Nutrient-Dense Foods: prepare for this new food jargon

Food fads come and go in America as we all search for magic foods that will allow us to eat what we want while keeping us thin and healthy. Remember high-carb diets, low-carb diets, the protein craze (this one is still going on), and most recently functional foods — foods that supposedly serve a specific function like keeping us sharp for a busy day at school or the office?

The next fad seems to be what are being called nutrient dense foods. What that means exactly is, “naturally or inherently nutritious foods and beverages — ‘traditional foods rooted in folklore as beneficial and delicious,’ ” Melissa Abbott, senior director of culinary insights for The Hartman Group consumer research firm, says in article on MediaPost.

For me, pasta is a functional food, it makes me feel good. Thee days, I'm eating only multigrain pasta,
For me, pasta is a functional food, it makes me feel good. Thee days, I’m eating only multigrain pasta,
Continue reading “Nutrient-Dense Foods: prepare for this new food jargon”

Eat nuts and you’ll be fine — baloney!!!

Nuts are often touted as the answer when someone on a restricted diet is seeking a new source of protein to replace the red meats we once ate. I’m sick of hearing about nuts, principally because I have never liked them, hate the taste, get chills from eating some of them and generally don’t like to think that the only way I can survive these days is by eating nuts and twigs all the time.

I also disagree with those who say the answer for our obesity epidemic is for everyone to stop eating meat and just eat things like ancient grains and sprouts.

No nuts for me, ever.
No nuts for me, ever.

So I was happy to see an article in The Atlantic recently saying basically the same thing. The author makes the point that not everyone can afford to shop only at Whole Foods (who can really) and that eating like some of the anti-packaged foods forces advocate is impossible for a large swatch of the country. Continue reading “Eat nuts and you’ll be fine — baloney!!!”

What happens when you have an unexpected meal?

my egg white omelet, and the sneaky buttered toast.
my egg white omelet, and the sneaky buttered toast.
Living on a restricted diet means you need to plan every meal to ensure your avoid the foods and ingredient you need to avoid. What happens though, when an unplanned meal develops?

I faced that situation recently and had to scramble, literally. Coming home from work one recent evening, trains were delayed after they pulled out of my Chicago station. I literally sat on a train for two hours waiting to move, unable get off because we were between stations.

When we finally did get to a station, we were again stopped as tracks ahead were being cleared, so I decided to get off and call my wife to come get me. I was about 20 minutes from home by car at that point.

Looking around where I was on Chicago’s north side, I saw a nearby pancake house and decided to get some dinner while I waited, since it was then nearly 9 p.m.

The pancake house had a large multi-page menu but page after page had things I couldn’t eat, either because they were high in fat, salt, sugar or white flour.

My now go-to pancake house item, whole wheat pancakes, were available but they had nuts in the batter and I don’t eat nuts.

I defaulted to a veggie melt made with egg whites only, an incredibly bland choice that also had cauliflower, something I don’t eat and so had to pick out. I also ordered it without the usual cheese, worried about the fat. I did use some ketchup to give it some taste, which probably had more salt in it than is recommended for me.

Not being able to get an Angus burger, which is what I would have done before my angioplasty, was very depressing.

And to make it even more depressing, some whole wheat toast I asked for came already covered in melted butter, something I couldn’t see until I separated the slices brought me.

Unplanned meals stink.
John

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