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Old 11-18-2018, 09:24 AM
Status: "It's winter" (set 4 hours ago)
 
7,942 posts, read 10,226,519 times
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My "trick" is reading the research that says plant based diets are overall healthier. I know there's a lot of debate about diets, but I think plant based is healthier. Drop the saturated fats, salt, sugar and processed carbs, too. I read Cleveland Clinic's research about heart disease. AICR about cancer research, etc., etc.

Diet is a habit, nothing more or less, you get used to what you're eating. You can get used to a new diet if you have a reason to change it. Without the reason to change it, you usually don't.
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Old Yesterday, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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I am currently pescetarian and really love eating this way. I have been pescetarian for just under a year. Before that I was a strict vegan for 6.5 years straight from omnivore, followed by "stepping down" to lacto ovo vegetarian for about five months and finally reintroducing fish into my diet several times per week. So in essence I did it all backwards lol. My style of eating is very Mediterranean, still mostly plant base but include some dairy, a few eggs each week, a few days each week of eating fish. I eat this way not just for health but it is just very natural to me. I was never much of a meat eater, and did periods of vegetarian when I was a teen. I remember battles with my Mom at the dinner table over meat lol.

I am one who was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis at age 34, when I was still an omnivore. But there are many reasons for my low bone density. I have been on thyroid meds for 30 years. I trained in ballet intensively as a teenager and was underweight until age 16. Menstruation did not start until I was 16. I started smoking when I was in my twenties and smoked for nine years. I also developed endometriosis and was treated with Lupron (known to rob bones), followed by a total hysterectomy and loss of both ovaries at age 33. The loss of ovaries was not my choice but my surgeons. Surgical menopause was extremely traumatic for me, so much so I developed anorexia nervosa for six years and was mildly to severely underweight. But backing up, at one year surgical menopause I had a dexa scan to get a baseline of my bones since I struggled so much in surgical menopause even on hrt, and my spine score was -3.2, shockingly low. I did manage to bring it up to -3.0 just by cleaning up my diet and getting on a better HRT my body absorbed, and I had started a weight bearing exercise program. But then the eating disorder hit. I still somehow managed to keep my spine score at -3.0 the first few years I was very underweight, but my hip score dropped from -1.2 to -1.8.

I went vegan for ethical reasons but I won't lie that my eating disorder had nothing to do with that. I was in a "semi recovery" when I went vegan, meaning I was eating a good bit but maintaining slightly underweight. I relapsed into being extremely underweight and restricting when I was two years vegan. At four years vegan I had another dexa scan that showed -3.8 spine and back to -1.8 hip and that was my wake up call. I had to go on meds for my bones at that point and my bones hurt all the time then. I put on 22 lbs and finally got to a low normal weight range. But I had to give up being vegan for a variety of personal medical and social reasons in order to more fully recover. Being pescetarian feels ok for me, not too intimidating but includes a nice variety of all food groups (I consider fish a meat but for some odd reason many people do not). My protein intake is far higher than it used to be due to the inclusion of foods like Greek yogurt, cheese, salmon, sardines, eggs, etc. I no longer read labels excessively for obscure animal ingredients. I do eat mostly whole foods so label reading is not a big deal anyway. But occasionally I may splurge on a processed food and don't sweat about it anymore. My scores have improved a ton but some of that is due to the med I am on, and my bones are still very bad. I am still extremely active and in fact need to learn to slow down because of strains and injuries. That is the part I am still working on.

I am very anal about menu planning and batch cooking on Sundays for a very busy work week. I do cook from scratch almost every night but batch cooking some foods that take a long time on a Sunday helps make it faster and easier during the week. this might be foods like dried beans, long cooking grains like wild rice, farro, millet etc, homemade bread. I prepare all my lunches ahead on a Sunday, and even salads keep for four or more days in the refrigerator in tight fitting containers. I just make the dressing separately and bring a small container with it to work. My husband is a full out meat eater but he makes his own meat dishes when he wants. I am the main cook in the house, and he is far happier that I now make fish, eggs, and dairy related dishes to compliment my plant based dishes lol, but even when I was vegan he loved at least some of my dishes. It wasn't all raw food and salads. I made vegan mac and cheese with a carrot/potato/nutritional yeast sauce. Or white bean/cornmeal/shredded carrot patties cooked in olive oil with vegan mayo on top and organic buns or homemade ones. Lots of stuff.

I am actually trying to get away from labels. I rarely tell people I am "pescetarian". I love to follow a Mediterranean style of eating and tend to have a lot of those types of cookbooks. You can find some awesome and simple recipes from those!
Many are naturally pescetarian or vegetarian. Not just Greek style food but middle eastern, Italian..But my diet no longer defines me in my mind. Eating in a certain way may be a nice way of guiding yourself towards eating healthier, but you can still eat crap food as a vegan, vegetarian, or pescetarian too. It does take some time management, motivation, and planning to eat healthy regardless of the type of diet you eat. I am quite health obsessed. Call it a natural evolution in my eating disorder recovery, or fighting my osteoporosis, or fueling my body with good food because I have returned to dancing again and need that fuel to do what I love. Finding a physical hobby is definitely a motivator for eating well. I don't have kids, just a husband, so that is not an additional challenge for me. I have no desire at all to eat meat (other than fish) so it doesn't feel like a restriction, because I eat just about everything else. I'm not extremely strict with avoiding gelatin or rennet which are byproducts of animal slaughter. Occasionally I may have a cheese with rennet. And I have taken collagen supplements for my bones. At one time that would have been heresy, but no more. I used to obsess about those kinds of things to a point it was extremely unhealthy. I was so bad at one point I ate nothing but raw fruits and vegetables (many from my own garden), washed my hair with just vinegar and water, avoided soaps in public bathrooms. You have to draw the line somewhere and find that comfortable point for you. Sorry for the long ramble.
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Old Today, 02:12 PM
 
6,957 posts, read 8,933,892 times
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Add vegetables a little at a time instead of trying to force yourself to buy a bunch and then choke them down. If you start with just one bite per meal it will help you acquire the taste for new foods.
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