Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ch. 2 - Power Foods!

Already Jason and I are enjoying this journey into the world of nutrition. We are learning SO much and have had some good conversations regarding the foods we have been eating. The problem, though, is that you begin to see things in a different light! For example, I LOVE homemade chocolate chip cookie dough. In fact, it is a staple in our house! It is not uncommon to find a freshly made tub of cookie dough in the refrigerator and sadly, alot of it never makes it to the oven. We all eat it raw and enjoy every minute of it...or did enjoy it! Today as I ate a spoonfull, all I could think about was the 2 sticks of margarine I put in there and the fact that margarine is a man-made fat! Nothing natural at all about it...recently described as a little better than "salty vaseline"!!! So, needless to say, the moment was ruined and my craving for cookie dough killed...not that that is a bad thing!
Anyways, onto the book. Chapter 2 focuses on the power to heal our bodies or build defenses through certain foods. Not only does God himself have healing power, but He has also put that power into certain foods that He has created. It is our job to know those foods and put them into our bodies (instead of cookie dough!).
There are certain foods, called phytonutrients, that will enable us to live healthier and fight diseases.
One source of phytonutrients is soy products. Soy products are filled with isoflavones...definetly a new term to me, but I'm hanging on anyways and refusing to be intimidated! Isoflavones are natural estrogens in soy products. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have reported that isoflavones have wonderful cancer-fighting properties and highly recommend foods rich in them.
The natural estrogen in soy products is only one one-thousandth as strong as estrogen, but it tends to block the estrogen receptors in our cells, therefore decreasing the tumor-promoting effect of high estrogen levels. Basically, the phytoestrogens in soy products inhibit the ability of cancer cells to reproduce themselves and grow into tumors. Yay!!!!!! This is true in both men and women.
Okay, so where to begin? How do people like me, cookie dough and fried chicken eaters, start eating soy foods instead?
Here are a few sources of soy that may be available to you: soy milk, tofu (what is that?), soy yogurt, soy flour, roasted soy nuts, black soy beans, and yellow or green vegetables.
Now here is what I did personally to begin my new love affair with soy. Yesterday, while at Sam's I picked up 3 cartons of vanilla soy milk for a little under $7.00. I am not sure if that is a great price, but that's where I was and it was on my mind, so I bought it. I also bought a large bag of frozen fruit for about $ was a LARGE bag!
So this afternoon, when I woke up from my nap and decided cookie dough was no longer for me, I instead got out the soy milk and fruit and blended them together in my blender to make a fruit smoothie. I didn't measure, I just poured in some milk (about 1 1/2 cups) and threw in some fruit (strawberries, peaches, bananas, and blueberries) and blended away. Believe it or not, it was quite tasty and satisfying and the best part of all - good for me! Oh yeah, and my kids didn't care for it so they left me alone to eat it all by myself - a definite bonus in my book!
However, if you are the type that needs a recipe, here is one in the little book I'm reading:
Soy Fruit Smoothie
2 cups of vanilla flavored soy beverage, well chilled
1 cup frozen, sliced peaches
1 med banana, cut into chunks
8 med. strawberries
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine and blend in blender until smooth and creamy. Makes 2 servings.

There are other foods that contain phytonutrients (power-foods/disease fighters). These are vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, & cauliflower. These foods include indoles (another strange word, but I'll explain). Indoles convert estrogen from cancer-promoting to cancer-fighting. I will spare you the details of how this works, because it is difficult to understand, but suffice it to say, it does work and research backs it up. That's why your Mama always told you to eat your veggies!
Finally, here are a few other foods that will benefit your health greatly and boost your immune system:
Green Tea, Alfalfa, Grapes, Tomatoes, Apples, Walnuts, Black Currants, Garlic, Raspberries, and Maitake Mushrooms. There are other things, too, in the book, but they sounded more like something a cow might eat, so I'll spare you (think barley grass, wheat grass, etc...) For now, my requirements are: a.) I actually know what a food is and b.) I can find it in a local grocery store and c.) I would actually try eating it.
Well, I hope this helps someone in their journey of eating a little healthier. I know I have benefitted from my study time and even enjoyed my first experience with a soy product. I am looking forward to what else I will learn and try.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

You know Tommy and I have been drinking soy milk for years. He of course was the first to give it a try but later convinced me to be brave and I liked it fine. Now don't get me wrong I don't like the taste of any milk of any kind, but I need something to put on cereal and in my coffee. We drink the Silk Vanilla. I've used it to make mac and cheese or pancakes or really anything where milk is called for. It is more expense than cows milk, isn't anything that seems to be good for us? It addresses my lactose intolerance and my perimenopausal need for more estrogen in a natural way.
Long ago I read a book by Marjorie Holmes called, God and Vitamins. The thing that has always stuck with me from the book is so simple. If God made it it's good for me. Eat it as close to the way He made it as possible. Fresh, unpasturized, raw, etc. I use real butter, not usually recommended as healthy, but I know how butter is made. I've made it myself before. Nothing but cream and sometimes added salt. Of course, it would help if the cream was from healthy cows. Eggs, long a taboo in the nutrition community, are as natural a food as I can think of. We have chickens that I try to keep happy and feed well.
I love your passion and knowledge so keep it coming. I'm following along and getting re-motivated myself and my husband thanks you for that.