Food As Medicine: Day 2

Monday: I am going to start getting a little more analytical and medical with my posts. Meaning part of the reason I am posting these is to not only share the delicious food, but to help people understand why these foods are helpful and healthy.

First to talk a little bit about Cardio Metabolic Syndrome, because one of my friends had a question of clarification. CM syndrome is a cluster of symptoms or risk factors that are likely related to insulin Resistance. These include, increased Blood Pressure (hypertension), High blood sugar (hyperglycemia), Excess body fat around the waist, high cholesterol and triglycerides (Hyperlipidemia).

Insulin is a hormone your body needs to pull sugar (glucose) into the cells for energy. (Remember the Krebs Cycle from biology? – 😱.) Insulin Resistance is when the cells do not respond normally to the insulin signals and then the sugar levels in your blood go higher. Insulin resistance is considered a pre-curser to diabetes Type II.

There are basic conventional medicine guidelines for prevention of metabolic syndrome. These include:

  • Physical Activity – 30 minutes most days of the week*
  • Eat vegetables, fruits, lean protein and whole grains
  • Decreasing salt and saturated fats
  • Maintain a healthy weight and waist size
  • Never smoke
  • Never Smoke
  • Never Smoke

Lets look at these individually from a functional medicine point of view:

Physical Activity: I have seen so many different rules, guidelines and suggestions about exercise and activity, it is no wonder people are confused. I think 30 minutes 5 days per week is reasonable, and some people may need more. But how do you know? Well, if your blood sugar is still high and your waistline is still large, maybe you need to look at all of these habits as a whole and adjust for effect. Some people say: I don’t like to run, or I don’t like to go to the gym. In a later blog, I am going to talk about different forms of exercise and why it is helpful. For right now, I do want to talk about the concept of “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenics” (NEAT)*. I learned this term from IFM, but I learned the concept from my octogenarian mom, who can and does still mows her own lawn, throws around bags of mulch, laid her own concrete patio a few years ago. She was feeling bad because her cardiologist was telling her she needed to “exercise”. So the term NEAT factors in that we can still burn a lot of calories and fat, just doing things around the house, running up and down stairs, mowing, raking, gardening, house cleaning. The idea is: If you are sedentary, you are not practicing NEAT. Get the step tracker out and start monitoring this!

Eat Vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains: For a diabetic, grains are usually out, because the carbs are so high – right? I think this is incorrect thinking, because you have to think about how those grains are prepared. Even whole grains that are heavily processed like in gooey bread may not be good for you, but if you eat the ancient grains cooked and mixed in your salad or other foods, you are getting many of the vitamins, proteins and other nutrients. Also, these are loaded with fiber and we all know that fiber helps to control high cholesterol. I have a whole conversation about the high cholesterol farce, but we can go into that at a later date.

So what are enough vegetables? I was always taught to follow the food pyramid that stated 4-5 servings per day. This number keeps growing. Now they are using the MyPlate Concept which says fruits and vegetables should be 50% of your meals. IFM (depending on who you are listening to) state 8-10 vegetable servings and 2 fruit servings. I actually think this CardioMetabolic diet is a little heavy on the fruit, but that is going to be a future post, when I calculate everything out. So this means a lot of fruits and vegetables!! Can you do it??

For protein, the plan says 10-12 servings a day. WOW!! The plan give you what a serving of protein is, but not a serving of vegetables.

I will discuss the other preventative measures in future posts so this one doesn’t get too unwieldy.

DAY 2 Menu

  • Breakfast
    • Chocolate Mint Smoothie
  • Snack
    • Fresh Yellow Pear
    • Hummus
  • Lunch
    • Left over (LO) Ten Vegetable Soup with Tempeh
    • Savory Seed Crackers
  • Snack
    • Avocado (Sliced/Chopped) with Cumin, Salt, Pepper and Lemon Juice
  • Dinner
    • Sautéed Chicken and Kiwi
    • Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
    • Mixed Greens
    • Olive Oil Cabernet Vinaigrette

I forgot to take a picture of the smoothie. As all green smoothies go, they usually look pretty gross. Sometimes they taste gross too. This one actually tasted pretty good! It had vanilla whey powder for the protein and then I added unsweetened Cocoa. But the whey powder had stevia, I wonder how it would taste with unsweetened whey powder? There is a concept, but I do not know if there is a scientific basis, that even low and no carb sweeteners still stimulate the insulin response. Peppermint extract really brought it all together. Could not taste the spinach which is probably a good thing.

Also forgot the picture of the Morning Snack – but it was just a Pear and Hummus. I never thought of eating these together, but it was very tasty to dip the pear in the hummus. Kind of like peanut butter and apples.

Here’s the leftover 10 vegetable soup since I forgot to post the final picture yesterday. As most soups go, it was even better the second day. The only issue I had with this is that I didn’t understand the directions on the recipe that said 3 cups chopped green cabbage quartered. I thought you can’t have both chopped and quartered so I just quartered it, but had to cut into smaller pieces once it started cooking.

Here are the crackers I forgot yesterday. These were very good and satisfied the crunch. However I would change a couple of things. I used tapioca instead of guar gum because I try to avoid cooking with anything with the word gum in it. My mom always taught me to never swallow my gum and I guess I just can’t wrap my head around using gum as a food additive…

The other thing I would try differently is to use coarsely ground flax rather than the whole seed. I think I read somewhere that we get more nutrients that way anyway, because our digestive process cannot break through the thick hulls. I also think it would help it hold together better. Lastly, I would probably cook it at a lower temperature and maybe not as long. 30 minutes on each side may have made it a little to crisp and rather than cutting it when it came out of the oven, it just broke apart. But still very good and it was eaten up.

I didn’t take a picture of the avocado. I usually add salt and pepper to it anyway, but the cumin really made it pop. We didn’t slice or chop, we usually just cut it in half and eat it out of the shell with a spoon.

Sautéed Chicken and Kiwi

OH my Gosh!! This was so good. My Husband had to have 2nds, but part of that problem was that I failed to make the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice that was on the menu. Read much? 🤦‍♀️

Would definitely make this again. I could not find any drawbacks to this menu. Very easy to follow.

Who would have thought Kiwi would taste so good with Chicken?

So a couple of observations as we work through this menu: I don’t think I would buy all of the groceries at once, since I had my refrigerator packed so full that it blocked some air vents and caused some of the items to freeze. Also, I wasn’t being very cost conscious so I will do better with that next time. I am keeping track of how many extras and leftovers I have. Today I didn’t spend as much time in the kitchen, but we ate left overs. Part of my day was sidetracked, when the big storm hit and we were hunkering down in the lower level, but good thing I didn’t have as much work to do.

I also feel that I am feeling better and truly think my hunger is being suppressed. I still have sugar in my coffee, but hardly any junk snacking throughout the day. My husband still feels he needs more food, but I think part of that is because I forgot a portion of the meal. I too was a little hungry after only having a smoothie in the morning. The grains tend to have a little more filling power.

Goals for tomorrow? Eat on a more routine schedule. We have this habit of eating at 8 at night, which cannot be healthy unless you live in Spain.

Also, I am going to figure out a way to post the PDFs of the menu, food plan and recipes.

So that’s it for today. I received some questions about how to follow this blog. When I looked on my site, I think you can scroll all the way down to the bottom and leave a comment. Then below that is a place you can leave your e-mail and click a couple of boxes to get a notification when there is an update to the blog or the comments. I tested this morning and it seems to work. Let me know if you are not able to find that.

I’m still pretty new to this blog thing, so bear with me as I muddle through the process.

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