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Friday, October 31, 2014

Week 1 Thoughts - Recipe Reviews, Sweetener Ideas, and Random Musings

We made several soups this week from Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live Cookbook.  This isn't an in-depth review, but I just wanted to share my opinions.

1. Brocolli Mushroom Stew- I thought this one was great.  Mackenzie wasn't thrilled with it, but she had two servings.

2. Dr. Fuhrman's Anticancer Soup - There are rave reviews for this soup, and it is the one he most often promotes.  It is packed with the GBOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds), less the berries.  But it really didn't have much flavor to me.  So, you can really add any spice you prefer and that is how it will taste.  I liked adding dried Red Peppers and I loved adding lemon juice.  I don't think it will be my "go to" soup, but if I'm going for the health benefits, this is 2.5 cups of Nutritarian gold!

As a side note, the directions include putting whole zucchinis in a pot to soften, and then dumping pureed veggies over it, then pulling the zucchinis out to chop them.  The zucchinis were gross and hard to work with this way. Next time I will put the zucchinis in the pot, continue pureeing other veggies and put them into a large bowl, adding them to the pot AFTER I pull out the zucchinis!

2. Very Veggie Stew - also good - this one has the strange flavor of cinnamon with veggies....which reminds me of those Mexican chilis that have cocoa.  Odd, but not bad.  I think next time I'll leave out the cinnamon and just enjoy vegetable stew.

4. Tomato Bisque - Absolutely loved the flavor of this one.  I could eat it every day.  Mackenzie didn't like how chunky it was - she thought it should be blended and creamy, so we'll make it that way next time.  

We made it through the week with plenty of groceries - we could easily go two more days before going back to the store, and we probably will. Our little kids normally have cereal for breakfast with way too many scoops of sugar on it, but when I made my oatmeal every morning, they would ask for it instead.  A much healthier alternative! (whole grain oats, sunflower seeds, frozen blueberries or raspberries, a fresh banana, and some walnuts)

Mackenzie slept over at a friend's house, so she packed up her meals:
1. A baked potato with salsa
2. Almonds, oats, and frozen berries in a baggie
3. A container of soup
4. Acorn squash and Dark Karo Syrup for dessert

She is really excited to be prepared to resist pizza and doughnuts!

Why Dark Karo syrup??
Dr. Fuhrman wants absolutely no sweeteners because they are "empty calories", but that doesn't match our lifestyle quite yet.  Our palettes are looking for the sweet sometimes.  So, we are choosing to avoid artificial sweeteners completely, as I believe they are poisonous to the body and mind, and also to avoid sweeteners with fructose, which is not used by the body, but is filtered by the liver, adding strain to it, as well as spiking insulin.  Karo and Dark Karo syrups, however, are made with pure glucose.  The body recognizes this as a source of energy and uses it to power the body, and none of it goes to the liver.  


Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Long Coffee

Oh how I love coffee!  Let me count the ways!!

...yeah...we don't even have room for that.  

Dr. Fuhrman says coffee is addictive.  Yes.  Yes, it is. 

I think I've tried to quit coffee at least once a year for the last 10.  

But this time is for real, and I'll tell you why.

I am really trying to follow Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live Diet 100%.  So, I put the coffee away on Day 1, but then I pulled it out again on Day 4....for the totally logical reason that I have creamer in the fridge, and I'd hate for it to go to waste!  

When talking about food addiction, Dr. F says we lie to ourselves so that we can indulge in our addiction.  So, I told myself I had to finish of the gallon of creamer. 

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings I made my 2 Cups of coffee, and drank my coffee...and skipped breakfast.  My hunger level is so low right now, that I didn't feel hungry at all for breakfast. The problem with this became evident later when I was thinking about what I had eaten during the day, and all three days had only 0 or 1 piece of fruit.  Dr. F wants us eating 2-4 pieces of fruit.  

So, I have a choice - 

Eat fruit for nutrients, drink coffee because I love it....and be about 300 calories over every day


Drink coffee because I just can't say no, skip the fruit....and be short on the immune boosting and cancer fighting nutrients I know I need. 


Say goodbye to coffee.  When my friends are drinking coffee, pull out a yummy piece of fruit and enjoy the fellowship.  Be healthy. Lose weight. Feel amazing.

Goodbye Coffee!  


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week 1 results and First Shopping Trip

Today is Saturday and we have been following the Nutritarian diet wholeheartedly for 8 days.  Well...wholeheartedly except I pulled out my coffee pot on Wednesday and had 3 days of morning coffee and cream...and there was that one Binge on Pizza night.  

But, you know.  

Other than that.

My leg pains went away on Day 5.  And now I'm on to the other weird Detox symptom that I have....insomnia and euphoria.  That's right...I feel SO good that I can't sleep!  This happened last time I followed the Nutritarian diet and it took me a while to realize it wasn't just the "new normal," but a Detox symptom.  I lay in bed and my brain just races and races.  

Another symptom I'm having is what I'm going to call bloating.....I feel SO full...all the time.  I'm never hungry.  Today I had my breakfast (about 300 calories), lunch at 2pm (300 calories) and now it is 9pm and I'm still not hungry.  In fact, I don't think I could force myself to eat.  Dr. Fuhrman says the Eat to Live Diet is a high fat diet during the weightloss period, because you are eating low-fat, nutrient dense food, and your body is pulling fat from your waist and hips to supplement your calories.  That must be true, because I am SO not hungry.

As of Sunday morning, (end of Day 9) I have lost 3.7 pounds.  Now don't get too excited...that is all NEW weight.  Weight I gained in October!  ACK!  But it's nice to fit back into my FAT CLOTHES!  

Mackenzie was very surprised to find she lost 4 pounds!  I asked her if she felt deprived or "on a diet" and she said "No, not at all. Well, except when my family is eating something I can't have, like pizza or eggrolls."

I'm feeling great.  3 people in the family have been sick, but not me.  But that does include Mack with a mild stomach virus.

Shopping Trip

We went on our first Nutritarian shopping trip of this adventure.  Remember, only Mackenzie and I are eating this way..the rest of the family is eating our normal food.  

Here is the one week menu plan, recipes found in Dr. Fuhrman's Eat To Live Cookbook:

Breakfast Choices
Blueberry Nut Oatmeal
Quick Banana and Blueberry Breakfast
Tuscan Tofu Scramble
Apple Supreme

Lunches will be large salads or leftover soups

Dinner Choices
Brocolli Mushroom Stew
Anticancer Soup
Very Veggie Stew
Tomato Bisque

Here was our shopping list, and it doesn't include things we already had in our house like spices...but we didn't have much in the way of food.  This is a great list to use if you are wanting to fill your house with nutrient-rich foods:


Pine Nuts- (Holy Cow, these are expensive! If you have a cheaper source of Pine Nuts, let me know!)

Navy Beans
Sunflower Seeds (kernels only, raw)
Green Split Peas

Onions (green, red, yellow)

Mrs. Dash
Fresh cilantro
Fresh parsley
Frozen Blueberries
Carrot Juice

We shop at WINCO Foods, which we have found to have a much better selection in the produce department than any other grocery store, and the prices are comparable or even better than Costco or Grocery Outlet.  WINCO rocks.

Is it more expensive to follow a Nutritarian Diet?

The total for our Nutritarian Menu, which I suspect will stretch to 8 or 9 days rather than just the 7 I designed it for, was $94.06 for 2 people.  That would make this lifestyle of eating cost about $200 per person, per month.  For our family of 9, even when we are being as frugal as possible, we average $120 per person per month. And when we are eating that "tight" we end up splurging on pizza or KFC eventually, because we are just so tired of the mundane potatoes and rice meals we are eating.  The Nutritarian diet, on the other hand, is diverse, exciting, and spicy!

This is Dr. Fuhrman's Three Bean Pumpkin Chili. Doesn't it look hearty and amazing!  It was!

In the next few months however, we would need to replace our herbs and spices, and our tofu, which we had in the freezer.  I also didn't include any desserts in my meal plan. So, in the long run, maybe $230 per person is more likely.

You might think that sounds expensive, but remember, this is for 21 meals every expense from eating out, no Starbucks category in the budget.  Hopefully, this Nutritarian lifestyle would also see an immediate savings on medicine such as...

 Decongestants-boosted immune system, reduced dairy lowers mucous production
Pain Relievers - lowered inflammatory response, quicker recovery from exercise or exertion, fewer headaches
Allergy medicine - lowered inflammatory response or reduced allergic reaction (documented in Eat to Live)
Asthma medicine - some participants have had asthma go away from this lifestyle!!  

And, of course, you need to consider future medical costs: Diabetes, Heart Surgery, Cancer Treatment...these are all VERY expensive future medical costs, and by eating according to the Nutritarian lifestyle we will dramatically lower our risk.  

Just to take one ridiculous example...a few years ago Brian got a blister on his toe.  It became infected with MRSA, and after several ER visits we were able to save his toe and his life. (Yes, it could have been that bad, but it turned out fine.)  But cost $5000, after insurance.  
If the day he got the blister he had been following the Nutritarian lifestyle and had a boosted immune system, maybe he never would have gotten the infection. 
(Boy...I could really use that $5000 right now!)  
But if we extrapolate that over our lifetimes and for each of our 7 children....this "expensive" way of eating is actually going to save us ALOT of money.

So, for me, even with my very tight Single-Income, Family of Nine grocery budget...this is not a more expensive way of eating.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What IS Detox anyway?

I'm halfway through my first week on Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Nutritarian Diet.  The goal of this diet is longevity...not weightloss.  However, according to Dr. Fuhrman, even our scales of "normal" are skewed too high, so if you eat according to his plan you should be somewhat underweight.  Yeah.  We'll see.

During the first 2 to 6 weeks of eating according to his plan, most people experience detox.  Detox is when your body uses all of the great nutrients you are eating to go repair your cells.  The nutrients go into the cells, and the junk comes out.  Detox is good!  But it feels awful.

In order to accomplish the goal of detox, you must:
1. Eat a diet very high in plant-based nutrients, and
2. Only eat 3 meals per day.  

This gives your body time to 1.Digest then 2.Repair.  Most Americans are consuming calories all day long, so the body is in constant digestion, and never moves on to repair. (Which is why we are getting sick and feeling lousy)

However, this first 6 weeks of Detox can also feel lousy, because your bloodstream is being flooded with all of the junk from your cells.  You have to embrace the lousy feeling, knowing that it is working in your favor.

So far, my Detox Symptoms have been:
-Cramps in legs, back, and neck
-Arthritis in my hands
-Feeling bloated

The cramps have been so bad I thought I'm might have a touch of the flu.  I slept very poorly for two nights, so last night I took a Tylenol PM for the pain and slept like a rock!  All that said, this detox was not as bad as the one I did 2 years ago.

What's in my Kitchen?

I want to start eating Nutritarian right now. Right. Now.  

But our family has migrated back to the Standard American Diet over the past few months, so I needed to do a quick survey of the kitchen.  Here are the results:

Not too bad, all things considered.  Obviously not enough greens for a truly Fuhrman-approved meal plan, but I think I can make it work until our next shopping day, which will be next Thursday (today is Friday).  We might be able to pick up some mixed greens or spinach before then.  Ooh, and I totally forgot to add the acorn squash!  The kids have been looking forward to that as a dessert (slathered in butter and brown sugar), but I might have to steal it from them to use in our healthier menu.

(Just 2 of our 9 person family wants to eat Nutritarian.  But I know I'll be serving more salads because that's what I'll be making. Otherwise, this time, I'm not going to force them into it.  I'd rather they just be happy and let me eat in peace.)

Tonight I made the Brocolli Mushroom Bisque from the Eat To Live Cookbook.  I had to make a few substitutions, but on the whole it wasn't bad. I added a little white pepper to give it a bit more pop. And thus, my planned dinner: BBQ pork, cheddar cheese, tortilla...became brocolli, mushroom, carrot, onion, zero salt.  MUCH better!

Since this is the start...again...let's talk about the State of the Lindsey.  Not good right now.  My hands are hurting regularly with "arthritis."  My weight is the highest it has ever been outside of pregnancy.  And I've had ZERO energy and lots of brain fog.  On the plus side, I really haven't had illnesses lately.  

Mackenzie's brain is very foggy...extreme difficulty concentrating.  She's certainly not fat, but I think she'd love to slim down in the tummy.  She's very very eager to eat healthy and is already avoiding foods at school - she really wants to eat a "no artificial flavor" diet, and that can't be done with school food.  So, the challenge will be getting healthy food to school.  She loves salads, so maybe we can find some Fuhrman-approved dressings that she likes.

Tomorrow we are going to brainstorm our meals using the food in the house, and also start re-reading Eat to Live - probably jumping around and not going straight through.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Starting again, again

There is a research group doing a 10 year study on Women & the Nutritarian diet, and cancer.  I would love to be a part of it!  How cool to have my own blood tested for propensity for cancer.  How cool to have my weight and overall health tracked, and maybe to have Mackenzie join me in this ...and what if my own compliance to this not only helped my own health and taught my family healthy eating habits, but was part of the publication of data 10 years from now that prompts others to choose to eat their veggies??  

Yes, It would be so cool.

But it would also mean embracing the Nutritarian lifestyle, which I have only successfully done for about 3 months....for 10 years.                              


I don't know the parameters of the study, but I do know that Nutritarians don't:

Drink coffee - it is addictive and harmful to epithelial cells.

Eat any sugar - Also addictive.  Also harmful in ridiculous ways.

Eat chocolate - See above.

These three.  They just kill me. And also, I know that once I get out from under their grips, the Nutritarian lifestyle becomes so much easier. 

So.  I'm starting right now.  I don't have much fresh food in the house, but I have beans, lentils, frozen spinach, tomatoes, oatmeal....enough to make it till payday at least.

And Mackenzie is on board too!  We can make this our challenge!

I'll blog about it just for grins, and we'll see if I make it more than one meal.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Day/Week/Year of No Sugar

I just finished reading Eve Schaub's A Year of No Sugar.

It's kind of funny, because she brings the full-full-full circle with all the health stuff I've learned in the last 2 years. 

First I watched Dr. Lustig's Sugar: A Bitter Truth

Then read Potatoes over Prozac, which pushed me toward a high protien diet as opposed to a sugar-filled diet.

Then I saw Forks over Knives then Fat, Sick, and nearly Dead and then read China Study and Eat to Live...which of course totally reversed the high protein diet and went toward the no animal food diet...which is high in sugar.

Here's what I know about myself:

I'm a sugar addict.
I'm an overeater.
I have no self control.

I think the overeater piece may be related to the sugar addiction. And I think the self -control piece is related to the cravings I have due to the sugar addiction.

So, here's my idea.

I want to combine all of the "cooking with no sugar" knoweldge I've gained over the last year and a half and really cut it out totally.

In the process, I'll probably add back some of the cheese and milk I've cut out...partly because soy milk has added sugar.

Don't know how long I will do this.  My current goal is a day, but if I make it to 3 days or a week...then I will want to keep going.  Because I've got to kick this addiction.

Also not sure how strict I want to be when I'm out to night tomorrow!

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Banana and Berries
Lunch: Something with lentils and lots of spices
Dinner: Spinach salad with salsa and avocado