Top five habits: The all-in foodie

Respect the food!

There is a popular modern slogan that was in part birthed by the slow food crowd. “Farm to Table.” It comes close in describing how we should view food and nutrition. For such an important part of our lives and health, we “farm out” much of the process and products to strangers.

We should be advocates for knowing where our food comes from. If not our own gardens (even herb gardens on the kitchen window sill), then community gardens, farmer’s markets, or community supported agriculture (CSA) ventures. You say that those things don’t exist close to you? And yet we’ll drive thirty miles to the mall for a special purchase or as entertainment. The reason they don’t exist in great numbers is because we haven’t asked for them.

I’m all for small and slow solutions, and since these types of services take time to implement, let’s start asking for them now. It may even be a business opportunity for you; learning the skills now that will allow you to buy land and tools and begin building a clientele.

Something else that we have lost, or are in the process of losing, is the meal time rituals that have been a part of our cultures since time immemorial. The act of planning a meal, getting the ingredients, preparing them, cooking, sharing the food around a table with family and friends is something to be celebrated, not despised. I’m sure that some of your fondest memories are of dinner table conversations. I know some of mine are.

The same people who say that they don’t have time to cook are the same people who sit for an hour with a buzzer in their hand, waiting for a restaurant table. We’re like that when we’re on auto-pilot. One needent slow cook a pot roast for every meal. There are many simple meals with whole food ingredients that can be prepared and served in half an hour completely from scratch. I urge you to give it a try. In doing so, you could also be teaching yourself and even your children and friends a valuable life skill. There are many teens who don’t know a single simple recipe beyond boiling ramen and microwaving pre-packaged faux-food.

Getting into the dinner routine is a simple act of the will, where it isn’t one person’s responsibility to set the table, prepare food, cook, and do dishes. When everyone pitches in and spends time together throughout the process, everything gets done quickly. This is an opportunity for everyone to interact, laugh and talk.

Later, we’ll get into ways that you can get involved locally to promote a more regional food economy, but for now, consider the above. At the least, at every meal, do your best to recreate the food ritual. Meals aren’t only for nutrition, they’re a social act and we should do our part to keep that alive. Don’t eat alone if you can help it, always try to have a healthy meal with friends and conversation.

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Taco Tuesday

imageWhen I got home from work tonight, the family had already had dinner, and I was grateful to find a nice slicing tomato and a perfectly ripe avocado on the counter, and some hearts of romaine in the fridge along with the usual accoutrements. So I made a taco salad, healthy style. I added some fresh sautéed portobello mushrooms, half of the avocado, the whole tomato, 2 ounces of taco meat, a squirt of Ranch dressing, and a sprinke of Mexican cheese. I paired this with sodium free blue corn chips and chowed down. What do you think…healthy? Not so much? What would you have added or left out? Let me know and I’ll try your suggestions. Tuesday night is taco night in our house, and I’m a salad kind of guy.

 

Grape ? Fruit

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There is something celebratory about breaking the skin of a citrus fruit. That bright, tart feeling of awakening as your taste buds begin to make a fuss and your mouth begins to water, in anticipation of that first bite. Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons and limes, it doesn’t matter. The secondary benefit is that that smell sticks to your hands. Aromatherapy at its finest. But does anyone know who named the grapefruit? SMH

Foodie Update #1

974e668224d0c7ae8294c35514ac16e7So many people complain that Facebook foodie postings are really irritating and trivial. I disagree on several levels. First, people have always talked about food, and food art is a high-form genre. Even McDonalds can make their byproducts look appetizing. Next, we’re always looking for ideas for our next meal or our next menu, and if a friend posts something that makes my belly go “ooooohhh,” I’m may be tempted to snag it.

If it is healthy.
Which brings up another topic. I have to bite my tongue sometimes when I am perusing my friends foodie postings. Especially the ones from “Delish” and others, who show a sped up version of someone concocting something, usually with more cheese than I would eat in a month, then at the end they cut to slo-mo as the fork or spoon is diving into the greasy mess to pull out a bite.

Ick.

But anyway… On my own blog here (and whatever posts to FB) I’m simply going to tell you what I ate. If it is healthy, you can pat me on the back or move on. If I stumble, you can take me to task.

Most mornings, I get up and make the coffee and start a cup while the water boils for my oatmeal with raisins and walnuts. I don’t do it in the microwave – I’ve gone old school with my five dollar stamped tin tea kettle. I don’t have toast with butter or milk or anything else with it, just the bare bones. It fills me up enough to “break my fast” and get me headed toward lunch.

A lot of times, I blow lunch. I’m trying to get better and you can help me with your snarky comments and links to inspirational cat videos. But today since I’m here taking MGT 440, a FEMA course focusing on advanced event and sports management, I’m taking advantage of the free continental breakfast. That means I had a banana when I got here, and at the first break, I grabbed a cinnamon raisin bagel and ate it after slathering it with a dollop of cream cheese. I was going to forego the cream cheese, but have you ever tried to eat a bagel dry? Don’t try it. When everyone else headed out to lunch venues, I stayed here and raided what was left of the continental breakfast, stuffing an apple and a pear into my face, and a lovely grapefruit and another pear into my backpack for later.

Yes, I am an unrepentant fruit thief.

That has been my intake so far today, and I’m not hungry at the moment, so everything is going fine. My goal behavior is to make a green smoothie for lunch each day while I’m making my breakfast, so I can avoid going out and eating at a restaurant. Even if I just go to Subway for a veggie delight salad.

I’m not completely innocent today because I might have gone out somewhere to eat, except I didn’t want to give up my sweet parking spot, and we had to do a bit of account switching today to keep the checking account I use to pay the monthlies on life support. Ever been there? Fist-bump, peeps.