Slow Foods for Slow Week

By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.

It’s Monday again here on Dish + Drink, which means we’re back to eating healthy for those of you who go a little haywire on proper nutrition over the weekend. I like to discuss eating well on Mondays because, at least for me, a sluggish start to the week usually means I don’t recover until the weekend rolls around. Eating clean and putting quality fuel in our bodies is a wonderful way to stay energized throughout the week (yes, even on Monday mornings).

Today kicks off Slow Week here on BTR so I’ll be doing my best to keep up with the theme with some slow cooking recipes (yes in food, patience really is a virtue). Before I get to all of that, I’d like to talk a little bit about slow digestion and slow release proteins.

Slow digesting carbohydrates and slow release proteins are both important for similar reasons. Slow release proteins can help you feel fuller longer and can even nourish your body while you’re asleep. Slow digesting carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates can help keep insulin levels at bay and slow the breakdown of glucose, which helps keep body fat percentages low.

Some of the best slow release protein foods are also the ones that are lowest in fat, like foods with casein such as nonfat cottage cheese and nonfat cow’s milk. Solid cheese also contains casein, but is much higher in fat, so you shouldn’t eat it often. Other great slow release proteins include meat like lean steak, pork, chicken, and turkey. Fish like salmon and sole are quite high in slow release proteins while low in fat. Nut butters contain slow release proteins, but almond butter has less fat than peanut butter.

Foods that are richest in slow digesting carbs include whole wheat and whole grain foods, like whole wheat pasta. Green leafy vegetables, legumes, lentils, black beans, and soybeans are also complex carbohydrates. Nuts, avocados, figs, apples, grapefruit, and blueberries all fall into the same category, but be weary. Many of these foods, while much healthier than simple carbohydrates, are still high in fat content. Eating these foods instead of simple carbs is a good habit to get into, but eating too much can prove counterproductive.

With those two lists in mind, we should all be feeling ready to tackle on a new week of eating clean and fueling our bodies with the right kinds of energy.