Friday Fun Fact #9

Hello!  Is it really Friday already?  That means my two-week vacation is winding down.  I’ve had a very relaxing time off, the highlight of which was the Getaway in San Diego.  (You can read the entire week-long recap here.)  I just got home this past Tuesday evening but it seems like it was months ago as I have slipped back into my normal life.  That’s a good thing.  I am such a creature of habit; it’s almost scary how routine oriented I am.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t added or changed a bit of my routine though.  I will share a little bit of that change with you today.  But first…

Fun Fact:

Since it’s Friday, that means I’ll give you a fun fact.  I’m stirring my brain to decide what from the week of Dr. Fuhrman’s lectures and informational sessions make the most sense to bring into a few paragraphs.  I guess I’ll start with the basics.

What is a Nutritarian?  Isn’t that a funny word?  It’s sort of a made up word.  You don’t have to be a vegan or even a vegetarian to be a Nutritarian.  A Nutritarian is someone who attempts to get the most nutritious bang for the caloric buck.  So eating foods high in micronutrients (vitamins, minerals & phytochemicals) is the key.  Of course, you need your macronutrients (fats, carbs & protein), but it is important to be choosy with where those come from.  Most Nutritarians eat little or no animal protein and there is a good reason for that.  Animal proteins raise your IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) hormone levels which has been related to many types of cancer and a shortened lifespan.  This doesn’t mean that Nutritarians don’t eat any protein.  I have discussed how I get my protein in previous posts, and you can read about that here.  The Nutritarian diet-style also is not a low-fat or fat-free diet.  I get plenty of fat from nuts and seeds; and I love, love, love me a good avocado a couple of times a week.  I avoid oils as much as possible.  All oils are about 120 to 140 calories per tablespoon and all of those calories are pure fat, containing absolutely no nutrients.  So why not eat the whole-food product rather than the oil?  You can saute your vegetables in water and add lightly toasted sesame seeds to your dish at the end and have a very healthy, tasty and satisfying stir-fry.  There’s no need to slather them with oil and leave a greasy film in your mouth.  Nope, not needed!

So what does all this healthy eating do for you?  Well, you can prolong your lifespan by slowing the aging process, enhance DNA repair (yes, it’s possible), remove toxins and free radicals, reduce inflammatory response, decrease your risk of myriad of cancers, lower your cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease, decrease your risk of diabetes (or cure it if you already have it), enhance brain power & decrease your risk of age-related dementia, increase bone strength, thereby decreasing the risk of osteoporosis.  All of these things are in addition to the benefit of weight loss. ** Please, seek medical advice if you are starting on this diet-style and taking any medications.  You will want to be carefully monitored as your blood pressure and glucose levels can change dramatically in just a few days. **

I didn’t set out to learn so much about disease prevention and the benefits of losing weight two years ago when I picked up my copy of Eat to Live  at the local bookstore.  I just thought I’d drop a couple of pounds.  Sure, my doctor had told me I was considered “pre-diabetic” with higher than normal glucose levels, but I figured since my mom had Type II diabetes it was just something I was destined to be blessed with.  My parents had a number of health issues so I assumed I would too as I got older.  I was more concerned with losing a little weight to look better and feel better about myself.  Here’s a picture of me a few weeks into my journey.

DSC_0378

I wasn’t planning on the transformation that has occurred, so I didn’t set out on a photo session.  I don’t have too many full-length shots, so you’ll have to use your imagination.  Let’s just say that was about 50 pounds and many other numbers ago.  My blood pressure is the lowest it’s ever been, my cholesterol is ideal and there isn’t even a mention of diabetes in my future.  All of this proves that nutrition is more powerful than genetics.

Fun Fact Wrap Up:

So the basic, core concept to remember with the Nutritarian diet-style (like how I don’t call it a diet? — this is for life) is G-BOMBS.  That’s Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds & Nuts.  You can find more information at Dr. Fuhrman’s website.  You may be thinking that I sure do promote Dr. Fuhrman.  It’s true.  I believe in his plan.  I am probably considered a Dr. Fuhrman groupie, but that’s okay with me.  His information is easy to understand and he is steadfast in his teachings.  There are many other doctors and researchers out there who promote a whole food, plant-based diet and have similar ideas.  Dr. Fuhrman is a treating physician and has seen the changes that are possible by adopting this diet-style.  Sure, it’s dramatic… so is by-pass surgery or insulin injections.  I don’t think I want to have either one, so I’m trying right now when I’m still fairly young to avoid those things and I’m having fun doing it.  I’ve learned a whole new way of cooking.  I’ve eaten foods that two years ago didn’t know I’d be eating.  (Salad for breakfast, anyone?)  I have energy like never before.  I could go on, but I’ve got other things to share with you.

What am I doing now, post Getaway?:

Since I didn’t have to go right back to work after returning from beautiful San Diego, I’ve taken some time to think about the changes that were started while in a bit of a controlled environment and how I’d carry that on.  So with a little experiment, I discovered that chocolate is probably the culprit for some stomach troubles, so that’s off the table, pun intended.  And after a week without sugar I have absolutely no desire to eat it.  It’s amazing!  It doesn’t even call to me anymore.  What did I really do, you ask?  I started right off with making some homemade hemp / almond milk.  It’s easy peasy and you can freeze it so you always have it on hand.  I also made a pomegranate muesli which is oh so yummy.  It does take a little planning as you have to soak it overnight.  Here’s what it looked like.  You can click on the picture for the recipe.

IMG_1409 I topped it with some of the hemp / almond milk and a few toasted buckwheat groats.  It made for a very filling breakfast that kept me satisfied until lunch.  That is another thing that I’m really trying to focus on since my week away — eating only when true hunger sets in.  I see it as a challenge for many reasons, and is something that will take a lot of attention and focus to master.  (read here: person of routine)   I know I can do it, though.  Also for breakfast I served a little patriotic salad.  Check it out.  It’s my new way to try to get greens to start my day without a smoothie.  Smoothies are so yummy, it’s hard to pass them up!

IMG_1410Wow! This post is getting really long too, so I’ll pull it together and sign off for today.  I learned so much spending time with so many wonderful people that it’s hard not to blab it all out in one writing.  I’ll save some for Monday.  I hope you’ll come back then. But before I go… I must share a picture of my Nutritarian sister, Carrie.  (She’s the younger, cute one)  You can check out her amazing story on her blog here.  Carrie is my inspiration & a great motivator.  I think you’ll like her style.  Plus she has an iPhone app that will help you on your journey.  You can pick that up here.

IMG_1397Have a great weekend.  Make it a healthy one!

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