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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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