Eating Healthy

Eating Healthy

Needing some inspiration to get you into the kitchen this summer? I know I do. Dom sent me a link to this article that makes me want to run to the grocery store and start cooking: The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

I’m not doing too bad. I frequently eat about seven of the foods on this list, though it’s been a long while since I made chard.

I always have a bag of frozen wild blueberries on hand. My favorite breakfast is oatmeal (cooked with milk instead of water to add extra protein and calcium) with blueberries and sometimes a sprinkling of almonds.

We haven’t had beets since last summer, but my favorite way to prepare them is in a dip with goat cheese and chives.

We actually eat turmeric quite often because turmeric is a primary spice in Indian cuisine and we eat lots of Indian food. And my Indian cookbooks give me three different yummy ways to prepare cabbage. The nice thing about cabbage is that it doesn’t need to be used right away. I can buy a head and let it sit for about a week while I use up the more fragile greens first. Or I can cook half a head and then use the other half a few days later in a different recipe.

I also found this: The Best Way to Cook Vegetables

�There is a misperception that raw foods are always going to be better,� says Steven K. Clinton, a nutrition researcher and professor of internal medicine in the medical oncology division at Ohio State University. �For fruits and vegetables, a lot of times a little bit of cooking and a little bit of processing actually can be helpful.�

When I was teaching at Salem State I had one student who told me that she and her boyfriend were raw foodists. They try to eat no cooked food. According to those who practice raw foodism, it’s supposed to be a healthier way to live. But those raw foodists are not always maximizing the nutrients they get from their food.

Because nutrient content and taste can vary so widely depending on the cooking method and how a vegetable is prepared, the main lesson is to eat a variety of vegetables prepared in a variety of ways.

And did you know this? You’re much better off with a full-fat salad dressing and slices of avocado than with a fat free version. And it tastes better too.

What accompanies the vegetables can also be important. Studies at Ohio State measured blood levels of subjects who ate servings of salsa and salads. When the salsa or salad was served with fat-rich avocados or full-fat salad dressing, the diners absorbed as much as 4 times more lycopene, 7 times more lutein and 18 times the beta carotene than those who had their vegetables plain or with low-fat dressing.

I think many people get so paranoid about their fat intake that they forget that we do need fats to be healthy, especially mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. I had a roommate who loved avocados but avoided them “because they are so fatty”. Really, she’d have been better off adding them to a big leafy salad. Approximately 63% of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, 20% is polyunsaturated and 17% is saturated. Avocados also have no cholesterol.

But even small doses of saturated fats can still be ok if they get you to eat more vegetables that you’d otherwise skip. My mom had the right idea when we were growing up: bring on the broccoli with hollandaise sauce! Broccoli was the one food we’d be sure to fight over, never any leftovers at our house as long as she served it with our favorite condiment. And hey if a little butter and sugar is what it takes to get those sweet potatoes down or a little glazing on carrots, isn’t it worth it? It’s still healthier than ice cream or cake.

cross posted at In the Kitchen with Bella


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  • I know exactly what you mean about the “dumbed down” pooh board books. I dislike them immensely , although I did find one set that just abridged the books without changing the language. The original illustrations are so much more meaningful and the vocabulary is wonderful.

    We do hove the big one volume book of Pooh stories, but the pages are falling out and the cover has fallen off. I’‘m thinking of getting the smaller volumes for little hands (and even big ones) to hold more easily.           

    My husband and I have this conversation frequently when it comes to children’s books being made into shows or movies, or even some novels, I understand that the movie script will be different from the book, but I hate it when they change the actual character of the character. My biggest pet peeve in this matter is Little House on the Prairie. The show had Laura and Mary doing things that anyone who had read the books (and I practically had whole chapters memorized) would know that they would just never do. And overall I find the characters in the books to be much stronger and realer than those in shows or movies.

    Sorry to go off on a tangent, but this is a huge thing for me and it all connects in my mind. I do enjoy Pooh everytime I take it out and read it.
    Oh, and if you don’t have the books of poetry, you should get those too. The poems are so full of good language and simple themes.


  • No need to apologize, it’s just the sort of tangent I love. smile

    This one actually does just abridge the book without changing the language. The problem is that it is a poor abridgment and leaves out too much so the story gets confused. I do like that it has the original Shepherd illustrations. I very much dislike the new, Disneyfied, Pooh.

    I have a lovely boxed set of The World of Pooh and The World of Christopher Robin (which is all the poetry) which some dear friends gave me for a Christmas present one year back when I was in college. So we’re all set. Though I do think I might pick up the smaller books if I find them. You’re right they’re much nicer for little hands.

    I never watched the Little House television show precisely because the small bits I did see and what I heard about from friends were “wrong”. I’m generally not a big fan of adaptations from my favorite books because it can be so painful when they are done poorly. i have a hard time letting go of the book too and simply enjoying the movie for what it is. I do generally like the BBC versions of Jane Austen, though.

  • I’m also allergic to the Disneyfied Pooh. I *loved* Pooh as a child (to the extent that “Pooh” was my parents pet-name for me!). I remember my eldest enjoying Pooh when she was two, especially the story where Pooh gets wedged in Rabbit’s doorway. My middle daughter never really caught on to Pooh :(.

    In yet another Bella / Cherub coincidence I fished a gift volume of Pooh stories with coloured illustrations (won in a raffle, I think) off the shelf a few days ago to dip a toe in with Little Cherub. So far we are at the half-a-story stage, but she is quite interested. She insists on treating it like a picture book and starting at the beginning, which means we haven’t got past the first story! We have various stuffed animal Pooh characters – mostly the Shepherd version collected from a specialist store, though Pooh himself is Disney – so there is already some familiarity there. Oh, and while I avoid dumbed down Pooh books, we do have a Pooh counting board book that she has enjoyed – it has the Shepherd figures, and adds another character on each page until it gets up to ten.

  • You said: ” I do think limited-vocabulary books have their place in encouraging young children who are learning to read and who may become discouraged when faced with page after page of unfamiliar words and complicated sentences. But even at that stage, children can and should enjoy being read to from books that are beyond their ability to read on their own.”

    Yes! I completely agree. The limited-vocabulary stuff is often a tool, used to learn a skill.  But, the read alouds are their own kind of tool—they train the attention span, listening skills and so on.  Not to mention that they are pure fun. grin

    I think kids need the whole range of both tools and fun.

  • Bookworm,

    Too funny about the coincidence. We’ve got a couple of stuffed Eeyores (he’s my favorite character), both the Disney version, each with a removable tail, of course. 

    Thank you, Karen, that is exactly what I was trying to say but you said it much more succinctly and clearly.