Monday, March 21, 2016

A Lot to Give Up

I don't always agree with Penn Jillette, but I often do.  At the very least I would say I'm better off having considered things from his point of view.  He seems to be an honest person, if nothing else.  I follow what he has to say, and for a while now he has been talking about how much healthier he feels on his new diet.  How he takes many fewer medications, and has lost a lot of weight.  He's inspired others to try it, and they all seem to agree.  I waited to find out what this new diet entails so I could try it.  Then came the big reveal; just two simple rules:

1. Very limited salt, sugar, and oil.
2. No animal products.

My first thought was, 'That's too bad.  I was hoping it was something I could try.'  And can you blame me?  It's pretty extreme.  But I realized I should not just be dismissing it out of hand.  I gave it a lot of though, and boiled down my two main concerns:

1. Can I be happy living on that?
2. Is that obtainable?

For salt, sugar, and oil, the answer to the first question is, 'probably yes.'  I didn't know then, but I do know now that if I wasn't eating all kinds of salt and sugar, that sweet corn would be sweet to me, and celery would be salty.  My taste buds would find a new norm.  But is it obtainable?  Probably not without cooking everything I eat, or eating at fancy restaurants all the time.  McDonald's doesn't have a salt, sugar, and oil-free menu.  And I'm a man who has never turned on his oven.  I put a pin in that part.

No animal products?  We're talking vegan here.  Like head toward vegetarian, and just keep going.  Can I be happy living on that?  Is it obtainable?  When I'm home I eat a lot of salad.  And it looks like I pass a few fast food places on the way to work everyday that have vegan options.  I actually think that going vegetarian would be fairly easy, but that doesn't even seem to be half way to vegan.  Most things I love have some animal products in them.  But do they have to?  Let's find out.

I've hired a consultant.  Turns out Fiverr has several people offering this sort of advice.  I have a Skype meeting set up for later this week.  I'm not naive, and I have done some research.  I know I'll probably have cook some: maybe figure out how to make some curries, and steam some vegetables.  I'll also have to spend more, but hopefully not too much more.

In short, it's an experiment worth trying.  I'm not going to let anyone make me feel guilty if it fails, but I'm also not going to let anyone make me feel guilty if it succeeds.  And above all else, I'm not going to be some jerk who makes everyone else feel guilty if I'm wildly successful.

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