Making the change to a healthy eating style

I got great news last night.  I’m incredibly healthy!  In February of this year, I changed my eating habits to dramatically reduce fats and processed foods.  Sixty days ago, I got tested with the Pharmanex® BioPhotonic Scanner.  The scanner is the only non-invasive device that claims to measure carotenoid levels in human tissue at the skin surface using optical signals. Carotenoids are members of the antioxidant family.

The signals generated from the scanning process identify the unique molecular structure of carotenoids, allowing their measurement without interference by other molecular substances and providing the person being measured with a Skin Carotenoid Score (SCS).    The technology of the biophotonic SCANNER is based on an optical method known as Resonance Raman Spectroscopy. This technology has been used for many years in Research Laboratories and more recently for carotenoid investigations in biological systems.

My “score” was 51,000.  This was much higher than everyone else’s, whose scores ranged from 12,000 to 15,000.  That let me know that by eating more fruits and vegetables, and less meat, fats and processed food, I was getting better nutrition.  I also during this time was taking Young Living’s Essentialzyme (3 caplets 3x day to enhance absorption of nutrients) and Detoxzyme (2 capsules 3x day as a digestive enzyme) as well as a Centrum Silver tablet every day.

When I saw what a high score I already had, I was excited to try the Pharmanex Lifepak Nano, which is basically 7 vitamin capsules you take twice a day, and a month’s supply is $107.   Since these 7 capules contained at least what the Centrum Silver contained, I stopped taking the Centrum and began taking the Lifepak Nano.  I did nothing else differently, my diet was the same, exercise was the same, stress level was the same.

So last night I got rescanned after 60 days taking the supplements, and my score went from 51,000 to 63,000.  Yay!  So many people ask me what my diet is now, so I’m sharing that here.  It evolved gradually over the past year, with the big change in February after my last hospital stay.  Here is my secret:

First, what I do not eat: Fried anything, beef, butter, mayo, sausage, hot dogs, processed meats, cookies, crackers, chips, cakes, pies, pastries, chocolate, sweets, ice cream, no caffeine, no nuts, no soda, no diet drinks, no carbonation, no alcohol.

So what do I eat??? I may eat cheese once or twice a month and an egg a few times a month.  I eat shrimp maybe once a week and fish once a week.  Once a month or so I may eat some pork in a wonton soup.  My meat and fish portions are 2-3 ounces, or 4 shrimp.  I may eat tofu once a week as a protein source.

I eat turkey maybe 3 meals a week, mostly in the form of turkey sandwiches from Subway.  No mayo, no cheese.  Mustard has no fat.  Each 6″ sub is about 300 calories and 5 grams of fat.

I don’t count calories but I keep my fat grams to 20-30 per day.  A tablespoon of oil has 18-20 grams of fat.  I do about 1200-1500 calories a day, but if I watch the fat grams, the calories stay low by themselves. I don’t like sweets or alcohol, so I don’t miss them and don’t hafta count their calories.

In the morning, I may make a smoothie using Vanilla Spirutein protein powder added to orange juice with ice for an Orange Julius type drink, or I may mix the Vanilla Spirutein with nonfat dry milk, instant decaf coffee, cinnamon and ice for a morning frappuccino.  I don’t drink coffee anymore except in this drink.  As a coffee substitute, I have used Postum (coffee flavored) for years and I like it.

About midmorning I may eat a banana or a handful (5) of dates or calymyrna figs *yum*  For lunch, lately I have two favorite places:  One is Mid Eastern Aromas on Babcock St by FlaTech, above the Mighty Mushroom Pizzeria.  I’ll have a Mediterrean Salad and a vegetarian (eggplant with veggies) sandwich rolled up in flatbread.  There is about a tablespoon of olive oil in that meal.

My next favorite place is Asian Gourmet on US1 and Ballard, next to Nature Works.  I’ll have a giant bowl of soup with rice noodles and I may get shrimp in the soup, or no carcass at all, or tofu.  Their Spicy Noodle Soup is basically a tom yum soup and has mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, lemon grass, lime.  I love this soup and eat it with chopsticks.  That’s one of my delay tactics to keep me from eating too fast and too much *hehe* The broth is delicious and it’s fun eating with chopsticks.  (I like eating salad with chopsticks also.)  I may also get one of their summer rolls, which is like a not-fried eggroll, but is fresh veggies and herbs wrapped in rice parchment paper.  They serve it with a homemade peanut sauce, which I do not eat.  Although they are high in fat, nuts are good for you but right now I am not attracted to eating them.

I also go to the Pho Cali Vietnamese Rice Noodle restaurant for their soup and summer rolls.  About once a month I go to Texas Roadhouse and have grilled chicken with a plain baked potato and a ceasar salad with the dressing on the side.  I dip about every 3rd leaf in the dressing 🙂  I might have a virgin bloody mary for an appetizer.

At home for dinner I may make some rice and beans, which is a favorite protein and fiber source for me, and I may wrap it in a fat free burrito.  If it is the end of the day and I haven’t had enough fat grams or protein, I may add some cheddar cheese.  Doing less than 30g of fat a day will cause nerve ending problems, so I make it up at night if I missed it during the day.  That cracks me up.  Now I hafta remind myself to eat enough fat – what a riot.

I eat a giant chopped salad every night.  Or for dinner I might eat a 6″ turkey sub with my salad.  Or some pasta with fresh veggies and fish, or maybe the vegetarian meatballs I get in the Publix produce section, or a lean cuisine meal with less than 6g of fat.

Oh, that’s another thing.  Since I’m wanting to get the most nutrition from my food, I have stopped using the microwave.  I now thaw the Lean Cuisine meals and heat them on the stove.  Sheesh, I have changed almost everything about my eating habits in the last year.  As I write this, I realize how enormous a change this was.  I’m glad I did it step by step and little by little.  If someone told me ahead of time that I’d have to make these changes, I would have freaked right out and been overwhelmed with it all.  But, as Abraham says, we can eat an elephant one bite at a time 🙂

2007 update: I used the Lifepak Nano vitamins for 6 months before reverting back to Centrum Silver, then later began using the Rainbow Light Women’s One Multivitamin/Mineral tablets as a daily vitamin.  Further research suggested to me that the BioPhotonic Scanner was not measuring exactly what it claimed to measure.  Their vitamins were good but I felt they were way overpriced and not necessarily so.

For me, the key was not only eating a healthy diet, but taking digestive enzymes so that what I ate could be assimilated by my system.  Now the digestive enzymes I take with each meal are the Twinlab Pancreatin and the Rainbow Light Plant-Source Advanced Enzyme Vegetarian Capsules.

2009 update: Although I eat less meat now than I did when I wrote the above, I still take the Rainbow Light Women’s One Multivitamin/Mineral tablets every day and the Twinlab Pancreatin and the Rainbow Light Plant-Source Advanced Enzyme Vegetarian Capsules My health has stayed tip top, my levels are still high and I have had no problems for years.  Keeping my fat grams at 50 or less per day has kept my weight consistent for 3 years with zero effort.

2010 update: I now eat chicken and turkey every few days and my fat grams are sometimes 60 grams a day.  I still have no health problems and dropped 8 pounds this year without trying.

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