I’m linking up again with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.
I’m feeling uninspired as I menu plan for the week ahead. None of my go-to recipes sounds good right now (except this super-easy pumpkin soup–it’s delicious!). I don’t feel like cooking, so new recipes aren’t inspiring me. Part of my funk, I think, is due to the never-ending battle we’re having with Girl 1 over food.
So maybe today is a good day to give some background on our following the Perfect Health Diet (PHD). PHD is a moderate-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein diet. It eliminates all grains (except rice), legumes, sugar, and most common vegetable oils other than olive oil. It is basically a “paleo” diet except that it includes “safe starches” like rice and potato; it also includes some dairy.
PHD really takes everything you thought you knew about nutrition and turns it on its head. Gone is the low-fat, grain-heavy food pyramid we’ve all been taught for years. Instead, the PHD gives us an apple:
I am the last person in the world to try an eating plan like this. I like things by the book. I’m not “crunchy.” I take a skeptical view to anything off the beaten path. However, the explanations the authors give in the book are persuasive. For instance (and I hope I’m recalling this correctly), they explain that most carbohydrates are broken down into saturated fat by our intestines; thus, saturated fats are not the big evil that they are made out to be. Fascinating.
Within the past few months, I felt a need for a change. The last 15 pounds of weight from my pregnancy with Girl 2 were still clinging to me (like stink on, well, you know). I was no longer breastfeeding so I couldn’t count on that to burn up excess calories. And simply trying to eat less of my “regular” food just wasn’t working. I tried counting calories but I couldn’t keep them low enough to lose weight.
Moreover, my food cravings were out of control, especially at night and especially for sugar. One night not too long ago I sat in bed eating a hunk of French bread and a huge glob of Nutella. It filled a whole cereal bowl. Feeling pretty disgusted with myself, I got out of bed, brought my bowl to the kitchen and . . . filled it with more bread and Nutella.
Time for a change.
I remembered Jennifer Fulwiler writing on her blog about her “saint diet” (inspired in part by the PHD) and the food addiction that led her to it. In a guest post on another blog she recounts standing in a buffet line and being fixated on getting to the fettuccine alfredo so much that she was unable to focus on anything else . . . even though she wasn’t hungry. That really struck a chord with me because I’ve been in that situation over and over again.
So, I decided to give the Perfect Health Diet a try, and Pat volunteered to do it with me. I still take a skeptical view and I can’t say I understand it entirely. However, the mainstream cut-calories-cut-fat-eat-whole-grains-and-lean-meat routine just wasn’t doing it for me, so I figured I didn’t have anything to lose.
Pat and I have resolved to give the PHD a year. We certainly don’t follow it to the letter yet, but we’re trying to improve. After a year we’ll see how we feel and see how our cholesterol, thyroid levels, etc. are doing and we’ll reassess. Both our cholesterol levels are good now but could be better (his HDL is slightly low; my LDL is slightly high). My thyroid levels are normal going by the official guidelines but I suspect they are not quite right. (The PHD authors say that we would be healthier with TSH levels much lower than what is commonly considered “normal.”)
Okay, here’s the menu for the rest of the week:
- Breakfasts: Whole-milk yogurt with frozen fruit, Paleo pancakes (by the way make sure to make these with ripe bananas; if your bananas are the least bit green the pancakes are yucky), Pineapple smoothie
- Lunches: Leftovers, cold-cut “sandwiches” wrapped in lettuce
- Snacks: Cheese sticks, pistachios, fruit
That’s all folks! Have a delicious week!