(Courtesy photo)

The Techie Diet

So many people I know are on a low carb or totally ketogenic diet. They eat butter with coffee, don’t eat sugar, and always talk about their diet. With some of the best (and somewhat carby) restaurants in The City, it seems damn near impossible to actually have a meal outside your home. We don’t think about the fact that Hillstone marinates it’s chicken in sugar, or that the hoisin sauce on your green beans from Mission Chinese is not paleo.

The foods you think are healthy all of a sudden become the enemy, from carrots to yogurt. Why are all of the techies adopting this diet? It goes back to optimization of time, energy and resources. Everyone wants to be the best possible human they can, along with their crazy-”
ass diets. It’s not just techies who have fled to this diet, but average people outside of the bubble. The only difference here is that it is a craze.

So really, what is the ketogenic diet? In short, it is a high-fat, low carb diet that replaces carbs with fat. Yum! The stuff we try and lose is the exact thing that you have to eat to be on this diet. The result of this bodily change results in what is called ketosis, where your body is burning fat (instead of carbs) for energy. Many people (and doctors) have claimed that this is the healthier way to diet, and can treat other ailments, like epilepsy and diabetes.

While all of this is good and fine, I feel like I am walking and eating around diet zombies, and all they talk about is how they eat (and some about how they love SoulCycle). I am sick of hearing about how you can’t have the food that I made the reservation for over a month ago, or how you can’t have the white wine I brought back from Napa. It’s a bit much when you post about your “paleo dinner,” every other day. I mean, live a little. Unless you are completely obese and need to make radical changes in your diet to stay healthy, this may not be all that.

I respect dieting. I love my vegans, my vegetarians and my pescetarians. But something these San Franciscans know is that lifestyle is the key to maintaining a diet. It is a commitment, not a fad to lose the 10 pounds you gained this past winter. Long term, we don’t really know if it is healthy. By the way, did I mention that soylent is not keto? Soylent is just for the coders who don’t even get up to eat. That is frankly an even worse diet. But I digress. I guarantee you that the next big restaurant that comes out is completely keto. Watch, it will happen.

I am sure you are thinking I can’t knock it until I’ve tried it. I did when my Mom was doing keto. They say that you shouldn’t be hungry, but I was hungry all the time. I had to take Metamucil, I had to make sure I had salt every once and awhile, and I felt like I was locked into an eating cage, where I couldn’t enjoy anything except the occasional avocado or steak. It was not a way to live. But I don’t have all of the answers. I am just an opinionated privileged girl who actually has the choice to eat whatever I want.

I implore the keto paleo folks to go to their calendar and mark how many days they actually stayed on the diet. I bet that people couldn’t make it past a month without cheating. Even San Francisco doesn’t always cater to this lifestyle. We have truffle mac and cheese, Paxti’s and Tartine Bakery. While I don’t frequent these places, it is good to live a little, even if it is once a year.

With a background in journalism, Melissa Eisenberg has been working in the tech industry for eight years, currently leading the SF FashTech community.

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