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Jul 3, 2011 08:30 PM

What sort of diet makes *you* feel your best?

This is not a solicitation for diet advice -- I am of the opinion that every person needs to find what works well for their own body. I'm just plain curious what day-to-day diets make other chowhounds feel good.

In my personal experience, I am finding that the more I base my diet on fresh produce and lots of protein, the better I feel.

If I had to put together an ideal day of feel-good eats, it'd probably go something like this:

Breakfast -- a big mug of coffee or a pot of green tea, two sunny-side-up eggs, slice of [gluten-free] toast, 1/2 an avocado
Morning snack -- 1/4 C. raw cashews or almonds, 1/4 C. raisins
Lunch -- a big pile of mixed greens topped with a can of tuna or sardines or beans if I have a batch cooked, leftover steamed veggies from last night's dinner, whatever salad-y veggies I have around (cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc.), and whatever homemade salad dressing I have in the fridge
Afternoon snack -- greek yogurt and a piece of fruit, maybe more nuts
Dinner -- half the plate filled up with a basic dinner salad, other half with brown rice or quinoa and chicken or fish
Evening snack/dessert -- a couple squares of dark chocolate, more fruit, herbal tea

Bear in mind, this isn't how I eat every day. The more stressed I am, the more I find myself reaching for chocolate and crunchy, carby snacks. But I do notice that when I eat more in tune with the example above, I feel lighter on my feet and better in general.

So. I'm sorry if this post is a little (or a lot) navel-gaze-y, and you have been bored to tears by it. If this is the case, please don't feel the need to reply and tell me how boring I am! I'd love to know, what kind of diet makes *you* feel good?

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  1. I feel best when I stick to meat & vegetables. (hence, the name) Unless it's something unusual or once in a lifetime, like squid ink pasta, I always pass on the potatoes, breads and pasta.
    If I let my stomach guide me, I eat only 1 or 2 meals a day, the timing varies and when I eat, I eat big, which is why brazailian rodizios don't like seeing me too often.

    1. A diet filled with mom's cooking makes me feel good.

      1. Honestly, I couldn't give you an average day because my diet varies a lot. I think it's the variety that makes me feel good, but if you broke it down into macronutrients, it often looks somewhat similar day to day, I suspect. I feel my best energetically when I eat lots of fruit and veg, lean protein, and specific whole grains and seeds, nuts, olives, whole eggs, oils in moderation. I mostly avoid dairy, wheat, corn, and soy, but that's because I have a sensitive system. (I am sure they are beneficial for most people.) I adore eating what's in season, and look forward to summer every year because I live where it gets quite cold in winter.

        I'm similar to you, operagirl, in that I tend toward simple carbs when tired or stressed. I think it's just human nature to look for quickly assimilated energy sources. Unfortunately, that quickness has it's downside, a blood sugar crash, most unpleasant. I find it helps on those days, especially when working a deadline while exhausted or sleep deprived, it helps enormously to eat smaller meals more frequently. I'm lucky I have a job where it's easy to snack on raw nuts or say, eat half the sandwich a couple hours apart, that sort of thing. I really feel for people who don't have that freedom. It's hard on a person.

        1. i've finally settled into the pattern that keep me feeling satisfied *and* the healthiest i've ever felt...and most Chowhounds would be horrified by the prospect of living this way. but i don't feel the least bit deprived, and in fact, enjoy every single meal i eat :)

          several servings per day:
          - protein - seafood, poultry, eggs, beef, bison
          - fat - avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, cacao nibs, cocoa butter
          - fibrous vegetables

          once per day:
          - fruit - usually berries

          a few servings per week:
          - legumes

          1-2 times per week:
          - dairy - usually a container of Greek yogurt or a serving of cheese

          - grains & starch
          - sugar

          that last one has been difficult, but not for the reason you'd think. i don't miss *eating* those foods at all anymore...i miss BAKING. i'll go back to it at some point, but right now i'm feeling too good to start messing around with all that.

          2 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Great thread! I've been experimenting with raw vegan this summer and when I stick to the plan it's a glass of lemon water to start the day, then watermelon and green smoothie depending on what I have on hand. I snack on bananas all day long and I agree with amyzan that I am very lucky to be able to do this. For dinner I am supposed to have a big big salad with lots of leafy greens and some avocado and a bit of olive oil but this is where I cheat. And we won't talk about the two or three cups of coffee I down. :) For a late night snack right now that is easy because strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are in.
            Even with my cheating (and I've been advised to eat cooked food at least once every two weeks) I feel so well hydrated. If I were a plant I'd be a succulent. I have more energy and despite the caffeine I'm not ready to give up I feel calmer. I'm not getting the energy spikes and crashes that a yummy glazed donut gives me. If I feel a bit droopy I have a date or two and maybe a banana. This diet is fairly easy to follow right now here in July in Penna but I do miss cooking and especially baking like goodhealth.
            In summers past I have been surprised at how well sushi keeps me energized for hours.

            1. re: givemecarbs

              I have to agree with Goodhealthgourmet and GivemeCarbs: giving up baking is critical. Usually I fall off the no-sugar bandwagon (which I know I need to be on for health-reasons..) when I bake.

          2. Sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.

            Typically, one day a week I'm active for 6+ hours. Energy bars? Heck, no. This is the day to go for simple carbs, mainly in the form of sugar. Cookies, cakes, bars... All sorts of pastries and pizzas are consumed.

            Sugar is fuel. My body is very happy when it's burning a ton of simple fuel. I'm very happy at consuming a bunch of tasty treats. So, both body and mind are in a happy state.

            Now, if I could only figure out a way to do that 7 days a week.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ediblover

              Now, if I could only figure out a way to do that 7 days a week.
              become a professional competitive athlete ;)