A week ago I decided to give a try to the “slow carb” diet that Tim Ferris is advocating on his latest book. Before diving too deep into the details of this, a few words about Tim and his books. I don’t consider Tim Ferris a fraud. But I also don’t think he’s as gorgeous as he’s portrayed by some of the major media outlets. He marked a generation of digital nomads, that’s true. But I confess I never read “The 4 Hour Work Week” to the end.
When you act in the same playground, you learn a few tricks. And I’m talking about the “self-improvement” playground here, one in which I have played really tough in the last 5-6 years. You learn how to discern between useful information and just shiny add-ons. And Tim uses a lot of shiny add-ons. If you take these nice and punchy lines off of his books, you remain with just a handful of common sense advice. Which is good and worth giving a try, but it won’t make me climb on the top of the tallest building and cry his name out so everybody knows how gorgeous he is. No way.
That being said, let’s get back to what I decided to get out of this “slow carb diet” he’s promoting.
Slow Carb Meals
There are only 4 rules that I decided to follow.
1. Ditch anything that’s white: cereals, bread, rice, potatoes, unless you’re less than 60 minutes after an intense workout, at least 400 calories burned.
2. Eat beans, lots of beans and vegetables. Meat is allowed, but only beef and chicken.
3. Don’t drink calories. Got rid of beer, which is kind of a big deal for me, and switched to a glass of red wine per evening, and also got rid of fruit juice, just raw fruits.
4. Have a “eat all you want” day. I decided this day will be Saturday, and I intend to make up for all the others day, that I can tell you.
There are also few other points that are worth considering.
– the “eat all you want” day may act like a metabolism regulator. If you keep the same type of diet for too long, your body will adjust. A sudden spike in calories intake may act like a regulator, keeping it alert.
– beans are very dense in calories and proteins, while vegetables are not. So there will be very different quantities for a beam meal as for a spinach meal, for instance.
– I also continued my running habits, even started to improve them. I now run about half an hour out of an one hour workout, which translates into 3-4 km and around 4-500 calories burned. That’s every other day.
I didn’t start to measure anything exactly. Partly because I’m kinda sick about it, I did it a lot in the past and got really bored. And partly because I don’t want external sensors to tell me if I fell good or not. I just want to listen to my body, to see how much I work, how much I sleep, and how do I feel, overall. The only thing that I will measure, and even this one will be really rough, will be the shape of my body. My stomach is already flat, but there are also spots in which fat can accumulate, so I will watch those spots and see if there’s any improvement in the next few weeks.
The Slow Carb Spinach Recipe
But maybe the most important consequence of this experiment is that I started to cook. I cooked some raw meals before, but there’s a huge difference. Now I’m also interested in taste, if you know what I mean. So far, I successfully cooked beans and spinach. And that gets us to the point. Here’s what I tried the other day.
Ingredients: one medium onion, one clove of garlic, 2 carrots, 500 gr of chopped spinach, olive oil, two spoons of tomato sauce
How to: Cut the onion and the carrots. Peel the garlic but don’t cut it, unless it’s really big, leave it as it is. Pour two spoons of olive oil into a pan, heat and then add the onion and the garlic. Leave for 3-4 minutes, until they soften.
Then add a cup of water, the carrots and 2 spoons of tomato sauce and leave for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the spinach along with two cups of water and leave for 20 minutes to cook slow.
As you can see, I didn’t add any condiments, like salt or pepper, but you can do this after you add the spinach. Serve as it is, or with one or two fried eggs aside. From these measurements, I can eat twice. Remember, spinach is not as dense in calories as beans or meat, so you gotta eat more.
And if anyone asks why is this a “slow carb” recipe, I am pretty sure I will not know the exact answer. Maybe because the rest of my diet is comprised only by beans? Could be. 🙂