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THESE LITTLE HINTS

WRITTEN BY

DIANE BATSHAW EISMAN, M.D

 

 

PRINCIPLES (most of which you know, but like a good Jewish Mother I am genetically programmed to repeat repeat myself)

 

FOOD AS MEDICINE

 

1.         Underfed (contrary to the beliefs of our foremothers) is good.

(Studies on rats given fewer calories demonstrated that they lived longer AND in good health)

But the calories we eat must count and be GOOD calories

  1. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats like the Plague (because they ARE the Plague)
  2. And Sodium, is another oy vey.  As little as possible.
  3. You already know that saturated fats and trans fats are Bad News for arteries and other things.
  4. To be lean: avoid rice, pasta, and bread.  Multi grain bread is just as fattening, but a little more nutritious.  Brown rice, also, is as fattening as white rice, but more nutritious.
    1. And if you must have that bagel, at least scoop it out…save a few calories.
  5. We all need to eat fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products and fish, fish, and more fish, especially the fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel.  Fish are Friendly Foods For us.
  6. Pesticides can be really bad for us. Veggies with the highest amount of pesticides are: peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, white potatoes and lettuce.  The rest of the Veggie family is not as bad, so you probably don’t need to buy them organic.
  7. Men need bone protection, too.  So that’s calcium, magnesium, vitamin D
    1. We probably need about 1000 Iu a day of vitamin D and 1200 mg of calcium.  Some studies say we need 2000 units a day of Vitamin D. There is some relationship between higher vitamin D levels in the blood and decreased rates of cancers. And when you can, get D3, it is more biologically active (That’s what the sun converts vitamin D to in our skin)
  8. Taking more than 500 to 600 mg of calcium at one time is wasted, because it is absorbed in the small intestine and anything more than that runs out ye olde yellow river.  Some scientists think that a little Vitamin K is important for strong bones also.  But, have a care with Vitamin K supplements as they could screw up clotting.  Eat your leafy greens, instead. (At least that’s the news for now.)
  9. Multi-vitamins.  Ay there’s the rub.  There is some evidence that people who take multivitamins every single day are at a greater risk of mortality from all causes.  So, your doctors are taking one every other day.  For men, and women no longer menstruating, be sure to get iron free and nothing mega.
    1. Vitamin E.  Studies show that more than 400 units a day puts people at greater risk from death from all causes.  Who would have thunk it?
  10. Fiber is important for protection from Diabetes…good old multi grain cereals          
  11. I think Aspartame may turn out to be a real bogeyman.  I have no real studies to back this.  Just my gut feelings and clinical observations with patients who take a lot of the stuff.
  12. Diet sodas seem to do something icky physiologically.  Make it hard to lose weight.  STICK WITH WATER, NICE GREEN OR BLACK OR WHATEVER TEA, AND IF YOU’RE A COFFEE DRINKER, GO AHEAD AND HAVE YOUR MORING JOLT OR TWO (IF THERE ARE NO HEALTH PROBLEMS TELLING YOU TO AVOID CAFFEINE)
  13. Omega 3 capsules are good for lowering cholesterol.  Be sure they have more EPA than DHA.  A good brand is Pure Gel, because they seem to take pains to be sure there is little mercury in them.  I have found them at Costco and at www.drugstore.com.  I really hate to name a brand, but that is just one brand that I found and it seems to be OK.
  14. SPICES:  Curcumin, which is found in Turmeric and it is also in curry.  It makes them yellow. May be quite good for keeping the brain healthy and chasing after those aberrant cancer cells.
    1. Cinnamon, one of my classmates is doing research on this and believes it helps lower blood sugar.
    2. Ginger,may have something to do with inhibiting Cox 2 enzymes and staving off osteoarthritis.
  15. Whole grains are so wonderful.  They may help prevent inflammatory     diseases, which are the basis of many of our health problems.
  16. Olive and canola oils are about the best oils to use.  But if you cook them pretty high, they can turn into nasty fats.
  17. Be a label reader.  If you have questions, bring the labels (they can be attached to their containers) to us at your next visit and we will read them together.

 

DR. DIANE’S SHOPPING LIST

  1. leafy, mixed green already washed and bagged
  2. Vegetables of all kinds, I keep tons of plain, frozen ones in the refrigerator.  Even canned are good, especially beets.  Fresh is great, but so much trouble and they seem to rot and smell up your fridge before you throw them out or can use them
  3. Cans of salmon, tuna, sardines.  Sardines in Olive or canola oil are especially good.
  4. Cans of frozen chili, you can find fat free and low in sodium.
  5. Sweet potatoes
  6. Fat free or low fat dairy products, like cheese, milk (if there is a lactase problem, I have found lactase free milk), low fat cottage cheese, low fat yogurt with active cultures.
  7. In addition to fresh whole fruit, you can get cut up fruit already in cute little plastic containers.
  8. Rice cakes, about 40 calories per
  9. Unsalted almonds
  10. Dried figs, raisins, cranberries.
  11. Olive oil, canola oil, good quality vinegar, I guess, balsamic.

KEEP IT SIMPLE SURVIVAL NUTRITION

Or Putting Stuff together.

 

This is all just rambling, but it is easiest for me to do it this way, cuz I am a rambler.

 

We get home from the office starving:

          Throw cut up fruit in a bowl, throw in low fat cottage cheese, sprinkle lots of cinnamon.

 

          Splash greens on a plate. Throw sardines on top (You probably have to open the can first) Open a jar or can of beets, drain.  Throw those on, too.  Slice some tomatoes.

 

          Keep some raisins, cranberries, almonds in a container, for you to grab and snack.  A lot of calories if you overdo, but great for nutrition as medicine.

 

          My Salmon salad.  Cans of salmon.  Hard boiled eggs chopped up.  Chopped shallot, Dijon or Jack Daniels mustard.  Throw in carrots and peas (I usually microwave the frozen kind a little first, as they are already cut up and I am lazy).  You can add a teaspoon or two of low fat cream cheese or Neufchatel for more taste) You have avoided uncky mayonnaise (for three of us, I use four cans of salmon, four eggs)

 

          Sweet potatoes are so wholesome.  We nuke them in the microwave and then add tons of cinnamon.  Occasionally, we pour a little orange juice into them and mash up the potato, sort of, while it is in its shell.

 

          I need a lot of food, so sometimes, I microwave frozen veggies, then when they are almost done, I throw some canned fat free chili or beans over them, cook a tad more, and when they come out, tear a slice of fat free cheese over the whole thing….soo good and filling.

 

 YOU HAVE TO FORGIVE ME.  I DO QUICK EASY STUFF, VERY LITTLE COOKING.  SO, THE ABOVE ARE A FEW THINGS WE DO

I have been yowling at my patients for years to “Eat Mindfully” as I have put it (Much to my surprise, a book just came out called “Mindful Eating.”

 

          ODDS AND ENDS

 

EATING OUT –A PITFALL, DANGER, BETE NOIRE, FAT PROVOKER.

 

            Eating out does not have to be a hazard to your health.

 

  1. Wave the waiter off with his breadbasket.  You can munch away a couple of hundred extra calories before you even start your dinner.  And if you slather on butter – AARRGGGHHH.
  2. Just drink water until your healthy first course arrives. 
  3. Think of calories as a bank.  Eat well most of the time so when you need to splurge on something, you can afford to do so.  If that restaurant has the best mashed potatoes in the world, be super careful two days before you hit the restaurant and then you can have the potatoes (but NOT the bread and the dessert and gobs of salad dressing and fried appetizers.  Pick the one item you crave the most).
  4. Prepare yourself: SALADS ARE NOT SAFE.  The dressing can easily add a couple of hundred calories.  So, order the dressing on the side, none on your salad. Then, carefully, add a teaspoon or two.  Actually, wonderful olive oil and vinegar is a great dressing.  Watch our for mayonnaise laden stuff, like chicken, tuna and crab salad.  Loaded with calories.
  5. If this place that you have chosen has the world’s greatest dessert-OK-this is not an everyday thing for you because you are eating mindfully.  But, remember, no bread, fried stuff or other greedy foods.  Eat steamed vegetables, broiled, baked, poached entrée (we prefer you to have fish, but chicken without the skin is OK) and then share that dessert.  Much more fun to have a little fencing with forks and cut the calories.
  6. And then how about a nice little walk after dinner?  This is a great way to end your meal.

 

AND, IN CONCLUSION (YOU THOUGHT I’D NEVER SHUT UP)

Some times, in the evening, maybe 10:00 PM or 11:00PM, your thoughts meander to a chocolate cupcake your child left laying around.  You decided to eat it, because tomorrow you will diet.

  1. Tomorrow is now, this minute, today.
  2. Wait thirty minutes. Have a nice glass of water in your prettiest glass.
  3. Think.  Are you really, really hungry?
  4. If you are not hungry, do something you like: take a shower, watch TV, call a friend (who does not get up at 5 AM the next day), read a book, do a crossword puzzle, hit the computer, walk the dog, walk the cat, walk the python-whatever makes you happy.
  5. If thirty minutes pass by, don’t fool yourself, go ahead and eat the darn thing.  At least try to eat only half of it.
  6. If you are really hungry, then eat something with good calories: a hard boiled egg, a FEW nuts (a small handful, unsalted and without added oil.  Almonds are especially good or walnuts).  Try an apple, a slice of low fat cheese, a cup of low fat yogurt, a ton of mixed greens and veggies with a dab of olive oil and vinegar (or wine over it).  Dairy can make you a little sleepy.  Maybe a glass of low fat milk (and if you are lactose intolerant, there are milks that are lactose free and fat free). There’s also low fat cottage cheese with some fruit and cinnamon.
  7. Just because you may have already splurged on five donuts, do NOT eat that sixth.  Don’t tell yourself you’ve already gone off your diet, so it doesn’t matter. IT does.  It does.

 

AND NOW, GOOD NIGHT TO ALL

 

 

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