Friday, October 14, 2011

Food: There's Gonna Be A Change

My best friend in the whole world, who has been my buddy since we were thirteen years old (and that was longer ago than I care to admit), is in the hospital with seizures and complications related to a condition she has called Dystonia.  It made me realize that even though I am in good health (generally speaking) I squander that health with sedentary living and poor eating habits.

There's going to be a change.

I've always been a fan of eating foods that are as close to what nature made them as they can possibly be... fresh corn on the cob instead of commercially canned creamed corn, or poached chicken breasts instead of chicken nuggets.  I love to cook, but even so... I will take shortcuts.  And some nights when I'm bone tired or my back is bothering me, I'd rather order a pizza.  And sometimes, a PB&J sandwich just doesn't taste right unless it's on that squishy, non-bread bread.  You know which one I mean.

I fill up my Thermos coffee mug every morning, sip it slowly (hence the Thermos) and at noon I'd switch to soda or lemonade, depending on the heat and the season.  That's a crap-ton of caffeine, processed sugar, and the general sludge that comes from coffee.  Ever worked in a restaurant and had to clean coffee gunk from the carafes?  Yeah, that's in you too, baby.  That's in ME.

I'm not going to deprive myself so that I end up rubberbanding back to worse habits than before, but some stricter guidelines are going to be gradually phased in.

I'm digging out the Google Map I printed two months ago for a "pick-your-own" (though that only applies to their strawberries when in season, but they sell their other produce) organic produce farm, and we're going sometime this weekend.  I'll probably go overboard, get the stuff home, and go "Holy crap, where am I going to store all this?!"  At least I have a decent supply of canning jars, I just need to find new lids.  Right now, not only do they have Satsuma oranges, but Meyer lemons, two kinds of greens, turnips, kumquats, pecans, and of course, pumpkins.

Friday nights we usually order a pizza.  Tonight instead I made boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Lay them in a pan, put a thin layer of mustard over each breast, then add some chicken stock around the breasts and cover tightly.  Depending on the thickness of the pieces, cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the thickest part reaches 165°.  Serve that with rice and a green vegetable or salad, and it's not too bad for you, depending on the sodium content in the broth.  We'll put a little orange marmalade (home made) on the side.  Very tasty.

I've also cut down to one soda a day, and replaced my intake with at least two sixteen ounce cups of herbal tea.  Good detoxifying teas are chamomile, peppermint, and raspberry leaf.  Not only does it help with your fluid intake, but they can be chock full of anti-oxidants.  Nothing like squashing some free radicals with something that's tasty to boot.

So take a look at your lifestyle.  Think about whether you're doing enough, or whether you're squandering your health.

Next up... more exercise.

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