I had to keep track of what I ate for a day for something, so I figured – why not take pictures and post a What I Ate Wednesday?
This is 1 scrambled egg with some swiss (Jarlsberg) and sauteed onions. I also had a slice of whole grain toast with butter, a pear (some of it is unpictured – I was snacking as I prepped the plate), some sliced tomato (from Maria’s garden in NJ – Maria is my Grammie’s caretaker), sauteed onions, and sauerkraut (homemade by Maria).
It was really delicious. I have been eating a lot of sauerkraut lately because Maria gave me a big container of it.
I also had an unpictured 1/2 cup of coffee with coconut creamer.
This was from a place called Essen. They have a hot/cold bar so I got a little bit of everything – salad, fish, chicken, cauliflower, and a piece of a turkey wrap.
Unpictured lunch dessert: iced coffee with cream + 1 mini reeses cup.
Afternoon snack: the picture came out terribly, so I will just explain – I had some veggie sides from an organic store a few blocks from my office. A couple squashes (kabocha and acorn) and a small scoop of curry stew.
Dinner: was with Bobby and a friend at Bareburger. (The friend recently got a job at my company and he wanted to take us out.) I got the “California” burger with a farmers quinoa veggie burger. It came in a lettuce wrap with avocado, cheddar, watercress, and tomato (hold the onions). We all shared the rings & fries side with assorted ketchups. (These are not my pictures; I didn’t really want to bust out the camera in public.)
You know, I really enjoy my manly breakfasts, but sometimes all a girl wants is some sweet cherries, creamy yogurt, and peanut butter. Loooots of peanut butter.
In this case, loooots of PB2. Yep, I still order PB2 – I try not to use it too often as it’s expensive, but I pull it out at least a few times a week. I’m still plugging away at the shipment I got over a year ago (16 jars, I think).
This breakfast bowl consists of:
Fage 2% Greek yogurt (almost a cup?)
~1/2 cup of chopped cherries (I keep typing “cheeries“)
2 tablespoons of PB2, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
a few drops of vanilla stevia
I’ve had it every morning this week for breakfast! I wonder when I will get tired of it.
In other news, I have slooooowly been going back through my old posts and editing them. I have found some great old recipes if you want to check them out! It’s really interesting to me to see how my taste has evolved (but in some cases not evolved at all) over the years.
These were all baked in a very old, decrepit kitchen in Collegetown in Ithaca, NY. They were tried by roommates and friends. I think I remember the oatmeal bread being a favorite – I’m pretty sure I made it several times.
What is your favorite thing to make for people? What is your favorite breakfast? Do you like fruit and yogurt as much as I do?
Last week I picked up these beautiful local strawberries from Whole Foods in Columbus Circle. They were perfectly ripe. They were small and sweet and I think if they had been left out another day they would have gone bad – which means that they were at their absolute peak.
I can’t have fresh, local strawberries without whipped cream and this time was no exception. A while back I gave up processed food and that includes whipped cream from a spray can. So I got heavy whipping cream instead, and made it in my food processor.
Strawberries & Cream
Heavy whipping cream
A few teaspoons of sugar or the equivalent of stevia (stevia is optimal – I try not to eat much sugar at all; note if you use liquid stevia it is probably best to add it at the end or else it will interfere with the cream’s ability to whip up right)
Whip the cream and add some sugar (or stevia), to taste.
Slice the strawberries.
This is a sweet treat that I learned from my mom. It’s perfect for breakfast or dessert. Or a snack. Or for dinner.
Happy Fourth! Enjoy this Red and White treat with something BLUE. Like BLUEberries or BLUEs music.
I got this question at work the other day (we’re a fairly healthy-minded bunch):
What are complex carbs vs simple carbs?
This question seems complex, but the answer is quite simple. Simple carbs and complex carbs end up in the same place of the nutrition facts label, but they are most certainly different.
Are all carbs bad?
Clearly not all carbohydrates are bad. We need carbs to live – glucose (what carbs break down to in your body) is what your body uses for energy. That’s why when you eat a candy bar you get hyper for a little while – your body just got a big dose of easy-to-use energy because the carbs were partially processed before they got to your stomach. Simple carbs and complex carbs both turn into sugar in the body; the process just happens faster for simple carbs.
I’m pretty sensitive to sugar (too many sweet treats = too many pimples). In addition to my skin sensitivity to sugar, I also seem to have either a mental or physical reaction to eating it – once I start it’s hard to stop! If I have a McD’s cone as a snack I also want one for dessert that night, for a snack the next day, and forever more. So I try to avoid sugar to avoid sugar cravings and bad acne. When it comes down to complex versus simple carbohydrates, complex is what I choose, especially complex carbs from veggies.
Which carbs are bad for us?
Most scientists agree that the faster carbs (simple, or white carbs; meaning they convert to sugar quickly) are the worst type of carbohydrate. This is mainly because they spike blood sugar, which has a number of negative long-term effects including a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. These carbs include (and thus I try* to avoid…):
Processed carbs like white bread, white flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrup (also regular corn syrup)*
Processed carbs like candy, cookies, most baked goods*
Fake sweeteners (not technically carbs because they have no calories – but they give me a stomachache, a headache, and it’s probably not good to eat frankenfood chemicals)
*I still eat these things, but in moderation when I want them. Artisan bread with smooth creamy butter? On occasion, yes please!
Which carbs are good in moderation?
There is definitely a middle ground when it comes to complex versus simple carbs, and that middle ground is whole grain-y things (for me). They’re not the easiest foods to digest (see IBS), but they certainly are delicious. These guys include:
Unprocessed grains like rice (white or brown).* (I grew up hating rice but now I LOVE it. I usually have it several times a week. It’s especially good with ghee, aka clarified butter.)
Oatmeal (steel cut, regular – preferably not instant).
Winter squash (these are my favorite foods, but it’s easy to get a stomachache if you eat too much of them; squash also has lots of beta-carotene – but beware the orange glow).
I love having rice with veggies, like in bi-bim-bap (pictured above – veggies, egg, beef over rice). In fact, I just like mixing foods together in general. Mix-it-up bowls are possibly the greatest invention ever.
Which carbs are good for us?
Most vegetable carbohydrates are good for our bodies. Some of my favorite carbs are…
Non-root veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, peppers, yadda yadda yadda… Veggies are a diet staple.
Fruits (but not too much). Fruit makes me break out as well in large (more than 1 a day) quantities. Some lower-sugar fruits that I really like are: papaya, blueberries, berries in general, cranberry juice (without sugar) and spritzer, lime/lemon juice and spritzer, melons (cantaloupe, honeydew).
Do you eat a lot of carbs? Do you avoid any? Which are your favorites?
When it comes down to complex carbs vs simple carbs, it’s probably better to choose the complex ones. But remember to include healthy fats (including saturated fat – it’s good for the brain) and protein. Out of the simple carbs, sugar is probably the worst. At least that is what works for me!
I watched 3 really interesting videos in the last 3 days. The first was a documentary on Hulu called Fat Head. Here’s the summary:
Have you seen the news stories about the obesity epidemic? Did you see Super Size Me? Then guess what? … You’ve been fed a load of bologna.
Comedian (and former health writer) Tom Naughton replies to the blame-McDonald’s crowd by losing weight on a fat-laden fast-food diet while demonstrating that nearly everything we’ve been told about obesity and healthy eating is wrong. Along with some delicious parody of Super Size Me, Naughton serves up plenty of no-bologna facts that will stun most viewers, such as: The obesity “epidemic” has been wildly exaggerated by the CDC. People the government classifies as “overweight” have longer lifespans than people classified as “normal weight.” Having low cholesterol is unhealthy. Lowfat diets can lead to depression and type II diabetes. Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease — but sugars, starches and processed vegetable oils do.
The last video I watched was called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It became somewhat of an internet sensation back in 2009 but I guess I missed it. It’s a 1.5 hour lecture on why fructose is a toxin. (I’m sold.) The lecturer is a doctor by the name of Robert H. Lustig.
If you have some time (each video is over an hour) I highly recommend them. The gist of all of them is that the obesity epidemic is caused, not by fat/saturated fat/meat, but by too much sugar and too many carbohydrates. My take on them:
The first link (Fat Head) “proves” that a high-fat diet is good for you. Um, duh. Tom Naughton’s high-fat diet consists of a lot of meat; I am still kind of undecided on the meat issue. Two more of his points are that 1) grains are doing a lot of damage (he does go into detail but I don’t want to right now) and 2) processed vegetable oils (corn oil, soybean oil, etc… – and not just he partially hydrogenated trans fat ones) are also killing us. Humans are not used to eating either of those things.
Now – I like meat, and I would eat it, but I am morally opposed to the way meat is produced in our country, and I can’t bring myself to eat it anymore. If meat were truly ethically raised? I’m still unsure nowadays. I’m getting off topic, but my takeaway from this one – fat is good. Eat more of it. Eat veggies too, though. It may be possible to have a semi-healthful fast food diet, but it’s probably better to just be more primal.
Mmm… bacon and eggs and butter.
Personal side notes:
My “Bring on the Fat” post from last year (one year ago – to the day). Sadly I didn’t keep up with this as much as I’d have liked. Now that I’m a veggie I need to get my animal fat from butter, ghee, eggs (with yolk), and dairy (goat’s and sheep’s milk yogurts are my faves; regular ol’ organic whole cow’s milk for my coffee). Since I went veggie I have been eating too many carbs and not enough fats.
The Great Fat Animal Experiment. This was from a year and 3 days ago; it was an intro to my passion for animal fat. I still do love animal fat; again, I’m just going to try to get it from non-meat sources.
Way back in July 2009 (4 days before I got engaged… can’t believe I am married now!) was one of the first times I started trying to eat more fat. I didn’t really follow through, at least not to the extent that I should have. I have come a long way since then.
Big Fat Lies
The second link (Big Fat Lies) discusses the matter of why people are getting fat; is it simply that we eat too much and sit on our asses? Gary Taubes seems to think that it’s because we have too much insulin (I’m leaning towards agreeing with him, but I think the reason we have too much insulin is because we… eat too much). He basically says that we aren’t getting fat because we’re eating more; we’re eating more because we’re getting fat. He debunks Ancel Keys’ Lipid Hypothesis/Seven Countries Study which states that:
Saturated fat increases cholesterol. (If A then B.)
High cholesterol associated with heart disease. (B associated with C.)
Saturated fat must cause heart disease! (If A then C.)
What a load of bologna! Ugh, too much to say about this horrible study, will post about this later (if I don’t remind me). I tend to agree with Taubes’ conclusions, but I think that there are a lot of people out there who do simply “eat too much” for probably mental reasons. It’s not just hormones that are making us fat. We have issues that also make us eat too much which starts the vicious cycle of greedy fat cells –> eat more –> greedier fat cells –> eat even more –> also be lazy because we’re too fat.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
The last link, Sugar: The Bitter Truth, Robert H. Lustig discusses how fructose is metabolized in the body. It turns out that fructose is very similar to ethanol, which is a toxin. He also debunks the Seven Countries Study (though for different reasons than Taubes does). He’s not a low-carb advocate (unlike the other two); he thinks we just have to eat the right carbs, which does not include sugar at all. His diet prescriptions for his patients (mostly kids) are (this is around the 1:10 mark):
Only beverages should be water and milk
Eat carbs with fiber (ex: fruit is fructose but has fiber built in)
Wait 20 minutes for second portions
If you’re gonna stare at a screen (tv/video games) you have to do equal amounts of activity (playing outside)
His prescriptions are probably easier and more reasonable to follow than what Taubes thinks we should do (low-carb, lots of meat); they’re also probably more sustainable (we can’t all live on steak due to overpopulation). I’m still on the fence about carbs though. I love ’em, but they make me feel like shit. Maybe I’m just more sensitive than some people; my husband could probably live on just carbs and get along fine. (Though he did lose 10 pounds in the last month from being vegetarian – 10 pounds he did not need to lose and he is worried about. He’s practically as skinny as I am.)
What are your thoughts? On grains? On carbs? On sugar? On fructose? On saturated fats? On animal fats? On “healthy” fats? On a low-fat diet? On a low-carb diet? On Tom Naughton/Gary Taubes/Robert Lustig?
Or, if you wanna stop with the heavy topics…
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
Bobby got us reservations as a restaurant we haven’t been to yet but that I hear great things about.