• Eating to Win (with Julie Foucher)

    August 6, 2012

    Cauliflower was the star of dinner last night.

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    Yesterday, my Dole calendar shared a fun fact with me about cauliflower:

    Cauliflower Benefits

    When “eating colors,” don’t forget white! Cauliflower contains compounds called isothiocyanates that were effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease (also called ulcerative colitis), in basic research. As a probable link exists between ulcerative colitis and development of colon cancer, cauliflower may have a role in reducing rick of colon cancer in ulcerative colitis patients.

    Interesting, right? Well, this fun fact about cauliflower inspired me to Google a recipe for dinner. I figured it couldn’t hurt!  

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    When I Google recipes, I almost always search “Real Simple” + whatever ingredients I have on-hand or want to use. So, yesterday, I Googled “real simple cauliflower ham steak” and up popped Cauliflower and Ham Gratin.

    The nutritional information for this recipe was a little scary (29g of saturated fat + 1,064mg of sodium per serving), so I tried to “healthify” it with some ingredient swaps. Instead of using heavy creamy and whole milk, I used 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk. The dish turned out pretty well—not super creamy like the original—but still good.


    FYI: I totally felt like Dexter when I was cutting the ham steak. I even heard the intro music playing in my head as I did it. Haha!

    For dessert, I enjoyed a bunch of fresh strawberries and then later a scoop of cashew butter straight from the jar.

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    Having ulcerative colitis, I often take note of foods that can possibly benefit my condition, which is part of the reason I decided to incorporate cauliflower into dinner last night. (It also sounded like an easy and delicious recipe!) I know ulcerative colitis is not caused by diet, but I can’t help but think foods that create inflammation in the colon probably cause more harm than good.

    With that said, this connection between food and health reminded me of an interview with Julie Foucher in the recent issue of WOD Talk.

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    The article is a Q & A with Julie about her experience with the Paleo diet and how it has made her an even better athlete. It opens with one of Julie’s favorite quotes (she’s in med school right now):

    The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.

    — Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

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    Later in the interview, one of the questions specifically addresses this quote by Thomas Edison. Here’s Julie’s reply:

    I love that quote, I heard it during a lecture this year and think that it highlights how important prevention is and how many problems could be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle. At this point I don’t know what kind of medicine I want to practice, but I want to incorporate CrossFit, nutrition, and Paleo into it.

    In another response, she goes onto say:

    I’m also planning on doing a nutrition masters which I think is important because in med school we don’t really get a lot of that. I think it’s going to be really interesting learning about Paleo and the things we talk about in CrossFit and try to make sense of it all.

    Questions of the Day

    What do you think about what Julie says about prevention? How often do you personally think about the connection between nutrition and health when choosing what to eat on a daily basis? Has changing how you eat affected your health (for better or worse)?

    P.S. For those of you coming to HLS or just visiting in the coming months, Elizabeth wrote a great post about what to do in Boston.

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    { 5 comments… read them below or add one }

    Melanie August 7, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Yup! I’ve actually been trying to follow the SCD for a month and a half now. I have adapted a SCD/Paleo type diet which is fitting my lifestyle better than just the SCD alone. I think it’s helping a little. I definitely feel good about what’s going into my body that’s for sure.


    Tina August 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I’m so glad to hear that! Hope you’re 100% soon! 🙂


    Heidi August 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Hi, Tina!
    I used to be about 100 pounds heavier, and as I changed my lifestyle, and changed my eating- my brain started to change, too!
    I suffered terribly from ADHD through college, but once I lost most of the weight and changed the foods I ate, I was able to keep it under control. I’ve been off medications for six years! 🙂


    Meredith August 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Hi Tina!

    I had ulcerative colitis for several years, and in 2008 had a total colectomy to remove my pesky colon (it really didn’t like my body). I noticed that certaing foods affected me more than others did. Corn and corn products, artifical sugars, too much ruffage all tended to make a flare worse. Even now, post colon, I am still mindful of these foods. I try to focus on healthy carbs, no sodas, and I do eat salads and greens, but I’m never going to be a big salad twice a day type of gal. My body just won’t let me do it. Anyways, I love your blog, and am so encouraged by you!



    Jim August 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    mmm this all looks delicious! I’m using cauliflower in my chicken crock pot recipe right now and its making everything smell awesome! Cauliflower is defintly a great ingredient to add some into any meal. I also like the xbox controller and strawberry you have there to snack on too 🙂


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