Lean *and* healthy??
So here I am, after a long break. It’s been a busy few months, with study, work, wedding planning and house hunting.
I have been eating Peatish for about 6 months now, but I have changed things around a lot within that, and taken some inspiration from elsewhere, mostly Matt Stone from 180degreehealth. The good news is my temperature, periods and stomach are all normal! The bad news is I’m about 5kg heavier than I was this time last year. Ok, so I was probably a little too low on body fat then. But I could stand to lose some now. The thing is, I have learnt my lesson about dieting and the consequences for my health. For me personally, I would rather stay at my current body composition than get my vanity body but be cold, miserable and infertile again. So why don’t I just keep doing what I’m doing? Basically because I know I could have a better figure while maintaining my health, as long as the goals are very reasonable and I remain patient. So, no aiming for <20% body fat, no extra unscheduled workouts and no getting really hungry. For some people, planned fasting works. I need to eat regularly. So I’m eating every 3 hours, but back to a normal amount of food (from about 2500 calories back to 1800 calories). I workout for no more than about thirty minutes about 4-5 times a week, and I walk as much as I can. Not speed walking but not crawling either. It’s kind of getting my limbs woken up rather than pushing myself.
All my workouts are a blend of free stuff online. I’ll do a post about that soon.
Food wise, I am taking all the good stuff I learnt from Ray Peat and fitting it into a more ‘normal’ diet, whatever that is. So no more meals of 2 eggs and a pint of OJ. The stuff I learnt that I will defnitely keep are:
No getting hungry
Eat plenty of fruit
Include plenty of easily absorbed calcium rich food (dairy)
Eat enough protein, but not too much, and with carbs and fat
Don’t skimp on carbs
Minimise polyunsaturated fats, because they easily oxidise and cause damage.
Eat liver and shellfish once every week or two. Bucketloads of minerals and vitamins.
Not drinking lots of plain water. It just gets peed out. If you eat plenty of fruit and veggies, you get lots of fluid in your diet already.
Stuff I am kind of glad to be relaxing up on:
Eating vegetables. Ray isn’t a fan. But I love vegetables, and I think they can make a good contribution to the diet when mostly well cooked (some raw is good too) and when there’s plenty of fruit in the diet, ie it’s not low carb.
Eating starchy foods, but not whackloads, because Ray is right, it does make me fat. But it does make me warm. I’m looking forward to getting a little brown rice, pinhead oatmeal and buckwheat into my diet again.
Eating more solid food. A lot of the Peat staples are liquid. He recommends a quart of OJ and a quart of milk a day. Too much fluid makes me cold. I prefer whole fruits and maybe half that amount of dairy with some of it as goat’s or sheep’s cheese rather than all milk. An ounce of cheese is like a cup of milk. I have been keeping liquids lower for quite a while.
Coffee. A Peat favourite. And I love the taste, but I think it makes my menstrual cramps worse. I am planning on replacing it with carbonated water (a different Peat favourite) for the summer and decaff or herbal teas when it’s colder.
I’ve quit taking all the pills and potions I was taking. Some things helped speed up recover, some things made little difference. I am continuing to take a few vitamin E pills a week, and the trusty vitex agnus castus.
Some people have getting really lean as a goal without really knowing what they might have to sacrifice to get there. These big gains don’t come for free. But there is a happy medium out there. And now that I’m feeling a bunch better, I’m going to find it for me:)