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#1 Old 05-15-2015, 10:08 PM
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Going vegan with diabetes

I'm just going to jump right to it. I'm Type 2 diabetic, non-medicated at the moment since I've been bringing my numbers down (and my doctor is thankfully supportive of my efforts to better my health without meds). I have lost nearly 50 lbs since January, which I am very thankful for. I feel great, I am more active, all good things.


Here's the problem, and I can't get a direct answer from other places. Starchy foods and grains send my blood glucose sky-high. How do stay satisfied on a vegan diet when you can't have the grains or starches? (and by "diet", I mean "way of eating", not an actual diet)


I can eat beans with no problem. I eat plenty per meal, and the issue is that I feel empty and hungry soon after eating. I stay well hydrated, I don't drink coffee (quit a couple of months ago), I drink nothing but water all day long (exception of unsweetened almond milk sometimes), and lots of water since I am overweight. I feel like I shouldn't be hungry, like if I am doing everything "right", I would not be obsessing over food night and day. I have eating disorders, and the anxiety brought on by the emptiness ends up in a binge. I can't hardly go a week without eating fast food.


I shouldn't feel so deprived, so what am I doing wrong?


I eat 1-1.5 cups of beans per meal (or lentils, peas, etc.), accompanied by usually a large salad and a couple of pieces of fruit. Usually add an ounce of nuts or a tablespoon of seeds. Snacks are fruit, or fruit and nuts if I didn't already have them for lunch. I don't eat processed stuff for the most part. My salad dressings are made from avocado or fruit and vinegar, things like that. Sometimes I have a big wonderful bowl of berries for lunch. I eat a sort of modified version of Dr. Fuhrman's ETL. I don't eat animal products of any kind.


I have been working so hard on dealing with emotional eating, but I am really struggling here. I'm basically living on salad. Sometimes I have a piece of spelt bread with natural peanut butter and banana, and that is heavenly. I chase it down with almond milk and I am HAPPY and sleep well. However, my blood sugar is not pleased when I eat that! That's what I think may be the problem, I don't ever feel like I've eaten a real meal
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#2 Old 05-15-2015, 10:10 PM
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Sorry, forgot to add that I have been vegan (er, trying to be vegan!) since February this year.
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#3 Old 05-15-2015, 10:25 PM
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Are you against all processed food? Because I think that things like tofu, tempeh, seitan, and plant-based meats could help you here.
I can imagine you're struggling. It's quite difficult to hit the daily amount of calories without grains and starches.
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#4 Old 05-15-2015, 10:37 PM
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Hi 5KRunner,


Your progress sounds incredible! Losing 50 pounds in only 5 months is excellent.


Have you tried eating unprocessed whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat kernels, barley), as opposed to processed grains (bread, tortillas)? Does it make a difference?


Regarding your lack of fullness and satisfaction with your diet: is it possible that you aren't getting enough calories to maintain your energy? What is your calorie goal, and what is your current weight and height?


The American Diabetes Association and Kaiser Permanente both recommend low-fat plant-based diets for the treatment of type II diabetes, so you should see results if you maintain this way of eating. You might find it useful to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian. They can work with your physician to make sure that your vegan diet fully supports your health and diabetes recovery. You can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the red "Find An Expert" button on the upper-right portion of the http://www.eatright.org webpage.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#5 Old 05-15-2015, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5kRunner View Post
I'm just going to jump right to it. I'm Type 2 diabetic, non-medicated at the moment since I've been bringing my numbers down (and my doctor is thankfully supportive of my efforts to better my health without meds). I have lost nearly 50 lbs since January, which I am very thankful for. I feel great, I am more active, all good things.


Here's the problem, and I can't get a direct answer from other places. Starchy foods and grains send my blood glucose sky-high. How do stay satisfied on a vegan diet when you can't have the grains or starches? (and by "diet", I mean "way of eating", not an actual diet)


I can eat beans with no problem. I eat plenty per meal, and the issue is that I feel empty and hungry soon after eating. I stay well hydrated, I don't drink coffee (quit a couple of months ago), I drink nothing but water all day long (exception of unsweetened almond milk sometimes), and lots of water since I am overweight. I feel like I shouldn't be hungry, like if I am doing everything "right", I would not be obsessing over food night and day. I have eating disorders, and the anxiety brought on by the emptiness ends up in a binge. I can't hardly go a week without eating fast food.


I shouldn't feel so deprived, so what am I doing wrong?


I eat 1-1.5 cups of beans per meal (or lentils, peas, etc.), accompanied by usually a large salad and a couple of pieces of fruit. Usually add an ounce of nuts or a tablespoon of seeds. Snacks are fruit, or fruit and nuts if I didn't already have them for lunch. I don't eat processed stuff for the most part. My salad dressings are made from avocado or fruit and vinegar, things like that. Sometimes I have a big wonderful bowl of berries for lunch. I eat a sort of modified version of Dr. Fuhrman's ETL. I don't eat animal products of any kind.


I have been working so hard on dealing with emotional eating, but I am really struggling here. I'm basically living on salad. Sometimes I have a piece of spelt bread with natural peanut butter and banana, and that is heavenly. I chase it down with almond milk and I am HAPPY and sleep well. However, my blood sugar is not pleased when I eat that! That's what I think may be the problem, I don't ever feel like I've eaten a real meal
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5kRunner View Post
Sorry, forgot to add that I have been vegan (er, trying to be vegan!) since February this year.
You really should check this book out of your library. It will be in the 613 area (not that I've spent a lot of time in that area or anything like that) Also check out cookbooks by chef Del Stroufe, (641 in the library) as well. I hope this helps.
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#6 Old 05-15-2015, 10:50 PM
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I have tried tofu in so many ways, so many times, and it just turns my stomach. I gave it a try again this week in the form of salad dressing, and I couldn't stand it. I've tried seitan and tempeh, and those weren't a hit either. I had hypertension and I have to watch my salt, so I have to be cautious with the processed things. (blood pressure was normal at last dr visit, hooray!)


I don't eat tortillas or wraps, the bread is not every day and it is just one slice when I do have it. That is SO hard. I love bread, especially a grainy bread. Good stuff! Usually when trying grains, it's been brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats, and sometimes I will have a bowl of plain shredded wheat cereal if I find I just have the munchies. I've wondered if I am just not eating enough also. I currently weight back up around 290 (little slips lately, ugh), and am walking, jogging, do occasional yoga, light weight workouts, nothing super intense but it takes a lot to move my heavy self around.


I just worry because I don't see what I am currently doing as being sustainable in the long run. I need to tweak something. Maybe I should add more fruit or fruit with nut butter?
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#7 Old 05-15-2015, 10:52 PM
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Thanks so much for the replies, I will check back again tomorrow. I have my monthly 5k in the morning!
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#8 Old 05-15-2015, 11:03 PM
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Smoothies, and add peanut butter to them for calories. Hummus.
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#9 Old 05-16-2015, 05:27 AM
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The things that keep us feeling full with this way of eating are whole grains and legumes. Brown rice, oats, barley,millet, pumpernickel bread, rye bread, etc. should help keep you full for longer and not drive up your numbers because they are lower on the GI and breakdown much slower than white bread, white rice, etc.

There's a book by Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine that I'm sure would be very helpful for you--Reversing Diabetes. Here's the link to it on amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-...rnard+diabetes

And here's a link to a short 9 minute video of him talking about Type 2 Diabetes being treated by diet.

Good luck!
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#10 Old 05-16-2015, 05:46 AM
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Yes! Neal Barnard!! The basics are to keep your fat VERY low. You can reverse diabetes on a starch based diet (including fruits) when you keep your fats low. Get his book and watch his vids on Youtube. You will learn A LOT!!


Congrats on your weight loss. You will feel amazing on Dr. Barnard's advice. Keep in mind that tofu and tempeh are higher on fat, which you may or may not be aware of. Jus
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#11 Old 05-16-2015, 06:09 AM
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Though I came from the other end of the spectrum as far as weight/eating disorder, I have had periods of profound bingeing and I still from time to time do it though far less intense than I used to and far less often. I think it is different for everyone, but a diet that is too restrictive can definitely be a trigger for bingeing. If you are hungry you are daydreaming about food and obsessing about it and this too can lead to a binge. And then the binges can be on fast food which in turn triggers cravings for more and it can be a vicious cycle. So just ensuring that you are eating enough, eating a variety, and eating more often can be a huge help in curbing binges. It may be that you need more than three standard meals per day. I tend to eat four smaller meals per day evenly spaced out...early morning breakfast, late morning snack, early afternoon lunch, and evening dinner. That's just what works for me to keep my brain and body fueled without eating too much at once. I find that eating too much is just as triggering for me as eating too little at once as far as keeping hunger and hormone levels stable etc.

Running a 5k is definitely something that requires a bit of fuel, and especially some good carbs! I find whole seed grains mixed with beans, vegetables, and fruits to be very filling. Besides the ones you mentioned...brown rice, steel cut oats, and quinoa, there is wild rice, millet, buckwheat groats, amaranth etc. I sometimes make a huge cold wild rice salad and portion it for meals. I cook a batch of wild rice (it's easier for me to cook a batch of grains than one or two servings at a time), and add walnut pieces, dried cranberry, chopped apple, chopped celery and onion, and then a tablespoon or so of maple syrup or agave rubbed in and maybe a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. I love the combination of sweetness and the bite of the onion and crunch of celery and saltiness of walnut in that combination. Flavors are important for satisfaction in what you eat too. Think not only for health but enjoyment. Whole foods can be very satisfying and enjoyable when you get used to eating them all the time and keep processed food to a minimum. It doesn't happen overnight though. It can take months to train the body to thrive on whole foods and not crave the processed stuff so much.

I love cubing some tempeh and sauteeing it (in water or blended pineapple juice from some of the fresh pineapple) in a nonstick skillet and I add fresh pineapple and kale or bok choy and spices like ground mustard, ginger, black pepper. Once everything is soft and warm, I add it to a seeded grain like millet. I like millet because it is more dense than something like quinoa and a little heavier and more satisfying for me. I wish I could like quiona more due to it's nutrition profile but it doesn't do much of me as far as satiety. It is more of an addition to a dish for nutrition sake.

Or try making a peanut butter or almond butter sauce to pour over your beans, vegetables and grain or over a garden salad for extra satiety. I make peanut butter sauce by adding a 1/4 to 1/3 cup peanut butter to a pan, then add a tablespoon or two of rice vinegar, a pinch of sweetener, and a pinch of tamari. I add a little water as it starts to heat to thin it out into a creamy sauce, then pour over my batch of whatever I am making. Sauces can really make a dish and add satiety. Even something less calorific like salsa or a light vinaigrette. I even snuck in some cubed extra firm tofu to a vegetable stir fry for my husband and added the peanut sauce and he loved it! Normally he hates tofu. The sauce made the difference.

I find whole grains to be more filling than bread. They may not be as convenient to grab but if you make a big batch of whole grain and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days you have it on hand for stuff. I find it less triggering to binge on also, though I have to stay away from oats because I go overboard on those. That doesn't seem to happen with whole oat groats or steel cut oats, but oats aren't my first choice of satisfying grains.

Another one I love is sweet potato. It is less starchy than russet potatoes and can be very filling without raising blood sugar too much. I like to whip them with light coconut milk or else with blended crushed pineapple. Sometimes though I just steam one and eat it plain with a little cinnamon.

I have had some of my best workouts with a breakfast as simple as a whole mango and a handful of whole almonds. It seems to give me a good bit of staying power and the nuts balance out my blood sugar from the mango. The mango provides the carb energy I need for my morning cycle to the gym and my gym routine of lifting weights.

What about bean based energy bars? I sometimes make a batch of those and freeze them individually, then grab one out when I need one. I like to use the following as a base for making them:
http://www.nomeatathlete.com/homemad...gy-bar-recipe/

I also just discovered these two recipes that I haven't tried yet but might be up your alley:
http://www.hummusapien.com/loaded-ch...ein-bars-bake/
http://thehonoursystem.com/2014/05/1...en-free-vegan/ (I am planning to leave out the chocolate chips for this one)

Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, brussel sprouts, zucchini etc are heavier and more filling too, especially when added to homemade soups. Homemade soups can be very filling and satisfying. I love pureed carrot/white bean soup, vegan split pea soup, "cream" of wild rice soup, spicy bean vegetable soups. I often make a batch of those and each morning before I head off for the day I heat a scoop up in the microwave and add it to my thermos and off I go.

I think a lot of it comes with experience. Over time with regular cooking and experimenting you learn what works for you and you realize that there is a much greater variety of food out there than you thought possible for plant eating. I learned a lot by reading lots of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, blogs, and sites. Even watching plant based videos and how to prepare foods. I try to keep my options open and not follow any one particular style of eating such as high carb or starch based or raw or whatever. I have dablled in all of them to open my mind to new ideas, but I don't subscribe to one style of eating. As long as it is vegan and relatively healthy. For me personally, I need to allow myself occasional treats but it is usually something that will not trigger a binge or that I buy or make in small quantities. I'm not a big fan of full fat plant milks, but sometimes for a snack those individual full fat chocolate almond milks or soy milks or rice milks really hit the spot. Or an occasional cliff bar isn't going to kill me.

I just tried experimenting with all gluten free vegan and mostly soy free for about five weeks and strangely, even though my calorie input was the same, I was getting a a strange sort of shakiness/low blood sugar attacks and bloating throughout the day. I still can't figure that one out. My food was fairly whole and unprocessed and my fat intake was actually greater than before, but my protein intake was a bit lower. I added back in some tofu and tempeh and am back to eating normally for me. Looking back, I think I was eating far less grain than I am used to and far more beans.
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#12 Old 05-16-2015, 06:55 AM
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I'll recommend cutting out the overt sources of fat by the McDougall approach.

He has a forum and you can ask Jeff Novick RD questions there (Jeff is excellent!). There are many type IIs in your position there and they are happy to share what works for them.

https://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/

I'm not a fan of breads for type II diabetics. It's something about the particle size. Maybe the sprouted breads from Ezekiel in the freezer section might work.

I'd stick with intact whole grains or grain-likes: brown rice, bulgur, quinoa as well as cooked sweet potato and corn.

Some have trouble with fruit. You might want to limit it to 2-3 servings per day. No more than one per meal.

I would not add processed foods. You need the fiber to slow down the release.

Good luck!
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#13 Old 05-16-2015, 07:40 AM
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I think a visit with a registered dietician would be helpful for you.
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#14 Old 05-16-2015, 07:52 AM
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Drs Barnard and McDougall have the science and experience to back up their low fat high carb WHOLE FOODS treatment for diabetes.
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#15 Old 05-16-2015, 08:37 AM
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Hi 5KRunner,


Thank you for providing us with more information about your health status and your progress. Your progress sounds amazing.


Your weight and diabetes pose an immediate threat to your health - I therefore want to strongly re-emphasize my suggestion that you find a local Registered Dietitian, one that will work with you and your doctor. Our VeggieBoards neighbors can provide us with suggestions and nutrition information, but your situation is quite serious - I would seek expert, in-person nutrition assistance from a local professional.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#16 Old 05-16-2015, 03:50 PM
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I think...and I will call on Monday to be sure...that I have to get a referral from my doctor to get insurance approval to see the RD. It is definitely on my list of things to ask when I see him in a few weeks. I didn't have a primary care doc for a long time, and just got one in February. He is GREAT. Only bad thing is, it is quite a wait for regular appointments. I'm having a complete physical done when I see him next.


I went on McDougall's forum last year and asked a lot of questions and got a bunch of smart-aleck answers like "go read the book", when I HAD his books and wanted to know how real, actual people were doing on that eating plan. Were their numbers actually dropping? Turned me off big time and I haven't gone back. I know it's probably not a good attitude, but coming off of the Atkins mentality, someone telling me I can eat potatoes and pasta seemed like a complete joke. I'm still accepting that I can eat "carbs". I eat a ton of fruit and am loving it because I avoided it for 15 years. I am still just hesitant. I mean, do you eat potatoes, watch your blood glucose skyrocket, and do it again tomorrow? Does it eventually get better? My fasting bg's are just barely over the T2 line, and during the day it often drops below 100. So much better than it was in January. I am so thankful.


I have Dr. Barnard's book, but only read part of it. I will go through it again tonight. Naturebound, thank you for such a lengthy reply (love it!). I took some notes of your suggestions. Will reply more later, I am in dire need of a NAP! The 5k was brutal. I was not prepared for the hilly roads and walked a lot. But I still came in a whole minute faster than my last 5k, even with the hills. Amazing! I am going to be sore tomorrow.
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#17 Old 05-16-2015, 04:15 PM
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Hi 5kRunner,


Regarding carbohydrates, please consider this quote and link from the American Diabetes Association:


“A vegetarian diet is a healthy option, even if you have diabetes. Research supports that following this type of diet can help prevent and manage diabetes. In fact, research on vegan diets has found that carbohydrate and calorie restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C”
Link to this statement: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...r-vegetarians/


Obviously, that doesn't mean that people with diabetes should eat syrup and candy. Throughout its website, the American Diabetes Association clearly specifies that high-carbohydrate food choices should be high-fiber whole foods.


When you do look for an RD, try to select one that specializes in both diabetes management and in vegetarian diets. Otherwise, you could end up with someone who thinks that whole-food carbs are bad.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#18 Old 05-16-2015, 04:28 PM
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Hi 5KRunner,


Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States, has advised its physicians to recommend a low-fat plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension. Please read this article from the Spring 2013 edition of "The Permanente Journal", the journal that Kaiser Permanente publishes for its physicians: http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/...nutrition.html


Excerpt from this article:
"Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity."


Read the article!
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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#19 Old 05-16-2015, 06:37 PM
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yes, the key to eating starches and carbs with diabetes is KEEPING FAT LOW.


It does work!!
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#20 Old 05-17-2015, 05:59 PM
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Ok I read through Dr. Barnard's book last night. I need to go back through it, but I figured I would ask here first... when he says to keep nuts to a minimum, how much is okay? How much daily fat are we "allowed"? I mean, I have some teriyaki sauce that I LOVE. It is high in salt, and a tablespoon has 1g of fat. If I stuck to a tablespoon, would it be ok? It is not something I normally have. I'm trying to find a summary of his eating plan, I guess is what I'm asking (I do better if I can just jot down some guidelines and post them on my fridge).


I might have to throw my greens in a smoothie this week because I'm not sure how I'm going to do salad dressings with limited nuts and avocado, but I am looking forward to a new week with new things!




Thanks for the link David, I will check it out.
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#21 Old 05-17-2015, 06:00 PM
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...just wondered if the structure I crave with my eating plan is a sign of disordered eating. Hmm.
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#22 Old 05-17-2015, 06:21 PM
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5k you will definitely have to get creative to find ways to make your food taste good without a lot of fat.

i use walnuts, but break them into tiny pieces so that they are very well dispersed.

or avocado, maybe 1/8 of one dispersed through an entire salad,

or a few olives again chopped in tiny pieces.

or some sesame seeds crushed with a little bit of salt.

try not to use oils at all.

i think 1-2 tbsp of nuts/seeds/fatty fruit per day is probably ok. regarding macros for your meal, there is probably greater therapeutic benefit for a type II diabetic with a diet of 10% fat compared to 20% fat.
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#23 Old 05-17-2015, 07:05 PM
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Any whole grain foods, starches, fruits, and vegetables are safe for anyone to eat. As far as hunger goes, as long as you eat high fiber foods when you're hungry, you will be fine and you'll still lose weight. You might still be hungry because you need more energy than most people, and restricting calories and starches will cause binging. As far as fat goes, one handle of nuts should be your limit per day, and if your goal is rapid weight loss, less is recommended. What I've noticed with myself is that if I eat more fat, I get hungrier faster when I'm busier that day or need to pay attention. I also notice more cravings the more fat I eat. Having read Dr. Barnard and Dr. McDougall's books, this is what they've said. Going to a dietician is always the best choice.
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#24 Old 05-17-2015, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 5kRunner View Post
Ok I read through Dr. Barnard's book last night. I need to go back through it, but I figured I would ask here first... when he says to keep nuts to a minimum, how much is okay? How much daily fat are we "allowed"? I mean, I have some teriyaki sauce that I LOVE. It is high in salt, and a tablespoon has 1g of fat. If I stuck to a tablespoon, would it be ok? It is not something I normally have. I'm trying to find a summary of his eating plan, I guess is what I'm asking (I do better if I can just jot down some guidelines and post them on my fridge).

.
My 2 favorite no-fat, low calorie sauces are (1) salsa and (2) mustard. No-fat marinara sauce is also good, although higher in calories.


For salad, balsamic vinegar is a no-fat choice (it does have sugar - just check the calories on the bottle) http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...d-herbs/9744/2 . Red wine vinegar has no fat, and is low in calories: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...d-herbs/9743/2 . These flavored vinegars are so good that you might not need any oil. I never put oil or nuts on my salads anymore.
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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#25 Old 05-17-2015, 08:18 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
 
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Also, juice of a lemon or other citrus fruit squeezed on most foods right before eating makes them taste better. Nature's msg. If it needs sweet I use an orange, needs tart a lemon, needs flavor a lime, needs interest some grapefruit.

I wouldn't be very structured in my eating, a varied diet is much easier and more interesting.
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#26 Old 05-18-2015, 05:55 AM
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This is my husband's favorite dressing. Maybe it could help you enjoy your salads more. http://blog.eatplant-based.com/recip...alad-dressing/
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#27 Old 05-18-2015, 07:30 AM
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I personally love simplicity, so a mcdougall type plan is pretty much nirvana for me. Is simple the same as structured?
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#28 Old 05-21-2015, 02:19 AM
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That looks interesting, Terri, thank you!




I think I threw structured out the window for the last couple of days. I had a bean/cucumber sandwich for dinner. Air popped popcorn and some berries a little while ago. Had a salad earlier and didn't feel like making dressing, so I heated up some leftover chili from the day before and topped the salad with that. It was glorious. I feel almost this eerie calm, like suddenly I have all of these choices again
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