Tuesday, February 8, 2011

three days of refined food...

I just came back from an acupuncture course in Toronto at the Crowne Plaza airport hotel and my digestive system is very unhappy with me.  The three day course included breakfast and lunch.  Here's what was served:

  • muffins (white flour), mini croissants, scones/biscuits, sliced canteloupe, pineapple, honey dew, watermelon, coffee, tea, orange and grapefruit juice from concentrate
  • Day 1 - sandwiches (only 1 whole wheat option) of cold cuts, egg or tuna salad, vegetarian, watered down and sugary squash soup, coleslaw, potato salad full of mayonnaise.
  • Day 2 - american chinese - chicken pieces sopped in some sort of salty brown sauce, spring rolls with very little but very salty filling, and dry, salty fried rice
  • Day 3 - american italian - cream of broccoli soup (where was the broccoli I wondered...), caesar salad, lasagna (many layers of pasta and sauce...one layer of ricotta), cream sauced pasta with bacon and mushrooms (again, very salty), vegetarian pasta (pasta in tomato sauce with a few peppers), tiramisu (which tasted like marshmallows and lady fingers)
  • yogurt (actually very exciting)
  • nature valley crunchy granola bars
  • cookies
  • fruit (one day only...this was also exciting)
Now I'm normally not a very picky eater - I love food and there isn't really anything I don't like!  But this spread actually made me feel gross.  I can't believe how much three days of eating refined sugar, fast acting carbs, and oversalty foods has changed my energy, mood, and digestive system.  I could feel that if I ate that way any longer I would get sick, become super tired and moody.  There was not enough nutrition, protein or fibre in any of those meals.  It was terrible because we would all be really hungry by lunch (there were about 90 people at this course) and then crash in about an hour because the fast acting carbs and sugars from lunch would drop and leave us tired and sleepy.  The meals were poor for mental energy - and the afternoon cookie snack only put us at another high for about 15 minutes then we would crash again.

I was lucky to have dinner on Friday evening at my friend Abby's house - there were 5 of us and we had a delicious homemade dinner with whole wheat pita bread with hummus and olives, grapes & brie, homemade whole wheat pasta, homemade sauce, watercress and sunflower seed salad, and then gelato for dessert.  Saturday evening I had sushi with friends, which was delicious and refreshing.

It really amazed me that a few days of eating refined foods really negatively affected my energy, digestive system, and overall general sense of well-being.  Now I'm even more inspired to create healthy recipes and keep this blog up:)


  1. I've always felt the same about my work and school conferences. It's so refreshing to know that there are other people out there thinking the same thing! Keep the recipes coming!

    Have you tried quinoa? I'm making it tonight and it's one of my favs.


  2. Conferences have always been a struggle for me - both in terms of diet and physical activity. I would go to either physical activity or obesity conferences and we'd sit all day long listening to talks about how we should reduce our sedentary time, or about how we should counsel overweight individuals to eat and then have white bread sandwiches (mayo-laden chicken salad seems very popular), with pop, and a bag of chips served as lunch. The hypocrisy of this divide between preaching and practicing drove me insane.