What Andy Ruina eats
(updated Oct 9, 2017)

Simple, mostly accurate, description: Low-carb vegan.

Strict vegetarian, mostly vegan. Since December 2015, I am also nearly ketogenic.  That's ketogenic vegan.
The things  I eat, on this weight-losing vegan diet, are described below (and also, pretty accurately here).

Here's one vegan resource. http://www.pressurecookerpros.com/vegan-cooking-lose-the-eggs-milk-and-butter/

Things I DO eat

General description: Non-starchy things made from plants (and fungus)
* I especially like the *'d things. [I avoid, but eat a little of the square-bracket things]:

All non-white vegetables
      (broccoli*, kale*, Cauliflower (conceptually non-white), carrots, tomatoes, peas, eggplant*, artichoke*, asparagus*, etc)
Some root vegetables
      (beets, Jerusalem artichoke, onion*, garlic*, carrot, parsnip, etc)
Seitan*, Tofu*, Tofukan*, gluten, vegan protein powder
    These are all good low-carb vegan protein.
Some fruits*
      (coconut, kiwi, berries, lemon, lime, pomegranate, etc [apple, orange, banana, pineapple, mango, papaya])
Vegetable oil, vegan margarine
      (if the label lists no milk, butter or whey).
Fungus products
      (mushrooms*, brewer's yeast*, vegan soup stocks).
      (all kinds).
Spicy food*
      (including cayenne, black pepper, green spices, masala spices, etc.).
Fried food*
  (if fried in vegetable oil that is not used to also fry meat or fish).
Roasted food*.
Baked food*.
Steamed and boiled food.
Raw food.
Soy Milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk etc, and things made from them (e.g., vegan yogurt)
Xyletol and erythritol  sweeteners (made from trees or corn, taste better than other low-cal sweeteners like Stevia)

[I almost totally stopped eating, since Dec 2015, the square parentheses things below]

[All flour]
    [(white, whole-wheat, corn, rice, etc., even with gluten)]
[Pasta (if it is not made with egg)]
[All grains]
   [(rice, wheat, barley, quinoa, etc) ]
[All dried beans]
   [(soy, black beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, pintos, dried peas, lentils,etc)]
[Sweet things]
 [including Sugar, honey, maple syrup, chocolate (if it has no milk or butter in it), sorbet (if it has no eggs, milk or gelatine in it), soy, coconut or rice based ice creams, carob]


My taste

I especially like the *'d foods above. I also like lots of food that is not-starred. People sometimes think that vegans are raw-food anorexics on a low-calory diet of bland leafy vegetables, basically rabbits. I am rabbit like. But, I'm a big guy who likes lots of spicy food. Salad can be really good. But a plate of cold zero-calorie vegetables usually isn't an exciting meal by itself unless there is a tart or spicy dressing. I like unsweatened chocolate. And I like Mexican food. But for mole. This one Mexican chocolate sauce, mole,   is nauseating to me for some reason.


Things I DO NOT eat.  At all.

Things made from animals (including fish), for example:

      (including beef, chicken, pork, dog, squirrel, whale, etc.)
      (including shark, clams, lobster, shrimp, anchovies, caviar, etc.)
      (including cream, butter, yogurt, whey, cheese, etc.)
     (from any animals, including egg yolk or egg white and caviar)
Things made with _any_ of the things above, for example:
   * Gelatine is made from pig or cow feet, it's used in many sweet foods (e.g., jello, gum drops)
   * Quorn (a brand of fake meat) has egg in it
   * Veggie hot dogs usually have egg in them
   * Many soup stocks have chicken, fish or beef broth (but some do not)
   * Worcester sauce has anchovies in it
   * Mayonnaise has egg in it.
   * Margarines often have some milk products (e.g., whey. But some do not.)
   * Pasta sometimes has egg in it (and often does not).
   * Sorbet sometimes has egg or gelatine in it (50:50).
   * Kimchi (Korean cabbage) often has shrimp or fish sauce in it (and rarely does not)
   * `Vegetarian' asian dishes often have fish oil or shrimp in the sauces, maybe in their "soy" sauces, in ways that the chef
        only knows if he/she reads the labels looking out for the words `fish', `shrimp', `anchovies', etc.
   * Many prepackaged foods have some egg, milk, meat, fish or shrimp in them (one has to read the labels carefully).
   * Fried food is often fried in lard (animal fat) or in oil that is contaminated by having had chicken, clams or fish fried in it.



Full guilty disclosure. Although I'd  rather not have the option, I very rarely eat sweet things that have some egg, milk or butter in them.


Why am I a vegetarian?

It's a squeamish thing. If I eat meat I think of the animals being killed. That makes me feel bad.

Why a whole www page on this? I got the idea from Erik Winfree. He gave me his Erik's-odd-eating-habits link when we invited him for dinner, and it helped.


The long story

I have been a vegetarian since 1970, a few months after reading an essay by George Bernard Shaw called Killing for Sport and two days after Anne Ogden told me she was a vegetarian. I thought, that doesn't sound so hard. But the next day I forgot and had a tuna fish sandwich. Since then I the only time I recall intentionally eating meat was a couple of years later. To prove to Judy Feldman that I was not rigid, I had a piece of clam quiche. Once Richard Rand said "Did anyone order eggplant Parmesan?" and I was half way through his Veal. But mostly I haven't eaten meat since I was 17.

After a while I realized that the egg and milk business, at least in America, depends on killing. Milk and eggs would cost 10 times more if they kept the baby boys and old ladies alive and healthy. Eggs grossed me out more and more so in about 2000 I started to drop eggs and milk. That is harder than being just vegetartian because I am addicted to sugar. I consider sugar vegan, so that's not the problem. But it is, because my addiction to sugar sometimes trumps my goals of not eating animal products. That is, my vegan morals sometimes collapse, with some private wincing and public embarrassment, in the presence of non-vegan sweets which I will eat despite my so-called principles. Unless there is also a sweet vegan option and I can reach for that (which is often less tasty, but that's ok) and then there is harmony. In India, where they supposedly don't kill cows, I used to have milk in my tea, but not anymore.

Sociologically, my eating rules seem reminiscent of the Kosher eating of my heritage. But that goes back too far to be explanatory. My parents were far from Kosher, happily drinking milk when they ate bacon, for example. And I didn't spend that much time with my Kosher grand-parents and uncles and aunts. So, unless it is in jewish DNA, or associated in complex ways with other jewish cultural traits, it is hard to make that connection. If I was forced to make it, the connection would be this. My parents raised me with the ideas of, maybe sort of associated with jewish culture, "think of it from the other person's point of view" or, in biblical language I never heard, "do onto others as you would have them do onto you". And I extrapolated that idea beyond my parents' intentions, to animals. Add to that the general societal pressure to be consistent, to avoid the appearance hypocrisy, and then add in the personal benefits of having policies rather than re-thinking and re-evaluateing every choice, and preferences naturally evolved into rules.

In the summer of 2015 I got up to about 280 pounds.  The weight charts say I should weigh, for my 6'3" height, 200 pounds at most. So, starting in Dec 2015 I dropped most carbs from my already vegan diet. I am now, Oct 9, 2017, down to about 218 pounds.   To get to 200 and stay there, I probably have to keep this diet, more or less, for the rest of my life.

(Created May 15, 2012, most recent edit on Oct 9, 2017)