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Dec

Dash Diet : A cursory meal plan review.

I was just told about the DASH diet, a low sodium diet that helps lower hypertension and cholesterol, among other preventable lifestyle and diet related diseases. After checking out the website and a sample menu, here is my critique. Please keep in mind this is just an inital impression, from a holistic and whole foods perspective, and I have not read the book. From what I gather, the book includes wonderful strategies for lifestyle changes and tracking progress, which are great tools if you are disciplined enough to follow through on your own.   Overall, I see a focus on calories, not quality, and no attention to individual needs, such as dairy or wheat intolerance or sensitivity, food combining, or constitutional needs.  What I see lacking are dark leafy greens, and a variety of grains such as brown rice or quinoa, and other whole foods.

If you have read the book, or have experienced this dietary system, please feel free to share your comments! Here is a sample menu, with my comments in ALL CAPS. ::

For info on heath coaching with me, for personalized recommendations, read here.

The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, and includes whole grains, nuts/beans/seeds, lean meats, fish, poultry, and heart healthy fats. The meal plans help you visualize how to put the DASH diet into practice. In order to help avoid hunger in between meals, the meal plans in The DASH Diet Action Plan include protein at every meal and snack, and include lots of bulky, filling low calorie foods.

Breakfast

Oatmeal with Applesauce

WHAT KIND OF OATMEAL? STEEL CUT, OR HIGHLY PROCESSED QUICK OATS?

Whole Wheat English Muffin with Jam

Light Yogurt

I AM NOT A FAN OF ‘LIGHT’ PRODUCTS. THEY ARE MUCH MORE PROCESSED THAN ‘WHOLE’ MILK VARIATIONS. HOWEVER, SOAKING GRAIN CEREAL OVERNIGHT IN WARM WATER AND A SPOONFUL OF YOGURT IS A VERY TRADITIONAL AND HEALTHFUL WAY TO PREPARE BREAKFAST GRAIN CEREALS. TRY IT!

Pineapple Juice

GREAT! VERY ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Lunch

Chicken Waldorf Salad

Dinner Roll

WHAT KIND OF BREAD? WHOLE GRAIN?

Baby Carrots

SINCE WHEN DO CARROTS NEED TO BE INFANTILIZED, PUT THROUGH HEAVY MACHINERY, AND BAGGED IN PLASTIC? JUST EAT CARROTS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

Nonfat Milk

WHOLE, UNHOMOGENIZED, OR BETTER YET, RAW MILK. OR DON’T DRINK MILK! ARE YOU A BABY COW?? I’M PRETTY SURE THE DAIRY COUNCIL WAS IN ON THIS MENU PLANNING…

Cantaloupe

HMMM. MELON IS GREAT, BUT TO AVOID DIGESTIVE UPSET, WAIT AT LEAST 30 MINUTES, OR MORE,  AFTER YOUR MAIN MEAL. MELON, AND CITRUS FRUITS SHOULD BE EATING ALONE, OR SUFFER THE GASSY CONSEQUENCES…IE THEY DIGEST VERY QUICKY, AND YOU MAY HAVE TOO MUCH ELSE IN THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM BLOCKING THEIR BREAKDOWN AND ABSORPTION.

Snack

Light String Cheese

LIGHT…

Kiwi

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE KIWIS ARE IN SEASON WHERE YOU LIVE THIS TIME OF YEAR…

Dinner

Roasted Chicken Breast

Baked Potato

Asparagus

Tomato Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Apple Crisp Topped with Frozen Yogurt

I’M REALLY NOT SURE ABOUT THIS FROZEN YOGURT ‘STUFF’…BUT OTHERWISE, THIS DINNER LOOKS SWELL.  MAKE YOUR OWN BALSAMIC DRESSING, AND AVOID THE BOTTLED VERSIONS:

BALSAMIC VINEGAR

OLIVE OIL

LEMON JUICE

DIJON MUSTARD

Sea Salt + Pepper

Breakfast

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

Wheaties® with Skim Milk Topped with Ripe Raspberries

I FIND IT ODD TO SEE A BRAND NAME CEREAL RECOMMENDATION, BUT I’M NOT SURPRISED. THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN BY A REGISTERED DIETICIAN, WHOSE FIELD IS HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY USDA GUIDELINES, WHICH IS HEAVILY FUNDED BY BIG AG./ BUSINESS. BOXED CEREALS ARE HIGHLY PROCESSED, DENATURED, THEN FORTIFIED, FOOD LIKE SUBSTANCES. THEY ARE NOT FOOD!

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin with a Smear of Light Cream Cheese

AGAIN, IF YOU CAN TOLERATE DAIRY AT ALL, GIVE YOURSELF THE FULL FAT, ORGANIC, PASTURE RAISED VARIETIES.  THIS DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A WHOLE GRAIN BREAD PRODUCT…

Lunch

Turkey and Light Swiss Cheese on Whole Wheat, Smothered with Cranberry Sauce,

GREAT IF YOU’RE NOT GLUTEN SENSITIVE

Topped with Romaine Lettuce Leaves

Minestrone Soup

Coleslaw

THAT ALL SOUNDS GOOD!

Snack

Nectarine

IF IN SEASON, LOCAL, ORGANIC…

Handful of Almonds

LOVELY 🙂

Dinner

Italian Bread Dipped in Olive Oil

SEE IF YOU CAN FIND UNREFINED OIL WHENEVER POSSIBLE. MANY OILS GO RANCID RATHER QUICKLY, AND HAVE LOST MUCH OF THEIR NUTRITIONAL VALUE WHEN UNDERGOING THE REFINEMENT PROCESS.

Grilled Salmon with Barbecue Sauce

WILD SALMON, OF COURSE!  CAREFUL OF PREMADE SAUCES THAT CONTAIN HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP AND OTHER HARMFUL ADDITIVES.

New Petite Red Potatoes

WOW…FANCY!

French-style Green Beans, Dusted with Crushed Hazelnuts

THOSE FRENCH BEANS LIKE FROM THANKSGIVING? I THINK WE’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THOSE, THANK YOU. AND CANNED FOOD IS NOT SO GREAT FOR YOU ANYWAY, SO HOW ABOUT SOME LOVELY FRESH GREEN BEANS! CRUSHED HAZELNUTS SOUND LOVELY!

Hearts of Romaine Lettuce Spiked with Grape Tomatoes, Olive Oil Vinaigrette

Very Berry Sundae

(Strawberries, Blueberries, and Blackberries on Light Vanilla Frozen Yogurt)

WHERE DO YOU GET FROZEN YOGURT? DOES IT COME IN A REGULAR ICE CREAM CONTAINER, OR AS I RECALL, A MACHINE?  TRY COCUNUT MILK ICE CREAM OR RICE MILK ICE CREAM

About Jamie Smith
doTERRA Wellness Advocate + OR LMT #16341+ CHHC

Comment

  1. Marla Heller, MS, RD
    December 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm Reply

    Interesting to see a review of the book without the person having actually read the book. If this reviewer had read the book, he/she would have known that the focus was entirely on quality. And both on the website and in the book, the issue of dairy intolerance is covered. (Although I am slightly puzzled that milk is not considered a natural food, while rice milk is considered by this reviewer to be natural. What part of the rice plant makes milk?) However, all of the DASH diet research was done with dairy being a critical component. It doesn’t lower blood pressure without the dairy. Substitutes are fine (we presume), just (as it says in the book and on the website), make sure that your dairy substitutes have calcium and vitamin D. Regarding gluten, any gluten-free foods are fine, and in fact since most foods are made from scratch, gluten should be easier to control. There are almost no pastries/baked goods other than bread, and your gluten-free breads and cereals are fine.
    The DASH diet is based on real foods, with enough flexibility to appeal to most people. For more info, see http://dashdiet.org.

    Marla Heller, MS, RD
    Author of The DASH Diet Action Plan

    • Jamie Smith
      December 3, 2011 at 12:53 am Reply

      hi marla! thanks for chiming in here. obviously, since i stated i had not read the book, my ‘review’ was admittedly more of a cursory critique, totally non conclusive, and only on one aspect-the sample menu from the website [which i linked to]. i was surprised after just completing a certificate in holistic health coaching from the institute for integrative nutrition, which includes a review of over 100 dietary theories, that the DASH diet was not covered, and that i had just heard about it from a client.

      i don’t recommend rice milk in my commentary as ‘natural’, only as one possible alternative to frozen yogurt. i should clarify that i am not personally really for any processed milk alternatives, although they may be good options for some people. nor did i say milk is ‘unnatural’, but that drinking it may be [for humans], and worth considering, and i would have like to see [again from a very cursory exercise in looking at the sample menu] some factoring in of dietary sensitivities. had i read the book, i’m sure my comments would be different. i don’t presume to oppose the science behind the diet be incorrect in the least, and if dairy is a crucial component, so be it! nutrition is complex, with many theories which are scientifically accurate not necessarily being good for all within targeted populations of the programs. i encourage people to read the book and try the recommendations for themselves! Thanks again, Marla.

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