An optimal diet

  • Thread starter ehrenfest
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  • #1
ehrenfest
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I think I am going to reduce my diet to the following four items: power bars, bagels, tomato juice, and water.

It is amazing to look at the nutrition facts of power bars and see how many good things they have in them. And the flavors I eat have almost 0 fat.

The way I see it, there is really no reason to eat anything else. All of the things I listed are portable, tasty (even tomato juice after you get used to it), nutritious, and readily available anywhere around the country. Furthermore, there is enough variety of power bars and bagels that I will never get "bored" of them.

I see no reason to go to fancy restaurants and have elaborate meals when you can just eat and drink the things I listed while you are walking between various places. That leaves the rest of my time to study math and physics and be active on PF. Yay! Another way to optimize my lifestyle.

Maybe eventually I can choose between power bars and bagels and reduce the list to 3 things...
 
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  • #2
Moonbear
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You might want to find a more balanced protein source, and you really do need some fat in your diet (just not as much as most people eat).
 
  • #3
ehrenfest
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You might want to find a more balanced protein source, and you really do need some fat in your diet (just not as much as most people eat).

Bagels can be loaded with fat or protein. Some bagels are as unhealthy as donuts.
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
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This is a bad idea.

It's great that you want to eat healthy, but an important rule in a healthy diet is "all things in moderation". Too much of anyone thing will have consequences on your health. Keep variety.
 
  • #5
B. Elliott
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I don't know about sticking to eating just three or four different things. A friends wife developed some strange health problems from eating nothing but salads and chicken... at least that's what her doctor told her. Too much of anything can kill you! Not saying I lead the most healthy lifestyle, but I try to change it up as much as possible. Our bodies our designed (don't know if that's a good word:tongue:) to handle a wide variety of foods. Sticking to just a couple could have some side effects.
 
  • #6
ehrenfest
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OK. Maybe I should consult a professional nutritionist before removing everything else from my diet. However, I am set on the portable meals idea. In fact I have already implemented this and my body handles it quite well. It is shocking to think of how much time people waste traveling to restaurants and sitting down and waiting for their food and then eating food that requires like a entire toolkit to lift from the plate to their mouth. One of the great things about modern society is that food has been compressed in ways one would never have thought possible to allow us to carry it with us and eat it when the time is right.

I will never understand people who go to these weird five-star restaurants or who prepare extensive and time-consuming meals. I think it rather barbaric ironically to spend that much time eating and preparing to eat. Cavemen basically spent all of their time obtaining food and cooking food, but we don't need to do that thanks to our amazing 21st century civilization. We should take full advantage of that.
 
  • #7
DaveC426913
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I will never understand people who go to these weird five-star restaurants or who prepare extensive and time-consuming meals. I think it rather barbaric ironically to spend that much time eating and preparing to eat. Cavemen basically spent all of their time obtaining food and cooking food, but we don't need to do that thanks to our amazing 21st century civilization. We should take full advantage of that.
Some people enjoy food and the food experience. Some people like taking the time away from their routine, to change their input, to get in a different headspace. Some people like to savour new sensations and see opportunites for new experiences in even daily routine functions such as the food they put in their mouths.

And I guess some people consider it little more than a necessary bodily function with no opportunity for any enjoyable experience, a function that should be done as efficiently as possible, like showering or defecating.
 
  • #8
Moonbear
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OK. Maybe I should consult a professional nutritionist before removing everything else from my diet. However, I am set on the portable meals idea. In fact I have already implemented this and my body handles it quite well. It is shocking to think of how much time people waste traveling to restaurants and sitting down and waiting for their food and then eating food that requires like a entire toolkit to lift from the plate to their mouth. One of the great things about modern society is that food has been compressed in ways one would never have thought possible to allow us to carry it with us and eat it when the time is right.

I will never understand people who go to these weird five-star restaurants or who prepare extensive and time-consuming meals. I think it rather barbaric ironically to spend that much time eating and preparing to eat. Cavemen basically spent all of their time obtaining food and cooking food, but we don't need to do that thanks to our amazing 21st century civilization. We should take full advantage of that.

If you spend some time reading the Food Thread, you'll find lots of suggestions for tasty, nutritious, SIMPLE meals. Restaurant food is almost NEVER healthy...it's cooked in gobs of butter. It's not something you do for sustenance, but more for a social occasion, or when you just want a day off from cooking. For example, look for turbo's recipe for New England boiled dinner. It's simple to make, has ingredients that are readily available anywhere you may live, and is nutritionally balanced. If you choose a lean meat, it's low fat too. Plus, you can make it one day and have leftovers for several more, so all you need to do is reheat in the microwave.

It's really quite a myth that nutritious cooking is difficult or complex. I think it must be that so many people have resorted to eating pre-packaged foods that there is an entire generation of young people who have never seen a proper meal cooked at home to realize how simple it really is.
 
  • #9
Evo
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I think I am going to reduce my diet to the following four items: power bars, bagels, tomato juice, and water.

It is amazing to look at the nutrition facts of power bars and see how many good things they have in them. And the flavors I eat have almost 0 fat.

The way I see it, there is really no reason to eat anything else. All of the things I listed are portable, tasty (even tomato juice after you get used to it), nutritious, and readily available anywhere around the country. Furthermore, there is enough variety of power bars and bagels that I will never get "bored" of them.

I see no reason to go to fancy restaurants and have elaborate meals when you can just eat and drink the things I listed while you are walking between various places. That leaves the rest of my time to study math and physics and be active on PF. Yay! Another way to optimize my lifestyle.

Maybe eventually I can choose between power bars and bagels and reduce the list to 3 things...
Why not make it even easier, just pop a multi-vitamin, a fiber pill, some veggie & protein pills and you won't even need to chew.

I'm joking, that's a terrible idea! Eat real food. Eating a power snack bar once in a while won't kill you, but it's not a substitute for a balanced diet.
 
  • #10
ehrenfest
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And I guess some people consider it little more than a necessary bodily function with no opportunity for any enjoyable experience, a function that should be done as efficiently as possible, like showering or defecating.

I think those people should reconsider their priorities. When I get old and look back at my life, it would definitely NOT comfort me at all to think of all the delicious food I have eaten just as it would not comfort me at all to think of all the amazing showers I have taken or all the stress-relieving defecation I have performed. I am trying to spend less than 30 minutes a day eating and going to and from meals. It is a real challenge.
 
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  • #11
Evo
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Cooking, eating, and having a good dump in the morning are all that life is about.
 
  • #12
Moonbear
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Cooking, eating, and having a good dump in the morning are all that life is about.

Don't forget reproducing. That's pretty high up on the list of life's essentials too.
 
  • #13
ehrenfest
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Moonbear you said that I "really do need some fat in your diet (just not as much as most people eat)". Do you know if it is safe to eliminate saturated fat from my diet?
 
  • #14
hypatia
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Nature makes so many foods in their own containers, that a portable healthy diet is easy.
 
  • #15
jim mcnamara
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ehrenfest -

People have been killing themselves off for years with a perfect diet of say 5 - 6 items.
In fact you may be doing nutritional science a favor, sort of like "donating your body to science". You could demonstrate new hitherto unknown fatal deficiency or food interaction.

A leap in nutritional understanding by one of your soulmates: - a middle aged man lived on soft bolied eggs and red wine. Eggs have long been billed, justifably, as a "perfect food".

Sounds like your impression of power bars. This guy was the first person to develop a clincal deficiency of biotin. As I remember, he died. Avidin in egg white binds biotin and renders it unavailable. But nobody knew that until this gentleman donated his body to science.

Get the point?
 
  • #16
DaveC426913
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I think those people should reconsider their priorities. When I get old and look back at my life, it would definitely NOT comfort me at all to think of all the delicious food I have eaten just as it would not comfort me at all to think of all the amazing showers I have taken or all the stress-relieving defecation I have performed. I am trying to spend less than 30 minutes a day eating and going to and from meals. It is a real challenge.
You do realize that I was describing you...
 
  • #17
Moonbear
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Moonbear you said that I "really do need some fat in your diet (just not as much as most people eat)". Do you know if it is safe to eliminate saturated fat from my diet?

You may not be able to eliminate it completely, but it is recommended to reduce it to a minimum. So, yes, if your diet includes mainly unsaturated fats, that's considered the healthiest of the fats to eat (your body can convert the unsaturated fats as needed to other forms of fats). There are a lot of things you hear people told to avoid in their diet...really what they are told is avoid too much of it in the diet. In other words, everything in moderation. For example, cholesterol is used as a precursor for all the steroid hormones. Aside from the sex hormones most people know about, cortisol is also a steroid hormone, and you'd be very sick without it. You need the fats for proper brain development and function.

As others are pointing out, if you limit the variety in your diet too much, you risk dietary deficiencies. Power bars may have a lot of good things, but they by no means claim to be a completely balanced nutrient.
 
  • #18
I think those people should reconsider their priorities. When I get old and look back at my life, it would definitely NOT comfort me at all to think of all the delicious food I have eaten just as it would not comfort me at all to think of all the amazing showers I have taken or all the stress-relieving defecation I have performed. I am trying to spend less than 30 minutes a day eating and going to and from meals. It is a real challenge.

What comfort *will* you take in your old age?

I highly doubt that it will involve memories of mathematical physics calculations.

Pick some of your favorite physicists, and read their autobiographies if available. See what occupied their thoughts in their final years.
 
  • #19
ehrenfest
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I highly doubt that it will involve memories of mathematical physics calculations.

You're wrong. And it will not be just the calculations but the theorizing as well. Maybe I am different than the other physicists.
 
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  • #20
Jimmy Snyder
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Stick to the food pyramid, just eat less.
 
  • #21
You're wrong. And it will not be just the calculations but the theorizing as well. Maybe I am different than the other physicists.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a theoretical physicist?
 
  • #22
ehrenfest
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When did you first realize you wanted to be a theoretical physicist?

Basically a year ago. I wanted to be a mathematician since I was like 10 though. I chose theoretical physics because it is a really good outlet for math.
 
  • #23
Basically a year ago. I wanted to be a mathematician since I was like 10 though. I chose theoretical physics because it is a really good outlet for math.

So, you admit your outlook has changed.

Imagine that it might change again in 50 years.
 
  • #24
ehrenfest
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So, you admit your outlook has changed.

Imagine that it might change again in 50 years.

Changing my mind about whether I want to go into mathematics or theoretical physics is NOT the same thing as someday deciding to relish the time I spend defecating, eating, and showering.
 
  • #25
DaveC426913
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The whole universe is out there for you to experience - all 156 billion light years of it. To get to you, it must be squeezed through an excruciatingly miniscule 5 holes - your 5 senses. And you conclude that one fifth of it is a waste of your time?


"Hmph. Why bother looking at the sky with radio anyway, it's a waste. We get all we need from the visible spectrum anyway.":rolleyes:
 
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  • #26
ehrenfest
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The whole universe is out there for you to experience - all 156 billion light years of it. To get to you, it must be squeezed through an excruciatingly miniscule 5 holes - your 5 senses. And you conclude that one fifth of it is a waste of your time?

I don't understand.
 
  • #27
Greg Freeman
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Going by what has been classically considered "healthy" (lots of grains, etc.) did nothing but add fat all around my body and make me want to pass out after eating meals (sometimes the urge was irresistable).

I've experimented with and am currently doing a diet that is only fresh meat, veggies, fruits, oils, and nuts. High protein/fat and low carb (but not limiting carbs to a number, just getting all my carbs from the nonstarchy vegetables I eat). Whenever I go on diets like that, I have a lot more energy, don't want to pass out after eating, lose fat and put on muscle, etc. I'm also considering throwing fasting in as well.

The style is something named by Arthur de Vany as Evolutionary Fitness. Worth reading about if you're curious.

Also, I do what I can to avoid everything with corn syrup, corn starch, or corn in general. The same goes for wheat when I'm not off the diet from laziness.
 
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  • #28
Moonbear
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Going by what has been classically considered "healthy" (lots of grains, etc.) did nothing but add fat all around my body and make me want to pass out after eating meals (sometimes the urge was irresistable).

Define "lots" of grains. A lot of people completely misunderstand the current recommendations for a healthy diet (yes, this is a MAJOR flaw in the design of the Food Pyramid that nobody knows how to "read" it) and are completely overeating breads/grains. A single slice of whole grain bread is a serving. So you get two servings with just a sandwich, another serving if you have a SMALL bowl of cereal with breakfast, and some rice or pasta with dinner gives you a 4th serving. A larger person might need another two servings. Keep in mind the recommendations are based on an average-sized adult male. They do not apply well for smaller (or larger) men, or women, or children.
 
  • #29
DaveC426913
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I don't understand.
That is an answer I would have expected. You don't understand.

The world is a wonderful place. Embrace it with all your senses.
 
  • #30
DaveC426913
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(yes, this is a MAJOR flaw in the design of the Food Pyramid that nobody knows how to "read" it)
yyyyyyup. Don't know what they were thinkin'...
 
  • #31
ehrenfest
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That is an answer I would have expected. You don't understand.

The world is a wonderful place. Embrace it with all your senses.

Sorry. I understand now. The one fifth you were referring to was taste.
 
  • #32
Greg Freeman
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The base of the pyramid is composed of grains, so the obvious response that everyone I knew growing up was to eat lots of bread, pasta, etc. because it's good for you.

Why is a lot of fat bad for you? There have been cultures that subsisted mainly on fat and protein with very little vegetable matter. The Inuit come to mind.

When did humans start eating a lot of carbohydrates on a daily basis? What were they eating before this period, and have humans changed very much physiologically since then?

And why is eating on a regular schedule good for the body? How recent in human history was it even possible to do so?

Just some things to think about.

PS I just made some really awesome chicken. Cooked it in butter and olive oil with garlic and new mexican chile's. After the chicken was done I simmered down the drippings and used it for gravy. Best meal I've cooked since I moved by far =)
 
  • #33
Changing my mind about whether I want to go into mathematics or theoretical physics is NOT the same thing as someday deciding to relish the time I spend defecating, eating, and showering.

I was referring to your claim about what you would consider to be the treasured moments in your life. You seem to think that your final moments will be spent reminiscing about physics equations.

Your treasured moments will be of experiences, and memories derived from relationships. These relationships are influenced and directed by more mundane aspects of life.
 
  • #34
Moonbear
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The base of the pyramid is composed of grains, so the obvious response that everyone I knew growing up was to eat lots of bread, pasta, etc. because it's good for you.

Why is a lot of fat bad for you? There have been cultures that subsisted mainly on fat and protein with very little vegetable matter. The Inuit come to mind.

When did humans start eating a lot of carbohydrates on a daily basis? What were they eating before this period, and have humans changed very much physiologically since then?
Life expectancy was considerably shorter when subsisting on diets high in fat (then again, you'd need more energy to survive in such a cold climate). Grains, roots, berries have been in the human diet for a very long time...that's what hunter-gatherers gather.

And why is eating on a regular schedule good for the body? How recent in human history was it even possible to do so?
That's actually not so good for us, but somewhat necessitated by work schedules. It's better to eat a little when hungry rather than based on the time a clock reads.
 
  • #35
Greg Freeman
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Life expectancy was considerably shorter when subsisting on diets high in fat (then again, you'd need more energy to survive in such a cold climate). Grains, roots, berries have been in the human diet for a very long time...that's what hunter-gatherers gather.


That's actually not so good for us, but somewhat necessitated by work schedules. It's better to eat a little when hungry rather than based on the time a clock reads.

Was the life expectancy short because of diet or because of other factors?

I've run across a lot of experiments supporting low carb diets (which necessarily must be high in fat content because only so much protein can be processed by the body), and other things involving ketosis.

Here's an example I found linked on another website today: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/8/122

Among the most prominent metabolic alterations in cancer cells are the increase in glucose consumption and the conversion of glucose to lactic acid via the reduction of pyruvate even in the presence of oxygen. This phenomenon, known as aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect, may provide a rationale for therapeutic strategies that inhibit tumour growth by administration of a ketogenic diet with average protein but low in carbohydrates and high in fat enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
 

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