Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Word from a Dietician

The dietician I met with was pleased with my blood tests because they show basically good results- especially my cholesterol of 177. My iron level is measured by the HGB test, and at 13.1 it is at a normal level. The albumin test confirms that I am not suffering from muscle wasting. The tests show no clear link between the diet and my hair loss. However, she did say that everyone is different, so certain nutritional levels may be fine for one person and not so fine for the next. Here is a breakdown of the advice she gave me.


This level came up as "borderline low." She suggested that I eat more greens, continue with the cheese, and even suggested I look for "milk curds", which are less processed than cheese, and which makes a good base for salad dressing.

This is also borderline low. Although one's protein level cannot be raised by simply eating more protein, it can be improved through an overall balanced diet. However, in my case she says that I should be eating a lot more protein due to my weight (I weighed in at 275 today). She wants me to go for 100 grams a day. To do this, she suggests that along with the plant proteins (including nuts) I should continue to eat raw cheeses, and she recommends fish daily instead of only 3 times a week. 100 grams of protein sounds like so much to me, but experts disagree on how much protein one should eat. I've read where 20% of a woman's diet should be protein. On a 1700 calorie diet that would be closer to 80 grams. On a good day I get between 40 and 60. I will try to do 80 to 100 grams a day.

Not only does increased protein help with hair, but eating enough healthy fats is also good for it. The good fats have vitamins A, D, E and K. The dietician suggested I get these in the form of olive oil, certain nuts (like walnuts), avocado, canola oil and salmon (since I already eat salmon).

I hardly eat any grains-the only grains I eat come from a slice here or there of Ezekiel bread and Ezekiel tortilas. She suggested I look for ways to incorporate more raw grains into my diet. The cooked kind is also fine, but she warned that B vitamins are lost when grains are heated, so they are actually put back in during processing. Naturally I choose raw- if I can figure out a raw grain I will enjoy eating! For now, it's Ezekiel, because I don't like the raw grains I've tried so far.

Magnesium is generally good for you, and apparently it is related to successful weight loss. A good source of both magnesium and calcium are figs- even the dried kind. I've therefore decided to add those to my diet. I got some dried and fresh ones today from Trader Joe's. You know, the dried ones really reminded me of Fig Newtons (hmm, I guess they really are fruit and cake).

I really liked how the dietician took into account my raw diet and my hair loss concerns when making her recommendations. I will follow her advice to the best of my ability and continue with the cheeses and fish despite the fact that I would prefer to get my protein from only plant foods.

My updated meal plan will go something like this: dried fruit and some nuts for breakfast as I've been doing, but a smaller amount. For lunch, a large vegetable salad with a few nuts, and things like goji berries, raw milk cheese, avocado and olive oil. Yum! I'd gotten away from these tasty salads. I'll probably have a slice of Ezekiel bread as well, or create a salad wrap in an Ezekiel tortilla. For dinner I'll have maybe 2 ounces of fish and another slice of Ezekiel bread, and possibly a small green salad.

In one month I will visit her again to see if there is any reversal in my hair loss (I'm not feeling positive that one month is long enough, as I'm still seeing breakage and thinning). I'm going to track my intake on Sparkpeople because I know I won't reach my protein goals otherwise.

So: onward and up - I mean DOWNward!


Anna said...

Hi! I just found your site. I've been dabbling in the raw lifestyle for the past 3 years. The first 6 months-1 year were pretty hardcore focused (not strictly 100% raw, but mostly so). Then life changed and I became less raw, then less, then eventually full on cooked, processed, fast food eating. Life goes in cycles I guess b/c i'm trying to focus on getting on that path again. When I was raw, one problem I had was hairloss. I didn't notice it at the time (though now I do see it in photos), but my mother did. I'm glad to know that it was probably the dramatic change to the raw lifestyle that had something to do with it.

Anyway, I'm glad to have found a good blog that seems to have a similar view of the raw lifestyle as I do. I'll be reading regularly. :)



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