Food for Thought: Seaweed

February 12, 2013

We live in a society that often pairs the ideas of healthful eating and weight loss with long lists of foods to avoid.  I think it is equally important to focus on what we SHOULD eat.  Choosing to think about what we can eat is a more positive thought process than missing and feeling deprived of all of the things that we can’t (or shouldn’t) have.

I see the faces of my patients when I recommend that they omit a possibly offending agent.  “No cream in my coffee?”  “No popcorn at the movies?”  “No cereal for breakfast?  But I’ve always had cereal for breakfast!”

When I first set out to regulate my blood sugar levels (and therefore my hormones, emotions, and digestion), some of my most ingrained, nostalgic, and emotionally charged foods were to be off-limits.  My favorite food at the time was pizza.  I was making a baked ziti weekly, and I grew up having tuna fish on a bagel EVERY single day for lunch.  Until my system was regulated and I could determine how to have them safely on occasion, I knew I had to say goodbye to these foods.

I was so sad!  Until I realized that what I was currently doing wasn’t working for me, and that if I wanted things to change, I had to change something.  Excitement and enthusiasm grew as my health improved and 80 pounds were lost (and kept off).

I love food, and food makes me happy.  New York pizza still makes me happy on occasion, but I have learned to find the same kind of joy and satisfaction in food that is good for me.

I believe that if we fill our guts with all the building blocks our bodies need for optimum health, there will be little room (and desire) for much else.

Seaweed

One of the reasons I am excited to write about seaweed is because I have a new favorite snack.  Patients are constantly asking me for snack recommendations.  Healthful snack options seem limited because they often need to be convenient, and convenient food is often the least nutritious and most offending.

Packaged snacks usually receive an automatic and emphatic “no” when approached to me by patients.  However SeaSnax are only good things (seaweed, olive oil, sea salt), and as the label suggests, “Strangely Addictive!”  You can make them yourself, or you can pay for the convenience of buying them premade.

They’re not potato chips or popcorn, but they are salty, crunchy, and messy, without the negative side effects.

Positive side effects of seaweed include increased consumption of minerals:  iodine, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, and manganese.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, seaweed is thought to have the properties of salty, which softens hardness, and cold, which clears heat toxicity.  Seaweed drains dampness, and is used often in Chinese herbal medicine and food therapy for female reproductive organ imbalances including cysts and fibroids as well as goiters and lymph node swelling.

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen is a great resource for cooking with seaweed according to its healing properties.  Miso soup, which I prescribe a lot, is a great place to increase seaweed intake.  Perhaps you can try adding this mineral-dense food into your diet, and if it is a good fit for you, crowd-out something else that it is time to let go of.

SeaSnax are a great bridge to seaweed land.  Plus, you can eat the whole 5-sheet package for 50 calories 🙂

Remember, you are what you eat.

In good health,

Molly

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2 Responses to “Food for Thought: Seaweed”

  1. karen Says:

    I love this stuff….enjoyed your blog and I too have let go of TUNA and Bagels!!!!!!!! Thank you… K

  2. Lucia Says:

    Dried seaweed is my daughter’s favorite snack! Just got the cookbook you recommended today and it is packed with delicious seaweed recipes. Anxious to try them out soon. Thanks for sending this link. Look forward to reading your other posts, too.


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