Friday, February 15, 2013

Food, Eating and Xtreme Eating-


I am becoming more self aware of what foods I eat. I choose to eat healthier. I do not have a weight problem, never have. I do enjoy the occasional drive-through for a quick fast-food fix but today I look at my parents in their 80's which prompted me to consider my life and a wish to be  lucky enough to live that long untethered by debilitating old age; complaining about pain in my everyday conversations, a collection of prescription bottles on my night stand and kitchen cupboard, limited mobility, etc. I want to give my mind and body every chance to live my twilight years travelling and visiting friends and family, without an oxygen suitcase on rollers or a chaperon to simply walk me to the loo.

Big city living is not conducive to healthy food shopping. In the inner cities residents living within the confines of public transportation only have daily access to "neighborhood corner markets". This is a euphemism all too often for a liquor store with a few apples and lemons sold out of a box shoved in the corner.
Today in the San Francisco Bay Area, non-profit giant Kaiser-Permanente is giving grants to these small shops to increase the amount of fresh healthy food they offer their patrons. Year after year they are seeing 30% increases in the interest and need to make this necessary change in mindset and business model. These neighborhood markets are becoming a better business neighbor to its residents and direct participant in helping families raise healthy children.

Popping vitamin pills as insurance to counteract bad habits and laziness is not my idea of raising the bar to healthier eating. When you feed large doses of vitamins to plants in nature, what does the plant get in return? Suckers, which are aberrant branches that are not natural to the plants' normal growth. I have always shopped daily for the dinner meal as there are only two of us I need to feed. Fresh meat, fish, veggies, fruit and dairy are always on my table. Now I am asking the question, "What foods selections offer the largest quantity of each given vitamin and mineral?" After surfing around the internet I found Dr. Mehmet Oz has done the work for me in the form of an easy to read pie chart cleverly titled "How To Eat Your Vitamins", pictured below:
You might need a quick tutorial on the effects of these vitamins, well here you are:

I do, and will continue to enjoy the occasional fast food meal, I am not becoming a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist and I am certainly not preaching to make this giant lifestyle leap, although it might make food shopping simpler by limiting bad choices. In today's world of healthy eating away from your own home prepared meal you do need a road map  Restaurants do not really care about their calorie count. They want to serve you food that tastes good so you will enjoy your experience and return often. The Center For Science In The Public Interest annually publishes the "Extreme Eating Awards" to restaurants with the highest calorie meals available to you everyday, all you have to do is say, "I'd like to order (fill in the blank)", respectfully allow me to say chain restaurants are not your friend-

Here are 2013's award winners from chains such as Maggiano's, Cheescake Factory, IHOP and Johnny Rockets: 2013 Extreme Eating Winners (click here)

Study the pie charts above, add some of these foods to your daily diet, eat in moderation and cut out soda pop completely...PERIOD. We have friends that are no longer insulin dependent with a simple change in their food selections. You can check out my food recipes I prepare at home with some regularity on my website TALL Blonde's Cookbook (click here) This is not diet food but flavorful meals I have collected over a lifetime, desserts and cocktails are included and remember to reduce the amount of ready-made or packaged food when you shop, use only fresh whenever possible and eat in moderation. Take a lesson from my parents described at the beginning of this story, there are more studies and findings every year that show poor nutrition will give you nothing more than a life of difficulties. I wish everyone a happy and healthy life.
Caprese Salad Sandwich

2 comments:

  1. You have spurred me on to eat more spinach. I need the Vitamin K. Lee H.

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  2. Thanks, Miriam - for a very helpful article, I think you are right on target with the eating your vitamins instead of just taking them in pill form. Surprisingly enough, I just thought about doing this about 3 weeks ago as well and am enjoying my food more than ever. I too have aging parents, one on oxygen but for the most part they have taken care of themselves in eating and exercising most of their lives - so they are doing better than the average - it does make a difference! I love your articles because they seem to always be positive and encouraging! Leslie W.

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