Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My first all-produce week of the new year

Finding that the morning squeeze into my business-casual pants was a little snugger than earlier in the year, I decided to make this week another of my produce-only weeks.

I realize that this sounds suspiciously like a crash diet, but I'm finding that the benefits of doing this on occasion far outweighs any negatives which arise. Of course, the main factor for going this route is that being at risk for Diabetes means that my blood sugar/insulin levels are crucial in maintaining good health. So, yes, while a lot of the food I eat during this week contains carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, the fact is that they also contain the fibre which slows sugar-absorption. I also severely restrict my refined sugar intake during these ventures, which seems to help greatly.

I've brought in to work a (huge!) organic navel orange, organic baby carrots, hummus, unsulfured prunes, organic banana chips and a mostly-organic root-veggie mix (comprised of diced sweet potato, carrot, turnip, parnsnip, sunchoke, and rutabaga in a olive oil and herb-mix blend). At home, I have a bean-dip-esque concotion of refried black beans with roasted garlic and avocado oil, non-dairy "sour cream", diced avocado, diced tomatoes and garlic chives. I allow myself a serving of dark chocolate a day, if I want it (which I seem to, always). I also indulged in about 2 servings of potato chips yesterday.

For later in the week, I intend to have polenta (technically, made from a grain — I'm still ruminating over that) and a Greek-inspired mix of spinach, dill, green onion, lemon juice, salt and olive oil.

I find that these dietary restrictions improves my mood, gives me more energy, clears up my skin, eliminates any bloating or water retention, straightens out any digestive issues I've been having and — in all honesty — improves the way I smell (not that I think I'm stinky normally). I find myself wondering how much of my body's positive response is due to the fact that I go out of my way to use organic produce.

The downsides are that, for a few days, I'm pretty durn gassy, and by the end of the week, I'm a little stupid from lack of iron (which I'm trying to avoid this time by taking iron supplements daily).

So, obviously, this is not something I advocate that everyone do (although just about everyone can use more fresh fruits and veggies in their diets), and it's not something which can be sustained for long periods of time, but I do find that it drastically helps me control my medical condition, and gets me back into the habit of eating fewer refined carbs.

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