Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Biking and Diets

I tried to do some maintenance on my bike today, which I found kind of cool and also frustrating. Armed with this book, I was happy to find that gear-shifting failure is supposedly super easy to fix! Unfortunately, I don't have the same patience with books when I'm hunched over my bike with a screwdriver (it turns out some of the screws on a bike are not supposed to be screwed in all the way).

In other news, I am pregnant, and I have been looking into nutritious diets. The past few weeks I have been just kind of eating as much as I can and hoping the best (and taking folic acid, don't worry Mom!). The book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is a kind of outdated but thorough study in what happened when white flour and other Terrible things were introduced into traditional diets (invariably, tooth decay and tuberculosis set in). I'm intrigued by the benefits of cutting down on white flour and refined sugar, but I haven't been able to find much modern research on the subject (but I have found plenty of people who want to rebel against "politically correct" diets). I'm also not sure if I could give up cereal and white bread; I suppose I could eat oatmeal and rye or wheat bread. Anyway, I've ordered a cookbook of traditional cooking methods, and I hope they are accessible enough to try out in a modern kitchen and good-tasting. It's not just raw foods, it has bread and stuff in it. I'm a big proponent of moderation, but I'm also open to trying out new things.


krebscout said...

I'm trying to rethink my relationship with "the whites," too, and I've pretty much cut white flour/rice down to a couple of items a week (a tortilla or something). Sugar I'm still having a hard time with, but I'm realizing that it really makes me feel terrible and sluggish, and I'm hoping I can train myself to associate sugar with those bad feelings and not the immediate yumminess. I've been doing a (smidge) of research on food and energy/mood, and I think I'm going to get this book [http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Foods-Simple-Changes-Supercharge/dp/B001QFZLS4/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top], which a lot of pre-diabetics find helpful, though it's not just for them.

And while it's tough enough to change these habits just for myself, I know I'm going to have to get the whole family involved if it's going to stick (plus I want them to be healthy, too), and that's intimidating. Though Andy is willing and supportive.

Anyway, I've found that I've really come to prefer whole grains and multigrains (pasta, bread, rice) over time. White stuff just tastes bland and mushy to me now.

I'm looking for ways to appreciate more vegetables, and vegetables prepared in different ways. If you have any good ideas or recipes for a recovering picky eater who doesn't have a lot of time or budget, let me know.

Whistler said...

Thanks for the suggestions/advice! I don't even mind whole grain pasta as long as it has a great sauce. My husband is really into vegetables, so I've ended up eating more of them. One way to eat zucchini, which I found out I love, is to sautee it in some oil or butter, mix in some garlic and parmesean, add salt and pepper, and have it over pasta. Healthy-feeling and delish.

Emily said...

Hey! I have that cookbook. Jeff and I are super into that stuff. (Although, we don't follow it perfectly.) There's a section about pregnancy in it, actually, so you may be interested in that. I think it's basically about supplements, etc. I have almostalmost joined the Weston A. Price Foundation like 3 times. Have you been to their website? There are also several blogs by people who are really into WAP. There's a lady Wardeh ("Wardee") who runs a site called GNOWFGLINS, and she offers an online class about getting started doing the Nourishing Traditions things. I've done part of it and I'm enrolled right now for her dairy class, although I haven't finished the lessons yet. If you check out her site you'll see--a bunch of the people who comment on her posts are the same people who have popular blogs on the same stuff. Another good blog I like is CHEESESLAVE. Jeff originally got into it because they super-recommend raw milk, and raw milk totally changed his life. Also, FYI, you can still have flour on WAP...you're just supposed to soak the wheat (or grain) first and then it is called "sprouted flour." It looks and tastes similar to regular wheat flour. If you use white wheat (instead of red) it has a more mild flavor, closer to white flour.

There are a couple modern books that I know of that really talk about white flour and refined sugar (essentially, simple? carbs). One is Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, by Gary Taubes. That one came out last December. Another one is Feed Your Brain Lose Your Belly by Larry McCleary and that one came out this April. Obviously both have kind of an emphasis on weight loss, but they also talk A LOT about those sorts of carbs and research on them. I haven't read the Feed Your Brain one yet.

Anyway, sorry to post so much in the comments here. I'm just excited to see someone I know actually have an interest in this. When you get the cookbook, if you have any questions, please ask! I've done a bunch of it, and I'm happy to help you if I can.

Andrea said...

There are some whole grain cereals without a lot of sugar that are really yummy. Granola, for one, (which you can easily make yourself if you want to customize it). I like Quaker Oat Squares.

I agree with you about moderation.

There's so many studies that claim to show something's healthy, and then others that claim the opposite is healthy. I like the blog Science-Based Medicine, which has some entries on nutrition: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/category/nutrition/

Whistler said...

@Emily: Nice to meet you! Since I'm not really interested in losing weight, I tend not to look at weight-loss books. I might take you up on your offer with advice on the Nourishing Traditions recipes!

@Andrea: I like the look of that website, and maybe oaty cereals aren't all bad. :-)