Sunday, September 20, 2009

Learning to love Rutabagas

I never thought I would learn to love a diet consisting of baked rutabaga with apple, grated raw beets soaked in orange juice, baked fish on a bed of spinach, snacks of almonds and oranges, and other healthy dishes, but that is what I've been eating for the past six weeks.

And I have lost twelve pounds.

But my doctor and friends all tell me I'm looking healthier and younger, so it is a good thing. Dr. Randolph, in his book From Belly Fat to Belly Flat, postulates a theory that many fat people are simply estrogen dominant, and need to balance their hormones with the appropriate diet and supplements. After six weeks, I can't answer for other chubbies, but the results speak for themselves as to the cause of my fat belly, which is shrinking away nicely.

I have followed the recipes and food lists and supplements recommended in the book diligently. There is only one supplement I have used differently: Chitosan. Instead of starting with the 3,000 mg per day advised in the book, I started with one 500 mg capsule at dinner. After the first week, I added one 500 mg capsule at breakfast, and increasing by 500 mg steps until reaching 2,000 mg per day this week. The reason is that Chitosan has been known to have adverse affects on some people, and I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to adjust to it.

I dislike some of the recipes in the book, and have made my own choices using the food group lists and other guidelines. I have been careful to include MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) in most menus. They are used in Dr. Randolph's book, and I found a detailed explanation and guide for using them in the Flat Belly Diet Pocket Guide by Liz Vaccariello (of Prevention magazine). It is no sacrifice - who wouldn't love to add dark chocolate, avocados, pecans, etc. to their daily diet? The secrets of what to pair them with, how much to use per serving, etc. are laid out in the Pocket Guide.

Although Vaccareillo's book, and also Ultra-Metabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman, recommend soy in various guises (edamame and other versions) I have to ignore that portion of their books because soy can aggravate low thyroid, (which Dr. Hyman acknowledges on pages 183-184). There are so many other good foods that is not a problem. Even McDonalds has menu items that agree with my diet plan these days.

The three things I have loved best about this diet is that I am never hungry, and I never have to gain back the weight, because this is a food plan I can follow the rest of my life. Also I don't have food cravings the way I used to, which makes it easier to stick to the menus.

A bonus is that my favorite clothes are still waiting for me in my closet and I'll be able to wear them by Christmas.

This is not an easy diet plan to follow. I made a computerized chart just to sort out the various recommended supplements and when and how much to take. The foods and recipes are not from your average gourmet restaurant.

With sufficient motivation, it is workable, and success is its own reward.

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