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  #1726  
Old 08-13-2010, 12:24 PM
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I hope you all can help me to understand the allure of smoothies...

Why would you take perfectly good strawberries, blueberries, spinach, carrots, yogurt, etc... and mush them all together in a blender? You wouldn't do that with a steak dinner, would you?

I had a smoothie once, and it wasn't bad, but it seems like a lot of work and mess to make a smoothie at home when you have the fresh ingredients right there, ready to eat, and the strawberry tastes like a strawberry . . .

But then again, I feel the same way about the crock pot. Everything tastes the same when it's finished, and it's kind of mushy.
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  #1727  
Old 08-13-2010, 01:10 PM
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I'm kind of with UUjudy on crock pots. I use it for about 3 things - cocktail meatballs, chili (which I mostly cook on the stovetop first), and pot roast - it is really good for pot roast with carrots & potatoes & onions. If anyone else has any really GOOD crock pot recipes, let us know - in detail, please! I'd like to do more, now that I'll be off daily to golf, water aerobicize, etc.
  #1728  
Old 08-13-2010, 03:37 PM
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Hi y'all,
I appreciate so much the moral support on my diet. Sorry for the delayed response. As mentioned on another thread, I am working on my HS reunion, and as the time approaches, busy, busy, busy.

I am not following one particular book. Did quite a bit of research on the internet. Looked through some books at nearby bookstore, but didn't find one that jumped out at me.

I am eating a lot of fruits, especially berries, which I love. I eat an apple or peach every day as they are high in soluble fiber. Eat some type of peas or beans every day as they are very high protein and little to no fat. I've made some soups with barley and other whole grains. Dark green, red and purple veges. Various fish and shell fish. Some chicken. Eggs. A few nuts with fruit for snacks.

Sorry to say I have given up on yogurt. Wonderful as it's supposed to be, I just don't like it. Thought I would develop a taste, and instead I liked it a bit less every time I ate it. BTW, I agree with UUJudy about the smoothies. I love, love, love fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc, and prefer to eat them that way. I eat them with oatmeal-- yum.



Some notes on the low GI and smoothing out blood sugar front:
  • Always eat some protein with a meal! Never an exception. It lowers the glycemic load of the meal, you burn more calories and it stabilizes blood sugar
  • Sour foods help stabilize blood sugar-- so if I can add lemon or vinegar to a dish, I've been doing that. Garlic, even better. Good for cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar! Eat mo' pickles
  • Smaller portions, but eat more often. I see this as adding kindling to the fire (metabolism) to keeping the fire (calories) burning.
  • Cinnamon (w/out sugar) supposedly helps stabilize blood sugar, so I put it in oatmeal, apples, coffee and green tea.
Meals
typical breakfast: Either Oatmeal with flaxseed and fruit or omlet and fruit, whole-grain bread, coffee. (I make oatmeal and omlets with a little skim milk for the calcuim.)

typical snacks: some type of fresh fruit with nuts or seeds or a boiled egg

typical lunch or dinner:
salad, oil (extra virgin olive) and vinegar dressing. Salad will include some protein such as: nuts, chicken, little cheese, boiled egg, peas, beans, seeds.

chicken or fish, steamed vegetables, side salad

barley (and/or other grains) and vegetable soup.

desert: what else, fruit and nuts

I'll venture out more after I lose 10 pounds. Haven't thought about maintenance plan yet. I'm still in weight loss mode.

I feel great!!

Last edited by Pturner; 08-13-2010 at 06:11 PM. Reason: typo
  #1729  
Old 08-13-2010, 04:29 PM
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Default Those Alluring Smoothies

Quote:
Originally Posted by uujudy View Post
I hope you all can help me to understand the allure of smoothies...

Why would you take perfectly good strawberries, blueberries, spinach, carrots, yogurt, etc... and mush them all together in a blender? You wouldn't do that with a steak dinner, would you?

I had a smoothie once, and it wasn't bad, but it seems like a lot of work and mess to make a smoothie at home when you have the fresh ingredients right there, ready to eat, and the strawberry tastes like a strawberry . . .

But then again, I feel the same way about the crock pot. Everything tastes the same when it's finished, and it's kind of mushy.
The long answer:
The reason we like smoothies is because we can put a wheelbarrow load of vegetables in with the fruit, whip it up, and it tastes like a dessert. The color of the smoothie may not be pretty depending on the ingredients, but the taste -- oh my -- it is always refreshing. Eating raw vegetables is particularly healthy and truthfully, we probably would not eat that many raw vegetables if not for the smoothies. Mrs. K9 adds protein to her portion, as she is subject to blood sugar spikes.

For us, it is easier and less messy than trying to prepare all those vegetables so they would be appealing and tasty. For example, do you normally eat raw cabbage unless it is made into cole slaw? Making cole slaw takes a lot more work than just popping a wedge into the blender. Did you know that raw cabbage juice is good for the intestinal tract and has been proven to heal all kinds of digestive problems? What about raw celery -- do you eat it plain? You see, with the smoothies, we get the benefit of the raw veggies without the time-consuming preparation, and usually the prepared veggies are laden with extra calories.

The short answer:
The more green smoothies we consume, the more weight we lose without even trying.
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  #1730  
Old 08-13-2010, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohiogirl View Post

And Freeda, is low glycemic the same as low carb? Appears to me to be the same?
Sorry for not answering this sooner; been on the go alot. 'Low carb' is not the same as low-glycemic, as I'll explain below. A low carb diet would be like the Atkins diet, which is high protein, low carb.

With a low carb diet, your body feels that it is starving, and begins to draw on other sources of fuel for its metabolic needs; similar to what happens with fasting. The body, especially the brain, prefers glucose (which comes from carbs) as its fuel of choice. So, where there is no, or low, carbohydrate in your meals, insulin levels drop dramatically (since there is little if any excess sugar in the blood, and therefore not much insulin is needed, since its job is to remove excess sugar from the blood and store it in the cells). Next, the body uses up glycogen stores (stored glucose as a ready source of fuel) from the liver and the muscle. These stores are used up in a couple of days, and so next the body begins breaking down fat and more muscle as a means of obtaining fuel for energy, in the form of ketones. (This is called ketosis, and can lead to impaired liver function, low blood pressure, fatigue, constipation, and leaching of minerals from the bones). The brain can function on ketones as fuel, but glucose is its fuel of choice. Thus, in this unnatural state of ketosis, one feels fatigued, confused and irritable

With low-carb diet the initial weight loss is very rapid, in terms of pounds lost - but it is a 'fake' weight loss, and here is why:
For every gram of carbohydrate (in the form of glycogen) stored in the liver or muscle, four grams of water are also bound. In other words, for every gram of glycogen released from the liver or muscle, four grams of mere water weight are also released. So, when you are using up reserved glycogen from muscle and liver, you are also releasing alot of water - thus, essentially all, or at least most, of the 'weight loss' shown on a scale is actually loss of water weight - not much loss of fat. When before and after body fat measurements are compared, there is little fat loss on a low-carb diet, regardless of the 'weight' loss shown on the scale.

Then, when you inevitably return to eating carbs (the body will eventually force this, in order to get energy once the glycogen stores are used up, and after the state of ketosis becomes prolonged - so that you can feel good again), the glycogen stores will be replaced, along with the water that is necessary to be bound with them. So, the 'lost' weight returns.

After a low carb diet, one looks (for a while) thinner, because both muscle mass and water have been lost. But, the trap has been set: because muscle mass has been lost, and muscle is what burns fuel, once you go off a low-carb diet, you have less muscle mass to burn fuel; thus, fewer calories are needed by the body for fuel, and fat can be gained more easily and quickly from eating the same or even less food than before the diet. This is the cause of the 'yo yo' dieting experience.

In short, the body must have plenty of good carbohydrates in order to function normally - and to maintain a normal weight. Not only do carbohydrates provide fuel, but they are an important source of nutrients, so low carb diets are also a problem due to lack of nutrients.

Low-glycemic eating (which is actually just another term for eating the way that Mother Nature intended for us to) combines healthy carbs (low-glycemic carbs are 55 or less - and the lower, the better - on the glycemic index - see www.glycemicindex.com or other internet sites to learn about this, and about what to eliminate), ie, carbs that do not unnaturally spike the blood sugar, with healthy proteins and fats. We need a diet where our calories come from about 40-50% healthy (low-glycemic) carbs, about 30% healthy fats, and about 20-30% healthy proteins.

The single most important principle of low-glycemic eating is that because you are no longer unnaturally spiking your blood sugar, you will not be dropping in to a hypoglycemic state (low blood sugar), and within a short time this will cause you to stop getting that shaky feeling and craving high-glycemic carbohydrates - in other words, when you stop eating high-glycemic carbohydrates, the cravings for them (that are caused by hypoglycemia - and the craving is very analogous to the withdrawal that drug-abusers experience) will quickly vanish. I know this may seem hard to believe until you experience it, but it is true; and that is why low-glycemic eating does not required alot of 'will-power' or self-denial or suffering - which are the main reasons that virtually all true 'diet plans' fail. Most if not all 'diet' plans are too complex, restrictive, and extreme (ie, unnatural) to result in a sustainable weight loss; and more importantly, a sustainable FAT loss.

So the difference between low-carb and low-glycemic is that low-glycemic (ie, natural) eating focuses on the quality of the carbs - not so much the amount of the carbs - and dispels the notion that all carbs are the same; and also dispels the notion that 'simple-carbohydrates' or 'complex-carbohydrates' are the important focus. For example, whole wheat bread, shredded wheat, and baked potatoes, are 'complex' carbohydrates as that term has been used traditionally for decades (since this theory was introduced in 1901); and traditional thinking was that 'complex' carbohydrates would be more slowly absorbed into the blood stream. However, whole wheat bread, shredded wheat, and baked potatoes are all actually very high-glycemic, meaning that they are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream, resulting in a sharp blood sugar spike (with consequential blood sugar drop and craving for more food). In fact, all three of these foods spike the blood sugar more than if we slapped an equal amount of pure sucrose (table sugar) on our tongue. Conversely, cherries and fructose, which are 'simple' carbohydrates (which would traditionally be considered unhealthy because simple carbohydrates were believed to be more easily broken down and, thus, absorbed into the bloodsteam more quickly) under conventional 'simple' vs. 'complex'-carbohydrates theory, are actually very low-glycemic, and healthy. So much for the conventional (and, unfortunately, antequated info that is still being taught to many of the diabetics in our country) 'simplex vs. complex' carbohydrate theory; which is what resulted in the government's food pyramid showing grains and bread (ie, 'complex' carbohydrates - but, unfortunately, they are also high-glycemic) at the bottom - ie, largest 'rung' in size - of the food pyramid, encouraging us to have more servings of those foods per day than of any other foods; which is a principle reason for us having become a 'carbohydrate nation' with an increasingly overwhelming, enormous, tragic, and unnecessary healthcare crisis.

The end results from low-glycemic eating are: that the body will start naturally releasing stored fat, so you will (inevitably) get thinner (and lighter in weight) from fat loss - not just from muscle and water weight loss, and you will not be craving food, you will not ever have to go hungry or 'deprive' yourself of eating, and you will naturally stop overeating because you will only be hungry when your body actually naturally needs energy.

(Even children, studied on low-glycemic eating, have the same results: when a group of children who were fed a low-glycemic breakfast were compared with a group of children who were fed a high-glycemic breakfast, and all of the children were then given unfettered access to many food choices for the rest of the day, the low-glycemic breakfast group chose several hundred calories of less food over the course of the day, than did the high-glycemic breakfast group; and beware, most 'traditional' breakfast foods and cereals are - you guessed it - very high-glycemic; so many children are starting their day on a high-glycemic roller-coaster). Children's Hospital, Boston, study in 2000 - Dr. L. E. Spieth)

Once you have reached your goal weight, eating an occasional moderate- or even high-glycemic carb (most - but not all - of which are from processed carbohydrates) will not wiggle the needle on your scale.

Hope this info helps. Glad to hear PTurner that you are having such success!

Last edited by Freeda; 08-13-2010 at 09:12 PM.
  #1731  
Old 08-13-2010, 09:27 PM
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Freeda,
Thank you for that great explanation. I was hoping you would post again as you seem to have great knowledge on this subject. Some of the benefits besides weight loss that are supposed to happen seem to really be happening! I'm not having blood sugar spikes or cravings for any foods. I don't get gittery from suddenly feeling famished. I enjoy everything that I am eating, yet am having no trouble at all stopping eating with smaller portions. I have more energy throughout the day.

If there are things I could be doing to improve what I'm eating -- less of something or more of something, I would welcome your feedback.
  #1732  
Old 08-14-2010, 07:55 AM
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Freeda, thanks for the great explanation and the link to the website. I've bookmarked it, scanned it briefly, and will really look into it.

I was also (note the word "was") one of those people who really never had to worry about weight, ate anything I wanted, but mostly ate and liked healthy stuff, with a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. Too much cheese and crackers and potato chips, though. I think one of my problems is I like almost everything, not at all a picky eater.

Noticed gradual weight gain after I hit about 40 but not enough to really bother me until recently, when I had to go up another dress size (why do we say dress size when most of us hardly ever wear dresses anymore)?

Every time I went on a "diet" I actually ended up gaining another pound or two, because I was so focused on food. I once joined Weightwatchers on the low fat program, and didn't lose a pound after 6 weeks. Just ate everything on the no or low fat list, and more of it.

This (low-glycemic) does really seem like a complete lifestyle change, but a really doable one. I will keep you posted.

And thanks again, Freeda, for taking the time to give us the details.

We switched to whole grain pastas and brown rice 2-3 years ago, almost exclusively, am assuming this is still a great move. Other thing we did was switch to Joint Juice, with chondroitin and glucosamine, instead of fruit juices. We buy it by the case at Sam's club.
  #1733  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9-Lovers View Post
The long answer:
The reason we like smoothies is because we can put a wheelbarrow load of vegetables in with the fruit, whip it up, and it tastes like a dessert. The color of the smoothie may not be pretty depending on the ingredients, but the taste -- oh my -- it is always refreshing. Eating raw vegetables is particularly healthy and truthfully, we probably would not eat that many raw vegetables if not for the smoothies. Mrs. K9 adds protein to her portion, as she is subject to blood sugar spikes.

For us, it is easier and less messy than trying to prepare all those vegetables so they would be appealing and tasty. For example, do you normally eat raw cabbage unless it is made into cole slaw? Making cole slaw takes a lot more work than just popping a wedge into the blender. Did you know that raw cabbage juice is good for the intestinal tract and has been proven to heal all kinds of digestive problems? What about raw celery -- do you eat it plain? You see, with the smoothies, we get the benefit of the raw veggies without the time-consuming preparation, and usually the prepared veggies are laden with extra calories.

The short answer:
The more green smoothies we consume, the more weight we lose without even trying.
I love your response to the smoothie question. Like uujudy, I've always thought smoothies were more trouble than eating fresh stuff. I've never had a smoothie in my life but I'm going to start experimenting with low glycemic smoothies. I hate cooking and I'll reach for whatever is handy when I'm hungry. I hope that by making a batch of smoothies and keeping them available, I'll eat healthier.

I love this talk about healthy eating. I've found a few great ideas by using some internet sites suggested by our Girl Talk posters. Thanks Chicas!
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  #1734  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:30 AM
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K9, I like the "pimpmyproteinshake" site you suggested.
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Last edited by Barefoot; 08-14-2010 at 09:35 AM.
  #1735  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:32 AM
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A friend of mine uses a special dye too. She asked the hairdresser to give her the info and asked the new hairdresser to order the product. This was done, she paid the additional costs and now she doesn't have to travel a 100 mile round trip to have her hair done.
  #1736  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:37 AM
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Bare, the smoothies I have made and refrigerate sort of ....separate and look funny.
  #1737  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by graciegirl View Post
Bare, the smoothies I have made and refrigerate sort of ....separate and look funny.
Well, there goes that plan! Another idea hits the dust.
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  #1738  
Old 08-14-2010, 10:08 AM
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Yes, Graciegirl is right . . . you can't make a smoothie in advance and store it for later. You have to drink them right after blending.

But, in my opinion, it is still better than all that messy food prep. When you are finished, you put hot tap water in the container so it is half full, add 2 drops of dish soap, then run the blender and it cleans itself!
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  #1739  
Old 08-14-2010, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by K9-Lovers View Post
Yes, Graciegirl is right . . . you can't make a smoothie in advance and store it for later. You have to drink them right after blending.

But, in my opinion, it is still better than all that messy food prep. When you are finished, you put hot tap water in the container so it is half full, add 2 drops of dish soap, then run the blender and it cleans itself!
OK, that clean up sounds easy peasy! I don't have a blender but I have a food processor. Will that work?

Do I have the "basic" smoothie thing right? ......

I need a fluid .. skim or soy or almond milk?
I need protein .. whey isolate protein?
I need yogurt?
Some type of berries? Or low GI fruit.
Something healthy like spinach? Or low GI veggie.

Do I need icecubes?
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  #1740  
Old 08-14-2010, 02:30 PM
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OK, that clean up sounds easy peasy! I don't have a blender but I have a food processor. Will that work?

Do I have the "basic" smoothie thing right? ......

I need a fluid .. skim or soy or almond milk?
I need protein .. whey isolate protein?
I need yogurt?
Some type of berries? Or low GI fruit.
Something healthy like spinach? Or low GI veggie.

Do I need icecubes?
Basic Smoothie:

Fluid -or- Yogurt, not both
Whey Isolate Protein works
Spinach is good - I use the prewashed baby spinach in a bag
Freeze your berries or other fruit to eliminate the need for ice cubes. Ice waters down the taste, plus it stays "grainy". My favorite combination is frozen sliced strawberries and 1/2 frozen banana.

A regular blender would work better than a food processor. And, a food liquifier works better than a blender. As you know, the food processor has a large bowl and the spinach will be cut into small pieces and some will stick on the sides of the bowl. You will have to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times if you use a food processor.

Start on low speed and then go to highest speed. (For a blender: use something to push the spinach and frozen fruit down into the blades while it runs on highest speed. Stick a wooden spoon or something else down through the hole in the top of the blender cap, but be careful not to hit the spoon on the blades). For a food processor, pulse many times, scrape down the bowl, pulse and scrape, pulse and scrape. (I don't expect the food processor to do a very good job, though).

If you find that you like smoothies, and think you will make them often, then it might be worth looking into a food liquifier because they make the BEST BEST BEST smoothies (even the seeds from the fruit disappear!). And, you can use them to make a variety of meals so easily. Since we got our Vitamix, we threw away our regular blender, our ice cream maker, our bread machine, and our old smoothie maker because it replaced all of those appliances. The food processor almost hit the trash - but I love it and can't part with it, even though the Vitamix can almost perform the same tasks. Montel has an infomercial selling a food liquifier that's not too expensive. We got our Vitamix from costco online. Even though everything is liquified, you still benefit from the fiber.

Let me know how it turns out!
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