This blog dances around the theory that everything you need has been or will be provided for you. So while I was surprised when Mamapedia invited me to the “Get Real About Health” webinar recently, I shouldn’t have been. The webinar was sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board in celebration of National Dairy Month (which is in June) and centered around two major topics :
1. Eating real (good) food for health , weight loss and pleasure
2. Debunking commonly held myths about dairy
Before I get into the details, let me tell you why this was Kismet for me. I have spent the past couple of years coming to the realization that I don’t want to spend the next 30 years the same way that I’ve spent the last 30 years, namely dieting and failing (the fail part being where you fall off the wagon for whatever reason and gain all the weight back). I know that I like food, I have a husband who is a mahvelous cook and likes to experiment in the kitchen – this sucks when what he has whipped up looks and tastes great but “isn’t on my diet”. At any rate I decided that:
1. Life is too short to deprive oneself
2. There has to be a way to lose weight and stay healthy when you’d rather be crocheting than exercising
3. Given 1 and 2 I will still lose the weight I want to (in time for my son’s wedding in July) and keep it off
That brings us to “Real Food Has Curves: How to get off processed food,lose weight, and love what you eat” the 18th book by food authors Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarborough. Mark and Bruce pointed out that milk ( which we all tend to avoid don’t we?) and dairy products are “fabulous” real food, which is what you want to incorporate into your diet because when food tastes better we are satisfied much more quickly and for a longer period of time. Furthermore, people who spend more time thinking about and shopping for food, actually weigh less than those of us who find this a mindless/tedious exercise.
“Real Food Has Curves” presents a simple 7 step program:
STEP 1: Learn The Secrets To Satisfaction – In this first step you will train your palate to taste your food. One of the reasons we overeat is because we crave satiety, pleasure and taste. The authors recommend that you put your fork down between bites and really enjoy what you have put in your mouth.They discussed the “chewless” society we have become (of course I just inhaled a slice of buttered toast while typing this and will be hungry again in the next 15 minutes or so). Satisfaction also involves eating good real food – for example in my house we only use butter, seriously, it’s a whole different taste game. Little bit of science from the authors: Taste is one of the only senses that connects to memory cells – so taste is measured by past experiences and food memories are connected to pleasure centers in brain. When you begin to eat real food you will find that it has ” layers of flavor”, the more processed the food is the flatter the taste will be. It is the layers of flavor that help us to feel satisfied, sice “satiety comes from multiple tastes and textures in a dish”.
Test this theory – splurge on real ice cream or try my my personal favorite a really good apple sliced and combined with slices of real extra sharp cheddar cheese.
STEP 2- MAKE INFORMED CHOICES
The authors suggest that we are afraid of food becaus ewe mistakenly believe that it is an ‘either/ or’ proposition. Real food does not have to be organic veggies and fresh home made tomato sauce; but do “take your glasses to the supermarket” so that you can read labels and compare ingredients, because there is “real” food that is also convenient.
STEP 3 – RELISH WHAT YOU EAT
Why did your last diet fail? You probably think it’s your fault. Bruce and Mark say that is just not so. Diets fail because we are not motivated by deprivation – we are motivated by pleasure. [imagine that!] They sugggest that we slow down and focus on our meal, spend more time at the table, and spend more time shopping and selecting good real food.For example: if you are at the mall and want to have a cookie , then have the cookie but do it right – sit down, relax order a good coffee and the best cookie and savor the tastes and flavors, don’t wolf it down on the way to the next store – eating should be an event. I once worked with a woman who brought her own dishes ,silverware and table linens to the office everyday – she made lunch an occasion.
STEP 4 – DETOX YOUR PALATE FROM USELESS SALT, FATS, AND SUGARS – meaning if you are going to have fats anyway go for olive oil or butter which are much more flavorful than canola or margarine. Use real brown sugar instead of Sweet and Low or Stevia. Agave, by the way is real sugar and is recommended.
STEP 5 – TAKE THE LONG VIEW – Don’t try to change your world, your life, or your kitchen in one fell swoop. Try one new thing a week – a new way of cooking a vegetable or a new spice,meat or vegetable. I recently discovered turnips which I use in lieu of potatoes.
STEP 6 – UPGRADE YOUR CHOICES – but don’t go over budget trying to afford your upgrades. Use online coupon sites. The California Milk Advisory Board website has a couple of coupons that you may find useful.
Step 7 – TREAT YOURSELF WELL – enjoy real breakfasts and make desserts with real dairy products and real sugar. Eat food that is made of this earth and gives you pleasure.
Finally a few facts about MILK:
1. Drinking milk does not cause early puberty(excessive weight triggers early puberty). Today’s girls drink less milk than their mothers did , on average girls need 1300mg calcium daily.
2. People tend to misdiagnose themselves with Lactose Intolerance .But it is far less common than believed. Get yourself tested if you think that you may be lactose intolerant. Try eating yogurt to test tolerance, move on to other forms of dairy but be sure to take with other foods. Eat a little dairy often rather than a lot of dairy less frequently.
3. Children who drink a lot of milk are not fated to be overweight.
4. Organic milk and regular milk are both equally nutritious.
5. Dairy foods are easy natural sources of calcium – you would have to eat 8 cups of raw spinach to get the same amount of calcium in one glass of milk or a cup of yogurt etc.
6. Milk is primary source of Vitamin D in the American diet – 4 glasses of milk per day(400 IU) helps prevent some cancers etc. Get 10-15 minutes of sunlight to allow vitamin D synthesis (more if you are darker, less if you are lighter).
Visit the California Milk Advisory Board to learn more about how real dairy products can help you and your family to be healthier.