Dietary Constraints

Controlling Your Experiments

How do you know which foods are good for you? Bad for you? Not in the abstract or general sense, but a poor fit for you in particular? You have to experiment with your diet. Start with a clean slate, pared down to the essentials. The Slow Carb Diet works well for this. Keep your diet as consistent as possible, past the point of boredom. You don’t have to maintain this indefinitely, though, just long enough to establish a baseline against which to test your favorite foods. The “cheat day” prescribed by the Slow Carb Diet helps, but controlled experimentation matters most of all.

How do you feel after eating those Pop-Tarts now that you’ve had a break from them? Make a point of overindulging on that favorite food of yours, too: How does that make you feel? What side effects do you notice, having established that baseline? Anything in your sinuses, your skin, or your gut? Whatever negative impact you notice after indulging has likely impacted you this entire time, chipping away at your overall quality of life. Those small doses add up. And if you don’t notice any deleterious side effects, all the better! You can add that food back to your diet and enjoy the benefits freely. You might find that you feel better overall with that food back in your diet. What matters most is that you compile both hard and subjective data on your personal reactions.

We tend to separate what we consume into the separate categories of “food” and “medicine.” That’s an artificial divide. The caffeine in your coffee or your chocolate is a stimulant like any prescribed to you. Different breads affect you in different ways, as does having refined flour in your diet at all. If you knew each side effect of what you eat and drink every day, would you still consume it? What’s stopping you from learning those side effects? Today’s the day to start running that first experiment.