Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Foods that Make Me Go Mmmmmmm!

I love listening to Dr. Mehmet Oz. He and Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Dr. Mark Hyman, Jonny Bowden and others are my favorite nutritional/health gurus.

Dr. Mehmet Oz has a great list of foods that have made his Hall of Shame and his Hall of Fame. I have thought about this list and looked it up repeatedly, so I'm going to make a permanent note with a link to each list. They are from a show that Dr. Oz did on Oprah.

Hall of Shame Foods
High fructose corn syrup
Enriched wheat flour (white flour)
Saturated fat (like lard that is solid at room temperature)
Hydrogenated oil

Hall of Fame Foods
Olive oil
Tomatoes (eat with a little olive oil or raw nuts to digest the lycopene better)
Raw nuts

So, eat the foods on the Hall of Fame list and abstain as much as possible from the foods on the Hall of Shame list. That's what I have to remind myself all the time.

I live on the extremes when it comes to food in my life. I'm either eating only foods that are detrimental to my health or I'm eating only foods that support good health. I'm constantly trying to tone down the extremes and meet somewhere in the middle. (And, let's be real here, I err more frequently on the "detrimental" side).

That is where lists like the Hall of Fame list from above come in. When I'm inspired by good food, it is much easier to walk the road of health rather than either extreme.

For example, the other day I ate a Kashi cookie for breakfast. See, somewhere in between. A cookie, but made from whole grains with seeds and nuts and dried fruit. Okay, okay so it's still a cookie. I'm not debating, just sharing that I'm trying. (By the way, they are extremely delicious when coated with Nutella. Mmmmmmm. You see there I go erring again!)

So, I'm adding some other foods that inspire me to eat healthy and yummy dishes.

Who can resist the small explosion of delight that is an organic, fresh blueberry? They taste amazing. I've seen little kids tuck into blueberries with abandon and consume an entire box in short order. I'd love to go blueberry picking sometime in my life. One of my favorite breakfasts is a blueberry smoothie with frozen blueberries, almond milk, and honey.

Ginger just seems to be a part of great food. It smells pretty and tastes better. I especially love it with lime to season chicken.

I may be my Grandmother's favorite when I note this one. She always seemed to like eating a raw, sliced, garden onion on her salads and sandwiches. I don't yet have the love for raw onions, but sweet, carmelized cooked onions? Mmmmmm. They make me feel better just thinking about them.

This spice makes me warm and fuzzy. I like to think of it paired with honey sprinkled over a bowl of hot steel-cut oatmeal with baked apples.

I can't account for my obsession with lemons and limes. All I know is every few weeks I get this hankering for anything lime or lemon. This spring it has been especially bad. I've gotten a lime cherry slush (not as good as it sounds) and coveted Simply Limeade every time I've walked by it in the grocery store. But I know from past experience that drinking juice like this is akin to sending myself into diabetic shock. Headaches and illness ensue. So, I buy limes and lemons every time I'm in the grocery store and I sprinkle the juice with abandon on nearly every veggie I make, any marinade I come up with, and I include them in a variety of concotions in freshly-made vinagrettes or salad dressings. They just ratchet up the yum factor.

I love ruby red grapefruit. It glistens when you cut it open and it combines sweetness and tang in just the right amounts for me. I just feel unaccountably better after I eat one.

This humble little fruit is like manna to me. I probably eat too many of them. (Can you do that?) My favorite is Fuji organic apples (none of that nasty wax or pesticide aftertaste). I pair them with peanut butter, almond butter, nuts, string cheese, or Laughing Cow cheese wedges. I'm shaped like an apple too, so maybe that is why I like them so much? Whatever it is, they do something good to me.

Really, I'm including broccoli in a good-faith attempt. I buy broccoli, I plan on eating it, I contemplate what to pair it with, I think how good I feel after eating it, and then once I've done all of this I go to the fridge only to discover I've spent so much time thinking about broccoli that I've done very little eating of it and now it's gone bad. So, new resolve: eat it within 24 hours of purchase. Or don't purchase it.

There is something sooooooo good about perfect salmon. My taste buds have to be re-inspired every once in a while if I've eaten too much mediocre salmon. The first time I ate baked, wild-caught salmon it was so light and tender that it literally just disintegrated on my tongue. Hmmmmm. Every time I eat great salmon I feel the same way. I ate some a couple of nights ago again when I had seared salmon with pickled ginger beurre blanc and now I'm craving salmon again. I think I will just have to splurge and eat some more.

This is the kind of list that inspires me to new and healthier meals. Now if I can just build a weekly menu that surrounds them.

Mmmmmmmm goooooood.


L&H&Q said...

I love apples, too. But only red ones; green apples make me sick at my stomach.

Try your broccoli steamed with pinenuts and a little butter. Delish.

More Hall of Fame foods are:

Sweet potatoes with cottage cheese
Sandwiches loaded with veggies

L&H&Q said...

Also beans!

ChefChristine said...

The best salmon I ever had and where I fell in love with salmon was at The Teahouse Restaurant in the middle of Stanley Park in Vancouver Canada. It was Grilled salmon wrapped in buttered pastry. It just melted in your mouth!

Kristin said...

I am SO with you on ruby red grapefruit...I think I eat 3 or 4 a week. And if it is a little too tart, just a little bit of brown sugar is so good on it :) I love reading your posts, you are such a good writer.

Meg said...

We must be related. I've lived off graham crackers and really good chocolate frosting today...not a veggie in sight!


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