Posts Tagged ‘popcorn’

Re-entry Phase

August 4, 2015

Upon finishing the Whole 30, I was at a loss as to what to do next. I knew the next steps were the purposeful reintroduction of eliminated food groups, but with a flat stomach, and a general feeling of well-being, I was hesitant to try adding things back. Fear of feeling sick, re-awakening cravings,gaining weight and bloating up again was holding me back. I stayed the course very happily for the rest of the week, and as the weekend approached, I was so used to my eating plan, that I didn’t really crave anything new, even that glass of wine I wanted so desperately a couple of weeks ago.

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Then I got to thinking. If Whole 30 was about having a healthy relationship with food, was my fear of “off roading” a little disordered? I felt like I had to “break it,” and move on before it became a more serious issue.

One of our previous Saturday night rituals was sharing a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine while Netflixing. ( Yeah, we really are that dull!) Although I wasn’t dying for it, I decided that I needed to reintroduce some foods at some point, and if I didn’t do it properly, the last month of restriction would be a big waste. I popped the corn in coconut oil, and amid much dissent, did not add any butter to it. I had sparkling water instead of wine. Baby steps. If I added butter and wine to the equation and I didn’t feel well, I would not know which item was the culprit.

I awoke thinking that the experiment went well, and the popcorn seemed to “agree” with me. At lunchtime, I was complaining that I felt “blah.” I had trouble getting up. My strength and stamina at the gym was a little subpar. My legs felt like jello. I didn’t want to do anything except sit in the air conditioning and relax. I chalked it up to working out pretty hard the previous week, the heat ( it’s been in the 90’s for the last week or two,) and it just being one of those days. Then it hit me. While any or all of those excuses were valid, was it the popcorn that didn’t agree with my newly cleansed body? I often felt like this on the weekends, and just chalked it up to it being tired and my body relaxing. Because I had been feeling so good, feeling like this was very noticable. When something doesn’t “agree” with you, it doesn’t always mean an upset stomach. Sometimes it is in the form of malaise, skin problems or inflammation. I went back on the Whole 30 plan,( as instructed after trying a new food group ) and then I will try to introduce another group in a few days. In order to know if the popcorn  did in fact effect me negatively, I will need to try it again. It may really, have just been one of those days. Or it may have been the corn. Time and another trial will tell.

Sigh.

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Too Good to be True?

April 4, 2012

Last week was full of great news on the food front. It seems that all my favorite foods were found to have health benefits. How often does that happen?

A new study by the University of Scranton found that the hull of popcorn is rich in antioxidants that have disease-fighting properties and prevent damage to cells.

Of all the whole grains, popcorn is one of the least processed. It is extremely high in fiber, and relatively low in calories…that is until we pop it in lots of oil, and slather it with butter and salt.

Air popped popcorn is the healthiest method of preparation. Microwave popcorn can also be low in calories, but the chemicals in the bags have been found to cause respiratory problems after prolonged exposure.  The “DIY” version is a great alternative. Just put kernels in an untreated brown paper bag, and fold the top over several times. Toss it in the microwave, and zap until the popping slows down.
Season it lightly with sea salt, or some Parmesan cheese.

Caveat: The doctors admitted that further studies were needed to determine if the high fiber content causes the popcorn to pass so quickly through the body that the antioxidants do not have any significant effect.

“Eating chocolate can make you thinner!”

That was a headline that made me look twice.

A study from the University of California at San Diego has discovered that people who eat chocolate regularly have a lower BMI (body mass index) than those who do not.

The team surveyed over 1000 people between the ages of 20 and 85 years old about their eating habits. While the chocolate eating group did not report eating fewer calories or exercising more than their non-chocolate eating counterparts, they consistently had lower BMIs.

The doctors are hypothesizing that there are metabolic benefits to chocolate that would off set the calories consumed “in moderation.” It is speculated that the caffeine in the chocolate could be the cause of the metabolic boost. Dark chocolate is also an antioxidant.

Beware: Most chocolate is very high in fat and sugar, and packs a mean calorie punch. Opt for a tiny piece of dark chocolate, or a bit of Dutch processed cocoa.

I love a little dark cocoa mixed into some Greek yogurt or fat free ricotta cheese as a creamy low calorie dessert.

Red wine has long been touted as a heart healthy drink. A substance called resveratrol is the key ingredient in red wine that has been attributed to lowering “bad cholesterol” and preventing blood clots.  However, the risks associated with drinking alcohol are thought to be much greater than the benefits.  For healthy people, drinking red wine in moderation can be a good thing. For those who are pregnant, have heart problems, take aspirin, or for those with addiction issues, wine is not recommended.

While all of this appears to be great news, the studies admit that their findings are inconclusive. For now, I will stick to the idea that chocolate, popcorn and wine are treats to be indulged in in moderation, and count on my healthy diet and exercise routine to keep me in optimum health.

photos: Glasshouse Images


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