The average American diet has been in the news a lot lately, from the recent research talking about possible correlation between HFCS laden food and obesity to the food fad nutjobbery that espouses weight loss with This One Secret They Don’t Want You To Know About! (yes thank you obnoxiously gyrating Flash ad) and all the craziness in between. It can be so difficult to find reliable information as so many major news outlets, medical journals and celebrities seem to be putting out different, if not completely contradictory, information that can be so easy to take for truth.
One of the few things that I think everyone can agree on is that as with computer programming, Garbage In – Garbage Out. If you’re stuffing yourself full of fast food and super sugary drinks at every meal, is it really a surprise that you end up feeling terrible and sleeping badly? Now I’m not saying that we should all be vegans or raw food enthusiasts – trust me, I like a good blue steak as much as the next carnivorous dame – but I’ve come to the realization in the past year or so that there are some foods in particular that I just can’t eat without feeling like I got run over by an aircraft carrier.
Coincidentally its not only the rich, over-processed and sickeningly sweet foods that make my GERD rear its ugly head; ripe bananas, though delicious and full of wonderful nutrients and vitamins, make my stomach hurt like nobody’s business. Thankfully, I’ve adjusted my fruit eating habits and know to avoid the squishy delicious bananas and make up for their loss with other, equally tasty fruits and vegetables.
And it turns out that my Mom isn’t the only one who’ll be proud of me for eating my fruits and veggies, there is some evidence that diets high in fresh foods can lower risks for certain cancers, though as one of my favorite science bloggers points out it may not be as wildly effective as some studies have advertised. So as the scientific community continues to research the effects of our diet on our bodies and our futures, one thing is for sure – we all need to spend more time in the produce section.
My childhood memories of the dinner table are mostly pleasant. There was that one incident with experimental macaroni casserole that even the dog wouldn’t eat, but Mom did a great job feeding us on what must have been at times a very tight budget. My parents made a point to turn off the television, ignore the phone and concentrate on sharing a meal and having conversation with my brother and I. In hindsight, that attention to mealtime is something of a lost art with most of us scrambling to shovel food into our gaping maws while watching the latest episode of American Idol or surfing the internet. Multitasking is going to be the death of the dining table, I’m sure.
I remember a lot of steamed broccoli and frozen peas, the occasional side salad, some soggy asparagus, but not too much else in the way of green veggies. I don’t know if that was because they were quick (with two children and a husband clamoring for food I’m sure faster was better) or because they were familiar to us all and branching out would have been met with looks of consternation and surprise fork hockey. What I do know is that both of my parents grew up on canned veggies as was very typical of their generation, and that whenever Grandma made canned gray green beans Dad and I made identical bleaugh faces and ran for the hills.
Lady Marmalade I am not but I do enjoy a good citrusy hit on my toast early in the morning! So while wandering through my favorite food sites, I came upon David Lebovitz’s Bergamot Marmalade and drooled appropriately. Of course, living in rural-ish New England doesn’t make easy access to exotic citrus, so I had turned my frown into the decision to find some sour oranges and give it a shot with those. Shortly after I read David’s recipe, while dreams of bergamots still tauntingly danced in my head, I decided to hop a plane and shoot on out to Seattle to see he who shall remain nameless for the time being. Cross-coast love, ain’t it grand? Read more…
That I’m doing now, apparently. Hopefully with the help from some friends I will get my butt kicked into high gear and actually post photos, recipes and finished products for the bunches of amazing projects I have going on!