't "respected" before it's processed into the end product, but it still feels less disrespectful to steam some broccoli than it does to grill a big slab of cow.

Yeah, we're all neurotic.
but you can still find veggies grown by local farmers, and buy bread baked with organically grown grains...

yes, that is especially true here in Iowa, at least. lotsa farmer's markets alongside of the highways ...always fresh produce available....such a healthy state/State. :D

btw...i don't know which magazine i recently read this in, but, in some state (i belive it's calif or nevada or one of those radical, pagan, out-of-bounds states like that...;D ) .. in this one restaurant they were selling a hamburger for 41 dollars because the cattle had been fed on beer ..PLUS had been hand massaged. get that.
It would make a little more sense to me to pay $41 to keep them from killing that cow. I don't know, I think I would just have to walk out of that place laughing...
Couldn't be California

We're still in the depths of the dot-com-meltdown, 9-11-aftershock, energy-ripoff recession. Nobody's got forty-one bucks to spend on a steak, and nobody would waste good beer on a cow!

We're also the vegan capital of the hemisphere, but we've got plenty of pagans.