I’ve promised for awhile now that I would write about the DASH Diet. I can’t do it in one entry so I’ll start with some basic information and let you know what I am currently doing and what I am working toward. Remember to speak to a health care professional before you start an eating plan. I’m a bad example because I didn’t, that’s me Rebel Without a Clue – but I’m learning.
I’ve mentioned before that I am a bit type A…so in the past when I committed to a plan, I really committed to it. I’m still the same, but I’m seeking, as my cousin so eloquently put it in Fact or Fad, a change in lifestyle. I want to find a way to eat healthy, unprocessed foods in a way that I can sustain for the rest of my life. I used to be the Queen of the Lean Cuisine (looove how that rhymes), but they are very high in sodium. Again, I do not have high blood pressure now, but you never know what the future can bring and I am at a point where I’d like to know what is in my food.
DASH is a scientifically based and well researched way of eating written by health care professionals and there is a lot of great content in the book including menus if you are confused. It really is based on the food pyramid above. In Canada, we use Canada’s Food Guide and this is almost the same thing. Let me break this down to the most simple terms directly from “The Dash Diet for Weight Loss” (page 37). I am trying to eat about 1600 calories a day so that I can be as active as possible. Here is what that looks like in DASH terms (all quantities are per day):
1) 4 servings of vegetables, 2) 4 servings of fruit, 3) 6 servings of grain, 4) 2 servings of dairy, 5) 1.5 servings of protein, 6) 1/4 serving of nuts, seeds and legumes, 7) 1 serving of added fat, 8) 1/2 serving of sweets.
Pretty easy to follow and they recommend keeping a food diary and even have a page in the book that you can photocopy. It’s a great, well-balanced plan, so why am I not 100% on board? I’m still trying to let go of the Dr. Oz Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan not because I loved it so much, but it did become a habit. I’m slowly trying to MASH the two together into a plan that is liveable. Let me compare what I have been doing to DASH (item by item – per day):
1) I’ve been eating about 7-8 servings of low glycemic vegetables, 2) I’ve only been eating about 2-3 servings of fruit, 3) I have been eating 6 servings of grain, but keep in mind that the DASH serving size is much smaller than you think – a 130 calorie whole grain English muffin is two servings. I only have one serving of bread; I eat whole grains like brown rice, kasha, quinoa, or barley to make up the rest of my servings, 4) I’ve been having a Greek yogurt every day like Dr. Oz wants me to and count the milk that I use in my tea and coffee as my other serving, 5) The protein is identical to Dr. Oz’s so I either have one big chicken breast or I have 3 ounces at lunch or 3 at dinner, 6) I probably eat 1.5 servings of nuts and legumes daily and I can’t see changing that since there are so many health benefits – keep in mind though, their serving sizes are small and you really have to stick with about 12-20 almonds along with a few other nuts, 7) 1 added serving of fat – again I’m close to this but not perfect because sometimes in addition to olive oil, I have a slice (only one) of avacado, 8) 1/2 serving of sweets – this I am more diligent about – I sometimes have low sugar jam on my peanut butter in the morning or I’ll have a very small piece of chocolate (literally 2 squares of dark chocolate or one 50 calories dark chocolate truffle and I’ve only done this twice in 3 weeks.
I am getting closer to DASH, but I think for now, I’m going to stick to what I’m doing – it seems to be working and I feel so much better than I did on the 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan. I’ll provide more insight into DASH tomorrow. Today, I am grateful that I got to meet up with a lovely client for dinner – it was really nice to see her – it had been awhile. I have to be up at 3:45 tomorrow for work, so not really happy about that so I must DASH off. In spite of things…
I am gratefully yours,