Sunday, August 21, 2005

Can someone give me tips on improving my current diet?

I am 16 years old, and I am a vegetarian. I am a sophomore, so I go to school. I always feel as if I am exhausted and too stressed out. I am so busy with schoolwork that I feel I don't have time to eat.

I drink as much water as I can throughout the day. The only other beverage I consume is sugarfree lemonade. I'll give you my typical daily diet, and if you can give me some pointers on how to improve it, I would much appreciate your help.

2 scrambled eggs with bell peppers and broccoli
an apple or banana
chocolate soymilk


oatmeal and an apple or banana

LUNCH at school:
every day I have ONE slice of cheese pizza on whole grain crust
a side salad (iceburg or spinach leaves with fat free ranch dressing and sometimes croutons)
raw vegetables- carrots, broccoli, or celery (whatever is offered)
fresh fruit
sometimes there are steamed vegetables as well, which i get when offered (except corn)

during the day i always snack on almonds (not salted) or pretzels.

As soon as I get home, I feel deprived. I search my kitchen for food. Since I am busy, I stick to a PBJ on whole wheat bread or raisin bran cereal with 1% milk (my parents don't allow skim milk, so please don't suggest that)

Dinner varies substantially. I never skip my vegetables, for sure. I often find myself grabbing Morningstar vegetarian burgers or soy chicken. Lots of vegetables, and on whole grain bread.

I snack again in the evening. Veggies, raisins, almonds.

I don't know if I am consuming TOO MANY calories, but I don't consume junk food at all. I am really desperate to improve my diet. I hope I'm not eating all wrong. I try and do the right thing--cut out junk food, drink lots of water, don't skip breakfast, don't forget vegetables, and keep sugar and saturated fat out of the diet. Can somebody please help me?

Answer on Can someone give me tips on improving my current diet?

I'm not much of a fan of soy products, they are created with genetically modified soy & there are concerns they effect thyroid health. I would recommend if you are doing to drink milk to use full fat whole milk instead of low fat milk. The fat in dairy provides massive health benefits - full fat yogurt is a much better option.

I would suggest 2 weeks of a diet of eggs, avocados, cheese, yogurt, coconut milk, coconut oil, lots of butter, full fat ranch, chia seeds, raw sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, nuts, lots of vegs. (maybe hemp & quinoa also)

Eliminate soy, wheat, bread, pizza, pretzels, oatmeal, cereal,

The third week add in oatmeal - the 4th week add in soy or wheat products (whichever you prefer but not both) & the 5th week whatever is left. See how your body responds to these different foods - track your moods & energy levels. You may have a food allergy & this is a good way to find out.

I would greatly suggest adding in fish to your diet - canned oysters, sardines, mackerel, salmon. The DHA only found in cold water fish will help with mood & is necessary for brain & eye functions. There is a veg algal supplement but it's fairly expensive & doesn't provide EPA.

I highly recommend oysters - a lil over 1 ounce will give you the RDA of vit B12 & zinc. These will help stimulate your thyroid & give you more energy.

from the article posted below:

Another study done a few years ago at Ohio State University showed that salad dressing with oil brings out the best in a salad when compared to no-fat, low-fat dressings.

When the test subjects consumed salads with no-fat dressing, the absorption of carotenoids was negligible. When a reduced-fat dressing was used, the added fat led to a higher absorption of alpha and beta carotene and lycopene. But there was substantially more absorption of the healthful compounds when full-fat dressing was used.

Study researchers say they were not only surprised by how much more absorption occurred with fat added to the meal, but they were taken aback at how little the body absorbed when no fats were present.…

The body does better with more saturated fat than less. Saturated fats are required to make many vitamins & minerals bioavailable so they can be incorporated into the body structure. Saturated fat is required for the body to function properly & to regenerate & heal.

7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

1) Improved cardiovascular risk factors

Saturated fat in the diet is the only means to reduce the levels of lipoprotein (a) — that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Eating fats raises the level of HDL, the good cholesterol.

2) Stronger bones

Saturated fat is required for calcium to be incorporated into bone - According to expert in human health, Mary Enig, Ph.D., as much as 50% of dietary fats should be saturated fats for calcium to be effective in the bone structure.

3) Improved liver health

Studies show that saturated fat encourages the liver cells to dump fat content. Saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from toxic insults & even to reverse the damage.

4) Healthy lungs

The fat content of lung surfactant is 100% saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these critical fats by other types of fat makes faulty surfactant & potentially causes collapse of the airspaces & respiratory distress.

5) Healthy brain

Your brain is mainly made of fat & cholesterol. Most of the fatty acids in the brain are actually saturated. The brain needs saturated fats to function optimally.

6) Proper nerve signaling & hormone production

Certain saturated fats, found in butter, lard, coconut oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence the metabolism.

7) Strong immune system

Saturated fats found in butter & coconut oil play key roles in immune health. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize & destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, germs & fungi. We need them to keep the immune system vigilant against cancerous cells & infectious invaders.…

Saturated fats play many important biologic roles. They are an integral component of cell membranes, which are 50% saturated fat.…

Plaque build up in the arteries are more attributable to carb consumption than dietary fats, which seems to be the conclusion of the following study. Carb consumption raises triglycerides & VLDL (bad cholesterol). Fats raise the HDL (good cholesterol). High triglyceride levels & low HDL levels are an indicator of plaque, glycation - the precursors to a heart attack and heart disease.…