Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shangri-La Diet. My friend Daniel, who has instigated any number of my more interesting adventures has been a gnat in my ear about this new diet he's trying. A persistent gnat. I mean really, as a graduate of any number of goofy diets I thought I knew a silly one when I saw it. This one definitely has the hallmarks -- drink flavorless oil by the tablespoon an hour before having any 'flavors'? But I have to say, Daniel's well-researched things have had merit in the past. So 'oh well' -- here I go.


First, I decided that if I'm going to be inhaling copious amounts of oil each day, it would be 'good' oil. So which oils made the cut for the team? Raw sesame seed oil, walnut oil, flax oil and evening primrose oil. The Shangri-La diet recommends that you use either refined walnut oil or extra light olive oil. Oils high in Omega-3 and low in Omega-6 are recommended, and flax seed oil is also recommended but you have to clamp your nose to be sure there is no flavor seepage. Sesame oil is not recommended, however, from my days in Japan I heard a lot about its incredible health benefits.

morning view

So early Monday morning, I filled a measuring cup to its mark using the walnut oil as a base, and adding small amounts of the others. Bleah! I have to drink this much! So holding my nose, I downed it, getting past the gag reflex and chasing it down with some water. Within moments I felt nauseous, and went to recline on the sofa. The nausea, and absolute revulsion for food lasted about two hours, and I just gazed out the window at the morning view thinking about all the strange and sensible diets I'd tried and failed at over the years. Poor Dad had a late breakfast as I couldn't bear the sight or smell of food. Hmmm.. maybe there is something to this. I couldn't bring myself to eat breakfast at all.

So off I went about my daily activities, and in a few hours noticed that my skin felt very good, and the persistent dry spot on my forehead that had itched for the last couple weeks seemed to have healed. I also had an overall sense of my body running 'smoother' somehow. I guess like the tin man, I needed some oil! At least good for you oil. I noticed no desire for food at all, but when it came it was a real hunger pang and came out of nowhere. When I ate lunch, I noticed wanting something light, and not even finishing it. Hmmm... this is good. Daniel had quoted me some article about the difference between losing or not being the difference of one potato chip a day. Eeeek! I wondered if the one making the difference was the last potato chip eaten, or the one 5 chips back? I rarely eat potato chips anyway, but what a thin line of calories this represents.

I joined the forum at the diet creator's website, Sethroberts.net and created a little diet ticker. I'll post it here when it shows some movement in the right direction! Someone on the forum suggested titrating up the dosage slowly to avoid the nausea, and splitting it throughout the day. I was hoping to keep it simple, not wanting to carry around oil and think about the no flavors before or after by an hour. It's relatively simple just taking it all upon arising in the morning. But the drinking it definitely wasn't pleasant, so I searched around for an easier method.


I found a baby medicine syringe in a medical supply store which seemed to hold some promise, having a filler tube which could aim past my taste buds, and measuring two tablespoons. So that's what I tried this morning, only two tablespoons and I'm pleased to report the squirting it in the back of my throat quickly seemed to do the trick. I have no desire for food, but am not nauseous. The beauty of this diet is that beyond being strict about the no flavors and taking the oil, you don't have to think about your food choices, you are just naturally eating less and some report having a greater desire for healthier food. So I'm not turning this into a diet blog; I'll continue posting about the various food and adventures in Marin and beyond. And hopefully I'll be lightening up along the way.

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