Advice rolls in when it comes to eating better

Breakfast

The time has come to get serious again about eating better.

I wrote about this Monday. It prompted interesting responses and some good — if diverse — advice from friends and readers, who said to:

Lunch

* Keep a food journal. The reader who suggested this likes it because, as she said, “The biggest thing in eating well is portion control.”

* Talk to Darren Williams of Muscatine for advice. After all, he has lost 300 pounds.

* Eat a plant-based diet.

* Switch to the paleo diet.

Dinner

* Become a vegan.

Going paleo is the advice of some of my new friends at Warrior Crossfit Muscatine. It’s a diet I know little about, so I’m willing to hear what my friends have to say. Obviously, it works for them.¬† But I’m skeptical about a diet that limits or restricts anything — especially something such as grains and legumes. Strict practitioners of the paleo diet also abstain from alcohol. That would be strike two in my book.

The vegan suggestion came from a school friend. “Diet is 90 percent¬† of the battle. I’m basically vegan at this point. Makes huge difference,” she wrote in a comment on my Facebook page.

Perhaps like many of you, however, I’m not sure how practical being vegan would be for me. It would likely mean at least occasionally fixing two different meals at my house. And, in Muscatine, it would likely mean never eating out again, which might even be a good thing.

Nor am I sure about keeping a food journal. I know I do not have the discipline to do it every day for the rest of my life. Heck, I’m not even sure I would make it to the end of the week.

I did, however, photograph what I ate Tuesday: bowl of oatmeal with toast and peanut butter for breakfast; the mystery pasta and green beans served for the Muscatine Kiwanis Club meeting at noon; and two scrambled eggs loaded up with vegetables and a piece of toast for dinner. I put some of my new favorite stuff, Mezzetta sandwich spread, on the toast.

My vegan friend said I should start a fitness blog and chronicle my progress. But I already post regularly on two blogs and I am working on a third blog I hope to launch this summer. A fourth blog is too much.

At least for a while, I think I may record here what I’m eating. Sort of like I’ve written about some of my workouts. And taking a picture of what I eat is much easier than meticulously writing it all down.

In the end, the best advice I’ve received this week came from my friend, Lori Carroll: “It really comes down to what works for YOU.”

And I even know what that is:

* Eat three meals a day and avoid snacking.

* Make sure each meal is loaded up on vegetables and at least one whole grain.

* Opt for alternative sources of protein such as beans and nuts and keep to a minimum how much meat, poultry and fish I eat.

* Eat more at home more often and eat out less.

* Eat foods that are as close to whole as possible and avoid foods that are over processed.

* Take at least 20 minutes to savor each meal. Chew every mouthful and stop eating like a wolf.

Like practically everyone else in the United States when it comes to the subject of eating right, I just need to do it.

There are two things I will not do:

* Follow the advice of a college friend who said if I really want to eat clean I might want to consider trying Comet or Windex. I’m pretty sure she was joking.

* Quit trying to win this struggle.

On the exercise front: Tuesday, I put in 45 minutes at a cycling class at the Muscatine Community Y.

On the alcohol front: I had one light beer.