It’s day two of the adventure and already I can tell this will be tough. I have yet to experience any major symptoms of my 150-200g of fiber diet, except perhaps that it is so filling. In fact, looking for a diet? Try the Lentil Lite!! (patent pending) Just eat one lentil meal (let’s say, lunch) a day per day and you’ll be trim as a whistle!
I need to force myself to finish more than 2000 calories of lentils each day. Sure some of the extra additions, like ketchup, increases that amount, but the lentils themselves are the bulk of the stomach filling.
Speaking of nutrition, it’s time to look at these healthy little buggers. Lentils have the third-highest protein of any plant (behind soy and hemp). But they also have sooo much more:
Nutrition facts, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, tell us that one serving of lentils contains 350 calories, 60g carbs, 1g fat and 26g protein while being a good source of Vitamin B1 and Iron. Also, of the 60g of carbs, more than half is fiber! So one serving of lentils give essentially all of your recommended amount of daily fiber. (Take that fortified cereals!) But here’s the rub: this serving is 3.5oz. by dry weight. In order to eat 40lbs. in 30 days, I need to eat 1.33lbs. per day which is 21.3oz. or just over six of these servings. So the daily lentil toll looks more like this:
A couple things stand out here: 1) One hundred fifty-eight grams of protein is a whole lot. As in three times the recommended amount. To top it off, while lentils are almost a complete protein, they are not completely, and thus I will need additional protein to get all essential amino acids. 2) One hundred eighty-nine grams of fiber! For a male my age eating around 2500-3000 calories a day, 38g of fiber is recommended. So five times that is, well, a lot. That can lead to several problems relating to intestinal discomfort and all the fun that creates downstream. However, despite claims that excess fiber reduces nutrient absorption, I’m going to go with Wikipedia on this one that says that is bullshit (in fact, soluble fiber may actually help nutrient absorption). And while around 400% iron and thiamine are probably not necessary, as long as I make sure that lentils are my only source of them, I should be fine. I think.
So, day two. Time to eat some lentils! Still had a bunch left over from cooking the other day, so breakfast was a half pound aliquot (dry weight, as always) with two fried eggs on top for a little diversity (seeing as how I’m consuming only six grams of fat from all of these lentils each day, a little extra ain’t going to kill me). Still more lentils, so another half-pound for lunch, straight up. But now dinner! I’m running out of lentils, so it is time to do the first crazy lentil recipe! For this I chose…………Lentil Burgers! (http://homecooking.about.com/od/vegetablerecipes/r/blv296.htm). These red lentil and hazelnut (though I used walnuts) burgers looked tasty and, with three cups of lentils per batch (even though that produces ~16 patties), it uses just enough lentils to be feasible for this challenge. The burger patties were quite tasty, although it took a little effort to finish four of the thirteen (guess mine are a little bigger) made in order to come to ~0.4lbs of lentils for the meal. Plus it made enough lentils for two more meals, so I guess you know what is for breakfast and lunch tomorrow…..
Oh god. So many lentils. I’m only on day two and the thought of finishing the rest of those is starting to pain me. I think these burger patties are the absolute minimum lentil-to-finished-product ratio in order to eat the proper amount each meal. Feeling so full. Tomorrow should be intersting. Wish me luck.
Total so far: ~2.9lbs lentils consumed, ~37.1lbs to go. 28 days remain.