Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fabulous Foods!!!

Over the course of the past year I have discovered some pretty awesome foods that I’d love to share with you. A few of these I'm sure you are fairly familiar with and a few I hope that you will be intrigued enough by to actually try. To start out with, though, I’d like to give you a little background concerning the relationship I have with food.

I LOVE food. I mean, I really truly love it! I think about eating when I’m not eating. As soon as I finish a meal I am thinking about what I am going to eat for the next meal. I love the comfort of a full tummy, and I love tasting new flavors. On top of loving food, I love SWEET food. It figures that I’d love something (SWEETS) that society frowns on me eating (not just society, my blood sugars a majority of the time as well.)

About a year ago when I first started running in an attempt to lose a few pounds, I also started revamping the way I ate. At first I just stopped buying Little Debbies (and that truly, back then, was a sad sad thing), but as time went on I moved from the “normal” food of over processed America to a mostly organic, non-processed (minus flour and processed sugar), non-artificially sweetened, whole food diet, which is the theme of my eating style today. In the process, I’ve also learned to cook! (Well a little, Bob never seems too thrilled, but the kids like it! Well sometimes the kids like it….)

What I have found over this long, and expensive process is that my blood sugars make much more sense than they ever have before. This does not mean that I don’t have my struggles, my binges, or my highs, because believe me, I DO! It just means that all this fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc has really helped me improve my blood sugars overall. I’ve run into a few bumps in the road, but along the way I’ve discovered some foods that I never would have tried before had I not started this journey for food & body harmony. With that in mind, here begins FIVE FABULOUS FOODS, along with reasons they are so stinkin fabulous!

1. Good Earth Original Sweet & Spicy Herb Tea
Around 5 months ago I gave up diet soda, FOREVER. Not necessarily for good, on occasion when we go out I’ll have a diet coke, but I don’t buy the stuff for the house, and I have maybe 5 cans of diet soda a month rather than 3 a day. In this process, my mouth was craving the sweet. I mean, really craving that sweet sweet flavor and refreshment that diet soda just fills you right up with. I found Good Earth Teas, and MAN! Is this stuff good! What makes this stuff so awesome is that it is SWEET but it doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners. This stuff is all natural man! You can also buy it caffeinated (with black tea in it) or un-caffeinated (just a straight herbal tea shot). If you are working on cutting caffeine or diet soda, this is a great alternative, and you aren’t sacrificing the sweet.

2. Quinoa
This is a grain from South America. It is similar to couscous, but um, not really. I eat it as a breakfast cereal, and also cook it up to have with dinner (in place of rice or potatoes). The thing that is great about this stuff is that it is a whole grain that has a TON of fiber and also is high in natural fats and proteins that help slow up the absorption by your body. This means for more stable blood sugars after a meal, and in the morning, at least for me, this is a huge necessity when my blood sugars rise the fastest! I do use symlin, so that is going to also affect how my blood sugars rise with this stuff, but I know that I have better luck with quinoa than traditional rolled oats. Quinoa is a great alternative to oatmeal, if you are tired of the old oatmeal routine. For breakfast I add some maple syrup (bout a teaspoon) and cinnamon and I’m treated to a delightful sweet breakfast. At dinner I cook it up with herbs and spices. Very tasty!

3. Soy Grits
This is another breakfast deal for me, but I love sweet stuff in the morning so I look for any way I can get that in! Soy grits is similar to rice cereal, but only has 8 carbs per serving. The calories are similar to an oatmeal serving (oatmeal is 150, soy grits is 170) but the carb content is sooo small. On a late morning without symlin at breakfast, I’ll sweeten this stuff with stevia and add some cinnamon and my blood sugars rise very slowly in response. It also helps that it has a nutty flavor that is fairly tasty.

4. Strawberries
As far as I am concerned this fruit is tops, this stuff rocks. Who doesn’t love strawberries? (unless you are allergic that is…) The cool thing about strawberries is that there is only 50 calories in a cup (which is about 6 or 7 medium strawberries, try measuring it out, you’ll be surprised). They are also loaded with fiber so these are a truly sweet treat that won’t damage your blood sugar, say, quite like a banana will. I like to mix up a tablespoon of maple syrup (13 carbs) with some cocoa and drizzle that on the strawberries (when I’m feeling terribly sweet and naughty that is!). It makes for a great evening snack, and my kids love it too!

5. Sprouted Grain Breads
Sprouted Grain Breads have truly changed my approach to bread and how I eat. For a time I specifically avoided bread, well anything more than a slice, because of the resultant very quick rise in blood sugar. Then someone recommended Ezekiel 4:9 bread. This is sprouted grain bread that is made without flour. It is LOADED with fiber. Since I got started on sprouted grain products, I’ve tried several, and I have to say that the Ezekiel bread is the one I like the most. It tastes the most “bready” (is that even a word?). It has around 12 carbs per slice (this varies with the different types) and around 5 or 6 grams of fiber. Another good kind to try is Men’s Bread which has only 5 grams of carb per slice (and like 6 or 7 grams of fiber!). It is pretty tasty as well, full of nuts and grains. It doesn’t taste quite as “bready” as Ezekiel, but I buy both, and when I want a sandwich with 2 pieces of bread, I go for the Men’s Bread. There is also sprouted grain: bagels, tortillas, PASTA (yum, yum). I encourage you to give these products a try if for nothing else than to give bagels or pasta a go again ( I hadn’t eaten pasta in YEARS before trying the sprouted grain pasta.)

This is definitely not an exhaustive list of foods I find fabulous, but they are, in my opinion, some of the most exciting and filling foods I find fabulous! They are also staples in my daily diet. I was excited when I learned about them, so I want to share them! If you ever find a food that is FABULOUS I’d love to hear about it. My family is a family that loves food and the deliciousness of the eats that God has given us!


In Search Of Balance said...

Thanks for this! I replied in my post today.

Sarah said...

wow, that was really nice of you!

Kevin said...

I LIVE on diet coke. Literally, I consume about 100 fl. oz. per day of the stuff. I (partially) attribute my consumption of this (totally awesome) beverage to my inherited sweet tooth.

At times my wife has tried to get me to cut back on my consumption of diet coke, but to no avail.

So tell me, does the sweet tea actually have sugar in it? How many carbs? That's the great thing about diet coke: lot's o' sweet & no carbs.

Thanks for the post, these are good tips.

Sarah said...
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Sarah said...

There is no way I could have switched to the tea from diet coke if I was dealing with carbs! I drink probly 4 to 5 cups a day of it, and the no carb things is what makes it so cool. One bag can brew pretty strong so I'll put one bag to like 16 oz of water and let it steep for like ten minutes. I also make iced tea out of it and no sweetener required. Sometimes I really miss diet coke, and without this tea there is no way I could have done it. There are some roots that are naturally sweet, and I think that this tea uses anise for the sweetness? Licorice is another sweet root (50 times sweeter than sugar!) that makes for some tasty sweet (no carb!!) teas. This is my fave licorice tea

Scott K. Johnson said...

This post is right on target for me.

My biggest struggle with my control is with the food choices I make. This post gives me some tangible things to try, and some real life experiences and background to apply to them.

I love the fact that some of these great recipes are hitting the blogosphere, and I fully intend to expand my food horizons with many of them. Between you and Beth, I think I'm headed in the right direction! Thank you!

And Kevin - I got you beat buddy! I can regularly put down 6 to 8 of the 20oz bottles - and that's just at work!! Isn't that terrible?! Man. I call myself trying to be better when I sneak in a couple of caffeine free bottles instead of the hardcore stuff. I'm not proud to admit it - but if I'm gonna come clean, there's no better crowd!

Excellent post - and I'll be trying some of the things you mention here.

Thank you!

Sarah said...

I used to drink between a 12 pack and case of diet coke a DAY, around 3 years ago. I just feel better cutting out the caffeine though. When I did my running in the afternoon, I found I really had to limit my caffeine intake to not more than one per day and replace with tons of water/uncaffeinated beverages after that. What would happen if I drank too much caffeine before a run and I went into a longer run dehydrated is I would get the runner's "trots". I don't imagine I have to explain that any further. Not fun!