Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Things that Make you Wanna Ralph

(in honor of the stomach bug that i had over the weekend...)

ok, so i knew somewhat in the back of my mind that teflon is not good for you....and old, scratchy teflon, worse. however, i came across this link today and it creeped me out! we have been phasing out the we've-had-it-forever stuff, but this makes me even more determined! yuck!

also, this little ditty about scotchguard, that stuff that repels stains on upholstery, clothing, and carpets. well, apparently, it's also used in food packaging like fast food containers, candy wrappers, microwave popcorn etc. apparently, it was phased out of food products, because of the persistent nature of the chemical in humans and animals all throughout the food chain. my favorite quote: "chemicals that cause cancer in animals cannot be used as food additives"--according to the fda. well. thank goodness for that.

off to peruse some secondhand cast iron....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Superfoods List

finished the book Superfoods Rx, by Stephen Pratt the other day. basically a manifesto for eating a whole-foods diet...that is, foods in their natural form, not foods from Whole Foods Market (aka "Whole Paycheck".) he focuses on the idea that foods are powerful agents for health, and while we know a lot about the different vitamins and nutrients in food, many times we don't understand the interplay of them all together in certain foods. not to mention, all the ones we haven't discovered yet. also, while it's possible to overdose on certain supplements, it is next to impossible to overdose while eating foods in their natural form. (that is, if he isn't counting cookies. or cheese. neither of which made it on the list, come to think of it.)

in a nutshell, here are the "power foods" he advocates eating more of:

1. beans--at least four 1/2 cup servings a week.
2. blueberries (and purple grapes, cranberries, bysenberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, blackberries, cherries, and etc. other berries.)--1 to 2 cups daily.
3. broccoli (and brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, mustard greens, swiss chard)--1/2 to 1 cup daily.
4. oats (and wheat germ, ground flaxseed. also brown rice, barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, millet, bulgur wheat, amaranth, quinoa, triticale, kamut, yellow corn, wild rice, spelt, couscous.)--5 to 7 servings daily. the trick with this one is to find whole, unrefined grains. Look for the word "whole" on the label--don't be fooled by tricky packaging.
5. oranges (and lemons, white and pink grapefruit, kumquats, tangerines, and limes.)--one serving daily.
6. pumpkin (and carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, orange bell peppers)--1/2 cup on most days.
7. wild salmon (not farmed!) (and alaskan halibut, canned albacore tuna, sardines, herring, trout, sea bass, oysters, clams)--2 to 4 times per week. a helpful resource for eco-choices, or if you are concerned about the mercury in some types of fish is the monterey bay aquarium's seafood watch guide. they make a pocket guide that is handy on the go.
8. soy (in the form of tofu, soymilk, soy nuts, edamame, tempeh, miso)--15 grams of soy protien per day. look for organic soy--if it doesn't specify, then chances are it is genetically modified.
9. spinach (and kale, collards, swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, romaine lettuce, orange bell peppers)--1 cup steamed or 2 cups raw per day. this category is particulary protective for macular degeneration of the eyes, something which affects my grandmother.
10. tea--one or more cups daily.
11. tomatoes (and red watermelon, pink grapefruit, japanese persimmons, red-fleshed papaya, strawberry guava)--one serving of processed tomatoes (or others) daily, and multiple servings per week of fresh.
12. turkey (or skinless chicken breast)--3 to 4 servings per week. i know, you were worried this was a crazy vegetarian book.
13. walnuts (and almonds, pistachios, sesame seeds, peanuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews)--1 ounce, 5 times per week.
14. yogurt (or kefir)--2 cups daily

i was glad to see that some of these we are already eating regularly, and challenged to add a few of the ones we aren't. how about you--anyone still keeping their "eat healthy" resolutions out there?