Monday, November 01, 2004

A Diet Odyssey, Day 1

Dawn and Elisabeth (who is presently living with us, by the way) and I decided that we should go on a diet together. I've pretty much leveled off and have been maintaining a 5 lb weight range (235-240) since the end of June, but I'd like to see if I can kick myself down another 20ish. Dawn and Elisabeth also want to lose some weight and/or size. My friends & co-workers, Duane and Michelle, were also talking about wanting to get back on their respective diets last week. And our friend Karolyn was over Saturday night and we were all talking about it, so she's joining in the "fun" (and I use the term loosely) as well.

Duane's diet started today after lunch, because he decided he couldn't let last night's pizza go to waste and ate it for breakfast. He and Michelle and I have agreed that we'll have to go to Zachary's for pizza when we're finished with the diets, although it does occur to me that we'll need to be very careful about what we eat from when we finish this first phase (in a couple of weeks) through the holiday season. I think Michelle and Duane are doing the South Beach diet, while the rest of us are actually doing the Fat Flush Plan.

Both plans start with a 2-week (or more) phase 1 that cuts out essentially any carb that's not part of a vegetable, most or all artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and so on. This helps stop the tendency toward insulin overload - insulin is a fat storage hormone, so keeping insulin levels reasonable helps avoid storing excess fat in the body and, in fact, in eliminating the excess that's already stored. The Fat Flush plan takes it a step further and attempts to enhance liver function by adding essential fatty acids and cranberry juice (straight, though it can be sweetened with Stevia Plus). The liver is quite good at processing fat for elimination rather than storage, provided it isn't eternally busy processing all sorts of other junk like artificial sweeteners and many medications.

So, today it begins. For the three of us living in my house, breakfast was the Long Life Cocktail (cranberry juice, half a lemon, 1 tablespoon each of flax seed oil and ground flax seed meal) followed by a blueberry protein shake, which was fairly tasty, although it might have been nice if the protein powder had been mixed in a little better. I think it's time for my mid-morning snack, either an apple or orange (chosen highly scientifically: the one that comes more easily to hand when I go get it). Karolyn reports that she didn't find all the flaxseed to be so bad as she expected, but that the urge to have a second cup of coffee (one cup of organic coffee is permitted per day) is! I'd suggest some Tylenol for the impending headache, but it's not great for the liver :-)

Duane and Michelle and I will be bringing our lunches with us four days a week, at least, and going out at most once, on Wednesdays. The nice thing about these diets is that as long as you have a reasonable array of choices, and we have plenty between the Emeryville Public Market and the Bay Street mall, it's not all that hard to find things to eat that stay within the constraints of the diets.

Karolyn and I decided that we should have a joint blog where we can all write in, so I've created one. I'll probably post my entries there as well as here, but we'll see.

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