Health Grind

One of the many reasons why Americans don’t eat healthy is because it can be a bore. I won’t use the “it’s expensive excuse” because I’ve managed to purchase two weeks worth of ingredients from Whole Check Whole Foods, and spend no more than $20. Therefore, eating organically and healthy can be done, but we don’t do it.

Let’s face it; Americans are fat and unhealthy, and part of the problem is our eating style. Since Joseph has opened up a Facebook account, I’m getting the chance to become acquainted with many of his cousins in Italy. There is a common theme that I’m noticing, and the theme is that they’re fit. They’re skin is smooth, rich in moisture, and they’re long and lean. Not only do they get a plethora of exercise from walking up and down the hills of Italy and Sicily, but they also eat a Medeterean diet. Joseph’s maternal grandmother is 90 years old, and she came to our wedding. She is absolutely beautiful, and she is able to still care for herself. She eats a diet that is strictly Medeterrean, and Joseph’s father is the same. He won’t dare eat anything that is not of his born nation, and he is a healthy 61 year-old man whose still works 10-12 hours in the family-owned Italian restaurant. He stays on Joseph about his health, and he hates the fact that Joseph isn’t as fit as he was when he was Joseph’s age. In his words, “Americans eat too much. They put too much salt, fat, and grease in their food.” And you know what; he is right. Americans have a problem with food.

Joseph and I have vowed to become healthy and remain that way. To aid in our lifestyle, I’ve been incorporating a lot of information from my nutrition course and from the book “What to Eat” (Which is GREAT). Besides microbiology, I would highly recommend people take nutrition, even if you do not want to go into the healthcare field. The knowledge is so vital, and it’s imperative that we understand the truth instead of following fad diets.

Today I focused on “eating your colors” via a plethora of vegetables in a vegan dish. I remember this vividly in class because we were tested on each and every vitamin mineral and benefit that is associated with various colors of fruits and vegetables. In other words, I had to learn about my phytonutrients. Tonight’s meal consisted of red, yellow, green, and purple.

Red: These foods contain lycopene, which studies have shown reduces the risk of several types of cancer.

Yellow: These fruits are rich in vitamin C and flavanoids, another group of antioxidants which help our immune systems.

Green: These contain chemicals (sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and idoles, to be exact) that help breakdown cancer-causing compounds.

Purple: Some of the most powerful antioxidant foods are in this family. The color in these fruits comes from a group of chemicals called anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation, protect against cancer, and recent studies show good effects in eyes, arteries, and brains.

After I learned about phytochemicals, my meals have not been bland-looking. I’ve made sure that it’s vibrant in colors, and I always have red and purple colors due to their health properties.

Tonight’s meal also included couscous. I will admit; I didn’t know much information about this food prior to my nutrition class. I heard of it, but I didn’t know how healthy it was. Not only is it healthy, but it’s also good and quick to make. Joseph and I really enjoyed its flavor and texture, and it doesn’t hurt that couscous has only 176 calories (per one cup of cooked couscous), it’s a good source of protein, and low in saturated fat.

Knowledge brings about an interest that takes away the boredom and mundane experiences. Learning how to eat healthy isn’t any different. So far, Joseph and I are having fun with this. I’m sure I will learn more about health and nutrition during my nursing studies, and I look forward to sharing the benefit with Joseph and our family to come.

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10 thoughts on “Health Grind

  1. I am downloading that book today. You are absolutely right that we aren’t healthy and have no one to blame but ourselves. We need to stop blaming everyone else for our health and accept responsiblity. I am downloading that book right now to my Nook. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. When I came to this country, I was introduced to all kinds of junk. I do have a sweet tooth. But for the most part, I eat healthy. I recently had couscous and quinoa for the first time. I am a brown rice kinda gal. I eat mainly fish. I do, however, need to get better at eating more veggies. I do notice in Italy that the people there are smaller and leaner. I think it’s because they eat smaller portions, and less junk. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great post. I used to think the same thing about eating healthier vs expense but even in Manhattan I am able to buy foods for a week costing a little over $20!

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