Vicc's controlled whole food diet experience thread


#1

I have created a simple daily menu which meets 100% of nutrient needs. It comes in at a little over 2000 calories and 150 grams of carbs, and 90 grams of protein. It is low carb, moderate protein, and high fat.

I’m not quite ready to link the DIY yet because I have to validate some of the obscure nutrients which aren’t imported from the USDA database, and also I want to pin the prices down so an accurate daily cost will be listed. Also double-check that my standard measurements stack up correctly with the grams, etc.

But it’s only 10 ingredients and I’ve already got it memorized so here it is:

Vicc’s Egg Basket

6 hardboiled eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup orange juice (fortified)
1 can peas & carrots
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup dried parsley (mix the veg, oil, and parsley together)
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup dry roasted almonds
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds without hulls
1/2 cup dried apricots

I ate this yesterday and only managed 4 of the eggs. I felt massively hungry this morning and had already eaten more than half of my daily ration before noon; now I’m pretty full. Going to stick with this for awhile or as long as I can, maybe a few weeks. I’m coming of being high-carb pretty much forever so I’m expecting it to be a little rocky.

I don’t have a reliable scale so I’m going to do occasional measurement tracking instead. (once a month? if I go that long.)

waist: 40"
hips: 43"
waist/hip ratio: .93

I am female, age 42. Rule of thumb for central obesity (women) is over 35" absolute measurement of the waist, or waist/hip ratio >.85.

Not necessarily expecting to notice changes in those measurement numbers for myself (2000 calories/day is actually more than I supposedly need for maintenance at my size/activity level), it’s just a useful metric since I don’t have a scale. Mostly just want to try this whole food plan and validate that it is reasonable for sole-source nutrition over a period of days (weeks, etc.).

Will post again when I have something notable to report, or if I fall off the plan and abandon it.

(My husband is VERY happy I am going to a solid food plan. And instead of offering to bring me back a Whopper or Snickers when he went into town, he asked if I needed any ingredients :heartpulse:)


Food that is really easy to prepare?
Alternatives to drinking Soylent
Non-supplemented DIY
#2

Here’s the DIY link: http://diy.soylent.me/recipes/viccs-egg-basket-whole-food-combo-low-carb
(WIP; costs and some micronutrients need to be validated, AFAIK it is complete on all micronutrients even though some of them aren’t reflected in the USDA database.)

week 1 update

fell off 100% after a little over a week, planning to restart “soon”

back on the wagon (errrr, basket)


#3

Cool experiment - thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching your progress.

Do you try to spread the ingredients out to all meals, or do some just get eaten all at once? And do you save some of it for between-meal snacks?


#4

I’ve never been good at keeping regular mealtimes. I set aside the measured amounts of foods in the morning and just eat something whenever I feel like it. A cup of each beverage set aside (jelly jars with lids, or empty Ensure bottles), peeled eggs in one container, “pea salad” in a second container, “snack mix” of remaining items in a third container. At the moment I’m home days so everything stays in the fridge except the snack mix; but I think it would all keep in a room-temperature packed lunch well enough.

I suppose it could be designated into meals along the following lines:

Breakfast: OJ and 2 eggs
Snack: snack mix
Lunch: pea salad and 2 eggs
Snack: snack mix
Supper: pea salad and 2 eggs
Snack: snack mix and milk

The above meal plan would also mean the beverages wouldn’t need to be packed along during a day out, assuming the day starts and ends at home.


#5

You’ve inspired me to move further toward whole foods. Why not soak (or sprout) beans and grains in place of powders? They have the added benefit of supplying pantothenic acid, choline, and other micros. I’d still probably puree, dilute and drink. That seems to work well for me.


#6

Yeah, I guess you could soak/sprout beans/grains and turn them into a drink. Sounds like a lot of work to me. The 10 ingredients in the amounts above supply 100% of everything, so no powders (or sprouting) needed. More work to eat food in solid form though; I definitely understand the attraction of the shake as a vehicle for nutrition.

Also, I imagine I’m unusual in that I don’t expect to mind eating the same limited diet of solid food day in and day out. I expect more people are willing to consider drinking a shake multiple times a day, instead of eating the same solid food over and over.

If this whole food combo works out well for me, I plan to work out some others; probably a vegan one, and maybe another one designed for homeless/transient individuals with only ingredients that can be easily obtained at a grocery store but need no cooking or other prep (that one’s almost surely gonna have tuna).


#7

Seems pretty easy. I just plugged in a ratio popular among vegan protein drink enthusiasts (never thought I’d get to say that) and flattened the amounts of the vegetables I’ve been using. It should allow more choice with vegetables and fewer supplements. It remains to be seen whether it will be drinkable. Gas might be a problem (famous last words). Maybe tofu…


#8

It’s been a week and I’m sticking to Vicc’s Egg Basket, as best I can. It’s challenging to eat everything on the menu; several days my consumption has been short. No hunger, and no cravings for sweets. I think low-carb agrees with me.

I canceled my Soylent order. Will probably try it at a later date.


#9

Still at it? Inquiring minds want to know.


#10

Fell off it, am planning to pick it back up. (I was waiting to get back on it before I posted again. :blush: )

The food keeps me full enough, but it seems that I have a hardcore carb addiction. I get massive, overpowering cravings to eat a box of Pop Tarts or donuts. (And have succumbed to those cravings.)

Also, as easy as it is to put together the daily diet, if I don’t have something ready to go at the moment I feel a pang, it’s easier to grab something junky. I am planning on getting some more containers and setting up a week’s worth of meals all at once and storing them in the fridge. Eggs peeled, cans opened, beverages poured and everything.


#11

I’ve been thinking more and more about this, and I’ve got a few questions.

Firstly, when you say 1 cup OJ/Milk, do you mean one cup, or one glass?

Secondly, about how much would you estimate this costs per week?

Lastly, I’m kinda dumb when it comes to nutrition, what exactly are the implications of this being low carb/moderate protein/high fat?


#12

It’s a cup, the standard USA measurement. (I happen to have some drinking glasses - repurposed jelly jars, actually - that measure exactly one cup, 8 fluid ounces, which makes it easy.)

It costs a few dollars per day; the apricots are the most expensive item for me at the grocery store. I need to start buying them in bulk.

There is some research (and lots of popular opinion) that high carb diets increase weight gain by causing blood sugar spikes (and thus insulin spikes) and increasing hunger. Whereas high fat diets are more satiating (reducing hunger); and the fat is converted to energy (or stored) less efficiently than carbs.

The moderate protein part: inadequate protein can lead to muscle loss; overabundant protein can be hard on the kidneys. Fa person who’s not actively bodybuilding, moderate protein is probably a good choice. (This “moderate protein” diet is actually a good bit above the US RDI for protein.)

I appreciate the interest and I’m going to go ahead and post the DIY link:

http://diy.soylent.me/recipes/viccs-egg-basket-whole-food-combo-low-carb

The costs are not yet accurate and I am quite certain that the seemingly missing nutrients are covered, they’re just not included in the USDA database which they were imported from, and I haven’t manually verified the exact amounts and manually added them yet. (e.g., chloride is present as part of salt; eggs have abundant iodine; and several of the ingredients have biotin.)

So the DIY listing is a work in progress, but I am quite certain that the ingredients and amounts are optimal and actually do contain at least 100% of the US RDI of all micronutrients, and a very good balance of macronutrients (carbs/protein/fat).

I’ve been on-off it for the past couple weeks, still have to get the containers so I can set-it-and-forget-it once per week. It’s crazy how food-preparation averse I am, I’ve got several dozen boiled eggs in the fridge at the moment, but this morning I chose a microwave meal instead of peeling the eggs.


#13

It’s very low cost, and one could even keep chickens from underprivileged backgrounds if so inclined. Does it super-charge you? With the extra energy, the work has become a labor of love for me. I also don’t mind eating the same thing everyday.

I’m vaguely aware that cholesterol is a contentious issue, so I’m wondering if some think that vegans are missing out on something? I’ve never really looked into it, because all sources of cholesterol, as far as I know, are animal. Sincerely, I’m just curious. I don’t want to spark a debate.

When I was a young man, Farm Sanctuary was just beginning on ten acres in Delaware. I volunteered there. The founders cared for many former laying hens who continued to make eggs available, so they would mix the eggs into the rescued dogs’ and cats’ food, which was otherwise similar to their own. They could just as well have shared the eggs, I suppose, if they were beneficial in some way.


#14

I haven’t been super-charged in recent memory. :tired_face: I don’t mind eating the same thing every day, but the carb cravings are stronger than I expected (even when I’m full). Hopefully that is a withdrawal symptom that will lessen over time.

The body produces most of its own cholesterol, which is vital for survival. As far as I know, animal products are the only source of dietary cholesterol. Cholesterol is abundant in breast milk, and helps brain development in infants.

Apparently people can be healthy without any dietary cholesterol. I’m of the mind that having some in the diet is a Good Thing for most people. Some people are genetically predisposed to exceptionally high cholesterol levels, and extra in the diet may not be good for them.

I have always had naturally low blood cholesterol, both LDL and HDL, and I doubt eating six eggs a day will cause it to rise. I would like to get bloodwork done if I manage to stay on the diet for a few months, to see what happens.

Here’s a link about dietary cholesterol from the Weston Price foundation, a strong advocate of eating animal-derived foods. I think their information is generally good. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/cholesterol-friend-or-foe/

I’ve thought about keeping chickens… I even have the space for it. But considering I can’t even focus the energy to peel an egg routinely these days, I’m not ready for the responsibility at this stage of my life.


#15

It may very well be a significant variation. My cholesterol level is easily high enough to treat medically, and the only concentrated fat I typically consume is a tablespoon of Udo’s Oil each day. It’s clearly much easier for some to be vegan than others. I was lacto-ovo for a few years before going vegan in my teens, and I consumed a fair amount of eggs and cheese. In some way’s I feel better now than I did then. (I was a sullen teen.)

I just skimmed the page, but it seems to be more anticholesterol-lowering drugs, than pro-cholesterol. Even though I could be prescribed one, I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s easier to prescribe a pill than to consider someone’s individual needs.


#16

I was a sullen teen too… and a lacto-ovo for about 2 years, 'round the same phase (I don’t attribute the sullenness to the vegetarianism, it set in before that).

The Weston Price site is very interesting, that may not have been the best article on the site, but if you look at the main page they are pro-animal-food. Weston Price himself did research on indigenous cultures and dental health.

I intuitively feel that animal foods are good for me. I didn’t do well on a vegetarian diet, partly because I didn’t have the wherewithal to procure and prepare the variety of foods necessary for proper nutrition. It’s a lot easier to eat an egg (and I can barely manage that these days).


#17

At that time for me, 1978, I had never heard of veganism. I tried it once without success. I had to get into what was then the scene to learn how to do it. I think that it may be especially difficult for young women who don’t eat enough of the right leafy greens.

Times sure have changed. On the way back home, I stopped in Philly’s all-vegan pizzeria and had a slice topped with thinly-sliced potatoes and rosemary followed by a marshmallow cookie. Here, vegan is more likely to be associated with hipster comfort food. It hit the spot, though.

My favorite vegan nutrition site has some lively discussion about cholesterol.

This kind of ties into the bug thread. I suspect that most “herbivores” eat bugs, at least inadvertently. I’m guessing that they’re high-cholesterol.


#18

I’m guessing you’ve got about a decade on me (I’m 42). In the late 80s/early 90s I had quite a few acquaintances who were vegetarian, some vegan. I stayed a weekend with some vegan friends and they included nutritional yeast flakes in or on almost everything they ate (not to be confused with brewer’s yeast, I’m still surprised how often the two are conflated). They seemed pretty sturdy. I also knew a middle-aged lacto-ovo woman who didn’t like vegetables, pretty much only ate bread and dessert foods, and she was obese and not well. There were some good easy choices, like take-out burritos with no meat, hummus and pita (my favorite meal was a middle eastern plate from a particular coffee shop in the lower Haight - I was an omnivore by this time, but as far as I know that meal was vegan); in my early 20s I was in the habit of buying bulk seeds and nuts from Rainbow Grocery, cooking yellow grits with pumpkin seeds every day for breakfast, ordering salads out, etc. I liked sweets and cakes, but exercised a lot. I fell away from those habits and gravitated to processed foods. It took awhile to catch up with me. I never imagined I’d be so out of shape, or that the idea of cooking up grits & seeds for breakfast would seem so foreign to me. I never imagined I’d eat a dozen donuts in a sitting, several times in a month. I don’t quite know what happened, but I’d advise younger people in good shape not to take it for granted, and not to get complacent about food. (Even though it wasn’t just complacence with me, I have disordered eating that is part of an overall mental health situation, but of course the two are inexorably linked, one exacerbates the other.)

I’m sure just about everyone and every mammal eats some bugs; high in protein for their size, but probably a minimal impact on overall nutrition is my guess. I’m not sure about cholesterol in bugs (another interesting Google adventure awaits).


#19

I did nutritional yeast on everything following the example of some young friends. It eventually gave me gout. A vegan with gout. The diy app showed me that only a few grams of each is needed. I’m also convinced that juiced chard and beets gave me a kidney stone. “Healthy” veganism can catch up with you, too. I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard time.

From your fondness for middle eastern food, seeds, and nuts, it sounds like you could handle a fair amount of good fats. Those days are gone for me. The comfort food incidents need to be minimized, or I need to exercise. My preferences have kept pace with the changes well enough.


#20

I had no idea that you could overdo it on nutritional yeast. I haven’t eaten it in years, but have thought about it as I contemplate complete whole food menus. I’ll be sure to check the DIY if I start using it (unlikely, but I have thought about it :))

I’ve never been much for juicing. I’m sorry to hear about the kidney stone. Juicing chard it doesn’t surprise me; some veggies are unsuitable unless cooked, I think that’s one of them. (We have pokeweed where I live now, that’s another!)

The almonds and sunflower seeds definitely agree with me in my current diet. On the days when I’m not measuring everything out, I often eat them anyway. Even when I was eating seeds as a staple I had low HDL, people are different and I’m less and less certain that one-size-fits-all nutrition is feasible.