Rice & the gi diet

I am trying to lose weight. According to this book I just bought, my BMI needs to go down from 27.3 to about 24.8. I’m not in the health risk zone, but I’m definitely not at my ideal weight. So this book about the Gi diet is pretty straightforward, had lots of recipes, and has a chart that groups foods into red, yellow, or green. I’ve already started excercising regularly for a few months now so if I follow the guidelines in this book, I should be losing a pound a week. It all sounds do-able until…oh jeez, jasmine rice is in the red group!

Rice in any Thai person’s home has to be jasmine rice. I have probably been eating Jasmine rice since I had teeth. It is just unheard of to buy any other type of rice. I had a roommate in college who bought American rice. My mother came to visit, saw this American rice in the cupboard and had an absolute fit. “What is this doing in here? You bought this? You eat this?” I swore to her that I never once ate a single grain of that inferior rice.

Jasmine rice is distinctive, it has a softer texture than other rice and has just the right amount of stickiness to it. Its taste blends perfectly with the flavors of Thai curries, soups or stir-fries. My favorite thing about jasmine rice is the smell. It has such a soft, pleasing smell. It is one of those smells that makes a house feel like a home. I have gone without Jasmine rice before. When I was a student, I spent 3 months as an exchange student in Japan. Japanese people think that Japanese rice is the best in the world. I like Japanese rice and I think it is perfect for sushi, but it is not the best in the world. The Japanese are just, unfortunately, a little misguided because Thai rice is the best in the world.

So Step 2 of this Gi diet is to “clear out the cupboards” of all red- and yellow-light products. I have an unopened 5kg bag of jasmine rice in my cupboard which I guess is going to be donated to the local homeless shelter. I have already bought some basmati rice, which is a green light product (along with wild, brown, and long grain rice). Of course I will never completely eliminate jasmine rice from my diet, but I really want to get into shape so I think that jasmine rice will have to take on a less familiar role in my life. This is worse than the day I realized I had become lactose intolerant. Sad, sad day.

9 responses to “Rice & the gi diet

  1. enjoy your writing very much so

    Once a Jasmine rice, it’s Jasmine rice forever!!!
    Nothing and no one can stop me from this
    great stuff on earth!!!

  2. Nal –

    I agree with everyone that has commented so far. Oakmonster is 100% right it’s the moderation of portions not the forced elimination of something (unless we’re talking about smoking or alcohol or other obvious health risks) that is the key to a healthier and balanced heart, body and mind.

    Look at it this way – what is more important having your self identity (ie the rice, which is part of your culture and your connection to it) or someone elses self imposed idea of what you should look/sound/act or dress like? Why change who you are to please strangers who would not care one way or the other.

    Keep the rice and those in your life who know and love you for you and will not care about one iota about what rice you eat (except mom) and whether that makes any difference in how much you weigh.

    It’s that simple.


  3. Nal: NOOOOOOO! Don’t throw out the rice! Gi, schmee!

    I’m on Buddhist Diet: everything in moderation. I eat everything as long as portion is under control. No calorie counting here. Haven’t gained weight although I need to work out to keep my J-Lo butt (for Thai standard) in shape.

  4. This blog was really funny, sad and moving!! I really feel bad that you must give up the rice you want. Is it not possible to push up the exercising a bit more and then continue with the rice you want?

  5. Nal-I trust you are aware that one of the major criticisms of the Gi diet is that the Gi of a particular food is not fixed, but varies from person to person.
    Think hard before ditching that 5kg of Jasmine rice !
    I am also on a diet, but it allows me to eat small quantities of the things I like, and I have lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks (32 to go !)

  6. Rice in any Thai person’s home has to be jasmine rice.

    I’m not so sure about that… over here in the North, and also in the Northeast, glutaneous rice seems to be the preferred one, and also happens to be my favorite one. This is the only kind of rice that can be used to make sticky rice aka ‘kao nieow’. Sure, it’s considered ‘loso’, but who cares? To me, it represents Thailand more than jasmine rice.

    About giving up your favorite food: I agree with Oakley and Wit; if I were in your place, I wouldn’t do it. However, you understand your priorities better than anyone else, so if getting in shape is more important for you, I wish you the best of luck.

  7. In the UK, kao nieow is more expensive than kao sarn so I consider sticky rice as not so lo so. To me kao nieow is a luxury item. I only make kao nieow when I’m barbecueing or if I make Larb. Larb is the only northern food I know how to make. It is one my husband’s favorites.

    I visited Udon Thani a few years ago to attend a wedding. After the wedding, our family friend took us on a tour of Udon Thani and Nong Khai. When we stopped for lunch, we ate very delicious sausages. I don’t have the words that can express how much we enjoyed our meal that day. We were so enamoured with it that our host took us to visit his friend’s business where they make these sausages.

  8. I am Japanese, moreover I am a girl who is always try to be thin. I will always eat japanese rice everyday. It is not bad for the health at all. Anything can be eaten (Even chocolate!) as long as calories is watched. For example, today I eat for all of today, 1/2 cup of rice with furikake (seaweed topping), small miso soup and 1 apple. the calories did not exceed, so therefore I may eat my favourite and still lose weight easily!
    Also somehow i think heavily sticky japanese rice is more filling to the stomach than jasmine rice.

  9. Purushottam Rao

    Jasmine rice is supposed to have high GI. It is a medium aromatic rice and gives a medium aroma. You can eat any rice if one does not have diabetes and still loose weight or shape up. It is the total digestible matter which can convert to fat at the wrong time of the day and also binge eating at any one time of the day which will make a person change in his/her eating habits, and as a bonus, put on weight.

    IT is total intake of high energy foods for normal people particularly followed by sleeping which will make them fat.

    So a fat person taking in high GI food may put weight if he/she eats a lot on one occassion, digests it easily and eats more after feeling hungry again. This might happen within the dietary intake of the whole day. The difference in a diabetic person is that the high GI food doesn’t burn fast enough and will cause a much larger change as the high GI food definitely builds up as it is not metabolised after eating.

    End of the day, balanced eating in moderation will help with suffiecient min. exercise to be fit and in shape as well warding of nasty diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease.