My eating preferences are constantly evolving. My diet is influenced by things I read, people I talk to, and experiments that I want to try. This week I had a great conversation with Christopher of Paleo-ish. At one point, he asked how do you eat? This post is a result of that conversation and a snapshot in time of how I am eating right now, this week…
A Model Daily Menu
0600 – Glass of water.
0630-Smoothie: melon, bananas, and cream cheese (half a honeydew, 6 bananas, and 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese).
1000-1030: 2 hard boiled eggs and some nuts (cashews or macadamia)
1400-1430: Cheese (Swiss) and fruit (apple or plum)
1730: Yogurt or cottage cheese
2000-2030 Dinner is variable. Lots of zucchini, greens, onions, garlic, carrots, red bell pepper, mushrooms, eggs, broccoli, sweet potatoes.
Before bed: Small glass of water.
What’s Going on Here?
The eating preferences that are in play include vegetarian (no meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, etc.), limited grains (no wheat; rice and oats occasionally), and fermented foods (yogurt, kimchi, cheeses).
The most recent twist came when Colton tweeted about the Gracie diet. I’d never heard of Carlos Gracie’s diet, but I took a look. Many of the ideas were interesting or raised my awareness of potential issues. One, eating and digesting food takes a lot of energy. Two, spreading meals out by at least four hours, allows the stomach to fully empty. Three, replenishing water upon rising and topping up before heading off for 6-8 hours of sleep intuitively makes sense.
The key concept with this diet is the careful matching of foods to maintain a neutral pH. To accomplish this, the following chart is offered as a guide to the Gracie diet.
For me, the problem with the Gracie diet is that there is no explanation for why pH must be so carefully maintained. Does it tax the body to regulate pH? How does the chart work…Why are foods divided and combined in these certain ways? Maybe some of you have answers that you can share in the comments. I have no idea what is physiologically accomplished by eating this way, if anything. Honestly, I have my doubts about the whole premise.
I have been following the guidelines anyway for the last 3-4 weeks. I have not had any problems with digestion, but I seldom do. Meanwhile, I feel well-nourished. The first part of the schedule meshes nicely with my work day. Towards the end of the day, things get a little compressed, as I want a snack before Tae Kwon Do and to have dinner after. Also, in the interests of full disclosure, I do have occasional treats that violate the rules. Last week, I had a Goo Goo cone (Korean ice cream) and a Black Velvet (Guinness with Champagne). I also sneak some dark chocolate in as well.
If you are interested in experimenting with the Gracie diet, here is a page with some recipes. I made the stuffed zucchini and it got a thumbs up all around the table. I also made a variation of that recipe, by using zucchini as a pasta substitute and the stuffing as a sauce. By the way, you can eat a lot of melon and bananas…lots more than I ever imagined!
For related STRETCH EXERCISE EAT posts SEE: