Monday, March 30, 2009

Do I Live to Eat?

I think I might, I love to eat, I know that for sure. I haven’t given an update of my progress with losing weight recently- basically because I haven’t. I “Fell Off” the Treadmill, figuratively, I didn’t actually fall, I just haven’t run or even walked this month. February really did me in, I was exhausted, but that is really no excuse because I think we all know in the back of our minds that when we exercise- we get more energy- eventually. Add to that the fact that my scale broke so I have No Idea if I have managed to maintain the 10 pounds I have lost this year and you have your complete update on my struggles to become healthy and lose what feels like a massive amount of weight. (I started last October with the intention to loose 40 or 50 pounds).

But I have good news- I have found a desire inside me that I didn’t even know existed- the desire to eat healthy food. All my life I thought that eating a healthy diet meant that I only consumed a certain amount of calories, that I ate a good variety of foods, such as proteins and carbohydrates and yummy, yummy dairy because I am a girl and need the calcium for my bones. I think I was wrong, really, really wrong and I am on the verge of making a change- a big, big change.

I discovered a few months ago that Sunflower Market has really great prices on produce, and so I started buying more fruits and vegetables, though at the beginning it was mostly fruit. I told a good friend and neighbor that I was trying to eat more healthy fruits, and enjoying it, and she told me about a book she had recently read that talked about changing our diets to be more vegetable based. At the time I didn’t really think it was right for me, but I stored the information in the back of my mind for future recall. Then a couple of weeks ago, that same friend blogged about Health and Appearance and I remembered that she had recommended a book to me and I suddenly really wanted to read it. And so I borrowed it. “Eat to Live” by Joel Fuhrman M.D.

It took me about a week and a half to read, but I wasn’t too far into it when I realized that I wanted and needed to make some drastic changes to my Diet. And by Diet I mean the way that I normally eat, ( I have been musing about the word diet this week too, because when I hear people talk about their Diet I assume they are Dieting trying to loose weight, why is that? So anyway) Dr Fuhrman believes that Americans are overfeed and undernourished, he doesn’t say that we need to cut way back on food, just that we need to cut way back on foods that do us no good and up the portion sizes of the foods that are good for us. So what is bad for us, Processed, Refined, Sugary and Fatty Foods? Did that surprise me? No, not really, although I will admit that I like those foods a lot. What falls into that category? White Rice, Pasta’s…I was surprised by this, I thought those were good for me. What else…Meat’s, Cheeses and other Animal Products… should be used rarely, if at all. What is good for us? Whole grains are good, as well as, as many Fruits and Vegetables as we can possibly cram into our stomachs.

He lays out his reasoning for this type of diet very well over the first 7 chapters of the book- Whole foods are best, refining foods removes nutrients from the food, enriched foods are basically foods that have 20+ nutrients removed through the refining process and then had 4 or so nutrients added back in, still not good for you. Animal products have been linked to cancer and many of them are fatty, and as such can be linked to any number of other diseases. The best diet is one rich in nutrients and with a high Nutrient to Calorie Ratio. Fruits and Vegetables are naturally high in nutrients and low in calories, thus they should make up the majority of the calories that we consume.

The kind of diet he advocates really made me think of the Word of Wisdom and that got me thinking about what the word Sparingly means, we should eat meat sparingly, interesting to think about....

I was so excited to make this change in our eating habits that I jumped the gun a little. At several points in the first few chapters Dr Fuhrman explained that he thinks we should eat HUGE amounts of Vegetables and the easiest way to do so is in a Salad, and that our Salads should be roughly the size of a head of Romaine Lettuce. So I went out and bought salad makings and discovered that a head of Romaine Lettuce is MORE THAN HUGE, so Ken and I shared a head of lettuce between us, with other yummy salad fixings like Red Bell Peppers, a little Cilantro, Black Beans, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Corn etc. I even made a dressing with tofu- for myself; Ken won’t go near food that it stored near tofu, let alone tofu itself.

The Salads were so exceedingly huge that we had to eat them out of 12-cup Tupperware bowls/ metal mixing bowls. It was during this meal of gigantic salads that I asked Ken what he thought “Sparingly” meant. We came to agreement that we would reduce our meat consumption to 2 nights per week during the Spring, Summer and Fall and then 3 nights a week during Winter. My Salad was very filing. Ken didn’t hate his, but I think he was silently mourning food. I have eaten a huge Salad at least once a day for the past 6 days, and I will admit, I have not snacked as much, and I feel pretty good.

Now I felt kind of silly when I got to the chapters of the book where he explains the diet and gives example menus and a few recipes. There is so much more you can do with Vegetables than just Salads. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about cooking vegetables, Silly, Silly, Silly. So don’t fear for Ken- he will be fed and he will be fed well. I plan to really start our new diet on Wednesday- Ha ha, that is April fools day- but it is no joke, we are eating better as of April 1st!
So if any of you out there have Vegetable (or Fruit or both) dishes that you love- Soups, Salads, Casseroles or Sandwiches, anything really if you would send me the recipe I would love to try it. The same goes for Spices and Herbs that you like to use, fresh or dry, let me know about them and how you use them to make your food yummy. PLEASE- because I love yummy food.

One nice side effect of this change in diet- according to Dr. Fuhrman, when your body is well fed with nutrient rich food, it will naturally find its ideal weight, I will let you know if that happens.


angee said...

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Jodi said...

I am so excited, and surprised, to hear of the change of eating lifestyle. When it comes to meat I was given a piece of advice that I like to share: the orientals set a good example with their meat portions, follow those proportions and you will do well when incorporating them into a meal. I have many recipes typed up, and many more to go, that I will share with you. I'm very happy to hear you want to make these changes.

Peter McCombs said...

"To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours ... We need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the 'king's meat' — and whose countenances show it." -Ezra Taft Benson

Shanna said...

Great post! I've thought many times that I needed to eat heathier. I too have a book that was written by an lds author from Logan. It's called Losing It 5 Keys to Successful Weightloss and LDS Guide to Healthy Eating. It's a really good book. It goes along with the Word of Wisdom as well. In fact I believe she talks about it somewhere in her book. I'd be happy to lend it out if you want more reading on Healthy Eating! :)

Rachel said...

ROSEMARY (and basil, but mostly rosemary). I have a huge plant and I love that I can just snip off a stem or two whenever I want. I highly recommend it. But put it in a pot instead of in the ground, and that way during the winter you can bring it inside so it won't freeze and die. Thyme and dill are great too, fresh or dried.

What's your email address? I have a few veggie recipes you might like.