Sunday, November 15, 2009

The low down on the G.I. Diet

The G.I. Diet (short for the Glycemic Index Diet) works by keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels as even as possible. No peeks and troughs so your metabolism works much more efficiently.

Basically foods are divided into Red – danger / don’t eat. Yellow – restricted, or Green – unrestricted.
With 3 meals and 3 snacks a day you don’t go hungry, in fact at first I found it hard to eat so often. With hardly anything being portion limited even Mr H is happy to join me.
Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Wholewheat bread, pastas etc. Lean proteins. Basically healthy filling foods that take as long a time a possible to digest. The style of cooking also is important, boiled new potatoes are great, mashed potatoes are not.
A typical day’s food consists of oatmeal and fruit for breakfast which fills me up and is nice and slow burning so there’s no mid-morning munchies. I don’t have a morning snack as I usually eat lunch at 12 / 12:30. A wholewheat sandwich of ham with extra salad, a yoghurt and an apple. I snack around 3pm and 5pm (because we eat late). A piece of fruit, 100g of cashew nuts something like that. An evening meal of meat, potatoes and 2 veg works perfect, just the portions are alittle different than the norm. Half your plate should be filled with different veggies, a quarter with carbohydrates and a quarter with protein. So there’s no need to cook different for the family than yourself. J Then I’ll probably have a yoghurt for supper, just before bed, which means I don’t wake up starving.

For drinks, water, tea, diet caffine free sodas, low fat milk are all ok. Fruit juice is also not bad but the actual fruit itself and a glass of water is better.

I choose to get the G.I. Diet for busy people as my lifestyle can make mealtimes etc a little erratic. The book explains the medical background but in straight forward language which makes sense. Understanding the why and how is really important for me. It includes lists of foods in the Red, Yellow, Green catagories as well as recipes and options for eating on the go.

I also got a recipe book and the pocket guide to carry around, so when I’m in the supermarket I can check if different foods are ok or not. Or in a restaurant or needing to buy food “on the run”.

My gynacologist recommended this particular diet to me. Apparently every year older we get after 30 our metabolism slows a little bit more making losing weight more difficult. Also, with my medication causing weight gain and the fibromyalgia restricting my activity I need all the help I can to keep my metabolism moving.

Here are some photos of my meals to show you just how yummy this diet is. Unless noted, every thing is green – unrestricted.

Oatmeal with raspberries and blueberries. Hurray for frozen fruit J

2 slices of back bacon. 1 egg (yellow). Mixed grain roll.

Working lunch:
Pumpkin soup. Wholewheat bread. Salad with 0.1% fat yoghurt dressing. Carrot sticks.

Working lunch:
Wholewheat bread, no butter. Tuna and sweetcorn with lite miracle whip. Salad and carrot sticks.

Lunch with a friend:
Mixed salad with grilled pork and feta cheese (red but is was a v.small amount), oil and vinegar dressing. Plus wholewheat bread.

Evening Meal: Chicken and Rice
A mixture of basmati and wild rice cooked in vegetable stock. Lots of veggies, carrots, corn, peas etc. about 100g grilled chicken strips and an extra portion of broccoli.

Evening Meal:
Turkey steak, boiled potatoes with chives and mixed veggies.
1/2 the plate is veggies (I made a nice carrot dividing line J) 1/4 carbohydrates 1/4 protein.

Different snack options:
A fruit smoothie.
100g cashew nuts
100g macademia nuts
100g dried apricots (yellow)
A yoghurt.
2 clementines.
An apple.
A kiwi.
1/2 a large sharon fruit.

One last thing, I wanted the books in English rather than German so ordered mine from the UK. As the lists include processed foods and fast food etc it's important to get at least the pocket guide for your area (if available). Same name products from worldwide companies (ie Mc D's / Subway) ARE different in different countries. The UK and Germany are pretty comparable, but the US to Spain (for example) would be less so.

Keep crunchin' girls!!



Dani Joy said...

This is sooo great!! Is it getting easier? I am soo proud of you! Do you think you will be able to live on this diet? Is it a good 4 life change?



Siberia said...

Your food looks really good. You can come and cook at my house anytime!


KathyH said...

Hey Dani

Yes I think I could live on this diet for the rest of my life. I'm getting into the swing of it now so don't need to think or plan quite so hard.

Rick Gallops tip for eating out at restaurants is always ask for a double portion of vegetables. He has never had a problem or been charged extra! Yesterday we met friends at a Mexican restaurant and I chose a chicken vegetable burrito with salad. The only part that was "red" was the sour cream which I only ate a tiny bit of.

I only really see major difficulties when eating at other peoples homes but even then 9/10 times we are able to choose the quantity and portion distribution.

I'd cut my coffee consumption down to 1 or 2 cups a week anyway due to the fibro. Now I'm just extra particular - I won't waste that caffeine on a mediocre cup.

For those of us who drink alcohol. Like most diets, it's on the No-No list, but as I drank maybe 1 or 2 glasses of wine a month max it's no biggy.

Snack wise, keeping a bag of nuts or a piece of fruit in my bag means I always have something handy to nibble.

It's not the cheapest form of eating but now I no longer give out "un-seen" money on a can of coke here or a candy bar there. Or when meeting with a friend in a cafe I choose tea over coffee and cake costing 2€ rather than 6€. And I no longer do breakfast on the run which costs 2+€. So all in all I think it's equivalent or less to my food spending previously.


Ketty said...

Hummmmm, great ideas Kathy. It´s always good to find out what other people are eating. It seems like I always end up doing the same meals for me, but I´ve been trying new recipes that I have read here, like the one with peppers that Maribel suggested.