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Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

The dark side of white stuff

Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 10:10 AM

When I began paying better attention to my lifestyle a couple of months ago, I knew I was quite out of shape and it would take me some time to get back into the swing of things.

I am 33 years old now, and although rusty, eating right and exercise is certainly nothing new to me. I started my first vigorous regime of crystal clean eating and running 15 years ago. Back then, I remember clearly the foods that were good to eat included the obvious choices of lots of fruits and vegetables, small, frequent portions. A big emphasis during that time was opting for fat-free options, and carbs, as I remember, were welcomed -- whole grains were highly encouraged. I don't recall a whole lot of talk about sugar at the time. As long as it was low-fat it seemed to be OK in my book.

It all made good sense and there wasn't a whole lot wrong with that "diet." It was healthy and paired with a good exercise routine it worked fine.

Cheese was a big NO NO, as were many meats excluding light fish and lean chicken. I remember being in college and when my dorm buddies would crave late night pizza I opted for the cheeseless pizza.

Eww! What was I thinking?

Looking back, although healthy, it was a little difficult to sustain that plan.

Nowadays, things are a bit different. The basics remain the same in that doctors recommend small, frequent meals and portion control. However, I'm learning the main difference is the carb and protein parts of the plans.

When I told my doctor I wanted to shed some weight that's hung onto me since I had my baby a few years ago, her frank words were: Your body doesn't need the white junk. That translates to no more mountains of potatoes, pasta and bread on my plate at every meal (all my favorite things, of course). For me, even the multi-grain versions should be limited. No surprise, sugar is the dieter's devil.

So now I focus on lots of low starch vegetables, plenty of fruits, and the biggest difference for me: High -- mostly lean -- protein such as lean meats, plain Greek yogurt, cheese (the light version, preferred), almonds. Healthy fat is OK in moderation now.

When I first started this routine I feared I would be miserable without the white carbs, but once I got over the initial hump I don't miss them a bit. I feel more energized and less sluggish, and the allowance of a little more fat in the diet seems to keep me satisfied longer.

By no means am I a doctor or nutritionist, but I'm really enjoying this sensible approach that seems to be working.

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The Skiritaki noodles sure make a great cassarole too...I use egg whites and veggies with soy cheese and sometimes even chicken...if you warm almond milk enough to dissolve chicken base in it, then let it cool enough to whisk your egg whites into it, you can almost have a Skirtaki chicken pot pie casserole that slices well into blocks for portioning and it freezes ok....I made this not long ago and it turned out great but, I defiantly agree the wider noodles are much better and don't disintegrate as much when cooked!

-- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Jan 21, 2013, at 9:58 AM

Kroger has the shiritaki noodles the one in Tullahoma defiantly does I saw them today over near the produce right before the organic chips...they are great sauteed with chopped vegetables...sometimes I will add scrambled egg to make me feel like im eating fried rice or semi Chinese....and if you have ever tried "Veganaise"...you would be so amazed how close it is to Kraft mayonnaise...I use it for everything from tuna to chicken salad and it is eggless,sugarless, carbless etc.totally worth a try if you eat salad dressing aswell...there are so many things you can do with it from adding spices and dry mustard for a turkey meatloaf glaze or just a spread on Ezekiel bread for a turkey sandwich....whole foods has several different kinds from olive oil or grape seed oil, spicy horseradish, etc. and it last a long time in the fridge!

-- Posted by chefgrape on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 12:07 AM

Glad we are all on the same page....I found a plant protein from "Garden of Life" products that when mixed with ice,that new natural monk fruit sweetener (Nectresse)(artificual sweetners cause the same impact and worse then natural sugar I'm Beliving anyhow) a great powdered green mix, blueberries, unsweetened vanilla almond milk and some times plain Greek yogurt (our Kroger now carries Greek Goddess which I think is the best)it truly fills me up for hours, so that's been my lunch for a couple weeks now. For dinner I have been eating simple lean protein and non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower micro steamed or spaghetti squash which I totally can eat my weight in, and breakfast has been an egg and 1 piece of Ezekiel sprouted bread....so I have been rapidly dropping the pounds...I have a major sweet tooth and absolutly craved cookies or cake or ice cream at night while watching TV...that was probably where my major calories came from to begin with....so instead of that junk I have been mixing frozen blueberries with that plain Greek yogart and the monk fruit sweetener and wallah...blueberry ice cream...it's great... as a guy, it's said we loose weight faster...that may be true but, this has been really working for me as a lifestyle change...if I cheat on Sundays (just a little) its ok, because it's been so easy to get back too it...I also seem to plain at 6-8 weeks so that's when the cleanse (Garden of Life has one that's major gentle) a live pro-biotic and my Solgar V200 vitamin goes into effect to zap my metabolism and zip more pounds off...so far it's all working well but, still have a long way to go.

-- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 12:45 PM

Sounds pretty much exactly like my plan. I LOVE spaghetti squash, and mashed cauliflower is a good substitution for mashed potatoes. I have not tried the tofu shiritaki noodles. Where can I find those?

-- Posted by sfowler on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 12:45 PM

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Sadie Fowler is lifestyles editor for the Times-Gazette.
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