Sunday, October 24, 2010

Low Carb?

Yes! I practice a low carb diet and support most others. There are many and I think most are very helpful. I am aware of the SCD ( Specific Carbohydrate Diet) which appears to be life changing and healing for many people. I got onto low-carb eating through the Blood Type Diet introduced in 1997 by Peter J. Dadamo with his book, "Eat Right for Your Type". I have talked about this in an older blog and it still directs most of my food choices. Essentially, it got me off all starchy carbs and of course the bad sugars of high fructose corn syrup and it's many derivatives and refined white sugar and all processed, package and, conveince foods.

For a blood type O, carbs are particularly problematic. Our digestive systems were not designed to digest starches really well or often. And no body's system should handle as much sugar as is common in the American diet. Os seem to have the most primitive diet (hunter/gatherer) of the 4 blood types. Hunter/gatherer diets are promoted by a lot of health enthusiasts lately and if you ponder it, hunters and gathers had very little carbs in their natural diet. Sweets and starches were considered a rare treat to be shared and eaten quickly. Ancient hunters/gatherers got most of their nutrition from animals; meat, milk and fish. My O body responds very well to meat and vegetables with fruits, yams and squash for carbs I started blood type diet 6 years ago and I continue to thrive.

The carbs I avoid are; white potatoes and all of it's variations, corn and all of it's variations, wheat and all of it's variations and white rice. I don't eat prepared breakfast cereal at all and don't eat bread, except my own sourdough spelt bread (the recipe of which is also an older blog). I have become familiar with some alternative grains like quinoa, millet, spelt, amaranth and brown rice and of course oats, but even these I eat very sparingly. My own sourdough spelt bread is made into 4 small loaves and of that I eat no more than 2 slices a day. When I do eat grain and when I prepare oats for my husband's breakfast, I always soak the grains at least 8 hours or more before cooking. My recipes on this blog will all include soaking directions when grains are used. Grains should be soaked, sprouted or fermented(soured) to make them more digestible and nutritionally available. The fast,high heat,high pressure practices that our undisclosed foods use, make grain products a detriment to health not an asset. Sally Fallon of "Nourishing Traditions" espouses soaking grains before cooking. Her book contains many recipes for sprouted, soaked and fermented grains. Her contribution to my diet is immense.

Restaurant eating becomes a real adventure when all those carbs are removed. Most fast food and moderately priced restaurants depend on those kinds of carbs to fill up their customers. Breads of various types, a big baked potato, a plate of hot pasta and some steaming rice all look good, smell good and taste really good and they are filling but they are difficult to digest and if you aren't really, really active they turn to stored fat. Take those carbs away from your typical restaurant meal and see what is left of just meat or fish and vegetables.....not much. If people ate out only once or twice a month on this kind of food maybe it wouldn't be causing the kind of harm it does but Americans, more specifically Utahns, also eat these kinds of foods at home. Carb overdose, I call it. It's everywhere especially in my Ward's Relief Society gatherings or Ward parties. And, I haven't even mentioned the desserts; the cookies, cakes, sweet breads, puddings, pies, brownies, etc. a list that is endless list of nothing but carbs... all the wrong kind of carbs. To state that this list is bad for you, is nothing new...everybody knows it......but....they just can't help themselves. It's carb addiction pure and simple. Carb overdose pure and simple and it is very real and very dangerous.

I know how powerful it is and how hard to quit. I was making my own whole wheat bread by grinding my own flour and it tasted so good I sometimes made 2 3 slices a meal. I practiced vegetarianism in my 50s at least my version of it with lots of homemade bread, pasta, baked potatoes,rice and homemade bean soups. I made fruit and vegetable salads and ate very little meat, only chicken and some fish. Those were my worst years of health. I went through a brutal menopause, I was gaining weight fast, my knees and finger joints were swollen and stiff in the mornings and I had a hard time climbing the stairs to my school room every day, I had IBS and didn't know what a normal poo was and I was loosing my hair and my complexion was a mess. But I thought I was doing all I could for my health and thought my troubles were just due to aging. I was wrong, and as soon as the carbs were discarded, I began to heal and get back my health.

It's that simple and that hard. One more thing to mention; being low-carb does not enhance your sociality. Our social events are so centered around delightful carbs that to restrain from eating them is tantamount to being a social outcast. Many of my friends and neighbors are good cooks but they hang their self esteem, sense of accomplishment and neighborliness on recipes of sweet treats and desserts. Not partaking and complimenting the baker or cook is to cast yourself to the outer fringes of society. Not and easy role for women especially Mormon women.

So beware, going low-carb will improve your health but not necessarily your social standing. It's a price to pay for better health. Of course, I think it worth it. But then what do you eat? That's for another blog.

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