There are certain familial conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure that I need to keep in mind when cooking with certain ingredients. My hubby has to watch his cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well and my kids are mildly allergic to everything under the sun.
So, in order to address everyone’s needs in the most painless way, I’ve been trying a few types of latest food fads or diet fads so that we, as a family, can eat peacefully, without anyone making faces or gagging at the dinner table. Although, most of these are NOT weight loss diets, these healthy ingredients tend to be better for the “oh-not-so-lovable” love handles too so these are “win-win” choices.
Here are some foods I’ve tried.
1. Gluten Free
Eating gluten free is not easy but it’s becoming more trendy for sure. There is a huge gluten free aisle in my local supermarket but honestly, I hate most of the items on the shelves. And when you also have to avoid dairy and eggs – kids are allergic to all three – your choices are very limited. So we’ve been eating a lot more whole foods and avoiding carb rich grains as much as possible. No breading, no thickening, no sauces, and no baked goods. So off comes the weight too.
I throw in rich green veggies in my Vitamix and make a smoothie (although some people say juicing is better) for my daily dose of goodness. Check out this recipe I wrote for Eat Drink Better on how to make a “red” smoothie.
Knowing I’m taking in a good amount of fiber, phytonutrients and chlorophyll in greens make downing a tall glass of green smoothie easier to “stomach” it. When I know its good for me, green color doesn’t seem as distasteful. And adding flax seeds and nuts not only boost more brain power and anti- inflammatory properties but it also adds more flavor too. I’ve been adding chia seeds too, which creates an interesting texture. (see below) I know it’s not a meal replacement but a tall glass of green smoothie in the morning keeps me full for at least 4 hours. Great for kids too after they exercise. Add some fruits to sweeten it and now you have fruits and vegetables allowance for the day in one glass! I just hate washing all those veggies and fruits though.
I’ve been eating kimchi all my life so this is easy peasy. We also love sauerkraut in everything so we get our share of probiotics. But I’m going to boost the Lactobacillus Acidophilis and Bifidus Regularisby adding some live cultures in the green smoothies for my kids because they are known to be great for allergies and overall immune function.
These seeds – yes, the same seeds for making Chia Pets – is the latest trendy superfood that contains mega doses of Omega 3 fatty acid, even more than flax seeds. The texture becomes like tapioca when soaked in water. They absorb ten times their weight in water so you have to make sure to drink enough liquids if you are adding seeds to your food. And because they absorb liquids when they are in yur stomach, they keep you full.
Skipping refined sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods, the way our ancient ancestors ate is the premises of this diet. In other words, eat only what you can hunt, gather, and grow. Paleo diet experts say, people tend to lose weight rapidly since they are not eating processed refined carbs. And since you are getting phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables, even the saturated fats from meats do not have the same impact for risks for heart diseases.
Since we try not to eat processed foods but eat plenty of fruits and veggies, the little amount of meat kids eat do not cause them to be overweight nor have cholesterol issues. My husband, on the hand, had meat related health concerns so he switched to the next type of diet since March of this year.
Recipe: Korean BBQ Kalbi - ironically, this marinade can be used for veggies too.
6. Plant Based, “Forks over Knives“, Diet
I introduced this movie to my family in March and my hubby haven’t been the same ever since. He quit eating meat, oils, nuts, and even seafoods for months following seeing the movie. He even bought the eBook and the cookbook. He was borderline diabetic, had hypertension and high cholesterol. After just 3 months being on this strict diet, however, his cholesterol dropped 30 points, blood pressure and his sugar level normalized. And all this, without sweating!
Since June, though, he went back to eating some nuts and fish. And olive oil is only oil he’d have me cook with. But he’s still not eating his favorite – Filet Mignon and baked potato with sour cream and butter, nor sweet creamy baked goods.
Recipe: Korean Style Tofu - if you use Tamari instead of soy sauce, this can be gluten-free.
I’ve heard about this interesting diet and I haven’t explored it in detail but I do know the blood type diet a bit. We cut our chicken from our diet since we are all blood type B. But maybe I need to explore this genetic diet a little bit further since we all have our favorites and dislikes that may be related to blood type or genetics. It makes sense to me.
Ok, I’m exhausted just thinking about which ones I’ve tried. So far, I’ve tried eating, drinking, adding, trying, and learning all of the above items or diets above. I probably should adhere to the regimen for at least a year or so to see the effects. But, I can tell you, it’s not easy or maybe not even possible, to be on just one type of a diet when you have four grown adults in the family with just as many dietary needs and restrictions. Sometimes, I end up cooking 4 different types of dinner!