Getting Off Oil

24 02 2012

The lifestyle change to plant based foods has taught me to trade things I thought I loved for the things that my body needs. Giving up animal sources of food was a little difficult and although I do crave a juicy steak from time to time, I’m managing. Giving up sugar was hard for the first few days but now I don’t even think about it. I see things like soda and candy and they look like poison to me. (Donuts for some reason, still look wonderful!) Dairy was probably the biggest challenge because of my love of cheese. I still do miss it but I can’t argue with how I feel, and how I feel is better than I have in 15 years which is really saying something. In a way, a plant based diet is like finding the fountain of youth.

The problem I’m having now though is that after 46 pounds, the body is starting to level off with the weight loss. I’ve switched my diet up here and there, added some additional exercise but still I’m not seeing much weight loss. I think I’m struggling with plant based fats. I love seeds and nuts. A 3.5 ounce bag of pumpkin seeds contains nearly all of my recommended fat intake for the day. I can polish a bag that size of in a few minutes. I probably eat a bag of those every day or two. Pistachios have also become a big snack food around here. I’m realizing that a lot of my plant based fat is coming from these two things every day. But the majority of my plant based fat is coming from olive oil.

I’ve started reading up on olive oil and in so many ways its not the health food that it has been marketed as. It is total fat. There are 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per serving. Pound for pound, it contains more fat than butter. It’s also heavily processed and often cotains chemical additives. The reality is, its nearly impossible to find a pure grade of virgin olive oil in your supermarket, especially if you are buying it in clear glass or plastic (as sunlight breaks pure virgin olive oil down). It only has trace amounts of vitamin E and many or the purported benefits of olive oil can be gained from the foods I am already eating. To top it off, it is only heart healthy when compared to other kinds of fats. And no, other oils do not seem any better for you as the nutritional values appear to be about the same. I’m not a doctor, but what I’ve been reading lately would seem to indicate that my heart would be healthier without it altogether or at least in vastly smaller quantities. I have used about 36 ounces of it in my salads and cooking in just the last several weeks. I’ve never consumed so much olive oil as I have been recently. It’s a lot like taking several scoops of ice cream, dumping them onto your salad and asking why you’re not losing weight.

So this will be the next step in this process, severely cutting back on plant based fats and eliminating olive oil all together. For sautéing, I will try veggie broth and see how that goes. For salads, I tried using 3 parts balsamic vinegar and two parts dijon mustard (mixed together then drizzled) last night and it rivals any dressing I’ve ever gotten at a decent restaurant. It is so much better tasting than an oil and vinegar dressing.

It’s true, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’ve never eaten this way before and admittedly, I’m not well educated on these things but I’m trying to get there. I feel ike all of the plant-based fat intake has been slowing my progress down and so I’m going to tweak my regiment a bit and see what happens.

“Every mouthful of oils and animal products, including dairy foods, initiates an assault on these [cell] membranes and, therefore, on the cells they protect. These foods produce a cascade of free radicals in our bodies especially harmful chemical substances that induce metabolic injuries from which there is only a partial recovery. Year after year, the effects accumulate. And eventually, the cumulative cell injury is great enough to become obvious, to express itself as what physicians define as disease. Plants and grains do not induce the deadly cascade of free radicals. Even better, in fact, they carry an antidote. Unlike oils and animal products, they contain antioxidants, which help to neutralize the free radicals and also, recent research suggests, may provide considerable protection against cancers.” – Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.

Something to Chew On!

31 01 2012

So much of what can be bought in our supermarket is completely over processed, nutrient deficient and made to sit on a store shelf for a long, long time without going bad. Have you read any labels recently? We can’t pronounce half of this stuff, many of which are chemicals made in a lab. It’s downright scary. Flame retardants in your chicken mcnuggets, sodas and energy drinks?? Chips with Olestra – causing anal leakage! Yuck! Carcinogens like Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Hydroxytoluene, Saccharine, Aspartame, nitrates, Potassium Bromate, Blue #2 are found in every thing from rolls, hot dogs, bacon, kids cereal, candy, bubble gum, soy sauce, stuffing mix, sugar substitutes and the list goes on and on and on. It’s downright scary. And so I continually find myself asking the question, why don’t we eat closer to the source? What is more natural than fruits and vegetables – especially organic ones?

As recommended by a recent Men’s Health online article – here are a few natural foods that provide enormous health benefits:

BOK CHOY – This is a great one to try if you’ve never had it. I’ve blogged about it before. It’s full of vitamins, a bone builder and a cancer fighter!

BANANAS – Good for your brain and nervous system, With tryptophan it calms you while the potassium helps you recover quickly from strenuous workouts. It’s also a great immunity booster.

KIWIS – Also packed with potassium. Contains lutein which is fantastic for your heart. And if you’re going organic you can even eat the nutrient rich skin. Who knew?

BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER, KALE, BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CABBAGE – Loaded with calcium, minerals, vitamins and anti-cancer rich antioxidants.

SPINACH – In studies, it has actually killed cancer cells. It protects the liver, may ward off Alzheimer’s and is a fantastic way to help prevent osteoporosis. If you are experimenting with a plant based diet, Spinach is also a great way to get protein.

LEEKS – Great for your arteries, prevent against prostate cancer and supports healthy sexual functioning.

ARTICHOKES – Eating these daily can cut the risk of strokes. They contain more bone building material than any other vegetable. They are rich in fiber and help maintain the immune system.

CHILI PEPPERS – Anti-inflammatory, immunity booster, metabolism booster, anti-cancer properties, blood thinner and endorphin releaser. Wow!

GINGER – Immunity booster and powerful colon cancer suppressor.

BLUEBERRIES – The most antioxidant rich fruit known to man.

CINNAMON – Reduces blood sugar levels when taken regularly (cinnamon sticks in a glass of hot water is a good way to do this), prevents against blood clots and bacterial infections.

SWEET POTATO – Prevents against diabetes, enhances nutrient metabolism, boosts immunity and has anti cancer properties. Good for the heart and liver. Protects against Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons.

TOMATOES – Filled with lycopene, a potential cancer fighter that is good for your heart and boosts immunity.

FIGS – Gives your body the proper PH to fight off pathogens (I should be eating these like crazy). Reduces blood sugars and boosts immunity.

MUSHROOMS РAre a great cancer fighter. Saut̩ing them in red wine reportedly magnifies their immunity boosting power.

POMEGRANATES – The juice from the seeds of this fruit are cancer fighters. A recent UCLA study found that this fruit can slow prostate cancer cell growth up to six times it’s normal rate.

APPLES – One a day really does keep the doctor away. They have the highest source of anti-inflammatory properties found in fruit. Good for your heart and fights against a variety of diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Join me in incorporating some of these regularly into a daily diet.

%d bloggers like this: