Lentils and veggies

I made something new!

I finally found a supermarket in my neighborhood that sold cans of lentils from Italy. The only ingredient is lentils.

Tonight, I added a bunch of spices to the 400 g can of lentils, like turmeric, all purpose seasoning, ginger, and black pepper. And to that I added a bag of 300 g of frozen vegetables. And some nutritional yeast.

The can said that only 240 g of the can were solid ingredients, so I assume the liquid is the cooked liquid from the lentils. It was thicker than just water. Anyway, the calories on the can match up with what CalorieKing says, and so I believe there were 276 cal in the can. The veggies were just 99 cal. This seems like a great, filling dinner for people are trying to eat healthy and also lose weight.

The lentils were a nice substitute from the 160 g packages of brown rice I usually pour the vegetables over, much more filling, and just an extra 50 cal total. The calorie density of lentils is much less than the calorie density of brown rice.

I heated it up in my saucepan, and that was that. No preparation needed at all. Perfect for a lazy chef like me.


One more note on nuts (I promise it’s the last one)

Finally I decided to test it. I’ve been going by Dr. Greger’s advice that 1 tablespoon of nuts added to my salads would have no bad effect on weight. But I had stalled. And, to be honest, it never made sense to me. I’d seen his video and read his info about nuts in HNTD, but the calories from nuts just couldn’t magically disappear, could they?

Well I tried it and after losing weight my weight loss really stagnated for the past few weeks. I admit I was getting a bit frustrated – but I was staying the course!

Then I decided to just drop nuts altogether a few days ago and see what happens. I still add 1 teaspoon of flaxseed to each salad, usually 3 times a day.

The day after I completely stopped nuts my weight dropped 1.3 lb, The next day it dropped 0.9 lb. The next day it dropped another 0.4 lb. The day after that it dropped another 0.4 lb. Anyway, my weight today is 3 lb less than it was 1 week ago.

And all I changed was eliminating nuts from my diet.

So nuts to nuts for me.

And we now return you to your normal programming…

The nuts wars

I’m more comfortable going forward with WFPB (whole food plant based) eating now that I’ve discussed this “nuts thing” with people. I realize I just need to use some common sense cautions regarding the pronouncements of Greger (and others as well), and not consider their writings as having been handed down from heaven on Mt. Sinai. Greger isn’t perfect either. He has a lot of interesting things to say, but his conclusions aren’t always on target. I need to be careful about that.

I found out that among vegans my questions about nuts is an ongoing, endless debate, which some refer to as “the nuts wars” – and I found myself caught up in it. But it was good. We had some lively conversations about this in the Forks over Knives (WFPB) group on Facebook. And I had some interesting side messages as well.

It does seem that people like Esselstyn, McDougall, and Ornish (with whom I started my vegan + no oil + no nuts journey 6 years ago) are also skeptical of the nutritional importance of nuts, though I notice that Ornish currently allows for 1 walnut per day.

While Jeff Nelson, the Vegsource guy with the interesting “Nuts won’t save your life” video doesn’t spend time on the question of calories, Greger himself does seem to claim that the calories in the recommended walnuts simply don’t count. I think it’s fair to say that is probably not true. And I am discontinuing nuts as a regular part of my diet.

I never would have even dreamed of adding nuts into my daily diet in the first place except for the fact that Greger goes on and on about (1) how important they are nutritionally, and (2) how reassuring he is that the nuts won’t adversely affect weight loss. If not for the first point I wouldn’t have bothered with them at all. And it was the second point that clinched me into wanting to try them. Because I do need to lose more weight as part of being healthy.

Anyway, I am now finished with my last regular serving of nuts – with the calories scrupulously counted and logged – and I will not make nuts a regular daily item from now on. If I do, say, buy a snack bag of 30 g of almonds or something, I’ll make sure the calories  get properly logged.

The reason this all came up is I just didn’t want to feel like I was missing something important, nutritionally. Greger makes it sound so important. The consensus from most vegan whole food doctors and scientists, however, really seems to be that I am not missing anything. I’m “staying the course” and will look at all advice with open eyes and some skepticism going forward.

My plan is easy. I’m sticking with “generic” whole food, plant based, vegan , no oils, no daily nuts, logging calories (they do count), avoiding as much sugar as possible, avoiding as much salt as possible, greatly limiting healthy but high calorie foods, such as avocados and nuts, and, of course, getting more exercise.

And onward!