Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Vegetables

Before diagnosis, my idea of "vegetables" was anything not animal or mineral - I didn't separate starches and other veges like others do. And my list of veges in my diet was very small: potatoes, peas, corn, iceberg lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, silverbeet(chard), our pumpkin(squash), an occasional onion and baked beans. That was pretty much all we bought and ate as veges. When invited to dinner at someone else's place, I would sample whatever was on the plate as a courteous guest - but most of it stayed on the plate if it wasn't on that list.

After diagnosis, I was told to lose weight and designed my own diet. I found that I needed a "filler" - something with bulk but minimum calories. I discovered braised cabbage and learned to like it with a dash of chopped bacon.

As time went on I started testing (see Test, Review, Adjust) and found that most of my list became a problem: potatoes, corn, carrots (when cooked) and baked beans became dangerous foods for me and I had to find others.

It is amazing what you can learn to like when you finally realise that your life may depend on it.

What focussed my mind wasn't the possible loss of life - but the possible loss of my sight. Negative motivation - maybe; but it sure worked for me. And the more I read, the more I learned that there were side benefits to many of those veges - particularly for the eyes



I just looked in my pantry and at the "crisper" of fresh veges and fruit in my fridge. If you had told me four years ago that I would be buying the following at my grocer's I'd have said you had rocks in your head. But I do - and as I bought each for the first time I researched recipes on ways to make them palatable; gradually I then found that I liked them no matter which way I cooked or prepared them; it was all in my mind. I am not recommending this as a list for anyone - it just happens to be what I have at this moment:

Avocado
Asparagus
Capsicum(bell pepper), red, green ,yellow
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Carrots
Sweet Potato
Onion, ordinary
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Olives
Onion, Red
Garlic
Ginger Root
Cabbage, ordinary
Cabbage, chinese
Cabbage, red
Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)
Celery
Brussels sprouts
Potato
Kidney beans
Psyllium
And some fruits, used with care:
Strawberries (fresh)
Blueberries (frozen)
Pears
Limes
Apples
Oranges

In my garden there are veges in season, hot chili peppers and herbs - thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, lavender and mint. In "drygoods" I have lentils, brown rice, barley, psyllium, guar gum, flax seed, kidney beans, cornflour etc. And a large range of spices. I've probably missed some - but I think you get the picture. You do what you wish; I added each thing individually over time, and had to experiment a bit.

But, to repeat myself, it's amazing what you can learn to like once you accept that your life depends on it.

2 comments:

Shelby said...

Hi Alan, I have learned over the years that vegetables are our GOOD CARBS .. and have since started raw veggie juicing at home, and have added lots more steamed or lightly cooked vegetables to my daily diet. So I make sure I am getting the important carbs this way rather than have stopped eating simple carbs and not getting enough energy carbs in my diet. I must say also that after I drink my veggie drink, ( normally prepare 3 or 4 times a week) that I do feel wonderfully energetic !! I just do. :) Hope this is a help to other. I am not a vegetarian or vegan, but do believe in good nutrition. Have also dropped way down on beef consumption,, I now eat more fish , salmon or talapia most days of the week, with my dry carb consisting of DREAMFIELD (brand) pastas, without an increase in my BG

Alan said...

Hello Shelby

Just one note of caution. I tried juicing veges when I first started using Jennifer's "Test, test, test" advice and was quite surprised to find that I saw high blood glucose numbers 30-60 minutes after drinking many vege juices.

You may not have the same problems, but please test to be sure.

I decided that veges complete with their fibre were better for me anyway, so I gave my juicer away.

Cheers, Alan.