Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

I've been reading one of Dr. Neal Barnard's latest books, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart.   I initially picked it up at the library because I knew it would have some good recipes in it.  I first became familiar with Dr. Barnard's work when I took a series of cooking classes through The Cancer Project, an organization he is very involved with that focuses on dietary changes as a way to prevent cancer and to increase survival rates for cancer patients.  I've ended up reading almost all of the book because he shares so many interesting health facts.  Dr. Barnard is an advocate of vegan diets because, as he points out, so many of the diseases we have in the west are tied to fat and cholesterol consumption.  Animal products have much more fat (and often the unhealthy type) than vegetables and grains and plant products have zero cholesterol.

Some of the facts that jumped out at me were the changes in the quantities of food we eat.  For instance, did you know that in the last 100  years, meat intake has risen from about 124 pounds per person per year to over 200 pounds.  Cheese consumption was less than 4 pounds a year; now it is 33 pounds!  He also points out that we've been sold a bill of goods on chicken. He says that "chicken's fat content isn't much different from beef's (about 29 percent for lean beef, 23 percent for skinless chicken breast)."  

Now that you know some of the ways our eating habits have changed, I encourage you, if you're a meat eater, to cut back on the amount of meat in your diet.  One of the nutrition courses I'm taking pointed out that if you get most of your protein from meat, you only need - at most - a palm-sized portion once a day.  You might also look at your plate size.  About 100 years ago, a typical dinner plate was 9 inches; now they're about 12.  By decreasing the size of your plate, you can trick your mind into feeling fuller since it gives the illusion of more food.


EcoGrrl said...

great tips - and I agree on the plate size - I end up eating most of my food off of "saucers" which used to be for cups and now are better for dining off of! I was at a restaurant in Melbourne last week and they had these beautiful woodfired pizzas and I asked how big they were, and they said "the size of a dinner plate". Of course I was thinking a much smaller plate and ended up with a medium pizza! Oy!

Cheese is definitely hard for me to stay away from - so instead of eating a lot now, I eat the best - pay a little more, savor even more, eat even less :)

Breakfast is not a huge thing like it is in Portland -t here are great places for nibbles but nothing was in ridiculous portions and here while I'm WWOOFing I just have a smoothie in the mornings - YUM>

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I have to say that lately my body has been craving som meat, this happens every few years and I've been pickig up some chicken at the farmer's mkt or eating trout my boyfriend has caught. He did not get a deer this year so I still have no idea what venison tastes like. Do I want to?

Anyway, when I started collecting a set of Buffalo China plates from thrift stores I noticed that on top of being way heaft and cool, they are also smaller. Love them!