Monday, February 13, 2012
I am finally doing it. I am not committing 100% here, mind you. And I'm not sayin' I like it, either. I am kicking and screaming.
My goal is to reduce refined oils to the minimum, but still leave it as an option for occasional splurge. When I do use oil, it will be cold-pressed organic extra virgin coconut oil.
What inspires the change? My skin. For all of my teenage and adult years I have struggled to have a clear complexion. Dr. John McDougall has the guts to say that after all these years of battle he can heal my skin.
Dr. McDougall, YOU'RE ON.
And you, dear reader, have also been my inspiration.
You may not feel ready to eliminate refined oils from your diet. This is still very helpful information for you because even if you choose to reduce the amount of refined oils from your diet, it will greatly enhance your health and weight loss.
As Dr. McDougall says, is change bothersome? Or exhilarating?
I choose the ladder. I accept the challenge.
UPDATE: Oil, of ALL types, are NOT a health food.
If we look at nutritional excellence as being able to find a high density of nutrients in a food, then oil, of all types, flunks the health test.
Take a peek with me inside oil. What do we find? No vitamins, no minerals, no phyto-nutrients (plant nutrients) and no water! And worst of all, NO FIBER. Fiber fills our stomachs, and moves our food properly through our digestive systems.
Oil is a super-concentrated food. Think of the cheapest, most refined white bread you can find at the grocery store. It is also super-concentrated, yet it has more health properties than oil because it at least contains fortified vitamins. Oil has been stripped of everything healthy that it had in its original form (from coconuts, olives, veggies, etc).
If you consume 500 calories of oil, it will not fill your stomach even halfway. If you consume 500 calories of nutrient-dense foods, such as kale, spinach, beans, or even the mashed potato (without butter or added oil) it will fill your stomach completely, and meet your nutrient needs. When your bodies' nutrient needs are met, it stops craving more food.
This concept is especially helpful for weight loss. So, the short of it is; oil, of ALL types, are NOT a health food.
However, I feel that if you got rid of anything, it should first be milk, milk products, and cheese. Oil is usually one of the last things to go in dietary changes, but looking for ways to reduce added oils along the way is helpful. This is why replacements can be so vital.
First get rid of milk. Then meat. It's all a process, and any progress you make to replace these animal products with foods from plant sources will increase your health.
Replacement #1: Saute your vegetables in water.
I've got this down!! It is SO easy, (I actually think it works so much better than sauteing in oil!!!) and it is amazing how clean your food tastes -- fresh, healthy, crisp. Clean really is the best word. I love that word. And I love oil-free sauteing!
It works well in any cooking pan, but I think it tastes the absolute best when sauteed in my cast iron skillet.
Enjoy reading this link from Mary McDougall about sauteing in water, and baking without oil.
You are basically letting the vegetable "cook down" in it's own natural juices (not to burning!), then adding a bit of water to deglaze the pan. Repeat.
Replacement #2: Baking without oil
This is Sunsweet Lighter Bake. Recommended by Mary McDougall. I have not yet tried this; shipping to my house would cost over $15 plus the $2 for the actual bottle. Not worth it! And I already looked for it on Amazon. Not there.
Until I find it, I will be using baby food pureed prunes. Mary McDougall says it works better than applesauce, especially in chocolaty things. And Mary's reputation is not to be messed with. Her recipes are so simple; most ingredients can be found at supermarkets, and they are SO GOOD! Posts about her recipes soon to come!
To replace the oil in a recipe, you measure out half of the amount called for and use soy yogurt, tofu, fruit juices, pureed pumpkin, mashed bananas, or applesauce. (Or pureed prunes, which I am totally going to try!)
UPDATE: I recently learned a trick with the applesauce; if you strain it in a fine metal mesh strainer first, letting the juices run out (you can save it if you are that kinda' girl/guy) and then measure out how much you need. It works much better and helps your baked goods be less dense and wet.
Using these replacements generally created denser, or more heavy baked goods. Replacing the water in the recipe with carbonated water will help create the lighter cooking texture!
And just FYI, anything on a label that says "glyceride" like triglycerides, is a fat from oil. Lecithin is also a fat.
Replacement #3: Using Chia Seed Gel (I LOVE this!)
These can also be added to your green smoothies to help you feel full, which assists in weight loss. Chia seeds are excellent binders, and can also be used as replacement for gelatin.
10 parts water to every 1 part chia seeds. (Obviously a little bit goes a long way!)
Chia seed gel recipe:
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup chia seeds
Soak chia seeds in water for 10-15 minutes. Blend chia seeds and their soaking water in blender on high until wicked smooth. Use cup for cup in replacing oil in baked goods. Keeps well in the fridge for over a week. I recommend you make a large batch on your slow day, and store it in a glass jar with sealed lid in the fridge. Whenever you are baking, just pull it out and add it to your baked goods. I am pretty sure this would also taste great in bread machine recipes.
I used this to make chocolate chip cookies last night. Applesauce generally gives baked goods a cakey texture. Chia seed gel, on the other hand, gives cookies (and pizza crust!) a real cookie texture. So yummy. I am having flash backs to the awesome Chocolate Chip cookies I ate last night. Oil free. Cane sugar free. Egg and Dairy free. Vegan. Dreamy. (With a wheat free option!)
Replacement #4: Cashews and nuts, seeds, and avocadoes (natural, healthy fats)
This, believe it or not, is a recipe for my VERY favorite waffles EVER. It is gluten free, makes me feel awesome, and is so easy. If you look just above the golden flax seeds, you may see the cashews peeking out. It is the healthy fat for this recipe.
Often, pie crusts, salad dressings, and other baked goods can be made using nuts and seeds. Tahini dressing (ground sesame seeds) is one of my favorites. Just click on it and you will be taken to the recipe on my blog.
Replacement #5: Oil free cookbooks
Seven Secrets is one of my very favorite refined oil free cookbooks. Amazon sells it for about $12 right now.
Other GREAT oil free ones by physicians are:
"Disease-Proof Your Child" By Dr. Joel Fuhrman
"The McDougall Program" By Dr. John McDougall
"The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss" By Dr. John McDougall
"The New McDougall cookbook." By Dr. John and Mary McDougall (I STRONGLY recommend!!!)
"Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (awesome salad dressing recipes!)
"The Happy Herbivore" by Lindsay S. Nixon (not a doctor, and recipes are a bit cakey, but oil free)
"The Almost no fat cookbook" by Bryanna Clark Grogan (This is on my wish list, she is not a doctor, but a pro chef!)
You can find MANY of Dr. McDougall's recipes (developed by his genius wife, Mary McDougall!) by CLICKING HERE.
Replacement #6: Dressings from Wellness Forum
Wellness Forum's Chef Del created a book for salad dressings. One of my favorite bloggers, Janae Wise, from www.veganmothering.blogspot.com offers the option to purchase his book for about $5. I don't own this book yet, but if you buy it, let me know how it goes!
Replacement #7: Corn starch for Dressings
Janae Wise also says this:
"How many of you out there have tried to get your hands on a decent store-bought dressing, but to no avail, they either don't exist in some stores, or if they do the taste makes you want to stop eating salads, forever?
I've come across some excellent oil-free vegan salad dressing recipes, but many of them are still very high in fat or they are way to vingegar-y.
I came across this tip from Bryanna Clark Grogan's cookbook, The (Almost) No-Fat Cookbook (available for a great price at my Amazon store). To replace oil in dressing recipes, cup for cup, mix in 2 tsp. of cornstarch (arrowroot powder would also work) and 1 cup cold water. Heat and stir on medium-high heat in a saucepan, until thickened.
I used this oil-replacement for one of my favorite dressings, Cumin-Cinnamon Vinegarette (from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan) and was thrilled with the result! You know it's a good dressing when you want second or third helpings of salad. The dressing was thick, like it would be with oil, so it "stuck" to the salad. And the spices in the dressing...ah, divine!
It is simple and easy, it doesn't seem like it'd work, but it does--acts like the oil in getting the dressing to stick to the salad without adding all of the empty calories."
Replacement #8: Simply skip it.
On your toast, just go straight for the jelly, or honey. Or, spread your toast, crepes, waffles, and pancakes with either cream made from nuts, or a fruit syrup.
Also, there are option in purchasing pre-made, oil-free hash browns. You just gotta read those labels!
For fries, simply quarter baby red potatoes, toss them in vegetable broth, and bake in the oven until tender-crisp and are slightly browned.
Well, I think that's it for now! Enjoy this link with nutritional info on becoming oil free!
Inspiring quotes from Dr. John McDougall:
"All fats promote the development of cancers of the breast, colon, prostate and kidney. Vegetable oils are even stronger promoters of such cancers than are fats derived from animals. Fats are also involved in inflammatory arthritis.....Removing fats and oils from your diet will make weight loss easy if you are overweight, and permanent, too. Many disease processes can be relieved by improving your diet. Most remarkable are the reversal of atherosclerosis, elimination of angina (chest pains), correction of hormone imbalances, recovery from adult-type diabetes, prevention of attacks of multiple sclerosis and gallbladder inflammation, and resolution of oily skin and acne."
"Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone say to me, “My diet is completely vegan, but I am still 40 pounds overweight.” The oily sheen on her face and hair are a clear give away that she hasn’t been willing to stop adding the half cup of extra virgin olive oil to her spaghetti sauce. Many people fall short of their health and appearance goals because they have yet to eliminate all the added vegetable oils from their cooking. Eating out is a major stumbling block. More often than not, even after using the best communication skills with the waiter, the diner plate still glistens with an oil slick. Avoiding free vegetable oils is the last important hurdle for people seeking better health. Take the final step—just say “No” to these really unessential added oils."
"The fat you eat, is the fat you wear."
"When I lecture I take a bottle of olive oil or corn oil with me. When someone asks, "How will I cook anything delicious if I can no longer use oil?" I respond by asking him to prove his love of oil by drinking some of it from this bottle I brought along. The audience invariably responds with a sickening moan and a few giggles. No one will drink from my bottle of oil. If they did so, their physical reaction would likely be retching, or even vomiting. Nor would anyone pour the oil over his head for me, if I asked."
"Dietary fat also detracts from your appearance by causing oily skin and hair and feeding the kinds of bacteria that cause acne."