Monday, January 18, 2010

What's on Your Plate?

Garden Bounty....

It's been a slow and semi- productive Monday. I got laundry done, I cooked a roast with carrots, potatoes and onions and celery, I made 2 loaves of fantastic french bread in my new (happy birthday!!) french bread pans. I have fielded a few phone calls, discussed the state of the world, started a new read (My Life In France, by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme), encouraged 2 new college students and put clean sheets on my bed. All in all, a satisfying and serene day.

Am sitting with the heat pad on the old knee, it follows the ice pack I had on earlier. ((Prayer Girl)), to answer your question, I am having surgery for the meniscus repairs and cysts removal on the 27 th...a week from Wednesday. I can't take it any more. I got the call from the hospital to come for pre-op tests this Wednesday at 11. He's going to try to scope it (arthroscopy) and if it turns out to be worse than we think, he'll open the knee if he has to. I hope it will be a quickie, run-of-the-mill repair. All prayers and healing modalities will be appreciated. I hope to be back playing touch football in no time. LOL

MIchael Pollan has a new book out, called Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. I still haven't read his other two in their entirety, mostly excerpts from them. But I have read and seen him enough to know that the guy is onto something big and he really knows his stuff. He's my new hero, and has made a mission of getting information out to people who have no clue. One of the things he says is :"If your great grandmother doesn't recognize it--don't eat it!" He's a big fan of sustainable and organic farming, and a big archenemy of GMO's. Below are a few of the rules he wrote...I like them!! Again, not to sound like a broken record, but if you haven't seen the documentary Food,Inc....make it a point to do so. You will be shocked and amazed at the stuff that's going on right under our noses.

Here are six rules from Michael Pollan’s upcoming book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual“:

#11 Avoid foods you see advertised on television.

Food marketers are ingenious at turning criticisms of their products — and rules like these — into new ways to sell slightly different versions of the same processed foods: They simply reformulate (to be low-fat, have no HFCS or transfats, or to contain fewer ingredients) and then boast about their implied healthfulness, whether the boast is meaningful or not. The best way to escape these marketing ploys is to tune out the marketing itself, by refusing to buy heavily promoted foods. Only the biggest food manufacturers can afford to advertise their products on television: More than two thirds of food advertising is spent promoting processed foods (and alcohol), so if you avoid products with big ad budgets, you’ll automatically be avoiding edible foodlike substances. As for the 5 percent of food ads that promote whole foods (the prune or walnut growers or the beef ranchers), common sense will, one hopes, keep you from tarring them with the same brush — these are the exceptions that prove the rule.

#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.

#36 Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
This should go without saying. Such cereals are highly processed and full of refined carbohydrates as well as chemical additives.

#39 Eat all the junk food you want — as long as you cook it yourself.
There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries, even drinking soda every now and then, but food manufacturers have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day. The french fry did not become America’s most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes — and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they’re so much work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you’re willing to prepare them — chances are good it won’t be every day.

#47 Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored.
For many of us, eating has surprisingly little to do with hunger. We eat out of boredom, for entertainment, to comfort or reward ourselves. Try to be aware of why you’re eating, and ask yourself if you’re really hungry-before you eat and then again along the way. (One old wive’s test: If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry.) Food is a costly antidepressant.

#58 Do all your eating at a table.
No, a desk is not a table. If we eat while we’re working, or while watching TV or driving, we eat mindlessly-and as a result eat a lot more than we would if we were eating at a table, paying attention to what we’re doing. This phenomenon can be tested (and put to good use): Place a child in front of a television set and place a bowl of fresh vegetables in front of him or her. The child will eat everything in the bowl, often even vegetables that he or she doesn’t ordinarily touch, without noticing what’s going on. Which suggests an exception to the rule: When eating somewhere other than at a table, stick to fruits and vegetables.

Reprinted by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from
Food Rules Copyright © Michael Pollan, 2009

I think if we were all a little more mindful about what and how we eat, the world would be a better place. Little habits are easy to incorporate, and can really make a difference. I plan to try to be more mindful and pay more attention to these things in my life this year. I plan to eat more meals at the table, with candles and flowers, and less at the tv trays watching movies. I hope to cook more vegetarian meals and less meat centered ones. I want to use more honey and molasses and less refined sugar, and get the white flour out of the house completely. I already do some of these things, but I have a tendency to get lazy and unimaginative...and that needs to stop. I know I can do a better job. More consistency and more discipline.

But I'm still having Starbucks Coffee Ice Cream now and then...and I don't care what anybody says. lol

It's time to say adieu...sleep calls. Here's wishing you and yours a healthier and happier New Year. It starts right here, right now....with you and with me.



Anonymous said...

What a great day! I love Clean Sheet Day. I really do.

After my separation (5 months ago,) I stopped watching television and used my computer for all entertainment (news, movies, blogging, etc.) I was astonished by how much less I ate when I wasn't being bombarded by food images on TV.

I am grateful that I don't have a sweet tooth, but I'll tell you, the french fry gets me every time :)

Love to you, darlin'.

DJan said...

Akannie, Michael Pollan came to my town last week and it was SRO! I wasn't there, but I heard from some people who were that he was funny, entertaining, and told some really scary stories about the food we eat. And I'm adding you to my list for good healing vibes sent your way.

TechnoBabe said...

You are looking through your habits and lifestyle for things to improve so you will be healthier. I like the excerpt in this post.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Great post Annie, I just finished watching Food, Inc this weekend, an amazing documentary on where our food comes from and Mr. Pollen is in that documentary also, worth a watch indeed!!!!

Much love

Kathy M. said...

Love the rules. I'm with you on the Starbucks ice cream, though.

Carol said...

I hope that little by slowly I eat ever more healthily. Right now I'm into simple. Making simple combinations, using fruits and veggies or other things. Hoping that I am more satisfied because they are providing me with real food value. I lugged a half gallon of grapefruit juice in to work and made my own trail mix, eating lots of my sweet potato chili with three beans. It is all beautifully colored providing my own aromatherapy and keeping me away from the evil lure of diet pepsi.

Cabo said...

Hope the knee heals, agree with the rules, and WOW... love the veggie photo. Makes me hungry! :)

Cloudia said...

Break out of the hypnosis of the food industry!

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Prayer Girl said...

I have been remiss in reading and commenting the last few days. Thank God I took the time to read back through your posts so I would get the answer to my question to you. Thank you for letting me know.

I had a possible torn miniscus of right knee long ago. Your injury sounds worse than mine. But I had orthoscopic surgery that was successful.

I certainly will be praying for you. God bless now and then.