Monday, July 20, 2009

Nutritional "No- How" with Bonus Meal Plans for Summer!

Does all this "talk" about food almost leave you with your head spinning? Eat this, don't eat that... It can get pretty confusing, pretty quickly! This article is the third in this series of nutritional n0-how. This time around we are going to look at some myths the diet industry had placed out there, how all this diet stuff got started, and why these choices may not be the right choices for your health. Also, a small sample menu plan will be offered at the end, sort of a mix and match summer meal plan!

Dieting has been around for thousands of years. It began back in the 1800's, before then only the wealthy were overweight. Over time more people enjoyed financial success. Eating and drinking became a way to celebrate the fruits of their labors, particularly those who experienced hardships growing up.
Interestingly, diets did not originate due to health concerns, or even the pursuit of a better looking physique. No, dieting became a concern first from a biblical perspective on gluttony. Looking upon gluttony as a sin, there was much concern. After all we all know what the wages of sin are, right?! (If not, the bible clearly states, "The wages of sin are death." Romans 6:23)
So with this in mind, realizing that over consumption and excess weight one Presbyterian minister named Sylvester Graham, began to preach what has now become known as the "health message" on a proper, mostly vegetarian, diet and its positive effects upon the body, mind and particularly the spirit.
Our minister also advocated vigorous exercise, cold showers, opening the bedroom window at night ( no matter what!), drinking pure water, and of course chastity and temperance. It appears that in the 1830's our minister friend was onto something! His views were not completely well received, he the nickname "Dr. Sawdust."
He did attract followers though. They were a faithful bunch that became known as "Grahamites." Yes, Dr. Graham was the originator of graham flour, and it's well known cracker, the graham cracker. He was totally against the use of processed, refined flours. He was at odds constantly with the bakers of that era who used white, refined products, often openly rebuking them in his services. He did in fact employ bodyguards in his meetings.
Refined sugar and flour was not his only battle. He was also at war with the milk producers. It seems that they fed their cows swill leftover from the distilleries, and in order to neutralize the alcoholic content, chalk and molasses were used!
Dr. Graham was he first to advocate diet and healthful, mindful eating. His material has actually become sound advise for a long, healthy life. It is actually very close to a the ideal diet plan for health today, based upon much study. However with the diet industry raking it in with practically a new diet plan every day, buy this, buy that, it's hard to know what really works, AND is good for your health! Let's take a look at some of the big myths.


Good news! This is a complete lie. Diets that are too restrictive are not lifestyle changes. You cannot maintain this type of eating for very long. This is only the tip of the iceberg. A diet to low in calories slows your resting metabolic rate. It has a negative effect on your body composition. Your body, in the absence of glucose (the product of a healthy carbohydrate rich diet) will break down muscle tissue for glucose. Muscle, not fat, has the chemical composition necessary to create glucose for starving brain cell, and other critical bodily functions.
Skipping breakfast is a very tragic thing!! After 12-16 hours the body REQUIRES nourishment.If nothing has been eaten, the body will quickly catabolize your precious muscle tissue. This is not very productive if you are working out. No wonder people on these diets are usually tired and cranky!


As mentioned above, carbohydrates are the primary form of energy for the human body. Carbs are not "bad." Carbs are necessary to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. In order to burn fat, glucose is required, preferably from carbohydrates. Protein on the other hand, are necessary for the building and repair of all tissues and cells. Immune function, collagen repair, blood clotting, oxygen transport, and other critical functions are some of the roles that protein plays in the body. "While a cell may need an amino acid to build a vital protein, the need for energy in the form of glucose supersedes protein need. Without energy cells die: without glucose the brain and nervous system die. Cells are forced to use amino acids for glucose only when glucose is not available ( no consumption of carbohydrates, or a delay in eating) Breakdown of body proteins to meet the energy and glucose needs can lead to muscle wasting." "Muscle wasting" can lead to a slower metabolism and serious health problems. Although on the outset high protein diets may look good, you might even loose weight (not good weight, try a body composition test) but is it really worth risking your health, and loosing much needed muscle tissue? The human body stores carbohydrates in the form of glucose, it does not store amino acids, in fact all protein contains nitrogen. Nitrogen is toxic to the human body, it must be regularly eliminated. To much nitrogen, and constant excretion of them can impose health risks.
All in all, too much of anything is not a good thing. The key is balance in proper nutrient- rich foods.


While it is prudent to eat a low-fat diet, fats are an essential component to a healthy diet. Fats are in both animal and plant based foods. Generally speaking, a diet high in animal fats is a diet high in saturated fats- saturated fats have been linked to many forms of cancer, diabetes, high blood sugar, depression, coronary diseases and stroke. Note, this is true of a diet HIGH in saturated fats. Saturated fats are virtually impossible to avoid entirely, as many manufacturers use them in their products as they have a long shelf life, and are relatively cheap. Trans Fatty Acids are another type of fat that has been linked to health problems. Trans fats are a type of man-made fat that also increases the shelf life of products. Most of them are hidden in the form of partially hydrogenated plant oils. This process was developed in the early 1900's and first appeared as Crisco in 1911. These products add hydrogen to unsaturated fats, turning them into saturated fats.
While healthy fats are very useful for hormone function, immune function and other critical roles in the body, trans fats and saturated fats are not part of this cycle. Instead these types of fats can actually become imbedded in cell membranes. Some recent research has hypothesized that this damage to cell membranes, which effects the cell's fluidity, might be the cause of insulin resistance.( Nutrition for Professionals- Dr. Jane Penz 2008)
Low -fat manufactured foods tend to contain hydrogenated plant oils, and a higher amount of sugar, also. (ACE Certified News 2009) While a diet high in "healthy fats" seems to aid in everything from cell aggregation to a healthier waste line.
So what are "healthy fats?" Here are some examples:
*"Wild" Salmon, Mackerel, other fatty fish. (Watch for fish with high mercury values. Ussually the larger the fish, the more mercury. ie- Swordfish.)
*Olive oils, and canola oils. Please note that these oils loose their properties when heated. Free radicals are formed when vegetable oils are heated. (I use vegetable broth in my pan to prevent sticking.)
*Nuts and seeds, particularly walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. (I usually get mixed nuts for a greater cross section of minerals.) And , yes, natural is better!
*Flax seed (and oil), safflower products , sesame seeds and oil, sunflower seeds and oil, and soybean products (Series one prostaglandins that create less inflammation, and are anti-aggregating.)
*Avocado, fresh and organic
These products should all be reasonable fresh.
While it is prudent to purchase low fat dairy items such as yogurt, cheese and milk- it is also prudent to use them sparingly. A diet rich in the above mentioned fats with fresh, whole, organic foods has been proven to be the most successful, and easy to adhere to.

Most of these are quick and easy!! Most are only about 400 calories, but who's counting!
Remember, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. Do not skip out on this one!

(for those who really are in a hurry!!)

1 cup of vanilla soymilk or non-fat milk
1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons of almond butter, or all natural peanut butter ( Try Marathon Nutter Butter at Dingy Docks.)

Blend and enjoy!

One whole grain english muffin toasted, or Ezekiel Bread.
Top with almond butter, or nutter butter, add 1/4 sliced bananas.
Add one cup of mixed berries in a side bowl.

Whole grain waffle topped with berries and greek yogurt with honey, add shaved almonds.

Using either egg substitute of regular eggs. Use cooking spray, small amount, and vegetable broth to prevent sticking
1 egg (or portion)
2 eggs ( or portions)
feta cheese, or greek cheese or soy cheese.
1 piece of Ezekiel Sesame toast.


raspberries, blueberries, strawberries (layered) 1 -1.5 cups
greek -style yogurt with honey
top with Go-Lean cereal (1/2 cup) and pumpkin seeds (2 teaspoons)

(Preferably old fashioned style oatmeal, as packages of quick oatmeal contain a lot of sugar!!)

Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven at 450 degrees.
Mix bananas (ripe), 1 cup of egg whites (or substitute), and 1 cup of soy milk together very well in a bowl.
Pour mixture into pan. Add oatmeal to "just full" in liquid mixture. The point is to have enough oatmeal to absorb the fluid. Top with 1/4 cup walnut and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips.
Bake 25-30 minutes.
Voila! Easy on the go breakfast bars!!



1 comment:

  1. Great Study Sister!
    Thanks for sharing it. God Bless your time and efforts for our health and life's improvement.Amen.Love, Pastor Brian