Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Thoughts on "The Medieval Diet"™

It's been far too long since I posted last. Things got a bit nuts for a while there - a royalty lunch to cook, a feast to help with, taxes, vacation, minor illness, yadda yadda yadda. It's amazing how life can get in the way of the important things in life. Anyways, I thought I'd give a short update on this dietary experiment I've been toying with.

A while back I posted about the similarities between the diet in medieval Europe, the "Flexitarian" diet, and the advice of modern nutritionists. For the past couple of months I've had my family eating roughly according to the following guidelines.

  1. No meat (other than fish) on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
  2. Lunch is the main meal, dinner is smaller
  3. Meat portions are small (~4 oz.) with the bulk of the caloric intake coming from other foods
  4. Seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables
  5. Carbohydrates from a variety of grains and tubers
  6. Reduced intake of sugars

Note that I used the word "roughly" above. There were occasions where we swapped the menus for a couple days of the week - usually due to having stuff in the fridge that needed to be cooked before it spoiled. However overall we had more meatless days than the required 3 out of 7 per week (vacationing on the Carolina coast was a bonus - it was more like 5 out of 7 days without meat).

The seasonal vegetables part has actually been kind of fun. I end up buying what's cheaper and having to be a bit creative with it to keep things from getting dull. Of course every now and then I need to resort to frozen veggies out of expediency. Mind you, it's spring. Living on seasonal produce will likely be much harder in the winter.

Was the produce locally grown? Probably not. I just don't have time to go to the farmers markets and such, which leaves me with what's available at the grocery. It probably was all trucked in from hundreds of miles away.

The biggest problem of course is having lunch be the main meal of the day. This has been a total failure so far. The kids are in school and I'm working a traditional 9-5, so we can't get together for a big, home cooked dinner in the middle of the day. I suppose I could pack a larger lunch and go light on supper, but somehow that just doesn't click with me.

Still, we're eating a better balance of foods overall with less red meat, and I'm losing weight (veeeery sloooowly). I guess it's one of those cases of incremental improvement, so I'll keep working at it.


Jules Frusher said...

Wow, that's an awesome experiment - how do the family feel about taking part? I look forward to hearing the results.

Doc said...

They seem to be perfectly happy with it all. Of course they're also used to being served new and unusual foods, so I'm not too surprised.