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liminal's avatar

Have you ever changed your dietary practices?

Asked by liminal (7712 points ) March 6th, 2010

Answers to this question about people deciding to eat a vegan or vegiarian diet have me wondering how people determine the diet they want to follow.

I grew up in an environment where what one ate was merely decided by taste. Food was also treated as a source of comfort more than as a source of fuel. A McDonald’s happy meal was on par with a home cooked meal (Which, nutrition wise, wasn’t so different since the advent of tv dinners and recipes with cream of mushroom soup abounded in the culture of my childhood!). Cooking meant adding water or milk to something out of a box or can and then slapping a hunk of some sort of meat next to it.

Today I want to be more informed about the food I put into my body and offer those I love. My dietary choices are based on what I perceive as healthy for my body and connection with the planet. I also maintain some of my heritage in that I can appreciate food as one source of pleasure. I find value in having fresh and tasty food on the table and crafting special meals for celebrations.

What did you notice about your dietary habits that led you to want to change them? What changes did you make and why?

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29 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I cut out many carbohydrates from my diet, especially simple ones. (I avoid white foods.)

I make most things from scratch including using fresh vegetables and whole fruits.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I grew up on processed foods and now I do not eat that way. I go shopping several times a week, mainly for vegetables, because I eat fresher foods.

majorrich's avatar

As I age I find more and more foods cause problems with my delicate digestive system. I still love them, but sometimes other people don’t like me much after I eat them.

DominicX's avatar

No major changes. My dietary practices have never been too bad, though. I try to limit the amount of junk food I have (unlike my roommate who just eats whatever), I try to eat more fruits and vegetables and I always have a salad with lunch and dinner, which I never used to do. Other than that, no major changes. I eat meat and I don’t intend to change that, though I did try being a vegetarian when I was 15. I only get fast food once in a blue moon and it’s almost always In-n-Out. I’ve always been one to examine ingredients and nutrition facts before I buy something.

Basically, when you’re super skinny yet athletic and you don’t gain weight no matter what and you’re 18, there isn’t a whole lot telling me to make drastic changes. I know my metabolism will slow down eventually, but for now, I’m fine where I am.

Your_Majesty's avatar

I used to love snacking sweet stuff. But as I realized something is wrong with my body I then decided to quit. Too much sugar in your blood can make your concentration unstable and hyperactive. I hate to consume sweet stuff again,it’s for health reason.

liminal's avatar

@DominicX I remember that metabolism of 18, those were nice days.

@Doctor_D that would explain why I seemed better able to focus once I changed my diet!

lilikoi's avatar

I eat more meat and dairy now that I live with a crazy carnivore.

I very rarely eat junk food. When I shop, I basically walk the perimeter of the store, and never go down any rows.

I cook a lot and we eat almost all meals at home, whereas before when we were both working full-time we’d eat out at least one meal everyday and often all. We got to the point where we hated eating out.

I’ve been drinking a lot of wine lately. I’ve discovered malbec.

I’ve always been a “grazer” – I don’t eat three distinct meals a day, rather I snack all day, mostly on fruits. When I worked, I was forced to eat lunch which messed everything up. I’m back to grazing.

I’ve been eating a lot of different foods lately because I never make the same recipe twice.

My mom fed us granola and fresh produce from our farm when we were young. When we started going to school, we started fast food. I still remember the first few times I ate a hamburger at B-King or McD and I hated it. I don’t eat fast food anymore (maybe the occassional french fry, but I can’t even eat a whole serving of fries anymore without feeling sick).

In high school, I ate a lot of candy and soda – sugar basically. I’ve completely outgrown that.

My body pretty much tells me what it needs. When I eat a lot of cake or sugary foods, I start craving vegetables. If I eat only vegetables, I start craving meat (protein) and sugar. I just listen to my body.

ChaosCross's avatar

Plenty of times, mostly I’ve lowered my intake on nasty type stuff and instead packed in some vitamins.

liminal's avatar

@lilikoi What a gift to be able to listen to your body and understand what you hear. I am still learning the skill.

Seek's avatar

My family (myself, my husband, and my son) is doing a 31 day experiment in the Paleo Diet. I came across it rather randomly, and I liked what I read. We’re putting aside our “average American” diet for a month, and blogging the experience

The idea behind it is to get as close to what “Grok” – the average human before the advent of agriculture – would have been.

We eat meat – lots of it. About 60–65% of our daily calories come from meat, eggs, and seafood. The rest is mostly vegetables, with nuts and fruits making up in-between meal snacks. There is no dairy (how silly would it have been for Grok to milk a wild animal!) and no cereals. Grok would have considered grains like corn, barley, and wheat to be starvation food at best.

The whole point of the Caveman lifestyle is to give our bodies what it is evolutionarily best suited to. Domesticated grains and animal by-products have only been around for about 10,000 years, and our bodies aren’t really made to process those things. That is why, by and large, the majority of the world is lactose-intolerant.

liminal's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I just checked out your blog and probably will from time to time. I am fascinated by the idea, given my reading led me in an entirely different direction. I quite like the blog name also.

Seek's avatar

@liminal

I’m honoured. Thank you! ^_^

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I used to be a soda addict, and now I’ve stopped and I just drink water or OJ/cranberry juice.
I’m trying to eat more vegetables and less red meat as well.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ve lowered my meat intake considerably over the last 15 years, but haven’t gone the vegetatrian route. Like the Chinese traditional diet, meat is more of a flavoring to my food than a course in itself. I still require cholesterol-lowering medication, probably because I continue to smoke.

I don’t maintain these changes for health reasons anymore. Just habit. My health is now a matter of total indifference to me.

liminal's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land sometimes you are very good at making my heart smile (pointing out “just habit”) and be sad (indifferent to your health) at the same time. I also think I understand. Anyway,

It was Dr. Colin Campbell’s book called “The China Study” that made me very interested in the chinese traditional diet and started me on my way to where I am now.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

January of this year I became a vegetarian and starting in February I turned vegan – this was because my husband made the changes and I agreed with all the reasons behind them – always knew I shouldn’t eat meat or dairy nor support the animal cruelty and the impact on the environment but just needed the stars to align properly. The kids are vegan too – we work with a nutritionist and are much more knowledgeable now about what we’re putting into our bodies.

liminal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I like the nutritionist idea. Did you find one who specialize in vegan eating?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@liminal you bet! she is a vegan herself – for a couple of years and she’s been a vegetarian since 1992!

downtide's avatar

I was a vegetarian for a few years, then went back to eating meat & fish again. I make a conscious effort to eat more veggies now.

talljasperman's avatar

I was depressed from being dumped by my girlfriend in university…So I wanted to feel better and I tried going vegan… I ended up 100lbs underweight and I switched back to meat and potatoes…It took me 7 years to gain the weight back…now i’m a healthy 275 pounds…(I am 6’5” 198 cm)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@talljasperman that’s insane! going vegan doesn’t mean going 100lbs underweight.

talljasperman's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It does if you don’t know what you are doing…I was also burning out at the time while being harassed by a vegan who said “you are not Christian if you are not a vegan and you are not a vegan if you are not a Christian”...

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@talljasperman that’s insane too! lol, there was a lot of that going on wasn’t there? we’re vegans and atheists and certainly not underweight but we’re trying to live in a sane way, I guess

talljasperman's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I was eating the special diet that my unviersity provided and I was so hungry… when I went to the cafeteria I was stressed out so sometimes I just dran pop and went home

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@talljasperman ah, yes – that’s not veganism, that’s starvation.

talljasperman's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir agreed… too bad I didn’t notice right away back then…I could have stayed in school

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@talljasperman well I’m sorry that all happened – you can be a vegan in a healthy way, if you want.

talljasperman's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It will have to wait until I can read up on a safe way of doing it…also the local vegan store freezes all the food so bad that It tastes very disagreable…also they have a limited selection…and I’m slowcooking short ribs for my family right now just went shopping for food

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@talljasperman definitely, see a nutritionist too.

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