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Eating Your Way to Health and Happiness

If you're like me, you had a holiday carb and sugar binge. The cookies, fruit cake, special drinks—the nogs, ruby-red wines, the coffee and Irish liquors mixed with half and half—the holiday candy (one gift of dark chocolate fudge is still on my hips), and all the great traditional dishes – banana pudding, pie, pie and more pie, baked sweet potatoes, stuffing, mountains of mashed, rivers of gravy...well, you know the menu.

We had a big, old time, didn't we?? And now, we're just... plain...big

Yep, we ate the muffins and now sport the muffin top, ate the stuffing and now are stuffed into our jeans. Maybe you, too, have made The New Year's Resolution to eat better, drop the new poundage...and take control before the muffin top controls you.

Well, I'm here to help

Don't think for a minute, that I don't like to eat. I adore food. And don't think I have iron willpower—I don't! But I do have a curious mind and am willing to try new ways of eating—as long as I don't go hungry. Tiny portions just don't work for me. That gnawing hunger rumble and grumble in my tummy sends me flying toward the frig.

A book comes to the rescue!

I came across a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman--The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes. Ending diabetes?  Sounded fascinating -- and it was.  His way of eating helps diabetics reverse their diabetes—and, in many cases, get off their insulin.

Now, I don't have diabetes...and I sure don't want to...But since I tend to like bread and other non-veggie carbs way too much, I read the book. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. Fuhrman's premise is that if we want to avoid or reverse diabetes, control our weight, we should aim for eating nutrient-dense food. Especially vegetables. Plus beans. And nuts. Think raw almonds, walnuts.

The good doctor recommends foods that nourish us--foods rich with micro-nutrients.

vegetablesAnd low in nasty things that spike our blood sugar—and our weight. And best of all, since the foods Dr. Fuhrman recommends are nutrient-dense, these foods satisfy us. Fill us up. Without high and empty calories. Our body says thank you when we eat them.

What's not to like?

Sure, nuts have fats, but they're bursting with the lovely good Omega 3 fats that most of us lack. Look for raw almonds and walnuts. Roasted nuts are often roasted in cottonseed oil—an Omega 6 type oil we're already consuming way, way too much of.

The ratio of the two Omega fats should ideally be something like 1:1. Our ratio, eating the standard diet, can be as high as 45:1.

Oops. Not good. This out of whack ratio just may be the root cause of some of our more common diseases.

One terrific side effect of eating more Omega 3's is that they help reduce or prevent inflammation. Many painful conditions that end in “-itis” are inflammation related. Arthritis, colitis, bursitis...do you have any “itis” conditions? Just say nuts!

Ground up flax seeds are rich in Omega 3's, too. And inexpensive. Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons on morning oatmeal, cereal, or add to smoothies..

All this sounds good. Does it to you?

I figured, hey, we've got to eat—might as well make every calorie count. Make every calorie a friendly calorie, helping us on the road to wellness. And, hopefully, taste good, too. Which they do, when prepared with love and care as you do in your own kitchen.

Fuhrman has a helpful list of foods that he ranks according to micro-nutrients per calorie. Kale, collard greens, mustard greens and watercress rank at the top, with a score of 1000. A cola drink holds down the bottom position at a score of one. White sugar must score a zero, with calories, but no nutrients.

So, for the last 10 days, I've been following the good doctor's recommendations. Been eating things like vegetarian chili. Gigantic salads with low-fat, home-made dressings (lemon, balsamic vinegar, a smidgen of olive oil). Roasted vegetables--with lots of fresh garlic included. Vegetables and walnuts stir-fried using little oil, and topped with oven-baked tofu.

Something in me likes chopping vegetables while gazing out the window at the sky and birds.  Very zen-like.  I even bought a wok, which makes stir-frying fun—and less messy.

Oatmeal's often for breakfast with some chopped walnuts, berries, apple, sweetened with molasses (nutrient-rich compared to sugar!). And almond milk...good for we lactose-sensitive types.

Bread has disappeared from our table

We've discovered a tasty whole grain wrap with flax with only 100 calories. And a third of our daily fiber needs. I stuff the wraps with veggies. One favorite version has black beans, tomato, avocado, and fresh spinach. Another is hummus, red peppers, and artichoke hearts.

Before stuffing, I spread a little spicy brown mustard on the wrap. Sometimes wasabi for the spicy bite.  Perks up your taste buds. Or spoon on a dollop of  Newman's Own Salsa for added zest. The corn/bean version is flavorful.

I love that the proceeds of Newman's Own foods go to charities. Something in me likes eating good—and feeling good about what I eat. Companies with a conscience earn my support and affection.

We've had fish twice. Once as oven-baked fillets and once in the form of a salmon loaf--used oatmeal instead of bread crumbs as a binder.  With lots of veggies both raw and roasted as side dishes.

You know something? There's a beauty to this plan. Neither of us have been hungry. We've a lot more energy. Husband has shrunk eight pounds. Me? Two pounds so far. Not bad for ten days.

We're aiming to be lean, green, bean machines

Will spouse and I ever have bodies that more closely resemble carrots and not muffins??  Time will tell--but we're headed in the right direction. Want to join us?

I'll report more later.

Yours in health and happiness,


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1 Responses »

  1. Love this story! I will definately take some of these tips. Spent some time on this site today and so impressed by all of it. Namaste, Barb

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