These diets helped me figure out what’s good for me

I’m not paleo, I’m not vegan, I don’t follow the alkaline or Mediterranean diet, I’m not a clean eater. Wait, maybe I am. Maybe I am all of them. I don’t follow their rules, but I cannot deny they have had an impact on my way of thinking. Now, it’s time to summarize the diets that influenced my current eating habits. In one sentence, I would say that I eat (almost) everything in moderation. When I go out I eat many things that I usually avoid. My favourite word is “moderation” when I talk about eating. I eat gluten and dairy products in moderation, for example.

Here are the diets that influenced my way of thinking about food (note, these are just the basics, there is some extra info I may write about later).

The Mediterranean diet:
– maximise the intake of vegetables, including legumes
– when eating grain, it must be whole grain
– love fruits – they are not the enemy, but your friends
– limit the red meat intake – fish and poultry are healthy choices
– use mono-unsaturated olive oil or rapessed oil and avoid animal fat
– limit the intake of processed food
– saturated fat is the real enemy, avoid them
– eat dairy products in moderation (I personally prefer non-cow dairy products, such as feta cheese and goat cheese)
– use as little salt as possible
– instead of crisps and biscuits, snack on fruit, dried fruit or unsalted nuts
– drink red wine during meals (in moderation, 1-2 small glasses per day) – it’s very interesting, because for months I preferred white one but for a few weeks I have cravings for red wine (is it more summer wine for me? Does it remind me of Summer in Tuscany?)
– avoid sweetend beverages, drink water instead

Vegan diet:
– maximise the intake of vegetables, including legumes (good protein source)
– do not overuse grains
– avoid every kind of meat (yes, fish, too)
– avoid every kind of dairy products
– avoid eggs
– the problem can be the overuse of grains, gluten, and soy products

Alkaline diet:
– avoid meat, dairy products and eggs
– avoid sugar and processed food
– not all fruits are good for you
– some grains and mushroom can have an acid-forming effect
– follow the rules of food combining (there are quite many suggestions to make the perfect alkaline diet)

Paleo diet:
– avoid sugar and processed carbs
– avoid potatoes, rice, legumes (peanut is a legume technically, did you know that?) and corn (it is a grain, not a vegetable)
– avoid dairy products
– eat real food, not processed food
– eat lots of leafy vegetables
– egg is a good thing, eat loads of them
– avoid “modern” oils made from grains and seeds
– don’t eat soy
– eat fruits in consideration with their high level of fructose

Clean eating
– eat whole, natural foods
– avoid or at least minimize processed foods
– include some protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal
– be aware of the fat, salt and sugar you consume and try to minimize them
– eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day
– don’t drink your calories
– avoid saturated and trans fat
– avoid calorie rich foods that don’t have any nutritional value
– stick to proper portion sizes

diets_cleaneating

There are some other diets I read about, but they were either extremely far from my style or were just variations of these diets. I don’t follow any of them but concentrate on foods that make me feel good. I try to eat as many vegetables as possible, even legumes. Not always, not every day, but quite often. I eat dairy products only once in a while, I rarely eat eggs (only when I eat my mother’s cookies or very special meatballs), because it is the only food that gives me stomach ache and discomfort. However, I miss scrambled eggs. I try to minimize gluten, but I’m not totally glutenfree. When I bake my bread it’s glutenfree but sometimes I buy wholemeal bread, too, when I’m too busy to make it myself. I’m not vegetarian, but I don’t eat meat every day. But when I eat, I don’t ‘care’ what meat it is (as long as it is grass-fed or organic), I don’t only eat chicken (which is always advised everywhere and I hate it, because it makes eating very monotonous), I sometimes eat pork and beef, and fish quite often. I eat everything that make me feel good.
I follow the 80/20 principle. I believe, if we eat healthily in the 80% of our lives, we can ‘cheat’ on special occasions. And cheating is relative. The other day I was talking to my mom and mentioned I had a cheat meal for dinner (fish fingers with grilled vegetables) and she said it is not even a real cheat meal :D

So, this is what influenced me. And what influenced you? How do you put your diet together? What are the diets that you hate, that has a bad reputation for you?

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8 thoughts on “These diets helped me figure out what’s good for me

  1. I beleive in moderation as well! I do avoid gluten and dairy as much as possible because they give me annoying little side effects. I agree about eating what makes you feel good and not obsessing over it.

    However, Sometimes people don’t know what makes them feel bad until they do a very calculated elimination diet! Thats what I had to do. Thanks for summarizing those diets.

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    • And sometimes people are not paying enough attention to their bodies, I mean, I heard it many times that people had bad side effects but until I asked some question about their lifestyle and eating habits, they didn’t even realise that there was some connection between their discomfort and certain foods. And when I asked them to have a food diary, they wrote everything down and we could get a conclusion or had some idea how to start az elimination diet. I also had my experiments with elimination on myself :D

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  2. Great post! I also agree that moderation is key. I also believe that it is vitally important to be tuned in to how your body responds to what you eat. I have tried many different ways of eating and generally eat in a manner that would be closest to clean eating. There are certain foods I avoid because they aren’t healthy, but also some foods I avoid because I don’t do well with them. I think balance and listening to our bodies is definitely key here.

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  3. Great post, thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been on yoyo-diets my whole life. I’ve recently become paleo and It has effectively changed my brain in terms of what I reach out for.
    My blog has spoken about the positives of a paleo diet but I’ve never put all the diets together in this format, all the successful ones are so similar (cut processed foods) that’s all! :) x

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    • yes :) That’s the most important part. Plus, as I see it, the other common feature is eliminating or moderating dairy products. I feel much better since I eat only very little dairy products.

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