Because I work in a busy medical practice, people ask me all the time how do you keep your weight down, how can I lower my cholesterol, my blood pressure, my blood sugar, etc., without medication? This is really my favorite topic...with NUTRITION!! As I always say, there is not a pill on the market that can compare to power of nutrition. Unfortunately, because the pharmaceutical industry is so powerful, we line their pockets for the "cure" to our medical issues. Please remember this, pills do not cure anything. They may take away the "symptoms" we are having, but they do not CURE anything! For instance, if you are taking a pill for your high blood pressure and your pressure comes down, are you able to stop that medication? Absolutely not! If you were to stop the medication, your pressure would go right back up. We need to get to the ROOT of the problem and stop it completely...only then can we say we are "cured". This can be done with the right foods....it is so simple but so many people have no idea.
I have found that no one way of eating will work for everyone, but I use a general guideline and I try not to be too rigid. No two people are alike and no two people have the same preferences. I personally have found in some people sudden drastic changes do not work. The more their habits or cravings are suppressed, the more powerful they become leading people to fall off the wagon. However, on the other hand, some people are able to dive right in, letting go of all their bad habits, and I find that after about one month's time, all the cravings are completely gone! For some people, the "all or none" way of doing things work.
So, for people that are looking for a healthy way of eating, here are some guidelines you can follow:
- Drink more water
- Practice cooking
- Increase whole grains
- Increase a wide variety of colorful vegetables
- Increase leafy green vegetables
- Experiment with beans
- Eat less meat, dairy, sugar and chemicalized, artificial junk food
- Have healthy relationships that support you (this is important, belive it or not)
- Find physical activities you enjoy and do them regularly (I know this has nothing to do with eating, but it is important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day)
Here is a recipe that comes from The New McDougall Cookbook which is really easy and delicious. This recipe calls for dried garbanzo beans, (chickpeas), but if you do not have the time to cook the beans, just use canned.
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
7 cups vegetable broth, (if you are using canned beans, use about 2 cups of broth, add more if necessary)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, chunked
1 large carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 leek, washed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices
1 jalapeno pepper, scored and left whole, (optional)
2 cups broccoli pieces
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 t ground coriander
1 1/2 t ground cumin
Soak the beans overnight in water to cover. Drain and rinse, Put the beans in a large pot with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 2 hours.
Add the onion, sweet potato, carrot, celery, leek and hot pepper. continue simmering for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes longer. Discard the pepper and serve.
NOTE: Again, if you are using canned beans, I would put everything in the pot with the exception of the beans and let it cook until the vegetables are just about done. At that point, I would add the beans to the pot and finish cooking.
Another fast and easy recipe using beans:
1 onion, chopped
2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 c water
3 cups cooked beans, (pinto, black, garbanzo, etc)
2 c frozen corn, thawed
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes, (Cajun, Mexican or Italian)
1 T chili powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic in the water until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes.
Serve this over a baked potatoes, in a burrito, on a whole grain burger roll, over grains or whole-wheat pasta. Or, eat it as is!