Sunday, August 19, 2007

Food as Medicine

I've had a few more self-discoveries these past couple of weeks regarding my raw diet and my lifestyle which have led me to make some adjustments.

1) I have seen that it is important for me to get as much protein during the early part of the day as possible so that I am not playing catch-up at the end of the day.

2) I need to greatly increase the amount of fiber I get each day. I thought all the fruit I was eating was doing the trick, but just because something is full of carbs doesn't mean it is high in fiber (yes, figs, I'm talking about you!).

3) I don't always reach my minimum of 60 grams of fiber by the end of the day. Whey protein is a great way for me to get to the 80 to 100 grams I really want, without the extra carbs. Smoothies are a convenient, tasty way to get the whey in.

4) I cannot wait until I can afford a VitaMix- I need a blender now! But no blender seems to stand up to the abuse I give it.

In light of the above issues, I've made some changes. First, I went out and bought an immersion blender- one of those handheld blenders that you stick into a container holding your ingredients. Set your speed and get to mixing! I'm hoping this thing will at least get my smoothie-making off the ground until I can afford the VitaMix.

Next, in an attempt to increase my fiber intake I will make an effort to reach 35 gms of fiber daily - my nutritionist's recommendation. If I can get at least a third of that in my breakfast, that will help a lot. I found that figs have a lot of fiber and so I bought some at Trader Joe's. Figs have a sweet taste and, to me, a flowery aroma. I wouldn't want to just pop them into my mouth because I don't particularly like their soft texture, but they are perfect for smoothies.

This morning I felt like some nutritional alchemist, putting together whole foods in order to create the medicine I needed this morning. My quest was to create a less-sweet, fruit smoothie high in fiber and protein, but not exceedingly high in carbs. I consulted -it's still my all-time favorite place for nutritional education. Based on the foods in the house I made a smoothie that I thought would fit the bill, but thanks to the three figs it was so high in carbs it was ridiculous. Guess I forgot to check that part in NutritionData! Despite the amount of sugars in the fruits, it wasn't overly sweet-tasting, and had 10 grams of fiber.

My recipe was: 1/2 small papaya, 1/2 medium banana, 4 large strawberries (another good source of fiber), 4 oz. of carrot juice, 1 scoop of whey protein (23 gms of protein), and 3 figs. NutritionData judged my smoothie as good for optimum health, and better for weight loss than for weight gain (thank goodness). I would make this again, but I would try to lower the amount of sugars in it and find another way to raise the fiber content. I could, for example, add grind one ounce of flax seeds and eliminate the banana and figs. This would give me even more fiber than the original recipe, and also more protein. It would raise the fat content (and calories) but since only 2 grams would be saturated fat, it wouldn't be a big deal.

I like the way my raw diet is helping me to see raw and whole foods as both fuel and medicine. I experienced this transformation in my thinking last year during my first go-around with the raw life. I even find myself judging McDonald's or Krispy Kremes more on their nutritional offerings than on how many minutes of pleasure I'll get from them (though that doesn't mean I won't fall prey to temptation). The more deeply I delve into a mindset of raw eating, the less junk and unhealthy foods I'll be eating over time.


Anonymous said...

chubbiegirl again :). raspberries have a lot of fiber and are super yummy in smoothies. also, raw chocolate has a lot of fiber. if you are craving some chocolate that can do the trick too. (when i am, i make a smoothie of 2-3 tbsp raw cacao powder, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen cherries, flax seed oil-or raw coconut oil, stevia and agave to sweeten, a dash of salt, and ice cubes-it's yummy)

there's an added benefit to the flaxseeds as well. the omega 3's. avocados also are loaded with fiber. it's like 10 grams per avo. supplemental psyllium might also be an option.

:) cg



FeedBurner FeedCount