Halfway there! And feeling really good.
Chapter 14: Vegetable and Fruits
News flash! Vegetables are good for us. Ok. Maybe not that big of a news flash.
Confession time. I used to be an extremely picky eater. In fact, there are not many who were pickier than me. But, thanks to the awesome cooking skills of my main man (MM) and the array of different herbs and spices, I slowly expanded my likes over the years and now eat just about every vegetable I find (there’s still a few we need to experiment).
Additionally, vegetables are anti-inflammatory. Great news for those with systemic inflammation issues that can lead to things like stroke, heart disease and certain cancers.
Also keep in mind, corn is not a vegetable, it is botanically a grain. And peas and lima beans are legumes. (Technically so are green beans, snow peas and sugar snap peas, but the actual seed is itty-bitty so most of what we eat are the plant pods. These three are allowed on the Whole30 cleanse).
Fruits. Sweet (especially when we retrain our tongue by ridding ourselves of all the supernaturally sweet stuff), juicy and very good for us. For those with diabetes or systemic inflammation, it is not the fructose and glucose from fruit causing problems for you, it is, as the authors of It Starts with Food, like to say, the overconsumption of supernormally stimulating (from concentrated high fructose syrups or other added sugars/sweeteners), nutrient-poor, carbohydrate rich foods. Those inflammation-causing, empty calorie foods. However, those with diabetes need to proceed with caution in eating an abundance of fruits.
That said, vegetables first. They are the best place to get the fiber, vitamins and minerals and carbohydrates. The best food choices include more vegetables and a compliment of fruit.
Chapter 15: The Right Fats
Another mind blower. I feel as if I have built my food consumption with a deck of false fact cards. My concept of a “healthy” meal choice is constantly being challenged and found wanting.
Red meat is not evil. Butter (Whole30 clarified butter) is not evil. Even, gasp, lard is not evil. The authors, however, highly recommend as much organically raised meat as possible, because “the fat in factory-farmed meat is loaded with unhealthy toxins – residues from antibiotics, hormones, heavy metals, and pesticides.” Again, another thank-you nod to my brother-in-law and his wife.
Seed oils are bad. Any one else shocked to find out cooking with vegetable oil is NOT a healthy choice? However, I think we are aware trans fats (partially hydrogenated) are also bad. So, margarine. NOT a healthy alternative to butter. It’s bad. If you want the scientific details, you really need to read to book.
Also, as I cautioned in a previous post, the authors emphasize the importance of context. A high-fat diet along with highly processed (typical of all grain products) food choices can be dangerous and damaging. One of the goals of Whole30 is to train our body to burn fat for fuel/energy throughout the day and not carbs. If we consume nutrient-poor, carbohydrate rich foods, our body takes the easy road and continues to use their sugars for fuel/energy and not fat.
While I still have cravings and struggle with habitual snacking (especially in the afternoon and evening), I think my sweet tooth, sugar cravings are decreasing. How amazing is that? Those who know me, know my love for chocolate. I haven’t had chocolate for 15 days. Like I said, amazing.
15 down, 15 to go.