Food As Medicine: Day 3

As promised, I will continue my explanation of things from yesterday. As I mentioned, 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

I discussed the first two yesterday.

SALT

Conventional medicine suggests to decrease salt in the diet. We need salt however for basic cellular functioning. We just do not need it in the extreme volumes that we pump into our bodies on a daily basis.

The American Heart Association suggests that we intake less than 2300 mg of sodium per day. They actually want us to go down to less than 1500. And they propose that we really only need about 500 mg per day. However according to their site, most Americans consume more than 3400 mg per day. This salt is not from natural sodium in foods, or even the salt shaker, but from processed, packaged, and restaurant foods.

So if we need salt, why is it so bad for you?

Again, going back to basic science class, we learned that water goes where salt goes. Our kidneys are an amazing filtering machine and works hard 24/7 to maintain just the right balance of nutrients and chemicals called electrolytes in the body. So you might ask – if my sodium is normal, why do I have to cut down on salt intake?

The kidneys will not only filter, but will regulate the balance of the concentrations of salt and water. So if your sodium intake is high, your kidneys will not release as much water and retain it to keep the balance at a steady state. The theory is that if you retain more water, you will have more water in your vessels which will cause high blood pressure. It’s actually much more complicated than that as there are many other functions of the body such as hormones that help to regulate this fine balance. Some people may think that drinking less water will take care of this problem, but the kidney will always work to retain water to maintain the balance and may end up causing more damage in the long run.

It is important to always drink plenty of hydrating liquids such as water, coconut water, or decaf tea. High sugar liquids such as sodas and juice and caffeinated liquids will deplete water from your body.

Think of the kidneys as a filter. Now think of another example of a filter, like a filter for a swimming pool. If the pool is dry and there is no water circulating through it, eventually it will not work and maybe dry up. So it goes with the kidneys. If you keep them supplied with a steady stream of water (hydration) they will actually work better.

If you are doing activities where you are sweating a lot, you can replenish your reserves with an electrolyte solution. Don’t be fooled by pre-packaged sports drinks which have far too much sugar. The most popular marketed product for this was re-formulated with more sugar in the 80s so that more people would like it and drink it. Some of us are old enough to remember the original formulation, and it wasn’t very tasty. Don’t be fooled.

Here is a sample of a homemade sports drink, but there are plenty of others on the internet:

  1. 1/4 tsp salt
  2. 1/4 c pomegranate juice
  3. 1/4 c lemon juice
  4. 1 1/2 c unsweetened coconut juice (has good amount of potassium)
  5. 2 c cold water
  6. Additional Options:
    1. Sweetener – use 1/4 – 1/2 tsp honey, monk fruit, agave syrup
    2. Powdered magnesium at recommended dose
    3. Calcium at recommended dose

Remember, when it comes to electrolytes, more is not necessarily better and getting too much of sodium, potassium, magnesium or calcium can be deadly.

This is why it is best, to just eat a healthy, balanced diet and you will get what you need from that!

So on to DAY 3.

DAY 3 Menu

  • Breakfast
    • Chia Pomegranate Oatmeal
  • Snack
    • Marinated olives
  • Lunch
    • Thai Barley and Veggie Stir-Fry with Edamame
    • Mixed Greens
    • Olive Oil Cabernet Vinaigrette
  • Snack
    • Flax Muffin in a Cup
    • Hot Green Tea
  • Dinner
    • Poached Fish with Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
    • Steamed Kale
    • Purple Cabbage Salad

Chia Pomegranate Oatmeal

I’m not a huge oatmeal fan, especially because this recipe was asking for Rolled oats. It’s a texture thing.

So I substituted Steel Cut oats which I love because if you cook it right, its kind of crunchy. Also, I did not have the pomegranate so I used cranberries again. These are the raw frozen kind so I gently cooked in the microwave. An interesting twist was adding Chia seeds and egg whites to the oatmeal. It was very tasty and filling.

Forgot the final picture again. 🤦‍♀️

Here was another failure – I forgot to Marinate the Olives for 2 days. So I got that started and flip flopped a snack from another day.

Purple Plum and Mixed nuts

Needs no explanation

Except, I think it might have been too much fruit for my hubby. He gets these feelings every once in a while that his blood sugar is dropping when it is actually high. We are theorizing that it is an insulin reaction to a super high blood sugar cause by the fruit and the oatmeal. Even though the sugar is not low, he is getting the feeling that its low, because of the sudden drop. We may never know.

So… – he had a hamburger for at lunchtime to stave off the sinking feelings. And it worked.

Then, by the time I started to make lunch, it would have been dinner, so I made the snack instead.

However, you would think I didn’t like photography or something, because I do not have a picture of that either. Duh!

The recipe for this is very similar to an almond flour English Muffin that I make in the microwave, except this one was in the oven, used flax meal and had blueberries and Walnuts. This was definitely a keeper and I WILL make this again. It was like dessert. I used Agave syrup instead of Stevia. I don’t like using commercial stevia because it is cut with all kinds of other junk like erythritol, maltodextrin, etc. I think those are all human made and processed, so I try to stay away from that stuff.

The next time I will try this in the microwave, because I had to cook it for longer and it stuck to the pan. The microwave recipe takes 90 seconds!

Thai Barley and Veggie Stir Fry with Edamame

As Promised, we had lunch for dinner. It was good – but not as good as some of the other dishes thus far. The only thing that seemed to make it “Thai” was hot sauce and soy sauce. So I might work to spice it up a little more next time.

We also had the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice from the day 2 menu, because I did not want the cauliflower to go to waste. This was very good, and I am a huge cilantro lime fan. I think I needed to cook the cauliflower a little more. I wasn’t sure how to do that because there was not really any water or juice. I maybe could have steamed it. It will be great as leftovers!

At the end of day 3, I am exhausted. I cannot wait to weigh myself, because I think I am burning a lot of calories as well as eating healthy.

I have always had a deep appreciation and respect for my mother and my grandmother for being “House-wives”. And this experience solidifies it. I cannot imagine doing this day in and day out for years and years. I was thinking my mom may have had it harder because she had 6 kids and a husband to feed, but my Gramma had it bad with 2 kids and a husband and no modern conveniences. I am so happy for my “gadgets” that make this so much easier – even with that, I am pretty much working non-stop. I will show some of those gadgets off in a future blog.

I might not get to the Day 4 blog til much later tomorrow, because I am back to work at my part time job.

I promise to have a lot more pics!

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