This is an incredible gift of nature. One of my secrets to nutritional excellence and superior health is the one pound rule. That is, try to eat at least one pound of green vegetables a day, combining your raw and cooked greens. This may appear to be an ambitious goal at first, but I assure you, you will achieve the dietary balance and results you envision when you work toward it. Let’s say it again: the more greens you eat, the more weight you will lose. The high volume of greens will not only be your secret to a thin waistline, but it will also simultaneously earn you future protection against life-threatening illnesses. And lastly, while everyone jumps on the cruciferous-vegetables-are-good-for-you bandwagon and more science continues to build on their powerful health benefits, let’s not forget H = N/C. In other words, besides all these unique features, green cruciferous vegetables still contain more vitamins and minerals per calorie than any other food on the planet. Note that green vegetables are relatively high in protein per calorie. For many years, most Americans incorrectly believed that only animal products contained all the essential amino acids and that plant proteins were incomplete. False. They were taught that animal protein is superior to plant protein. False. They accept the outdated notion that plant protein must be mixed and matched in some complicated way that takes the planning of a nuclear physicist for a vegetarian diet to be adequate. False.
I guess they never thought too hard about how a rhinoceros, hippopotamus, gorilla, giraffe, or elephant could become so big while eating only vegetables. Animals do not make amino acids from air; all the amino acids originate in plants. Even the nonessential amino acids that are fabricated by the body are just basic amino acids that are modified slightly by the body. So the lion’s muscles can only be composed of the protein precursors and amino acids that the zebra and the gazelle ate. Green grasses (or leafy greens) made the lion and are the mother of all the protein that built all the creatures on planet Earth.
I’ve asked hundreds of people this question: which has more protein—one hundred calories of sirloin steak or one hundred calories of broccoli? The typical answer is, “Steak, of course.” When I tell them it’s broccoli, the most frequent response I get is, “I didn’t know broccoli had protein in it.” I then ask, “So where did you think the calories in broccoli come from? Did you think it was mostly fat, like an avocado, or mostly carbohydrates, like a potato?”
People seem to know less about nutrition than any other subject. Even the physicians and dietitians who attend my lectures quickly volunteer the answer, “Steak!” They are surprised to learn that broccoli has more protein per calorie than many cuts of meat and that if you eat large quantities of green vegetables, you receive a considerable amount of protein. One ten-ounce bag or box of frozen broccoli contains over 10 grams of protein. When you get most of your protein from greens and beans, you get a bonanza of protective health benefits in the process—not to mention that fountain of youth people have been searching for.
PROTEIN CONTENT OF SELECTED PLANT FOODS (IN GRAMS)
|Spinach (frozen, 1 cup)||7|
|Collards (2 cups)||8|
|Peas (frozen, 1 cup)||9|
|Almonds (3 ounces)||10|
|Broccoli (2 cups)||10|
|Tofu (4 ounces)||11|
|Sesame Seeds (1⁄2 cup)||12|
|Kidney Beans (1 cup)||13|
|Sunflower Seeds (1⁄2 cup)||13|
|Chick Peas (1 cup)||15|
|Lentils (1 cup)||18|
|Soybeans (1 cup)||29|
The Eating Plan
Think about setting up your menu plan in two phases. The first is a more strict phase in the first few weeks to get your weight down to a safer number and to reduce as much of your medication as possible early on. In this phase, other than a limited amount of beans, avoid high-carb foods and eat no animal products. Of course, you can remain in phase one as long as you need or want to maximize results. What follows here are general guidelines to understand phase two of this program. The main difference between these guidelines and phase one (when you are looking to control your out-ofcontrol glucose numbers and reduce medications) is more restriction on fruit, grains, and starchy vegetables. The exact specifics of the phase one plan will be laid out in chapter 10.
Then move on to phase two, a more livable phase, once you have reached a stable place. Then you could add one serving a day of peas, butternut or acorn squash, and intact whole grains such as black wild rice or steel-cut oats. If you’re eating animal products, try to do so only in very small amounts, such as a condiment to flavor a vegetable dish or soup, so it is not a major calorie source. Use only about one ounce for this purpose, and do not use more than two ounces in one day.
Breakfast should consist of a few low-sugar fruits, such as berries, papaya, kiwis, pomegranates, oranges, and green apples. You can eat a whole orange or apple, but do not drink orange or apple juice. Limit fruits to a total of five servings daily, usually two to three fresh fruits with breakfast, one after lunch, and one after dinner. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are especially recommended because of their concentration of important phytochemicals and overall high ANDI score. Consider using frozen berries when fresh are not available. Because berries are expensive, many people go to a berry-picking farm in the summer and buy large amounts at a great price. You can save money and get high-quality food when you pick your own and then freeze them in serving-sized bags for use all winter. Eat these fruits with some raw vegetables such as cucumbers, celery, fennel, or lettuce.
A half cup of cooked oats—or even a whole cup for men—is also acceptable to eat with breakfast. Use rolled oats or steel-cut oats (preferred) but not quick oats. Raw oats have more resistant starch than cooked oats, so try soaking steel-cut oats and regular rolled oats overnight in the fridge and then eating them soft, but not cooked, the next morning. You can put fruit on top too. Another great option is a squash-based breakfast soup, made with cooked butternut squash, chopped greens, almond milk (almonds and hemp seeds blended with water), cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped apple. Baked eggplant chopped with onion, shredded green apple, chia seeds, crushed walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg also makes a delicious breakfast dish.
Try to eat one tablespoon of ground chia seeds or flaxseeds daily with breakfast. Sprinkle them over a bowl of cut fruit or mix them into the oats. Ground chia and flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and other beneficial fibers, so they are strongly recommended. These seeds have protective effects for the heart and against cancer. Also, eat four walnut halves every day with breakfast. They also have highly protective properties. A mixture of sliced apples, flax or chia seeds, crushed walnuts, just a sprinkle of raw oats, and cinnamon makes a great breakfast treat.
Lunch is the most important meal of the day because people are usually away from their home, in public, at work or school, and around others. When you’re away from your own kitchen, make sure to bring plenty of good-tasting and filling food to keep you satisfied. When you have a lunch with you that you enjoy, it makes the day pleasant and you’ll find it easier to stick to your healthy eating plan.
Make salad your main lunch dish. Always include lots of raw vegetables. Dressings or dips can be made using raw ground nuts and seeds or an avocado as the base. Top your salad with some beans and a great-tasting dressing, and finish with a piece of fruit for dessert.
One serving of any type of fruit, not just the low-calorie ones, is okay because the sugar load will be diluted with the rest of the vegetable meal. A mango, peach, pear, orange, or banana are good ideas. Or you can have a salad and a bowl of vegetable-bean soup and a piece of fruit for dessert.
Prepare a huge pot of vegetable soup on the weekends. Portion it into separate small containers so you can just grab a container out of the refrigerator and drop it in your lunch bag with some raw greens, tomato, and other raw veggies during your busy week. Be sure to include a small container of your favorite healthy salad dressing. Eat the soup at room temperature or warm it up at work for a hearty and filling meal. Remember, this is the beans-and-greens diet, or the salad-and-soup diet, because of the abundance of greens in your salad and green vegetables with beans in your soups. Sometimes I like to pour the hot soup over my shredded raw salad vegetables and use the soup as a heavy dressing for the lettuce, spinach, and cabbage that I have shredded very thin.
I like to make salad dressings on Sunday and Wednesday so they stay fresh. The Sunday dressing lasts me for three days, and the Wednesday dressing lasts for four days. Measure out the ounces of nuts and seeds (or avocado) you’re using in the recipe so you can then divide the full recipe according to the appropriate servings of nuts per day. So, if you are making the dressing for one person and you include four ounces of seeds and nuts, separate that dressing into four separate containers for use over the next four days. Your flaxseeds and four walnut halves with breakfast do not count in the one ounce of permitted seeds and nuts per day.
Dinner begins with another salad, or raw vegetables with dip. A tomato-based salsa-type dip or hummus are the most favored choices. Try the low-calorie, high-nutrient dips and dressings featured in this book. If you used the soup as your salad dressing at lunch, use the nut- or seed-based salad dressing with dinner.
Always have a large plateful of steamed green vegetables with dinner. Choose from a wide variety of vegetables such as string beans, cabbage, bok choy, artichokes, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and zucchini. Frozen vegetables can be used instead of fresh. The prototype diet is a large salad with a bowl of vegetable bean soup at lunch and a large salad with steamed greens at dinner, but you can switch the meals around. And if you’re not having soup with your meal, be sure to include some beans, either a bean dish or unsalted canned beans tossed on top of your salad.
A vegetable stew such as a ratatouille made with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and zucchini, and herbs or some grilled vegetables are options to eat after your dinner salad. A bean burger with sliced raw onion and tomato is another option, or if it is your fish night, have the salad, steamed greens, and a small piece of fish cooked with garlic, onions, and tomato.
Or eat a light dinner of salad and greens cooked with onions and mushrooms, with some beans scooped on top, and finish it off with a delectable sorbet for dessert. Frozen fruit whipped in a highpowered blender with some fresh fruit makes a delicious sorbet dessert treat. Or have a slice of melon or a bowl or berries.
You have now come to the end of your food allowance for the day. A good habit to adopt is to floss and clean your teeth at this point as a reminder to stay out of the kitchen and away from food the rest of the night.