Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Battle of the Bulge: Nutrition is Key

Dr. Joel Fuhrman was the doctor consulted for the film Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.
As I watched the above video, I was surprised to see how my current diet, which is richer in vegetables (I made a point to start adding more after seeing Dr. Fuhrman on "Dr. Oz") than ever before, was having my body react exactly how he described. 

While I do feel some hunger in the belly, I feel it more now in the throat. "Hunger is the best sauce"—when I eat a meal when in that state, everything tastes unbelievably delicious. Not bad foods, however; I can't even consume a store-bought cookie anymore; my blood stream seems to slow in my veins. I am at that point now without juicing.

The documentary shows how juicing can really jump-start one's system. But it is really, really hard, not conclusively the best way to go, and not everyone can have the motivation to do it, especially for weeks or even months at a time.

I, myself, have never juiced. I'm not a beverage person to begin with (I like a little something to chew on). But I can testify that one can change their life without a juicer; it probably will take longer, but if such a major step is just too far to go in one movement, take micro-steps

The film does make juicing sound very glamorous; I was totally ready to buy one as the credits rolled. But upon deeper contemplation, I realized that it's not a right fit for me. I love fruits and vegetables in their original state so much that the idea of shoving them into a juicer seems incredibly heartless. 

Additionally, juicing has not been collectively accepted by the medical and scientific establishments as the best option. Dr. Leo Galland (scroll down and see his responses to juicing queries), for instance, is not that crazy about it for the entirety of the population; remember the Mediterranean diet? It's got plenty of benefits, too

Perhaps if one is 400+ pounds, like Phil featured in the film, such a drastic measure is necessary to prevent imminent death; otherwise, a juice fast is not really necessary. Juicing extracts the pulp, where the fiber is, and I rely on fiber to stay full and to function. Juicing also condenses natural sugars, and I don't need those in overload. Therefore, I'll stick with the whole produce. 

I offer an alternative: souping. I have been hearing conflicting reports about how cooking affects micro-nutrient potency, but considering how I can practically hear my body hum with happiness after consuming butternut squash soup, I figure some heat can't do that much damage. (It doesn't count as "souping" unless it is homemade, by the way. Canned and takeout have all sorts of additives.)
The other night I attended a dinner, and after being lodged in traffic for three hours I fell upon my appetizer with gusto. It was followed by a luscious chicken, stuffed with mashed potatoes and sprinkled with fried onions. It was good, and probably not even the worst food out there, but my system was mad at me. I went to bed feeling as though there was a brick sitting uncomfortably in my middle, and in the morning the high sodium content (probably soy sauce) made itself known as I desperately guzzled three glasses of water in one shot.  

That night I had soup composed of onions, kidney beans, hull-less barley, zucchini, carrots, and celery. Better, my body crooned.  

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