I recently finished a huge academic project, a dietetic internship (a form of professional hazing that aspiring registered dietitians must complete prior to being permitted to take the registration exam). During this process my schedule was so slammed I successfully delegated all domestic duties to my partner. But now that I’ve officially finished and I have massive amounts of free time, I’ve come to the realization that my reluctance to camp out in the kitchen had nothing to do with time constraints. It’s just not my jam; and, life is too short to dedicate massive amounts of time to shit that bores you. That said, my reluctance to spend time in the kitchen is a major obstacle to maintaining a nutritious cruelty free diet. Since I have not yet been able to convince my husband to permanently add cooking for me to his already lengthy list of domestic duties, I’ve started looking at ways to keep my kitchen time minimal while avoiding eating out daily. Every meal I’ll post during vegan month of food is going to reflect those goals.
Today’s dinner idea was burnt, easy and delicious. Hopefully when you do it only easy and delicious will apply 😉
An increasing number of people are realizing that a tremendous amount of pleasure can be derived from a life that is pared down to the essentials. The same can be true of the diet. Few people are interested in creating gourmet meals after a long day at work. In fact, most people use lack of time as an excuse for eating poorly. If pared down to the essentials though eating well does not have to be overly complex or time consuming. Here is how you apply minimalism to the diet.
The objective of a minimalist diet
Keep in mind that your overall goal is superior nutrition. Nutrition that meets not just your caloric needs but your micronutrient (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients) needs. The best way to make sure this happens without getting bogged down in analyzing all of your food in a database somewhere is by making high nutrient foods the focal point of your diet.
Minimalist Cooking Strategies
Dr. Furhman helpfully suggests selecting two cooking days a week in Eat to Live. Large batches of soup can be cooked in advance and ready for a quick warming at the end of the day. Once a month cooking can be helpful but it is a mammoth undertaking. Cooking and freezing a few soups in advance can be less intimidating and just as useful. I use my crockpot often to make bean and vegetable soups to combine with a salad when I get home. Most of your salad prep should be done the same day you buy it. If you are buying enough salad for about three days at a time it’s a good idea to go ahead to cut, wash, and dry the lettuce and the more resilient components of your salad (carrots for example not tomatoes) and place them in the fridge. Just before meal time during the week you should only be worrying about assembling the meal. There likely won’t be any way to avoid going to the store at least twice a week. I keep a running grocery list either using Yummly or the Buy me a Pie app. I get in a quick run to the grocery store on a lunch break during the week and a more substantial trip on the weekend.
Decide on a general outline for your meals
For example mine is a follows
Breakfast: Vegetable Soup
Lunch: Salad with beans, fruit on the side
Dinner: Soup and Salad, fruit smoothie for dessert
This is what has proven to be the most satisfying and simple for me. Just making three meals a day the rule frees up a lot of time, not to mention allows time for digestion between meals.
A standard nutritarian diet will be helpful for all thyroid disorders as well as Graves’ disease; but Graves’ disease patients especially benefit from goitrogenic food as they help discourage thyroid hyperactivity. While there is a lot of confusion surrounding the benefits of goitrogenic food, they are in reality only problematic in people who already have iodine deficiency. This problem is unlikely to occur in individuals who used iodized salt. Here’s a, by no means exhaustive, list of widely available goitrogenic foods.
What to Avoid to Protect Your Thyroid
Pesticides: opt for organic or grown your own food
Chlorine: Chlorine can potentially disrupt thyroid function – perhaps not in all people but if you are already suffering from thyroid dysfunction it would be best to avoid
Many theorize that Graves’ and other autoimmune disease are a response to the overwhelming amount of toxic substances in the environment. Obviously there are other pieces to the puzzle but it certainly won’t hurt to reduce the amount of poison in your life.
Bercz JP, Jones LL, Harrington RM, Bawa R, Condie L. Mechanistic aspects of ingested chlorine dioxide on thyroid function: impact of oxidants on iodide metabolism. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1986;69:249-254.
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition that causes thyroid overactivity and a slew of other unpleasant symptoms. While of course you should follow a doctor’s recommendations for treatment most do not include diet in their treatment of the disease.
There is a great deal of suspicion that Graves’ disease is trigged by environmental and nutritional factors. In the treatment of my own Graves’ disease I’ve found eating a high nutrient diet and eliminating toxic personal care products from my routine very helpful. If you want to dig deep in learning the benefits of a high nutrient diet Dr. Furhman’s Eat to Live is a great place to start. This is a general idea of how I approach my day.
The diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables, organic when possible. Remember that conventional produce is still nutrient rich and autoimmune supportive. Selecting processed food labeled organic in lieu of produce in any form would be a mistake. In the weeks to come I’ll be listing specific foods that are particularly helpful and sharing some simple recipes that incorporate them.
The beauty of living in a wise human body is that you don’t have to consciously understand the mechanics of metabolism to thrive. Your body knows more about nutrition than any expert. All you need to do is be sensitive to the cues your body so generously gives.
Note: Frankenfoods interrupt the communication signals your body sends to your conscious mind. If you would like to keep the lines of communication with your body open, don’t eat BS/highly processed “food”.
Though food science is just burgeoning, its fascinating to peruse the newly definitive benefits of eating the same foods your Grandma told your Mom to eat, because they were intuitively understood to be health promoting, many moons ago.
Today’s Star : Parsley
Though frequently reduced to plate decor, parsley has a number of health benefits.
3 Reasons Your Body Loves Parsley
1. Chemoprotective – neutralizes some types of carcinogens
2. Vitamin C and A content supports immune system
3. Contains Vitamin K essential for bone health
My powerful immune system lovingly propels me through life with ease.