This is Part 3 of a series:
(These links are also present in the text below, as well as several links to Wikipedia.)
OK, so, all things considered, I still need rules. I had laid out some simple ones previously:
- Avoid sweets, fried foods, and alcohol
- Avoid foods that cause suffering, in me, or in another living being
- Eat real food as often as possible
While these are a good framework, and a good starting point, I need solid rules. They need to be easy to follow.
In my last post, I laid out my possible reasons for encountering issues while eating vegan. Today I came across my most compelling reason yet: I tend to eat meals that I cooked myself when eating paleo, and I tend to eat packaged goods when eating vegan.
I've got plenty of ready-made vegan food at my fingertips. Given that I can't eat celery without feeling ill, and I can't eat more than a handful of several types of nuts and seeds without feeling like it's time to curl up and die, most of the ready-made paleo food is out.
So, given that, here are the rules I'm proposing for myself:
Rule #1 - As long as I am attempting to shed abdominal fat:
- No sweets, including sweet cereals and gummy vitamins
- Limited flour-based products
- No deep-fried food
- No alcohol
Sweets: I'm not demonizing sugar; I just know that I have a strong tendency to overeat in the presence of these foods. Overeating will not help me reach my goals.
Flour-based products: Again, these have a place, but if I'm trying to shed body fat, I'd be better off eating sweet potato or carrots than a piece of bread.
Fried Foods: Fried foods are delicious, but the tendency to overeat cannot be overlooked, and there are a host of negative health implications. I look forward to eating a plate of fries when I'm done with this journey.
Alcohol: A lot of my rules here are based on Matt Fitzgerald's Agnostic Healthy Eating rules. He goes out of his way to state that moderate alcohol consumption carries health benefits. I don't disagree, but I also know that alcohol tends to cloud my judgement, and I often catch myself bingeing after a drink. It's not worth it.
Rule #2 - As long as it keeps me healthy:
- Choose freshly prepared foods (including leftovers) instead of packaged foods.
- Avoid the foods that cause pain in me
- Avoid the foods that cause pain in others
- Exercise daily
Freshly prepared foods: At home, make my own damned food. When out, prioritize small, local restaurants, since they're far more likely to be preparing the food right there.
Foods that cause pain in me: I covered this in the last post.
Foods that cause pain in others: I covered this in a different post, which I never published. In short, this means avoiding animal products, but also products that carry a heavy cost to the producers. Foods that are often produced via slaves or deforestation, should be avoided. I know there are others; these are the ones that come to mind right now.
Exercise daily: Anything. Going for a walk. Cranking out a set of push-ups on the way back to my desk. Literally anything. Move.