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Eating Plans

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I am thinking about eating plans. I have a 59 year old running friend who is a nurse and has done great on Paleo. She's lost weight and overcome chronic indigestion. Another running friend who is a personal trainer in her 40's and is in incredible shape follows Furman's "Eat to Live" vegan program. She juices every day. I have a 76 year old running friend and his wife who are "nutritarians", an almost vegan program that has a few non-vegan meals aimed at getting specific nutrients. I have 2 family members doing McDougall, a vegan program designed to get diabetics off meds and both of them have had success. They also eat no oil. All of these people tell me that milk or any dairy products aren't good for you. I have 3 servings of milk almost every day. I've done so good on it, I'm kind of afraid to give it up. I won't say I never have indigestion, but not very often. I made a McDougall bean stew for my relatives at Christmas and it was AWESOME. Honestly, it was my favorite thing on the table. But I doubt that they get enough calcium, protein, or healthy fats. They eat about 70% gains, 20% vegetables and 10% fruit. I recently heard about the book, "Grain Brain" that supposedly blames grain-based diet for the rise in Alzheimers. A few years ago that "good fats-good carbs" message of the South Beach diet really made sense to me, but now I'm not sure. Back in the early 70's Diet for a Small Planet that espoused a grain-based vegetarian diet made sense to me. I gave up meat two times for about 6 months each time, but both times I gained weight.

I am to the point with my eating that I could give up meat or give up dairy or give up grains or give up sugar or give up almost any one thing or even a combination. But I am not sure there is any advantage. I know that SparkPeople's recommendations are based on research. My relatives tell me that such research is largely funded and/or influenced by food companies and is not objective. Wow, do I wish we all agreed on what healthy eating is.

Do you follow a specific eating plan? If so, how did you decide? How committed are you to it and what would make you change?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • _LINDA
    I am in the all things in moderation, but heavily on fresh fruits and veggies, less bread products (no more than 1 serving a day), very little meat (nothing at my home, but some when I am at Mom's -white only), dairy protein with no fat, not following any diet except what pleases me and stays in Sparkpeople's nutrient and calorie range.
    What ever works for you and satisfies you and that you are happy sticking with is the best plan..
    1636 days ago
    There are SO many opinions out there on the best diet. I seem to be doing very well with the Everything In Moderation food plan.


    Over the years, each time I have lost weight, I never gave up anything, never restricted myself to a fad diet and I lost weight just fine. Keeping it off on the other hand was always my challenge.

    I've maintained a weight under my goal weight for 13 months now and still eating pizza and ice cream now and again.

    1637 days ago
  • THEVOW2013
    1638 days ago
    Wow! You sure sparked the discussion with this post. I am a firm believer variety and moderation. I don't think there is a "one size fits all" meal plan, but I do believe that there is some good solid research out there on all kinds of meal plans. I guess it is a learning lifestyle. When something works, go for it. When it doesn't, be willing to try something different. I think that I have told you this before, but just in case I have not, I definitely look to you and many of my friends in the Spark Community as my role models. It doesn't mean that you do everything perfectly, but I have learned a ton from watching you and reading your posts. I want to live a long and healthy life and be active when I am my mom's age and beyond. Thanks for your example!
    1638 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Now, you know I look to you for eating and exercise models but I have to agree with MANDELOVICH that, if it ain't broke don't fix it. You don't sound truly settled on any of it. And I CAN tell you that for years and years now, my motto has been, "When in doubt, DON'T don ANYTHING" and then I pray about it and wait until I feel "settled" in it, whatever it is. Hubby and my kids know that when I say that, I MEAN it and will wait until I am ALWAYS works too...eventually I KNOW what to do.

    Hope you can become "settled" too!
    1638 days ago
    I struggle with trying to figure out which plan is the right one for me. Each one seems to have positive points that make it sound like it is THE one to follow. Let us know what you decide. Of course if plan #1 doesn't seem right for you, you can always move on to plan #2.

    Judy emoticon
    1638 days ago
    So many different points of view. I'll stick with SP!
    1638 days ago
    Guess I'm a NATPLUMMER fan, everything in moderation that works for you.
    I have often wondered what food companies were funding this research and the food recommendations 2000+ years ago when people were eating wheat. Conspiracy theories always bother me.
    Everyone is an experiment of one.
    You've been doing great. A minor adjustment or two might help but any major change has as much potential of hurting you as helping you.

    1638 days ago
    I agree with several of the posts here. Each person's "gut" needs different things. My GI doctor said you need to figure out what foods are a trigger for you. I eat whole grains, lean meat, fruits and veggies. I track on the nutrition tracker daily and run the report to see what I am missing in the way of nutrients. The next day try to improve on what I was lacking in the day before.
    1638 days ago
    I'm with MANDELOVICH on this one. What you are doing is working for you. And (like JOYINKY) I've tried many of the same "trends" over the years . . . and now like MEXGAL1 tend to eat the same things over and over again. Egg white omelettes with low fat feta and spinach for breakfasts, occasionally oatmeal instead; huge multi veggie salads with lean protein and chopped mixed fruit for lunch; soups for supper (with beans, chicken) and often some trail mix or peanut butter. Not much in the way of grains. Red meat very rarely indeed. Greek yogurt is a go-to. It helps me to stick to the plan, which isn't hard for me because there is lots of variety within the plan (different veggies, different fruits, different soups) but not to get "too interested" in food, if that makes sense.
    1638 days ago
    my eating plan is basically a Mediterranean diet, plenty of oily fish, veg and whole foods and I've never felt better!
    1638 days ago
    My daughter can't have gluten and it has made such a difference for her. I was tested for gluten intolerance and it was negative but so was my daughter. Hers was negative too. When I asked my doctor about it, he said that you can have a sensitivity to gluten and not actually test positive. He suggested that I might try using sweet potato, red potato, brown or wild rice and oatmeal instead of things that I know have gluten. I was surprised when my daughter told me about how many things that have gluten added to them such as salad dressings,sauces, toppings, some instant oatmeal, puddings and lots of other foods. If you are serious about going gluten free it can be time consuming but it works for many people. I am considering trying just the substitutions suggested by my doctor. I will let you know how it works. I am not sure how I will feel about no bread but it may be worth a try if it helps my digestive issues. As for the rest of my diet, using balance and moderation will be my plan. I will also reduce sugar and do healthy fats in moderation. I think that the Spark plan is a good one!
    1638 days ago
    We've walked the same trends over the years Marsha. I've tried more than I can count.
    I'm now settled into a plan that works for me. I eat vegetarian, but include fish, eggs and low fat dairy, nuts and healthy oils. Yet other than red meat I don't forbid anything. I go light on grains and sugar, but have oatmeal every morning. Eating this way has helped me maintain my weight. My health is good; even impressive to my doctor. But the reason I stay with this and it has become a lifestyle is I FEEL GREAT! I'm enjoying life and I don't feel at all obsessed or deprived. Life is good.
    1638 days ago
    I think you know I follow some specific rules in my eating. It all started with me getting so sick and my digestive system shutting down and totally inflamed. My GI doctor told me that no one should be eating gluten. He thinks that most of the digestive and weight problems come from gluten. He also thinks dairy is an awful inflammatory substance. So I don't eat dairy(accept Greek Yogurt), gluten, anything with nitrates(lunch meats, etc), night shade veggies(they are inflammatory) and very little sugar(use stevia). I track just about everything I eat here on sparks and do the report everyday to make sure I get enough protein for energy. I share them, but be forewarned that they are boring as I eat the same things over and over because they fill me and are satisfying and I look forward to them. I have no digestive problems when I stick to this plan and no problems maintaining my weight loss. I also feel good and have more energy.
    With that said, I feel everyone is different and some people are not as sensitive to certain foods like I am. I do believe that dairy is bad and use almond milk instead of milk. I like it better anyway. And I do believe what my GI guy says about gluten in that he feels it' has no place in anyone's diet.
    Hope this helps.
    Happy New Year
    1638 days ago
    Here is my opinion, which is really only my opinion. Every person has a unique eating plan that will work for them and make them feel best, either psychologically, physically, spiritually, or all of the above. If drinking milk makes you feel well, then you should drink it. People get very pushy when they find a way that works for them, wanting to share the good system and have everyone see the results. But what works for one person may not work for another. It takes years and years to fine tune a diet and find the path that works for you. I'm not in your brain or body, but from all of your blogs, photos and running achievements, you clearly are doing something right! If it ain't broke, don't fix it!! :)
    1638 days ago
    Everything in moderation. I think that people should go with whatever works for them.
    1638 days ago
    1638 days ago
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