Energy Diet

You Are What You Eat

“We are what we eat.” This is very true, and I have realized this many times in my life. It’s perfectly understandable that one way of reducing one’s carbon footprint is to eat less meat and more vegetable.

I was never a hardcore non-vegetarian, and being a health freak, it was easy for me to experiment with my food intake and even with my taste buds. It is no longer a secret that I am considering giving up meat intake entirely in coming two to three years. I have tried to eat vegetarian for six weeks every year for the last last four years.

Issues I had to deal with during that period were 1) social conventions 2) finding protein-rich meat substitutes and 3) energy and stamina imbalance during the transition. I have been very successful with such experiments, and now I have raised the bar and am considering a raw-food diet in next few months.

I have also tried coffee/tea fasts, alcohol fasts and fast-food fasts many times, ranging from a period of one week to six weeks. When I started such experiments four years back, it was nearly impossible to deal with family/social showdowns, body reactions and sleep disruptions, but now I congratulate myself too often that I tried that and I also realized that “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” Since then, I have been a passionate student of human potential and an advocate of change.

We live in an apartment complex and don’t have an option of growing vegetables at home. But I was successful in growing some, which are curry leaf and basil leaf. Here are a couple of snaps of a nearby local farmers market, which I have started visiting frequently.

Other actions I am taking:

  • Not to waste food, if I am bringing food from outside then only buy what I expect to eat
  • Buy most of the food items from a local farmers market
  • Buy more of seasonal fruits and vegetables
  • Playing around with a low carbon diet calculator to design food menus

I have yet to find the most effective and least carbon-intensive way of cooking. Options I have are LPG, electrical hot plate and microwave. I am expecting some suggestions here.


  1. clipton
    March 1, 2011, 6:34 pm

    Yogesh–Depending on what fuel generates electricity at the power plant, it is most likely that LPG is less carbon intense than electrical hot plate. For the cooking experience, LPG does a better job of reacting to changes from high to low heat.

    Regarding the microwave, I do not have a definitive answer. Microwaves use a lot of energy, but for much shorter time periods. Unless cooking popcorn, I avoid microwave use. Some researchers have argued that microwaves tear molecules apart, rendering nutrients inert. Health issues aside, if your electricity comes from a coal powered plant, then LPG should win out among those three.

  2. Yogesh
    March 2, 2011, 9:32 am

    Thanks Clipton,
    Great advise, whenever feasible I will use LPG.
    For the microwave, i was thinking in the same line.