Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Week of Whole Foods

The week is up and like days one and two, I found it nearly impossible to eat to the definition of "whole foods" I set last weekend:
  • edible, intact parts only
  • palatable
  • time required fits with our lifestyle; 60 minutes or less to prepare
The issue I had was managing my personal food supply. First, there's the will to do so, then there is the pragmatics of the way.

Here's how my week went:

  • 25th wedding anniversary party.
  • My diet was perfect till I got to the party, which had a fixed menu (lovely menu, just not within the boundaries I set above).
  • Full day of meetings with a late finish.
  • Great start on the day, but lunch purchased during my 15 minute opportunity included a whole wheat wrap and hummus -- neither of which is "intact".
  • Dinner consisted of cheeseless vegetarian pizza ordered during my commute home -- I was just to tired and hungry to cook.
  • Full day of meetings, half of which took place on the golf course.
  • Great start to the day, but the restaurant at the golf course was out of Boca burgers (the only vegetarian option, still not "intact"), so I had to settle for a cheese quesadilla for lunch and a grilled cheese for dinner. Not good.
  • Full day of meetings.
  • Successful "whole foods" day.
  • Full day of meetings, working from home.
  • Great start to day, but no time to get out for lunch so settled for frozen burrito between calls. Dinner with friends at a restaurant, again, not so good.
  • Fourth of July, entertaining friends after the "chili cook-off" that takes place our city.
  • Made good choices, but not all within my "whole foods" boundaries.
You get the picture.

The fact is, I changed my diet nearly a decade ago to exclude highly processed food, like white bread, refined sugar, anything that's heavily stabilized by chemicals, and I've been a vegetarian for nearly 5 years, so my diet is pretty good to start.

Jeffrey Fredrick posted a link to this video in my blog entry a few days ago. Thank you Jeffrey, it's a great video. Bittman makes many excellent points well worth hearing.

Bittman made a statement that sums up my final take on this issue "Less meat, less junk, more plants. It's a simple formula. Eat food. Eat real food."

One final note, with an interesting tangent for future research: sometimes processing is good.

As luck would have it, the date of one of my good friends at our Fourth of July party was a nutritionist. Given my experiment for the week I asked for her take on this topic.

She had a really down to earth approach and summed it up by saying the closer something is to its original form the better, except in the cases where bio-availability is increased through processing, such as soy, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, etc.

Again, topics for another day...

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