Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting biblical

A day late because I'm briefly home between trips this week. I just finished the book The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford. I highly recommend it. It's just so damn rational, for one thing. None of that "how to make a fat-free cupcake" shiz that I can't stand. Tofu is pretty much the most processed food that Holford endorses. But don't think that he's just telling you to eat more vegetables. The book is a very comprehensive guide to vitamins, minerals, and other supplements like Omega-3s. Holford's position is that it's pretty much impossible to achieve optimum nutrition without supplements. He includes a quiz that gives you the vitamins and minerals you need, and recommended dosages.

I never was a believer in vitamins, but his evidence is extremely convincing. Most significantly, he talks about an amino acid called homocysteine which is a very accurate predictor of how long you will live. Your homocysteine level can be lowered (which is desirable) by cutting down on caffeine, eating more greens and less meat, and by taking supplements like B vitamins, zinc, and folic acid.

I could go on for some time about all of the good info in this book. Here are a few changes I'm making after reading it:
1) Renewed dedication to a low glycemic load diet which keeps my blood sugar more stable
2) A 2-week regimen of no gluten or dairy (starting Monday!). I have a lot of symptoms of a low-level food allergy, according to the book.
3) Taking a multivitamin plus additional vitamin C, B vitamins, chromium (to stabilize blood sugar), and vitamin E.

I'm hoping that within a month I'll be free of sugar cravings and that the intermittent eczema on my hands clears up. I've already noticed a large drop in cravings and an increase in energy since I started following a low glycemic diet. Like the Katamari video game, a low glycemic diet builds on itself. By this I mean that when your blood sugar is more even, it's easier to resist bad foods. In Katamari, you're rolling a ball around and gradually picking up larger objects. In other words, the bigger you get, the fewer things stand in your way. How's that for a tortured analogy?

In other news, the cafeteria at my government office building put on one heck of an Earth Week celebration. I was dubious, because they put out layer cake as one of the breakfast offerings. Today at lunch, they had a bunch of vendors giving out samples of "green" foods. It was quite a lineup:
--Artist Michael Albert, who creates cool art and tasty natural juices
--Hormone-, antibiotic-, preservative-, and clone-free cheese from Andrew and Everett
--Green tea beverages from Steaz
--Various hummus and tofu-based products
--And the piece de resistance, One Stop Natural's smorgasbord of delicious vegan snacks and dishes. But there weren't just samples; they were giving away full size containers of everything! I snagged some BBQ tofu which has a delicious smoky flavor and some vegan dumplings.

In the elevator, someone commented on how good the food I had looked. I mentioned that they were giveaways from Earth Day. A guy on the elevator said "Oh, EARTH DAY" in the most scornful tone. What's your damage, dude?

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