[Tripping On…] Volume Versus Variety

I have three more dietitian appointments but this will be the last headache-related entry since it’s been two weeks since I last had a headache and anything dietary seemed unrelated. We talked once more about anti-inflammatory foods and then moved into prebiotics and probiotics as part of good gut health. While unrelated to headaches, ironing out dietary factors will be a good step toward better health, including headache prevention. Diversifying what I eat will help.

I brought in frozen salmon for lunch and it was great!

Instead of bringing in chicken for lunch, I’ll mix it up first with salmon and tuna, then anything else that might seem interesting from a protein perspective. I’ll try looking for more fruits and vegetables I can bring in, too, and stock a more nutrient-varied pantry.

That will address the weight-loss side of my fitness.

I theorized while talking to the dietitian that people on limited-food diets might feel compelled to eat more because their bodies might crave more of the nutrients we might otherwise want. He didn’t disagree. I prefer eating routine foods so I can build patterns for how foods should taste so I won’t need to think so much about them. If I can have an apple at a break, I know how long it takes to eat, what it tastes like, and more, but if I eat too many apples and not enough of something else, I won’t get a nutrient variety that might make me feel better overall.

Part of that might be going outside my comfort zone grocery shopping.

I know I like apples, carrots, and spinach, so I eat more of those at work, and fewer peanut butter and cheese sandwiches, but on my days off, I’ll snack on foods of least resistance. That led me to eat… well, not quite junk food, but not a great variety of food on my first day off after talking to the dietitian. I should have cooked more food – like eggs or tuna – but I went for that least-resistant path.

I should figure out how to make diversity and variety easier.

It might start with cooking foods more often. I’ve overcome my initial anxiety of cooking by realizing that I can prepare many foods easily with just a few extra tools like skillets and rice cookers versus pre-packaged or microwaveable foods. There are still times when foods with preservatives are fine, but I’m starting to dig the fresher foods.

Now I just have to get into diverser foods.

Long-term changes like that will start with changes to what I buy. I had gotten into clam chowder about a year ago so I stocked my pantry with a few dozen cans. That might be an example where mixing up my routine of what I eat is equally important to counting how much I eat, since if I get bored of one, I might go for two, when that boredom is more a subtle reaction to my body’s interest in nutrients. It’d be nicer if our bodies could say they need more magnesium or iron, but they don’t.

Instead, we have to monitor that ourselves.

That’s where food science might be interesting, but I might prefer mixing up my diet for now by getting different cans of food, different meats, fruits, and vegetables. That does mean getting outside my comfort zone more, but I’m always willing to do that.

I guess the thing is not going too crazy with change.

When I go to the grocery store here, soon, I’ll look for different foods than my norm that are low in inflammation and offer more good nutrients than bad chemicals.

I didn’t bring my list with me.

I made a note during the above thought to digitize my list of foods to try for next time. I don’t think it’s a proprietary list but it might be, so I won’t publish it here, besides the fact that I haven’t digitized the list yet.

Browsing through a small grocery store today, I didn’t see much new to try.

Without the list, I wasn’t sure what would be bad for me from an inflammation perspective, so I looked at the carbohydrate, fat, and protein counts, primarily, and found most were overly carbohydrate-heavy without much protein or fat to balance them out.

It was my first good step away from buying the same foods repeatedly.

My meandry point was that although I don’t eat poorly, I have a limited diet because of time efficiency, which ends up meaning I’ll eat more than if I was comfortable with cooking more foods. It would be less time-efficient because I’d have to spend more time cooking and cleaning, but if that means I could have a more well-balanced diet and lifestyle, would that be worthwhile?

I think it would, as long as I have new content to write about.

My imagination explored to a jar of kimchi as I went to the store this morning. Off-hand, I don’t know how that would do for me and my particular diet, and the answer for me might be in a cluttered chair mixing all my medical, physical therapy, and dietary paperwork. If my mind were imagining the kimchi, it might be a subtle hint that my body might be craving foods like that. Just like how my headaches were actually neck strains, there’s no direct signal from the body to the mind to say ‘we need more magnesium or iron’ so we almost need to calculate our nutrient intakes so nothing dips too low.

My thought’s been to take more vitamins because I’ll pee out the excess.

There are probably toxicity limits and I’m sure if I’m not careful in balancing foods, I’ll hit those excesses just as I’ll dip below healthy ranges of nutrients, which is why I should put together a nice list of foods that are good for me. I thought of making something new:

Then I realized I could just use my Rowing Machine Sheets Supplementarium.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experience and talking to a dietitian.
Inspirations: I was planning on writing about my dietary sessions as part of my Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] series, but that’s nearly sorted out, so it’s not necessary to write about my next three sessions.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: It’s easier to use the template.
Written On: 2020 February 27 [From 7:46am to “I’ve overcome my initial” at 8:04am and from 9:12am to “proprietary list but it might be” at 9:27am in Gdocs. From 9:48pm to 10:16pm in WordPress.]
Last Edited: 2020 February 27 [Second draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.