|Vegetable Shakuka with eggs and cheese|
Added to that, this is not the post I should be writing today. The last few weeks of school were hectic with all the wrapping up activities, parties, reports, etc... I have about 10 posts backed up in my head and if I don't write about them soon they will become too historical for interest.
However and despite all of the above, here I am. Also because every so often I get asked on facebook how it's going. It wasn't going until yesterday. I was still at the stage of doing loads of research and not having the time to clear my mind and get it into the right place for this project. Every time I did make a good start, a party or a festival or a holiday or an invitation to dinner would open the flood gates and wash me back to the beginning. It was very frustrating.
About the research. There seem to be two camps with opposing views. On the one hand there are the vegans who advocate high carb (all whole grain and organic of course) and low fat but absolutely no animal products. I sympathize with this camp as I think veganism is the ethically correct way to go and it's certainly cheaper and more convenient to stock up on pasta, rice, couscous, oats, beans, etc... But the science doesn't add up. Carbs are just pre-glucose with little nutritional value. They keep you burning the glucose instead of burning your own body fat. They feed cancer cells, provoke insulin production until you have insulin overload and end up with a fatty liver, heart disease, and possibly Alzheimers. Go directly to type 2 diabetes, do not pass Go, do not collect a healthy old age (or even a healthy middle age).
On the other hand, you can find many testimonials that swear they have reached health Nirvana through high carb, low fat, veganism. I think some of them are too far in to back out gracefully having based their whole reputation on this theory. You'll have to do the reading/listening yourself and make up your own mind but it doesn't make sense to me. There is also some dodgy research behind it. For example Ancel Keys who showed that a high fat diet in 7 countries lead to heart disease. He conveniently left out the other 15 countries which he studied and that did not show this correlation. As a result a whole generation (us) have been brought up to fear fat and strive for a low fat diet while obesity has become epidemic. Something must be wrong.
The other camp is a combination of a ketogenic diet (to whatever degree you choose to follow it) and intermittent fasting. Just for the record, the keto diet is very low carb, moderate protein (so it's not Atkins) and loads of vegetables. To be fair, the vegans also advise loads of vegetables so that's the one thing we can all agree on.
Intermittent fasting is as little as no eating between meals to water fasts lasting several days. The most popular choices seem to be the 16 hours fasting/8 hours eating window per day or the 5 days eating:2 days very reduced calories. When I first brought this up a facebook friend commented - I bet your doctor didn't recommend fasting. I'd not spoken to my doctor about it specifically but when I did she actually said I should try to extend the fasting to 17 or even 19 hours a day.
Keto eating is not hard. Who doesn't like meat, fish, eggs, cheese, vegetables, and salad? The hard thing for me is giving up potatoes in any way, shape or form; and giving up the convenience of a sandwich as a meal on the go. And we choose not to have meat at home so that makes it even more difficult.
But I've never been a breakfast eater and I've always known that for me it's best not to eat at all than to try to eat moderately. So yesterday on July 1st, with 2 months of summer holidays ahead of us (although I am teaching a summer course but this is way less pressure than a full schedule), no festivals until mid-September, feeling relaxed and motivated, I ate between 2.30 pm (vegetable shakshuka with three eggs and covered in grated cheese and a small salad) and 5.30 pm (having finished a large salad bowl with tahina dressing).
The Slimming Sunday Linky is once a month so I'll report back about my progress on the first Sunday in August.