Wednesday, February 24, 2010

TV is making me think

Last night I got a chance to catch the latest episode of Ruby- On Demand is a wonderful way to catch up on what you miss when life happens ! For those who are unfamiliar with the show, it is a reality show about a 500+ pound woman on her journey to archive a healthy weight. It is on the Style network, and you can find viewing times in your area here. You have to love Ruby- she is so open an honest, and you just want her to win her battle !

In this episode it talked about emotional heating. Ruby has currently lost almost 200 lbs , and was now about to lose one of her dogs. Her dogs have become like her children, and the loss of one leaves a huge hole in your heart, mind and soul. Ruby's way of coping with such stress in the past was through food- a common coping mechanism with many overweight people. To help her avoid this behavior she spoke with a counselor who specialized in eating disorders. She went on to explain that eating disorders are no different than alcoholism, drug addiction or smoking, and suddenly light bulbs went off in my head.

Addictions are ALL biochemical based. A behavior starts the action because of a chemical condition in the body caused by an event. Did you know that all of our emotional states have a chemical basis ? Maybe I am saying this wrong- our emotional state causes a specific chemical state to happen in our bodies. Addictive behaviors happen when our bodies become dependent upon a chemical state created through certain actions( alcohol, rugs, eating specific foods, gambling, shopping, sex and so forth). What if , in the case of overweight people, the root cause of the behavior is poor nutrition ? What if the state of the average diet causes the body to become imbalanced enough that when an emotional blow happens ( and it can be something as simple sounding as dealing with commuter traffic, sleepless nights or unkind words sent your way) that our bodies start demanding certain chemical conditions in order to cope ? Perhaps large quantities of fats and unrefined carbs press the body into the increase production of dopamine or other chemicals and we are able to become numb to the stress ? It makes infinate sense to me. And it also adds to the argument that we MUST eat nutrient dense foods instead of simply focusing on calories. Our biochemical reactions do not run on numbers, but instead nutrients like vitamins, minerals and so on. Why focus on the former when you really need the latter ?

I think I did just that again yesterday. I will present the following- Breakfast !

Rolled oats cooked with apple, pear, raisins, blueberries, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Cooking with dried fruit makes it just sweet tasting enough to avoid the sugar bowl in any form!

Lunch was home made minestrone surprise soup (with kale and baby portabello mushrooms) and grapes

Minestrone Surprise

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped fine
6 medium sized cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced (to yield about 1/2 cup)
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces (to yield about 1 cup)
1-½ cups finely chopped kale
½ cup diced portabello mushrooms,
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 TBS dried Italian herbs
1 15 oz can navy beans, drained
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Prepare ingredients by chopping and measuring.
2. Heat 1 TBS broth in medium soup pot. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
3. Add broth and rest of ingredients except beans and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce heat to low and continue cooking, uncovered for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Add beans, cook for another couple minutes, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Dinner was half do ahead and half super simple- Turkey Burgers and Raisin Coleslaw

Turkey Burgers

1 lb ground beef
1 10 oz pak frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed till dry
2 T dried onion
1/4 c bread crumbs
1 T soy sauce

Form into patties , place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 40 minutes

Raisin Slaw

1/2 head cabbage, grated
1 apple, grated
2 carrots, grated
1 raw beet, grated

1/2 c raisins
1/2 c apple juice
1/2c baked potato, skin removed
1 t mustard
1 T lemon juice

Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and process on high till liquid and smooth . Toss over grated ingredients. Store covered in refrigerator a few hours before serving.


Kristina said...

I love Ruby. She has new episodes on sunday nights now. She is trying to dig up her childhood and find out what happened to make her forget it. She has also just joined a 12 step and is finally learning that she is a compulsive overeater.....amazing that we dont realize those things when we weigh what we do.

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

I just watched Ruby, one of the new episodes where she is trying to find her memories. It is so touching and I love how honest she is.

Minestrone soup is one of my personal favorites.