Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My year-long "ironman" vegan challenge

I would like to try the experiment merging Dr. Goldhamer’s and Chef AJ’s diet and doing it for 1 year.  This is the most strict diet of all the plant-based diets.  It is like the ironman of vegan diets:  no oil, sugar, flour, salt, alcohol, chocolate, and no nuts and seeds either!  It’s essentially Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss program, which I currently follow, but she recommends full abstinence only from sugar, flour and alcohol (and probably chocolate), and leaves some wiggle room for the others.  Oh, and I'm not going to take any supplements either, besides vitamin E and some nori when I feel like it (for iodine).  I'm curious to see if I have any adverse effects from lack of supplemental vitamin D and all the others.

Why?  Well, when I eat this way, it’s actually super easy, surprisingly, and the food tastes good—my taste buds really sensitize and I taste so many flavors and sweetness in vegetables and fruit.  And my cravings disappear.  And I can eat as much as I want and my weight doesn’t increase, and if anything I lose weight.  And I can eat all the potatoes and sweet potatoes and squash as I want and those are my favorite foods. 

But what about the salt?  That is really extreme.  I mean, what if I’m at a WFPB potluck and the food is perfectly compliant except it has just a little bit of salt?  Well, it’s just a year.  If it’s too ridiculous, I can change my mind in a year and allow some salt.  What if I’m hiking all day in hot weather in the Grand Canyon or some other desert?  Well, I’ve done that twice and both times I only added about 1/8 tsp of salt each day, which is only about 300 mg.  My dehydrated food has celery and other vegetables and probably has plenty of sodium.  But I always bring salt for emergencies so can use it if I think I need it.

But why no nuts and seeds?  Well, sometimes I overeat them and get a stomach ache.  And I’m curious to see if I can get all those omega-3 fatty acids I need with just my veggies.  I guess I can’t help thinking that all those long-lived healthy blue zone societies didn’t have ready access to daily flax or chia seeds, so maybe I don’t need them either.

I’m curious if life is easier or harder under these rules.  And I’m curious to go a whole year, through all the seasons and special events and to see if there is ever a good reason to eat this stuff.  I’d get a good idea after a year.

What are my chances of success?  Well, I think it’s higher than my chances of completing a real ironman.  But…I don’t have a lot of confidence I can do this.  Hardly any.  The salt is going to be the biggest challenge--it means I will have to say no to a lot of people who offer me food.  But I do love a challenge.  And I’ve always wanted to do an ironman.  So this is my version of an ironman.

When should I start?  I guess I’ll start tomorrow, April 19, 2017.

I know, this is crazy. I shouldn’t even post this.  But here goes…


Anonymous said...

Wow! That sounds like a giant goal. I hope you post your experience as you go along. I'm interested in following your progress. -Kristi

kneecap said...

hey Kristi! I mostly eat this way anyway, but had some oil and salt and maybe sugar in some restaurant food on my trip. so I just need a few tweaks. How are you doing?

kneecap said...

I'm thinking I might update weekly.

Anonymous said...

What was your experience with Bright Line Eating (I think you tried that?). Was that ultimately sustainable? - Kristi