Nutrition for Xtreme Geezers

chubbs

This is going to be an ongoing topic at Xgeez Central. For two very good reasons.

1. Information about nutrition changes frequently
2. I need all the help I can get

Since I am active in sports considered extreme, nutrition and fitness have always been very important issues to me. At the same time, I’ve been overweight most of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time studying on my own, and consulted with doctors and nutritionists, including a very good one: Tish Berman (http://www.tishberman.com ). Tish finally set me on the path to getting my weight under control and giving my body the energy it needs to continue to do well at sports and other activities.

It turns out that a lot of the things people believed about diet are simply wrong. Over the last twenty years the problem of weight control and nutrition has intensified greatly in the United States. The foods and the way we eat them in this nation are simply killing us. Diabetes is considered epidemic. Morbidly obese people have become commonplace. Dieting hasn’t worked, exercise alone hasn’t worked. People frequently say “you have to change your lifestyle” but to what? How many times have you heard “its just a matter of taking in fewer calories than you need”. But how many do we need? And what about metabolism, and genetic differences? Does the kind of food matter?

Out of all the research, especially diabetes studies, has come some dramatic new findings, and new methods for managing the kind of food we eat. I’ve started “changing my lifestyle” incorporating advice from Tish along with eating focused on managing to a low glycemic index. The results have been pretty fantastic. I’ve just been at it for a month and a half, I’ve lost 15 pounds, lost three inches off my waist, I have high energy, and I’m satisfied with how I’m eating. I get hungry about every three hours but it only takes a small amount of food to fill me up and keep me going. Not only is this new lifestyle working for me, I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t eat this way for the rest of my life–I don’t feel like I’ve given up anything important and I feel great.

If you’d like to give this a go, it’s pretty easy, everything you need to do it is right here. You WILL find it optimal to consult with a nutritionist to get started, but that’s your choice. Tish gave me a comprehensive evaluation that tuned everything up specifically for me. She can do this remotely for anyone, anywhere. You can contact her through her website

First step, go on Amazon and get the book [amazon_link id=”1592578551″ target=”_blank” ]The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss[/amazon_link].

[amazon_link id=”1592578551″ target=”_blank” ]The Complete Idiot's Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss, 2nd Edition[/amazon_link]

I got the first edition digitally but the second edition seems to be only currently available in paper. Either works. While you are waiting for the paper version to be delivered (or for the digital version to download) you can get started on the kickoff plan below.

I also found the [amazon_link id=”1592578616″ target=”_blank” ]companion recipe book[/amazon_link] to be very handy. Sure, you can do without it, but when you’re staring in the refrigerator thinking “I DON’T want another omelet, what can I make” it can give you a quick, easy, tasty answer.

[amazon_link id=”1592578616″ target=”_blank” ]The Complete Idiot's Guide Glycemic Index Cookbook[/amazon_link]

The book makes a little fun of initiating a diet with some special cleansing effort, but Tish Berman started off me with a two week sugar control diet shown below. It’s basically a way to get your body down off sugar and starches. It helped me a lot. I did the sugar control diet for three weeks, almost four because it took me at least a week to really get on it. I kept screwing up. No big deal, just do it until you get a good two weeks in. The directions below are a little sketchy because they are not meant to be followed without the added directions from a nutritionist, but I’ll fill in with some tips Tish gave me.

This diet looks goofy, kind of Atkins-like, but it isn’t. I ran this by two other nutritionists and my Doctor–they all told me this is the latest stuff. The FDA is reworking the food pyramid to try and accommodate these new findings and combat obesity, though the food industry lobbyists are probably making it tough.

One piece of good news–try to eat all whole foods. No fake eggs, no 1 percent milk. Nutritionists now believe that the whole foods are MUCH better for you and don’t affect cholesterol if eaten in moderation. The other piece of good news is that you really can eat pretty big meals. I started eating fairly heavily, but lightened up pretty quickly because I found I was satisfied with less.

Giving up grains and starches is a bitch at first, but in a pretty short time I didn’t miss it other than convenience–mainly the simplicity of a sandwich. Once you get a good clean two weeks you can reintroduce it, but sparingly. The glycemic index stuff all says minimize it, and keep it whole grain, minimally processed. Roughly 70 percent of people are actually allergic to grains and processed starches. Makes sense–we really haven’t been finely milling grain for very long, certainly not long enough for our bodies to evolve enough to accept it well. A country full of fat people getting type two diabetes eating all the bread they want is pretty good evidence that it might not be the best thing for us. I don’t think I am allergic, we re-introduced grains and starches to our diet, but sparingly. You may have eaten your last sub sandwich and your last plate of fries. Not as big a deal as you might think, there are work-arounds and you certainly can take a day off every so often. I tried to at thanksgiving, but the plateful of food I took was way too much for me.

SUGAR CONTROL DIET

The following is a two-week diet, designed to help recalibrate your body’s sugar control circuits. It will increase your energy and vitality. Please follow it closely. It is not a healthy diet for all times, but it is beneficial for you during a trial period. As your condition improves, we will add other foods back into your diet. This way of eating does take a little planning, but is well worth the effort. Most people may also lose weight while on this diet without being hungry. Others, who need to gain weight, often find their weight will return to normal without undue effort.

MAIN CHALLENGES: 6 feedings daily; plan ahead. Three meals with lunch being the heaviest, two snacks. Snacks need to be balanced.

PROTEINS: Each meal should include a minimum of 4-6 ounces of protein, but you can have as much as you desire. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs are unlimited, if no sensitivity exists.

VEGETABLES: Eat as much as you desire. You cannot eat too much. Focus on dark, leafy greens and a variety of colors. No potatoes, yams, or other starchy vegetables. ( ie: corn, peas, winter squash, cooked beets or carrots)

FRUITS: Careful here – only to be eaten between meals as a snack with nuts or seeds or a piece of cheese or a bite of plain, full fat yogurt, Leave the sweeter fruits such as bananas. mangos, persimmons. papayas. dried fruits. etc. alone. One or two small sized pieces of fruit per day is plenty. (apples, pears, peaches, plums, all berries)

GRAINS: No grain including breads, rolls, muffins, and pasta. No beans or legumes. No rice.

NUTS: Soaked or slow-roasted nuts make a great snack.

DAIRY: No dairy is allowed, unless approved by your practitioner.

FATS: No artificial or hydrogenated fats allowed, such as margarine or shortening.

SWEETENERS: No sweeteners of any kind. Stevia OK if no hyperinsulinemia ( high insulin levels) exists.

You must eat every two to three hours of the waking day. You need not eat a large volume of food at these meals – just a handful of nuts or a slice of cheese. Include a medium piece of fruit or some raw veggies if desired. No processed or packaged foods allowed. Eat only those foods found in nature. Eat some raw vegetables every day unless otherwise advised.

Organic is best, but the most important thing is to avoid starches and potential intolerant foods. Avoid antibiotic-treated, hormonally-raised animal foods, and foods treated with pesticides and insecticides.

Why All The Touchy-Feely Organic Stuff?
The first thing I think of when someone starts talking about Organic this and whole grain that is all the unhealthy people I see in natural food stores. I don’t want to walk around in drawstring pants going on about my karma. I just want to lose forty pounds and stay strong. So here’s the basics on why you need to eat whole, natural, organic, minimally processed foods:

1. You’re going to be eating a lot more vegetables. How much pesticide do you want with that? If you’re going to peel a vegetable or fruit it’s not quite so important, but anything you’re going to eat the skin of should be clean and natural. Besides, pay a little attention in grocery stores. Sometimes the organic stuff looks better and costs less. Not always, but pretty often.
2. Processed food means the ingredients will include stuff you wouldn’t include yourself–like sugar, preservatives, and chemicals you can’t pronounce and have no idea what they do or came from. “Healthy” breakfast cereal is still a smorgasbord of junk. And it’s all ground up fine so your body will digest it all. It’s rocket fuel. You want stuff that burns slower and less completely,
3. That brings us to whole grains. When and if you reintroduce them, stick with really coarse stuff. The surface area of particles in your digestive system have a lot to do with how completely your body can process them. Whole grains gets digested a little and then pass, contributing to good bowel action. Finely ground stuff gets digested and converted to sugar very efficiently–exactly what you don’t want.

So it’s not touchy-feely birkinstock-wearing, smugly flatulent vegan hippy drivel. It’s common sense.

The way you do balanced snacks is eat three things that fit multiple categories of food. Perhaps half an apple, pear, peach or a 1/2 cup of berries, a little cheese, and a few nuts. Or raw vegetables with hummus. Oddly satisfying. You’ll be hungry at every meal but you’ll soon learn that it doesn’t take much food to fill you up.

Breakfast is pretty much eggs during the cleanout diet, I generally made a two or three egg omelet with vegetables, meat and cheese in it. It doesn’t take much of the filling to make a meal, hardest thing for me to learn is how little I could use. I might take a few broccoli tops–not an entire branch but five or six of the little flowers. Two or three mushrooms sliced, and half a piece of thin sliced ham. Saute all that together. Mix in the egg or do a traditional omelet, grate some hard cheese all over it and fold it over.

I’d also have a little cantaloupe or other fruit and some full fat yogurt. Not a lot of fruit, just a taste so you don’t get sick of eggs too soon. My portion sizes kept getting smaller and smaller as I realized I was stuffing in food when I didn’t want it.

Lunch is a bunch of vegetables–raw or cooked–a reasonable amount of meat. Healthy fats are fine–avocados, olive oil–no worries. Just avoid all the others, including Canola oil.

Dinner is the same. You can eat all the vegetable you want, and a lot of lean meat. after being on the diet a week a little meat is all I wanted. I have no idea why, but my eyes and brain are starting to drive my idea of how much food I need. This morning I made eggs and ham and a yogurt parfait with fresh blueberries. I looked at the three big pieces of ham in the frying pan, cut one in half and that was what I ate! Diane ate more of it than me. It wasn’t some kind of guilt thing, or some discipline about staying with a diet–it was all I wanted. Bizarre. Time was I would have eaten all three and considered something more.

Going On
Read the book. Pay close attention to the PLATE notion. Dividing up the food you eat on your plate is a really easy way to stay on track. Below is a permanent guideline tailored for me by Tish. Your mileage may vary. I don’t do protein shakes, they are too processed. It’s surprising how bad processed food is for weight loss. I heard people rattle on about that for years and thought it was just bullshit, but there’s a lot of research that shows fractionating foods triggers a lot of unexpected consequences. Even just milling grains and making flake cereal. As mentioned above, milled grains have a lot more surface area for digestion to take place over, and so more gets turned to sugar, raising insulin levels.

All the bullshit health food stuff is bunk too. Fake desserts like Tofutti are way worse for you than premium ice cream made with whole natural ingredients. Pretty weird, Haggen Daz has a lower glycemic index than Tofutti–way lower. Of course high fructose corn syrup is about as bad for weight gain as anything gets and Tofutti has lots of it.

All this Glycemic Index stuff comes from diabetes research. They feed people stuff and monitor their blood sugar and insulin production. It’s a directly measured effect humans, which makes a lot more sense than just looking at the chemical composition. Turns out that anything that raises your insulin level above the amount you need makes you fat. It’s a real downward spiral, no wonder diets don’t work.

This isn’t the only book I read, I really dug in, but this brings everything into one place, and one of the people who wrote this book is a leading researchers.

By doing the cleanup diet for a few weeks and shifting over to Glycemic Index stuff I’ve raised my energy level and lost weight.

We’re kind of alternating egg breakfasts with Oatmeal now. It will be interesting to see what my cholesterol does. Tish says it’s going to improve dramatically. That would be nice. I’m still taking blood pressure medication, but I need to talk to my doctor about that. I have a feeling I can ditch that pill. My BP is running 120 over 70 with a resting pulse of 60.

BASIC HEALTHY HORMONE DIET

PROTEIN

Protein meals are best eaten early and mid-day (before 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon). Patients may have as much protein as desired (unlimited meat. poultry. fish. eggs). In addition. also consider a protein shake or supplement for a quick and easy meal replacement when needed.

VEGETABLES

Eat as much as you want. as you can never eat too many vegetables. Focus on dark leafy greens. and a variety of bright and rich colors. Consider fresh vegetable juicing to increase intake of plant foods. Eat some vegetables raw or lightly cooked every day unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Use starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and yams, sparingly.

GRAINS

Whole grains may be eaten when there are no food allergy concerns and weight is normal. If, however, weight is a problem, grains should be eliminated along with sugar and other high glycemic foods. Grains are best eaten whole, soaked or fermented prior to consumption to increase nutritive value. Soaking grains begins the digestive process and helps to neutralize inhibiting factors such as phytic acid.

FATS

Eat plenty of wholesome natural fats, such as butter and oils from coconut, sesame, olive, hemp. walnut, t1ax, etc. Supplemental fish oil is normally recommended. Avoid all artificial fats and oils, such as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Most people should decrease use of Omega-6 oils and increase omega-3 oils. Ideally, intake of omega 6 and omega 3 fats should be nearly equal.

FRUITS

Be careful with fruits. They should be eaten alone or as a snack between meals. Limit the sweeter fruits, such as bananas, grapes, persimmons, papayas, dried fruits, etc. One to three pieces of low glycemic fruit daily are sufficient. Best fruits are most berries, papaya, mangos, avocados, coconuts, kiwi, guava, olives and pineapple.

NUTS

Eat raw nuts and seeds liberally, especially raw cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.

DAIRY

Dairy is not recommended for most people unless there are no allergy problems. Ifno allergies are present, suggest raw, unpasteurized and non-homogenized dairy products when available. Also, recommended are milk products such as raw goat or sheep milk, or raw cheeses, and unsweetened yogurt or kefir.

SWEETENERS

Sweeteners should be limited and not used on a regular basis.

STIMULANTS

Stimulants, such as sugar, caffeine, tobacco, tea and alcohol are best avoided.

WATER

Drink a minimum of one quart of fresh, pure, water daily for each fifty pounds of body weight.

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