Wednesday, 24 August 2011


So, here I am finally making a place to compile my extensive research and information re: healthy nutritional alternatives. I'm hoping that this may be useful to someone else besides me.  I find that it's easy to find things that are specific to one type of diet ie) low-fat, low carb, gluten free, etc but these are not always healthy either.  Sometimes low-carb becomes high in fat, low-fat becomes high in sodium. When we sacrifice one taste/ingredient it needs to be supplemented by something else.  This is why we see these alterations but they aren't always healthy.  It is super important to read the labels on the things you buy.  For example) if something claims to have cut the fat by half on the front of the packaging this sounds great.  But if you read the nutritional information on the back you see it's gone from 4g fat to 2g fat but they've hiked the carbs (usually sugars) up by more than that.  It seems that the extra 2g fat is more worth it than that much more sugar.

Personally, I am attempting to follow a low-gi diet due to a medical condition I have.  My condition is not so severe that I cannot stray - believe me I do.  But I've found that following a low-gi diet really helps make the whole meal healthier. At a later posting I'll tell you about a low-glycemic index diet and some tips and tricks for that.

You will note that I'm a huge proponent of eating "real" sugars (that is, regular sugar, honey, molasses, brown sugar, syrup, icing sugar, etc etc) over artificial sweeteners.  There are a few reasons for this.  The most immediate reason is that artificial sweeteners tend to give me migraines.  The longer reaching reasons is that I don't trust anything that's overly processed and manufactured to be nutritionally sound.  I try to eat my food as closely to how to comes (that is, NOT overly processed).  When it comes to sugar the same is true.  That being said, though I believe that eating sugar is absolutely fine - one just has to be conscious of the amounts and eat it in moderation.  I have, however, been experimenting with agave nectar as it is naturally sourced and not manufactured.  I'm not yet sure how I feel about it as it tends to taste a bit weird but maybe I just need to get used to it. Agave nectar has some controversy surrounding it.  Its main selling point is that is has little effect on blood sugar - however it is closely related to the "evil" high-fructose corn syrup.  My feeling is that I'm not guzzling this nectar (nor the syrup for that matter) so in small amounts (like sugar) it should be ok.

I am trying to work some more vegetarian meals into my repertoire. There are a few reasons for this.
1) It's a great way to work in the oft-forgotten legume family into our diets
2) Plant proteins are extremely good for you
3) Extra vegetable servings in a day is fantastic.
4) Meat grosses me out..specifically raw meat and meat with bones or skin. I have a major ethical tug-of-war re: meat - but that can be a discussion for another day.
5) Using vegetarian alternatives (whether that be prepackaged soy meat or lentils and beans) are lower in calories, lower in fat, higher in fibre than meat.
6) Studies are showing that it may be better for the environment to eat vegetarian meals even just once a week.

In general, when it comes to meat, I favour boneless/skinless chicken breasts, lean pork tenderloin, and ground chicken/turkey.  Not to say that I don't use beef, I do regularly, just not as often as the chicken and other things.

In my house we eat a lot of different cheeses - cheese a staple snack for us as it's a great way to protein up a snack.  There will be subsequent posts about how to lower the glycemic index of your snacks and so forth.

This is my (not-so?) concise introduction to this blog. I hope you find it useful and interesting.

EDIT: As of January 2012 my husband and I have converted to full vegetarianism!

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