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JLeslie's avatar

What changes in your diet have changed your life?

Asked by JLeslie (54433points) January 26th, 2013

I’m reading Eat To Live at my husband’s request, and the overal gist of it is eat primarily fruits and vegetables. I actually agree with that, but have not in the past made a significant change in my diet to do it in any permanent way. In the book there are stories about people who changed to this diet and their health changed dramatically. Some people lost a lot of weight, although the major focus in the book is the nutritional and protective qualities of the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. He talks about cancer and heart disease and shows stats from around the world about how animal protein is killing us, but more importantly high consumption of vegetables, especially leafy green ones, help protect you from cancers.

So, I am wondering what magical stories jellies might have about diseases clearing up, not needing previously necessary medications anymore, and relief from symptoms of chronic conditions when you changed your diet.

I am not so much looking for stories of allergies like lactose or gluten. Because, obviously if you have an allergy you will feel better when you stop consuming the product. Unless, you had a side benefit you did not expect.

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20 Answers

dxs's avatar

Well this may not be exactly what you’re looking for but I went on a high-calorie diet about a year ago and have gained significant weight that I was supposed to gain earlier. I’m still catching up, though.

Sunny2's avatar

I began drinking at least 36 oz. of water every day and my sinuses and throat were much more clear. It also allowed me to drop the 15 pounds I needed to lose and keep it off.

Berserker's avatar

Not really a diet change, but I gave up drinking a while back. Well actually that’s a lie, I didn’t give it up 100%. I drink on most weekends, but I no longer drink every single day, which makes me feel much better most of the time. My entrails have stopped hurting and feeling weird, I wake up nice and refreshed, (even though not drinking causes serious problems with sleeping) and I have more of an appetite. I stick to more or less healthy foods, or at least what I think is healthy…pasta, some meat, lots of vegetables, and seafood. Maybe I’ll never stop drinking entirely, and if not, so be it, at least how I dropped, I think my liver is gonna last way longer haha.

susanc's avatar

Two summers ago I lived on quesadillas and dropped 25 pounds. This didn’t happen on purpose, I was just too distracted by a nice
man to get interested in food.

bookish1's avatar

Way to go Symby!!! I’ve stopped drinking every day too. Strangely, it’s helped with my sleeping.

Living on about 1200 calories a day in Paris really kick started my metabolism. I lost 20 pounds there and have lost another 10 or so even back in the land of cheap calories and no walking. I’m eating high protein (soy, tempeh, yogurt, lentils, and cheese) and vegetables (salads, cooked greens) and lots of fruit.

No miracle cures exist for my auto-immune disease (although some idjits will tell you that ‘diabetes’ can be cured by various diets… I can’t tell you how sick I get of hearing this), but since losing weight and gaining muscle mass makes your insulin needs lower, my diabetes is in better control than it has ever been.

Shippy's avatar

I have such an interest in this, sorry haven’t read the other posts will later on. I have seen great footage on the Raw Food Diet for example. So that is something I am looking at. I have never been a huge fan of meat all round. I battle to eat it if I see it raw first! I also battle to touch raw meat.

Before I got ‘sick’ I used to be very good with food. No bad oils, no butters, or fats. Very little sugar.No bread of processed food. Now and then I would go on my clean diet. Which basically meant steaming. Steaming all my meat and vegetables. The change in my body was remarkable and only took a few weeks. It would literally change shape. (for the better). My waist was smaller, I was leaner.

I do believe our body is an environment on its own. Which of course it is. It is host to a number of chemical processes and digestive processes that can create either illness or harmony. On this way of eating I did little exercise at first. You don’t need exercise for weight loss if you eat correctly. But later on I was so inspired I became hooked on gym. I went at least four hours a day. Then weekends longer. It was a good period in my life lasting about a year. I build muscle fast too, so was quite muscular. However interestingly my mind was still not right. I’m bipolar and it didn’t change a thing in that area.

I did try Omega which is said to assist in mood swings, and it really did help. I was on it about 6 months, no other meds and was functioning pretty well.

gailcalled's avatar

Watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, for one’s man’s claim for juicing.

“100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope….a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well- with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD…chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health.” Source

Also, look at “Forks over Knives” which is more of a bio-doc. with lots of data.

“Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.”

cazzie's avatar

Poverty and worry has done wonders for me. Best. Diet. Ever. Down to 51–52kg since before Christmas and kept it off. Perhaps that is the opposite of what you are asking. That was more, ‘What has a change in your life done to your diet?’ answer.

Unbroken's avatar

@gailcalled I watched it too. Good movie.

So what has diet done for me. I have to be careful since I am on the food allergy celiac thing so I’m gonna leave a lot out.

I met a lot of new people who bonded through food and shared experiences. I have an expanded palatte. I am creative and full of various random food facts.

On the other hand potlucks now typically suck, food dates are a challenge.

Actually whole fresh food or minimally processed isn’t that expensive. It is more filling and complete.. less required plus no paying for packaging and brands. So actually my food bill has decreased.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks everyone who has answered so far. So many of the examples in this book are people who also were extremely obese, so even if they had continued to eat crappy food, just half as much, and lost a lot of weight, I think some of their problems would have disappeared. But, I do fundamentally believe a diet mostly based in veggies, fruits, and legumes and whole grains is best; with emphasis on the vegetables.

dxs's avatar

@JLeslie So you think that humans are not naturally carnivores? I would hate a diet without meat. I think that society (at least the USA cause we’re so fat) focuses too much on losing weight that the ones who are trying to gain it get pushed back. It is hard to gain weight without meat since other vegetarian foods tend to not have enough calories.

Unbroken's avatar

@dxs There is a theory that only the rich were fat because meat was expensive and hard to kill. So meat in small quantities or on special occasions no quarter pounder for one meal.

Actually beans and nuts and many vegetables are high calorie. If you drink say original or spicy v 8 juice it is warns it is not a low calorie product.

But I love meat too.

dxs's avatar

@rosehips I agree that nuts and beans have a lot of calories, especially since they are high in fat, but I feel like using that as the biggest way of getting sufficient calories is hard to do.

Unbroken's avatar

@dxs I can assure you it is not.

JLeslie's avatar

@dxs I really don’t have any stand that I think is worth fighting for regarding it. I have heard the arguments for why humans are or aren’t carnivores. Actually, the proper term would probably be omnivores. if I have to choose, I believe we are omnivores. I just think the average American consumes much to much animal products, especially dairy products. Study after study shows the quantity of meat and dairy Americans consume leads to higher rates of heart disease and cancer. But, in terms of our digestive track, and those sort of arguments that supposedly support human beings shouldn’t eat meat, I seem to digest meat just fine.

My goal is not to convince anyone of what to eat or what to weigh. My goal was to hear the stories of others. I eat meat. The only meat I don’t eat is veal. I happen to eat very little shellfish, because I am not very keen on it, but otherwise I eat pretty much all meat common to the american diet. But, I think a vegan diet is probably the healthiest, especially for someone like me who has a heridetary cholesterol problem. To add to this I am severly deficient in some vitamins and minerals. I am very curious to see if I switch to a more plant based diet if the numbers come into the normal range without supplements. I already know how dramatic an effect taking some supplements have on my body. The two with the most obvious dramatic effect are Iron and Vitamin D. I feel pretty sure I will always have to take vitamin D supplements, but it would be nice to get iron through a more natural route. Obviously, the meat I eat does not supply near enough iron, and typically I eat quite a lot of meat, including red meat. I also am quite low in B12 without supplements, even though I eat plenty of meat.

Going back to my cholesterol, I feel sure my cholesterol would go down to normal, even if high normal, if I went vegan. My cholesterol drops dramatically when I cut my intake of cholesterol. If I do it, I would be doing it for health reasons, so I would cheat probably when dining out or with friends.

mattbrowne's avatar

The 700 cubic centimeter rule to fill the whole stomach with needed calories + fiber. This way I won’t get hungry until the next meal.

gailcalled's avatar

@mattbrowne: What exactly is the rule.

mattbrowne's avatar

Normally for every full meal you need 700 cubic centimeters (about ¾ of a quart) of solid food while not exceeding the limit of your required caloric intake. If you eat a cheeseburger with XL fries, the chewed food is still far below 700 ccm and because there’s this free room in the stomach, people have no problem eating a large portion of dessert as well, like XL ice cream. Only when you hit the 700 ccm there’s this pleasant feeling of not being hungry. A better way of reaching it is combining carbs, proteins and fat with plenty of fiber from fruit, vegetables and salads.

Just eating 700 ccm of fiber won’t do the trick for very long. You need the combination. Water trapped in fiber also helps with the volume, so eating an apple uses volume whereas apple juice doesn’t.

Jillysback's avatar

I cut out most sugar, flour, and processed foods. I just feel better…I sleep better, I’m not bloated any more, my skin is clearer, and I’m very slowly losing weight. I was fairly healthy before, but feel healthier now. Grass fed meat, wild fish, organic fruits and vegetables, healthy fats…it’s all good!

dxs's avatar

@Jillysback One of my best friends lives off of that diet. Her motives are are that it is what humans were “meant” to eat. I like the idea, and support it, but I am not up for doing it myself. Plus, I’ll live long enough anyway, right?

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