Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mangalitsa Diet


I wrote here about my Mangalitsa/Sous Vide/Crossfit lifestyle change.

Basically, in the last few months, I've been eating my way through some Mangalitsa pigs, working out and using a supplement, Pentabosol.

Having noticed that the most fit people I sell Mangalitsa to - typically, of all things, lard - are paleo-dieting CrossFitters. My job is to sell fatty pork. I need people to eat fat and feel good about it. Obviously, the more fit you look when you do that, the better.

In December, I got more serious about exercise and diet. I went to my gym and did CrossFit enough to improve my fitness noticeably. CrossFit is ridiculously fun, and it will get you into shape quickly. Just try doing Fran (video). I don't think jogging or riding on an exercise bike will get you similar results.

Unfortunately, I injured my knee, probably doing some squats. I was re-injuring it when I did CrossFit. I finally decided I needed to stop the CrossFit and get the knee fixed. So I've switched to working out with kettlebells until I can go back to CrossFit. The idea is, repair the knee and build up enough strength that I can do thrusters and overhead squats without injuring myself.

On the diet front, in December, I noticed was that I was gorging on carbs. E.g. if I had roasted almonds around (so I could eat a few a day), I'd snap and eat them until they were all gone, at which point I'd go back to eating meat. I didn't have the discipline to make occasional almonds work.

I did some research and made some modifications.

I read some things - like this - that convinced me that I really ought to cut out the carbs and dairy. That is, on a daily basis, eat few carbs and no dairy.

I also read about the concept of a cheat day. When you are dealing with someone who loves carbs, if you tell them they never get to eat dessert again, they get terribly depressed. So imagine you tell the, "eat this for 6 days, the 7th day, you eat what you want." That makes it a lot easier to stick to a diet.

So I put that together and came up with this meal plan (6 days a week followed by a cheat day), which I started at the end of December:
Mangalitsa meat (cooked sous vide) or bacon, lardo, speck, sausage
leafy greens (cabbage, kale or collard greens)
any other non-dairy, low-carb foods
I'm calling this the Mangalitsa Diet.

I'll eat other things too - e.g. salami and Brazil nuts (basically no carbs)- so long as they don't contain dairy, sugar or starches. I also take Pentabosol twice a day.

There's no calorie counting on the Mangalitsa diet. If you are hungry, eat.

Typical meals look like the photo up top. Mangalitsa, Mangalitsa and more Mangalitsa. Surprisingly, this isn't getting boring. Mangalitsa tastes incredible. I typically eat it with salt and pepper. I cook it all in my Sous Vide Supreme.

I'm really enjoying eating chunks of meat. In the past, I tended to eat slices of bacon or sausage. Now I'm really liking chunks of fatty meat. I can see why people like to eat steak.

On this diet, most of the calories are from animal fats (typically Mangalitsa fat), except on the cheat day.

The high fat diet is quite satiating. That fits with the experience of others. If you are overweight, you will probably lose some fat, because you won't be overeating. Sometimes I am not hungry until the late afternoon. On those days, I eat when I get hungry. It leads to a sort of intermittent fasting.

A big change is that I'm not eating for entertainment. Most of my life, I've eaten out of boredom. That was very easy to do in Europe, because the beer, pastries and bread are so much better than here; that stuff tastes good and gives you a nice sugar rush. When your food has almost no carbs, you can't anything like a sugar rush no matter how much you eat.

I resumed losing weight after changing the diet. I also started gaining muscle.

My experience:
The low-carb Mangalitsa diet seems to be work. I enjoy my meals a lot.

The Sous Vide Supreme makes it ridiculously convenient to cook a lot of Mangalitsa.

Mangalitsa tastes so great, it doesn't get boring to eat it meal after meal. E.g. I have no desire to eat any non-Mangalitsa meat on my regular days.

CrossFit will get you fit.

If you aren't trained, working out with kettlebells will improve size, strength and aerobic capacity. Of course, if you aren't trained, just about any resistance training will get you low-hanging fruit - aka "newbie magic".

No comments: