Features — 29 March 2017 — by Dr. Pam Reyes ND
THE JOY OF FOOD:  HOW MANY  MEALS SHOULD WE EAT PER DAY?

Hello everyone. We’ve been discussing the topic of obesity and weight management for a few weeks. Today, we thought we’d divert a bit to look at meals and some foods that may be an encouragement in our weight-loss program. As I stated last week, food should be celebrated and enjoyed; not looked upon as the “boogeyman” of weight control, degenerative diseases and illnesses. After all, without the nourishment that food brings us for sustenance—not to mention the deliciousness of taste when food is consumed, and the aroma of smell when food is being cooked, what joy would there be in eating meals? To say the least, eating would be a pretty boring affair. No one would want to eat—then we’d have a different problem: malnutrition. However, it is because food tastes and smells so great that some of us may tend to overeat. Some people may, as I’ve stated, need guidance from their doctors, to find out if they have hormonal, chemical, or physiological imbalances that would need to be addressed and corrected, medically. However, for those who don’t, let’s put that good home-cooked food into perspective.

HOW MANY TIMES PER DAY SHOULD I EAT: The real question should be: How many times per day should you eat—without going hungry? What I recommend is to start your weight management with 3 meals per day—then, go to 2 meals (preferable). We’d like to start this regimen with the 2-meal plan (you may use this plan for the 3-meal plan; just add one more meal and shift the time/clock schedule around). What times of the day should you eat? Have your first meal anywhere from 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (depending on whether you get up early or late). The second meal of the day should be consumed anywhere from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (depending on what time you ate your first meal). I call this “intermittent eating.” Your goal should be for you to feel satisfied, regardless of whichever one of these 2 meals you eat, so that you do not go hungry in between meals. How do you do this? Let’s take a closer look below:

THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS: My motto is: Always start your day with a solid, satisfying breakfast in the morning! When we say this, we do not mean pancakes and syrup and high refined, sugary carbohydrates (as is the case in the U.S.). Start your breakfast with some protein, greens, and healthy fat (yes, contrary to popular belief, good fat is healthy). Eggs come with Omega 3 fatty acids—that is the good cholesterol; not the bad cholesterol (yes, eat the egg yellow). Eggs are fine. If you’re diabetic, you may want to add some fat along with the protein in eggs for sustainability until your next meal. I’m talking about fat like: cheese, peanut butter, avocados (I know some of you call it “pears.”). Make an avocado salad with tomatoes, onions to go with your eggs. In my childhood home where I grew up, we had something called “fish tea.” My mom would steam fresh-caught fish, cook it up with vegetables and add a small piece of roti on the side buttered with that delicious Wood & Dunn creamery butter, and that’s what we ate for breakfast, many times. That creamery butter was so fresh, at times when we’d open the can there’d be milk settled on top of the butter (the good old days). Mom always found creative ways to cook “the breakfast of champions” for us.

BACON & WHOLE FATS: By the way, for those who want a little bacon or sausage with your breakfast eggs—go ahead. Enjoy! Fish and eggs. Pork chops and eggs. Some stewed iguana meat or lamb chops and sautéed cabbage with onions, and a little scrambled eggs on the side. Get creative. If you don’t want eggs—then don’t, that’s okay too. Remember: we’re celebrating the joys of food, folks. It’s not a funeral we’re attending. We’re enjoying and loving food while maintaining our weight, compatible with our body type. However, you do have to understand the facts about the foods you eat, and why, no matter how hard you may try, you cannot get rid of those extra lingering pounds that later play havoc on your health. Here’s a tip about fat: The more lean meats you eat, i.e., the more low fat you go; the higher your Insulin levels will be. Insulin is what we’re trying to lower in order to burn the fat in your body that some of you may need to do to better manage your weight. Did you know that Insulin is the hormone that acts as a switch that controls whether or not your body will burn fat, exclusively for energy? It’s much better if you have/buy whole fat products, because whole fats do not affect or stimulate Insulin. So you know, once again: Insulin is the main hormone that acts as a switch which controls whether you are going to burn fat, exclusively for energy, or if you’re only just going to burn sugar in your body. If you still do not understand how this fat-burning process works, then, please consult with your doctor to get some advice on your weight management.

HERE’S AN INSULIN INDEX:

Butter: 2%
Coconut: 3%
Bacon: 9%
Egg Yolk: 15%
Egg White: 55%
Whey: 71%

NOTE: The higher up on the Insulin Index ladder you go to lean concentrated proteins or low-fat proteins, for example, egg whites—55%, whey—71%, etc., the higher your Insulin will be. Conversely, the higher your Insulin levels in the body; the less fat you will burn. Of course, there are other factors involved in our weight management program, such as EXERCISE (it’s all good). We’ll talk about that in another discussion. That’s all for today. Next week we’ll continue this interesting conversation on the joys of food consumption.


Dr. Pam Reyes is Chairwoman of Caribbean Educational Media, a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, dispersing information on health, educational & legal issues, and exploring the information & communication highway of the present and future, via the media of the Internet, print journalism, nonprofit public radio & television, and nonprofit public participation.

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