Friday, February 18, 2011

Low G. I. and Lentil Soup

Mostly because I want to rant about the book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It with a clean conscience, I am currently experimenting with controlling my carbohydrate intake (about 300 grams a day) and eating low glycemic index ones when I do eat them. It is becoming apparent that in a nutshell this boils down to;

no bread, no potatoes, no tropical fruits and no sweeteners.

I realize that is kind of a fascist list as there are exceptions but that pretty much sums it up.

I have been eating this way for 2 weeks and this is what I can tell you so far;

Twice in the afternoon my blood sugar has crashed so I do keep an extra piece of (temperate) fruit around.

I can't tell whether I feel better or not. It's so subjective. I can say for sure I don't feel any worse.

I can't really tell if my hunger levels have changed. I am generally always hungry and I feel like I'm still pretty much always hungry. I like food, what can I say? But I do generally feel satisfied longer after eating no doubt due to the additional fat and protein I am eating to compensate for the carbs.

My weight has stayed at the low end of my normal range (212 - 222 pounds when I wake up) and my pants do seem to be fitting looser.

The challenge has been that eating a lot of whole grains requires some planning ahead as most of them take some cooking time. We have a lentil casserole that we like that takes 1 1/2 hours to cook. Steel cut oats are better than old fashioned ones but they take 40 minutes so have to be cooked in advance. It is much easier to grab a hunk of bread carb-intake-wise. Luckily I can have whole grain rye or pumpernickel.

Here is one of those semi-long cooking recipes that came out really well (sorry no pix but trust me it looks like grey soup. Lentils are not the best food models). I cooked it along with dinner last night so I could eat it today.

Lentil and Barley Soup

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups water
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup pearl barley
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seed, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 bay leaf
1 bouillon cube
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over high heat in a big soup pot. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and the vegetables are beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook, stirring for about another 30 seconds.

Add water, lentils, barley, tomatoes, spices, oregano, bay leaf, bouillon, and salt & pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for an hour or so. At this point start checking the lentils for desired doneness. Mine went about an hour and fifteen minutes last night.

Happy Friday!


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