I have been exploring my relationship with food, fuel, nutrition and health for a good part of my life. At some times I have embraced the labels of “foodie” and “wine brat” other times “vegetarian” and “health nut”. As I am growing older, I’ve discovered that all fuel is not the same, sometimes I feel energized by what I eat, other times sluggish and exhausted. It is a trial by error kind of process. I gave up caffiene (and ergo coffee) 18 months ago, when I discovered that I could barely walk the 1/2 mile return trip home after a coffee run. My energy stabalized for awhile after that change, I don’t miss the addiction and frankly, my wallet enjoys not paying $2.50 a day for Starbucks.
Recently, my struggle has been wheat and protein. I would love to give up meat again, but finding a protein that fuels me as well and sustains me for any period of time is difficult. Wheat is a love/hate thing, I love the taste of a fresh, well baked baguette, but hate the next day’s results: a spare tire of puff around my middle. I am also concerned that dairy will be next on my hit list of foods that I have to give up, I’ve noticed some sensitivity even while I still enjoy a big cup of skim milk with my homemade granola.
So, with all that in mind, I am exploring Alive vs. Dead foods. I am hoping this will help me resolve some of these dietary struggles. Two books I am reading: Fit for Life, Not Fat for Life (Harvey Diamond) – his ideas has been around at least since the “80’s. You Are What You Eat (Dr. Gillian McKeith) is newer, based on a TV show I haven’t seen (UK based) and both give the same advice: 50% alive foods, no more than 50% dead foods (heated over 118 degrees). This is expanded with the guidance to eat fruit in the morning hours, alone. And to avoid eating both a carb and a protein in the same meal. This allows the stomach to operate at full efficiency and conserve energy used in the digestion process.
I am taking baby steps toward this shift in fueling, yesterday was fruit until noon, but by 11:30 I was downing a dried fruit and nut bar because I was feeling dizzy and craving some protein. I ordered a grilled shrimp (dead) and fresh salad (alive) but had foccacio bread (dead) and roasted tomatos (dead), shrimp bisque (dead) and wine (alive?) for dinner. So maybe I made it to 40% alive yesterday?
Today my intake of alive was not even that high, and illustrates a challenge for me in terms of how pervasive cooked foods are in my day to day. I will have to plan better and make more changes in my dining and fueling lifestyle. After all, this is a work in progress!