Understanding how food works in my body was the reason why I decided to go vegan over 2 yrs ago. I actually went "cold turkey" or "cold Tofurkey" :) without even thinking twice about what I was commiting myself to.
Back when I first started this journey that was my prayer. I asked God to show me how food reacts in our body. I guess I like being scared into change. :)
So the other day I learned about processed food and sugar. We always hear how they hinder weight loss and how they are not healthy but WHY? Why are they unhealthy and how do they keep us from achieving our weight loss and fitness goals.
Here is what I found out:
The TRUTH About Sugar!
SUGAR!!!!!!! Yep, many of us love this powdery white substance. We actually crave it and shake like addicts until it hits our lips. This pesky little substance in all it's forms can be very harmful to the body. Not only does it hinder weight loss but it also tampers with your blood sugar and wrecks havoc on your immune system.
While artificial sweetners are the worst even natural sweetners can be detrimental to your weight loss and health goals. Having consistently high blood sugar over a long period of time can cause several medical problems including damage to blood vessels which can lead to poor circulation and amputation. It may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. There is also danger of kidney disease, blindness and nerve damage.
High blood sugar levels stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. These rapid fluctuations of blood-sugar levels are not healthy because of the stress they place on the body.
The raise the insulin levels, inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn also depresses the immune system. This is not something you want to take place if you want to avoid disease.
The surge in insulin also triggers your body to store fat and also drops your sugar and insulin levels below normal. This decrease causes your energy level to drop, makes you hungry and also makes you crave more sugar. That is not an equation for weight loss!
The Truth About Processed Foods!
Processed foods are loaded with sugar and chemicals which are harmful to your body and will hinder your weight loss. If you can't understand the ingredients neither can your body. The liver is responsible for breaking down fat and filtering out harmful substances. It can't effectively do both at the same time.
If you are eating harmful ingredients.....you are not breaking down fat. It's that simple. So avoid all processed foods. YES! Even those that are labeled as "health" foods. Try to eat things with one ingredient...FOOD! Your body will recognize it and use it to fuel, replenish, rebuild and sustain itself. You will also allow the liver to effeciently break down that unwanted fat.
I realized that I get a headache and my tummy swells when I eat gluten. So I figured I might have a gluten sensitivity. I decided to also stay away from gluten and only eat grains like quinoa and amaranth. I am also avoiding brown rice.
Since I am avoiding processed foods I am also avoiding processed soy products. That means no tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy ice cream or any other processed meat or cheese alternative. I do still include unsweetened almond milk in my diet during breakfast.
I have also finally convinced myself that I need to eat a lot more. Not just for weight loss but to stabilize my blood sugar, rev up my metabolism, refuel my body, rebuild my muscles and balance my hormones. Eating to be skinny is not my goal. I want a healthy, lean and active body so I know it requires more calories.
Another thing I decided to do was stop eating all bread and pasta. I also do not eat any carbs for dinner. The last carb (other than beans) I eat is during my pre-workout meal. Since carbs are used for energy I don't need them late at night. Any unused carbs are stored as fat on the body so I don't want that. I stick to protein and veggies at night. :)
So as you can see I have pretty much cleaned up my diet big time. I have noticed that although I have only been eating this way for about 1 week I feel much better. I also feel like I lost some weight. :) I am not going to weight myself until I have completed 3 weeks of eating this way. So I will update my progress on August 13th.
Here are some pics of what I have been eating:
Breakfast: quinoa w/ unsweetened almond milk and banana, a few strawberries and cherries.
Lunch: spinach and arugula w/ white beans, broccoli slaw, avocado, dressed with salsa and apple cidar vinegar, and a small sweet potato.
Thanks for checking in. See you soon!