Trans fats, which unfortunately Americans have been eating for the past half century or so, are finally being banned from U.S. foods. The Food and Drug Administration finally has set a deadline for the complete elimination of partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fats in our diets, from things like cake frosting, microwave popcorn, cakes, cookies and other things we used to think tasted good.
Junior’s restaurant in downtown Brooklyn boasts on its website that it serves “The World’s Most fabulous Cheesecake.” If it’s true, is it a boast?
Junior’s is one of the few things in Brooklyn that’s still there from my childhood so, so many years ago. It’s also a place that binds my family together. My parents went there before I was born and then took me there in the days when downtown Brooklyn was where we did our major shopping.
We ate breakfast there in 2011 with my daughter as she was about to graduate from New York University. Even a vegetarian like her loved Junior’s cheesecake!
My birthday this year was very special for me because, thanks to my wonderful wife, I was able to spend it in my hometown, New York City. We saw two Broadway shows and went to a Tony Awards party while there. And I also resolved to eat the foods I grew up loving, plus some new favorites, during my five days there.
The result of my food vacation? I gained 6.5 pounds over the five days we were there.
My splurge included pastrami and cheesecake at Junior’s, a classic Brooklyn deli and cheesecake emporium, hot dogs and waffle fries at Nathan’s, the classic New York hot dog spot, a slice of NYC-style pizza at a street corner storefront, Italian ices, an unbelivable breakfast in bed at the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and the most exquisite sashimi I’ve ever eaten at at Iron Chef Morimoto’s New York restaurant on my birthday night. Continue reading “My New York food vacation”→
I turn 62 today and I’m back in the city of my birth. A few years ago, just before having an angioplasty performed in August 2012, I didn’t think I’d see my 62nd birthday, or even my 61st. Even in the year after the surgery, I expected a heart attack every day. It’s amazing to me I’m still here.
What’s even more amazing is to be in New York City for this birthday. New York is the land of bad food, all the foods I grew up loving — New York pizza, pastrami, cheesecake, Italian pastry, sausage and onions, giant plates of spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, Nathan’s hot dogs, Drake’s cakes, Carvel…the list goes on and on. Continue reading “Happy Birthday to me!”→
I’ve written before that fast food is loaded with salt, you might as well go to a salt mine and start licking the walls as eat anything at McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and even Subway which positions itself as healthier but still has much too much salt in its offerings.
Baked goods like cakes and even snack cakes (i.e. HoHos) have been largely off my diet since having angioplasty in 2012. And I miss them terribly.
So I’m always looking for something baked that I can eat without too much presumed damage to my arteries. That means looking for low-fat, low-salt baked items, almost an impossibility. But there are some. Normally they’re smaller than anything I once ate, but at least they satisfy my cravings a bit.
McDoanld’s is a difficult place to get anything low-salt, low-fat or low-sugar. These days all I eat there are salads and yogurt parfaits. The parfaits have come in for criticism for being high in sugar. The salads have a lot of salt, and an impossible amount if you add any of the dressing supplied, so I usually bring my own vinegar and oil packets instead.
I’m not the only one eating there less, Millennials who grew up with Ronald are turning away in droves. The Big Mac seems to be getting the message and is moving as fast as a major company can to change some things. I applaud the changes and say do more, more quickly, now.
A major recent change was announced for its chicken. “The biggest change is the removal of sodium phosphates, which it said was used to keep the chicken moist, in favor of vegetable starch. The new recipe also does not use maltodextrin, which McDonald’s said is generally used as a sugar to increase browning or as a carrier for seasoning,” reported Fox News, and other outlets, recently.
Anything to cut sodium is great for me. A McChicken sandwich at the moment has 650 mgs of sodium, about half what I can eat a day, which is why I never buy one.
McDonald’s new Artisan chicken also will be cooked in an olive oil blend instead of margarine, according to another report. That can only help as well.
“McDonald’s new grilled chicken sandwich recipe has been introduced in response to consumer demands for simple ingredients, the company said. By removing artificial ingredients consumers are not familiar with, the company is making an effort to simplify their recipes and respond to increasing demands for natural foods,” reported Olive Oil Times.
If you’re like me, you’ve been cooking since the pre-dawn hours today. Hopefully you’ve tried some of my low-salt, low-fat recipes and you saw my warning about checking the sodium content of your turkey before buying one.
So all that’s left is to finish the cooking and enjoy. Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite holiday of the year because it transcends all religions, or lack of religions, and celebrates the American family coming together to give thanks for each other.
We will be doing that in a very special way at our house this year, my son is with us from Minneapolis, my wife’s brother is coming over and she has relatives and friends here all the way from Holland to share our special feast.
I was amused to see recently that insurance company Humana put out a list of so-called healthy food choices at Taste of Chicago, an annual mega-food fest here in the Windy City that ended last Sunday.
The last time I went to Taste was 1994, long before my heart surgery. The event is smaller and doesn’t last as long these days as it did then, but it’s still all about eating. Area restaurants set up tents and sell their specialties, so you can go wild trying everything in sight. I don’t even go near it now because I know it would throw me off my restricted diet. Continue reading “Healthy eating at Taste of Chicago? Think again”→