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An Easy Way To Feel Better, or: Sexy Sexy Food

After watching one of the X-Men movies, I turned to Janette, my wife, and said:

“What would your mutant power be?”

“Cooking,” she said.

“Oh…what would your name be?”

And, as if she’d been waiting her entire life to be asked this question, she replied:

“Utensila.” 

The Saddest Meal I Ever Ate

Sad

Sad

Once for dinner I ate a handful of croutons and some pickle chips.  Janette was out of town and I couldn’t find anything.  I was too lazy to go out and the croutons were just sitting there, so…

As I prepared for bed that night, I tried to avoid my own gaze in the mirror.  What could be more pitiful?

But this pathetic little night says something about my relationship with food.

Relationships with food

Janette spends many of her evenings in bed looking at magazines.  These magazines usually show centerfolds of gleaming spatulas and glistening noodles, draped over scarred cutting blocks and wrapped sensuously around forks.

“Oh,” she’ll say, starting to smile.

“Oooooo,” she say, smacking her lips a little.

“Are you talking to me?” I’ll say hopefully.

“Shh!”  (smack smack smack)

This is an exaggeration, but just barely.  I can’t complain.  Her love of food means I eat well.  And it isn’t that I don’t love food.  We just eat for different reasons.

I eat because if I’ll do not, then I will die.

Many–if not most–people I know eat because food makes them feel better.

“Better”

Sadder

Sadder

Every time I commit to eating better, I am always stunned at how good I feel after a day or two of eating healthy food.  But it doesn’t necessarily feel good in my mind, and I’ve seen it take a greater toll on others when they make their own commitment.

This is a familiar refrain in my family: “Today I go on the starvation diet.”  Or, “Today I work myself to the bone and I’ll be crawling home from the gym.”

Yeah!  Wait, I meant no.  I mean, what I really meant is why?

Any change feels better momentarily, but how odd that feeling better physically doesn’t automatically override the mental need. Why does it have to be all or nothing?  It is a very predictable response and contradiction.

In the same moment I can think:

I haven’t felt this good in a long time

and

Crap, I really want an entire box of Strawberry Fig Newtons

So the reward of feeling better, stronger, healthier doesn’t always prevent the anxiety, sadness, or need for eating things that aren’t great for us.

Diets

I know someone who once said that my Tourette’s Syndrome would disappear if I “drank more carrot juice” and “ate more barley green.”  The person who said this was a walking skeleton with a vampire’s complexion–but not that alabaster, sexy vampire look everyone wants these days.

Another friend that was trying to lose weight drank nothing but lemon juice.  Then nothing but apple juice.  Then nothing but air.  Then everything all at once.  The ideas got so crazy and at cross purposes that they…well, I don’t know what.

The basics never change

Some truths:

  • More muscle = less fat
  • Eat more protein
  • Eat less fat
  • Eat enough calories, but make sure they’re from good, healthy foods
  • Exercise
  • Drink lots of water

The packaging of diets change, but the principles are the same because our bodies work the same way today as they did a year ago.  Our biological makeup really isn’t such a moving target that a “new” diet is required every year to keep pace with evolution.

But common sense sucks and it’s hard to be a grownup.  I know I would like to eat Cap’n Crunch every single morning (and night).

Saddest

Saddest

What I’m trying instead

Alwyn Cosgrove has a diet called “green face” that I heard of via Dan John. Here’s how it works: you can eat anything that is green or that had a face.

I am now starting each day with a gigantic salad.  It’s helping.

I don’t get bogged down in semantics.  It doesn’t mean that green bananas are better than ripe ones or that watermelon rind is better than the fruit itself.  Rather, meat and vegetables and things that are organic when possible.

So far, I like it.  It’s simple and easy to remember and I feel good and strong.  Surprise, surprise.  When things are complicated, it’s usually because we’re complicating them in our heads.

The fundamentals are always the fundamentals.  Milkshakes will never be as good for you as spinach, fried chicken will never be as good for you as lean meat, and so on.

Forget about diets

“Going on a diet” sounds grim and it sucks.  I like “using common sense” much better. What do you think?

Let’s talk about two things in the comments:

1.  What was the most pitiful meal you ever ate?

2. Have you ever tried a strange diet?  If not, has any diet ever really worked for you?  Why or why not?

Josh


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  • We Fly Spitfires September 2, 2009, 4:27 am

    Having a Japanese wife has really improved my diet 🙂 Japanese food is very healthy and tasty so long as you like rice, noodles and raw fish.

    My most pitiful meal (and certainly my laziest) was when I ate a microwave lasagne with 2 teaspoons because I couldn’t be bothered to wash a knife and fork.

  • Annabel Candy September 2, 2009, 4:28 am

    I think this counts as a strange diet!

    During my first pregnancy I got high blood pressure. It’s quite common in pregnancy – but it can be dangerous to the mother and the unborn child. If it gets too bad you have to be induced and have the baby early. Premature babies are not good so I was determined to control my blood pressure.

    I started reading up on natural cures. I tried meditation and valerian to no avail. Finally, I read that eating cucumbers helps. So that’s what I did. I ate one whole cucumber a day for about three months and it worked. My blood pressure stopped going up and I carried my baby, a boy called Luke, to term. Apparently cucumbers are a diuretic (they make you wee) and this might be why eating lots of them lowers your blood pressure.

    Luckily I’ve always liked cucumbers and still do. And guess what? Luke does too:)

  • Gordie Rogers September 2, 2009, 5:00 am

    A few years ago, there were days where I had chocolate and Coca Cola for breakfast and then MacDonald’s for lunch and diner delivered! Great memories! 🙂

  • Craig September 2, 2009, 6:34 am

    I agree with you, Josh. I too eat simply because the body will cease to live if I don’t. For that reason, eating healthy is pretty easy for me. Hasn’t always been though. As a teen I was a huge sweets addict.

    Answers:

    1) An entire row of Chips Ahoy cookies for breakfast.

    2) Tony Horton’s P90X nutrition plan is the most ridiculously effective diet regimen I have ever been on. The first time I used it, I went from 170lbs/13% body fat to 185lbs/6.5% body fat in 60 days. Of course, I worked out intensely 6 days a week, but we both know that diet is 80% of it.

  • Craig September 2, 2009, 6:37 am

    Oops, forgot to mention that I was eating 3000 calories a day on that diet too. It’s the proportions that work the magic. Just a balanced diet with the right set of proportions matched to the level of physical activity.

  • Casey September 2, 2009, 7:27 am

    There is a quote from Dinotopia thats stuck with me since I was 7 or so:
    “Eat to live, not live to eat”

    Pretty much sums it all up. The tough part is that we tend to condition ourselves to eat in lui of a emotional response, or we eat as a social function.

    Thank you Josh for saying more eloquently than I in a single then half my entire blog. 🙂
    Imagine a date without dinner, or a party without snacks a family gathering without dinner!

  • Jim September 2, 2009, 8:37 am

    I’ve got two most pitiful meals. Which is the most pitiful is a toss-up?

    – Pop Tarts and Cheese Doodles
    – Two large Dominos pizzas…both eaten in one sitting

    The most pitiful fact? I’ve had these meals on more than one occasion, though not in a long time. I won’t go too deep into my psyche to figure out *why* I ate them. I don’t feel like depressing myself this early in the morning. 🙂 Let’s just say I’ve not always had the best relationship with food. And, Josh, you’re so right: common sense sucks and it’s hard to be a grownup.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 8:43 am

      @Jim. I love Pop Tarts. That’s a good one.

      @Casey. That is the first Dinotopia quote I think I’ve ever heard.

      @Craig. Did PX90 make you stronger? I’ve talked to people who said they got lean but didn’t gain any strength. I don’t know anything about it so I can’t say.

      @Gordie. I’ve certainly done the McDonald’s route. Quick, affordable, and I ate it every single day in college. Not a big chocolate fan though.

      @Annabel Candy. We grew cucumbers in our garden this year and I bet I’m eating one a day myself. I hope I’m not pregnant.

      @Spitfires. Teaspoons. that’s great! If you move over here, come live in my basement. Your wife can cook Japanese food and we’ll start a reality show.

  • James Sjostrom September 2, 2009, 8:50 am

    Josh, I am glad to see you are putting some attention towards your diet. It will make you Stronger!

    I have always been a fan of the Warrior Diet. This is based on the premise of daily detoxification through under eating phase and then filling up the tank on a over eating phase. Of course what is eaten makes a difference. Green Face goes well with the timing of the warrior diet.

    Worse Diet, I used to “drink” my dinner. OFTEN!

  • Megan Horton September 2, 2009, 8:52 am

    Josh that same skeleton has been in contact with me suggesting a raw diet for my MS, and also….carrot juice. This was last week.I said thanks but no thanks. I’ve been on the diet this week of being so sick I can’t eat, and it’s working out smashingly I must say.

  • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 8:57 am

    @James. You say you’re a fan of the warrior diet. Have you been doing it? I’ve looked into it a bit more seriously and really just don’t think it’s for me. Not now, anyway.

    @Megan. Nobody disobeys a skeleton forever! Submit!

  • Craig September 2, 2009, 8:58 am

    @Josh

    Absolutely. P90X put me in the best shape of my life. Not only was I the leanest I’d ever been, but my strength went way up. There is a “Lean” version of the program with predominantly cardio and plyometrics, but I did the standard which includes a ton of strength training with free weights and absurd calisthenics. You have the option of going lighter weights/higher reps for more toning, but anytime I could crank out 12 reps at a particular weight for 2 sets, I upped it. And calisthenics were max on every set. The program is set up to increase strength very efficiently and systematically and completely eliminate plateaus, but you have to follow it for it to work of course. Awesome program.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 10:55 am

      Craig, thanks for the response. I’d never personally do P90x, but that’s mainly because I can’t let go of kettlebells for any reason and I’m usually working in terms of 100s of pounds per lift when I’m not doing kettlebells. I have a friend who absolutely swears by P90x. Well, more than one, I guess, since you’re for it as well:)

  • Casey September 2, 2009, 9:08 am

    Hooray for being first! I still love Dinotopia, even as an adult I find it fires my imagination.

    I’ve got a couple of friends that swear by P90x. One guy said he lost about 15 lbs, the other guy didn’t lose anything.

    The difference? Diet! The first guy started eating right while the second guy didn’t want to change his lifestyle and stuck with the pizza and beer.

  • Casey Brazeal (North and Clark) September 2, 2009, 9:12 am

    I find cooking in advance to be the best way to make sure I don’t end up living on Cheetos. Inspiration comes and goes, sometimes its best to cook when you got the cooking mojo.

  • Ilana September 2, 2009, 9:39 am

    This past weekend, after not going grocery shopping for three weeks and without wanting to take the time to do it then, I spent the entire day cleaning the house after a roommate moved out while subsisting on one jar of iced tea and one tube of crescent rolls. Yum. But, yes, I did feel like shit the next day (I don’t mean guilty – though perhaps that too – I mean physically ill).

  • Kelly Diels September 2, 2009, 10:08 am

    Ok, I am the last person who should ever give anyone diet advice. (a) because I am fasting (badly) for Ramadan, which means I am a bad Muslim, which is not as bad as it sounds because I’m not Muslim; and (b) because this experience with fasting has underlined just how disordered and disturbing my regular patterns of consumption are.

    Still, what if we defined “diet” as what you eat, rather than a temporary, insane, and probably futile course of action aimed at remedying a problem, usually fat? Then “diet” is just a noun rather than a moral issue. And then we could indeed focus on trying to do right by our bodies and fueling them with stuff that helps more than it harms.

    That being said: the reason we eat sweet and fatty stuff, sometimes compulsively, is because it is loaded with calories and, evolutionarily speaking, that stuff is very useful in loading up on energy – and yes, fat – to prevent starvation. We’re programmed to seek, note and devour things with fatty and sweet flavours. Before refrigerators, supermarkets, restaurants, industrial food and abundance, famine was an ever-present threat. The current problem, aesthetically and medically, is that evolutionary intelligence of our bodies hasn’t yet evolved to reflect our actual lifestyles of abundance rather than shortage.

    But yes, let’s make healthy food sexy. Right now, marketers are trying to convince us that ‘treats’ are deserved and will make us feel better, richer, and indulged. And I think we – and I use the pretentious royal “we” to mean our generation and our society – need to learn to cook, again. Can Janette come live with me? Please?

    Finally, a couple of weird meals won’t kill you. But wow, they’re funny to read. Great post.

  • Matt September 2, 2009, 10:34 am

    1. I hate a whole bag of sour patch kids and lost a layer of skin on my tongue and rough of my mouth from the acid.
    I ate a whole batch of fudge (or was it two batches) after telling my wife that I didn’t like her fudge because it didn’t have nuts in it.
    I used to eat like a camel. I could skip several meals with no problem and then have a large meal. I would always surprise people because I was so skinny but I could eat everyone under the table at an all you can eat buffet.
    2. I used to live on 90% carbs. I loved bread and pasta. Funny thing, I always felt tired for about an hour after eating. I have recently given up carbs with a high glycemic index such as bread and pasta (I still eat them in small doses) and I feel much better for it. I no longer feel tired after eating. I have a difficulty with eating greens because I feel like I am constantly grazing and never fill up. Therefore, I get most of my carbs from fruit.

  • Daryle Dickens September 2, 2009, 11:38 am

    In college one of my favorite meals was a Sarah Lee cheesecake washed down with a 2 liter of Coke. I did it quite often.

    Currently I am two weeks into the Paleo Diet which is meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. No dairy and no grains. Too early to really tell anything other than meals now require a lot more planning.

  • Twan September 2, 2009, 12:51 pm

    I’ve crafted my own diets of about 1800-2100 cals a few times and got really ripped but they were not “long term” diets. It’s the same reason I never tried p90x or any other workout regimes. The only book or program I read that actually stuck with me is “Body for Life”. Sure you can do Green Head and p90x and get into good shape pretty fast, but for what reasons and for how long.

    Now at 30 years old I find myself looking to strike a balance that will benefit me for years and something I can stick to for more then 3 months. I’ll let you know when I find it! =)

    @Casey: your right we eat as a social function. I hate it!

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 5:32 pm

      Twan, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Body For Life. Not familiar with it myself. What I usually find is that if I”m trying to actually count calories, I burn out quick.

      @Daryle

      I’d love to hear how the Paleo Diet goes. That is something I just heard about last week.

      @ Kelly: Janette can’t come live with you, but you can come here and live in our crawlspace or apple tree if you like.

      @Pete: Even I know that you have to be sexy to tango, and scarecrows aren’t sexy. I’m glad you came to your senses!

  • Leah September 2, 2009, 1:20 pm

    I don’t have a great answer for this, but I love the whole post… The comments above are a riot, too! Thanks for keeping me entertained!

  • Joey September 2, 2009, 1:34 pm

    I’m an avid carnivore but your description of the “green face diet” was the most unintentionally emotional appeal for veganism I’ve ever heard.
    “I’ll eat anything that once had a face.”?
    Well, when you put it that way…

    The movie “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” dealt a mortal wound to my magazine cover model pursuits.
    I have adopted Jeff Martone’s goal for myself, “As strong as possible, as fast as possible, as light as possible.”
    Then, I take six-eight weeks every year and eat whatever I want (providing I get my 200g of protein/day).
    At 185#: 15 pull ups. At 220#: 11 pull ups.
    When you discover *that*, it’s inspiring.
    When you realize that-right now-you could look like a fitness model (because they actually look like you), it’s inspiring.
    I’m having way more fun with fitness-am much stronger, more flexible, and healthier-than I’ve ever been now, at 37.
    But, honestly, *anything* that had a face? *Anything?*
    So, like a cricket would be the bi-fecta, right? Green plus face. Or frogs. Or even seasick puppies. Green face…

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 1:59 pm

      Joey, fair enough:) It wasn’t my description! You could go on all day about the terrible eating choices between face and green. Mold, pine needles, the face of a mountain. I’ll write to Alwyn and tell him that he needs to put frogs on the menu.

  • David Cain September 2, 2009, 1:49 pm

    Very winsome post, Josh!

    My most pitiful meal ever: When I lived in BC, I went on a weekend ski trip intent on keeping myself fed with the last $20 to my name. I spent fifteen on beer and the other five on a loaf of bread a tub of margarine, to sustain me for three days. Good times.

    I’m actually doing a piece on diet for tomorrow. It’s my new experiment. You’ll see what I’m up to.

  • Jon Owens September 2, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Great post Josh! Thanks for reminding me about green face — that is a good philosophy and seems to go along well with a Dave Whitley comment I once heard: “If it wasn’t food 300 years ago, it’s not food today.” Pretty much eliminates anything processed, artificial, etc.

    As for my answers:

    1. Ramen noodles (uncooked — crunch crunch crunch) to tired (and by that I mean lazy) to cook them up. I did throw the flavor packet away after mulling over whether I should wash it down with some water.

    2. The warrior diet seems to be working pretty good for me. Like James said, it meshes well with the green face principle. I’ve been on it 60+ days and am down 15 lbs (and two belt holes).

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 5:29 pm

      @Jon Owens. I’ve never heard that Whitley quote before. I’m going to tattoo it on my neck next to the unicorn. You’ve convinced me. I’m going to try the WD for a month.

  • James Sjostrom September 2, 2009, 2:04 pm

    Hey Jon, How are you? Have you been practicing Kettle Bells Dan John Style.

    Josh, I warrior diet about 4 days a week. If I have a late shift, I sleep in and make breakfast, otherwise I enjoy and 18 hour fast!

    I agree with all of the ideas that diet is a lifestyle, not a fad. If you can’t do it forever, why do it at all?

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 5:27 pm

      James, that’s interesting. Like most people I’ve talked to about the WD, I worry about losing strength. But everyone says it works out fine as long as they do it right. Meaning, the way you’re supposed to. I’m definitely getting more intrigued.

  • Andy Small September 2, 2009, 3:49 pm

    I once ate 3 handfulls of after dinner mints as my supper. My wife was, also, out of town and I didn’t want to get out.

    The best diet I’ve ever been on is the carb diet. I lost about 100 lbs on the diet. I have fought with weight my entire life but the carb diet really worked. Once I went off of it I was able to keep the weight off but gained it all back and then some when I got married because we ate out far too much.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 5:26 pm

      @Andy Small. 100lbs is fantastic, congratulations. 3 handfuls of after dinner mints is even more awesome, double congratulations! This thread has been a riot.

  • Panayiotis Pete Karabetis September 2, 2009, 4:25 pm

    Terrible Failure Diets for Me:
    1) Suzanne Sommers Sommersize: similar to Atkins but bombarded with her endorsements. I lost 25 pounds and resembled a scarecrow.

    2)Atkins – shouldn’t have done it, lost 10 more pounds and looked like a pale version of Gandhi. I still haven’t shaken that nickname.

    Passed out twice on these diets and went to the hospital for my experiments (not to mention working too many hours doing physical labor).

    Now I’m balanced, weigh a solid 175 and alternate between tango, martial arts, rings, and P90X to stay in shape. My diet is less structured, but I like it that way. You only live once and I’m strong and healthy, so why mess with that? 🙂

  • I gave up diets long ago – and the most pitiful meal still exists for me = Honey Nut Cheerios, sometimes for every meal in one day. And, occasionally, I’ll throw a Hot Pocket in there for fun. Aah, the pleasures of cooking for one. But your basic list is the right one – I always struggle with the water thing. Gotta get on that. Thanks Josh – always great to get your posts, think a bit, and laugh even more!

    • Josh Hanagarne September 2, 2009, 9:38 pm

      Laura, just make sure a post never causes you to think more than “a bit.” that’s all pseudo-knowledge should ever get out of you.

  • Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl September 3, 2009, 9:25 am

    Wow, very interesting thoughts! I’m so glad I found you via George @ Tumblemoose.

    I’ve lost over 100 pounds so I’ve definitely changed up my lifestyle. I lost about the first 50 pounds or so while still eating meat, but cutting out things like soda and highly processed foods, etc. Sometime around that point, I became a vegetarian (because my brother had become one and when I started researching, I discovered a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t know about how animals are treated and how it’s more eco-friendly to avoid meat).

    I was very ill and started studying the health benefits of fasting, too. I’m now huge on raw juices and juice fasting (not for weight loss, but for health benefits). They are phenomenal to me.

    I have also been 100% raw at various points in the past few years. I’ve done this for different reasons, but mostly for the health benefits/cleansing/detoxing. I now eat high raw (which just means mostly raw veggies, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and some fruit) and sometimes have lightly steamed veggies, an omelet, or organic Oikos Greek yogurt. I’m maintaining my weight loss and enjoying this lifestyle. I do splurge sometimes (like on my birthday, I had cake and ice cream) but I eat a very clean diet the majority of the time.

    I do believe people need to find a healthy balance and not do crazy things. More raw foods/healthy foods don’t hurt anyone. 😉

    *smiles*
    Michele

    • Josh Hanagarne September 3, 2009, 9:28 am

      Michele, welcome to the party. You have to have cake on your birthday, that’s the law of the universe. Other than that, sounds like you have your head on straight. Glad you came over!

  • Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl September 3, 2009, 9:30 am

    Thanks, Josh! Sheesh, I’m glad I have my head on straight–it’d be awfully awkward if it wasn’t. 😉

  • Barbara Swafford September 3, 2009, 10:22 am

    Hi Josh,

    Thanks to George over at Tumblemoose, I found you. Congratulations on being his new blog of the week. 🙂

    I love this post. Like you wife, I also like to look at magazines and cook books and “ooooh and aaaah”.

    The strangest diet I ever went on was called the hot dog diet. You would eat 9 hot dogs one day, the next day was 9 bananas and the third day was 9 of something else. I never made it past the first day.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 3, 2009, 12:11 pm

      Barbara, I want to try the hot dog diet, but with 9 additional hot dogs in place of bananas. I do love me some hot dogs. Thanks for coming!

  • Pete | The Tango Notebook September 3, 2009, 12:43 pm

    Currently, I’m on the bowl of Kashi in the morning, and a cup of coffee every other hour diet. It works great… I can see my abs.

  • Jon Owens September 3, 2009, 1:13 pm

    Hey James, I’m doing well. Thanks to Dan John I’m a convert to the goblet squat!

  • Wilma Ham September 3, 2009, 9:02 pm

    I don’t do diets, I never have the right ingredients, so I cook what we have in the garden. The most pitiful meal I ever ate I made when I was seasick on a big old sailing boat.
    The galley was terrible and I could not get the pot to stay on the gas burner in such a way that the rice stayed under water when the boat was on a lean. As I was sick and food made me even sicker I did not care and so one half of the rice was cooked and the other half was not. I made meat balls with the rice that were apparently not nice either. Needless to say I ate a spoonful and that was it, my most pitiful meal not only for me but for the others as well 🙁

  • Omar September 4, 2009, 8:05 am

    I just prefer eating healthy meals. Once in a while I’ll go on a cookie binge. When I eat right I’m more energetic and happy. Fast foods make me sluggish and sleepy.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 4, 2009, 8:54 am

      Omar, I think fast foods make everyone sluggish and sleepy. That’s why I’m so interested in this question. You can still want it, even though you know it will make you feel like crap. It seems to me like that should be enough for me to fight it off, but that isn’t always the case.

  • Megan Horton September 4, 2009, 11:08 am

    Josh….I can’t obey skeletons. Zombies maybe, vampires FOR SURE, but skeletons with a glass of carrot juice in one hand and a raw squash in the other? No

  • Jen September 7, 2009, 10:54 pm

    Just found your blog and love it. Nice to find a kindred spirit! I am a voracious reader, run a book club, do Crossfit and Kettlebells and eat Paleo. works for me! though people seem surprised that you can be strong and smart. But you knew that! : -)

    I have two worst meals…in college I used to eat a can of chicken noodle soup and an 18 ct box of fish fingers – all at once.

    Then a few years later, when I was working, I’d come home from work at lunch and eat an entire box of Kraft mac-n-cheese and three hotdogs wrapped in tortillas dripping with cheese and mustard.

    No wonder I weighed almost 350 at my heaviest! But I’ve lost 200 lbs through diet and exercise. I’m a trainer and a group ex instructor, a rabid Crossfitter, and am in my second month of eating paleo. Paleo sounds pretty much like your ‘green face’. Meat, veggies, some fruit, nuts and seeds. I’ve never felt better in my entire life. And for the first time ever, I have no cravings. So I love it! And I’ve noticed strength increases in my workouts also! PR’s on deadlifts and back squats…3 minutes off of timed exercises…lots of concrete proof too, besides just feeling good! So stick with your greenface! You’ll be amazed!

    • Josh Hanagarne September 8, 2009, 7:18 am

      Jen, good for you! I love stories like this. I do have to say, three hotdogs with cheese, tortillas and mustard sounds pretty good to me. I guess that’s not the point.

      Glad you made it to the blog, welcome!

      Deadlifts and squats will make you walk through walls.

  • Marc Wyzykowski January 21, 2010, 11:33 am

    Saddest meal I ever ate: 1 Ice cream sandwich. It was sad because it was the only thing I ate that day and we were too poor to buy any more groceries.

    Diet: Currently I am on a diet. It consists of eating a lean meat, a bean and a green vegetable at every meal. I only drink water. Its more commonly known as a slow-carb diet and many people confuse it with the atkins diet. I also have a day off on the weekend where I eat whatever.

    However, I have added a spin to it. I call it the dog-diet because I eat the same 4 meals every single day. If my dog can eat the same things every day happily, then why can’t I?

    Most people would say that I will burn out to on this unimaginative diet. For me however, I view coming up with meal ideas as an arduous chore. If I have to think too hard about it, I just won’t eat at all. I’m not one of those people who goes to food everytime I feel uneasy. I can skip meals without batting an eyelash. This regimented diet keeps me regular and healthy. I just pre-make all of my meals in large batches on the weekends.

    Food is fuel. It is not comfort.

    Pros: It is simple, easy and effective. I have lost my gut (which was my goal) having lost 6 inches on my waist in a few months. I eat 50% more protein and half as much fat.

    Cons: People think I am nuts or depressed. Also, reaching my calorie intake each day is really, really hard without filler food. I am 6′-9″ and around 230 lbs currently. It takes around 3,000 calories to reach my recommended daily intake. Green veggies have low calorie counts and after a can of beans, one starts to gag. So I had to add the fourth meal between lunch and dinner just to remedy this. I also added a glass of wine to the mix as well.

    Screw it, maybe I will take it to the next level. Does anyone want to partner with me to create a human kibble?

    • Josh Hanagarne January 21, 2010, 11:39 am

      Awesome, another really tall guy. Marc, I’m 6’8″ and weigh 250 right now. What is your goal for your diet? Lose weight? Build muscle? both? At 230 and 6’9″, I hope you’re not trying to lose 100 lbs!

      • Marc Wyzykowski January 21, 2010, 12:06 pm

        Josh,

        I was at 280lbs. It was a race to 300lbs for me from 225lbs. I wanted to get big to the point where people stopped asking me if I played basketball and started asking if I played football. I have always had a high metabolism and never put on fat…until that experiment. I got massive in a muscular sense, but I also gained the buddha belly. I was eating like a sumo wrestler. I would sweat just laying in bed or from eating. My waist went from 36 to 42. I was ashamed of what I had become (not really). But I did start getting the football player comments!

        After I graduated from my graduate program and got hitched, I had some energy to devote to getting back to my former self.

        That’s where I looked into cutting the fat while maintaining my protein intake. The belly had to go!

        So now that I am at a physiological square one, I am debating my next step. I have always wanted to just pack on dense muscle weight (I was 165lbs at this height as a teenager). Now however, I might want to take advantage of a spry physique. I am debating pursuing some endurance challenges before I get back into the gym. When I do start weight training again, it will be to eventually augment my Benchpress, Squat and Dead-lift (and I am not just saying that to pander to the author). I plan on investigating the principles of the mysterious Colorado Experiment when I do so. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the experiment and the debate it has created?

        My ideal body weight would be 245-255.

        P.S. Sorry for monopolizing this post with my drivel.

  • Frank April 5, 2010, 12:38 pm

    My most pitiful meal was in the Marines. We were on a training exercise in civilian territory in NC and we had been able to scrounge a few vegetables from a local farmer. This was back before MREs – we had some canned C-rations. I ended up eating an onion (raw, peeled) and a can of pork slices (trust me, not as tasty as they sound, and they do not sound tasty). But, it got me through the day and the other guys left me alone for a while thanks to the onion smell.

    • Josh Hanagarne April 5, 2010, 1:54 pm

      Thanks for the story, Frank. Sad indeed, but glad it kept you going!

  • Dustin M. January 17, 2011, 11:16 am

    First of all, that was a hilarious post!

    Ok–saddest meal I ever ate? I lost track–I used to be 300 pounds and now I weigh 180lbs. Needless to say, I had a lot of pathetic meals! But on the top of my head. Breakfast: Three huge plates of bisquits and gravy. Lunch: Pizza and….cookies? Lunch 2: A full bag of Salsa Verde Dorito Chips and a 2Liter RC Cola, Dinner: Country fried steak, taters, green beans (the good stuff, but just 3 more plates). Dinner 2: Cereal or sandwiches with chips. Late Night snack..who the hell knows? Probably a box of Ho-Hos.

    How did i lose weight? The same thing I tell everybody else–eat good and workout. 🙂 I started ‘dieting’ by going ‘low-carb’. Lots of Meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and dairy. 4 years later—It’s not longer a diet, but a lifestyle of eating. Enjoyable eating, if i might add. I do not eat planned meals or whatever. I eat what sounds good and usually it’s healthy. It’s not a crime to indulge yourself now and then. Food rocks! As a matter of fact, I am gonna go cook a hamburger and some eggs. “winks” Jealous aren’t we?

    • Josh Hanagarne January 18, 2011, 4:06 pm

      Thanks Dustin. Congrats on the weight loss, my friend. You have pulled yourself out of a hole that most do not.