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DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt

Plant-based Diet Questions

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can't believe i'm starting this thread, but here goes...

I probably should have called this thread plant-centric, I don't think I can cut animal protein cold turkey (I'm a voracious carnivore), but I'm curious if others have given up animal proteins...I'm in good health but starting to think meat isn't great for my body. 

What recipes do you like? I hate mushrooms.

How do you manage the weekly food routine? I don't like to eat lunch out everyday, so ideally I've got stuff that I can bring to work with me. My goal is to have 2 meat meals a week and the rest be plant-based. 

Anybody done this? It feels a little overwhelming given my affection for all things meat, but I'm eager to see if I notice any changes in mood, energy, sex drive, etc.

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Michael Pollan was right:

Quote

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

If you break down the population studies numbers, pescetarians are actually the longest-living folk, but outright carnivores do okay, too. The key, though, on an individual basis, is finding a healthy, happy medium, and knowing how to do vegetarian right on a semi-regular basis is a big part of that.

Honestly, the easiest way to increase your plant-based consumption is by grazing rather than feasting -- handfuls of nuts and berries all day long, for example. And gardening is a big part of that for our family -- I've noticed since we're "between houses" at present that our diet frankly sucks by comparison to its norm. And that's entirely because our usual routine of eating fresh out of the garden has been interrupted.

We've been doing way too many meat meals as a consequence. I, too, would like to cut it back to only a couple of times a week. 

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19 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

I'm in good health but starting to think meat isn't great for my body. 

Your mom didn’t feel that way last night.

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Jackfruit is an easy way to get some plant-based meals since it's got a decent enough texture that mimics meat. I get the canned jackfruit because cutting that monster up is a real bitch. I make this recipe at home every couple weeks or so. https://yupitsvegan.com/jackfruit-carnitas/ 

Other options: https://minimalistbaker.com/simple-vegetable-tempeh-stir-fry/ Tempeh takes a bit to get used to, taste-wise, but I find it much easier than tofu. 

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27 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

 

How do you manage the weekly food routine? I don't like to eat lunch out everyday, so ideally I've got stuff that I can bring to work with me. My goal is to have 2 meat meals a week and the rest be plant-based. 

I get what you're saying, but this feels pretty aggressive if you're not doing much plant-based as it is. I recommend starting with one day per week (read: Meatless Mondays) where you start to explore what it's like to avoid those types of dishes for an entire day. Starting off saying 19 of 21 meals per week are plant-based from the beginning is just setting yourself up for failure. Start small, work your way up. 

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I'm a big believer in simplicity in food. Part of Michael Pollan's point that is often missed is the Eat Food part. As in whole foods that our ancestors would recognize as food. Today I had a king's meal for lunch...

2 Kiwis

5 Strawberries

7 Blackberries

3 Mini Sweet peppers (raw)

1/2 bag of Spinach

2 corn tortillas

1 rotisserie chicken breast

1 rotisserie chicken leg

Homemade Salsa Verde (tomatillos, salt, onion, garlic, and serrano peppers)

 

I'm full as shit (and literal shit after eating that much) and haven't really eaten that much on a caloric level.

 

My snack later will be some mixed nuts and a banana. For dinner I'll probably make a homemade burger with a side of roasted squash & potatoes.

 

Another thing that I'm a believer of that Pollan advocates is to eat organic. Not for some save the earth or pesticide reasons, but rather that organic foods are much more nutrient dense that our current "normal" produce. An apple today grown non-organically isn't as nutritious as one 100 years ago and neither is our beef or really almost anything we eat.

 

TLDR: Keep it simple and eat real foods and you'll be healthier

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7 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

Technically, everything you eat is plant-based, if you follow it down the food chain far enough.

Yes, yes, and all power is "solar" power, for the same reasons.

Just had to know what kind of take "Brisketexan" would have on a thread about eating less meat, of course.

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14 minutes ago, Eggo said:

I get what you're saying, but this feels pretty aggressive if you're not doing much plant-based as it is. I recommend starting with one day per week (read: Meatless Mondays) where you start to explore what it's like to avoid those types of dishes for an entire day. Starting off saying 19 of 21 meals per week are plant-based from the beginning is just setting yourself up for failure. Start small, work your way up. 

i definitely hear you there...but that's not how my brain works. My wife calls it my on/off switch. there's really no notion of varying speeds with me. we already eat healthy...no fast food, no junk food in the house. this isn't a situation where i'm turning my life upside down. it's just that i love meat...just would love to watch my grandkids grow up more and thinking that a lot less meat would increase the likelihood of that happening. 

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5 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

i definitely hear you there...but that's not how my brain works. My wife calls it my on/off switch. there's really no notion of varying speeds with me. we already eat healthy...no fast food, no junk food in the house. this isn't a situation where i'm turning my life upside down. it's just that i love meat...just would love to watch my grandkids grow up more and thinking that a lot less meat would increase the likelihood of that happening. 

What is your current meat consumption looking like? Every meal every day with just a bit of plants or what?

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3 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

i definitely hear you there...but that's not how my brain works. My wife calls it my on/off switch. there's really no notion of varying speeds with me. we already eat healthy...no fast food, no junk food in the house. this isn't a situation where i'm turning my life upside down. it's just that i love meat...just would love to watch my grandkids grow up more and thinking that a lot less meat would increase the likelihood of that happening. 

The problem with this logic is that you're neither on nor off if you are still eating meat once or twice per week. A lot of people have that on/off switch mentality and that's why people who go vegetarian often go full vegan to make sense of the choice. I wish you luck, but I would just encourage you to eat meals that you'll actually enjoy. With your self proclaimed love of meat, you could continue to eat it for every meal, just make it a smaller proportion of what's on your plate and replace that real estate with plants. 

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Just now, SimonBolivar said:

What is your current meat consumption looking like? Every meal every day with just a bit of plants or what?

i'm a few days into the switch, but previously my diet was no breakfast, a cold-cut sandwich (the nitrate-filled shit you get sliced at the deli counter) and chips for lunch and then a healthy dinner with a protein, a carb and vegetables.

on the weekends i would a huge lumberjack breakfast each morning with either bacon or sausage, snack on something mid day then a big dinner like any other day.

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Just now, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

i'm a few days into the switch, but previously my diet was no breakfast, a cold-cut sandwich (the nitrate-filled shit you get sliced at the deli counter) and chips for lunch and then a healthy dinner with a protein, a carb and vegetables.

on the weekends i would a huge lumberjack breakfast each morning with either bacon or sausage, snack on something mid day then a big dinner like any other day.

I know you're big on the move now and that's cool. If it were me i'd do it a bit less drastic. I'd drop the crap sandwich + chips for a vegetarian lunch that's mostly raw fruits & veggies with some nuts for fat to help absorb nutrients. I'd also substitute the dinner with one night a week being a vegetarian dinner and two nights being an oily fish. That gives you only 2 or 3 big meat meals a week and continue with that kickass breakfast once every two weeks or so.

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6 minutes ago, Eggo said:

The problem with this logic is that you're neither on nor off if you are still eating meat once or twice per week. A lot of people have that on/off switch mentality and that's why people who go vegetarian often go full vegan to make sense of the choice. I wish you luck, but I would just encourage you to eat meals that you'll actually enjoy. With your self proclaimed love of meat, you could continue to eat it for every meal, just make it a smaller proportion of what's on your plate and replace that real estate with plants. 

but i don't want to eat it for every meal. 🙂

i'd like to cut wayyyy back on it and see how I feel. 

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Just now, SimonBolivar said:

I know you're big on the move now and that's cool. If it were me i'd do it a bit less drastic. I'd drop the crap sandwich + chips for a vegetarian lunch that's mostly raw fruits & veggies with some nuts for fat to help absorb nutrients. I'd also substitute the dinner with one night a week being a vegetarian dinner and two nights being an oily fish. That gives you only 2 or 3 big meat meals a week and continue with that kickass breakfast once every two weeks or so.

yeah i think it's finding the balance where i'm in a good place mentally and physically and content with my choices. i don't want to feel like i'm making a huge sacrifice...but i'm getting to a place mentally where I think i can enjoy the experience of just eating mostly plants (whereas previously I wouldn't really consider a meal a meal unless there was a healthy portion of animal protein).

but to your and @Eggo's point, yes definitely a balance that i have to find.

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one side note...my buddy is an oncologist and he went full plant-based diet and you would have thought he was withering away and dying. he looked like he had late stage AIDs. sooo...i don't want that to happen. I'm 6'1" and 183 and don't want to shed any weight. so i guess what i'm wondering is how best to pack those proteins and make the meals something i look forward to.

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2 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

one side note...my buddy is an oncologist and he went full plant-based diet and you would have thought he was withering away and dying. he looked like he had late stage AIDs. sooo...i don't want that to happen. I'm 6'1" and 183 and don't want to shed any weight. so i guess what i'm wondering is how best to pack those proteins and make the meals something i look forward to.

Beans + corn together make a full protein. Natives lived off of it for millennia.

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18 minutes ago, SimonBolivar said:

Beans + corn together make a full protein. Natives lived off of it for millennia.

He'll be fine until he gets the urge to build pyramids and rip out beating hearts.

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3 minutes ago, RDCanecutter said:

He'll be fine until he gets the urge to build pyramids and rip out beating hearts.

Do you want to see Huitzilopochtli upset? Because not ripping out beating hearts is how you see Huitzilopochtli upset.

Edited by SimonBolivar

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1 minute ago, SimonBolivar said:

Do you want to see Huitzilopochtli upset? Because not ripping out beating hearts is how you see Huitzilopochtli upset.

I'm more of a Quetzalcoatl anti-human sacrifice guy myself. That's what added to the fun with Cortes-- the Aztecs were faced with a "Jesus is Coming-- Hide Everything" situation.

Back to OP, he could do True Paleo and kill big animals with a spear. No need to worry about strokes when you're getting your neck broke in a stampede.

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I was up to around 5 days vegan a couple years ago and now it's more like 2-3 days, combined with more emphasis on fresh, local meat during those meals. One thing that tripped me up was going too much towards the Impossible burger or Quorn chicken nugget type meals...they tasted great but I would get bad indigestion if I went more than a couple days on those meat substitutes. Mixing those with salads, black bean bowls or other dishes helped. But honestly mixing in a normal but fresh meat dish has been the best thing.

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Eat real food, fuck vegan, vegetarian, blah blah blah. This beyond meat, impossible burger stuff is very strange to me. 
 

Just cook a variety of fresh proteins (not always red meat or even meat at all) and prepare sides of veggies/fresh salads at home and you are 90% of the way there. Avoid fast food and junk food but don’t be afraid to have fun. 

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I was a strict vegetarian for nigh on 25 years.  I'm not so strict currently, but I've experienced the gamut of the vegetarian journey.

19 hours ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

...What recipes do you like? I hate mushrooms.

There are plenty of vegetarian cookbooks out there.  Some good, some not so much.  There are also a few magazines like Vegetarian Times that have decent recipes and ideas in them.

For my part, my journey into vegetarianism really opened my culinary palate to international cuisines.  There is literally a whole world out there to explore.  Indian cuisine has an amazing array of exotic flavors.  You can make Thai or Chinese styled stir fries with different mixes of veggies.  Middle Eastern fare is simpler, but quite satisfying when done right (tabouli, falafel, etc.).  I think people tend to overlook soup in general as a meal, but I love soup and there are an endless array of possibilities for veggie soups.

19 hours ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

... so ideally I've got stuff that I can bring to work with me. ...

You can make sandwiches, salads or soup that could be brought to work.  I used to make a sandwich spread out of chickpeas, chopped celery and I forget what else that made delicious sandwiches with lettuce and tomato.  Damn.  Now I'm hungry.

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Just plenty of random thoughts, so be warned:

My wife is a Vegetarian/Pescetarian, so I've had plenty of experience with those meals over the years, and they're fine, if you have your expectations set properly. There are some that are tough for me, because you know what, no matter how much you try your Wheat berry vegan chili is just going to fucking insult me. But vegetarian fajitas or tacos? Those aren't so bad. 

I think the toughest thing is people who are trying to mix dietary philosophies, like you want to be a vegetarian but you also want to be low carb, or get into keto, etc. There's a lot of spinning plates there, but since it sounds like you're not aiming for weight loss, just health, that should make your life easier. Particularly if you're still going to eat pasta and whatnot. 

FWIW, I'd consider maybe the Mediterranean Diet. It's basically vegetables and some fish and occasionally meat, and I believe it's still considered the healthiest in the world. I'm also a huge proponent of eating organic every possible thing you can. Big question: Are you going to consume eggs? They're still considered acceptable on a Vegetarian Diet, but not a Vegan one, and in my opinion that's a pretty big deal. 

I'd say the easiest vegetarian things to do and get behind are soups. Especially with an Instant Pot. Just Google Vegetable Soup, or Lentil Soup, etc. Those are hearty AF. You can also make a lot of great vegetarian Indian Food, if that's a thing for you. 

Coconut Milk is your friend:
https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/instant-pot-butternut-squash-soup/

 

Also, for snacks and protein, I really like the 50% Sodium and Roasted organic almonds from Trader Joe's. They are made without the bleaching process that many other nuts are treated with, including the ones at Costco. If you're trying to be super healthy, you can make a passable "taco" bowl with Costco organic cauliflower rice, organic refied beans, pico, guac, hot sauce. There's also a pretty decent Calilower Fried Rice they sell, which if you cook in a pan with coconut aminos and then make a peanut butter sriracha sauce will stick to your ribs plenty. 

 

 

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I'm not cutting meat out completely but am cutting back.  I've had some heart issues at age 34, so it's a bit of a wakeup call for me to quit eating fast food, steaks, burgers, fried food, etc all the damn time.  I'd call my approach "lazy vegetarian" as I'm still mixing in some meat when appropriate and not utilizing tempeh or tofu.  Some really good meals that I've made lately, veggie baked ziti (recipes and boobz to follow), pinto bean pozole (really good with a smoked hock floating then removed), 3 bean "chili".  Also, I would recommend the cookbook "Eat Like You Give a Fuck".  It's got some pretty good recipes in there

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, DCA_HORN said:

Just curious, but what I'ts causing this thinking?

 

it's been a confluence of factors for me. i've always been really active but right now i'm not. 3 kids under 6 (with a newborn), stressful sedentary job, etc. I haven't been disciplined enough to find time to keep myself healthy/active. as a result, i'm feeling incredibly lethargic, have no sex drive whatsoever...just feeling like a big bag of shit right now. I can tell my body isn't happy. then i have a few friends that have transitioned to plant-based and it's had a really huge impact on their overall health, stamina, everything really.

i recently went in for my physical and my cholesterol was 201 after being 160 a year ago...that was a wake up call for me and a reminder that i'm turning 40 and can't do whatever i want to my body and not have adverse health effects. my doc suggested less animal proteins and i started learning more about plant diets versus animal diets and frankly it's pretty alarming to me. i just don't think our bodies are designed to eat meat and i think consuming it in such large portions puts me at a lot higher risk of cancer, heart disease, etc. 

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I'm not cutting meat out completely but am cutting back.  I've had some heart issues at age 34, so it's a bit of a wakeup call for me to quit eating fast food, steaks, burgers, fried food, etc all the damn time. 


Just be careful. Meatless usually doesn’t equal heart healthy. The impossible burger is a good example. It may be cholesterol free but the saturated fat content is through the roof and that is the main thing you need to minimize. Cheese and a lot of vegetarian Asian and Indian dishes are also high in saturated fat.

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3 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:

 


Just be careful. Meatless usually doesn’t equal heart healthy. The impossible burger is a good example. It may be cholesterol free but the saturated fat content is through the roof and that is the main thing you need to minimize. Cheese and a lot of vegetarian Asian and Indian dishes are also high in saturated fat.

 

Well, there's good and bad saturated fats. I'm not sure what those things are in the items you mentioned, but it's important to note the difference. Olive Oil is high in saturated fats, as is coconut oil. But you can eat that shit all day long. 

This is where I think consuming as much organic, naturally processed foods as possible comes into play. It sort of takes all the questioning and risk out of dealing with good fats, bad fats, etc. Just know which oils are good (olive, coconut, avocado) and which are bad (canola, vegetable, etc) go from there. 

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15 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

it's been a confluence of factors for me. i've always been really active but right now i'm not. 3 kids under 6 (with a newborn), stressful sedentary job, etc. I haven't been disciplined enough to find time to keep myself healthy/active. as a result, i'm feeling incredibly lethargic, have no sex drive whatsoever...just feeling like a big bag of shit right now. I can tell my body isn't happy. then i have a few friends that have transitioned to plant-based and it's had a really huge impact on their overall health, stamina, everything really.

i recently went in for my physical and my cholesterol was 201 after being 160 a year ago...that was a wake up call for me and a reminder that i'm turning 40 and can't do whatever i want to my body and not have adverse health effects. my doc suggested less animal proteins and i started learning more about plant diets versus animal diets and frankly it's pretty alarming to me. i just don't think our bodies are designed to eat meat and i think consuming it in such large portions puts me at a lot higher risk of cancer, heart disease, etc. 

I'm in a boat not far off from yours, although I've gotten back into exercising in the past 3 months. But yeah, used to crossfit regularly, and now we have a 2 year old, and it's been hard as fuck till now to find a workout solution that I can maintain. I can't even imagine with 3 under 6. And I've definitely felt a big bag of shit for over a year, and basically all it took was to stop working out, get older (also turn 40 this year) and not adjust my drinking and eating just a LITTLE bit worse than I had before the kid. We dont eat fast food, cook healthy, but it doesn't take much when you get older. I'm looking for the changes myself, and I think I'll do 2 months of whole 30ish and no drinking and 5 days a week of exercise and lifting in the new year, if not sooner. 

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it's been a confluence of factors for me. i've always been really active but right now i'm not. 3 kids under 6 (with a newborn), stressful sedentary job, etc. I haven't been disciplined enough to find time to keep myself healthy/active. as a result, i'm feeling incredibly lethargic, have no sex drive whatsoever...just feeling like a big bag of shit right now. I can tell my body isn't happy. then i have a few friends that have transitioned to plant-based and it's had a really huge impact on their overall health, stamina, everything really.
i recently went in for my physical and my cholesterol was 201 after being 160 a year ago...that was a wake up call for me and a reminder that i'm turning 40 and can't do whatever i want to my body and not have adverse health effects. my doc suggested less animal proteins and i started learning more about plant diets versus animal diets and frankly it's pretty alarming to me. i just don't think our bodies are designed to eat meat and i think consuming it in such large portions puts me at a lot higher risk of cancer, heart disease, etc. 
Go get your testosterone levels checked. You probably did if you had blood work done but that affects all kinds of stuff if it's not right. Obviously listen to your doctor but I had a similar situation (cholesterol and triglycerides were crazy high). I cut out carbs and my numbers all came within the normal range in 6 months and I lost 40 lbs. Just an anecdote...

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11 minutes ago, DCA_HORN said:
30 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:
it's been a confluence of factors for me. i've always been really active but right now i'm not. 3 kids under 6 (with a newborn), stressful sedentary job, etc. I haven't been disciplined enough to find time to keep myself healthy/active. as a result, i'm feeling incredibly lethargic, have no sex drive whatsoever...just feeling like a big bag of shit right now. I can tell my body isn't happy. then i have a few friends that have transitioned to plant-based and it's had a really huge impact on their overall health, stamina, everything really.
i recently went in for my physical and my cholesterol was 201 after being 160 a year ago...that was a wake up call for me and a reminder that i'm turning 40 and can't do whatever i want to my body and not have adverse health effects. my doc suggested less animal proteins and i started learning more about plant diets versus animal diets and frankly it's pretty alarming to me. i just don't think our bodies are designed to eat meat and i think consuming it in such large portions puts me at a lot higher risk of cancer, heart disease, etc. 

Read more  

Go get your testosterone levels checked. You probably did if you had blood work done but that affects all kinds of stuff if it's not right. Obviously listen to your doctor but I had a similar situation (cholesterol and triglycerides were crazy high). I cut out carbs and my numbers all came within the normal range in 6 months and I lost 40 lbs. Just an anecdote...

i'm sure my testosterone levels are low...not really wanting to get injections though. feel like my body will respond and do what it's supposed to do if i treat it right.

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14 minutes ago, SydneyCarton said:

I'm in a boat not far off from yours, although I've gotten back into exercising in the past 3 months. But yeah, used to crossfit regularly, and now we have a 2 year old, and it's been hard as fuck till now to find a workout solution that I can maintain. I can't even imagine with 3 under 6. And I've definitely felt a big bag of shit for over a year, and basically all it took was to stop working out, get older (also turn 40 this year) and not adjust my drinking and eating just a LITTLE bit worse than I had before the kid. We dont eat fast food, cook healthy, but it doesn't take much when you get older. I'm looking for the changes myself, and I think I'll do 2 months of whole 30ish and no drinking and 5 days a week of exercise and lifting in the new year, if not sooner. 

keep us posted. i've never considered nor wanted to stick to a very specific diet fad. and not really looking at this in that context. i can just tell my body wants better fuel and i feel like plants are what it is craving. i just have to find a balance that works for me. going to start trying to squeeze in 30 minutes of cardio at lunch too. i know that will help with my energy.

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In my experience with people who have switched to a plant based diet, apparently the most important part of the switch is to somehow work it into the conversation every few fucking minutes.

My suggestions, for the sake of your friends and acquaintances, is to not do that.

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1 minute ago, Orange&White said:

In my experience with people who have switched to a plant based diet, apparently the most important part of the switch is to somehow work it into the conversation every few fucking minutes.

My suggestions, for the sake of your friends and acquaintances, is to not do that.

A crossfitter, a vegan and a telemarker walk into a bar.

 

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33 minutes ago, Orange&White said:

In my experience with people who have switched to a plant based diet, apparently the most important part of the switch is to somehow work it into the conversation every few fucking minutes.

My suggestions, for the sake of your friends and acquaintances, is to not do that.

An aggy, a vegetarian, and an atheist walked into a bar.

 

 

 

Everybody was sick of their shit within the first two minutes.

Meanwhile, I second the idea expressed multiple times above that meat substitutes are crap. Vegetarian food can be good, but only when it chooses to be itself. When it tries to be what meat-eaters would want, it becomes complete crap. A good example can be found by looking at the Pizza Hut menu in New Delhi -- when Indian consumers came up with a paneer pizza, it was brilliant. A blending of traditional Hindu cultural palette with American convenience and verve. The vegetarian pepperoni they sometimes try to pawn off on you, though, tastes like circles of cardboard, and digests pretty much like that, too.

If you're eating a vegetarian meal, let it be vegetarian, not "fake carnivore".

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10 minutes ago, Walden Ponderer said:

If you're eating a vegetarian meal, let it be vegetarian, not "fake carnivore".

This advice here is freaking money.

Also good stuff from bernorange and syndneycarton.

I will simply reiterate what they said in terms of opening your eyes to other regional cuisines and flavors.

About 5 years ago I flipped my animal/plant protein intake ratio around 180 deg.  I refused to give up cow milk in my cereal because all the alternate milks disgust me,  and eggs are a life saver when you have 3 kids and a wife that works.  But other than that was vegetarian.  I wasn't a nazi about it, and when I travel for work or we go out to eat, I generally get what I want, which includes vegetarian sometimes.  But we don't go out to eat very often.  I'm pretty much the same now, except we typically mix in seafood 1x/week, which turns into 2x with leftovers.

I'll say it's not as hard as you think, and you shouldn't be concerned about not getting enough protein.  There are plenty of plant-based sources, and you don't really need as much as you think you do.

Here are some ideas for various meals.

Breakfast: cereal, oatmeal, fruit, smoothies (I'm talking good smoothies that are nothing but berries, greens, and lemon.  You can put some chia, flax or hemp seeds in there for additional nutrition.  And a splash or OJ helps getting the kids to drink it).

Lunch: I'm a creature of habit, and for as long I can remember I've had a sandwich, chips, and a couple of pieces of fruit for lunch.  When I changed my diet, my sandwiches had to change, as I used to eat regular deli meat.  I now substitute hummus for the meat.  There are 20 different flavors to choose from at the store, and when you added avocado and a green of choice, it's a way better sandwich they I used to have.

Dinner: It's easy to fall into using carbs like pasta and rice as filler when you go vegetarian, but there are lots of substitutes out there that leave you just as satiated.

Black bean pasta, Soba noodles, cauliflower rice, wild rice (this actually isn't rice).

Mix those with eggs, nuts, veggies, beans, good cheese if you want, and you have a killer meal.  Curries with potatoes, beans, and veggies is also really good.  Someone mentioned soups in the Instant pot and I couldn't agree more.  Lentils, black eyed peas, or black beans make for good soup protein.  Mung beans and white beans tend to break up when I cook them, but I'm likely doing it too long.  But broken up beans make for good dip starters, which make sore good snacks or even sandwich fillings.

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One thing that can help in any dietary transition is to break out of the norms of what foods should comprise morning, noon, and nightly meals.

That's especially true if you are trying to substitute any "new" foods for your traditional fare..

One of my favorite evening meals during the hot months is a big bowl of greek yogurt mixed with blue berries and macadamia nuts or almonds.  Good mix on macros, filling and more refreshing than a hot meal when its blazing outside.

I'll eat a baked sweet potato for breakfast with cinnamon and bit of coconut oil or ghee. 

If you remove the handcuffs of what X-meal should look like, you can get pretty creative and enjoy new foods more quickly.

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2 hours ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

it's been a confluence of factors for me. i've always been really active but right now i'm not. 3 kids under 6 (with a newborn), stressful sedentary job, etc. I haven't been disciplined enough to find time to keep myself healthy/active. as a result, i'm feeling incredibly lethargic, have no sex drive whatsoever...just feeling like a big bag of shit right now. I can tell my body isn't happy. then i have a few friends that have transitioned to plant-based and it's had a really huge impact on their overall health, stamina, everything really.

i recently went in for my physical and my cholesterol was 201 after being 160 a year ago...that was a wake up call for me and a reminder that i'm turning 40 and can't do whatever i want to my body and not have adverse health effects. my doc suggested less animal proteins and i started learning more about plant diets versus animal diets and frankly it's pretty alarming to me. i just don't think our bodies are designed to eat meat and i think consuming it in such large portions puts me at a lot higher risk of cancer, heart disease, etc. 

Don't get crazy and start getting too weird with your diet.  Just eat less.  Start there.  The reason most people feel so great after switching to either a vegan (or straight carnivore on the other end of the spectrum) is that they are essentially restriction diets.  

Then look at intermittent fasting (IMF).  Start here.  Keep a disciplined food journal.  Catalog both what you eat, and when.  Primarily raw, unprocessed foods.  Heavy on the raw veggies.  Cut out all the processed sugars and sodas.

As for digestion - we're omnivores.  Of course we can digest meats.  I eat primarily meats (wild game mainly) and veggies with nuts and seeds mixed in for snacks.   FAR cry from a hamburger patty and fries.  

And finally, go to a low-T center and get your levels checked.  It matters and can help tremendously.  You want to start exercising.  Little kids?  Get a baby-backpack and start "rucking" those little turd around.  It helps.  I love it (rocks, not kids).  You have to move.  Each day.  Stairs.  Bodyweight stuff.  

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1 minute ago, BabaYaga said:

Don't get crazy and start getting too weird with your diet.  Just eat less.  Start there.  The reason most people feel so great after switching to either a vegan (or straight carnivore on the other end of the spectrum) is that they are essentially restriction diets.  

Then look at intermittent fasting (IMF).  Start here.  Keep a disciplined food journal.  Catalog both what you eat, and when.  Primarily raw, unprocessed foods.  Heavy on the raw veggies.  Cut out all the processed sugars and sodas.

As for digestion - we're omnivores.  Of course we can digest meats.  I eat primarily meats (wild game mainly) and veggies with nuts and seeds mixed in for snacks.   FAR cry from a hamburger patty and fries.  

And finally, go to a low-T center and get your levels checked.  It matters and can help tremendously.  You want to start exercising.  Little kids?  Get a baby-backpack and start "rucking" those little turd around.  It helps.  I love it (rocks, not kids).  You have to move.  Each day.  Stairs.  Bodyweight stuff.  

I mean, my lifestyle is closer to yours than I think what the OP is looking for...I'm definitely fine eating more meats as long as I trust the source (I have a freezer full of deer sausage, meat from a local farm, and costco organic chicken breasts). I also eschew breakfast norms and basically eat my leftovers or deer sausage wrapped in a lettuce leaf for breakfast most days of the week, and I prefer that. My fucking mother used to spout old person shit like eating X food for breakfast will give you an ulcer. Yeah, mom, evolutionary I don't think man gives a fuck what goes into the stomach at what time of day, GTFO. 

That being said, a food journal for fasting is a lot of work IMO, more than I'm willing to do. I'm guessing he's the same, but maybe not. Personally, one thing I'm keen on here is low on processed carbs, like pasta, bread, etc. Which means also normal crackers. Nix the white potatoes/starches. Processed foods are the fucking devil. 

One thing I stringently disagree with is going to a low T center. That's a company that's financially incentivized to tell you that your T is too low. I'd go to your primary care doctor. 

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13 minutes ago, SydneyCarton said:

That being said, a food journal for fasting is a lot of work IMO, more than I'm willing to do. I'm guessing he's the same, but maybe not. Personally, one thing I'm keen on here is low on processed carbs, like pasta, bread, etc. Which means also normal crackers. Nix the white potatoes/starches. Processed foods are the fucking devil. 

One thing I stringently disagree with is going to a low T center. That's a company that's financially incentivized to tell you that your T is too low. I'd go to your primary care doctor. 

I always suggest IMF for those starting out on the path.  Basically skip breakfast.  Go from there.  It's the cellular autophagy early  on, where your body starts to discard old cells, starts the rebuilding process.  I like the journal because we are all so biologically diverse.  You have to get a good read on what your body responds to.  There are a thousand apps out there to choose from.  Almost all have bar-code readers and can type in what you ate and it populates (#5 from whataburger, etc).  It also promotes a much more diverse diet as you start to experiment with various combinations.  Start with what, when, and your weight.  

This is 100% about discipline.  Sorry.  So you have to start somewhere.  Agree 100% on the carbs/sugars.  They're fucking poison.  One thing you can look into also is the "potato hack" (Google it).  It's why the glysemic index of potato salad is VASTLY different from a cooked potato that is not allowed to then cool, changing the molecular composition of the starches.  Pretty cool when you read up on it.  And agree on the doc.  I did mean just having those levels checked by a professional - could be a contributing factor.

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7 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

I always suggest IMF for those starting out on the path.  Basically skip breakfast.  Go from there.  It's the cellular autophagy early  on, where your body starts to discard old cells, starts the rebuilding process.  I like the journal because we are all so biologically diverse.  You have to get a good read on what your body responds to.  There are a thousand apps out there to choose from.  Almost all have bar-code readers and can type in what you ate and it populates (#5 from whataburger, etc).  It also promotes a much more diverse diet as you start to experiment with various combinations.  Start with what, when, and your weight.  

This is 100% about discipline.  Sorry.  So you have to start somewhere.  Agree 100% on the carbs/sugars.  They're fucking poison.  One thing you can look into also is the "potato hack" (Google it).  It's why the glysemic index of potato salad is VASTLY different from a cooked potato that is not allowed to then cool, changing the molecular composition of the starches.  Pretty cool when you read up on it.  And agree on the doc.  I did mean just having those levels checked by a professional - could be a contributing factor.

I agree it's about discipline. Oddly enough, some things that are very difficult for me are easy for others, and vice versa. Things other folks struggle with that I can do with relative ease: Wake up at 4:30 am to workout, any day I don't have a hangover. Eat the same food (typically healthy, over and over and over) all week for weeks on end. Not eating fast food. Not eating sweets. Not drinking soda. By the same token, things that drive me fucking insane and I can't do: Log food journals, do macros, count calories (I eyeball it all), workout in the evenings, etc. In short, humans are fucking weirdly different. 

The potato diet is interesting stuff. Unless desperate to take off weight fast, though, I don't think I could do it just because it says no training, as well as the time of day when I prefer to train. If I work out in the AM, you'd better believe I'm eating something for breakfast, think probably eating lunch at 11 am. My body becomes a fucking furnace. And personally, I'm going to take the exercise portion more seriously long term than a diet to lean out pretty quick. It is pretty interesting though. I read something awhile back on a similar alternate method for cooking rice that cuts the calories in half and the starches down as well, but I never tried it myself. Actually, digging up the article, it looks like the same damn fucking thing as the chemistry in the potato hack:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adding-coconut-oil-to-rice-could-cut-calories-in-half/

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is it weird i don't think this is about discipline? it just seems like it's a mindset and then a change of routine. i'm not trying to journal and fast and all of that....i don't have some finish line i'm training for...just trying to feel better and live longer and it seems like there's a lot of data pointing towards plant-based diets improving the likelihood of those things and reducing the likelihood of some of the things that cut life short.

that just seems like a choice but one that constitutes some life changes. i still want some meat (and some dairy) in my life for now, but i just want to transition to a more plant-centric diet.

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8 minutes ago, DefinitelyNotHollywoodColt said:

is it weird i don't think this is about discipline? it just seems like it's a mindset and then a change of routine.

I'd call that discipline.

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