Friday, March 09, 2007

Salad Days

Ack! I just got sick eating a salad. I'm wondering how this happened. I have two theories:
1) The grocery-store that made my salad is perhaps not the cleanest place in Canada.
2) My body, composed of at least 95% junk food, simply rejected the salad.

Recently, I've tried to improve my diet. This has meant not putting salt on everything. Otherwise, I am totally clueless when it comes to health. I eat nothing but junk food, beer, pop, candy- basically, my diet wouldn't be any less healthy if I was eating copper pennies!

So, I have to do something about this. My doctor is convinced that I need to make drastic changes. (You know that your health is bad when your doctor writes you a prescription for an urn!) He has said that I'll probably develop heart disease anyway, but I might as well give nutrition a shot. I'm not terribly overweight- about 20 pounds I'd say. However, I come from a long-line of heart attack victims. And I'm relatively thin except in the middle- so I look like a snake that's eaten a basketball, basically.

Anyway, I've been buying the salads at the grocery store. And making the switch from pop to beer. The real problem is that I know what stuff is unhealthy to eat- largely because I've eaten it and someone has said to me "You're really going to eat that?!" But I have no idea what is healthy to eat. My knowledge is limited to a general sense that rice must be healthy because how could it not be? Anyway, we will see how this pans out.


Hiromi said...

As someone with an all-consuming interest in food (ar ar ar), my mind is boggling. Just junk food? I guess such a life is theoretically possible, but...I'm having trouble with the concept of a diet that is not only limited, but limited to formerly edible foodstuffs that had the edibility processed out of them! Rufus, for shame!

Rufus said...

Well... I might have been stretching it a bit. But the truth isn't much better. I'll pretty much eat anything. I do tend to eat like a college student though. Hence the run in with the salad.

The Pagan Temple said...

Too much rice is NOT good for you-too much starch. Just eat well balanced meals and in moderation and you'll be ok. Nothing wrong with a little junk food either,from time to time, just don't make it your basic everyday three or more meals a day.

That store made salad might have been bad, you should buy fresh produce and make your own.

gregvw said...

Both my parents and I have high cholestrerol. My dad has had an angioplasty and they both take prescription meds to control their cholesterol. I was able to lower my LDL by about 40 pts and raise my HDL by about 3 and lower my blood pressure mostly through diet change. Here's what I did:

1nd) NEVER eat anything that contains corn syrup (especially high fructose) or hydrogenated fats.

2rd) Don't worry so much about total fat, but instead focus on consuming non-saturated fats. In particular, grape seed, olive, and almond oils. Bread dipped in grape seed oil makes a great snack. Also, it makes good salad dressing. I've been using these for all sorts of cooking. My biggest source of saturated fat was from cocoa beans (actual cacao nibs or 80+% dark chocolate bars). Also, try to eat things with a lot of Omega fatty acids, like salmon and flax seeds and various nuts, legumes, and drupes. You can get giant sacks of nuts (snicker) at Costco for reasonable. I wish I could do that in Graz.

3th) An effective breakfast is cooking a bowl of 2 parts steel cut oats to 1 part flax seeds. Add some almond oil, walnuts , honey and cinnamon if you like. Maybe fruit?

4st) Alcohol. I try to have a glass of red wine or a beer every day. I try not to drink ALL the booze at once like I used to.

5nd) When buying meat, stick to leaner things like buffalo, poultry, and game. If I bought beef, I would only by grass-fed and eat a reasonable size per meal (deck of cards sized).

6rd) Try to eat fruits and vegetables with every meal. Broccoli, for example. can be turned into food by boiling it in beef broth and then adding oil and seasonings. Get your simple sugars from actual fruit instead of juice, or worse, candy and soda.

7nrdth) As a general rule opt for less processed, and less preserved foods. Most grocery stores put the real food around the perimeter of the store and keep the crap in the middle. This makes shopping easier. Just don't go in the middle of the store.

0) Drinks: Mostly water. One alcoholic beverage per day (maybe two on the weekend), one or two black coffees. One or two cups of green tea. That's pretty much it for me.

Granted, I have been on a wurst and gummi binge since I got to Austria, but I am slowly migrating back to the healthy diet. Hope this helps.

Rufus said...

Thank you very much. I'll try these. I've actually cut out most of the red meat and love salmon, so that should be easy. I'd say the hardest one would be removing soda. But it might be like alcohol- I used to drink way too much booze, and I went through a period of believing that I should never drink again because my mother is an alky. But I found it was a lot more sensible to train myself to drink a lot less than to treat booze like I was Superman and it was Kryptonite. I think the same thing might work with soda. Maybe a can a day. It's obviously my Achilles' heel- I drink three or four bottles of Pepsi a day.

Thanks again!

Jen P. said...

Rufus! Read this and take heed. Junk "food" doesn't count as food.

clairev said...

i feel the need to post here, rufus isn't as bad as he says he is. we don't eat the same at our place (i am a fruit & veg person, love whole grains, can't live without a decent yogurt with some trail mix and, like greg, do lean meats etc. i don't drink but that's because i can't) but if i cook it, he eats it and if i leave fruit out, he eats it. he's doing his best and i'm so glad he'll be seeing a nutritionist.

i also need to be calling on all the wendy's in our area with his picture, offering them large sums of money not to sell him hamburgers.


Rufus said...

Okay, I guess she's right. My real problem arises only when I am both hungry and out somewhere. That's when the Wendy's drive through seems to me like "picking up dinner on my way home."

gregvw said...

Here's where I will reveal how completely uncool I actually am. When going out and about where I am likely get hungry and have no recourse but chain restaurants, I will keep food in my satchel to prevent rash decisions. Things like prepared raw vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc), a couple of pieces of fruit, a variety of nuts, maybe some pretzels which typically are ultra-low fat, and of course the ubiquitous piece of extra strong dark chocolate.

I credit the latter for lowering my BP from needing beta blockers to being acceptable as is.

Rufus said...

Right, but in Oregon, for example, that would be very cool.