Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Phase 3 began several days ago...

So, I find myself 4 days into Week 5 of The Maker's Diet with very little fanfare.  While I had celebrated the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 (beginning of Week 3), this transition went by very quietly.  I think the reason is that I was comfortable with Phase 2, so moving into Phase 3 was not a terribly big deal.  While there are certainly more foods available now, the Phase 2 food list was satisfying enough on its own.

One notable addition to the acceptable foods for Phase 3 is bread.  Not just any bread, mind you, as white flour (among other popular ingredients for bread) is still on the unacceptable list.  The Maker's Diet recommends 'Ezekiel-type' bread.  Ezekiel bread - more correctly, Ezekiel 4:9 Bread, is produced by the Food For Life Baking Co., Inc..  It is inspired by the Bible verse that it is named for: "Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it..."  Given the biblical basis of The Maker's Diet, this bread is a perfect addition to the diet.  It is made of sprouted grains, not bleached, processed flour.  Sprouted grains have a higher level of enzyme activity than do the non-sprouted grains so Ezekiel 4:9 Bread has advantages beyond those of other whole grain breads.  As well, soaking/sprouting grains reduces the naturally occurring phytic acid that is present in grains.  Phytic acid inhibits the absorption of several important nutrients.
I made a trip to It's Only Natural in order to buy some.  For some reason, It's Only Natural stocks almost the entire line of Food For Life's bread except for Ezekiel 4:9 Bread.  They have the sesame variety that is essentially the same with the addition of sesame seeds, but not the basic variety.  I thought maybe they were simply out of stock, but I have visited several times and have yet to find it.  I found that they did stock Food For Life's Genesis 1:29.  Either the sesame or the Genesis bread would have been fine for me, but the Genesis bread includes an even greater variety of ingredients, so I opted for that one.  I don't know what the MSRP is for Genesis bread, but It's Only Natural sells it for $6.49 per loaf.  As expected, this is more expensive than your average loaf of bread.  However, after a little analysis, I determined that it really isn't all that bad.  The loaf is sliced into 20 slices.  If I only eat one slice per day, this will last me almost 3 weeks at $0.32 per serving.  Because it is so nutrient-dense, there really is no need apart from societal norms - i.e. two slices to make a sandwich - for me to eat more than one slice at a time.

One of the major reasons to not eat healthier than we do is the perceived expense.  Healthy foods cost more than the junk that we have grown accustomed to eating.  The fact is that we simply eat way too much food.  Our food is so stripped of its nutrients that we need to eat more of it just to get what we need.  Unfortunately, it is also loaded with ingredients that are detrimental to our health and, by consuming more food, we also get more of these harmful additives.  Product nutrition labels try to do the responsible thing by posting the serving size on the package (as well as the servings per package).  How many people truly stick to these guidelines?  Look at any loaf of bread and you will see that the recommended serving is one slice.  As well, check out just how thick those slices are.  In an attempt to avoid high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, we had previously sought out a commercially produced bread that included neither of those items.  As well, we preferred to avoid bleached white flour.  What we found was that most bread includes all of those things!  One variety that we found was Martin's Famous Potato Bread.  While still not ideal, this was the lesser of several evils.  This sells for about $3.49 per loaf.  By comparison to Genesis 1:29 Bread, the loaf is about the same size but the slices are considerably thicker in the potato bread yielding only 16 one slice servings per loaf ($0.22 per slice).  Using two slices of the potato bread gives us only 8 sandwiches per loaf!

Essentially, we not only need to assess what but how much food we are eating.  We need to re-train ourselves.  In my last entry, I talked about eating smaller bites and thoroughly chewing them as opposed to inhaling our food.  This is one thing that The Maker's Diet has re-taught me.  As a result, I am definitely consuming less food and, therefore, spending less per meal due to the smaller servings.  This also translates into being able to afford better quality foods.  That 2 slice sandwich made of potato bread costs me $0.44 before even adding any thing between the slices and I get less nutrition (though I have eaten a larger quantity) than my $0.32 serving of Genesis 1:29 Bread.  By eating the Genesis 1:29 Bread more slowly, I feel just as full.  Sure, eating the potato bread more slowly would also produce the feeling of fullness but it still lacks the nutrition of the Genesis or Ezekiel-type bread.  We have been trained for our whole lives that two slices of bread are used to make a sandwich (though I remember my parents going through a phase of eating 'open-faced' sandwiches that used only one slice with the other ingredients piled on top of it).  It is 'abnormal' by society's standards to eat only one slice of bread.

How many other societal influences are there that affect our eating habits?  We eat lunch at work quickly because we are only provided 30 minutes in which to do so.  We stop at the drive-thru and pick up a quick meal that we proceed to eat behind the steering wheel of our car because we are in a hurry.  We pop a frozen dinner in the microwave oven.  We tear open a  package of processed food loaded with cheap ingredients that prolong its shelf life (and significantly shorten our own life) and call it a meal.

Don't conform to society's norms.  Take a step back and look at what 'normal' has caused.

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