Monday, July 31, 2006

The mystery revealed

Today is the Promised Day. You all have been very patient...and I hope at least a little bit curious. But maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

Quick review: Throughout my adult life I have been slowly gaining weight at roughly the rate of two pounds a year. That netted me a gain of about fifty pounds over my weight in 1980. In 1989 high cholesterol was added to my woes. I've been aware of the accumulative problem and periodically have made an attempt to deal with it but basically I am a lazy person.

I don't like counting calories, though I like healthy foods. I like doing things outdoors, but fitness classes bore me. Going to the gym was not much fun, but I did it for a couple of years in the mid-90s. It took so much time out of my week and it seemed I was constantly following big strong men around the strength training equipment--men that didn't bother to remove the monstrous weights they were able to lift or pull.

In 2004 I joined Curves for women. At last I could exercise in a woman's environment with several advantages beyond that. There are no weights to adjust---and the cardio workout takes place simultaneously to the strength-training. Forty minutes three times a week and you're outta there baby. I definitely began to trim up, but lose weight? Not so much.

I've mentioned my bout with arthritis in the fall of 2005 and the shocking revelation that I'd gained an additional ten pounds (seemingly overnight) elsewhere. It took about two minutes on March 10, 2006 to decide that there was no time like the present to mend my ways. It was time to Get Serious. Exercise wise, I realized I'd been going through the motions of the Curves workout but not really pushing myself (and of course I'd been off for a few months due to the flare-up). I vowed to go every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and to go for a brisk walk on the other four days. Every day, I would exercise without fail. On the food angle I began jacking my daily servings of fruits and vegetables from a pathetic average of 2-3 to 8-10. When I discovered the G. I. Diet the remaining piece fell into place.

I have lost 30 pounds and am within 8 pounds of my goal (no need to be as thin as I was when I was 20, methinks.) At first I looked at the GI Diet as a temporary solution. It began working for me very quickly and that helped. However as I lost weight and gained health and energy I began to realize that this was too good a feeling to relegate to the back burner once I had reached my goal. I began adapting my recipes and inventing new ones to meet the requirements of the GI Diet.

What does GI stand for? Glycemic Index. The basic idea is that the founder, Rick Gallop (past president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario), has looked at how quickly and efficiently our body burns calories from various sources. In other words, not all calories are created equal.

He divided food up into three basic categories, based on universal traffic lights. Anything he labels *green* means Go for it. Eat as much as you want. The yellow category means Proceed with Caution. And red, of course, is simply Don't go There (at least if you want to lose weight!). His comprehensive charts are found in his paperback book (sold at paperback prices; I bought my copy at the local pharmacy) and categorize food by glycemic index into these three colors.

What makes the GI way different from other *diets*? Gallop acknowledges that simply going low carb means that we deny our bodies a lot of the essentials we need. There are good carbs (vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, nuts, etc) and bad carbs (those high in refined products). The absolute best thing is not counting calories. If I'm hungry, I go have a snack. I have lots of favorites to choose from.

This made a lot of sense to me and still does. And as I've worked through recipes both old favorites and new innovative ones, I've been thinking about the lack of a recipe book that is based on the principles of the GI Diet.

The idea of writing one was born. I write, don't I? Why not a recipe book?

At last we get to the point of this post. I have been researching (ongoing) what it takes to write a recipe book and seek publication for it. I know it is a long shot. Doubtless the world in not waiting with bated breath to hear from me. Still, the idea won't let go.

I am looking for people from all walks of life, with varying cooking skills, and living in various parts of the English speaking world to test recipes. A forum has been created for the posting of these recipes in which the testers can comment. There will be specific forms to fill out. No tester will be expected to try every recipe, but I am looking for reasons why a recipe might not appeal to you enough for you to WANT to try it. I am looking for a one year/ fifty recipe per person commitment (out of several hundred that will be posted).

If I am able to reach my goal and actually sell this recipe book, each tester in good standing will be mentioned in the acknowledgments and will receive one signed copy of the book. There will be no additional cash (or any other type of) payment. If it doesn't sell despite my best efforts, I still believe all participants will have been winners. You will have many healthful recipes to fall back on for the remainder of your life.

If you are looking for healthy recipes (whether or not you intend to go the GI Diet the whole way, every day) and are interested in this pilot project, please email me at: chief_tester AT valeriecomer DOT com. I will send you more details and a basic application form.

Applications close Friday, August 11.


fiorinda said...

Congratulations on your weight loss!! If I knew I had time I'd volunteer. But I think I will try the GI Diet(after the babes are born) since you have had such success with it.

I think your recipe book is a great idea.

Valerie Comer said...

Yes mother-of-two and soon to be mother-of-four...let me know later on. If you want in late, I'll let you. You have the best excuse of anyone I know!!