Author Topic: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach  (Read 605 times)

dcheesi

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A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« on: May 17, 2018, 08:22:07 AM »
No love for this one yet? I suppose the topic is already covered in threads like this one, but this post and MMM's diet approach in particular really resonated with me, so I wanted to post my thoughts.

Even though I'm very much a "live to eat" person, I'm also an engineer with a need to watch his wallet and waistline. So during the work-week, I follow an "optimized" plan that echoes MMM's in a lot of ways, including the avoidance of carbs in the morning. I also try to avoid combining foods that might neutralize each others' health benefits (e.g., dairy protein binds up a lot of good plant compounds, including the ones in coffee).

Here's what I've been doing most days:
  • "Breakfast": black coffee (I'm slow to wake up, and so is my stomach, so I don't really need calories this early)
  • Mid-morning: more black coffee (sometimes decaf), with a handful of unsalted deluxe mixed nuts (Sam's Club or Aldi bulk containers)
  • Lunch: cup of yogurt, preferably no-sugar-added Greek-style
  • Afternoon: fruit (lately a lot of dried berries for convenience; they have added sugar, but I don't eat a full serving so it's not enough to worry about)
  • Dinner: free-play (this is usually my larger "real" meal for the day)

Now, two issues immediately pop out here:
  • There are no veggies in this list, so it's all dependent on my dinner choices to get that in
  • Lunch is a little on the "light" side in terms of bulk, even though the dairy protein is enough to satisfy me metabolically
To remedy this, I've just recently started trying to make small salads to bring to work. The plan is to eat the salad for "Elevensies" and still have my yogurt in the early afternoon for a late lunch/dessert. I already tended to eat my fruit late in the afternoon[1], so this modification should work well with that.

[1 - to boost my energy at the end of the work day, and to stave off evening hunger until I've had time to get home and start making dinner]

It's too soon (and too much of life intervening) to say how well this new addition will work, but I'm optimistic. At the very least, it should keep me from spending stupid money on vending machines or overpriced cafe salads when the yogurt didn't quite do the job.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 08:31:29 AM by dcheesi »

spookytaffy

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Re: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 09:06:41 AM »
Do you have a particular brand of sugar free yogurt?  I am restricting my carbs and can't find one that's low enough and I really miss my Greek yogurt!

dcheesi

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Re: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 09:50:33 AM »
Do you have a particular brand of sugar free yogurt?  I am restricting my carbs and can't find one that's low enough and I really miss my Greek yogurt!
I've been doing the Oikos "Triple Zero" stuff, which only has the residual sugars from the yogurt itself (about 6g per cup), no added sugar. They do add 6g of fiber (chicory root), which artificially inflates total carb count (14g), but most carb-limiting plans I've tried excluded or otherwise accounted for fiber differently anyway.

There's also a Carbmaster brand "cultured dairy blend" sold by certain (Kroger-owned?) supermarkets, which is even lower in carbs. I haven't tried these yet, though I might do so since they appear to be cheaper.

4alpacas

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Re: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 10:02:18 AM »
Do you have a particular brand of sugar free yogurt?  I am restricting my carbs and can't find one that's low enough and I really miss my Greek yogurt!
I don't count carbs, but I do try to limit the added sugar I eat.  I like plain Greek yogurt (full fat) with a bit of fruit added (banana and unsweetened coconut is my favorite combination).

mm1970

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Re: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 01:43:40 PM »
I have regular, repeatable eating habits

1.  Breakfast: coffee with milk and stevia.  And one of the following:
- oatmeal (1/4 c dry) with banana, milk, and peanut butter
- 2 fried eggs and 2 corn tortillas
- 3/4 plain yogurt with 1 cup berries and some nuts or granola
- 1 fried egg and a slice or 2 of gluten free bread
- overnight oats

2.  Snack: 1 to 2 a day. 
- Fruit and nuts
- veggies and hummus
- cooked veggies with tahini sauce

3.  Lunch: Salad.  I have a 4 cup container.  Hard raw or cooked veg on the bottom, whatever we have.  Right now radishes and carrots.  3-4 sliced olives.  Sometimes 1/2 to 1 oz of cheese, sometimes small avocado.  Stuff the rest of the container with greens - combo of mixed baby (spinach, arugula, baby kale, baby chard, baby lettuce) and lettuce.  2 Tbsp sunflower seeds.  1.5 Tbsp homemade dressing made with olive oil.  So, I don't skimp on the fat in my salads.  Occasionally will have some extra protein in there, maybe 1/5 days.  This could be canned salmon, sliced turkey, beans, beans&brown rice, eggs.

4.  Dinner:  Roughly a cup of vegetables with olive oil, 1-2 servings of carby foods depending on how hungry I am, 1/2 c protein.

Examples:
- Pasta with veggies and meatballs and cooked broccoli
- Beans & rice (I count beans as the protein) with yummy toppings (avo, salsa, cheese, sour cream) with kale chips
- Mac and cheese and a cooked vegetable
- Fried rice (sometimes vegan, sometimes with eggs, sometimes with chicken), and stir-fried veggies.  It's delish drizzled with tahini and sriracha
- lentil soup and salad
- grilled salmon with asparagus and potato
- chicken enchiladas

The important thing to me is the proportion - half the plate is veggies for dinner, and 3/4 at lunch.  I also have a FT job and 2 kids, so I meal prep on the weekend.  I generally cook 2 big meals and we alternate for a total of 5-6 days.  One of the meals is vegetarian or vegan (bean based), the other has some kind of animal protein.

DarkandStormy

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Re: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:16:57 AM »
The article surprised me a bit since MMM seems more like an environmentalist (or close to it) at heart, but his dietary choices don't reflect that because he's bought into the protein myth.

https://www.vox.com/2014/7/2/5865109/study-going-vegetarian-could-cut-your-food-carbon-footprint-in-half

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit-protein
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dougules

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Re: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« Reply #6 on: Today at 10:42:04 AM »
It sounds really boring to eat the same thing day in and day out.  Eating a varied diet is one of the last luxuries I think I'd give up.  It also works well with eating seasonally because just when you start to get tired of a food, it goes out of season and another one comes in. 

Those who do eat the same thing every day, how do you not get bored?

It would be more interesting if he detailed what Mrs. MM generally ate. 

mm1970

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Re: A Day In The Life of my Supposedly Frugal Stomach
« Reply #7 on: Today at 02:05:21 PM »
The article surprised me a bit since MMM seems more like an environmentalist (or close to it) at heart, but his dietary choices don't reflect that because he's bought into the protein myth.

https://www.vox.com/2014/7/2/5865109/study-going-vegetarian-could-cut-your-food-carbon-footprint-in-half

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vsk/vegetarian-starter-kit-protein

He also hasn't bought into the vegan myth, and "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough" or the "black/white" thing.

Considering the fairly detailed analysis he did, and has done in the past, I'm going to go with this:
1.  He knows what works for his body.  He's discussed this before, how he feels better on a more Paleo-ish diet.
2.  He recognizes that "less meat" is good enough.

I realize that a lot of people like the "black/white" and "right/wrong" (about any topic under the sun) because...it's easy.  It doesn't require a whole lot of thought, or empathy, or the ability to understand others and put yourself in their position.  That doesn't make it right though.  If you're happy on a vegan diet, have at it.  If you want to save the planet you'd be MUCH better off staying away from extremism and convincing the vast majority of moderates to decrease their meat intake.  Or to source it responsibly.

It sounds really boring to eat the same thing day in and day out.  Eating a varied diet is one of the last luxuries I think I'd give up.  It also works well with eating seasonally because just when you start to get tired of a food, it goes out of season and another one comes in. 

Those who do eat the same thing every day, how do you not get bored?

It would be more interesting if he detailed what Mrs. MM generally ate.

You get used to it.  I make 2 things a weekend and we repeat, and someone recently told me that that's a horrible thing to do to my kids.  Why?  It's healthy, and it's food.  We eat seasonally - but I eat salad for lunch every day.  In the winter, it's a lot of lettuce and kale, with oranges and a parsley garlic vinaigrette.  This week: with beets and goat cheese.  In the summer?  Mostly cucumber/ tomato salads.

Why does food have to be exciting?

Don't get me wrong.  I like food.  I like to cook.  But decades ago I was fat.  Why was I fat?  Well, I ate too much.  One of the things was - I loved food.  I loved homemade burritos.  I loved homemade pizza.  Then I realized...I needed to stop looking at each meal as if it was my last.  I can eat burritos every day.  Or pizza every day.  I don't need to eat half a pizza - a slice is fine.  I can taste it again tomorrow!

I think that I was in the same place as you, wanting food to be interesting, when I was in my 20s.  So I ate out a lot - that's how I got variety!  Sandwiches, burritos, stir-fry, Indian, middle eastern.  You hear it all the time from people who eat out a lot because carrying your lunch is "boring".  Well, when I was a kid I ate cereal for breakfast and a sandwich with fruit for lunch every damn day.  It's just food!  I make sure it's tasty.

I still get bored, but a part of that is because I'm the one who takes on the mental load of what to cook each week.  And sometimes, all I can manage is "spaghetti with meatballs or mac and cheese or beans and rice, you pick!"