Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Axing simple carbs

Sugar is the enemy. It affects our hormones and does awful things to our waistlines, skin, mood, and endocrine system. Over-consumption of sugar can even induce diabetes. Residual sugar floating around in our systems provides nourishment for many micro-organisms we do not wish to host--viruses and bacteria--seriously impeding our immune systems.

Refined white flour is equally bad, and anything with gluten in it can also cause trouble.

Here is a diet that you can try if you'd like to work on purging the excess sugars out of your system and see if you feel any better.

Step One -- Purge out the sugar

Do this for at least 3 days. You can keep going longer if you feel OK and have enough energy.

The idea is to cut out all simple carbs for a few days. Yes, all of them.

Things you can eat:

  • meat (fresh, good quality meat)
  • chicken
  • fish
  • eggs
  • cheese (real cheese.. not American or Velveeta or Cheez-Whiz)
  • nuts (almonds are particularly good)
  • natural peanut butter (Smuckers has a natural, no-sugar-added peanut butter that WalMart carries for a decent price)
  • legumes (like black beans, chick peas, etc.)
  • sunflower seeds
  • chia seeds
  • flaxseed
  • lettuce (all types)
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • avocado
  • carrots
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • peppers (any color)
  • zucchini, yellow summer squash
  • bean sprouts or other sprouts
  • green beans
  • peas, snap peas
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • onion
  • garlic
  • asparagus
  • lemon
  • milk (hormone free)
  • plain yogurt
  • kefir (plain)
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • herbs and spices are fine: oregano, cinnamon, etc.
  • unsweetened tea
  • unsweetened coffee
  • stevia (in moderation) to sweeten coffee or tea, or to make a sugarless lemonade
  • lots and lots of water

With this menu, you may find that it is helpful to plan your meals around this framework:

  • Eggs cooked with vegetables and cheese (cook chopped vegetables in a small amount of butter or olive oil until tender, add eggs and cook until set, sprinkle with cheese about a minute before the eggs are finished so it can melt, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper)
  • water
  • coffee or tea (with cream if you need something to make you feel full and satisfied)

  • Make a nice salad of your favorite vegetables and greens.
  • Top with diced chicken or sliced roast beef or sliced hard boiled egg
  • Garnish with black beans, chick peas, slivered almonds or sunflower seeds... or any combination thereof

Salad Dressing --
(since most commercially prepared salad dressing contain sugar
and/or MSG, you can make your own if you have a blender or a bullet. )
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/8 tsp. sea salt
a small slice of fresh onion.
Blend in blender until smooth and drizzle over your salad. You can double or triple this recipe, but it doesn't keep well for more than a couple of days, due to the raw onion.

  • Drink a large glass of water with lunch!

  • Cook yourself a nice little portion of fish, chicken or beef
  • Serve it warm with a crisp vegetable salad and a hot cooked vegetable (2 sides)
  • Drink a large glass of water with dinner!

  • lemon water with ice
  • raw carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. (you may dip raw vegetables in hummus-- make your own from chick peas, tahini, fresh garlic and lemon)
  • a handful of nuts or sunflower seeds
  • celery or carrot sticks spread with natural peanut butter

When you don't feel full:
  • have a nice, hot cup of tea with a bit of cream, and some almonds on the side
  • an avocado (this will make you feel nice and full, but it's too expensive to do very often)
  • broth (you need to make it yourself, as commercial broth always has unhealthy seasonings added to it)

Follow the above diet for a few days, at least three. If you are feeling good and doing well, stay on it for as long as you'd like.

Step 2 -- Add a few fillers
If you are feeling empty and unsatisfied, add the following as snacks and side dishes:

  • sweet potatoes (boiled or baked, you can serve them with butter and cinnamon... and pecans if you have them)
  • brown rice (bake brown rice pilaf with seasonings and some onion)
  • quinoa (follow package directions, experiment sauteing with olive oil and vegetables)
  • squash (like sweet potatoes, serve with butter and cinnamon)
  • spaghetti squash (try serving with tomato based meat sauce)
  • oranges
  • grapefruits
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • (make kefir smoothies with stevia and frozen berries; add spinach and flax or chia for a bang)

After trying the diet with these foods added in, see how you do. Try to go at least another three days, preferably a week, with these foods. You should not feel distractingly hungry. A small amount of hunger is not a bad thing. It is good to be truly hungry before you eat. Try always to wait to eat until you are hungry. But if, after a week, you find that you are always hungry, go ahead and...

Step 3 -- Add a few comfort foods

  • bananas
  • apples
  • unsweetened (no-sweetener-added) applesauce
  • oatmeal
  • one daily glass of orange juice

Adding these few foods will really open up a large opportunity for nice snacks. You can eat oatmeal with applesauce and cinnamon. Although you should not put sugar in your oatmeal, by this point you should have been without sugar for so long that it will taste good to you even with just natural applesauce and cinnamon in it. You can also mash a banana into your oatmeal to make it sweet.

If you have trouble finding unsweetened applesauce, it is easy to make. Just peel and core some apples and cook them in a small amount of water until tender. You can add cinnamon if you wish. This can be done in a crock pot, or on the stovetop. It goes pretty fast on the stovetop, especially if you slice the apples fairly thin. You could have hot, fresh applesauce within 10 minutes of the beginning boil! You can make it as smooth or as chunky as you like, depending on how you slice the apples and whether you mash them after they have cooked.

Bananas spread with natural peanut butter are a very satisfying snack. You can also spread peanut butter on apple slices.

You can stir natural applesauce into plain yogurt, and it isn't half bad.

Try to keep your diet at this point for a month or more. After 4-6 weeks, evaluate how you are doing and feeling.

  1. Are you often hungry to the point of distraction, or do you usually feel satisfied?
  2. Do you have energy?
  3. How are your mood swings? Do they happen less or more than before you started to stay away from carbs?
  4. How is your complexion?
  5. Have you had any issues with constipation or diarrhea since you began this diet?
  6. Have you had more or fewer headaches?
  7. Have you gained or lost weight?
  8. Have you been sick?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you can decide whether to continue the diet, modify or relax it, or quit it altogether.

Remember to take vitamins and supplements.


Shawn said...

I feel guilty for having eaten that Snickers bar.

ruth said...

No you don't. You are a stinker.