Recently, I have been studying exercise and diets. I've looked at programs that tell me how to slim down, how to bulk up, how to eat healthy, and even how to eat when camping.

My favorite advice comes from the Boy Scout handbook. It says several practical considerations, such as how fresh foods have the most flavor, to eat foods that are delicious, healthy, and filling, and how cooking meals myself is more satisfying. It also says that in bad weather, if I am tired, or if my mood is low — A hearty meal can energize me, and cheer me up.

Other frequent diet advice which helps my meal planning includes: To eat early, to avoid big meals at the end of day, and to eat regularly. Diet plans suggest anywhere from 3 to 6 meals a day.

In every diet quantity and quality matters. Food is measured in servings. Serving sizes vary between foods and food groups. Though diets disagree on number of servings, the serving size measurements within healthy and necessary food groups tend to be consistent:

Water (5 to 10 daily servings)
I figure my serving size of water, by taking my weight in pounds divided by 10, and that number is how many ounces I want to drink at least 5 times throughout the day. So if I weigh 120 pounds, then I want to drink 12 ounces of water, five to ten times a day.
Vegetables and Fruits (At least 5 servings, consisting of 3 to 5 veggie servings and 1 to 3 fruit servings per day)
Adult serving size is 1 to 2 cups, 1 to 2 servings per 15 oz can, or 1 to 2 whole pieces depending on the item. Dehydrated portions are significantly smaller; one-half to one-eighth the size depending on the item.
Proteins (At least 3 to 5 servings per day of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, legumes, and nuts)
My serving size is as big as my fist, about 4 to 6 ounces, or about 3/4 to 1.5 cups. Serving sizes of meat are smaller in cans or dehydrated, while double the weight served bone-in. In other words, chicken or turkey on the bone, I might need to plan about twice the ounces per single serving simply to avoid counting parts of the animal I don't eat. Similarly, livestock weighing 1300 pounds could provide 500 pounds of meat when butchered properly.
Carbohydrates (3 servings per day, including whole grains every day)
Serving size is about 1 cup, 1 slice of bread, or 1 roll.
Healthy fats and oils (2 servings per day)
Serving size is about 1/4 cup in that context
Sweets, seeds, and other oils (at most 2 servings per day)
Serving size is again about 1/4 cup.

Study of diets in family night, including doctor's advice, has also caused my family to unanimously decide we should eat more vegetables. We eat more leafy raw vegetables, both yellow and green. We try to eat stinky vegetables at least 3 times a week, which include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Exercise is becoming more important in my life. Many exercise programs encourage 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week. It helps to set a schedule and measure my progress. I bike more, when I measure my lap times. Exercise motion should be controlled, smooth and fluid. To help my endurance, I have had a little luck with varying my pace. On one extreme each minute of intense exercise is separated by 20 seconds of rest. Common exercises like pushups, pullups, situps and standing long jump, provide a natural break time after doing the maximum my muscles can give with each try.

As a member of the LDS church, I have some extra lessons involving my stomach which I sometimes take for granted.

The word of wisdom
  • Proscribes coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs
  • Requirement of worthiness for baptism and other saving ordinances
The law of the fast
  • Accompanied by paying fast offerings as explained in Isaiah 58
    In the last LDS general conference, Dean M. Davies and Jeffrey R. Holland called my attention to this chapter and this law.
Summary of diets
Summary Advice Healthy Camping Slimming Strengthening
Eat regular meals Eat regular meals Breakfast, lunch and dinner At least 6 meals at most 3 hours apart
Eat early Start with breakfast
Avoid big meals at end of day
Milk only in the morning
Fruit and heavy starches (bread, pasta, rice) only before 1pm
Prepare good quality meals Fresh foods have the most flavor
Eat foods that are delicious, healthy, and filling.
If weather is bad weather, I am tired, or my mood is low — A hearty meal can energize me, and cheer me up.
Cooking meals myself is more satisfying.
Anything that fits in small containers Meal replacement bars and shakes (if sugar free)
4 or 5 daily servings of vegetables At least 5 of vegetables and fruit At most 5 of vegetables
2 or 3 daily servings of fruit At least 5 of vegetables and fruit At most 3 of fruit
Eat some leafy raw vegetables Leafy raw vegetables, yellow and green
Eat some stinky vegetables including
cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower
3 times a week
3 or more times a week
Eat adequate protein daily (2 or 3 daily servings of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, legumes, and nuts) Adequate amounts from lean meats and plant sources 5 servings (max) 6 servings
3 servings per day of carbohydrates
Whole grains at least once a day
At least once a day 3 servings (max)
2 servings per day of healthy fats and oils At least once a day 1/2 cup daily
Limit sweets, other fats, seeds, and refined sugars
no more than 1/2 cup in a day
Eliminate sweets
Limit condiments to 1/4 cup daily
Limit seeds to 1/4 cup daily
Eliminate sweets
Limit condiments such as ketchup and salad dressing
Drink water frequently throughout the day Glasses, 4 to 8 a day number of ounces of water is half my weight in pounds
Get adequate calcium daily from dairy products (milk or soy) Get adequate calcium daily from milk and plant-based (soy) products
Exercise. I want to set a schedule, and measure progress.
I want to do 3 tries per exercise, 30 minutes of exercise a day, 3 to 5 times a week.
Exercises should be controlled, smooth and fluid motion.
I want to exercise 30 minutes most days of the week. Situps, pushups, pullups, walk/run 500 yards, standing long jump
I measure my best time/amount of each, attempt 3 times with breaks, 3 times a week.
I want to show improvement after 30 days.
30 minutes daily
I try to do 60 seconds of high intensity with 20 second breaks between as many times in a row as I possibly can.
I set a schedule, realistic goals, chart my progress, if I fall off I get back on.
I stretch before, and perform exercise in controlled smooth and fluid manner to build strong muscles.
Multi-vitamin daily Yes Yes
Containers dieting sample
picture of containers used in the 21 day fix diet