Wow, much more of a response to the initial post than I ever would have expected! Very cool to hear everyone’s thoughts. Jon (from SwiCycloRun) and Don both mentioned the similarities to the Paleo Diet, which I was unaware of. Jeff (Dangle the Carrot), AngieB (Barefoot-AngieB), Andriana (Run4May), Patrick (The Road) all were aghast that coffee was mentioned. Jon and Mandy (Caratunk Girl) would miss grapefruit, as would KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) and Kim (Somewhere in the Sun) amongst other things. Lack of Diary was the deal-breaker for Emz (If I can’t convince you—I’ll at least confuse you) Constantin (Highball Blog) asked about fitness effects and Barbie (Trying a Tri) sounded like she was thinking about trying it herself.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, heck, I don’t even play one on TV). I am not an advocate of the Paleo Diet, the Anti-Inflammatory Foods Diet or any diet referenced before or after this moment in my life. I’m not trained as a nutritionist. I don’t know Dr. Weill or his work, but he as gotten millions to think about diet and health, so kudos to him for that. This was a list of foods suggested to me by my doctor in response to my goals and the results of my bloodwork. As with most “diets,” this may or may not work for anyone else, and you should consult a nutritionist or doctor to make sure it is safe for you.
That being said, of course I have my own opinion. As mentioned above, this list was created in response to my dual goals of losing weight and reducing my cholesterol. This all has to do with my health and nothing to do with fitness. Prior to meeting with this doctor, I had stopped eating red meat and severely curtailed my bread (pasta, bread) intake to basically nothing, adding red rice yeast as a natural statin. In the 30 days of this, I dropped 8 pounds and my total cholesterol went down 50 points. It seems to be working.
Fitness: When I started this, I was battling pre-plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciitis, or some such ailment in my foot, so I’m not sure if this is helping. Pretty much every study I’ve ever read has stated that there is a direct correlation between losing excess weight and improving fitness and performance. The few runs I’ve gotten in since the pain in my arch went away have been uniformly pleasant and relatively easy, so I’m guessing the weight loss has helped.
Oranges/Grapefruits: Since I’m using red rice yeast to help lower my cholesterol, I need to eliminate these, as well as other citrus, to limit any action between the citrus and the naturally-occuring statins in the red rice yeast.
Dairy: Difficult, yes, but I once gave up dairy and almost immediately lost a bunch of weight and felt much better than I had in years. Dairy is not a natural thing for humans to ingest and, while most people tolerate it fairly well and it tastes delicious, it’s definitely an extra.
Coffee: Love coffee, but I don’t interact with it strongly, unless I just drink way too much. I’m still thinking about this one, but switching to green tea wouldn’t be a real hardship.
Alcohol: A glass of wine with dinner seems innocuous enough, and there are plenty of studies that show moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial. That being said, it packs quite a caloric wallop, so, if I need to lose more weight, it’s gone. Otherwise, it will remain a glass of wine, a loaf of bread (oops, not) and thou (actually, my wife, not thou, but thanks for the interest).
So, overall it’s not really anything I need, and mostly not things I’ll miss. My main goals is to reduce, then eliminate the amount of processed food I eat. That means more salad and vegetables, more whole fruit, no meat, more beans, no dairy, no breads, no alcohol, no coffee. My motivation? Completely and utterly my family (little Phil Liggett/Paul Sherwyn for ya). I have young children (and another on the way), so I want to be around and healthy for as long as it is physically possible. If the side benefits include being a faster runner, more efficient cyclist, and improving my swim (who am I kidding, I’ll never be a good swimmer!), then I’ll be happy.
Thanks for the responses, the comments, the opinions. It’s great we’re chatting. Take what you want from this. Plan your diet carefully, consult a doctor or nutritionist to make sure what you are trying is right for you, and go out and be healthy and happy. Or, don’t.