Friday, September 04, 2009

Going green

I recently started a new diet, which one of my sisters is on. I needed a dietary change because my eating habits were REALLY bad. Too much junk food, too much sugar, too much fast food and, especially, too much soda. I was REALLY not eating very healthy and I guess that is why I was so tired and cranky a lot. And gaining weight!

Ever since I started this diet, which is the Michael Thurmond diet, I have had more energy and been able to focus better.

My old diet had hardly any veggies and fruits, and I was hardly ever drinking enough water.

With the new diet, I'm drinking A LOT of water, eating fruits and not eating so much junk food. (It will be a while before I can totally kick the junk food habit!) But I'm also eating a lot more veggies now, especially greens.

In fact, the main veggie to eat for this diet is anything green. Green beans, lettuce, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, peas, celery, etc.

I have enjoyed this new abundance of green veggies in my diet. I know green veggies are especially good for you because they fight cancer. But it has been good for me on a personal level because I am now trying veggies I would not have otherwise tasted. I'm mad about sugar snap peas. I also get to learn new ways of prepping and cooking these foods.

The other night, I boiled Brussels sprouts to serve with dinner. And tonight, for the first time ever, I cooked fresh spinach.

Unfortunately, the spinach did not turn out very well. I sauteed them thanks to a recipe from eHow and the smell of cooking garlic and onions in the kitchen soon had Jennifer plugging up her nose. (That garlicky smell is still in my kitchen! It does not smell bad, but I know it irritates her. I was reminded of a scene from the movie Candleshoe, when the character Bobby says "garlic keeps ghosts away" and Jodie Foster's character says, "Garlic will keep everybody away." When I was a kid, my dad would cut up fresh cloves of garlic and down a bunch of them with a glass of water. He often coaxed me into doing the same thing, and one time it was actually a good thing he did, because it saved me from getting sick from food poisoning! My sister had not been so lucky.)

Still, we ate some of the spinach. I wasn't happy with how it turned out and debated trying another way of cooking fresh spinach that I found on the Internet. Later, I texted my sister to see if she had a good way of cooking it. She said, "Steam it."

Tomorrow I am making a broccoli salad to go with lunch (still need to type up the recipe to send to my sister!) and we've also got cabbage and peas in the refrigerator.

Even though I've had a few setbacks with this diet (hard to shake off the cravings for chocolate! And I'm not happy about the fact that the only meats I can eat are poultry and fish), I am going to keep it up whenever and however possible. Even if I am not successfully sticking to the dietary guidelines at the very beginning, I'll keep at it! It does not make me "starve" myself, it does not force any dairy products (which is good since I can't digest dairy very well anyway) and it does not forbid grains. In essence, I do like the foods I am allowed to eat, and I really think this particular diet is much better for me than the old one. I know this way of eating is healthier and it will be worth it in the long run if I just stick with it despite these setbacks at the start.


Nancy said...

Good luck Dawn! I recall seeing Michael Thurmund on this body makeover show. I liked the diet he did for his clients on TV so I am guessing you are on something similar.

I've lost 15 pounds on my diet and have not been hungry for one single day, nor does it forbid red meat, but I dont eat much grains, very few of the highest fiber variety. Its just as well because I'm gluten intolerant and grains make me SICK. I feel so healthy being off of the junk food! I know you will too! One vegetable we had never tried before was turnips. The other day I put them in stew, they were FANTASTIC. My hubby thought they were potatoes, I was like, no thats a turnip. He said he was surprised he liked it! I dont care for brussel sprouts, had those as a kid and just couldnt handle it, LOL

I do like the spring mix salad with all the different lettuce, though my family is not wild about it. They do love snap peas though.
Can't get them to touch zuchini.

Dawn Colclasure said...

Nancy, trying to get off the junk food is my biggest, BIGGEST challenge. I like munching on potato chips, cookies and sugary snacks. Now I'm trying to replace ALL of those things with a banana or apple or grapes instead. It is NOT easy and the sugar cravings have me crawling the walls. LOL I also miss Starbucks but I know those things have too much sugar and should be avoided. Maybe I can ask for a sugar-free drink there? Something to think about.

Wow, that turnip thing sounds good! Mind sharing the recipe with me? I've never had them, either.

I like a lot of veggies that my family does not like. Asparagus, peas, sweet potatoes. Maybe buy them in small portions to enjoy them as a snack?

Nancy said...

ooh I love Asparagus, but my family does not. When I make veggies they dont like, I tell them to just try it, cause they might decide they like it, and just take a bite.

I read somewhere that it takes a child 17 times of tasting something they previously didnt like, to decide they like it. So I figure at some point we will accumulate 17 bites, ha ha

I like edamame as a snack (soy beans in a pod! I get them frozen and defrost them and then just eat them) but again everyone says thats odd, even my super healthy neighbor Sandy! Ha ha

While you are giving up sugar it could be wise to stay away from the higher sugar fruits that might cause your blood sugar to rise too quickly and give you a sugar rush (like bananas and oranges) and stick with the lower sugar ones (like strawberries and cantaloupe...all berries are low sugar, just dont ADD sugar, thats what my hubby does, sigh!!!)

Starbucks has three sugar free syrups they will use in their drinks but only if you ask, vanilla, cinnamon and hazelnut. They will also substitute splenda for sugar that is in a drink if you ask. I think the problem is knowing exactly what goes in your favorite drink. I looked up a few drinks and typically a grande contains around 55 grams of sugar. Thats equivalent to 3 donuts, or 5 bowls of sugary cereal! Yikes! I wish Starbucks had some sugar free options listed.

Nancy said...

Ah the turnips. Well I dont really have a stew recipe, this time I put in beef (cut into cubes), two peeled turnips cut up, a handful of baby carronts, two stalks of celery cut up, a bag of tiny red onions (peeled and washed). I cooked the meat on the stove top to brown it. Then I put it in the crock pot, with enough water to cover the meat. I added one envelope of beef and herb gravy mix this time, though I have made this without that before. I put in a little salt and pepper (less salt because of the gravy mix this time) Also added some garlic powder since I had no fresh garlic this time. I set the crockpot on high. Then I let it cook about 3 hours.

After 3 hours I add all the veggies, and then turn the crockpot on low to let it all cook for about 4 or 5 more hours. If you cut up the veggies smaller it will all be done faster, if they are bigger chunks, takes a bit longer.

Sometimes I have made this without the packet of gravy mix. Instead when I put the meat in the crockpot I put in a couple of tablespoons of flour, mix the meat in it, THEN add the water, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Feel free to add spices you like. I know I have added in the past onion powder and parsley flakes, though this time I did not do that.

Stew is always easy because you use the veggies you like and spices you like and voila, dinner.

I would like to try to make it with chicken too, but I have never done that yet, maybe this winter I will give that a shot.

Isabel had 2 friends spend the night this weekend (out in the tent, ha ha) and one of them said they grow turnips in their backyard. She said they put them around their roast beef sometimes with carrots, and they put them in soup alot. She said they also boil them and eat them like a boiled potato with I cant believe its not butter spray on them!

I bet you could bake them or mash them. We are new to turnips, so I'm excited to try them in new ways. I know one thing, they do not have all the starch that potatoes have and dont cause insulin rush that potatoes do so they are a good food to eat on a diet of any kind. They have only slightly less potassium than potatoes, and are low calorie too!