Eat Real Food

Numerous folks in the health & nutrition world are now saying that this is a very simple way to nail down a viable eating plan for the average American. (“Average” meaning one who commonly ingests what is supposed to be food but comes from boxes, cans, plastic wrapping, or the nearby fast food restaurant or convenience store.) If I can wrap my brain around the idea of “real food,” it can help me choose well what to eat.

A program for elementary school kids, designed by David Katz, MD, “Nutrition Detectives,” teaches kids to look for foods with few ingredients. (Like carrots or raisins.) This is great advice for all of us; but I like to extend it to health care items, as well. Who says shampoo has to contain 37 ingredients I cannot pronounce? And while we’re at it, there are simple, natural cleaners, too. My favorites are lemon juice & baking soda, which also happen to be real foods.

Fresh ocean-caught sardine with lemon & garlic, quinoa & veggies

Fresh ocean-caught sardine with lemon & garlic, quinoa & veggies

So, this weekend, my husband & I had the pleasure of dining in; this was partly due to the dire weather forecast. “12 inches of snow!” they warned. An official blizzard warning was in effect, someone said. I made this delightful dinner: ocean-caught sardines, pan-fried with fresh garlic & lemon. Medium heat, about 3 minutes per side. At the same time, I sauteed a locally grown organic carrot & some onion. Then I added to that a cup or so leftover quinoa. When it was warm, I put in some fresh avocado. WOW! Insanely delicious, & Scott thought so, too. However, I then used the skeletons (heads & all) & some veggie scraps & herbs to make fish stock, so the house smelled of very fishy fish for the next 24 hours.

It’s easy to be intimidated about cooking things like this if you’re not used to cooking. But the thing about real food is that  it’s actually ridiculously simple to prepare. I used to tell my daughter, “apply heat.” When I said I “pan fried” my sardines, I suppose it wasn’t even really frying, since I used only a tiny bit of coconut oil, just to keep it from sticking early on. Essentially, I heated the pan a bit, put the fish in, turned them over after a bit, & cooked them on the other side. “Saute” is another fancy way to say “apply heat” using a skillet & a little fat of some kind, usually medium heat, stirring a bit while cooking.

We waited & watched. Finally, on Saturday morning, snow began to fall. But after 3 or 4 hours, there still was no snow collecting on the streets. I was so glad I had not cancelled my plans with friend & client, Faith. We made all kinds of cultured fruit & veggie recipes, mostly of our own design. Again, this was real food, simply prepared. When the culturing process is complete (ie. when it tastes good to me), these creations will be naturally loaded with many times their original nutrients, plus beneficial bacteria. I planned to take photos, but forgot.

The weekend "blizzard"as viewed from my neighborhood

The weekend “blizzard”
as viewed from my neighborhood

I did remember to take a picture of the lovely sky at about sunset, after the “blizzard.” The sun was out, there was about an inch or so of snow on the ground, & it was not even really cold. Typical Colorado forecast, typical result. I love it! I hope you had a nice weekend, also.

Next time, I will publish the fun interview I mentioned missing, due to an actual blizzard a couple of weeks ago. I spoke with the gentleman on Sunday, & I’m excited to share his thoughts with you.

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