comment by Brigid ·
2012-05-25T02:42:24.731Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Long post--my apologies.
I have been trying for a while now to follow the paleo (or caveman) diet. I think the argument for the diet seems legitimate enough (or, I should say, I am not smart enough in those areas to disprove their argument). Additionally, there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence in favor of the diet, especially from people with auto-immune diseases, which I have. So for those two reasons, I have been trying to make it a permanent lifestyle change; what ends up happening is that I struggle through one week and rebound into massive cheating.
The problem that I have run in to—which I think is fairly common—is the diet is extremely difficult to maintain if you work a lot or don’t want to devote the majority of your free time to cooking. It takes a LOT of time to cook all your food from scratch. The paleo diet is: no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar, nothing artificially made or with artificial ingredients, no potatoes, no peanuts, and very low added salt.
You are mostly supposed to eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and vegetables, with occasional nuts, fruits, and starchy vegetables like yams. These foods spoil easily, and require a decent amount of time to prepare, especially when you compare them with the typical American diet. So the problems I have run into are (1) it is a difficult lifestyle to maintain due to the time it takes to cook everything (2) the foods perish easily and I am stuck going to the supermarket 2+ times a week.
Change1: Optimize my cooking regimen by standardizing it. I now eat the exact same thing for breakfast and the exact same thing for lunch and dinner every day. At some point I expect this to get boring, but so far the results have been good.
This has the result of:
-Food preparation time is shortened. I am no longer trying out new foods or recipes, which is a time waster.
-I purposely eat the same thing for lunch and dinner, thus I only have to cook one meal instead of two.
-I cook said lunch and dinner for the next day while I am eating my dinner.
-I purposely selected foods which do not require much attention to make, thus I can eat my dinner while I cook the next days food. I have been eating frozen organic stir fry vegetables and chicken cooked in coconut oil. I supplement it with a salad which takes about 1 minute to make if you buy your veggies cut up.
Change 2: After asking a clerk, I found out that all grocery stores (or at least the ones in Hawaii) get a resupply of foods on Tuesdays. So if you buy your foods on Sunday, like I was doing previously, you are getting vegetables and meat which are 5 days older than if you buy foods on Tuesdays. I have started grocery shopping on Tuesdays, which I expect to limit my grocery shopping trips to one time per week.
Change 3: Since food preparation is a time suck, I wash all the fruits and vegetables immediately upon returning from the store. I have not timed it, but it does appear that washing all the produce in one batch is faster than washing it in 7-21 separate batches. I also started packaging snacks in baggies directly after washing them, so I don’t have to spend time each night making snacks for work.
At this point (day 3 of strict diet) no health changes have occurred. Advocates say the health changes take 2-4 weeks to be noticeable.
Replies from: falenas108, RichardKennaway
↑ comment by falenas108 ·
2012-06-05T05:33:15.023Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I would recommend against eating the same foods for all 3 meals. Different foods have different nutrients, and you need them in different amounts. I would suggest having a set of meals that you cycle between instead.
↑ comment by RichardKennaway ·
2012-05-26T19:07:02.637Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I'll be interested to see the eventual result.
BTW, why yams and not potatoes? As far as I can see from Wikipedia, potatoes and yams (and sweet potatoes and oxalis tuberosa, also called yams) are pretty much interchangeable from the point of view of preparation and nutrition.
Replies from: Vaniver
↑ comment by Vaniver ·
2012-05-30T02:11:39.322Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I have heard from a number of places that sweet potatoes are healthier than normal potatoes, and I find them much tastier, but don't remember many of the details besides them being rich in beta-carotene. (I find sweet potatoes pleasant raw, whereas normal potatoes are much less so.)