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[!] Help NikaNika Eat Right


NikaNika

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UPDATED 2015 VERSION! (I'm back and still learning!)


 


The Help NikaNika Eat Right NPC Quest


 


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The Premise....


  • NikaNika lives with a Hobbit in the American Shire with limited finances.
  • Desire to incorporate/switch over to a plant-based diet.

The Quest....


  • Build a Diet that supports losing excess weight, but offers enough energy for fitness/strength training.

---------------------------------------------------------------


Current Status: Still on the Journey


  • Past: eliminated Gluten, helped clean system, but resulted in loss of energy.
  • Learning Recipes/How to Cook Meals Regularly
  • Incorporating protein daily.
  • Tracking other levels; iron, etc.
  • Managing to not binge on foods kept in household.

Some information that might come in handy; Raised on an American diet (fast food incorporated) with here and there changes like no red40 dye and barely any milk. I'm allergic to Parmesan.


 


My most common at-home foods that I've been eating in the past 3 months are... bread, frozen pizzas, turkey meat, ramen, tuna, ice cream, cereal, pita bread, hummus, random vegetables (green), donuts, boxed dinner (hamburger helper), random fruits (grapes, etc.), chocolates, bagels, cream cheese, black beans, chili.


 


I drink coffee and water on a daily basis. I drink mint tea and milk on a weekly basis and Arizona Iced Tea has become a guilty pleasure. I occasionally drink soda or alcohol on a monthly basis (0-6/month), but have lost interest in those drinks.


 


I've practiced fasting, paleo and non-gluten diets in the past year.


 


I did not resonate with paleo as a diet, but noticed improvement with my digestion that went away as soon as I stopped. I also noticed a similar improvement with eliminating gluten, but also resulted in a great loss of energy. Since then, however, my digestion system has been doing much better with all kinds of food.


 


The issue with fasting is that I have had binging issues in the past and that might be why I'm so drawn to it. It's been my nature to not eat for a few days, then eat a bunch rapidly at once.


 


Now, I am looking to incorporate a 'eat something every 2-3 hours' in smaller proportions instead. But am unsure of what types of food to prepare for this sort of lifestyle.  


 


Overall, I'm not sure what exact kind of diet I want to have or what would be best for my body, but I am learning.


 


I would like to find an optimal eating lifestyle that will strengthen and support my body, mind, and health.


 


For the past few months, I've played with the idea of a Brain-focused Diet stemming from Dr. Terry Wahl's practices, which is not how I tried paleo out the first time, but how I think I might try it if I go for a second time... I still have not tried this though.


 


And here's something small and random that I'd appreciate more light being shed upon; When I'm eating vegetables on a daily basis, I find that within the first 3 days, my hunger spikes greatly and I need to eat more - more than I usually can stand in vegetables - and so I burn myself out pretty quick with a vegetable-heavy diet. I've never actually been able to manage pushing past a week with a vegetable-central diet so I'm not sure if this is purely due to withdrawal from my regular diet or something else is going on pertaining to vegetables and my body....? (Thanks, Tanuki)


 


Thanks for any help or advice in advance!


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I think my first tip would be not to try anything too drastic. It's hard to go from one extreme - a diet entirely of fast food - to another - a diet of entirely homecooked food - without getting quickly burned out and quitting. So, small changes first.

1. Learn to cook :)  I'm not advocating a 'high price grocery haul', but you could find that with a little care, purchasing fresh meat and vegetables and making 2 or 3 dinners from it works out cheaper than daily boxed food. No need to worry about HCFC when you're buying fresh. Stir fries, steamed vegetables with roasted meat - on the table in 10-20 minutes. Could you whip up a simple stir fry? Roast a chicken and make a salad?

2. If you're still living with your parents, this can be tricky (mine raised me on box food and I had to move out in order to achieve anything - it's barely possible with resistant parents and no money.) I think it would be difficult, if they are unsupportive, to adopt a diet with rules and beliefs, because it's hard enough just giving up the boxed food. Baby steps. I don't subscribe to any diet rules anyway and pretty much disagree with most of them, though. I believe calories in, calories out, as it's worked out great for me - but then, I eat pretty 'healthy'/'clean' anyway.

3. As I don't eat boxed food I don't know how easy this is but can you just... stop? Like, make sure you have the stocks for your meals - breakfast, have the oatmeal there, or the eggs, or whatever, and know your meal plan so you don't reach for the boxed stuff. Sandwiches is fine if you're making your own - consider skipping the butter for extra calorie savings. I use nothing and hardly notice it, or I spread with houmous, fewer cals, bigger taste :)  And then, I know it takes some willpower when the items are there in the kitchen, but just really commit to not eating them. Calorie counting could help you here, as you would log each cracker and could really see just how that, for example, 40 cal cracker turns into 240 cals once you've eaten six of them.

5. Protein and fat is what fills you up and keeps you feeling full. Eating vegetables for three days will leave you very hungry for protein, so don't go 'vegetable central' - not even vegetarians do that! Since I switched to a higher protein intake - 0.8g per lb of bodyweight, so I aim for 92g+ a day - I've felt pretty damn good all-round (more awake, mentally sharper, physically stronger, more energy) but it really does help with food cravings. There are studies coming out now that support theories that we (Western diet eaters) are constantly seeking protein but there's barely any of it in cheap, processed food (protein is expensive. The stores want us to eat lots of cheap carbs yet remain hungry, so we eat more and more.) Milk at breakfast, protein shake mid-morning, chicken for lunch, Greek yoghut mid-afternoon, meat at dinner, and I'm sorted for the day. No more cake-seeking or snacking.

 

Summary - keep it simple, eat more protein.

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Thanks for the great advice, Tanuki! Very helpful ^_^

 

It's funny, my partner (the hobbit) has been talking about protein (getting more protein available in the household) non-stop this past week xD 

 

I cook occasionally, but I definitely want to cook more. My stir-fry tastes awful, so I'll have to practice though... gotta figure out finding something I like is really the issue when it comes to cooking meals. I tend to make quiches when I feel like cooking.

 

Today, I decided to cut out cereal grains from my diet though after reading http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-1-dont-eat-toxins

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But it might not be true :)

 

I don't really buy all that 'toxins' stuff. If someone finds they feel better after cutting out grain then that's good for them, but it's not an automatic route to weight loss nor is it automatically a 'healthy' choice. It's all very debatable. But, hey, there's the paleo forum for more insight into all that.

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warrior : level 8

str: 20.75 | dex: 13.75 | sta: 11.75 | con: 9.75 | wis: 8.25 | cha: 4.75

''Difficult' and 'impossible' are cousins often mistaken for one another, with very little in common' - Locke Lamora

 

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True dat.

 

Yeah, my partner is the same way. I'm still trying to figure out where I'm at in regards to it all (I may just head for to that paleo forum you speak about). Since the few times I have cut out grain, I've noticed an improvement, but I've never held onto the habits long enough for a long-term look... which if I did, I might be able to exclude my amazing placebo-powers from being part of the change.

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Updated Original Post (almost a year later!) My situation has changed and I've moved out of the gnome-household so now I am in a place where I can control my own cupboards and kitchen and what groceries are around! I am only limited by my strained finances (which hopefully will get better in the coming year). My digestive system has also improved and I'm able to eat more regular food (like cereal and what not) without becoming ill.

 

Any advice or discussion is appreciated.

 

I'm looking to build a cost-efficient week-by-week mealplan that encourages my metabolism to become faster and keeps me from becoming too hungry so I don't binge on whatever is around. I'm also in a better area where the stores actually have a lot of variety and options, so ... yey!

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Try this site, it helps with planning the way you want and it's low cost, I haven't used it, but I've heard good things. http://emeals.com/

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How much planning do you want? I mean, where are you coming from in terms of ability to cook and buy ingredients, and what sort of eating style did you have in mind?

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

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Moderate planning involved would be ideal. My cooking skills are limited, but right now, I have the time and ability to learn. The most restricting factor is finances when it comes to ingredients and waste. I like being able to use everything up and tend for fresher shopping (so within 3-4 days after buying, instead of stocking up for like a week or more). I'm currently working on transitioning to a plant-based diet, considering vegan, but for the moment I incorporate milk, cheese, and eggs, sooo, transitioning or figuring out what works for me.

 

I really like garlic and am trying to find more uses for that particular item.

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Moderate planning involved would be ideal. My cooking skills are limited, but right now, I have the time and ability to learn. The most restricting factor is finances when it comes to ingredients and waste. I like being able to use everything up and tend for fresher shopping (so within 3-4 days after buying, instead of stocking up for like a week or more). I'm currently working on transitioning to a plant-based diet, considering vegan, but for the moment I incorporate milk, cheese, and eggs, sooo, transitioning or figuring out what works for me.

 

I really like garlic and am trying to find more uses for that particular item.

Garlic goes well with pretty much everything.  I like to chop it up and saute it with my vegetables.  It's pretty delicious roasted, but I don't like to fire up the oven just for that, especially not during the summer with the A/C running.

 

If vegan is for you, that's fine, but please do your research and be ready for it.  There are lots of vitamins and minerals that are difficult to get from plant-only sources (like B vitamins and iron).  Many vegetarians/vegans need supplements and shots to make up for these deficiencies.  Do your research and be ready.

 

Additionally, you can have a plant-based diet without being completely meat-free.  If you are hitting most of your nutritional needs, you can have meat only a couple times a week rather than at every meal.

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We experimented with decreasing our meat servings (not servings per week, but the actual size of each serving) and it worked pretty well. It's also less expensive, since meat tends to be one of the costliest items on every grocery list. It's easy to do if you pick dishes that use meat as just another ingredient, like a stir-fry that you throw some diced chicken or ham into, and compensate with 'hearty' vegetables (e.g. not a leaf).

 

I've also found that a two-egg breakfast helps keep meat cravings at bay throughout the day. My favorite is to fry eggs over grass fed butter and drop them into a whole grain tortilla with a slice of ham and a few cheese shavings for a breakfast quesadilla. It's a one-skillet meal. :)

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Two thoughts:

 

1) I think the most important aspect for you goes back to something Steve says often: "The best diet or exercise plan is the one you stick with." Once you find something that works for you, keep it up! (I'm telling myself this too, because this is always a problem for me lol.)

 

2) If you have an Aldi supermarket anywhere near you, check it out! They're insanely cheap (as in a dozen eggs for $.70) and also have a wide variety of stuff, including meat.

 

--Ea

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