We Can't Have Nice Foods Anymore: Surviving the Diets of the Modern Era

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I'm gearing up to do the thing I always hoped to avoid, a big restrictive diet change (low-lectin in my case). On the one hand I'm excited about the possibility of addressing some auto-immune and digestive issues, but on the other, the prospect of sticking to this diet indefinitely makes me want to end it all. And I'm not at all prone to depression, which I attribute partially to being able to continually look forward to the simple pleasures of good food.

I can envision sticking to it for dinners at home, but lunches, getting together with friends (I host a weekly potluck that's been going on for a decade +), traveling, restaurants (or rather not going to restaurants), seems very difficult.

So this is a thread for people's experience with The Diet, whatever that may be.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 31 October 2022 20:20 (seven months ago) link

you mentioned that it's a low-lectin diet in the over-forty thread, right? i hadn't heard of lectins so i had to look it up out of curiosity. wheat, soy and potatoes are big foods to avoid. that sounds rough and i wish you the best.

i feel a little weird sharing my diet experience here because i don't really have to avoid eating anything. but since my twenties it's been the case that there are certain kinds of foods that strongly affect my mood and, generally speaking, make my experience of being alive sort of miserable. usually they're rich in processed dairy and refined carbs. i'm not really sure how much of it is "gut-specific", how much is psychosomatic, with maybe a pinch of body dysmorphia in there. i guess those are all valid reasons though because they all have to do with my body and my experience in it, right? suffice it to say, i'm generally aiming for a diet that's sort of a hodgepodge of avoiding gluten and dairy, looking for low-glycemic and complex carbs, and a lot of protein from chicken and eggs (i'm also a fitness dork and a bodybuilder. i keep feeling weird about the level of my chicken and egg consumption so vegetarianism might be a good fit for me eventually.) i tend to feel good and even great when i'm eating a certain ratio of macros regularly. it doesn't take a lot to get out of whack for me, especially as i get older.

ꙮ (map), Monday, 31 October 2022 20:41 (seven months ago) link

I wish you luck, jordan!

personal opinion here but cards on the table, my misgiving w lectin-free diet, (which is v new to me) is that I saw it is somehow linked to the guy who came up w the blood group diet? and that one is uh, objectively made up. (My housemate back in the late 90’s did that one, oy)

this looks p intense re restrictions so i guess just proceed w care? <3

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 31 October 2022 20:45 (seven months ago) link

Idk, it's a different guy. This guy definitely has some sketch vibes too (the book goes to great pains to hype up his resume, and apparently some of the references are pretty flimsy, and also of course he is selling supplements). But it seems like it may be case of "this works for a lot of auto-immune things, we're just not exactly sure why yet." And I'm definitely hoping to reintroduce some foods down the road and see how it goes. Also hoping I can include a few cheat days a month for mental health without obviating the whole endeavor.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 31 October 2022 21:03 (seven months ago) link

I read 'over-forty thread' as 'overly-farty thread', I was heading over to check it out

Andy the Grasshopper, Monday, 31 October 2022 21:03 (seven months ago) link

I cut out wheat, soy, legumes, and most dairy a decade ago, out of necessity because those things were making me really sick, both gastro/digestive stuff and also whole-body side effects that were LAYING ME OUT on a daily basis.

Ime it is extremely hard to eat in public in America and avoid wheat unless you have access to the cuisines of other cultures, some of which are less wheat-centric. I cook most of/a lot of my own food, BUT it's so great to always be able to rock with Mexican, Thai, Indian, and lots of other cuisines which are some of the most flavorful in the world!

The really annoying part is having kinda extreme reactions to legumes including emulsifiers and food-science things that are derived from carob, guar, soy, and other kinds of beans. THAT. SHIT. IS. IN. EVERY. THING.

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Tuesday, 1 November 2022 00:37 (seven months ago) link

I'm not gonna lie, before I go to a restaurant I have to look at their menu, and sometimes there might only be 2-3 things I can eat (or none). It sucks and makes me stupidly sad to go somewhere (work events are HORRIBLE for this because I have no choice) that everyone else can enjoy something together and I have to sit at an empty plate. It really sucks to drive for 10 hours on a trip and get into a small town after 7-8pm when all that's open is fast food and there's literally nothing I can eat. I have cried in frustration more than once. (Towns in the Northeast without a single Latin food option, I'm looking at you and I hope you die in great pain.)

On the other hand when I'm cooking it's not even an issue! There's so much great food out there for any dietary need.

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Tuesday, 1 November 2022 00:47 (seven months ago) link

yeah mexican thai and middle eastern restaurants are lifesavers for me. re small towns with crappy food, i can usually find something at the grocery store. hugely into rotisserie chickens, every grocery store has em.

ꙮ (map), Tuesday, 1 November 2022 15:54 (seven months ago) link

before I go to a restaurant I have to look at their menu

A friend of my GF has serious celiacs and is very careful about ordering, asking endless questions of the staff - we went to a fancyish Mexican place in San Francisco awhile back, and she carefully placed her order - it turned out that the chicken on her tacos had been braised in beer (not mentioned on the menu) and she got violently ill from it

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 1 November 2022 17:22 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Day 2 of this anti-inflammatory/low-lectin diet. Not so bad thus far, mostly avocados, greens, walnuts, and hazelnuts (and it'll be better if a few days when I bring back eggs, olive oil, olives, sweet potatoes, etc). I feel like I'm using what I've heard from friends who have gone through AA, ie trying to take a meal/day at a time and not thinking about all the stuff can't eat or will miss out on in the future. Hope it helps.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 21 November 2022 20:16 (six months ago) link

Is this going to be an ongoing thing, or just for a limited period?

Andy the Grasshopper, Monday, 21 November 2022 23:28 (six months ago) link

Unsure, if it actually helps my auto-immune stuff, I'll have to see how far I can push it as far as cheat days or reintroducing certain foods. If there's no change in 6 weeks I'll probably say fuck it.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 18:53 (six months ago) link

I'm seeing someone on a low FODMAP diet. For her underlying condition (microscopic colitis, apparently) not clear if she's ever going to be able to eat things like onions and garlic. Infused oils are okay, because the bad stuff (fructans) isn't soluble in oil, but that doesn't really help when going out to restaurants.

death generator (lukas), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 19:11 (six months ago) link

ive been doing no gluten (strict) & anti-inflammatory (ish) for about a month now due to some health conditions… no idea if its helping but it cant hurt & hasnt been too hard

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 22:03 (six months ago) link

I kinda have the opposite problem — I'm on a new diabetes medication that drives my blood sugar so low overnight that if I don't eat a pile of carby garbage for dinner I wake up in the morning with an A1C of, like, 3. (Which is bad.) I'm at the point now where I can literally eat a breaded chicken sandwich and a Snickers bar for dinner and when I wake up in the morning my blood glucose number will still be somewhere around 70.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 22:25 (six months ago) link

what are you taking? can the dosage be adjusted?

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 00:13 (six months ago) link

dang, I want some of that

DPRK in Cincinnati (WmC), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 00:35 (six months ago) link

I did an elimination diet in the 90s to try and figure out my constant fatigue/CFS type issues. I had to cut out all the faddy irritants of that time (amines, MSG, salicylates, all the FODMAP kinda stuff though they didnt call it that back then). It was the worst, and frankly, aside from psychosomatically, it did fuck all.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 00:50 (six months ago) link

I'd also never heard of lectins and low lectin diets til this thread but a lot of non-quack pages seem to indicate it is fad/not ideal?


Stoop Crone (Trayce), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 00:53 (six months ago) link

what are you taking? can the dosage be adjusted?

I was on 1000 mg of Metformin in the morning and 20 units of Toujeo (injection) in the evening. It wasn't getting the job done; I was eating healthy and exercising moderately and still getting glucose numbers in the 160-200 range in the mornings. I added 25 mg of Jardiance, taken every morning, and my numbers have gone down by 2/3. Jardiance also comes in 10 mg doses, but honestly I think I'm gonna stick with it as-is and just eat more pizza and Popeye's chicken. You know, for my health.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 01:04 (six months ago) link

i mean you do you but maybe an endocrinologist referral would be helpful?
or drop to 10mg at least. idk.

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:23 (six months ago) link

Sorry unperson, that sounds rough, although the diet does seem much more fun.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:47 (six months ago) link

I'd also never heard of lectins and low lectin diets til this thread but a lot of non-quack pages seem to indicate it is fad/not ideal?

Yeah, it's definitely the most fad-ish thing I've ever done, and the main proponent definitely says a lot of eye-rolling and non-sensical shit. I think it's possible he had one useful thought, and then has been tempted/compelled to keep saying things as a diet guru. It's definitely not supported by actual studies, but neither has it been disproved by actual studies.

At worst (for a short period), it's an elimination diet that's slightly more stringent than FODMAP (basically cutting out grains as well). I've never done one and I've always been a slightly gluttonous eater (though I don't have a problem with weight at all, this is not about that), so it seems like it's finally time to cut back to foods pretty universally viewed as non-problematic for a bit and see if anything changes with my auto-immune stuff.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:14 (six months ago) link

I did the paleo diet for a few years (no legumes, no dairy, no sweeteners, no grains, limited fruits, no typically used commercial oils) and had great improvement in inflammation. It helped normalize Mr. Jaq's blood sugar as well. But it meant never eating out anywhere and so much home cooking. Unsustainable even though beneficial.

Jaq, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 19:18 (six months ago) link

Honestly that diet would probably be great for me. No legumes though is, like, "Hey Im TRYING to do something for my cholesterol here!" And then having more meat and eggs instead.

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 19:23 (six months ago) link

For my thing I'm theoretically going to reintroduce some beans in a few weeks, but only pressure-cooked to start (and that's one of those things that other people say is probably overkill, oh well).

I got through the 'cleanse' portion and had eggs this morning, a little French omelette, they may have been the best eggs I've ever tasted.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 21:08 (six months ago) link

Been on low FODMAP for years now. Impossible to stick to at restaurants really, chefs aren't gonna go without garlic or onions. I've mostly managed to even it out so I can indulge myself a little every now and then, but the choices when I do need to go easy on myself are absurdly reduced in my case...it's basically porridge or, like, meat and potatoes. Also I'm recovering from a stomach bug right now and it's clearly taking longer than it should.

not clear if she's ever going to be able to eat things like onions and garlic. Infused oils are okay

Infused oils are such bullshit! I've tried garlic infused olive oil in all sorts of contexts and it never brings me the slightest hint of a garlic taste.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 24 November 2022 11:38 (six months ago) link

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