Ketogenic veganism, and other dietary musings
I'm going to try to adjust my diet whilst in Bali. K, who I spent the day with in Ipoh on Monday, eats a ketogenic diet. This is high fat and protein, and low carb. He mostly eats meat, a few nuts and pulses, and not many vegetables. This seems pretty thoroughly at odds with veganism, and he, Dani (who is also vegan) and I had some very interesting discussions.
Mostly, as he was explaining the science as he understands it behind his diet, one or two things rang true to my experiences. Particularly how carbs, insulin, and glucose in the blood are related, and the physical effects of that. I get hungry a fairly predictable number of hours after I've last eaten, no matter how much I've eaten. And I get so hungry, I can't focus or really function until I've eaten. I make an effort because of this to keep meals small, because I know eating a lot now isn't going to reduce how much I want to eat later (and once I start eating I'm quickly satisfied). But that went a bit to shit in Penang because all the food was so great and I wanted to eat all of it, all the time. I also have been eating far more rice than usual, and a lot more greasy fried foods from Chinese economy rice places. I consistently eat a lot of bread. Anyway, I was reasonably convinced by K that a high dependency on carbs causes the hunger spikes thing.
I've also been increasingly lethargic over the past month or so. I have been attributing this to a combination of eating too much, having some pretty terrible meals, and not running, in combination with general thesis-depression.
Anyway, Penang is out of my hair, so it's time for a change. Basically I'm just going to try really hard to reduce carbs, and eat less overall while I'm in Bali. I will have to deal with being hungry for a few days or a week, but I don't think it will take me long to adapt back down to smaller or fewer meals. I observed this when going from the US (where I got used to large portion sizes) to Japan (much smaller) and back to the US again (after a month in Japan I could no longer eat even a full main at Veggie Galaxy; previously I'd eat a main and usually share a side and dessert at least, no problem).
So I fucking love bread and potatoes. But instead of desperately searching for good bread here, I'm just not going to look. I'm not remotely compelled to buy shit bread, so I just won't get any. My kitchen is fine, but not super shiny and I don't feel overly excited to cook there, so I probably won't even buy any groceries for a while.
I'm just not going to eat rice. Fine with that.
Okay, so vegetables. I googled a bit and found a list of lower-carb veggies that I'll stick to. I'm not going to go too crazy with this though. I'm going to buy a bunch of nuts and eat them instead of snacking on fruit, though I'm obviously still going to have the odd dragonfruit.
Indonesia is thankfully abundant with tempeh and tofu, so I can lean on those for low-carb proteins. Chickpeas are also good, and delicious. There are loads of organic / health food shops in Canggu, so when I do feel like buying groceries I can stock up.
There is also an amazing amount of restaurants on the street I'm staying on alone which cater for vegans with an abundance of astonishing salads (amongst other things). I'm not really into salads, but I think a month of dining only in Canggu is not going to bore me. And I can choose or tweak these to leave out high-carb vegetable. There are also a lot of juices and smoothie bowls. Having a juice instead of a meal is appealing from the eating less standpoint.. I think I still will, but I'll try to get spinach-y green ones as a rule and not sugary fruits. I can also chase avocados, coconut oil, chia seeds, and dark chocolate.
And.. I will start running again. On the beach!
What I'm not going to do is actually count carbs. It's also going to be difficult to scientificishly assess the change it makes to my body, because I am simultaneously changing location (atmosphere, vibe) and routine. Oh well.
Follow the action at /eats..