3.5.12 Slim Fast

Tofu2 790 xxx
photo by gluttonforlife
Last week's visit to my nutritionist was extremely edifying. Sally is such a font of wisdom and information, I always come away feeling energized, newly motivated and armed with a plan. I brought a food log that chronicled every morsel I had ingested for the week prior and we discussed my ongoing uphill battle with my weight, as well as with a general malaise that I could describe only as "a loss of faith." Sally advised me on food, supplements, exercise and meditation, and then she practiced iridology. This is similar to reflexology, in which the feet are held to contain a blueprint of the body, except for the blueprint is in the irises. It's truly amazing what can be discerned through this ancient practice. Sally also uses kinesiology to gauge food sensitivities and supplement doses. If you have no idea what I am talking about or think this all sounds nuts, I recommend you check out Sally's book, Vibrant Living, and her series of DVDs, which fully explain her holistic approach to health and wellness.
I have been seeing Sally a couple times a year since 1999, and she has helped me enormously with various issues at different times. She introduced me to juicing and to vital supplements like vitamin D, calcium, fish oil and digestive enzymes, and I believe this has helped me maintain my health and balance through many physical and emotional changes, including the deaths of both my husband and my mother in 2003. I have also gone through menopause with very few, if any, symptoms...other than some extra pounds. And I'm working on that.Sally said that overall my diet was full of good quality food (no surprise there) but she did suggest a few tweaks and told me I could be eating smaller portions. I have been hesitant to do any fasting or reduce my intake drastically because my other guru, Christiane Northrup, warns that this can screw up your metabolism, making it possible to maintain your weight on only 1,000 calories a day! But Sally explained that as long as you eat frequently enough, your metabolism has plenty to go on. She also reminded me that certain foods need to be eaten together in order to be properly digested. And she put me on this thyroid supplement.Here are some of my takeaways that you might find relevant or helpful:FOODBreakfast options - 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup berries + 2 tablespoons ground flax seed; 2 whole eggs + vegetables; a smoothie made with coconut water + protein powder + berriesSnacks - vegetable juice; fruit; fruit + cheese; hummus + raw vegetables; nut butter + celery or appleMeals - salad or cooked vegetables + protein; turkey burger + avocado + tomato + cucumber; 3/4 brown rice + 1/4 cup lentils + 1-2 cups vegetablesWhat's important to notice here is how proteins (and grains, if there are any) are always eaten with fibrous and alkaline fruits and vegetables, which really help your body process them properly. Sally recommends eating single proteins, so not consuming multiple meats and cheeses. She also says that if you eat meat, do it with lots of vegetables, never starch. (So long, pasta Bolognese!)I suppose this regimen could sound horribly Draconian and dull but it hasn't been bad and, remember, I am trying to drop some pounds. I haven't been 100% strict—I enjoyed a scoop of sorbet after dinner on Saturday, and I included a little goat cheese in my eggs yesterday morning. But when I made paella, I didn't eat the rice, and I've had no alcohol or flours of any sort.Beyond the diet, I've been doing about 20-30 minutes of meditation every day to help clear my mind and calm my nervous system. I enjoy the guided meditations on yogaglo (an online studio with great teachers and classes), especially those with the super-mellow and thoughtful Harshada Wagner.And, perhaps most importantly of all, I am doing my best to get an hour of vigorous exercise every day, whether it's hiking, biking, weight training or a kenpo video. After reading this article in the Times, I realized yet again what a hugely crucial role exercise plays in keeping fit—body and mind.I'll leave you with another option for breakfast, a spicy scramble of tofu and vegetables that is probably not something you think of outside the context of some hippie restaurant, but which is actually quite delicious. Free your mind and the rest will follow...

Mad Scramble

suggested vegetables: fennel, squash, tomatoes, beans, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes
suggested greens: chard, spinach, kale, mustard, lettuce
  • sesame seeds or sunflower seeds
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced vegetables and sliced greens
  • ground turmeric, coriander and cumin
  • minced ginger
  • minced onion or shallot
  • minced garlic
  • ghee or olive oil
  • extra firm tofu, drained
  • sea salt

Blot the tofu with paper towels and cut into 1/2" cubes. Heat some ghee or oil in a large skillet and saute the onion or shallot and garlic until golden, then add garlic, ginger and spices. Saute until fragrant, then add diced vegetables and greens and cook until tender. Add tofu and mix well, cooking until flavors are blended and tofu is hot. Plate and garnish with cilantro, a sprinkling of seeds and some sea salt.

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Congratulations - you are now my drug dealer - I'm going to try that thyroid supplement. I already put powdered ho shou wu (aka fo-ti root) in smoothies and it's listed as an ingredient in those capsules. RE: turmeric...the Berkshire Coop in Great Barrington has been stocking it FRESH in their produce department (I couldn't even find it fresh at Kalustyan's!). I make my own version of this: http://tumericalive.com/about-us/ with it and quintuple the amount of turmeric. Stains every damn thing in sight - my kitchen counters look like they've converted to Buddhism! Thanks, as always, for your delicious elucidation.
amie valentine on March 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm —
Hello again...you mentioned several things in this post that converged for me: the death of your mother (I lost mine in 2003 as well), calming the nervous system, and keeping weight off. Have you ever heard of Amolo tea? It has lovely packaging, and a lovely Ayurvedic description: the name derives from the Sanskrit word for "mother" and... "for children who have lost their mother, it is said to fill them with the sense that their mother is there." Beautiful, yes? It is also calming and is known for its powerful weight loss properties. I just read about it this weekend and found it for sale on Amazon and on some online superfood stores. XO
amie valentine on March 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm —
Laura love, I have been hearing rave reviews about Sally for years through one of my clients. The synchronicity at play has made it clear that I must call her and schedule an appt. the next time she visits LA. Uncanny...
Carrie on March 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm —
Ha! So funny, as I was in Great Barrington on Friday and saw they had fresh turmeric at Guido's! I do often see it at Kalustyan's though, and have permanently stained many a tea towel and cutting board. However, Sally says it is best ingested in capsule form. Something about how it enters the system, as well as the quantity you need to ingest for it to be effective (although it sounds like you're getting plenty!)
laura on March 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm —
I will get some of that tea, Amie. Thanks for letting me know. Hope our paths cross one of these days. xo
laura on March 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm —
She is amazing and I think you will get a lot from her. xoxo
laura on March 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm —
Laura I had an iridology session about 25 years ago when i was macrobiotic with Ronen (who was my husband at the time) I just listened recently to my iridology tapes and the iridologist literally predicted my entire future...including my divorce!.it's mind boggling!!!
Rebecca on March 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm —
Wow, that's pretty amazing, Rebecca! Sally has told me things about myself that I haven't actually realized until she articulates them. Of course it's an undervalued technique that is totally pooh-poohed by traditional doctors...
laura on March 6, 2012 at 3:10 am —
Great Post Laura! Just wondering if Sally has anything to say about fish? I didn't see it mentioned in your new regime. I've been taking turmeric in capsules for years for it's anti-inflammatory properties. Here's a list of other things it combats: http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html Also wondering if Sally can recommend an iridologist in Portland??? XO
suzinn on March 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm —
Where I list "protein," that means lean meats, tofu, combination of rice and lentils or, of course, fish. Sally is an advocate, especially of wild-caught salmon and small whole fish like sardines, mackerel. As always, watch your intake of large ocean fish (toxicity issues) and try to avoid what's endangered. Why don't you send Sally an email through her website to ask about a recommendation in Portland? xo
laura on March 8, 2012 at 3:09 am —