FAQ/QUICK QUESTIONS/IDEAS

Whatever you're missing. You will find it here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click to toggle

Toggle content goes here, click edit button to change this text.

Quick Questions

What is a whole grain?

Whole grains contain the bran, the germ and the endosperm; in other words it contains all parts of the seed. The bran protects the seed, the germ will germinate and become a small plant and the endosperm is food set aside for the young, growing plant. When grains are refined, portions of the grain that are important to our health (the fiber and most nutrients) are destroyed or taken out. When you purchase bread and other flour products,  the ingredient list must specify, “Whole Grain’, or “Whole Wheat”, etc.

Ask Yourself: Does it seem to you that it would be better to consume the whole grain or just part of it?

How many vitamins are there?

 There are thirteen organic compounds that we call vitamins. They are powerful nutrients that we must have in order to perform many functions within our bodies. They are “essential” which means we must get them from food. Plants naturally make vitamins and we were designed to eat plants and get those antioxidants for our own use. There are RDA recommendations but most of us require far less than is specified.

Ask Yourself: Do you know anyone with a vitamin deficiency?

How does the bathroom scale show my progress?

It doesn’t! When we say we want to lose weight what we really want to do is lose “fat”. You can go on a crash diet and lose 4 pounds over a weekend but you have really just lost water. The scale will reflect that but it isn’t helpful.

Our weight is made up of water, muscle and fat. Fat takes up more space than muscle but muscle weighs more. That means you can weigh more and be smaller if you have more muscle and less fat. Get rid of the bathroom scale and get a tape measure. Measure your hips and your waist… this is a better way to measure your progress. When the tape measure goes down, the fat is going down too. That’s what we are after… keep the water, gain more muscle and lose fat. One great way to make this happen is to exercise.

By the way, your waist is halfway between the top of your hipbone (on the side) and the bottom of your ribs. So write down your waist and hip measurement and if you must get on the scale, do it every couple of months.

Ask Yourself: Does the scale disappoint me when it doesn’t move and allow me some “treats” when it does?

Should we adhere to product expiration dates?

It depends on the product.

  • Some foods are very perishable and are sometimes not edible even before they expire. I’m thinking of some of the produce that starts to deteriorate in a couple of days, but you obviously would not eat rotten fruits and vegetables.

  • It gets trickier when things don’t change their appearance. They really don’t just change immediately but deteriorate slowly. I’ve noticed that the expiration date is frequently called the “best before” date.

  • If I am purchasing something I make sure that I buy the one that was prepared most recently (look at the back of the shelf).

  • If I have something in my pantry that is close to the date I always check it out and throw it out if it’s questionable.

  • Some foods, like beans and rice, are probably good forever (unless they get wet).

  • Frozen foods last longer but still can be too old. It depends on how they are packaged.

Ask Yourself: Can you trust your sense of smell, taste and sight to know if something is good to eat?

What snack foods should I keep in my kitchen?

Only the health-building ones that you enjoy and won’t binge on. Obviously neither of us needs chips or cookies or candy bars sitting around. For me, there are a few good foods that I could easily overeat like avocados and nuts. So, I don’t buy avocados unless I have a recipe to make and I keep nuts stashed away in the freezer. But that’s me. One thing I don’t do is keep any food that is easy to eat and eat and eat. There are a couple of Food Coach Recipes that I purposely don’t make too often because they seem to talk to me saying… “Eat me.” The kinds of foods I keep on hand for snacking are air popped popcorn, different fruit (favorite), oatmeal (that sounds funny but I really like oatmeal), rice cakes, puffed grain cereals and… leftovers… they always work.

Ask Yourself: When I consider the written reasons I have for choosing well is the candy (or whatever) worth a few seconds of pleasure?

What's wrong with adding oil or fat to our foods?

Whether you use vegetable oils or animal fat you are putting a huge burden on your body. When you eat a high fat meal your blood cells begin to stick together and these clumps of blood cells plug up the blood vessels. That means there are cells that will not get the nutrients they need because blood flow is restricted. Your blood will get sticker and stickier for about 6 hours and it takes another 6 hours before it begins to get back to normal blood flow. So if you eat a high fat meal every six hours or so you will really put a strain on your body.

There are different things that can result depending upon where the clumping happens. If it happens in the chest it could lead to chest pains, if in the legs it could make it harder to walk, if in the arteries to the brain it could lead to a stroke, in other areas – a loss of hearing, macular degeneration, reduced lung function, fatigue, decreased endurance and even higher blood pressure. The best way to get the fat you need is within the food that you eat – not as an oil separated from a food. So…

Ask Yourself: If vegetable oil and animal fat makes my body work harder, is it worth it to use it all the time?

Are bananas the best source of potassium?

No. The reality is that they aren’t even in the top ten or even the top fifty. But actually, focusing on one nutrient is not helpful… we need thousands and thousands of nutrients. Bananas contain lots of nutrients and are a great choice for snacks or on your cereal or in a smoothie. What’s important is that we are eating a whole food and getting all the benefits it offers. If you are eating whole foods like greens, beans, dates… you are getting plenty of potassium plus many other important nutrients (these are actually at the top of the list). Have you had a green salad or a bowl of beans recently? If you eat your meals according to Food Coach recommendations you will get all you need of everything.

Ask yourself: Do I need a lot of one nutrient or tiny amounts of thousands of them?

What is a whole grain?

Whole grains contain the bran, the germ and the endosperm; in other words it contains all parts of the seed. The bran protects the seed, the germ will germinate and become a small plant and the endosperm is food set aside for the young, growing plant. When grains are refined, portions of the grain that are important to our health (the fiber and most nutrients) are destroyed or taken out.

Ask Yourself: Does it seem to you that it would be better to consume the whole grain or just part of it?

How much calcium do I need?

Not much. It seems that when a researcher looks at a nutrient to discover its effects in our body, the next thing that happens is that someone figures if a little is good a lot must be better.

An example of this is calcium. The recommendations for calcium are very high and many people take supplements, even though good research doesn’t support the idea. Studies have shown that calcium supplementation can cause stiffened arteries and blockages and actually increase the risk of heart disease. There are other unpleasant side effects as well (constipation, cramping, wrinkles, stiff joints, hip fractures and so on).

But our wonderfully made bodies are not stupid. When we consume too much calcium our body absorbs less and excretes more and when we don’t get enough our body absorbs more and excretes less. Our body must do this to stay in balance.

The bottom line is that getting calcium from food sources is the best idea. If you are consuming a Food Coach style meal plan you don’t have to be concerned about getting too much or too little of anything.

Ask Yourself: Do I need to take any calcium supplements or should I spend that money in the produce department?

What is the cost of healthcare?

The US Department of Health and Human Services reported recently that the cost of health care will be $8,160 per person this year (2017). The projected cost in 2018 (per person) is $13,100. Do you agree that this is a lot of money? Now… everyone is trying to figure out how to pay for all this. But rather than looking for more money to pay for skyrocketing  medical costs, let’s consider another viewpoint.

Patients get the intended result, from most of the regularly prescribed medical treatments, a very low percentage of the time (less than 10%). Since this is the case the bigger question is: why are we subjecting people to these procedures if they are not effective? Trying to find more money to continue doing something that is unnecessary and not helpful seems crazy. Perhaps a better solution would be to move toward an excellent diet and excellent lifestyle habits. That way we would not need so much medical help and the cost of “healthcare” would not even need to be discussed. But that will take some time to get under way.

What should the average guy (like you and me) do right now? We should do everything we can to stay healthy and strong and out of the doctor’s office. Healthy people don’t need a doctor… okay, I will admit that getting your teeth cleaned is a good idea. We want to stay well by choosing well and being informed about the risks and benefits of any procedure that is recommended to us. By doing this there will not be a big need for medical services in your future… and that’s great!

Ask Yourself: Should I work to keep my health and stay away from spending time and money on healthcare?

Click to toggle

Toggle content goes here, click edit button to change this text.

Ideas

Measuring spoons and cups

Cooks need more than one set of measuring spoons and measuring cups. Washing these items while you are cooking can be time consuming, especially i if you have to measure something dry; it is impossible to dry measuring spoons or cups with a towel. Just buy some multiple sets.

Frozen Produce

Frozen vegetables are often flash frozen when they are picked and probably have more nutrients than the fresh ones that have been picked before they ripen. Be sure that the ONLY ingredient listed is the vegetable(s). You can also buy frozen rice and grains and microwave them for quick meals. This is valuable “fast food”.

Flour Products

Flour is an ingredient in many products. When you purchase any flour product be sure that you see the word “whole” in front of the name of the grain, e.g. “Whole Wheat” or “Whole Grain”. If the product uses “enriched flour” you are using a grain that has had more than 30 of its important nutrients removed and only 4 added back.

To read more about how we ended up with grains stripped of their nutrients, read the article “Milling Grains” in the section called “Ask the Food Coach About…”.

Baking Extra Potatoes

When you bake potatoes, bake several and put the extras in the refrigerator. That way they are ready to cut into thin wedges, bake until browned and serve (with a little ketchup, if you like). They are also good cut into cubes and thrown in a salad.

Sweet potatoes are also good to have available. They can be warmed and enjoyed or mashed a little bit and used it as a base for your salad dressing. Blend some sweet potato, vinegar, water and a bit of mustard as a base. Add seasonings as you like.

Click to toggle

Toggle content goes here, click edit button to change this text.