Throw Away Perfectly Good Food?

In a moment of nostalgia over Christmas Break, I bought boxed cereal.  Besides Cheerios for our toddler, I haven’t purchased boxed cereal since I began eating better (about 9-10 months now).  The cereals I bought were for my aunt’s famous party mix recipe, a holiday favorite with my family.  You mix butter, Worcestershire sauce, Lawry’s seasoning salt, and lemon pepper seasoning together, then drizzle over several cups of toasted wheat, toasted corn, and toasted rice cereal, as well as pretzels, cheddar-flavored crackers, and a can of mixed nuts.

Photo by jakesglutenfreestore.com

Photo by jakesglutenfreestore.com

Do you feel blah yet?  Just writing out those ingredients makes me feel like shouting, Ugh!  Definitely NOT gluten-free.

Anyway, the recipe only used about a half a box of each kind of cereal, leaving half-empty boxes in my cabinets.  I moved them around for a couple of weeks, thinking my daughter might try them (she didn’t like them and really doesn’t even eat Cheerios any more!).  I eventually moved them to the top shelf, where they have sat for the last two months.  Last weekend, we made a big Sam’s trip and I needed more room to put extra peanut butter, coffee, yeast, and other bulk items, so I had to move those half-empty boxes.  Know where they ended up?  The top of the fridge in the basket where I keep foil, plastic wrap, and sandwich bags.

As I grew frustrated with moving the boxes out of my way each time I needed the foil or sandwich bags, I remember yelling at my husband, who offered his help, “I don’t need help, I need more room in this kitchen!”  At the time, I was too upset to realize I should just throw the cereal away.  We don’t need this food.  There’s a reason it has been sitting on the shelf, untouched, for nearly 3 months now.  I should just throw it out.

But the “Don’t Waste Food” voice in my head says, “I can’t throw it out – there’s nothing wrong with it!  It’s perfectly good food!”

I think we all know the answer to that – perfectly good for no other animal consumption.  It’s enriched, bleached, nutritionally-deficient, full of salt and sugar and all kinds of unpronounceable things…no other animal will eat this perverted form of wheat/corn/grain that humans eat and call “yummy” in all kinds of cakes, breads, and baked good.  (See my post on The Shocking Truth about Wheat.)

So join me in a victory yell for throwing out those half-empty boxes of junk.  I finally did it!  Thanks for letting me share my progress toward eating healthy, whole foods.  Good luck to you as you make progress toward your healthy goals today!

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The Shocking Truth about Wheat

Photo by griggsdakota.com

Photo by griggsdakota.com

Have you gone gluten-free?  Have you heard people say they feel so much better without gluten in their diet?  What counts as “gluten-free?”

Many of us have questions like this as we make progress to a healthier diet and a healthier body.  I LOVE this article that talks about the truth about our wheat today, and why “gluten-free” is not really the answer we think it is.

Mother Nature knows best, so we should eat what she provides: plants!  Keep making those good decisions, folks, and when in doubt, look to nature.  God gave us JUST what we needed!

Let’s be smart about what we’re fueling our bodies with: fresh, whole grain, not the imitation processed stuff that is so convenient.  Good luck as you make progress toward your healthy goals!

Breaking Records!

***Personal Victory Post!***

My digital scale battery died a couple of months ago, and I neglected to replace it until just last week.  For a period of 6-8 weeks, I didn’t have the benefit of the scale to see how I was doing with eating right and exercising.  Usually, if I see the numbers start inching up, I know I’m eating too much fat, bread, or sugar, or I haven’t been exercising.  In this case, a combination of all of the above.

So when I got onto the scale last Friday night, I was worried.  I felt fat.  I felt bloated.  I felt extra jiggles in my midsection and thighs.  I’d eaten cheese and bread almost every day that week.

So what was the number?

142.2 lbs!

Let me give you some perspective.  Once upon a time, six months after I delivered my daughter, I HOPED to be 150 lbs.  150 was my goal weight when I weighed 170.  January 7th was the last time I recorded my weight – 146 lbs.  So February 28th’s weight record of 142 was AWESOME!  Especially since our routine at home has changed and I haven’t been able to exercise regularly.

Well, this morning, just when I was feeling really proud of myself, I got on the scale again, just to see the number.  I couldn’t believe it…

139.2 lbs!

I couldn’t believe I was actually under 140!  140 was definitely a dream weight of mine – if I ever hit it, great, but I wasn’t going to get my hopes up.  I haven’t been this “skinny” since college, probably.  I know I weighed a consistent 136 in high school.

According to Dr. Fuhrman, a commonly used formula for determining ideal body weight is as follows (this is from p. 24 of his Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition book):

Women: Approx. 95 lbs for the fist 5 feet of height, then 4 lbs for every inch after that.  A 5’4″ woman should ideally weigh 111 lbs.  (Remember, this is a rough guide; all body types are different so follow this loosely).  Since I am 5’9″, I should weigh 131 lbs.  The more animal products I cut out of my diet, the closer I get to that ideal weight.

Anyway, I think this just goes to show when you eat more plants, you lose more weight.  I’ve begun craving vegetables, especially green ones, and am beginning to cut out cheese from my diet.  I’ll keep you posted on how that’s going.

Good luck to you today!  Let’s keep making progress toward our healthy goals.

Top 10 Benefits of Exercise

My Top 10 Favorite Benefits of Exercising:
10.) Loosens stiff muscles
9.) Improves circulation throughout my entire body, eliminating my restless leg problem at night
8.) Increases creativity (I’m writing this while stretching after a workout!)
7.) Improves memory
6.) Releases stress
5.) Instantly makes me smile again (I didn’t know I frowned so much!)
4.) Improves spinal alignment
3.) Reminds me to love my body in a society that teaches girls to hate their bodies
2.) Increases my self-esteem
1.) Burns off the calories from those chocolate chip cookies I ate last night!!

What’s your favorite reason to run (or walk or bike or exercise…)?

Good luck as you make progress toward your healthy goals today!

Get Rid of High Blood Pressure Once and For All!

Do you have high blood pressure, or do you know someone who does?  Do you have a family history of high blood pressure?  If yes, keep reading!

I am not a doctor or a registered dietician; I just love passing on the research that others have done.  I’ve never had high blood pressure (except when I’m very angry and stressed, but that hasn’t happened since I quit work as a high school band director!), but my husband does.  I can tell you that our own “independent research” revealed the same truths as what I read in a recent article.  At a recent doctor visit, his doctor actually praised his blood pressure readings – something that hasn’t happened in YEARS.  I feel strongly our diet has a lot to do with that, especially since he is more stressed and overworked than ever before.

According to this article, research suggests that a vegetarian diet may lower blood pressure.

As I can attest, Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live plan DEFINITELY lowers your blood pressure.  The first thing you can do to help yourself lower your blood pressure is to eliminate red meats and other animal products. Click here to tweet this
Start with one specific type of meat (I chose beef products), and be amazed at the absence of craving for those products after just a few weeks.  Remember, when you take something out, you need to replace it with something plant-based.  Broccoli, for instance, has more protein per 100 calorie serving than a steak.  Beans are a great way to get plant-based proteins, as well.

Read this article in Health magazine about the vegetarian diet, then buy Dr. Fuhrman’s book and read why his plan is even better.

Best wishes as you make progress toward your healthy goals, specifically lowering your blood pressure!

Did You Know? Thursday

Did you know that in 100 calorie servings, broccoli has more protein than steak?

That’s right!  According to the USDA standard reference data for a broiled porterhouse steak and chopped frozen broccoli, you get MORE PROTEIN in a PLANT than you do in an ANIMAL product!

Steak has only 6.4 grams of protein per 100 calories, where broccoli has 11.1 grams, almost twice as much.  (I’m reading this from Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live, in chapter 3 called Phytochemicals: Nature’s “Magic” Pills).  Broccoli is also packed with other important cancer-fighting agents, as well as fiber (11 grams compared to zero in that steak).  You get all the great stuff without the cholesterol or saturated fat.

If you still think you need to eat animal products for protein, here’s your proof that THAT’S NOT THE CASE.  Remember, you can get ALL the essential vitamins and nutrients from plants, except for Vitamin B12.

Have a great day!  And let’s hold each other up as we make progress toward our healthy goals!

10 Foods To Help You Give Up Gluten For GOOD!

This is a reblog, with permission from the author.  Find her blog, Officially Gluten Free, here – http://officiallyglutenfree.com/2014/02/04/10-foods-to-help-you-give-up-gluten-for-good/.

Keep in mind that anyone eating a vegan diet needs to alter this list.  See Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book for reasons why animal proteins are harmful to your health.

10 Foods To Help You Give Up Gluten For Good

 Keeping yourself satisfied with delicious food, is one of the keys to going Gluten Free. 

The bread and cookie cravings do go away eventually. In the meantime, you just have to keep your self satisfied with delicious Gluten Free food. There are still plenty of great things to eat, if you can’t have gluten. You just have to find them.

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Planning meals ahead, cooking your own meals at home, packing a lunch and planning your shopping list before going to the store, are all great ways to keep you on track.

Here’s a list of 10 foods that helped keep me satisfied, while getting used to my new Gluten Free diet.

1. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit 

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Premixed fruit and nuts are an easy snack, for when you just need something right now.

2. Dark Chocolate

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Any kind chocolate as long as it’s Gluten free.

3. Sweet Potato Fries

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Oven baked sweet potato fries are perfect for those days you want something starchy.

4. Popcorn

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Try using white vinegar and salt instead of butter for a lighter snack.

5. Fresh fruit and Yogurt

Yogurt and berries

Satisfying, fast and easy.

6. Veggie Sticks with Dip

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Pre-cut and left in the fridge for an easy snack.

7. Cheese and Pickles

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Make yourself a fancy cheese plate. Add your favorite pickles and olives.

8. Eggs

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Hard boiled or deviled. Pre boil and leave in the fridge for the week.

9. Gluten Free Corn Flake Breaded Anything

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Giving up breaded food was one of the hardest things for me. Being able to make my own chicken Fingers at home helped a lot.

10. Gluten Free Pasta

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There are many brands of Gluten free pasta available. Find the one you like the best for pasta salads or spaghetti and meat sauce.

What are some of the things that helped keep you satisfied for the first month of going Gluten Free?

The Great Animal Product Hoax

Quick! What did you have for dinner last night? How much of your dinner consisted of animal products? How much consisted of plant products?

One of the most surprising things about being on Dr. Fuhrmans’ Eat to Live plan (which, btw, is essentially “going vegan,”) was how big a part animal products played in my diet. I didn’t realize how much my diet relied on animal products – eggs, cheese, milk, beef, chicken, ham, bacon, turkey, etc. I also didn’t realize that YOU CAN GET EVERYTHING YOU NEED FROM PLANTS!*

I used to believe that people who ate a vegan diet had some sort of philosophical reason they didn’t eat animal products. I always believed for myself that God made animals for us to eat, so there was nothing wrong with eating meat. After reading his book, however, I see how the studies show the risk of lots of different kinds of cancers go up in societies that base their nutrition on animal products. Dr. Fuhrman also points out that the opposite is true: societies that eat a plant-based diet have significantly lower risks of all kinds of cancer. ‘Nuff said, for me, anyway.

Going “meatless” was not difficult for me. When I first got on his plan, I eliminated breads and meats, and saw a large amount of weight loss. It was not a difficult thing since I didn’t like how I felt after I ate meats, especially red meat like beef. Now, I will occasionally eat chicken, tuna, or fish, but in the main, I look to plants for protein – peanut butter, quinoa, and lots of different kinds of beans.

Going “vegan,” however, is a different story! I REALLY like cheese, and it is very difficult for me to cut that out. I have no trouble drinking almond milk instead of cow’s milk, and using egg substitute in place of real eggs, but I’m not quite ready to give up cheese. I do notice the extra pound or two my body retains when I eat cheese every day. I know that some day, I will be ready to say goodbye, but for now, I limit my cheese intake.

It’s all a psychological thing, eating animal products. Don’t buy into this hoax about “needing” animal products. YOU CAN GET EVERYTHING YOU NEED FROM PLANTS*! The sooner you realize you don’t NEED animal products to survive, the sooner you will be on your way to a slimmer, healthier body and mind!

*I should clarify that the only thing you can get from animal products that you can’t get from plants is Vitamin B12. Most vegans and vegetarians take a supplement for this unique vitamin. Read Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition to find out more.

Holy VitaMeataVegaMin!

Remember that episode of the I Love Lucy show? Lucy was filming a commercial as the spokesperson for this liquid substance that is supposed to contain vitamins, meats, vegetables, and minerals, and the horrible taste was disguised with alcohol. Of course, by the end of the shoot, she was drunk and actually believed the stuff tasted good! See the whole episode on YouTube here.

I’m reading through Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book, and I’m in the chapter about the naturally occurring cancer-fighting chemicals found in plants. He keeps reiterating the fact that there are many phytochemicals that are still undiscovered.

His point is that you can’t just take a pill to get all the benefits of plant-based food. You have to EAT the plants to get all the benefits, including some that we don’t even know about yet! How can scientists replicate in pill form what nature hasn’t even revealed to us yet?

One other thing I thought was fascinating was that the process of eating our plant-based food causes some phytochemicals to work in tandem with others, giving you even MORE cancer-fighting coverage. Awesome!

If there was a doubt in your mind about taking a supplement, then let this be your catalyst to stop relying on sub-standard methods of getting your phytochemicals. READ HIS BOOK and you will understand why it is SO important to eat your plants – fruits, vegetables, beans, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and berries. You’ll be so glad you did.

Good luck as you make progress toward your healthy goals today!