I just hosted a lunch for some of the girls I work with to chat about eating well. It was so fun. As we talked I outlined a three phase approach for them. I am finding more and more how important it is for most people to do things in stages. So, here goes.
Stage I -Low Glycemic eating
Read my earlier post on the Glycemic Index. I used to tell people to go home and throw away all the high GI foods in their pantry. That was the wrong approach. People would panic, staring at an empty pantry, and thinking their kids would starve. Instead, first go to the store and walk around the perimeter, stay out of the aisles. Buy whole foods (nothing in a box or a bag). Stock your kitchen this week with low GI fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds! The ladies today challenged me to name 10 veges. They said that all they could think of was broccoli and green beans 🙂 haha. Here ya go girls. Let me know if you need recipe ideas!
- Fresh snap green beans
- Swiss chard – (saute in sesame oil)
- Brussels sprouts (roast them)
- Fresh Spinach (wilt in olive oil)
- Red Cabbage
- Spaghetti Squash
Stage II – Gluten-free
This requires a whole new post – coming soon. The short version is this – after you have gotten comfortable with low GI (it may takes weeks, or months – it’s ok) move onto gluten-free. Gluten-free is not just for people with celiac disease. Gluten is basically the protein portion of wheat, and it is in almost all processed snack foods, what, rye, barley, and spelt. Oats are not technically gluten, but most are farmed in wheat fields and thus there may be some cross-over. (Oats are ok in this stage, but will be eliminated in stage III – grain free.) Become a label reader. To begin your gluten-free journey stock your kitchen with gluten-free options. Bob’s Red Mill has great gluten-free baking flours available from Amazon, Whole Foods, etc. Get some “quinoa” – a great high protein gluten-free grain. Here are some quinoa recipes. Check out this post by Karina @ glutenfreegoddess.com. Try Ezekiel or Millet Bread. Although corn does not contain gluten, I suggest eliminating it at this stage as well for similar reasons. And, if you have been following my blog at all, you know I am a huge fan of almond-flour and Elana’s Pantry and the Almond-Flour cookbook! More to come…
Stage III – Go Grain-free!!!
Again, I will write a longer post soon – here is the short version. Call it Paleo, Primal, grain-free, whatever. The idea is to only eat the things that are found pure in nature and don’t come in a box or a bag, and don’t require a lot of processing. So what is wrong with corn, or grain – it is found in nature, right? Not exactly. The majority of grains in the world today are GMO (genetically modified) and thus are not in their pure natural created state. And it turns out that our bodies don’t process this modified food so well. The paleo/primal folks would also add that our cave-man ancestors did not farm, but only hunted and gathered, and thus our bodies have not evolved to process grains. Maybe, maybe not! I’m not sure I buy the cave-man diet idea, especially cause I believe that Adam & Eve were the first humans. But, I agree with the nutritional principles outlined in books & blogs by the paleo community! The New ME Diet is a great book and Primal Blueprint is pretty good as well.
Drew and I are eating in phase III about 90% of the time. I can tell you that since we went gluten-free, we have more energy, better sleep, and less digestive discomforts. And when we do eat gluten we can tell, we feel like crap!
Try it, go phase III for 3 days. Call it a mini detox. For three days eat ONLY low GI fresh fruits and veges, nuts and seeds, and quality protein (chicken, grass-fed chemical free beef, wild fish, free-range eggs).
Finally, break up with your food and just be friends!
As you progress on your journey towards living well you will start to look at food a bit differently. It may have once been something to curb some instinctive craving within you as you reached for a tub of Blue Bell. Or to settle some chaotic emotion as you devoured a bag of Doritos. Or simply something to bring comfort at the end of a long day, as you reached for that brownie and glass of milk. But stop for a moment and look at your relationship with food. What is it to you? What should it be?
It is fuel #1. And something to enjoy #2. I love a great meal, a nice glass of wine, even a yummy dessert once in a while. BUT. Enjoying food, and expecting it to “satisfy” our needs are very different things. I will post more on this in the future. For today, just step back for a minute and examine your beliefs about food, your relationship with food. Like my friend Lindsay said, “let’s break up with our food and just be friends and find happiness somewhere eternal.” Take a moment and examine your heart, as the Lord to come and fill the empty places, turn to Him, and away from that bag of chips! Then, you can really start to ENJOY food, real food, good food, healthy food! Let’s “talk” more next time 🙂
As always, post your questions or suggestions. Or come on over, I will have a cup of tea waiting for ya!