Today I end my love affair with sugar.
Let me back up a bit. It actually ended about 2 months ago after a brief phone call with my doctor in which he told me, “You have the liver of an alcoholic”. You could say I was a bit devastated. I should have known that after a lifetime of poor diet choices that it would lead to something but I never thought it would be my liver. This is a potentially serious condition that, at this point, is completely reversible. The time to act is now.
A few months before, I had started reading The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. I had quickly lost interest before I even got to the diet part of the book, which was like chapter 3. (Yeah, I lose interest that quick—I blame the ADD.) After I got the news, I picked the book back up immediately and reread the entire diet section. I skipped the sex machine part of the book, for obvious reasons
After reading that book, I jumped over to a recommendation from a 4HB friend called Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes. This is the definitive book on why carbs, specifically simple carbs like sugar and starch are so bad for our bodies. But it’s even more specific on why fat and protein are NOT bad for you, even in large amounts. I say fat first, because realistically, when looking at the calorie to gram ratio, fat is more than twice as large.
I now follow the 4HB diet as a lifestyle change, not as a diet. I make a point to pack in protein and complex carbs from beans and lentils into every meal. But more importantly, my fat content, especially the fat content from animal fat, is even higher than it ever was. I don’t go out of my way to find animal fat, I’m just not as scared of it any more.
That said, my girlfriend is a vegetarian, which means no animal fat for her. The protein sources are limited when you factor out the occasional soy product, which really isn’t good for anyone, let alone women. I think coping with that, has made life a little more difficult for her. Even more difficult is packing in 30 grams of protein a day for breakfast. I doubt either of us came anywhere near that in the morning. For her busy full time schedule, it makes it even more challenging so I’ve developed a recipe to make it a little easier on her, which is below.
I don’t want to make a huge deal out this change and the science behind it, but as I’m sure everyone I’ve come into contact with over the last two months can attest to, I do make it a bit of the centerpiece of my social life. I apologize for that. Instead I’m going to try to interject it into this blog, which will effectively change the format for the future. Ok, so maybe it’s kind of a big deal for those of you who came to this blog to see extremely beautiful but crazily unhealthy foods. The lack of sugar and starch can be a bit humdrum, I know. Unfortunately no matter how you slice it fruit is sugar, dairy is sugar, and alcohol is sugar. But fear not…
Did I mention that once a week we eat whatever the hell we want? Since we don’t want to bring the crap foods into our kitchen anymore we mostly eat those meals out, which will become the focus to the naughtier parts of this blog, the fun and crazy stuff. This diet, in its simplest form, is kind of boring, I have to admit. It calls for consuming large amounts of protein, vegetables and lentils or beans. That, in itself, is very easy to do but after time can get boring. Reverend Ferriss (as I’ve come to lovingly call him) is all about the boring for the sake of ease. “Are you really going to go through major prep for every meal?” For most people, the answer is no. But for people like me, who are already there, the answer is resoundingly, “Yes.” So if you find yourself on a low/slow/no carb diet or just want to try something new and healthy, this blog might just be for you.
Believe it or not, I actually had a TL:DR version of this blog post, one that reflected most of the points of the diet. I decided it would be better to slowly reveal that information and tie it into the subject of each blog post. That is where we start with this recipe – one of many 4 hour body recipes that will be featured on this site. It’s one of the rules of the diet — 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.
Makes: 12 protein rich muffins
Serving size: 3 muffins
Protein: +/- 30 grams
Fat: Who cares? (I’ll explain this at another time)
4 cups of spinach, finely chopped, then wilted
3 cups of lentils, cooked
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cupcake tray with nonstick spray or grease with oil. Add eggs to a large bowl, mix with a whisk, then add spinach, lentils, and spices. Using a half cup measure, pour mixture into cupcake tins. I like to additionally mix it around with the measuring cup before scooping and pouring as the lentils tend to sink to the bottom. It’s important to keep a good mix of egg and lentils. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until completely set in the center. Remove from oven, let cool. This is important for having a clean pan when you take them out of the tray. If you try to remove them still hot, they will crumble. As the cool they shrink enough that they pop out with ease, leaving nothing behind, as long as you’ve coated the pan with enough oil. Enjoy
I’ve also recently played around with different protein sources other than lentils. I did chickpeas and black beans recently and I found that I actually loved them more than the lentils. But the lentils are smaller and denser so you can pack in more protein per square inch. When you are eating these every day for breakfast, it’s best to mix it up every once in a while.