I’ve had a few friends ask me about my “avoiding meat and dairy, eating mostly whole foods” meals I’ve switched to. I hesitate to call it a diet because of the negative connotations of that word. The basics of it are simple: Eat food that’s mostly from stuff that comes out of the ground or grows in it, but don’t worry about having dairy and meat occasionally. Eat fish whenever I feel like it. In general I know myself – aside from it being extremely difficult to avoid meat at parties, etc, I love a pizza with pepperoni and bacon occasionally and I hardly believe the rare non-fish meat will be bad for me.
Example from today:
Lunch: 100% whole wheat pasta with a garlic pesto, a bit of olive oil, steamed broccoli and sugar peas, some parmesean cheese. Then for a “snack” I made a smoothie with peaches, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and bananas + 1 scoop of Vega(http://myvega.com/products/whole-food-health-optimizer/features-benefits) vanilla chai protein mix.
Another of my favorites is my lunch where I take 100% whole wheat bread, toast it, then put a sundried tomato pesto on instead of mayo, add some baby spinach, two thick slices of tomato with sea salt and pepper. Delicious, whole foods, and healthy.
And in terms of dairy, the easiest thing to cut out is milk. Instead, I drink almond milk. Even the sweetened vanilla version I drink has 90 calories for an 8 ounce glass of milk compared to 120 calories for a 2% organic milk, only 2.5g of fat, and the myriad of minerals from the almonds.
The thing I really noticed by eating mostly veggies is that I can eat a ton more than I could when I ate more meat and dairy. I don’t have to watch what I eat, for the most part, because it’s not calorie dense. The hardest part to adjust to was the flavor differences, but again I don’t deny myself cravings – I just extremely limit them. Most important of all, I feel better and have more energy. That’s priceless.
It wasn’t the crickets most of my messages elicited. It wasn’t the fact that 90% of the women’s profiles all said the same thing (Looking for a funny, smart, self confidant guy who makes me laugh!). It wasn’t the rampant self-effacing nature of online dating, even.
It was what online dating was turning me into.
Don’t even get me started on how online dating is SO not for the weak at heart. I’d find women that seemed amazingly compatible, read their profile a few times to get the most out of it, pen a note to them that stayed away from the creepy crap, then silence. Not even the little button at the bottom of e-mails that match.com sent that says “Send a gentle no thanks reply.” But I digress.
It took me months to perfect my profile. Months to see the opener letters that failed, diagnose their failures, ponder it, and rewrite it. For the first 2 months, I don’t think a single woman replied to anything I did.
Then I cut my profile down to a sliver of its former size. I stopped putting personal stuff in the first e-mails. I did what they said not to – I created an 80% chain opener e-mail. It was something to the effect of:
“[Mention something in common in her profile, and a random bit of it from later to prove I read it, which I actually did]. It looks like we may have some things in common – your profile piqued my attention. If mine does yours, well – you know how that works.”
Emotion-less. Boring to me in many ways.
And I’ll be darned if I didn’t nearly immediately get a significantly higher rate of reply. I got a ton more dates, and met a few really neat women.
This tells me one of a few things. Either most of the women on match.com were shallow, or I was only pursuing shallow women, or I’m terrible at online dating.
Either way, I had sacrificed what I believed in to get dates. I’d made my profile superficial. I’d made my opener what I felt like was the opener a not-quite-a-jerk would use. And it worked. But it made me feel crappy, and none of the women I dated ever made it past 2 months, and most not even past a few weeks.
So now I’m single, as I have been for about 4 months. And you know what? It’s better than sacrificing what I believe in to get a date.