Like many people, I’ve spent the last few years avoiding bread and other carb-heavy or high glycemic-index foods. This year however, other health issues presented themselves that put my focus more on wellness and disease prevention rather than just losing weight. Those issues also remind me that my family history is something I need to really pay attention to as I am getting older. One side of the family is laden with breast cancer victims while the other side of the family has heart disease as the prevailing cause of illness and death. Being 41, I cannot ignore either issue. *tick*tock*
Dietary fiber has long been believed to be extremely valuable in the fight against many cancers as well as heart disease, and I never intended to avoid it for so long. It just kind of happened. I really chose South Beach again because its final “maintenance” phase is pretty damned healthy with whole grains, fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Having to avoid the whole grains while on the road to maintenance is the problem for me.
So in the last six months or so, I’ve gone off the weight loss phase South Beach and have been enjoying fruits, vegetables and, almost exclusively, carbohydrates in the form of whole grains. I haven’t had a weight gain as a result, as the weight I’ve gained happened before I added them back in.
It has been an insane couple of months, heading into and enjoying all the wonderful fruits available during summer. My palate has completely changed, and many things that I enjoyed while on the low-GI diet I cannot stand after eating foods that are sweetened by nature. Heading into fall I’m saddened by the pathetic state of the fruit department but excited to try new dishes with fall produce offerings.
For the sake of weight loss history, I attempted to review posts I’d written in a “community weight loss support group” that was started in January of 2008 but that died off shortly thereafter. I continued to use the site as my weight loss blog site until I got sick last fall. Sadly, the blogs I wrote during this time are lost due to a change at Ning that led to it being available only by paid subscription and I am unable to do so with my permissions. I am therefore unable to retrieve the information that I posted there on what I was doing, both in nutrition and exercise. Bummer, but such is life. I was able to gather what is essentially a near monthly weigh-in record dating back to January 2008. In examining the fluctuation, I really didn’t do that much better on South Beach than in traditional “eat fewer calories and exercise more” tactics.
While I truly feel better eating only low carbohydrate/glycemic index foods, I will not go back to eating that way again. And I am having too great a time altering recipes to my whole grain preferences. It may take me longer to lose the weight that I have gained back since my illness started, but I will make that sacrifice for an improvement in my overall health. Looks aren’t everything, after all, and we’re only given one body to carry us through this life. So we’d best take good care of it. *tick*tock*
Here are a few informative links to explain some of the wellness steps we’re taking. (Yes, there is controversy on some of these as to whether or not you get cancer prevention benefits. Since the foods are beneficial in other ways, I’m going to continue eating them.)
- Daily recommended amount of fiber for cancer prevention/heart health: 25 grams, preferably from whole grains. The American Heart Association has clearly written guidance and how to tell if what you’re buying fits the bill.
- Vitamin D deficiency as a possible risk factor for cancers (in addition to osteoporosis) – I take extra supplements because of my deficiency, hopefully gone now.
- Healthy cooking oils – I typically use olive oil when I want that flavor boost, and canola oil for everything else.
Keep in mind that nearly every health regimen or recommendation for wellness includes a minimum of 30 minutes a day of exercise. Many claim that it does not have to be done in one 30 minute session, either. Breaking it up into smaller sessions work, just get moving.