Pros and cons of special diets

It seems that for most of my adult life I’ve had frequent periods of experimenting with my diet. Not weight loss diets, but various diets that purport to improve my health and well being. I’m not sure if my health has thereby improved or not, but that’s a little bit of a tangent. Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m not a person who must follow a specific food regimen or get very sick. E.g. I don’t have Celiac disease, so I can experiment with eating or not eating gluten.  Lately, for example, I’ve been thinking of trying to eat significantly fewer carbs as a way of addressing a few physical issues.

I think one reason I experiment with diets a lot is it’s kind of an interesting project for me. Plus there’s always the hope that something will change significantly for the better. But there are a few tradeoffs to following a designer diet.  One is that special diets are often more expensive than conventional diets, especially if you buy organic.

Another is that these special foods often become less available or even more expensive during times of crisis or shortage. I usually try to buy certain things organic but when the pandemic hit last year all thought of organic food or special food went out the window. My focus was on just making sure I had enough to eat at a relatively affordable price. Oh, and also there was comfort food.

Now I’ve noticed that I feel stable enough in my food supply to stat thinking about experimenting again, but the lesson is that if food shortages really do come along it will be harder to make the adjustment with a special diet. The transitions to and from a special diet can add extra stress to a crisis. Even when I travel to my home town in Russia, I often have a pretty rude dietary adjustment there. My dear friends, with whom I stay, are all about sugary snacks, simple carby potatoes and porridges, plus cold cuts and hot dogs. It’s a shock to adjust to that. Then, when I get back to the States it’s a shock to adjust back.

This makes me wonder about the viability of designer food diets when I’m trying to live with crisis preparedness in mind. My emergency food certainly doesn’t reflect my more esoteric food interests. So, if the food supply breaks down I’m going to have to have a wallop of an adjustment, in addition to any other stresses of the emergency. Is it worth sustaining that extra stress? Does it make more sense to eat more conventionally and simply? I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my food experimentation yet, and I do think there are health benefits to customized diets. What do you think?


  • Comments (3)

    • 5

      My philosophy is to snychromesh my foods with a flexibility to anticipate supply changes.  For example, I am a consumer of raw honey.  If raw honey evaporates from the shelves of the grocery store, will revert to pasteurized, non-raw honey. Will never even consider high frucose corn off the cob.

      For me, stress management gets priority over real health foods.  If, for example, am under immense stress, the chips would not be considerd evil.  I do not rationalize. It’s a balancing act being used.

      My conbination snack / health food is tree nuts.  They’re more expensive than peanuts – actually not a nut; they are legumes.  Tree nuts work for prostrate maintenance and the real cost comparison is the tree nut cost versus RX pharma.  

      Not knowledgeable in subject but some say “organic” is not a critical component of health foods. 

      I am now in the mood for a peva – although no longer consume alcoholic beverages – at least until end times – and then much shelf space here will be available.  Jewell of Russia vodka distilled 7 times ? After we circle the evac wagons, at campfire, aforesaid along with burnt marshmellows and the Russian champaign.

    • 5

      I can’t say I follow any specific diet however my diet has changed over time reflecting the changes in my body as I age.  I just can’t and really don’t want to eat certain foods.  I drink no soda and rarely drink alcoholic beverages.  I now drink unsweet tea as opposed to sweet tea.  I eat very little fried food and I almost never buy canned or processed foods.  I enjoy cooking from scratch and don’t want all the added chemicals.  I don’t have to have a meat with every meal and when I do, it is rarely beef… mostly fish and poultry.  I love cooking dried beans, especially red beans & rice.

      As a prepper, my current diet is more aligned with what I would eat in a crisis so I have little concern if that happens.  There would be little shock to my system.

    • 8

      My wife seems to change her diet every few months as she is dealing with some health issues and is trying to solve it by diet instead of traditional doctors. It does make for some difficulties in our food storage for her. 

      What we do is that when she starts a diet and wants to stick with it for a while, we start building up a few months of food storage of the food she is regularly eating. And I have my own foods that I enjoy and is pretty consistent. 

      If she does need to switch her diet, then we just use up the food she has been storing until it is gone and start over with her new diet and buy a couple extra items here and there until we build up again. 

      If a disaster was to hit, we can keep up our normal eating routines and if things are still bad, she can slowly transition to our long term staples of flour, rice, beans, etc…

      So store what you normally eat.

      -Be Prepared-