Friday, September 06, 2013

How To Kill Your Addictions to Fast Food

How can you kick your addiction to fast food/junk food? Many of us have tried and failed, and tried and failed, and tried and ended up binging on Big Macs blended with ice cream, etc.Smile
You can kill your food addiction with the right information and motivation.

What we usually do is say, "After this bucket of KFC Chicken, I'm not eating this crap anymore!" Then we purge our house of all things sugary, we eat salads and lots of veggies for about 3 days and then cave in the first time we drive past a McDonald's or Taco Bell.

Where is the will power, the drive, the ambition you had a couple days ago?

That's because we try to stop eating fast food without thinking about it - without planning our escape. What we should do is worry about changing our habits. Forging new habits takes time and energy. If you want to kick your junk food habits you'll have to give both time and energy.

Consequently, you should:

   1. Only change one habit at a time
   2. Give each change at least 2 weeks to become ingrained

After all, we've spent years building up these habits, we can't expect to take them down overnight. We'll do it smart, slow and consistent and we'll kick fast food and junk food to the curb.

Let's separate the tasks into kicking bad snacks, kicking fast food and kicking soda pop. Pick whichever will be easiest for you and do that first. A taste of success is incredibly motivating. Then do the one that will be hardest second while you're on an upswing.

Kick the Soda Pop Habit
This one's probably the simplest. Not the easiest, but the simplest. You just keep downgrading every 2-4 weeks. Essentially switching terrible habits for bad and then switching bad for good.
  • Regular -to- Diet: First switch from regular to diet pop and leave it at that for at least 2 weeks. I know that some people say diet is just as bad as regular but we don't want to be fighting our caffeine addiction at the same time we're fighting our sugar addiction. Remember we want to change habits in stages to have the highest chance of success.
  • Diet -to- Caffeine Free Diet: If you do have a caffeine addiction this is where you'll find out. You're going to have about 3 days of feeling like a hangover mouth tastes while your body breaks the physical addiction. But stay on it for the full 2 weeks, we don't want to change too much too fast.
  • Caffeine Free Diet -to- Flavored Water/Water: If you can't stand drinking water I'm not going to lecture you. Just drink the flavored water with 0 calories they have now, it's just as good (if you don't mind paying for it).
  • Flavored Water -to- Filtered Water: Now we're moving into healthy territory. Now you can move to regular water but  filtered, not tap water. Eventually you should be losing weight and feeling better than when you were drinking pop.
Kick Fast Food
How do we beat crack for the single male? Yes, that's how hooked people are on this. How about this:
  •   Start by saving all your fast food receipts for one week
  •   Now, place a jar by your bed
  •   Each night, empty your pants, wallet, or purse of all the fast food receipts.
At the end of one week, you can add them all up and get a pretty good idea of how much you're spending on this junk. Round that up to the nearest $10 and cut it in half. That's how much you'll spend a week from now on.

Take that money and put it in a ziplock bag that you keep in your car. All your fast food will be paid for out of this fund, and when it dries up, that's it until next week. This will force you to ration and make choices.

Let it sink in for 2 weeks and don't forget to plan this out. Something has to replace all that fast food you're suddenly not eating. I suggest:
  • Keep something in your car to eat on the way home from work, like an apple or some nuts - something filling and always ready.
  • Have some frozen meals ready at home so you never wonder what you're going to eat tonight. If you can't make them yourself on the weekend, try those frozen skillets - something balanced and quick.
Then, when this new habit is a part of you, cut that dollar amount again, and again, and again until you're happy with how much (how little) fast food you're eating. I think under $10 a week is OK for most people.

Kick Bad Snacks
The first step to kicking bad snack foods is doing a food inventory. What do you have in your kitchen? Cookies, chips, candy? And what are you eating them for? Which are your comfort food? Stress foods?

Then we're going to make a chart of all these snacks and for each one list a replacement snack. For example instead of potato chips you could eat tortilla chips with salsa. Now you can switch a crappy snack for it's healthier replacement. But no more than one every two weeks (pacing). Make yourself eat the new food daily so it becomes a part of your lifestyle and remember to snack before you get hungry.

It's a pretty straight forward process but here's a few tips to make it go smoother:
  • If you have a craving for a bad snack that you absolutely have to give in to, buy an individual portion or eat just enough to satisfy your craving and throw out the rest. Keeping it around is crap-snack sabotage.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, proportion something into bites and eat them after a healthy snack. For example cut a snickers bar into 8ths and keep each individually wrapped in the freezer, then eat one after you've filled up on popcorn. That gives you that sweet taste without having to fill up that sweet crap.
  • Get the Death to Diabetes cookbook or Food Tips ebook for healthy, tasty snacks.
  • Get the Food Cravings ebook to learn how to beat the two types of cravings and overcome junk food addictions.
  • Get the Juicing & Smoothies ebook to learn how to drink tasty smoothies that will reduce and eventually eliminate your cravings for junk food and fast food.
The four keys to kicking junk food are super foods, planning, pacing and sticking to it. Remember to take as long as you need to get these new habits ingrained, 2 weeks is a minimum. Better junk food free in 1 year than relapsing in 6 months.

In addition, don't forget that the super meals and snacks will help your body detoxify and remove the chemicals that are causing the addiction!

How to Enjoy Your Favorite Foods                                               

It's unrealistic to expect people to be deprived of all of their favorite foods for the rest of their lives! Here are some ways for you to enjoy some of your favorite foods and comfort foods and still maintain your blood glucose level within the normal range.

Apple Pie
Avoid store-bought apple pie because it contains hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and high fructose corn syrup. Instead make your own pie. Use reduced-fat sour cream to replace some of the butter found in traditional recipes to keep the dough moist and tender, without adding tons of saturated fat.

Use organic butter to avoid the chemicals and growth hormones from the conventional butter.

Use whole-wheat flour to add fiber for the crust, but blend it with all-purpose flour to get a less wheaty taste and keep the crust  texture tender.

Use plenty of apples, with a mix of McIntosh and Granny Smith. The McIntosh adds a nice tangy flavor while the Granny Smith also tastes good, but breaks down less when they cook, giving the filling a more toothsome texture.

Use a deep dish to allow much more room for filling: you can squeeze in about 1 1/2 more cups of fruit into a deep-dish pie pan vs. a regular pie pan. And, adding more apples means more soluble fiber.

Substitute egg white for egg yolk to cut down on cholesterol. Also, use xylitol or stevia powder in place of refined sugar.

Everyone loves bacon! To enjoy bacon, obtain the organic bacon, or, even better, get baconnaise. Baconnaise™ is a spread that tastes just like bacon! Add it to sandwiches, salads, dips, sauces, chicken, fish, and any recipe that calls for regular mayonnaise.

Choose ground beef that is at least 90% lean and organic; or, substitute the ground beef with ground turkey or try a chicken chili with skinless, boneless chicken breasts. You can boost fiber by adding more veggies and beans. You don’t have to use kidney beans in chili — try adding black beans or great Northern beans for a change. Try a low carb, no-bean chili that's full of interesting flavors, such as cumin, cinnamon, and allspice.

Using generous amounts of spice in your chili is a great way to add great flavor without any added fat or calories. Classic chili spices include chili and cumin (and cayenne for those who like it really hot). Have fun experimenting with different seasonings; cinnamon and allspice can add wonderful depth of flavor.

Use more beans to add fiber and stretch your dish healthfully and inexpensively.

When making brownies, replace the semisweet chocolate with unsweetened cocoa and the butter with a cup of pureed prunes, which keep the brownies moist.

Bake your own cakes, pies, and cookies to avoid the high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oil of these store-bought baked goods.

Replace the refined white flour with a whole grain flour; the vegetable oil with olive oil or rice bran oil; the refined white sugar with xylitol powder; and, the margarine with a vegetable spread such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance.

When making a chocolate cake, replace the chocolate with cocoa, use fewer egg yolks, and reduce the amount of butter by substituting some nonfat yogurt.

Ice Cream
Add a handful of walnuts and a half-cup of blueberries to your bowl of ice cream to provide some fiber and protein and slow down the absorption of the sugar.

Make your own homemade ice cream with a blender, low fat cream and frozen fruit.

If you purchase your ice cream, do not buy the low fat versions because they contain more sugar and are less filling. Instead buy the rich ice cream, but eat less of it with some nuts and fruit.

Create a green smoothie by mixing berries, almond milk, walnuts, spinach leaves, and sugar-free vanilla pudding or nonfat plain yogurt. Add ice to thicken the smoothie and turn it into ice cream. You won’t even taste the spinach!

Make your own ice cream with a high-speed blender, cream/nonfat milk, frozen berries, vanilla extract, and xylitol (optional). For a root beer float: Mix sugar-free, flavored syrup with seltzer water, and add one scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

French Fries
Using sweet potatoes or the crunchy vegetable called jicama (pronounced hik’-a-ma), you can enjoy crisp, salty fries now and then. And since white potatoes can raise blood sugar more rapidly than even table sugar, you’re wise to avoid them.

Peel sweet potatoes, and then slice them up lengthwise like steak fries. Toss gently with extra virgin olive oil and seasonings of your choice, then bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes on each side. Jicama can be sliced thin (like matchsticks) and made either in the oven the same way (cut the time in half) or fried in a pan with a high-heat oil such as extra virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil. You can also slice jicama super-thin like potato chips. Experiment with different spices on your fries, such as onion or garlic salt, paprika, or taco seasoning.

You can also use regular potatoes, slice them lengthwise into thin (or thick) strips -- but keep the skin, which are packed with nutrients and fiber, and will help to make the fries crispy and crunchy. Mix olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, seasoning salt, onion powder and black pepper together in a Ziploc bag. Add potatoes and shake to ensure all potatoes are coated. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 3 minutes on each side in preheated 450° oven, or bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Fried Chicken and Other Meats
If you would like to eat a healthier version of fried chicken, buy locally or organic (free-range) chicken breasts without the skin. Coat the skinless chicken with skim milk, egg whites, a small amount of organic nut flour, cornflake crumbs, herbs and spices; and, bake at 375°.

Another option is to coat the chicken, bake it, and then flash-fry the chicken for 30-45 seconds in a nonstick pan coated with a teaspoon of olive or rice bran oil to crisp the outside. Avoid frying with Crisco, Mazola, and other vegetable oils, which break down under the heat.

Note: For crispy, yet tender chicken that doesn't tie you to the stove, the night before soak the chicken in buttermilk to act as a tenderizer and start by flash-frying and finish baking the chicken in the oven. Another option for a crispy coating is mix Greek yogurt and multigrain cereal flakes with spices (i.e. parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic salt, black pepper, paprika).

Note: To make the coating stick well, dip the chicken in water and/or refrigerate the coated chicken, uncovered, for an hour before frying.

Note: Another option for a crispy coating is to coat the skinless chicken with finely crushed walnuts (or almonds/pecans) and egg white.

If possible avoid grilling, broiling or frying animal meat, especially red meat. Toxic compounds are created that have been linked to several cancers.

To reduce these levels of carcinogens, use lean cuts only, marinate them, and flip them frequently on the grill to reduce the cooking time.

Avoid smoked and processed meats such as bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs, bologna, and lunch meats, which have been linked to cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Type 2 diabetes. Eat organic bacon and sausage if you really miss these meats.

If you eat beef, eat only the lean beef. The leanest cuts usually carry the label “USDA Select”. Select beef contains 40% less fat than “prime” and 20% less fat than “choice”. If financially possible, eat only organic USDA certified meat. Avoid the meat if it has a lot of marbling – this indicates a lot of fat. Cut away any visible fat before cooking the meat to reduce the fat and toxin intake. While broiling meat, let the fat drip off, but don’t let it drain on hot charcoal or a hot burner because this will produce undesirable fumes.

Use ground turkey or chicken in place of ground beef for lasagna, soups, stuffed peppers, burgers, etc. to reduce your saturated fat intake. If you really prefer the beef, then, use organic, free-range beef and use 20-25% less meat. Other meat options include wild game such as venison and bear because they provide Omega-3 EFAs and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Marinade meat overnight in something flavorful, e.g. olive oil, garlic, ginger, and light soy sauce. Use olive oil as part of the marinade to “break down” the harmful saturated fats and to increase the flavor.

Sauté your meats with red and green peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and other vegetables that you like to give the meat a better flavor and reduce the amount of meat that you would normally eat because of the extra vegetables.

Trim all the visible fat from the steak (to reduce the amount of arachidonic acid in steaks and roasts), then place it in a large resealable plastic bag along with a mixture of 1 cup of red wine and 1 cup of olive oil or light sesame oil. Allow the meat to marinate in this mixture in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours, flipping the bag and contents over a couple of times.

Take the steak out, drain it for an hour or so, discard the marinade, rub the beef with some pepper or other spices to taste, and then grill it.

Note: The wine acts as a solvent to leach out a fair amount of the fat in the steak, which is replaced in part by the fat in the olive or sesame oil. The oil permeates the steak, giving it a juicy succulent taste and makes it healthier. You can use this technique with roasts as well.

Note: If you really like fried foods, then, use a flash fryer that will sear the food on the outside and prevent the absorption of the oil into the meat. But, you should eventually transition away from fried foods, if possible.

Note: The best oils for frying include extra virgin coconut oil, then vitamin E-rich extra virgin olive oil, because it tolerates high temperatures without breaking down. Unfortunately, it's expensive. The next best oil for frying is peanut oil. Neither corn oil, safflower oil, nor sunflower seed oil can tolerate frying temperatures, so you shouldn't use them.

Frying Tips
With health consciousness at such a high point these days, many people do not deep fry foods. But sometimes some fried food is just what you want! If you're going to consume the calories, make sure that the food is perfectly fried with these tips.

Deep fat frying is a dry heat cooking method. It's considered dry because no water is used, unlike poaching, microwaving, or simmering. Here's how to do it:

To start, choose your cooking oil carefully. Oils with high 'smoke points, in other words, those which do not break down at deep frying temperatures, are best. Peanut oil, extra virgin coconut oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil, are some good choices.

Choose a deep, very heavy skillet to fry with. Add oil to the cold pan, leaving a headspace, or space at the top of the pan, of at least two inches. This allows a safety margin when the oil bubbles up as the food is added.

Make sure that the food you're going to fry is dry. Letting it sit on paper towels, or coating it in flour or bread crumbs is a good way to ensure this. Let the coated food sit on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes so the coating dries and sets.

Begin heating the oil over medium high heat. If you have a deep fat frying thermometer, use it! The best temperature is 350 to 375 degrees F. If you don't have a thermometer, the oil is ready when a 1" cube of white bread dropped into the oil browns in 60 seconds; that oil temperature will be about 365 degrees F.

Don't overcrowd the pan! Carefully add the food, leaving lots of space around each piece so the food will cook evenly. If you add too much food at once, the oil temperature will drop and the food will absorb fat instead of instantly searing.

Watch the food carefully as it cooks, regulating the heat if necessary to keep that oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees F. When the food is browned according to the time in the recipe, it's done. Remove it with a slotted spoon or a heavy stainless steel sieve with a long handle. Drop it onto paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Fried foods can be kept warm in a 200 degrees F. oven until all the food is fried.
Oil and water do not mix!! Keep water away from the hot oil. If you pour water on the oil, the mixture will explode. If the oil smokes or catches fire, cover it with a pan lid or cookie sheet. You can use baking soda to put out any grease fires, but be careful that you don't spread the flames around.

Always keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, just in case. Learn how to use it now, before you may need it.

Don't reuse the cooking oil. Some sources say you can strain it and reuse it, but the oil has already begun to break down from the heat, and undesirable compounds like trans fats have formed. Let the oil cool completely, then discard safely.

Eat your favorite fruit with a handful of walnuts and almonds to offset the carbs from the fruit.

You can make your own healthier thin-crust pizza at home with pita bread. Buy whole-grain or ground flax pitas, spread your favorite tomato sauce over it, and add a mix of vegetables, sautéed peppers and onions, mushrooms, broccoli, olives, plenty of herbs and spices, a drizzle of olive oil, and shredded mozzarella. Bake in an oven at 400°F for 7-10 minutes.

You can also make a great, crispy hors d’oeuvre by splitting the pita pocket, topping the two halves with pesto sauce and grated Parmesan, and baking.

Potato Chips
Potato Chips are a favorite comfort food, but they're unhealthy. To create healthy potato chips, make them yourself. Slice the potatoes crosswise 1/8-inch thick and toss them in a bowl or Ziploc bag with olive oil and thyme.

Then, arrange the slices in one layer on two nonstick baking sheets, and spray the slices lightly with olive oil and bake in a preheated 400° oven until the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes.

Turn potatoes over, continue to bake until brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the slices to paper towels and sprinkle them with salt and rosemary, if desired, while they are still hot. For some zest, coat the slices with black pepper and cayenne pepper or paprika and chili powder before baking.

If you don’t want to make your own chips, you can find organic chips or baked potato chips in the health food stores. Other healthy alternatives include: baked plantain chips, roasted Moroccan-spiced chickpeas, and homemade granola.

Some people are still confused about whether or not white rice is good for you. For one, we are often told that the Asian way of eating is a healthy one, and we know they eat a lot of white rice (but, in small portions).

Also, we know (some) grains are important for health, and rice is very clearly a grain. The nitty-gritty can be found in the difference between a refined grain and a whole grain. White rice is a grain that has been refined – which means the nutrient-dense parts of it have been stripped away, leaving only the sticky, starchy center. This center, or endosperm, is essentially the nutritional equivalent of table sugar, and it has a similarly high impact on blood glucose.

The better choice is (organic) brown rice, which is a whole grain rich in beneficial phytochemicals and fiber. But, check your post-meal blood glucose level because rice can spike your blood sugar.

However, brown rice isn’t the only choice. When brown rice doesn’t fit your needs –– or if you just aren’t a fan of its texture and flavor –– there are other great whole-grain options. Try amaranth, barley, buckwheat (kasha), bulgur, or quinoa. Each of these grains has a slightly different texture and flavor, but all can be substituted for rice. They can be cooked on the stovetop in boiling water (or better yet, use chicken, beef, or vegetable broth). Read package directions for amounts and time. Always test in the last five to 10 minutes to make sure the grains don’t become mushy.

To reduce the glycemic impact of eating rice, eat it with beans, or mix it with vegetables/almonds as part of a stir-fry or casserole.

Stews and Casseroles
Comfort foods like starchy stews (and casseroles) are hearty, filling and easy to make with healthy ingredients. Traditional dishes often call for lots of starchy vegetables and binders high in fat and sodium, but a few simple tricks such as using lean meat sparingly and adding a wide range of colorful vegetables create a healthier dish.

Meat Stews
Lean meats, such as turkey and chicken, make healthy one-pot meals when combined with vegetables and whole grains.

Use brown rice or quinoa to thicken a stew, rather than potatoes, or use sweet potatoes, which are a good source of vitamins A and C.

Ground turkey is ideal for a healthy version of chili with beans, tomatoes, peppers and onions, or use shredded chicken with carrots, kale and rice for a lighter stew.

Lamb is a strong meat that flavors a whole stew without using a lot of it. Choose a lean cut and use no more than 2 ounces per person in a stew with carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes and red wine.

Tofu has very little flavor and absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients, and is a good protein for smoothies. [Thanks, Daughter!]

Regular tofu is not fermented and does not have bacteria and/or molds added as do dairy cheeses. It can be used instead of meat in vegetarian and vegan dishes, such as breakfast or other burritos, chili, enchiladas, lasagna, pates, salads, sandwiches, soups, on shish kebabs with vegetables and mushrooms, and stir fries, etc. It can also be scrambled with turmeric and/or nutritional yeast and other spices for a taste, appearance and texture similar to scrambled eggs.

Silken tofu is best for puddings, soups, dips and some desserts since it's smoother and less grainy. Silken tofu can be substituted for butter, cream cheese, whipped cream, or heavy cream in a variety of recipes., especially in sweet recipes ranging from breakfast smoothies to puddings and pies.

Soft tofu is usually too soft for stir-fries and firm tofu may be too grainy for some desserts and dips, etc.

Firm tofu can be marinated, fried, or sautéed. Heating tofu before marinating will help it absorb the marinade thoroughly.

Tuna Casserole

A few substitutions can make tuna casserole more nutritious. Teff noodles, plain yogurt and fresh, organic peas add nutrients while increasing the casserole's anti-inflammatory properties and lowering its glycemic index.

Use tuna packed in water, which is low in saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy choice and a good choice for those with diabetes.

Choose a low carb pasta to significantly reduce the number of carbohydrates per serving. But, not all low carb pastas are created equal. Soy based noodles, such as Shirataki Miracle Noodles, are made of soluble plant fiber contain zero calories and zero carbs. This particular variety comes in fettuccini, angel hair and rice noodle styles. If no low carb pasta is available in your area, you can search online supermarkets for a greater variety. Or, use whole-wheat egg noodles—they have more fiber than regular egg noodles.

Use Parmesan cheese, which is much healthier than other types of cheeses because its calorie content is much lower.

Use low fat cream of mushroom soup instead of lots of butter and cream. Or, make your own creamy mushroom sauce with nonfat milk thickened with a bit of flour.
Layer your casserole with fresh vegetables, beans and lean cuts of meat.

Please Note: Before you start eating these comfort foods, make sure that you go through all 6 stages of the Death to Diabetes program first to ensure that your blood glucose won't spike and remain outside the normal range.

Note: These tips were taken from the hundreds of food tips in the Death to Diabetes Favorite Foods ebook and the Death to Diabetes Cookbook.