Monday, 25 June 2012

Aside #24: Eat to Live

SmartCooks here.

I haven't been posting as much in the past month or so ... lots of reasons but one is that it's been a month of trial and error with low-fat, nutritionally balanced menus, much of it vegetables and raw foods.  

This means more farmers' markets greens  and tofu.  I definitely have not, nor likely will I, give up whole grains, dairy and lean protein meats, but I have become much more conscious about adding in more vegetables and fruits in as raw a form as I can. 

Truth be told is that I am wild about any type of green.  There's a book called Wild About Greens with recipes for kale, collards, arugula, bok choy and other leafy veggies.  It has some gorgeous recipes like 'Quinoa with Baby Bok Choy and Asparagus' and 'Pasta with Asparagus, Argula and Sun-Dried Tomatoes'.  

I've planted pots of about two dozen herbs on my back deck and am adding them into daily salads heavily sprinkled with micro greens, sprouts and seeds (e.g., radish, sunflower etc).  

I prefer raw food, which has led to dishes of uncooked, unprocessed and organic food.  I don't go nearly as far as the totally devoted raw foodists where all meals all the time are all raw aka Woody Harrelson (Aside:  he apparently ate raw foods only on the site of 'The Hunger Games', which is soooo ironic given that his character in the movie -- Haymitch -- ate and drank anything and everything.)  

Overall, I'm focussed on a more conscious mission to figure out which foods work best in which combinations for maximum nutrition benefits and overall health and weight maintenance.  There's a downside which I'm also trying to figure out, i.e., prep time can be considerable, heavy concentrations of greens interfere with some medications, and raw foods, especially jalapeƱos, seem to lead to digestive upsets.  But I'm not giving up yet.  

I've gone back to eating tofu a few times a week, especially after reading Herbivoracious tips on making tofu 'freaking delicious'.  The studies on soy seem all over the map -- some say that the isoflavones in tofu are bad for estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer while other studies show the opposite i.e., help prevent breast cancer.  

I've opted for moderation.  Apparently it's fine to eat 3 servings (half a cup) of soy a day.  I'm not even doing that much -- more like half a cup 2 or maximum 3 times a week.

Eat to Live:  Dr. Joel Fuhrman   

I came across a blog called Fat-Free Vegan that has one rule for recipes on the site is that they are low in fat, with no added oil or margarine.  It includes an archive with 4,500 fat-free and very low fat vegetarian recipes.  I've tried a few very good ones.  

Digging around on that site is a category "Eat to Live", which took me to a site written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who wrote a book Eat to Live:  The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss.  He's written others as well.  

The ideas are a bit dated now but part of his thesis is that eating the wrong foods can cause 'toxic hunger' and the desire to over-consume calories; whereas a diet of high micronutrient quality causes 'true hunger' which decreases the desire to overeat.  Interesting.... 

He goes further in other works to suggest that eating the 'right' foods can help prevent disease, especially cancer.  His anti-cancer soup has been tried by dozens of bloggers, all of whom report that it is time-consuming and messy to make but a batch lasts for days in the refrigerator and is quite good.

Call me skeptical about some of his claims (my nature) but what resonates are some of his tenets, namely those in his six-week plan to reshape eating habits:

- eat unlimited amounts of all raw vegetables, cooked green vegetables, beans, tofu, fresh fruit and eggplant, mushrooms and other non-starchy vegetables, both cooked and raw;
- limit amounts of whole grains to maximum 1 cup per day, and varying amounts of raw nuts and seeds, flaxseed and limit breads and cereals; and 
- off-limits include dairy and animal products, fruit juice, salt, sugar and eating between meals.  

There's lots of recipes on the site e.g., "Cashew Carrot Salad", "Kung Pao Vegetables", and "Thai Vegetable Curry" (pictured above).  Ellen DeGeneres, who also has a blog about being a vegan and eating unprocessed foods, obviously takes some of her recipes from Dr. Fuhrman.  

So, is the good doctor another charlatan out to make money in his various membership levels costing various amounts of money monthly?  Who knows.... but what I do know is that a lot of it resonates with my current state of being and the recipes I've tried are all delicious.  I take it all with a grain a salt... ummm, make that a grain of Herbamare.  


No comments:

Post a Comment