Monday, January 18, 2010

Clean(er) Eating

Above is one of my favorite pics of Dave taken on our honeymoon in Jamaica back in 1994. He went kneeboarding, swam a mile roundtrip to a nearby island and got resort certified to go diving while I, who could barely swim to save my life, spent most of my time on the beach sunbathing and fighting off babes eyeing him (note the 2 in back -- grrr).



In 2004, he was at his heaviest (270#) and full of self-loathing. He kept this second picture on his iPod to motivate himself to lose weight.



Getting back on his bike and riding with me the last few years has helped him get back down to 220-230#, but he's still NOT where he wants to be weight-wise or fitness-wise. This year he's decided to bite the bullet and tackle the last frontier: his diet. He got a book from a work-sponsored life balance class he attended last year:


Now I'm all for Dave eating better, but this book advocates a RADICAL diet change. No dairy products, no meat (only fish, which he hates and won't eat), no sugar, no added salt. Processed foods are to be avoided and only very limited amounts of whole grains are allowed. So pretty much everything Dave loves and used to eat regularly before is out. His diet will now largely consist of fresh veggies, fruit and legumes (uncanned). Man, it puts my so-called healthy eating habits to shame!

Some positives I see are:

- No food logging or calorie counting (Dave has a really hard time doing them)
- We're going to save a lot some not buying dairy products and meat.
- Our stove & microwave will stay much cleaner.
- There'll be lots of "junk" to donate to the next food drive.
- What we saved can be used to buy fruits and veggies from Costco, which only come in HUGE quantities.
- I'm burning extra calories washing and cutting up lots fruits & veggies.
- Dave was beaming when he told me he'd lost 8# last week.*
*According to the book, not unusual as it's mostly water weight from not eating so much salt.

But, unfortunately, he also felt like crap on the bike last week. Not sure whether it's the new diet, the 95+% humidity we had on Saturday, the 22mph winds (30mph gusts) on Sunday, or possibly all of the above.

Anyone have any advice or experiences with a clean eating diet like this? What do you eat/drink to be able to go long and perform well on your workouts? How does one get away from the notion of rewarding yourself with food? Is it possible to succeed with one spouse on the diet and not the other? Will he become so lean & sexy that I'll have to brush up on my martial arts to fend off ogling women?

17 comments:

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Have not read or known anyone on this diet but whatever you guys decide I am all for supporting each other. Makes life easier!

What I do know is buying healthy food cost some $$$. Worth it but be extra warned (I am sure you already know this)

Regina said...

I don't know that diet, so can't comment. I just bought Matt Fitzgeralds "Racing Weight" and am hoping to feel inspired. It doesn't help though when my husband (who dropped 10 lbs just by giving up coffee mate) brings Entenman's chocolate covered donuts into the house....sigh...

Kristi said...

Haven't heard of this diet either, but coincidentally I am also reading Racing Weight. So far, good common sense stuff. At the end of the day you have to look at it as a lifestyle change, not a diet, which is why I think radical approaches are not necessarily the best. But then, that's just my $.02. (Definitely not a nutritionist, but I have consulted one for my own ongoing weight loss challenges.)

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Take the chance on him losing weight. An alive husband is better than a dead one...

Dont know on the clean eating, I am just trying portion control (and if that doesn't work... Alli)

lindsay said...

i know i need to clean it up. i ate m&m's for dinner yesterday... and all throughout the day today. le sigh.

it sounds interesting, and i *want* to clean up my act... but at the same time i am a bit too lazy. first i ought to actually incorporate fruits/veggies, you know, baby steps. spaghetti is just so easy to whip up (boil noodles, heat sauce).

as long as he wants to stick with this, i think it's great! i don't see anything wrong with eating meat, but i know people have preferences. i think he could still allow for lean meats if he wanted?

Meg said...

I love fruit and veggies and I could do the whole thing for a little while not forever. It is a whole lifestyle change; no eating out, no holiday stuff...I can see it working though if you are both on board! Good luck!

Rainmaker said...

Interesting diet. Some of his diet issues are likely going to be associated with how the body burns carbs on prolonged endurance efforts.

Looking at what you posted, it's hard to say if he's getting enough carbs. Keep in mind both carbs and salt perform one key item for atheltes: Helping water retention. If you are underhydrated, performance will suffer. While weight will be lost, it will likely hurt your performance. For example, increased or even moderate carb input will retain twice as much water weight. For someone looking to lose 'weight', as defined by a scale, this is problematic. But you have to look past this from an atheletic point of view and instead focus on reducing fats in diet over foods that simply hold water.

Just my two cents.

Either way, very impressive drop thus far!

lizzie lee said...

Sorry I can't offer any advice.... the only thing is that if you're a black belt that'll be a good thing :)

Bruce Stewart (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I guess we are all creatures of habit. I have never be able to put on much weight and can barely reach 190. When can I ever get to 200? I used to think it was metabolism, but maybe it is because I just don't have the time or inclination to eat much. Don't worry too much, being lean doesn't make a person attractive...

Smithposts said...

Don't know anything about that diet but I certainly wish Dave well in his efforts! Sounds like he is off to a bang up start!!

RBR said...

I don't know Shirley, he looks pretty darn great in that after pic. I don't think I would let him far out of your sight. Of course, he would be hard pressed to find someone hotter than you! :)

I have tried and failed at every diet known to man, so I will mostly stay out of it and only say that anytime I have to give up all foods I like I fail the quickest.

You have a house in Kona and he HATES fish?! Sacrilege!

Sunshine said...

It may not be all that more expensive .. because processed foods are a waste of money and aren't so cheap after all.

We eat fish, chicken, turkey, and bison... and a little parmesan cheese.

We eat no gluten (wheat).
A couple of decades ago the food industry tried to sell the public on grain being a separate food group. Truth is, FRUIT is a carb, too! Take a look at Don's fruit bowls. Best wishes to you both.

Vickie said...

I can understand your questions and thoughts about this. I find the hardest part about staying on a "clean" diet is when doing endurance sports. Not that you CAN'T compete and stay away from all the sugar and carbs everyone else seems to be able to eat and not gain an ounce on, but I believe you have to match your calorie intake with energy output to stay ahead. How he feels right now is probably a normal reaction of some carb depletion, and over time he will adjust: he'll have to eat more to compensate or he will give up entirely. The other thought is that we tend to eat a lot more junk than even remotely necessary or are able to burn off even with high levels of exercise BECAUSE we think we can. After a while, your body gets used to storing the fat from the extra calories and then it goes nowhere unless you really shock your system. Good luck on this. Don and I have done this type of thing the last 3 years. He can never stay on it for long because he loves his sweets!

Lily on the Road said...

hmmm, I don't know what to say...this is certainly not something he can stay on forever is it?

All I know is you need protein, carbs and lots of fruits & veggies. Maybe check with Marni at http://trimarni.blogspot.com/

I've been following her blog for over a year now and along with her healthy foods & suggestions...I feel much better!!

EndorphinBuzz said...

Here I am worrying about my water bottles freezing and you complain about 95 degree weather. I wish we could ship each other a bit of cold or hot to make it perfect for both of us :)

Good luck with the diet, that is a very radical change...

RoadBunner said...

I have no input about the diet, but you can tell your hubby I think he looks even hotter in that third picture than the first :)

Calyx Meredith said...

That's the book I read, the plan I followed starting April 1 last year. I'm sure I didn't do it perfectly, but it sounds more radical than it turns out to be. I thought I'd get sick of that much salad, but I didn't really. I did find that I needed at least some of the salt back, especially when training got longer and hotter in the summer. I'll email you with a bit more info if you want. Peace.