In response to someone posting how he avoided sugar, I shared my practice, which I find simpler, less artificial, and closer to the original plants and fungi, which is to avoid foods whose fiber has been removed.
Here are a few posts I wrote, first my original response, then my responses to responses.
I worked at finding a simple policy for myself and settled on:
I avoid food where fiber has been removed.
That cuts out sugar, white flour, corn syrup, oils, and basically all junk, forcing me to eat tons of vegetables, fruit, legumes, and nuts. I already didn’t eat animal products. I haven’t cut them to zero, but fiber-removed foods contribute probably a few percent of my calories. I originally made exceptions for olive oil and alcohol, but I’ve mostly lost taste for them.
My six pack started coming in soon after making the shift without any other change. I’ve discovered how delicious vegetables are.
When I saw you wrote “not eating ANYTHING sweet,” I thought, what about broccoli, collard greens, kohlrabi, cabbage, and all the other vegetables I’ve discovered taste incredibly sweet when your senses adjust. I seriously can’t believe how sweet cabbage tastes. I also eat tons of food since you need to eat a lot of vegetables to hit your macros.
It took months and even years to pick up how incredibly and deliciously sweet vegetables are when your taste buds aren’t overloaded. You’ve been at it a couple weeks. You’ve experienced newbie gains. Keep it up a couple months and years and you’ll love the results that make these seem like nothing. I recommend avoiding all fiber-removed foods.
Someone asked for examples of what I eat daily. I responded
Today was typical:
Breakfast: oats, apple, cashews, almonds, chia seeds, water. I also had a tablespoon of protein powder in water after rowing and my morning burpee/stretching/weight routine.
Lunch: Last night’s stew from pressure cooker: lentils, squash, jalapeno, ginger, nutritional yeast, water, salt. I topped it with chopped nuts, parsnip, and onion.
I picked up my farm share from the farmers market today so I had a lot of root vegetables so I also had a chopped vegetable and fruit salad: kohlrabi, turnip, radish, apple, onion, carrot, nutritional yeast, vinegar, cabbage, orange (including peel), parsnip.
Dessert: a pear
Dinner will be more stew because it tastes so good and probably another pear or apple for dessert.
Tldr: I mix vegetables, fruit, and legumes based on what’s in season and would taste good together.
Btw, a friend was over and told me it was beyond delicious.
Someone else asked if I ate tofu or high protein processed food. I responded
I don’t. I happened to have some vegan protein powder today, but it amounts to a few tablespoons a week, so a few percent of my protein intake.
I eat a lot of volume of food. The protein per gram is lower than some things, but the protein per calorie tends to be higher, so I eat a lot of mass without too much calories. I like that because I’ve developed a taste for fruits and vegetables, meaning I eat a lot of food I love.
I eat basically to stuffed nearly every meal. Still have ab definition, though not huge muscles.
Someone else asked if I ate butter. I responded
I don’t think I’ve eaten butter in at least a decade. Maybe some will be in food someone else prepared without telling me. I haven’t bought any or deliberately put any in my food in as long as I can remember.
Someone else asked me to write a bit more about the foods I eat. I responded
I grew up eating a standard American diet. Over the years, as I learned about foods, I’d lose interest for engineered products and as I lost the taste for them I’d choose to cut them out completely or nearly so. In rough order, with a few years adjustment between each, I cut out
- meat (1990)
- hydrogenated oil (a few years later)
- corn syrup (a few years later)
- nearly all animal products (probably around 2000)
- fiber-removed food (2014 or 15)
- packaged food (2015)
That’s about where I am now. Each stage led to more delicious food, getting to eat more of it, and doing less business with companies I disliked. If you click around my site you’ll find more pictures of the food I tend to eat. There’s a video of me making a pressure-cooker stew. The video isn’t exciting, but it shows my style of cooking — no recipe, just combining what I think will taste good together, and having lots of fresh ingredients.
Oh yeah, after settling on my current diet, someone pointed out that it’s very similar to the book Eat to Live. When I read it, I thought, “This is my diet!” It gave me confidence to keep eating as I do. I recommend the book, though I recommend just avoiding fiber-removed and packaged foods and figuring out how to make them delicious on your own. It worked for me, though I had nearly a year of unimaginative food, mostly steaming and frying with garlic and onion before blossoming into the delicious preparations I have now.
I hope I didn’t ramble.
Someone else asked how I ate vegetables without oil. I responded
I didn’t start that way. For a while after cutting out fiber-removed foods I excepted olive oil. It bothered me that I wasn’t following my rule.
I just used less and less, adjusting the rest of my ingredients, until I stopped. All I can say is everyone loves what I prepare. The pressure cooker makes amazing stews that don’t need oil. I don’t make regular salads with lettuce and a few vegetables. Instead of regular salads based on lettuce with a few vegetables, I dice vegetables more like a fruit salad and still use vinegar.
This video isn’t exciting, but it shows how I make my stews.
The question to me is how to make the transition. You just use less until you stop using it. I’ll try to make a video of making the salad some day too, although it’s just dicing vegetables and adding vinegar and nutritional yeast. Oh yeah, plus mustard powder, salt, and sometimes other spices like clove or allspice. I often top with nuts. It’s really good. I made some yesterday when my friend visited and he said he’d never seen anything like it but he loved it.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book