Hi, I'm going to give the The Superfoods Rx Diet by Stephen Pratt a try. I ordered the book tonight, but I'm wondering if there is anything I need to do until it gets here... I did check out the list of superfoods and their side kicks, so I guess I need to stock up on those.
Any tips for a newbie? Anything that particularly helped you make the transition or stick with it? Anything important that the book doesn't include?
04-17-2009, 01:45 AM
Hmmm, let me think (it was awhile ago ;) I think the most important mental shift for me, was concentrating on what TO eat instead of what NOT to eat. My whole life, my diet had been "no this no this no this." For me, SuperFoods was eat THIS eat THIS eat THIS. I made a game to see how many superfoods I could eat per day (I started before the second book, so there were 14 and sidekicks). Each super food + sidekicks counted as "1" so if I ate tomatoes and watermelon (both good sources of lycopene) that counted as 1 superfood. Carrots + orange pepper - 1 (if that makes any sense). So, that would be 2 for the day, so far (in my game, heh)
I was so busy working in Super Foods that there just wasn't space in the day/meals for other stuff. I didn't even start calorie counting until much later in the process (and really to be sure I was eating enough).
I actually MUCH prefer the first book to the second book, but maybe that was because I read the first book first and the second book is VERY redundant (of course, it adds a bunch more healthy foods like onions and garlic!)
I didn't realize it at the time, but for me, SuperFoods was the doorway into Whole Foods. With the focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the de-emphasis on meat, processed foods, I really started eating fresher foods - processed foods weren't super foods, so out went crackers, chips, pretzels, etc. I also started cooking more.
I also eliminated sugar/white flour - WITHOUT TRYING. I had no goal about sugar, it just wasn't a super food. This...was...huge...for...me. It was a complete accident but...wow, a miracle happened for me. All my life, I had suffered from uncontrolled eating episodes. I thought they were random, but they weren't. They were caused by my particular trigger foods - sugar, empty carbs - particularly foods like crackers, chips, packaged cookies (even "healthy" non fat stuff like SnackWells). I stopped eating them and my cravings...vanished. I still get the occasional "mmm pizza" or "wow, a hamburger would be great" but the difference for me has been night and day. I know what it's like to be normal, to have a plan for what to eat for the day, and just eat that. I don't wander into the kitchen and rummage through the frig/cabinets aimlessly anymore.
Sorry if I'm projecting too much of my own journey, I still feel like the day I picked up that book at Barnes & Noble was an amazing, life altering day. I knew, right away, what to do, how I would do it and that it would work. Instead of diets I started "on Mondays" that never came, I started that second.
My plan definitely morphed and changed, I tweaked. I started out eating Yoplait 100 calorie yogurts, I switched to organic non fat yogurt, for example. My journey became more about health (still about weight loss, but really focused on doing right for my body). I added portion control (measuring cups, food scale), calorie counting (Fitday!) and putting a name to what I did a lot of the time (volumetrics - huge pile of broccoli, big stir fry with tons of veggies, etc).
I do think it's important to change a plan to work for you. Read the book, pick out what you like, what would work for you, ditch the rest. This is just about YOU.
04-17-2009, 08:07 AM
Thanks Glory. That's especially good info about the sugar, because I have a real problem with junk food. I think this will be a good plan for me, because ultimately this is about health for me. I don't have any health problems, and I'm trying to get all this weight off before I get any! I don't want to just count calories, I want my food to be as beneficial as it can. I hope I can transition well, and stick with it. I've been really trying since December to lose weight, and I'm having a really hard time being consistent.
04-17-2009, 10:49 AM
I don't know if this is encouraging or scary - but I don't eat any junk food at all anymore and I don't miss it. I mean, I still have good tasting things - last night I had 100 calories worth of dark chocolate salted almonds, but I have found the foods that trigger me (cold cereal, crackers - even Saltines! - pretzels, chips, packaged baked goods - like Girl Scout Cookies) and avoid them.
I started in July 2004. On August 14, my dear friend made me a birthday cake - I had been "perfectly on plan" and didn't want it (didn't ask for it!) but I ate one piece (and refused to take the rest home - I gave it away to people at work). I ate the cake, it was delicious and when I was done, I immediately thought "I would really like another piece of cake." It was at that moment that I realized my issue with sugar. To eat a piece of cake, and then want more cake (and I am the same with any of my triggers) - I finally GOT it, but it took about a month of cutting out sugar to open my eyes. Like I said, I hadn't done it on purpose, but it was mind blowing (to me) when I finally understood what was going on with me. I didn't have a problem with food, I had a problem with SOME foods.
Now that I'm maintaining, I have slowly re-introduced "treat" foods, but it's all very controlled. Like after dinner on Sunday, we went to Maggie Moo's and I had a kiddie size of dark chocolate ice cream. This was perfectly doable, once the ice cream was gone, it was gone. Now, a tub of ice cream in the house would be different. 1) I don't have any adorable little kiddie sized fluted cups that make a tiny portion look generous (although I could get some, but I hope that makes sense 2) I could go back for more.
Anytime, I can "go back for more" I try just not to start in the first place. It is sooo much easier for me to avoid the first taste than the second taste.
The other big change - my tongue got rewired. Natural foods, like mangos or baked sweet potatoes (when you leave them in long enough, the sugar in the skin caramelizes and it's sooo good) taste wonderful. I don't have to add sugar to strawberries anymore, I can drink green tea plain.
A lot of people on this board are very successful with an "all things in moderation" approach. I'm wistfully jealous - because for me, it's just better to not eat some foods. I might like the way Wheat Thins taste, but I don't like how Wheat Thins make me feel - I would rather just not eat a Wheat Thin than to have the great urge to eat 100 Wheat Thins (just using Wheat Thins as an example, I could have used any of the foods that make me want to shove food into my mouth).
Sometimes, I also get "carb crashes" a couple of hours after I eat something like that. Super super ravenous hungry, my stomach feels...hollow, like it can't be filled. Ugh, I hate that!
Sorry - posted too much again :)
04-17-2009, 01:30 PM
My trigger foods are fast food, sweets, and chips. Borderline foods are crackers, fried foods, cereal. Foods I can go overboard with are nuts and butter.
What's really weird is that my trigger foods I honestly don't even like. If I'm eating candy or cookies I always want more before and after I take a bite but while I'm actually chewing, it's just too sweet for me. Chips are too salty, fast food tastes a bit bitter-- the old oil I think. Yet I still crave that stuff. I know that makes no sense.
I think ultimately I'm hoping to be able to get that stuff out of my diet without feeling deprived (deprived of gross food that's bad for me :lol:) Much like an alcoholic can celebrate New Year's Eve without caring that she can't drink.
04-17-2009, 02:04 PM
I could second most everything Glory says. I don't worry anymore about counting superfoods or following his suggestions exactly, because most everything I eat is now wholefoods and it's natural to me now. But that book was conceptually the trigger for me to. It made it all become something I was doing *for* my body instead of something I was taking away. It made my food choices an adventure and a pleasure. Also, the focus on what I *do* eat, instead of on what I don't eat, was the start to ending negative ideas about food.