Denise Minger post on finding the diet that’s right for you (and a mini potato update)

Denise Minger did a guest post on Ben Greenfield’s blog the other day where she lends another voice to the idea that finding out what diet works for you requires a bit of self-experimentation:

None of it made sense. How could people embark on such wildly different diets and achieve similar success (or similar failure, for that matter)? How could one person feel better cutting out meat and another feel fabulous eating it with every meal? Why couldn’t the experts even agree on what we should be putting in our mouths? Answering those questions has fueled my own research adventures over the years, both to satisfy my curiosity and to save my sanity. Maybe you’re in the same boat.

Read the rest of the post here.

And while I’m here: Sixteen days on potatoes under my belt (literally) with five more to go. I don’t even think about it at this point. Where am I at?

  • Down 10.8 lbs, though my crappy Omron handheld body fat “analyzer” shows only a trivial reduction in body fat %, so I’m how much of this is really water and a bit of muscle. Then again, it’s crappy.
  • I’m freezing. It *is* 0° out, but to me it feels like -50, and I’m pretty acclimated to the cold at this point. Or at least I was.

Denise mentions being cold in the post above as a result of veganism. Maybe that’s why all the vegans are in California and Texas.

I suspect that it’s not the veganism per se, but the absolute lack of any dietary fat. Though most vegan diets tend towards low-fat. For purposes of the experiment, I’m going to keep the fat % for my implementation of the vegan diet similar to that of the Mediterranean diet, to see if the level of protein/inclusion/lack-of of meat has any impact on the test results.

Not a bad prediction, NYT

From an article in the New York Times, over ten years ago:

A trip to the diet doc, circa 2013: You prick your finger, draw a little blood and send it, along with a $100 fee, to a consumer genomics lab in California. There, it’s passed through a mass spectrometer, where its proteins are analyzed. It is cross-referenced with your DNA profile. A few days later, you get an e-mail message with your recommended diet for the next four weeks… Nobody is eating exactly what you are. Your diet is uniquely tailored. It is determined by the specific demands of your genetic signature, and it perfectly balances your micronutrient and macronutrient needs.

What Your Genes Want You to Eat“, New York Times, May 4, 2003

It may be saliva and not blood, but they got the price right. And your 23 and Me results might not come with a diet plan, but it’s still amazing that this technology actually exists today, and gives anyone the chance to start the journey to find out what’s right for them.

It’s also funny to find this article, in light of the fact that I met at least my third or fourth doctor last week who had no clue about the available of consumer genetic testing, the specific results available, or that any lay person could come to her with the information I did (in this case, the sensitivity to Coumadin that my testing revealed, brought up in this instance to an anesthesiological P.A. during prep for a surgery I’m having at the end of the month). The expression on her face made clear she thought she she was talking to either a lunatic or a liar. Of which I could care less; the warning is now in my medical record, and that’s what matters.

Aside #2

Hemingway’s appetites naturally took their toll. In his last five years at Finca Vigía, he became preoccupied with his weight and blood pressure, recording both readings everyday in pencil on his bathroom wall. ‘It did fluctuate,’ Adams said. ‘Sometimes he would write a word (next to a number) indicating there was a party or some reason for the fluctuation.’

Aside #1

Nobody has the complete picture. Lots of people have bits and pieces, and they’re typically pitted against one-another and often enough by us side-seekers. Any semblance of a complete picture gets obscured in the rush for those sides, betting on which one wins.And everybody loses.

Richard Nikoley, Free the Animal, August 29, 2013