23 February 2011

Broccoli rice'n'cheese

Here's a quick post because I'm on my phone and suffering from caffeine-induced insomnia.  I've been sick for about 2 months now with some horrible sinus infection that morphed into the flu and then back into a sinus infection.  It's been the definition of not fun.  Apparently this isn't "normal" and after going to three different doctors to try to get antibiotics to treat it, one decided that I should get a blood panel to see if there was something wrong.  It turns out that I have a crazy huge vitamin D deficiency, which is bad for a host of reasons.  I also found out that I'm glucose intolerant.  This means that my body can't properly deal with sugars in blood after I eat something that is carb-heavy.  From what I've gathered, this is a pre-insulin resistant state, which is pre-diabetic.  I guess this means that I'm pre-pre-diabetic, which is kind of scary to think about.

What does this mean for my food blogs?  Well, nothing really.  I need to eat smaller meals more often and when I do eat carbs, I need to make sure that they're always paired with protein.  In an effort to make sure that I do eat properly, I've been trying to incorporate a whole lot more vegetables and fruits into my diet.  And tomorrow, for dinner, we're going to have broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole as a stand in for the carb-heavy mac'n'cheese. Brown rice is a vast improvement over normal macaroni and bulking up the dish with broccoli adds nutrients, fiber, and lets me use up some stuff in my refrigerator.

Broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole

1 c brown rice

2 c stock (or 2 c water + 2 T bouillon), I used chicken

1 T butter

1 T flour

1 c milk

s+p to taste

1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 oz chevre.

3 c broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces, cooked (broccoli stems work well here)

Cook the rice with the chicken stock.  In a small sauce pan, heat butter until melted.  Whisk in flour and stir until it turns tan.  Add in milk and stir again until smooth.  Bring to a simmer and let thicken.  Add in cheeses, lower heat, and stir until the cheese is melted and well combined.  Combine the rice, broccoli, and cheese sauce and eat up.


Anonymous said...

Are you by any chance on a multivitamin? If not, you can meet your vitamin D RDA with a couple pills a day. You should be able to find a 1.5-2 month supply at a local GNC for <=$20. There are also options for supplementing just vitamin D alone (e.g., liquid drops). This would almost certainly make you feel better.

Diabetes is a nasty disease that you should actively avoid. Your insulin resistance, and Type II diabetes in general, is 100% reversible through proper diet and activity levels.

As part of your frequent meal protocol, you should habitually avoid refined sugar (e.g., pop, candy, condiments) and high-gylcemic index carbs (e.g., white bread, white pasta, white rice, white potatoes). If you want grains, make them whole grains. Sweet potatoes (my favorite), yams, brown rice, unsweetened oatmeal, and most other vegetables are ok. In addition, regular exercise will help reduce insulin resistance.

Protein will probably have to be a larger part of your diet. I rely heavily on dairy proteins. If you can eat dairy, I recommend milk, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and whey protein powder. Don't be scared by full fat dairy products. Stay the hell away from soy-anything, including soy milk and textured vegetable protein.

Finally, the BodyRx show is a relatively new podcast covering various health topics:
Episode 4 discusses carb restriction in relation to Type 2 Diabetes. Some of the other episodes are also relevant for you.

julie k h aka jkru said...

I'm not taking a multivitamin, but I am taking vitamin D tablets now. I've started to pair carbs with protein and I've tried to make sure that every time I eat, there's a good balance between fats/carbs/protein. Since I'm mildly lactose intolerant, I can't readily drink milk, but yogurt and cheese are usually okay. Why do you recommend staying away from soy milk? It seems like it's actually a really balanced product in terms of fats/carbs/proteins. And yes... I'm starting to exercise. :(

Anonymous said...

There are so many problems with soy that I cannot recommend anyone eat it regularly. For instance, it inhibits trypsin (a digestive enzyme) and may cause gastrointestinal problems like bloating and gas. It contains phytates that block absorption of other minerals you consume with the soy. Soy is a goitgrogen and may suppress or permanently damage thyroid activity. Finally, and most importantly, soy contains isoflavones that act as phytoestrogens. These can cause hormonal disruptions if you eat enough American soy products. Traditional Asian soy products are fermented, rendering them less harmful than the soy in American diets.

If you consume soy milk occasionally as a substitute for milk, I don't necessarily want to tell you to stop immediately. Something you should not do, however, is consume soy because you think it is a fine source of protein. Dairy proteins from milk and eggs are vastly superior, and there is no compelling reason to resort to soy for the sake of boosting protein consumption.

Regardless of what you decide to do, I recommend being informed about what soy is or is not doing to you. Several recent episodes of the BodyRx podcast (see my first post) discuss the detrimental effects of soy and also elucidate the superiority of dairy proteins to soy.

On that note, I strongly recommend a whey protein powder to supplement your diet. There are so many benefits to whey that we might as well call it magical. Among them is the fat burning effect. If you consume three servings of whey protein (one serving being 20-25 grams of protein) spread throughout the day (say, in between three other whole food meals), without changing anything else, you will shed fat. On days you exercise, consume one of the servings of whey after exercise to boost protein synthesis. This will maximally stimulate growth of lean mass and ultimately make your metabolism faster.

Emily said...

I'm sorry about all of the health concerns...no fun! Have you seen/talked to a dietitian at all? It sounds like you are taking steps in the right direction, for sure.

julie k h aka jkru said...

I actually saw a registered dietitian on UT's campus, but her only real advice was to make sure my carb portions are small (so no more midafternoon bagels) and paired with protein. It was kind of disappointing because the scientist in me wants specific numbers (e.g. for every k grams of carbohydrates, consume m grams of protein and n grams of fat). It was more about what my plate should look like.

Anonymous said...

You don't necessarily need to eat carbs at every meal. There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate as there is for protein (e.g., essential amino acids) and fats (e.g., omega-3s and omega-6s). This is because the body can make glucose just fine from protein (gluconeogenesis) or run off of ketones produced from fat. For people that are highly active, there are advantages to eating more carbs, but I suggest that is not an issue here.

You clearly want some generic numbers you can apply right away.
Try setting your daily carbs to ~0.5-1g carb per body weight and see what happens. You will by default be eating the rest from protein and fat. Eat the carbs in the morning and first two-thirds of the day. Cut out the carbs the last meal or two, or only eat fibrous vegetables then.

Finally, are you sure you've not always been glucose intolerant? Some people just do not handle carbs well.

julie k h aka jkru said...

Well, the problem isn't trying to eat carbs at every meal, it's trying to figure out how I *should* be eating them. Carbs=delicious and I don't see cutting them out as a good long term solution because I'll never stick to it. I'm pretty sure that this glucose intolerance is something that's been going on in the past few years. Up until I was about 22, my weight ranged from average to quite thin and then I gained almost all the weight in less than two years.