Practical, healthful eating and living.

Thoughts on Nutrition January 17, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy,Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 10:18 am

nutrition I once heard a woman at a natural foods grocery store explain that when people eat high nutrition food, they feel full with less food.  She went on to explain that when people eat fast-food, which is typically low in nutrition, even though they’ve consumed a lot of calories, their bodies are still hungry.  No matter how much they’ve eaten, their bodies still crave nutrition, telling them to eat more.

I can’t verify that this is true, but instinctively, I feel there’s something to it.

The more nutrients we give our bodies, generally, the happier they are.  But can we use vitamin supplements?  I don’t know.  Of course, I am not an expert and there are so many conflicting reports in the media that it’s hard to know which to believe.  But instinctively, again, I can’t help but feel that our bodies respond better to nutrients that come straight from food, rather than pills.

Why we shy away from fresh fruits and vegetables:

A freshly picked carrot, or green peas right off the vine, are sweet and delightful.  Major grocery store chains, however, tend to be less concerned with flavor than with longevity.  Thus, farmers have switched to growing tasteless, wooden apples, flavorless, mealy tomatoes, and tough-skinned oranges with but a hint of citrus on the tongue.

I’ve switched to buying frozen berries and vegetables.  They are flash frozen as soon as they’re picked, so they hold their nutrients and flavor.  Keeping them in the freezer is convenient and cuts down on waste, since they don’t spoil before I can eat them.  Raspberries and blackberries are my favorite.  Strawberries will do.  I put them into the microwave, in a bowl, with a light coating of sugar, and then add them to oatmeal or yogurt or use them as a pancake topping.

Fresh romaine lettuce lasts about ten days in the refrigerator if I take a few steps to ensure it’s stored properly.  I use a salad spinner.  As soon as I get back from the store, I wash the romaine lettuce, and spin it in the salad spinner.  While I’m washing it, I also tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.  I dump out the excess water, then put the entire spinner, containing the lettuce, into the fridge.  This way, I’ve always got the basics for a salad at my fingertips.  A few slices of apple* on top, with a little blue cheese, walnuts and dried cranberries, topped with a balsamic vinaigrette, and I’m in heaven.  If taking it to work, I don’t mix the dressing into the salad until just before I’m ready to eat.  Lettuce lasts only a few minutes in salad dressing, but if you add the dressing at the last minute, it will stay quite fresh.

I started doing this because the plastic sacks of salad greens would spoil so quickly.  Even pre-washed romaine didn’t seem worth it.  It seems to have a taste of bleach.  I find that it’s worth it to buy organic romaine lettuce.  There is very little difference in price in my area.

*My favorite apples are locally grown Jonathan’s, Haralson’s and Honeycrisps.  Pink Lady or Fuji will do, and are easy to find in most stores.  I steer clear of Granny Smith and Delicious apples.


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