Success and tenacity go hand in hand.
Dave Cunningham / October 24, 2008
The market is crashing. The sky is falling. The end is near. All is lost. What next?
How about some good news? If you’re a home buyer, things look great. Choose something you can afford and it will be nicer than what you could have bought before for the same amount. Gas prices are dropping like a rock. Yesterday I saw $2.599 per gallon.
Food prices are up. But again, some good news! This will cause shoppers to pay closer attention to what they buy and maybe even to nutrition. In an increasing food cost market, it is still possible to eat healthy and spend less than you’re probably spending now. This leads to one of my favorite subjects, food and nutrition!
But first, I often watch, as I wait in line at the supermarket checkout, the person in front of me, unloading groceries for the scanner. I am looking for food. I mean real food. I see snacks, soda, frozen dinners, boxed breakfast cereals, diet and lo-cal cookies and candy, margarine, etc. Some labels even boast that they are All Natural. The bill is usually around a hundred dollars and I restrain myself. I want to say to the shopper, “You just paid a hundred dollars and didn’t get any real food. Read the ingredients on those packages. You can do better for yourself and your family and save money by buying whole foods.”
You are probably on the edge of your seat right now wondering, what’s a whole food? It is exactly what it sounds like. A complete orange is a whole food. Orange juice is not. Brown rice is a whole food. Prepared rice dishes might be a “treat” in some cities, but not whole food. Leafy green vegetables are a whole food. Vegetable juice cocktails are not, so stop hitting yourself in the forehead wishing you’d had one instead of the other poor choice you made.
You don’t like brown rice? No problem. There are other whole grains: barley, quinoa, oats, amaranth, wheat berries, rye, buckwheat and millet.
You might say, “I need my protein. What about meat?” No worries! You can get protein from other sources and miss out on the animal fat that is slowly clogging American arteries. There are all kinds of beans: garbanzo, navy, kidney, adzuki, lentils, and split peas. And they can be prepped with herbs and seasonings and oils that make them taste great. Voila! Protein! Without the fat!
Your local natural food store carries most of these grains, beans and greens.
All right, all right, if you insist, go ahead and buy some meat. But buy high quality. Also, a small piece tastes just as good as a large piece. Then balance it with some leafy greens and whole grains.
I often hear, “I don’t have time to cook from scratch every night.” This is a legitimate objection. People are busy with jobs, car pools, commute times, housework and many other obligations. But with a little planning, you can have nutritious, tasty meals.
I always have brown rice, either soaking to be ready to cook or already cooked. Same with the beans. It takes about five minutes to tear up some greens and steam them with rice in a sauce pan. When I am hungry, I usually prepare my entire meal in about fifteen minutes.
The preparation that takes the most time is passive. Soak the rice or beans overnight. Pressure cook them. No effort expended. You’d burn more calories reading the newspaper. Well, maybe not.
Believe it or not, this is also better for the environment. But that’s a subject for another article.
Next time, you’re buying at the market, read the ingredients. Someone once said, “If I can’t read it, I don’t eat it.” Good advice.