Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Road to Dietary Salvation is Dotted with Vegetables

This past week a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that it's not low carb, low fat, low-anything else that helps people lose weight and keep it off, but it's eating fewer calories.

Many of you might not know this but at least 3 times in my adult life I have had to lose a significant amount (I am small so I won't share the number but it's been about 15% of my body weight). I did it by paying attention to what I put in my mouth and eating as many vegetables as I could. And you know that I really like vegetables so...

In my opinion (and by this time if you've read previous posts you know that I absolutely have one), the easiest way to eat fewer calories is by filling yourself up with vegetables and other plant-foods. I put vegetables first because you can eat almost unlimited amounts of the more watery or dense green vegetables such as (I'll start with those in season here in Northern CA) greens, think collards, Swiss chard, kale, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, onions, leeks and garlic, and then the warmer weather vegetables such as summer squash, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, radishes and many more.

The vegetables that are still good for you but present issues due to their higher caloric nature are potatoes, carrots, parsnips, corn, peas and winter squash. There are some that fall between these categories. Beets and celery root are the only two that come to mind.

As for the other plant foods such as beans and grains, the beans will give you more bang for your buck and fewer calories, depending upon how many you eat. In-season fruit is wonderful, in moderation. This time of year in the Northern hemisphere in the U.S. we don't have an issue with this as we are in "apple-pear-citrus" season so the temptations are few.

My message is not something new for me and not something that I've studied for endless hours. I know that it works because I practice it myself. I eat lots of food and I maintain my weight. I eat salad almost every day. My husband now does this, too. And not just a small amount but at least 3 cups each with dinner. See how you can squeeze in extra vegetables such as those sprouts that I've been raving about for a while now. Add greens to your cooked vegetables. Shoot for eating a bunch or two or three a week.

I don't have any magic and I'm not going to give up my vegetable evangelism. I've now shared my story on the road to salvation. I hope that you'll come along.

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