Nerds Follow The Rules

Now that all of the macronutrients have been sufficiently attacked (fat, carbs, protein), the psuedo-nutrition world has taken to becoming more specific. There seems to be no area of food left unscathed. I am wondering how many of the following claims and defenses you are familiar with. Let me add that I agree with plenty of these, not all, but enough.

  • Cows milk is for baby cows
  • Nutritionally speaking, dairy foods are essentially “liquid meats”—but worse, because people drink milk, and eat cheese, guiltlessly—often thinking “milk makes my bones unbreakable, helps me lose weight, and makes my skin as soft and beautiful as a baby’s tush.”  In their haste to sell products, the dairy industry has created an obsession over calcium that has become, in effect, a major contributor to the suffering and death of more than one billion people annually on Planet Earth from diseases of overnutrition—obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes – McDougal Newsletter
  • The only people who consume dairy are those with in countries with dairy lobbies

  • Wheat flour raises blood sugar
  • Wheat causes a bloated stomach or “wheat belly”
  • Eating wheat is like eating paste or sludge

  • Fat makes you fat
  • Fat causes cardiac disease

  • Nightshade vegetables worsen arthritis
  • Nightshade vegetables cause inflammation

  • Meat is murder!
  • Consuming meat is harmful to our ecosystem
  • Conventional meat is full of antibiotics, hormones and dead bacteria
  • We weren’t meant to eat so much meat

And more…

  • No “white” anything. No white pasta, no white potatoes, no white tortillas: it’s all processed junk
  • No white sugar
  • No brown sugar (it’s just white sugar anyway)
  • No preservatives
  • No additives
  • No corn (it’s in 90% of supermarket items)
  • No corn syrup or even worse, high fructose corn syrup
  • Only eat organic
  • Cheese is a condiment, not a food group
  • No soda
  • A glass of wine every night is good for your heart
  • A glass of wine every night is bad for your liver
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  • There is no research which proves the previous statement is important
  • Eat protein in the morning
  • Drink only organic, fair trade coffee
  • Make your own mayonnaise, bbq sauce and taco seasoning
  • Eat more greens
  • Avoid anything with the word hydrogenated in the ingredients
  • At least half of your plate should be vegetables

Let me break up all these words with a funny picture.

Found on Pinterest. No original website to source.
And some nuggets from Michael Pollan:
  1. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?”
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4.  Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. “Always leave the table a little hungry,” Pollan says. “Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, ‘Tie off the sack before it’s full.'”
  6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. “Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?” Pollan asks.
  7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car

Ok, got all that?

These are the reasons I have become totally overwhelmed while grocery shopping lately. After spending months avoiding most packaged snacks, sauces or other food that I could “make a healthier, homemade version of,” I noticed our grocery bill had grown out of control. In an effort to have most of our food made from scratch, I found that we wasted more ingredients, ate out more and consumed more sugar. The harsh reality of being a mom: if you don’t have some quick go-to food at home, you’ll find it somewhere else.

So, I have started buying more packaged snacks. I am back to buying bbq sauce, hallelujah! Fresh & Easy, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s all have packaged snacks I can deal with. I still avoid the 100 calorie packs, mostly because I think they are a total rip-off. I can pack a small amount into a ziplock bag too!

It has taken me almost five years to really get this grocery shopping thing down. Making one trip a week and stocking up on enough food to satisfy the tastes of four different people, avoid junk and have enough ingredients on hand to create a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners takes some serious practice. Oh, and you can’t be spending too much money either!

***Sometimes, you’ll have to take your kids, too.***

Read this ehow article of making shopping fun!

One of my favorite blogs is from funny mom, Iris. The Bearded Iris is full of naughty words and hilarious stories. Here’s her recap on taking her son shopping. So funny.

Thanks for reading my Sunday post! I’m off to enjoy some coffee and the newspaper and then head out to pick up Dallas from a sleepover. Good Sunday, right?

Tomorrow’s post is inspired by the super healthy friend I ran into on Saturday. Hmm? Could it be you? Probably not. Ha! That was mean. Anyway, this week I will be talking more about food planning, food organizing and of course have a couple recipes to throw in. My guilt worked on Mr. Movie Fuel, as he will be back this week with a recap of 2011’s top ten movies. Happy Sunday, friends!

Corn Is For Pigs?

We can never eat corn at my parent’s house without my mom reminding us of my dad’s old mantra , “Corn is for pigs.” Apparently, after learning that pigs are fed corn, the grain lost its appeal with my dad. He has since gotten over his corn hang up, thankfully. I need grilled corn after swimming in their pool on a hot day. (Yeah, I’m over there a lot.) Know what? I’m not alone in my corn-lovin’ attitude. Most of us love corn and don’t even know how much. Apparently, corn is in something like 4,000 of the 10,000 products sold at the grocery store. Mama Mia! After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I was shocked to learn how corn has become a serious stakeholder in our guts.

“Grown on massive farms, oceans’ worth of the golden kernels and green stalks are then processed, deconstructed, and reassembled in factories into everything from a Chicken McNugget to salad dressing. We eat so much corn that, biologically speaking, most Americans are corn on two legs.” (Powell, 2006)

Pollan describes one of my favorite kitchen staples, coffee creamer as…brace yourself, “a foodlike substance.” Well, poo. I love my creamer! The more exotic the flavor, the better! I am talking about CoffeeMate, International Delight and now even BAILEY’S. I guess my coffee has a bit of corn in it too! Corn is of course, not a bad thing. It’s just the base of a seriously overprocessed thing, high fructose corn syrup. Do I still drink the stuff? You bet. It is a little like smoking a cigarette, I know it is bad for me, but it is soooo good TO me! I don’t actually smoke, just pretending to know how a smoker feels.

The photo above was taken last week at Ardenwood Farms in Fremont, California. Dallas is learning to grind indian corn that was shelled (scraped) off of a cob. We were on a field trip and prepping some food for the farm animals. Too bad I didn’t have my camera out when he dumped that whole bowl of ground corn over while we were preparing to feed sheep. Yes, it was on purpose. His excuse? “The sheep just made me nervous. They were blinking at me.”

So, in addition to pigs, corn is for chickens too (and livestock of all kind that needs fattening.) You know who else corn is for? Corn is for me! That stuff is good! Did you see the move, Nacho Libre?  In the movie, Jack Black’s sidekick, named Esqueleto, eats corn on the cob in a way I had never seen before. I’ve searched and found it called, Ghetto Corn, Mexican Corn, Chile and Lime Corn and Nacho Libre Corn! I’d love to try this, but I’ll have to wait a couple more months.I refuse to buy corn on the cob right now while it’s so expensive, but come June I will be expiramenting! In the meantime, do you have a good recipe for Nacho Libre Corn?

Interested in what else Michael Pollan has to say? Read a little more here.