Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Testing Lima Beans

This is Tuesday morning.  I weighed in early. It was before 8:30 and I registered the same weight as I measured at my second weigh-in the day before, which was closer to 10 am. Considering I lost 0.6 pounds in between 8 am and 10 am yesterday, and today I’m at the same weight but at the earlier time, I’m going to call that a weight loss so that I can go ahead with my new test today.  My assumption is that if I had gone back to bed and slept for two more hours and then weighed in again, I’d show further weight loss. I didn’t want to sleep all morning, so I’m making the call and I’m setting the official weigh-in time for 8:30 am going forward.

I’m going to do two more tests and then I’m going to take a short break from the program. Today, I’m going to test lima beans and then I want to test pork chops. If I don’t react to lima beans then I will test pork chops the next day, but if I do react to lima beans then I’ll put one friendly day in between the two tests. 

After the pork chop test, I’m thinking of taking a break from testing to let myself eat whatever I want for a few days. This testing protocol is quite restrictive and takes a lot of discipline. It’s not that I don’t eat enough, and I don’t feel hungry or deprived, but until my ‘friendly’ list of foods grows, my choices are very limited. Growing my friendly food list requires more testing and staying on the protocol, but I’m starting to feel a tiny bit claustrophobic, so I want to give myself a break before I start to feel resentful. I do love the friendly diet, and I feel like doing this program could lead me to a lifetime of healthy eating. But every once in a while, I need to bust out and party; it’s just my personality. I know that after a couple or a few days of unrestricted eating, I’ll be primed and ready to stay disciplined for more testing.

I’m also curious to learn what I revert back to once I lift the restrictions after this three-week experience. The energy, the extra muscle definition and the good mood that I’ve enjoyed these past twenty days has been really nice and I wonder how quickly I will lose that once I digress from the protocol, or if I will just naturally gravitate towards making these same healthy choices that I’ve been making and enjoying.

In the meantime, I’ll stick to the friendly diet I’ve established for a few more days, and tonight I’ll add some lima beans. We’ll find out tomorrow what my body thinks of them.

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Wednesday

This morning I woke up, visited the bathroom, and weighed myself. I was the same weight as yesterday. I then checked the clock and saw that I had arisen earlier than usual this morning and it was still only about quarter to eight. So then I went back to bed and got up again at 8:30 so I could weigh in at the right time. I expected the number to be a bit lower, but it read the same as earlier. 

Being at this low body weight and not seeing a weight gain is enough, I think, to call lima beans ‘safe’. I’m glad, too. I don’t usually include lima beans in my diet, but I did enjoy them last night. So I’m happy to add them to my list of friendly foods and to include them in my diet.


Lima beans are high in protein and fiber and a good source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Most people know that vitamin C is good for the immune system and that potassium is good for proper muscle function, but most people don’t realize that manganese is an important mineral in the process of metabolizing fats, proteins and carbohydrates and for bone growth and health.  Lima beans are also rich in folate, which is helpful for the nerve tissue function.

And the best news of all is that they don’t cause inflammation in my body. I guess, according to research on the subject, all beans cause inflammation in different people at  different levels. The worst offenders, in general, are black beans and cannellini beans, which have shown to cause inflammation in 85% of the population. Strange, too, that black beans are so commonly used as a ‘diet’ food, when it actually would make most people gain weight to eat them.

So each bean is a separate test. If I liked black beans, I’d test them, but I would be fine never having them again, so I’ll wait. There are many other foods I’m much more interested in testing. There are even beans that I’d be more interested in testing before black beans, although I’ve never been much of a ‘bean’ guy.

And now, since yesterdays test didn’t cause me any inflammation, I’m free to test another food today without putting a 'safe day' in between. My pork chops are still in the freezer, so my plan to test them today will have to wait. I’ll take them out of the freezer now and test them tomorrow or the next day, depending on what happens with today’s test.

I have a pie crust in the freezer and I was thinking it would be fun to fill it with all the same vegetables that I’ve been using as my friendly diet, making some sort of vegetable pie and creating a test for the pie crust in the meantime. It is whole wheat, but probably has much less gluten than the bread. It could be a fun and interesting test, but not all that practical for my life, considering how often I eat pie crusts.

Another test I could do today is a Capitol Hill bar. This is a locally made snack that I have fallen in love with, and had considered healthy until reading up on inflammation. I've been eating them almost daily, and certainly not concerned that they might not be healthy. But now that I notice that the first ingredient of these bars is oats, I suspect that it will cause inflammation and not be as healthy for me as I originally thought. In my reading, I've discovered that oats are highly likely candidates for causing inflammation and the resultant weight gain. In fact, oats are inflammatory in about 85% of people.

This test would be much more informative to my real life because this is a food that I have been enjoying and thinking I was being healthy.

So today I will stick to my healthy, friendly diet, but at snack time, I’ll have a Capitol Hill bar.  It’s a wild-card kind of test because of the many ingredients. Meaning:  If I pass the test, then perhaps I can clear all of the ingredients to the friendly list. But if I do ‘fail’ the test, I don’t know which of the ingredients was the culprit. I’d know I could no longer indulge in Capitol Hill bars, but I wouldn’t know why until I did individual tests on all the ingredients. In any case, I have one of the bars in my refrigerator, so I may as well go for it. 

Today, I test the healthiness of my beloved snack. 

Here is the list of ingredients:

Gluten Free Rolled Oats
Goji Berries
Blueberries
Cranberries
Cherries
Mangos
Dates
Raisins
Coconut
Almonds
Cashews
Hazelnuts
Walnuts
Flax Seed Meal
Hemp Protein Powder
Pistachios
Sunflower Seeds
Coconut Oil
Almond Butter
Maple Syrup
Agave Nectar
Brown Rice Syrup
Vanilla
Salt
Cinnamon
Nutmeg

Seems like a good, healthy snack, right?  I guess we’ll find out. Stay tuned. 

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