Some Thoughts on Food…Guest Post

This is a post by one of my thoughtful blogger friends.  As my kids and grandkids know, this is a subject dear to my heart and I couldn’t have said it better myself.   Thanks, Grateful Dancer, for permission to re-post.  Look her up at My Oprah Lessons


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Letters to my children…

Hi My Darlin’ Kids and Kidlets,

Grandpa told me – more than once – that eating the nutrients that our body needs cures many issues that we deal with – addictions, cravings, moods and emotions as well as physical and health issues.  I am becoming a believer!   I see it much more clearly now than I did at the time.  Dad told me often that I needed to have a healthy meal with good protein ready for Dale when he came home from work – that it would help his craving for alcohol.  He also said to cut out sugar – it would help with many emotional issues – depression, anxiety and cravings.

I’m trying to keep my body in good shape to live well for the rest of my life.  Grandma and Grandpa lived that way and I pooh-poohed it for a lot of years but the older I get, the more I realize that if I had paid attention earlier, I’d be having fewer problems now.  I’m very healthy but could have avoided some serious health issues that I’ve had to face.

 So I’m passing some info on to you.  This note is to help you.  I know some of you kids and grandkids are really into eating as healthy as possible and it makes my day.  I know that you’ll live a better life if you don’t put harmful substances – and garbage into your bods (and minds:).  I know you’ve all heard me repeat what my parents told me – repeatedly – that our bodies are no different than our cars.  They need the highest quality fuel to stay in tip top condition and last a long time.

I know it’s difficult to care much when you’re young and feeling healthy and invincible.  I pray that you’ll pay attention.  Health issues are hell to deal with.  Aging has many challenges – and most of those are preventable.  Really!   If you study foods and take them very seriously,  listen to your body, pay attention to what you’re eating and breathing – and thinking – you’ll live a much happier, more balanced life.  You’ll never be sorry for the time and money you spend on quality foods.

 I’m inserting this link for Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet pyramid.  It’s simple.  The foods are inexpensive and simple.  Beans – especially pinto and black beans – are a protein staple with pretty amazing health benefits.  Cheap too.  Fresh organic fruits and veggies are a must.

 Potassium is lacking in almost all of our diets.  Supplements don’t cut it and can cause problems in some cases.  You can get all you need with fresh, dark green leafy veggies, a baked yam, a piece of cantaloupe, beans, cauliflower.  Steamed veggies preserve more nutrition.  Microwaving destroys nutrients.  Research the internet and find your favorite potassium-rich foods and include them every day.   An easy way to get a serving of potassium is with green juice.  This sounds much worse than it actually is – just try it and mix with a little juice….Make a green juice with collards, mustard greens, broccoli, parsley, bokchoy, carrots, a fresh beet, celery, cabbage (you really wont even taste it in a drink).  You can store it in the refrigerator for 4 days.  I make extra and freeze it.  If you’d like for me to make it for you, you pay for the veggies (about $20 every two weeks or so) and I’ll be happy to do the shopping, make the juice, and deliver it to you.  Lightly steam a little spinach and kale, broccoli, red and orange peppers, a few carrots.   Some foods are more nutritious if lightly steamed.  Put a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over them.  A little pepper.   It’s fast, easy, and much easier to take than medicine.  And it will keep you from having to take medicines.   Develop a taste for the good foods.  Be a food snob.  Eat organic and nutritious.  Get a taste for olive oil and balsamic  dressings – or any vinegar.

 Try for a low calorie, high nutrition diet.  Eat a lot of whole grains, seeds, brown rice, freshly ground flax seeds, pumpkin seeds are delicious snacks and full of magnesium.  Magnesium promotes sleep and a healthy heart.  Potassium does the same.  Rice bran is tasteless in a bowel of steel cut oats for breakfast.  Add 1/2 tsp olive oil.  You wont taste it and it’ll give you some good fat.  It also helps stabilize your blood sugar.

Sugar is deadly.    Grandpa quit eating sugar altogether when he was in his mid 40′s and felt it saved his life.  He was dealing with a lot of health issues that improved and cleared when he quit using sugar.   Sugar causes all sorts of problems – diabetes, cancer, heart problems.   My sister, Pat, quit eating sugar because of health and weight issues – she once told me she realized that she was putting poison in her body with every bite of sugar.  She started thinking of it as rat poison and it was easy to avoid it.  If you’re sweet tooth needs a fix, have some fresh fruit.   Eat foods that are in season.

Organic vs commercial – Dr. Oz and his family eat only organic foods.  Oprah does.  So if you strive for that, you’re in good company.  Apples and potatoes are a must – they HAVE to be organic.  There are lists of foods that contain and hold more pesticides and chemicals than others and they are at the top of the list.  Any fleshy fruit that you don’t need to peel to eat need to be organic.  Leafy vegetables.  Root veggies.  Most veggies except corn, onions and garlic need to be organic.  Fruits that you have to peel to eat don’t need to be organic.   Grains and beans are best for you if they’re organic.  They’re cheap either way.  Seeds – pumpkin and sunflower don’t need to be organic.  Read about chemicals and pesticides on the internet.  Educate yourself about everything you put into your body.

Apples, berries – blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, marionberries, avocados, pomegranates.  Bananas are nutritious and have a little potassium in them.  Melons.  Mangos.  Pineapples, plums, pears.   Oranges, grapefruit.   Lots of yummy choices.  Drink a half lemon in warm water first thing in the morning.  Mom and Dad did it every morning and promoted lemon to cleanse and protect the liver.  I do it now as well.  There are so many toxins that our poor liver has to process – it gets a workout!

Fats – Extra virgin, first cold pressed olive oil is less processed than others.   It’s inexpensive at Costco.  Use it for everything – salad dressings, cooking, instead of butter.  It gets rancid quickly so it HAS to be in the refrigerator once it’s opened.  We pour it into wide-mouth small jam jars – any open mouth jar – after we open it.  It solidifies in the fridge and is easier to use if we can dip into it rather than try to pour it.  It’s a good fat.  Avocados are good fats.   Learn to dip bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar – like the Italians.  It’s delicious and healthy.   Butter is deadly and once you lose your taste for it, it’s just awful!  Tastes good but the after taste and sensation of fat in your mouth is really yukky!

Nuts – especially walnuts – are good fats.  Nuts should be unsalted and unroasted for highest benefit.  You can lightly salt them yourself.  Presalted are way over-salted.  Another thing to watch for in your diet.   We should all have less than 2500 mg of sodium a day.  I challenge you to keep track of your salt intake for a day.  You’ll be shocked.  It takes a little effort to limit yourself to a healthy dose of salt – almost impossible if you eat fast food.   It’s as deadly for our hearts as sugar and fats.  Beware!:)  Learn about it.

Please be just as careful of foods that you put in your mouth as you are with drugs that go into your body.  Know what’s going “down the hatch”.  Pay attention and live well.  You come from some good, hardy, long-lived stock.  Take advantage of it:)

 I love you….


My Oprah Lessons

One comment

  1. I clicked the like button…but wish there was a “love” button.
    Thank you so much for a heartfelt letter that I will pass along to my children…and reread myself! We try to eat “healthy”…but your suggestions and comments and link to Andrew Weil will be very helpful.


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