Reconnected with an old friend recently, who told me about trying a diet called The Starch Solution which is the complete opposite of the low carb diets we've been talking about. She did it because she was getting bouts of extremely high blood pressure and heard this diet is good for that. She says it worked within three days to bring her blood pressure down to the normal range, and she also lost weight on it when she kept it up.
The diet isn't brand new but I guess it was just a matter of time before we heard the other shoe drop or however that should be understood. It wouldn't work for me if we're talking lifestyle change because I couldn't eat all the starch on it without fat or meat, and some of it I couldn't eat anyway.
Starch Solution diet The makeup of the diet you will adopt through The Starch Solution consists of 70 percent starch, no meat or dairy, 10 percent fruits and 20 percent vegetables. Starches identified in this book are barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, wheat, wild rice, beans, lentils, peas, fruits and vegetables.
But maybe it goes something like this: it's the combination of certain foods that's the main problem. Carbs work fine if you don't eat them with fat and meat, and likewise fat and meat work fine if you don't eat them with carbs.
Just reducing portions might make it possible to eat it all together. After all, if you're going to get all "paleo" about it, cave men must have eaten a lot of meat with its fat, while farmers raised a lot of grain. And bread is after all called "the staff of life," and I just checked the Bible and it's got ALL the categories of food mentioned. "Milk and honey." "Man does not live by bread alone." "The fatted calf." With butter yet. "Pulse" (vegetables). Lentil stew. "Cakes" with oil. Etc.
I don't know. But I hope there are more studies about all this stuff coming soon.
I think we need a thread like this because the American diet has been CAUSING us to gain weight and have all kinds of health problems, so unfortunately we need some guidelines to get us out of the situation. We aren't getting fat just because we overeat good natural food, though that may be the case for some, we're getting fat because there's so much processed stuff out there with so many bad things in it. Even the meat we eat is full of alien substances like hormones that affect our metabolism. Read some labels on packaged things in the market, to find out how much sugar is put into all sorts of foods you wouldn't think needed it, and different forms of sugar too so you have to know what all the chemical terms mean. And then there are the long lists of completely undecipherable chemicals in some things.
There's nothing natural about this problem, at least in America. Maybe South Africa doesn't have the same problems we have. Exercise is always a good thing of course and maybe it would do it for most of us -- not me though, too many joints down to bone on bone, but there are some forms of exercise I could do with my upper body if I could get motivated.
I sometimes think about the diet my English-Scottish grandparents and their eleven offspring ate on their ranch in Canada. Was it the extremely hard work they had to do to run the place, feed the animals, milk the cows, gather the eggs, weed the garden, kill the chickens and pluck them, can it all for overwintering and so on, or was it that the food itself was natural that explains why they were so skinny and tough and lived into their eighties and nineties? Maybe both. They ate all the "bad" things including white bread they made themselves, butter they made themselves, etc etc etc. I do doubt any of them had a self-indulgent moment in their lives, too many of them, too few resources for starters.
I don't know what the answer is now that we're so far down the wrong path. And my problem is I've reached a point where I can't get myself motivated to do much about it anyway.
Thanks for the encouragement, from you and Coyote both. I just want to see if this discussion helps me change things just because I get ideas from it, because I don't have the motivation it takes to give up foods I'm addicted to for others that are better for me, so I'm focusing on adding rather than substituting. Maybe I could experiment with omelettes as you suggest Coyote, but that isn't going to happen right now.
Right now it would be super hard to give up the sourdough hamburger because it's so easy and I like it so much. Also hard to give up the heavy cream in my coffee, which wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't also eating carbs but is a big problem added to carbs. I started the heavy cream because of the low carb influence, but now I would have a very hard time giving it up even though I'm also eating carbs. I'm sure this combo is one big reason I've gained weight over the last three years.
I also have a condition called fatty liver, a step on the way to cirrhosis even if you never drink alcohol. My doctor wasn't very clear about the condition or what to do about it except lose weight, so I've been reading up on it and decided I have to do something. I found out what foods are good for the liver and am increasing them in my diet. Except for green tea I like all the liver-friendly foods, and I think I can make myself have one item I don't like much, the tea. Maybe I could drink it often enough to displace some of the cream-heavy coffee. It's on my next shopping list.
I've also been having an email discussion about healthy eating that may help motivate me. One subject has been tart cherry juice for its ability to reduce inflammation and the pain of arthritis. My sister who has bad arthritis in her hands says it has made a big difference in the pain. So I tried it and love the stuff. Guess why. It's got a lot of natural sugar in it -- that word "tart" doesn't really mean really tart. Sigh. My email friends don't have a problem with blood sugar but I do. So can I find a way to have it with fiber which may reduce the blood sugar problem? I'm working on it.
I'm just doing what I can manage to do without making a big project of it, the aim being to improve my health if possible and not worry about the weight for now. It's hard to give up stuff so I'm focusing on adding stuff I like, and maybe eventually it will displace the bad stuff.
I'm impressed with all the disciplined eaters here but I'm not there yet and don't know how far I'll be able to go in that direction.
Don't need to be motivated you said, just cut out all the stuff I love to eat. Ha ha ha. I can cut back at least, when I add in other things that are better. I can cut back on the potatoes if I up the veggies for instance. That's really all I'm capable of right now. Potatoes are a comfort food, dieting is not comforting no matter how much the plan happens to suit me overall.
I know the drill, I know you skip the bun, in my case the sourdough bread, but it isn't going to happen right now. I'm also not in a position to go looking for grass fed beef and organic cream or mayo. I can make my own mayo if it comes to that but I don't see why it would. I'm dependent on a volunteer organization (and one beleaguered friend I try to spare as much as possible) to drive me to the market and it would be a pain to try to set up extra trips somewhere else. I have at least added more chicken and fish to my shopping trip and cut back on the beef (oops the low carb diet doesn't care about that; I've got too many different frames of reference going on here), as well as increasing all those liver-friendly veggies. Hey every little change helps I figure. Or I'm hoping, because as I keep saying I am NOT up to a fullscale diet plan right now.
I am also not up to doing anything to increase exercise. Just not, sorry. I'm a bystander on these threads, just hoping maybe some of it will rub off on me, and it has, as a matter of fact, in the small changes I've been making lately. So far so good, I figure, though it's far from ideal.
I suspect we don't really KNOW much of anything about diet. Once it becomes a matter of conscious attempts to manipulate it we're already in trouble because we are no longer depending on our natural life patterns or natural hunger cues for eating right.
Any of your analyses may be right, or maybe not. I think I am insulin resistant but there are different theories about how to deal with that too. Some say a vegan diet is the cure for instance.
Certainly the fact that modern conveniences have reduced our natural forms of exercise must have a part in all this, and as many of the videos I've been watching suggest, also the fast food industry which aims to stuff as many tasty calories as possible into a small package. These exposes also show that different parts of the food industry have been manipulating the public perception of how we should be eating for over a century by now, with heavy ad campaigns promoting such ideas as that we need more protein, bigger protein-heavy breakfasts that are also heavy on the fat, or milk, or eggs or all the different brands of processed foods touted as "healthy" for all the wrong reasons, or whatever.
All the different diets are trying to deal with the results of these and other influences, and most of them work for weight loss at least to some extent if you stick to them, but I doubt any one of them has the full picture. And they all contradict each other. I don't think we stand a chance of figuring it all out.