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Completely changing the way I eat - HELP!!

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there is no chocolate in this diet!!!


My doc wants me to completely change how I eat. Raw, nothing processed is prefered. No white flour, no white sugar. Very limited amount of cans or boxes. In other words I can have tuna in a can, but he wants me to avoid canned veggies, soups,etc. Whole Wheat pasta in limited amounts. Really good quality protein.


What can I eat????? What does a meal or a snack look like?


He wants me to seriously limit my calorie intake for the first 4 days to "break the carb cycle" and detox. Then slowly add more variety.


He said to just get over the fact that this is happening and make a lifestyle change. I grew up in the south!! We cook our veggies until they are more than dead, then add salt or some sort of sauce. We eat real biscuits with butter and cream topped with butter and jam!


Could someone please pass along recipes for whole grains and beans. How do I cook beans???

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Being from the south, you should like sliced cucumbers, and sliced tomatoes. Ask your doctor about "Redmond real salt," and "The Raw Choice Himalayan crystal salt" maybe he would allow those in limited amounts. Since it is hot, salad is always a good choice. Make homemade itallian type salad dressings with vinegar, olive oil(first cold pressed) and herbs, or lemon juice and herbs. What about grilled veggies are those allowed? You can put things like peppers, garlic, onions, and herbs in beans to make them taste good. Ther must be a reason why your doctor thinks processed foods are bad for your health. Can you drink herbal tea? Will he allow a bit of honey in your tea? Squash and zucchini taste good raw dipped in humus. There are a lot of books about raw food diets. And fruit, you can whip it up into a smoothie and make a homemade popsicle. Are you allowed to eat any meat or just fish?

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Wow, poor thing! My diet is changing per doctor's orders as well, but not that drastically. Did he not give you any indication on what you could eat or where you could learn about such a new diet?


My newest food find is baked beets. I never in a million years would have thought I'd like these but they are so delicious! I don't clean them so the skins don't get wet because I don't want them steamed. I bake them at 350 for 1 hour, then peel, cut and serve. They have the same consistency as potatoes if cooked long enough. I use a spray butter on them and that's all.


Another dish I like is sauteed chicken with onions and bell peppers. I chop them all up, sautee the veggies first, remove them from the pan, sautee the chicken, add the veggies back and add water just to the top of the food. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. I usually serve it over rice but it's good plain as well.


I love the idea of grilled veggies. :)

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Oh, Holly! Major dietary changes are *tough*. ... The good news is that they do get better. Even the crazy, overwhelming ones...


Have you seen the recent (and not-so-recent) threads on Eat to Live? It's pretty close to what you're talking about, and there has been some chatter about *what* and *how* people really eat on that diet. And the book itself might be helpful to you (and it has meal plans in the back -- though unfortunately, I don't think the recipe section is particularly appealing)...


One thing that's nice about EtL is that you're focusing on what you *can* eat (how to get all of the recommended fruits and veggies in!) rather than what you can't eat. Once you manage all the produce, there's not a whole lot of room left.


Another good thing is that this is a great time of year for produce! Go to a decent grocery store or farmer's market and just look at all the different fruits and veggies to try! :) Try something you haven't tried before! Give yourself permission to splurge on fruits that cost a little more as a special treat. There's great stuff out there!


Roasting works well for veggies. One of my favorites is red and yellow bell peppers (and while I like bell peppers raw, I don't care for them cooked in most things). Put them in a shallow pan under the broiler. When they really start to blacken, turn them and keep broiling. You want them black all over. Then drop them in a paper bag and fold the top over. After they've been there for a few minutes, run them under cool water, and the skin should peel right off. You can also pull off the stem, and pull out the seeds. Now use them in wraps (a whole grain tortilla spread with a little homemade hummus) along with other veggies, raw or roasted (onions, zucchini, mushrooms and eggplants are some of my favorite for roasted). Or dice them and add them to a quinoa salad (search for couscous salad recipes that use lots of veggies and sound yummy to you -- but replace the couscous with quinoa, which is a grass seed that's high in protein and fiber), etc, etc...


Roasting other veggies works well too. If you can use a little olive oil, all the better, but if not, they will still taste pretty yummy! Cut up the veggies and spread in a shallow dish and bake at 450 for a few minutes (depends on the veggies and how you like 'em). Asparagus does well like this, green beans (okay, they need a wee bit of olive oil, I think), zucchini, yellow squash, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, eggplant...


I like cream of broccoli soup... You can use water or broth (veggie or chicken), and toss in broccoli (you can use the stems as well as the florets, just don't get down to the really woody parts). Once the broccoli is very soft, run it through the blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender). I prefer it without, but I often throw in a can of white beans as well, if I'm trying to get more of my beans in for the day. (My kids will happily eat the broccoli soup if I melt plenty of cheese into theirs, lol...)


For beans, for right now, when you're transitioning, don't be afraid to use cans some. I prefer to buy organic. Just open the can and dump the beans into a colander in the sink and rinse thoroughly. Then add to a salad or soup or cook with seasonings... Dry beans are *not* hard -- but they do take time, and while you're faced with all of these other changes, that's a corner I'd be willing to cut. When you're ready, most beans (not lentils or split peas) do better if you soak them over night. Just use a large bowl and cover the beans with water (they will expand a lot!) and leave them on the counter. Rinse and replace the water a couple of times if you think about it (but the world won't end if you don't). Around lunchtime, transfer them to a large pot with fresh water, and turn them to a low simmer with the lid on. They tend to be pretty forgiving... :)


I use garbanzo beans for homemade hummus (you can cut back on the oil and use more water if you must), or in Moroccan chick pea and spinach stew. I like white beans blended into other soups, or cooked down with lots of onion and garlic and tossed with whole grain (or sprouted grain) pasta. (The kids add lost of parmesan.) Pintos can be cooked down to "refried" beans as a side with lots of other things, or served with homemade cornbread (finding whole grain cornmeal is a little tough, but it's out there)... Black beans are great on big salads with salsa and homemade pico de gallo! Or made into a big pot of vegetarian chile (either on their own, or mixed with pintos and petite kidney beans)... Lentils are endlessly variable, in soups and stews with Indian or Ethiopian spices...


There are so many options out there -- and you *will* find them.

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I work for this company (body ecology) and often run across the very question you're asking. This is the best way I know to answer that question! You can also search on her site for ideas of what to eat. There is alot of promotional advertisement in there but you can still glean good information on ways to eat like your doctor is suggesting.


Dietary changes are very very hard and you can do it if you arm yourself with a list of "what I can eat" rather than focus on what you can't.



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I highly recommend searching your library for this book: http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Food-Revolution-Diet/dp/1570671850

It has a three week raw diet plan to follow, so you can get on the road to improvement before you have actually figured out what you are doing. It does take quite a bit of research. Without knowing exactly what your doc said, I'd be a bit leery of limiting your calories too severely. I don't believe you have to starve yourself to "detox" because I've done it. I don't think a lack of variety helps, I think it hinders. Having suffered from "food psychosis" which is probably not scientifically documented but really does exist (!!) thanks to two bouts of gestational diabetes, I can tell you that will make life harder than it has to be! Basically I think you're doctor has set you on the right path, but seems to think you need to trip over the pot holes.


A very easy first step to take is salad. Become a master salad maker and master salad dressing maker. I have been eating salad this whole winter and I never eat salad in winter usually. I have become a salad addict. Seriously. Dh always makes too much for dinner, and I polish the rest off with breakfast. We started off with iceberg lettuce, with a bit of rocket and baby spinach for flavour. Now, after a few months, our taste buds have changed and we don't even bother with iceberg lettuce, and eat all that dark green leafy stuff that used to taste bad. Sprinkle seeds on your salad. No one ever chews their food properly and seeds encourage that. They also add a lot of interest. Actually, don't sprinkle the seeds, dump them on! My hubby found we could buy seed mix marked as being for bread much, much cheaper than if we bought them separately, so see if that works for you too.


I've also become a bean snob. It's really not that hard to cook your own beans. They are much cheaper than tinned and so much tastier! Put them to soak over night, then stick them in a pot to simmer away while you do school in the morning. Put them in a tub in the fridge and add them to anything that wouldn't be spoiled with the addition of beans. I've found white beans to substitute well for chicken or seafood in most recipes and kidney beans to substitute well for red meat.


Expect the changes to take months to get used to, because they will. The good news is, the more you do this, the more you will want to. It's as though your body says "Aha! You've finally decided to be sensible, have you? Well I'll start speaking to you again!" Then you find you're turning into a salad addict ;)


A good rule to follow is to eat the recommended serving size of carbs with each meal, then fill up on salad. It's amazing what you can put in a salad. The one I just finished had a variety of green leafy things from the supermarket. Rocket, baby spinach, some others that I don't know the names of and some sunflower lettuce I've been growing on the kitchen bench. There was also carrot, tomato, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseeds. And that was just what was left in the fridge; we should have gone shopping yesterday.


Not only will you get used to it, you'll learn to like it! I'll bet that in 6 months time you'll be at your mum's place and she'll offer you a biscuit with triple jam and cream and you'll only eat one to be polite and not want another.




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((hugs)) it is never easy to change eating habits. Over the past year I have done the same thing. It was hard at first but now it is pretty second nature. I only buy things that are single ingredient. Another good tip is to go down the spice isle at the store and stock up on them. They will keep your food from tasting bland. Just stay away from the salt. :) You can then take those healthy ingredients and make lots of different things (fresh tomatoes and seasoning simmering makes a yummy marinara sauce).

You also might want to consider cleaning out your cupboards and donating all of your food to the food bank. It will help with temptation to eat things you shouldnt. A fridge filled with only healthy choices will make it much easier to change. (at least it did for our family)



Good Luck!

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Another question. What about protein? He wants me to eat "really, really good protein." I assume that means fish, chicken, some red meats, etc. I want to increase my dried beans to increase protein that way.


Any thing to watch out for in the proteins?? How can I get more protein through vegan type things.

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I use this site and the foodpyramid.org to find out how to buy fresh veggies get reciepes.

My dd has lots of food allergies and can not eat most processed foods so when I was breastfeeding I had to find and come up with other ways to eat. It does get much easier over time and you will feel a difference

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Despite what you have heard about eggs, they are good for us. Buy those from grassfed/freerange chickens. One good breakfast recipe, chop up veggies (asparagus, red/green bell pepper, onions) and saute, then mix in eggs to scramble.


Watch the fruits that you eat initially as some such as bananas are extremely high in sugars. Good ones to start with are berries particularly blueberries, Granny Smith apples, pears.


I did this diet extreme....no/limited carbs, nothing with vinegar, yeast, MSG, any type of sugars (anything ending in "ose") for nine months. Lost a lot of weight and it is true your tastes change.


There are lots of great websites with good recipes and suggestions....I was trying to think of some of the ones that had recipes that I used, but my mind is blank right now...maybe wholeapproach.com.


Its tough at first, but you get used to it.

Good luck.



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Rosie, we rotate through a few standard salads and I've seen yummy looking salads online. I want to hear from a real flesh a blood mom what salads your making and eating that's keeping you happy. Your my inspiration today.


Me? Um...

Standard ingredients are rocket, baby spinach, tomatoes, carrot, lebanese cucumber, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseeds, good olive oil (don't skimp, you want cold pressed, extra virgin and sold in a dark bottle so the light doesn't destroy vitamins) and vinegar. The vinegar varies a bit. Buy good stuff, not supermarket brand! White rice vinegar is nice in summer, a good balsamic is a wonderful thing. Apple balsamic is even better! Then, of course you can do wondrous things with mustard. And mustard oil makes tasty dressing.

Other things may find their way into the salad bowl are the sunflower lettuce thingis I'm growing on the kitchen bench, fresh mint, fresh chives, fresh parsley, spring onions, celery (though I hate celery in my salad!) red capsicum, corn kernels, peas, diced potato, steamed asparagus, steamed green beans, any other kind of bean, tinned peaches (yes, tinned peaches. One of the few foods that hardly loses nutrients through the canning process, so I've read.) avocado, couscous, shredded nori and sprouted things, since I'm learning about them.


The important thing is to try these things. Your tastes will change over the next few months so what is too earthy, too tart or whatever now will become tasty, and you'll find yourself complaining that other things are too sweet or too salty. Try and analyse whether you really don't like something, or if you think you could get used to it, then revist in a few weeks time.


Mm. Tasty.

Rosie- salad addict ;)

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Another question. What about protein? He wants me to eat "really, really good protein." I assume that means fish, chicken, some red meats, etc. I want to increase my dried beans to increase protein that way.


Any thing to watch out for in the proteins?? How can I get more protein through vegan type things.

A complete protein contains ALL of the amino acids in the strand of protein. Beans only contain SOME of those, so it's very important (according to the nutrition textbook we used in college) that you combine beans with nuts, brown rice, corn, potatoes, or whole grains. Beans are "good" protein meaning that they are very good for you, but they are not "complete" protein. The foods I just listed supply the missing amino acids in the protein strand to provide you with a "complete" protein. The body can only process amino acids if it has them all at once, so if you only eat the beans without the nuts or other things I listed, your body will convert the few amino acids it received into fat cells and store them. This is why many vegetarians have extra fatty tissue - they've neglected to combine foods to get a whole protein. Easy rule to follow:

Combine something from list A with something from list B -

A. leafy greens, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, or beans

B. nuts, brown rice, whole grains, corn, or potatoes.

So broccoli with potatoes....nuts with lettuces....soy milk with sandwich on whole grain bread....beans with corn/cornbread/rice....

May I also suggest that if you switch from white to brown rice, that you use the brown basmati rice. . .it's far less chewy and kid-friendly. Another tip: peanuts bought in a bulk bag are great when cooked in with the beans - they complete the protein, add flavor, and aren't that different from the beans when mixed in during cooking.

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Could someone please pass along recipes for whole grains and beans. How do I cook beans???


Lentils are great because you don't have to soak them. Just rinse and cook. Here's my children's favorite recipe for beans. It's easy to prepare & easy to clean-up:



2 1/2 cups dry lentils

2 cups diced potatoes

2 cups sliced carrots

1 diced jalepeno (it really is not a hot dish though)

1 chopped small onion

2 minced cloves garlic

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (which I puree b/c my ds doesn't like tomato pieces, but it's not necessary)

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or 1 Tblsp. dried

1 box organic low-sodium chicken stock

Rinse the lentils and place in stock pot. Boil in salted water (NOT the tsp. listed in the recipe) for 20-25 minutes. While lentils boil, chop the veggies. Drain the lentils and set aside. In hot pot, add some olive oil and sautee all the veggies until the carrots are tender. Then add all the rest of the ingredients and the cooked lentils. You may add a cup of water if it looks too chunky for your family. Simmer for about 10 minutes & serve.

This recipe came from NPR's "How low can you go" recipe search. It costs like $6.00 to feed 8 people and have some left over.

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IMHO....sounds to me like you might want to consult a registered dietician. Someone who is educated on the science of healthy eating and dietary concerns. Just because someone is an MD does not mean they know what they are talking about when it comes to diet. MD's do not spend much time in school learning about nutrition and dietary needs. The diets sounds a little strick and a path to failure. Tried and true is weight watchers. Moderation Moderation. low fat, lean protein, high fiber complex carbs and moderate sugar which is easily found in fruits. sure the more "natural" state a food is in the healther it is but raw...give me a break what next they'll want you to do colonetics? and magnetic therapy?


Start with complex high fiber carbs (whole as opposed to refined) lean proteins (chicken fish, turkey pork beef beans) veggies and fresh fruit. A good place to start is with reading WW books or dr Oz has some good information that is not too wacko restrictive. Start small with making changes and add more each week. No crash cold turkey.


Yes I sound like I am skeptical beucase I am....18 years in healthcare and I come from a family of RD's and MD's.


I would be rather cautious of what you are being asked to undertake in such a drastic manner.

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It sounds to me like your doctor is stressing the quality of the foods that you choose. So if you start looking at it like that, instead of 'restricting' it opens up many more possibilities. Consider that the cultures that are most famous for their delicious foods have been cooking with the guidelines you have been given for hundreds of years...the Italians and Greeks are known for using fresh ingredients, being picky about the quality of their meats and produce, and lots of raw foods...and it tastes great! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Marcella Hazan's cookbooks...she is very inspiring along these lines. :) Good food should taste good.


You can make your own biscuits with unbleached flour or maybe you could eventually experiment with grinding your own flour at home (many of my friends do this...I am not there yet). You can use real butter, meats, veggies, etc. But getting the better quality of meats and eggs is really where you'll find a difference. I have been slowly transitioning, and have discovered that real foods are really WAY more tasty! Slow cooking with lower heat is another trick I've learned...you get the benefits of lower heat and the great taste of well seasoned and tender meats and beans. It's just as quick to mix a roux (equal parts flour, melted butter) and pour in some milk than to open a can of MSG laden 'cream of' soup. Seriously, my husband and kids have said that our food tastes better now...after I got rid of the 'canned'-venience foods.


The first book that helped me understand the food quality issue is called Nourishing Traditions. It's a cookbook that focuses on the quality of the foods (protiens, fats, etc) that we eat. Now, IMHO, when you get on topics like this, most every 'professional' is going to be extremeist in some areas. But I take the information, and apply it practically to my family. I have given my self some leeway, as we don't have known health problems, and I have found it best to tackle one area at a time in my research and diet remodeling.


I would really pick your doctors brain as well, and get some recommended reading from him. You need to understand where he is coming from and what his ideas are. Are his core beliefs about health compatible with yours? Understanding WHY you are changing your diet is a major key to long term success. He should be supportive and helpful in educating you about why you need to change and how. If he's not, then there are plenty of Yahoo groups and websites based around versions of the 'raw food' and 'unprocessed foods' diets. The Gaps diet is one that comes to mind.


Some of the things I did:

~Start with the 'get rid of the worst, and add in the best'...so I have constantly been building knowledge about which things I need to purge (and why) and what things would really benefit us and bring enjoyment. IMO, food is about enjoyment...right?

~Cleaned out my cupboard of all the boxed stuff...anything with hydrogenated or processed fats.

~Cleaned out my spice cupboard of anything that had MSG or hydrolized protiens (another term for MSG)

~Found recipes for making my own spice mixes. I make ranch dressing mix, italian dressing mix, taco mix, chili mix, etc...it keeps the convenience factor for me, and it tastes SO much better than storebought.

~Found recipes and foods that taste good and are convenient for me to make. I try to keep healthy snacks like raw nuts and fruits around all the time.

~I learned how to make my own bread in a bread machine. It was given to me years ago, and I'd never even tried it. It is AWESOME!!! I found a great recipe for homemade bread that stays soft and good for a week at Tammysrecipes.com

~Searched out sources and co-ops where I could buy fresh local foods, grass fed meats, and real milk (that is very carefully monitored and quickly chilled...a farm I really trust).

~Started trying raw honey as a sweetner. I have enjoyed it much more than I thought!

~I now bake with cane juice crystals...a light brown sugar that the minerals haven't been processed out of.

~I threw away vegetable oil and started using Organic Coconut Oil...and I found a recipe for coconut oil fudge that is DIVINE and uses only whole ingredients: organic peanut butter, coconut oil (equal parts), cocoa powder to strenth, and honey to sweetness. Mix well, and refridgerate until firm. It's especially good with cocoa nibs sprinkled on top for crunch and added nutrients!

~learned to make and freeze jars of homemade beef and chicken stock. It's very yummy stuff, and isn't packed with MSG like the canned grocery store broth and cubes.

~Use a rice cooker, slow cooker, my bread machine and my freezer to make homemade as convenient as possible.

~Researched one topic at a time, as I came across it. I take notes as I go, and have a nice notebook of recipes and information building.

~Focus on the foods you enjoy, and work on developing variety in your recipe rotation. If you are used to eating sweets, find ways to treat yourself with healthy things like homemade sorbet, homemade ice cream, frozen berries, smoothies, homemade pancakes with maple syrup, etc. This was a big deal for my family. :)

~Started experimenting with growing and using fresh herbs. The flavors are so wonderful...combining the great flavors of fresh herbs with healthy doses of garlic and onions, and the already good flavor of high quality foods, and you're going to start really enjoying eating what you can have!


Our diet isn't perfect, but I've learned so much by making these changes, and it's fun not to depend on boxed stuff. I know the foods I'm feeding myself and my kids are full of nutrition, and don't have hidden chemicals.


It can be a fun journey! E-mail me if you want recipes...I'm happy to share! :)

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