Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eat This, Not That. Or That. Not That Either.

I have an eternally vague goal in my mind of trying to eat healthier food.

Previously this was entangled with an equally vague goal of "losing some weight", but I've long since trashed that idea (not because I achieved it, mind you).

But I do enjoy feeling as if whatever I'm eating might possibly, just in some tiny little way, be something that is not pre-destined to show up on some future CAT scan, as an extra-limb-growing, cancer-causing additive.

So I bought this book. Yet another book. Perhaps we'd all be healthier if we just ate the books instead of the food.

See we are not a particularily "healthy" family. We love meat, we eat fast food, we drink pop, we have no qualms about microwave popcorn or Red Dye #40. We don't count calories, wouldn't know a carb if it bit us, and can barely identify bacon as protein.

Oddly enough, we are rarely sick, and that includes sniffles to cancer.

What I'm after is more energy, and not the kind that comes out of a can (daughter swears by energy drinks - they make me gag).

Now, I should mention that I tend to live on five or six hours of sleep (not necessarily when everyone else is sleeping), and pretty much have one meal, then spend the rest of the day grazing (many times on sour gummy worms).

So I bought this book. Mostly because of it's simple presentation: if you going to eat garbage, eat the garbage that's better for you. Also because of the color pictures and big arrows.

I can do this.

Instead of Haagen Daz, I need to switch to Breyers All Natural.

Instead of Mission Guacamole, I can switch to Wholly Guacamole.

I can drop macadamia nuts and switch to pecans and pistachios (turns out pistachios are the perfect nut).

Watch out for HFCS -high fructose corn syrup- if it's listed in the top 2-3 ingredients, you may as well eat lard. And "they" add this stuff to everything.

Some vegetables are much better than others (remember this when planting your gardens): romaine lettuce is the cancer-killing Holy Grail, bok choy is one big leafy multi-vitamin, and blueberries have more anti-oxidants than any other fruit (especially the wild ones).

In some cases, frozen is better than fresh. Unless locally grown, fresh produce is picked early so it can make that long road trip to your grocer, meaning it had less time in the sun to develop all the vitamins it normally has. Locally grown or frozen produce is picked when it's ripe, making it as much as 50% more vitamin-loaded

Easy stuff, for people like me who don't want to spend a lot of time pouring over minutia and endlessly debating diets. There are several versions, this one is the Supermarket Survival version -haven't had a chance to check out the others. It's over on the bookshelf, and I noticed Walmart carries it and I'm sure your local indie bookstore too. Maybe you could request it at the library.

How could I not like a book that tells me gummy worms and guacamole are great snacks?

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