Good evening, gentlemen.
Not sure if I qualify for thread-starting in your lovely forums, but I need your help.
Towards the end of last year I underwent some volatile dietary changes, but we’ll get to that.
First, a little context. For years I’ve prepared my home-cooked meals from a soyless vegan cookbook titled Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, supplemented with whey protein in the morning and after workouts. I typically swallow an uncooked egg after every meal, and that’s pretty much my only reliable source of protein.
It’s a bastard of a diet – suboptimal to say the least – but I’m not trying to be a throbbing physical specimen of manhood. I mostly stick to Rippetoe’s program for novice lifters and am content. At no point in the formation of this diet did I believe that eating meat is unhealthy. I did it for the animals. However, if life begins at conception, there will be at least as many chickens attending my hellscape as yours.
Towards the end of last year, I realized that I’d gotten rather fat. So I started transitioning to a raw food diet because of the supposed health benefits. I was already vegan, so why not? I did not realize at the time how scientifically dubious the raw food revolution actually is.
Normally I would research something like this beforehand, but for whatever reason I trusted the proponents of this sexy new diet, even though a woman once told me in person that she’d healed a tumor on her cervix by not cooking her vegetables. Ultimately, I ordered three recipe books from Amazon and started my own private revolution.
I continued to supplement with whey and eggs of course. But the problem I ran into was that without my usual pasta intake I began wasting away, which I expected but not to this extent. It’s just not possible for me to get enough calories from blender soups and fresh salads. But I persisted trying new recipes until yesterday because I experienced a similar transition when I was becoming vegan, not knowing what to cook and hence not preparing food efficiently enough to keep a steady supply.
That about brings us up to speed. The last time I weighed in before deciding that I was a little soft, near the end of last year, I was 196 lbs. Now I’m barely registering 170. The worst part is that I’m not even lean yet. It feels like half of the body mass I’ve lost has been muscle, because I wasn’t tragically fat to begin with.
I need to get back on track, both health and body-wise, and I’m literally willing to kill for it. I’ve been reading a lot of compelling threads on this site about meat-based diets, a.k.a. the paleo diet, or something less principled but near enough, and I’m willing to give it a try. It’s a total departure from the way I’ve been eating since I started lifting weights.
So here’s the plan.
- Learn to cook meat.
- Switch to a grainless, meat and vegetable diet with quinoa.
- Get body composition in check while learning enough dishes to get by.
- Calorie surplus.
I have heaps of respect for this community and I have lurked here often. This is the place that introduced me to Starting Strength, and right now I could really use a similar breakthrough in my life. What I need right now is help learning to cook meat in a healthy way using a stovetop and oven.
I would like to find a paleo recipe book that is dairy-free, devoid of sweeteners, and is easy. I would be much more comfortable with a book that mentions coconuts and coconut oil more frequently than bacon, but I’m willing to eat pork rinds if that’s your counsel and you have the studies to back it up.
And although self-photography is not something I’ll be making a habit of, I’ve decided to attach a photo of myself to this initial post as a sort of proof-of-life. This was taken within the past week, and it was the moment that I realized how bad things have gotten. It was while looking at this image of myself that I began to consider cooking meat.
If you help me, I won’t just vanish into the night. I’ll stick around to let you know how it goes.
After all, what’s a before without an after?
Good night for now.