Friday Fruits and Veggies

September 14, 2007


It’s Friday Fruits and Veggies Time, Friday Fruits and Veggies Time, Friday Fruits and Veggies with a baseball bat.

My co-op basket this week includes:

Bok Choy
Daikon Radish w/tops
Sweet Candy Onions
Mung Beans
Green Peppers
Apples Gold Supreme

Yummy! I’ve been cutting back on my sugar and white carb intake and only treating myself when I have a huge craving, so depending on the number of apples, I may make a pie. I’m also envisioning a great stir-fry with the bok choy, daikon, onion, mung beans, peppers and ginger. I also found a simple daikon, carrot and cucumber salad; julienne the veggies, toss with salt and pepper and honey mustard dressing.

Cutting the sugar and white carbs is not easy. I’ve had really good intentions lately but the execution is seriously lacking. It sucks because I remember how good I felt when I went on the South Beach Diet back in 2004. With my new living situation, I just can’t seem to get back there.

Now before everybody gets all freaked out about me going on a “diet”, let me say that I was a very reluctant participant at the start. Reason number one, I think that in our culture there is way too much emphasis on dieting for the sole purpose of complying with an American standard of beauty created and reinforced by the Patriarchy. Number two, I don’t think many diets are designed with overall health in mind. Perhaps because the emphasis isn’t on health but beauty, as described in reason number one.

But South Beach was very convincing. My Grammie, a type two diabetic, was encouraged by her doctor to read the South Beach book and try the diet. She did. Not only was she able to control her blood sugar like a champ, she lost a much needed 10-20 lbs. of Grade “A” Prime Heart Attack Fat from around her middle. My boyfriend-at-the-time and I were stunned. This is a woman who ate with abandon; she is a true Yankee who puts mayonnaise and butter on everything including fruit salad, and has never in her life refused dessert. She offered us her copy of the book and the rest is history.

If you’re unfamiliar with the South Beach concept it’s pretty simple on the surface – eat more “good” protein, eat more “good” carbs, and for chris’sake, move more. The first two weeks is almost exclusively lean protein and vegetable based and you are encouraged to eat a few times a day. You can have up to 90 calories of “sweet” per day but no fruit no booze and limited caffeine. The third week you start introducing more whole grains and low sugar fruits; maybe a serving of each per day. I followed the book version of the diet pretty religiously only cheating when it really couldn’t be helped – you haven’t eaten in a few hours, you show up for a meeting after work, meeting host has ordered pizza, it’s the closetst thing to dinner you’ll see for the next three hours, you eat it.

The overall results were pretty staggering. I lost about 20lbs and boyfriend-at-the-time lost almost 40 within the first six months or so. I felt great physically. The diet really detoxified my system and I got to a point where I couldn’t eat too much sugar or bread or pasta or fruit juice. My blood sugar would skyrocket and I would pass out within 25 minutes of eating the offending item.

I eventually modified my South Beach diet to exclude all chemical sugar substitutes (something the diet relies too heavily upon, I think) and to include natural sugars like raw organic cane juice, stevia, agave, etc. I also started drinking beer again which was difficult because too much and my body would go into glycemic shock. I was careful to choose only high quality micro brews and to only drink one or two. If I wanted to party I stuck with red wine and boyfriend-at-the-time used this no-beer period to explore the finer points of scotch whiskey. I avoided high fructose corn syrup like the plague and became an obsessive label reader.

The choices available to me opened dramatically when Whole Foods came to town. I eventually realized that I wasn’t on “The South Beach Diet” anymore; I was just eating healthier. I started reading about food additives, the high levels of hormones and antibiotics in meat and dairy, unsanitary and inhumane farming practices, how the corn industry has ruined small farming and our health. I took a greater interest in what I was putting into my body and made it a priority in my life.

After boyfriend-at-the-time and I split up I was able to keep up the good eating without issue. With Mr. D it’s not been so easy. Before I was living by myself and able to control all of the food that came into my house, plus I was spending all of my own money. Now I have Mr. D’s preferences to take into account – what kind of things he likes to eat and how much he is willing to spend on particular items. It’s difficult, even for me, to justify spending $6.99 per pound on free range, no antibiotic, no hormone chicken breast. How am I supposed to get Mr. D to agree to spend that much? I know he cares about the fact that “there’s shit in the meat” but I guess he’s just not motivated, for whatever reason, to make a huge life style issue out of it.

Maybe my goal for this week will be to sit down with him and have it out. Explain my position and see if I can get him to come over to the dark side, even just a little. I mean, eating that crappy chicken that costs $1.99 per pound can not only make YOU sick (think cancer from the hormones and germ resistance from the antibiotics), it makes the earth sick (think ground water pollution, soil degradation, destruction of biodiversity). When you buy chicken at $6.99 a pound there is value added – as an individual you’ll spend less on health care and as a society we’ll pay less for environmental care. Plus, $6.99 a pound chicken actually tastes like chicken! Imagine!!


One comment

  1. […] nenasadije wrote an interesting post today on Friday Fruits and VeggiesHere’s a quick excerptI eventually modified my South Beach diet to exclude all chemical sugar substitutes (something the diet relies too heavily upon, I think) and to include natural sugars like raw organic cane juice, stevia, agave, etc. … […]

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