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Nutrition Journal
#1
Hi everyone,

I’m starting out a few diet experiments on myself and decided to journal it on here.

I know diet and nutrition isn’t directly related to the theme of these forums, but your diet affects everything from the way you feel, think and even influences anxiety and depression. So indirectly it is.

Journaling the process helps keep me accountable and better track my progress but may also help others on here who are interested in nutrition.

A bit of background on me… I’m 27, overall very healthy and in good shape around 77-78kg, 180cm tall, low body fat and decent muscle. I don’t suffer from any bad health conditions. Since I was about 19-20, I’ve eaten a pretty healthy diet, consuming very little junk food most of the time and exercising at least 4-5 times per week.

My energy levels are generally very stable, I rarely suffer from afternoon fatigue. I don’t have any issues with putting on fat, if anything gaining weight is a challenge for me. My sleep is generally pretty good, usually 7-8 hours sleep every night, except weekends.

So overall, everything is pretty good. The only real issues for me are hair loss, dental health and focus/attention.

My hair has been slowly receding and thinning out since I was around 17. It’s not terrible at this stage but is getting worse. I have a small bald spot at the crown, which has got worse in the past 18 months.

In the past 4-5 months, I’ve been noticing a lot more hair falling out when I wash my hair or brush it. This was happening around 3-4 years ago but up until this year, I rarely noticed any significant hair shedding when I showered. It's got me concerned.

Obviously genetics plays a big part in hair loss but I’m convinced diet must play a role as well and there seems to be evidence to support this. So I’d like to see if any dietary changes will have an effect on my hair.

Dental health is another problem for me. Since I was 18, I’ve had an awful lot of cavities. Just recently I’ve had to get 5 fillings done…which is freakin expensive!

Besides flossing, I follow all the standard dental advice…brushing my teeth twice a day, drinking lots of water, avoiding sugary foods. And even when I started flossing regularly it didn’t make much difference.

I’ve just finished reading the book The Dental Diet by Steven Lin. He says there is a strong connection between diet and dental health. Really interesting read.

Aside from the obvious minimizing sugar advice, he also says cutting back on grains, getting plenty of vitamin D (from the sun and food), Vitamin K2, fibre and eating fermented foods to increase the balance of good bacteria in your mouth help.

And the other problem is focus or attention. Just mental performance in general, I guess. When I am able to focus on something, I’m very productive and work well. But I’ll have a lot of days where I just can’t focus on anything and don’t seem to think clearly.

This seems to be pretty common in our modern, excessive stimulus world. And it’s probably a result of many things, not just diet.

But many books have been written on diet and mental performance. I’m sure diet does influence focus and mental performance to some degree. I find that food cravings and a serious focus and productivity killer. It’s very difficult to focus on something when you’re getting up to go to the fridge every 10 minutes haha.

I’ve been taking modafinil (usually no more than once a week) and usually I notice a serious improvement in focus and mental performance when I take it. But I’d rather not have to rely on a drug for this. If I can lift mental performance with diet alone, that would be much better.

The plan is to experiment with a few different dietary changes (eg. Eliminating grains, eliminating sugar, etc..) for 2-4 weeks each and keep track of what I’m eating and how it affects my hair, focus, teeth and anything else relevant….That’s what this journal is for.

I’ll try to update at least once a week with my diet for each day during the week and observations.

My first experiment is going to be eliminating all grains – including bread, pasta, rice, cereals, oats, etc..

There are a lot of advocates for removing grains from your diet. I’ve read the book Wheat Belly, which makes a pretty compelling case against grains.

There have been a lot of grains in my diet – especially oats, rice, bread and sometimes cereal. So it will be interesting to see what impact a grain free diet has.

Oats has been my staple breakfast for a long time and it’s going to be hard to go without them!

I’m starting today and will continue for at least 2 weeks, possibly 4.

I’ll report back with my first update soon!
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#2
I think this is a great idea, Bender. I've been thinking a lot lately about a lot of these things you've mentioned, like how your diet affects energy level, focus, and of course your appearance and the confidence that goes with it.

I don't know much of anything about nutrition beyond vague notions of "protein good, carbs and sugars bad", so I'd definitely like to know more about building a balanced diet that lets you lose weight, but keep energy levels up and not leave you feeling hungry and weak all day. Looking forward to hearing your findings!
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#3
(09-11-2019, 12:55 PM)TheSkaFish Wrote: I think this is a great idea, Bender.  I've been thinking a lot lately about a lot of these things you've mentioned, like how your diet affects energy level, focus, and of course your appearance and the confidence that goes with it.  

I don't know much of anything about nutrition beyond vague notions of "protein good, carbs and sugars bad", so I'd definitely like to know more about building a balanced diet that lets you lose weight, but keep energy levels up and not leave you feeling hungry and weak all day.  Looking forward to hearing your findings!

Thanks! I'm not an expert but I have done a lot of research on nutrition so feel free to post any questions in here any I can try to answer them.

**DIET OVER PAST 12 MONTHS**

To give everyone an idea of what I've been eating until this point, I thought I'd touch on my diet over the past 12 months. It's not really a lot different to my diet over the past 5 years, besides a few changes here and there. 

FOODS I EAT IN HIGH QUANTITIES
  • Chicken - usually skinless grilled chicken breast. I'll use it in salads or with brown rice
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Eggs
  • Rice milk - has been my preferred milk and I have it with oats + smoothies
  • Greek yogurt
  • Protein powder
FOODS I EAT IN MODERATE QUANTITIES
  • Sourdough bread - have been eating a lot more in the past 6 months
  • Vegetables - probably not as much as I should have but have increased this recently
  • Fruits
  • Beef
  • Dark chocolate - often 2 squares per day
  • Nuts and seeds - I'll usually have chia seeds with my oats
  • Sweet potato
FOODS I EAT IN LOW QUANTITIES
  • Cereals - generally I try to avoid them but at times they would belong in 'moderate' category
  • Fish - mostly tuna, sardines and salmon
  • Pasta - for about 2 months, earlier this year, pasta was in the high category but I cut it out because I suspected it was causing extra hair loss
  • Cheese
  • Beans - I was eating quite a lot up until 6 months ago. Probably going to start eating more again
  • Regular full cream milk - try to avoid it as much as possible but will have it at times
  • Ham and pork
I think that covers most of it. Could be a few things I've forgotten. 

This diet has served me pretty well, aside from the few issues I mentioned in my first post.

**DAY 1 & 2 OF NO GRAINS**

11/9/19
6am: Banana + muscle mix powder with almond milk (unfortunately one of the in ingredients in the powder is oats..which is a grain. But I only just got this stuff and wanted to try it out..might eliminate it in week 2)
Also took modafinil after breakfast

6:45: Gym 

8am: Coffee protein shake with almond milk

9am: mashed potatos and steak

1:45pm: Boiled potato, sweet potato, cauliflower sauce (homemade) + pumpkin soup (homemade)

7:30pm: Omelette

Notes: Focus was pretty good all day (probably mostly due to modafinil) Felt really good after workout. Few cravings later in day

12/9
6am: Banana + muscle mix powder with almond milk
8am: Matcha protein shake
9am: Tuna + mashed potato
12:30pm: Pumpkin soup
2:30pm: Chicken salad - I eat this regularly...it contains grilled chicken, spinach leaves, pineapple, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, olives, sauerkraut, topped with olive oil
4:30pm: Muscle mix with almond milk
7:30pm: Baked beans (homemade), potato and sweet potato

Notes: Energy and focus pretty good all day..had a lot of cravings in the afternoon
...........................

I'm trying to switch predominately to almond milk from rice milk now. I've always used rice milk for several years now because I like the taste of it over other non-dairy milks. But I've just been reading about the arsenic (which is a carcinogenic) in brown rice and rice milk. I was aware of this before and chose to ignore it. 

But now I've been reading about it again and decided it's probably best to minimise my rice milk at the very least. Fortunately I've found a good almond milk, which I've been using and tastes pretty good.
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#4
13/9
6am: Muscle mix shake + yogurt, peaches, chia seeds
8am: cocao protein shake
9am: baked beans
1:30: chicken salad
7:30: beef burger - I cheated here and had a burger with the bun. Had a friend visiting and we went out to a restaurant with amazing burgers...I couldn't resist haha

14/9
8am: omelette
9:30: green tea protein shake
1:30: salad with beef, pork, spinach, black beans, cheese..
4:30: muscle mix shake
8:30: chicken Cesar salad

15/9
9am: yogurt, peaches, chia + muscle mix shake
11am: potato, sweet potato, avo, tomato
2pm: bbq chicken + sauerkraut
7pm: baked beans, chicken, potato

16/9
7:30: Fried eggs, tomato and ham
11:30: beans, asparugus, potato, chicken
3pm: potato, sweet potato, avocado, cauliflower sauce
4pm: muscle mix with full cream milk, banana, yogurt and chia
6pm: Matcha protein shake
7pm: chicken, potato, sweet potato
Notes: focus wasn't great during the day. Still getting hair shedding 

17/9
6am: muscle mix + yogurt, peaches, chia
7:30: cocao protein shake
8:30: chicken, potato, sweet potato
12:30: veal
3pm: chicken, sauerkraut
8pm: chicken and vegetables
Notes: focus was pretty bad all day but that was probably more related to a dispute I had with someone in the morning, rather than diet. Felt tired and unmotivated in the afternoon

18/9
7:30: scrambled eggs + baked beans
11:30: potato, sweet potato, avocado, cauliflower sauce, tomato
4:30: chicken salad
7pm: chicken, vegetables, cauliflower sauce
9:30: yogurt, peaches, chia
Notes: food cravings throughout the day, focus was okay but not great. 

19/9
7am: scrambled eggs + baked beans - had modafinil after breakfast
12:30: chicken, potato, sweet potato
3:30: smoothie bowl - frozen berries, banana, protein, chia, shredded coconut, almond milk, yogurt
5:30: coffee protein shake
7pm: steak + mashed potato
Notes: hurt my back at gym. Focus was very good for most of day..but probably due to modafinil

.............................
Over a week in now. Besides the burger and oats in the muscle mix shake I have been pretty successful with eliminating grains. Can't say I've noticed much difference with anything yet. Energy levels, focus and so on are all about the same as before. Still noticing hair shedding when I wash my hair.

Aside from the meals listed, I've also had snacks in between like dark chocolate, raw carrot, nuts, seeds...but not grains or processed food. Most days above I also went to the gym, except for weekends.
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#5
Getting close to 3 weeks now. I have started adding some rice in over the past few days but aside from that, I haven't had any bread, oats, cereal, pasta, etc...

I can't say I've noticed a big difference with anything so far. My focus and energy levels are much the same as before. Hair shedding has continued, although it did seem a little better the last few times I washed my hair.

I got a haircut last week and took some photos of my scalp. The hair loss has got worse than I realised, especially at the crown. It must be from all the hair shedding over the past 4-5 months. And it's got me pretty concerned.

The past few days I've been doing some research on hair loss. I listened to an interview on Dave Asprey's podcast, where he interviewed a hair loss expert who seemed to think stress is a major contributor to hair loss. Which is something I've heard before. 

I have been a bit stressed over the past few months, which may have accelerated the hair shedding. So I'm going to focus on ways to reduce stress over the next month, like starting a regular meditation practice again. Which is something I haven't been doing for about 6 months. 

Another thing mentioned on the podcast was a possible link between the gut and hair loss. In the dental diet book I read recently, the author also talked about the affect your gut microbiome has on your teeth. And there is a lot of information about how your gut influences mental performance. So I'm going to start focusing more on gut health. I'll be eating more fermented, probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, kefir (tried it for the first time yesterday and loved it). Also getting plenty of fiber will be important, because good bacteria feed on fiber. 

When I was doing some research on hair loss, I also came across one resource that talked about calcification - the build up of calcium in blood vessels. This can occur in the scalp, reducing blood flow to your hair follicles, leading to hair loss. They suggested Vitamin K2, which helps get calcium to your teeth and bones (where it's supposed to go) instead of blood vessels.

The Dental Diet book gave the same advice about Vitamin K2, because you want calcium going to your teeth. 

Brie cheese and natto (a fermented Japanese food) are supposed to be two of the best sources of vitamin K2. I'd already started eating brie cheese since reading the dental diet book and I just bought some natto yesterday but am yet to try it. 

Over the next week, I'm going to start re-introducing grains - mostly oats and rice. And I'll focus on controlling stress, gut health and vitamin K2. 

September 20 - September 29

20/9
6am: scrambled eggs + baked beans
10:30: chicken salad
1pm: potato, sweet potato, tomato, avocado, cauliflower sauce
4pm: yogurt, chia, peaches + muscle mix shake
8:30pm: steak + veg
Notes: a lot of hair shedding in shower

21/9
8am: muscle mix + yogurt and peaches
10am: matcha protein shake
2pm: chicken salad
8ppm: cottage pie (frozen meal)
Notes: I forgot to record this day at the time, so I may have forgotten a few things. Also had a late night slice of pizza

22/9
8am: yogurt, peaches, chia
10am: scrambled eggs, baked beans
1pm: potato, sweet potato, tomato, avocado, cauliflower sauce
6pm: sheperds pie

23/9
7am: scrambled eggs + baked beans
11am: muscle mix shake
2pm: sheperds pie
4pm: chicken salad
6pm: coffee protein shake
7pm: sheperds pie
notes: a lot of hair shedding in shower

24/9
7am: muscle mix + strawberries
12pm: smoothie bowl
3pm: potato, sweet potato, tomato, avocado, cauliflower sauce
4:30: matcha protein shake
5:30: sheperds pie
9:30: yogurt, peaches, chia
notes: took a long time to get to sleep

25/9
5:45am: muscle mix + yogurt and peaches - also had modafinil 
7:30: cocao protein shake
8:30: sheperds pie
1pm: fried eggs, tomato, ham, baked beans
4:30pm: chicken salad
9pm: butter chicken (frozen meal)
Notes: focus good, much less hair shedding

26/9
6am: muscle mix + yogurt and peaches
8am: cocao protein shake
9am: smoothie bowl
2pm: chicken salad
6:30pm: steak and veg

27/9
7am: scrambled eggs + baked beans
9:30am: chicken salad
3pm: smoothie bowl
5pm: banana protein shake
6pm: steak + mashed potato
Notes: started doing meditation again

28/9
8am: scrambled eggs - had modafinil 
12:30: chicken salad
*forgot to write down what I had in afternoon, think it was just some snacks like fruit, nuts...
9pm: coffee protein shake + beef stir fry with white rice
Notes: went out until 2:30am and didn't feel tired/drained as I usually would that late. 

29/9
8am: muscle mix + baked beans
10am: coffee protein shake
11:15: beef stir fry with white rice
3pm: chicken salad
6:30pm: beef stir fry with white rice
9pm: yogurt, chia, peaches
notes: was expecting to feel pretty tired in the afternoon/evening after late night but felt pretty good. Did some meditation + exercise in the morning and a bike ride late afternoon which probably all helped.
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#6
30th September - 7th October

30/9
7:30: Scrambled eggs + baked beans
11:30: Iced coffee with coconut oil + butter
2pm: Beef Stir fry
3:30: Muscle mix
5:15: Matcha shake
6:15: rice + chicken & veg
9pm: yogurt, chia, peaches
Notes: Felt very motivated, switched on in evening (6pm onwards) - much more so than usual

1/10
6am: muscle mix, kefir, banana
8am: matcha shake
9am: beef stir fry
12:30: potato, sweet potato, avocado, tomato
3:30: coffee protein shake, natto, rice, baked beans
6:30: rice + veg

2/10
6am: scrambled eggs + baked beans
1pm: Sandwiches + rolls (beef/salad)
5pm: chicken salad
9pm: cottage pie + yogurt, peaches, chia

3/10
6am: muscle mix + yogurt peaches, chia
8am: cocao protein shake
9am: chicken, rice, veg
12:30: chicken salad
8pm: beef burger + fries (prefer to avoid this but was out for dinner with some friends)

4/10
7:30am: scrambled eggs + baked beans
1:30: chicken salad + kefir
3pm: muscle mix
5pm: matcha protein shake
6pm: rice, chicken, veg

5/10
8am: oats, sultanas
9:45: iced coffee + butter & coconut oil
2pm: fried eggs, tomato, ham, baked beans, natto
4pm: yogurt, peaches, chia
8:30: coffee protein shake, rice & veg
Notes: having modafinil in the morning and coffee at 8:30pm is a recipe for no sleep lol

6/10
7:30: muscle mix, yogurt, peaches, chia
9:30: coffee protein shake
10:30: chicken + rice
2:30: chicken salad + cereal
7:30: beef patty, egg, tomato + veg
Notes: felt surprisingly good despite very little sleep.

7/10
8:30: oats + sultanas
10:30: matcha shake
11:30: rice + chicken and veg
3:30: scrambled eggs + baked beans
8pm: beef patty + veg
9pm: cereal + chia & sultanas

......................................

Main focus over the past week has been getting plenty of vegetables, fiber and probiotic foods in my diet. Also been doing daily meditation - 10-20 minutes per day.

Still getting quite a lot of hair shedding which is frustrating. I'll give it a few weeks to see if some of these changes like meditation, more fiber and probiotic foods have any impact. And try to keep everything else in my diet consistent.
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#7
Good thread.
I'm actually David Blane.
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#8
Hair shedding seems to have slowed down in the past week, which is encouraging. I've stopped using minodoxil (hair loss treatment) in the past few weeks because although it's supposed to stop hair loss, it can increase hair shedding in some people. So I'm wondering if that's making a difference.

Have been feeling a bit stressed out and anxious recently but I think that's more so a result of other circumstances, nothing to do with my diet. 

I've been doing meditation nearly every day recently, which I have been enjoying and has made me feel calmer.

No major changes to diet in the past week - just getting plenty of vegetables and fermented foods.

9/10
7am: oats, sultantas, chia
12:30: rice, chicken, veg
6pm: sweet and sour pork + rice
9pm: yogurt, peaches, chia

10/10
5:40am: muscle mux
7:40am: matcha shake
8:30: chicken, rice, veg
1pm: rice + veg
5pm: salad
7:30: beef patty, egg, veg
10pm: cereal

11/10
7:30am: oats, sultantas, chia
12:30: muscle mix + tuna
5:30: scrambled eggs + baked beans
8:30am: butter chicken

12/10
8:30am: oats, chia, sultanas 
10:30 =: matcha protein shake
11:30: chicken + rice
3pm: baked beans + natto
5pm: coffee protein shake
8:30: lasagne + veg

13/10: 
8:30am: oats, chia, sultanas
11am: chicken salad
3pm: yogurt, peaches, chia
6pm: sheperds pie

14/10
7:30: scrambled eggs, baked beans
1pm: sheperds pie
5pm: chicken salad
7pm: matcha protein shake
8pm: chicken, veg and rice
9:30: yogurt, peaches and chia

15/10
7am: oats, chia, sultanas
1pm: sheperds pie
4pm: muscle mix + apple
6:30: cocao protein shake

17/10
7am: oats + sultanas
1pm: sheperds pie
4pm: muscle mix + sheperds pie
6:30: cocao protein shake
7:30: chicken, rice, veg
9pm: yogurt, peaches, chia

18/10
6:45: oats + sultanas
8:45: cocao protein shake
9:45: rice + chicken and veg
1:30: chicken soup
4pm: oats, sultanas, chia
8pm: chicken, rice and veg
notes: much less hair shedding

19/10
9am: oats, sultanas, chia
10:30: coffee + coconut oil and butter
2pm: scrambled eggs and baked beans + kimchi
4pm: coffee protein shake
9pm: stir fry with veg, chicken and kimchi
Notes: less hair shedding, felt good late afternoon/evening
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#9
Wow this is effort, bender... much salutes on your discipline. I suck at following diets I set for myself. :c
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#10
Hey bender, your food/nutrition diary is a super method of monitoring your food intake. One of my patients is diabetic, so keeping a diary on food intake and blood sugars helps them keep a tally. Also, a diary can reveal nutitional parallels in relation to mmols.

Your discipline is excellent. Smile
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