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draining all pleasure from food

So, I made it to the nutritionist today. I'm feeling... unconvinced.

I was kind of hoping for some general guidelines to work with; something like, more protein here, less carbs here, these foods are good, these you ought to avoid. Instead, I got basically a menu to live off of. The menu is pretty limited, and doesn't really allow for flexibility or creativity, and assume that one has time to pre-cook stuff.

I was provided with a pile of recipes, almost all of which look bland and uninteresting; it's basically the same kind of bland, uninteresting stuff my parents keep working at. I'm going to try to stick to it for a while anyway, but I suspect that I'll just cough up the cash (this ain't covered by OHIP) and take what I can live with and see how I do.

On the fun side, it took just over two hours to get to the place from work, plus 30 minutes to stop and eat some lunch. It'll be a bit quicker once the Sheppard subway line opens next week, but it's still a trek, and it'll still end up with me basically losing half a day of work...

I spent a good deal of my life feeling guilty about everything I ate, and hating most of the food I was eating. I don't especially want to go back to that, and I know Liz won't put up with this limited menu.
If this is what I have to do to live longer, maybe a shorter life is the better deal?

Blah. I am tired and feeling negative. I want to eat birthday cake to rebel.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2002 04:51 pm (UTC)
just curious...
what kind of foods did the nutritionist recommend?

and what kind of nutritionist is this? how did you find him/her (recommended by a doctor?) and what are his/her credentials?
Nov. 18th, 2002 04:59 pm (UTC)
Re: just curious...
These were my questions. The nutritionist was recommended by an endocrinologist at Sunnybrook, but other than that, I'm not sure.

It's kind of insane. "No pasta, ever. Maybe if you're eating at someone else's house and that's what they've made." No rice. Basically, eat either a potato, corn, or a yam as your starch, 4 oz. lean meat, and a veg for dinner every night. There's absolutely no room for variation. And it's going to drive me insane.

Also, the whole idea of saying "this type of food is completely off-limit" strikes me as being a) old-fashioned, in terms of dietary theory (from what I've read, at least) and b) unworkable, especially with the way we live our life (only eating at home 3 nights a week, if we're lucky.)

We'll see how it goes. And, because of the way we cook and eat, I get to eat this stuff, too. She obviously didn't listen to Matt when he explained about how we live, and it shows.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:11 pm (UTC)
Re: just curious...
For breakfast, I am to have oatmeal.

For lunch, a sandwich, in either chicken, turkey, or lean orast beef, with mustard, and a side salad.

My afternoon snack is 16 almods or 10 walnut halves, and an apple.

dinner is a baked potato or yam, or 1 cup of corn, 1 cup of a "type A" veg, and 1 cup of a "type B" veg, and 6 oz of lean meat. Ideally, the meat would be fish. Red meat at most twice a week. Additionally, I may have a salad garnished with 1 tbsp of olive or canola oil.

I am encouraged to have another serving of fruit and/or dairy as well.

Pasta is essentially verboten; I can eat it if I'm at someone else's house, and they make it, but I musn't order it at restaurants or make it myself. Rice must be limited to about 1 cup if I eat it, though rice is also not recommended.

This is a "nutritional consultant", to whom I was referred by an endocrinologist, who I saw exactly once, on the subject of my cholesterol levels (need more HDL, quite a bit more). I was referred to the endocrinologist to a) assess my risk of heart disease, and b) refer me to a nutritionist.

Some of the sugestions are helpful. On the other hand, yams? Ok everyonce and a while, but every third night, that's going to get real boring, real fast.

As for credentials, she's a "Registered Dietician", and had half a dozen certificates on her wall behind her. So it looks like she's been doing this for a while.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re: just curious...
Think about substituting squash done in different styles and such for just yams. They can be pretty tasty, especially with maple syrup or brown sugar.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:30 pm (UTC)
Re: just curious...
Well, brown sugar and maple syrup are verboten, according to the rules, and squash is listed as the kind of vegetable I can only have 1/2 cup of per meal.
Nov. 18th, 2002 06:29 pm (UTC)
Re: just curious...
sounds kind of like the dietetic (sp?) diet they put diabetics on... is it supposed to be a permanent thing, or just temporary?

We had a nutritionist/herbalist in a work a few weeks ago that sounds like your kind of therapist. She firmly said "There are no bad foods, everything is ok in moderation", but then clearly told us that the majority of your diet should be fruit and veggies, coupled with lean protein and whole grains. And of course, some variation is ok.

I have to agree, though, that white flour (and things made from it) is kind of poison... in that, it turns to sugar in your body almost instantly. I know several people who've had to cut back their weight for health reasons (my dad included) and have done it by only a) cutting out empty carbs (mostly bread and pasta, potatoes and rice) and alcohol. My dad loses about 2 pounds a week when he cuts out those things.

The problem is, all convenient food tends to be based in carbs.

It's a big pain in the ass, basically.
Nov. 18th, 2002 06:48 pm (UTC)
Re: just curious...
This is meant to be a "lifestyle change", so, an eternity of yams.
Nov. 18th, 2002 08:57 pm (UTC)
Re: just curious...
Speaking as a diabetic I was encouraged by my nutritionist to eat MORE pasta and rice. Admitadly that was in response to the multitude of fried food I would eat. Even my diet isn't this strict. I would get a second opinion.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:18 pm (UTC)
1) when they say "no pasta ever" it's from this thought: "Does it grow? no? then don't eat it." This does mean that you can have complex carbohydrates - like the cous cous that's grains instead. Spaghetti squash is good with tomato sauce.... long grain rice... if you're going to eat pasta - eat the whole wheat pasta.

2) Check out some of the low-fat low-carb cook books - there are some that are good at provided tasty alternatives to what the nutritionalist gives you.

I don't know if these help, but maybe they'll give you some compromising ideas. I've been through both types of diets that they use now.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:31 pm (UTC)
See, if that's what she had said, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But it wasn't. She just said "No pasta. Pasta bad. No rice. Rice bad. (Even long-grain or brown or wild rice, apparently.) Only good carbs - potatoes, yams, corn." And whole wheat pasta is still bad.

And if she had given general guidelines (i.e., reduce carbs, less of this type of fat) then I would have such a problem with it. But a) the recipes she gave him, and b) the recommendations she gave him, are both boring and very limiting.

And I'm not willing to live the rest of my life like this. (This isn't a time-limited diet for a specific result, this is a lifestyle change.) It just seemed that she wasn't willing to work with him at all to find workable alternatives that would actually work with our life.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:32 pm (UTC)
er, wouldn't have such a problem. Damn typing thing.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:36 pm (UTC)
My suggestion? Take what she said and go on the internet - find a forum, get a second opinion type.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:40 pm (UTC)
Though, to be fair, she was running 20 minutes late, and it was only supposed to be a 40 minute initial consult. But on the other hand, she was kind of just popping things off of a standard list. The next meeting is supposed to be more me talking, according to her.
Nov. 18th, 2002 05:36 pm (UTC)
1) No, the explanation given was that a samll handful of pasta is the equivalent of four slices of bread, and will leave one hungry. And grains were not encouraged either.

2) The thing is... low-fat, low-carb, and with certain limits on how much protein I can have, basically that leaves water and fibre, with vitamins and minerals dissolved in them. Having eaten such foods, I find them to be rather unsatisfying.

I've been through dozens of diets of similar stripe in my lifetime, and I've hated them all... Which is why I suspect that I'll just take what I want and leave once my appointments are through.
Nov. 18th, 2002 06:34 pm (UTC)
This is way off topic, but my head just about exploded today when some coworkers (dumb ones, I might add) were looking at some kind of diet wheel, and exclaimed with surprise and delight "hey, there's no fat in beer!"

Yes, there are still people THAT ignorant in the world.

As for low-fat protein, what about chicken, fish, shellfish, tofu, turkey, and even eggs? Our nutritionist told us that the cholestoral in our blood doesn't come from cholestoral in food, it comes from saturated fats, which we convert to cholestoral...

The problem I guess, is that there's just no concensus on these things...
Nov. 18th, 2002 06:48 pm (UTC)
Heh. There's also no fat in gummi bears or coke, but as I discovered after first year, living on those two will make you fat.

Eggs are still on enough "bad" lists that I'll stick to the restriction my family doc gave me (three egg yolks a week, as many egg whites as I want). I do not do shellfish or tofu. Regardless, there's still jsut a limit on how full I can get from 6 oz of any low fat protein. That's one small chicken breast.

The one time in my life that I lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time (OAC at high school, lost something like 15 lbs in 6 weeks) it was ebcause I was so disgusted by everything I was eating that I just didn't eat very much. And, maybe this diet could do that. I don't think I'd be happy with that though.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 18th, 2002 07:35 pm (UTC)
I actually had a registered nutritionist who put me on a diet similar to the one you just got put on. One day I looked at the books on her shelf, and I realized one of them was Barry Sears' "The Zone". I flipped through it in the bookstore, and...yep...that was exactly it. It was effective, but it also made me INSANE.

Last year, before my dad was diagnosed as terminal, I was doing an experimental nutritional program with Mass General Hospital. When I stuck to it, it worked pretty well. They told me to cut down on my carbs - less white rice, more brown rice - less pasta, more European style breads (the kind Quinn hates, the kind I pointed out to Liz in the grocery store - it's made by Mestemacher). When I was sticking to it, not only did it work, but my body felt better. I'm trying to shift back to that now. But the whole point of the diet was that nothing was forbidden; it was just that some things should be taken in smaller portions.

Frankly, from what you've said, my gut instinct says to ditch the bitch. Or look on her bookshelf and see if she's got either The Zone or The Atkins Diet hidden there.

Nov. 18th, 2002 07:52 pm (UTC)
yeah - this is what I was pointing out - my grandfather has had two heart attacks and lives on the diet your nutritionalist tried to put you on.

My mom and dad and my brother were heading towards heart attack central and went on a modified diet where you cut out white bread/pasta, and went with the "Does it grow in a field? No? well then don't eat much of it cause that's bad." Which meant steel cut oats for oatmeals, long grain and wild rice, wheat pastas, and other substitutions. Increasing lean protien (found in dairy as well as meat), and eating every two hours so that the hunger bug doesn't drive you nuts. They also gave them a huge list of spices and herbs to use for flavor. When eating sushi, they just take out a lot of the rice as they eat.

My diet is modified off of that, and it works for me. This diet sounds too extreme and unlivable. Maybe the next appointment she'll address the blandness, and moderation. If she doesn't, I'd find a new nutrionalist.
Nov. 19th, 2002 06:51 am (UTC)
Poor Curgoth, I feel your pain man, especially when I'm eating a big bowl of ravioli.

But serious dude that bites, maybe check the net for similar diets, or potato substitutes.

Can you do Pizza? Can you do Rol San?
Nov. 19th, 2002 09:30 am (UTC)
Your nutritionist's an idiot. This bears repeating.

Like tylorael and tafkar have said, take her suggestions with a grain of salt and look at healthy alternatives to carbs but don't cut them out entirely. It just may mean that you might have to eat the yummiest organic whole wheat and pesto pasta on a regular basis. What a shame that would be!

Diets suck ass and make you hate eating more than anything else, and then make you snack on the most decadent foods in between your regulated meal intervals because you're dying from hunger and blandness. I personally feel that you gain more weight when you feel guilty about what you're eating, rather than just relaxing and taking things in moderation.

I still think that you should beat her about the head with a large smoked salmon so that you can knock some sense into her, and maybe knock her off her "pasta is morally evil" pedestal.

And if you cook one of those horrendous meals she suggested, for a dinner party, I'm going to refuse to come over and take you out for a sushi boat instead.

Moron. *smack*
Nov. 19th, 2002 09:34 am (UTC)
I'm gonna go eat some fuckin' chocolate, and make some cocoa. Yer nutritionist makes me want to go spread lard on my toast.
Nov. 24th, 2002 05:09 pm (UTC)
no one gets the basic ideas of "dieting."

first off, it's not dieting, it's a permanent change in lifestyle.

second, it's just about this simple: eat less, use your body more. hi-carb foods won't make your diet unhealthy so long as a) you don't do it every day, b) you don't eat too much in a sitting [in general, eating enough that you feel a little hungry afterwards is better for you than eating enough that you feel a little too full], c) you do something with your body more intense than dragging your fat ass from one chair to another and d) you make sure you get other necessary nutrients while following the first three rules. doing c) will get rid of that tired, negative feeling anyway.

i hope you succeed. but in fairness to your sense of rebellion i hope you stuff yourself silly with cake if you can't grasp the concept of proper nutrition without paying an "expert" to use the same plan s/he gives everyone else [which is probably designed to work temporarily, but apparently seems so unpleasant to you right now that you won't be able to sustain it once you reach a healthy bmi].

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