Whole Foods – Eating Well to Feel Well

This has been on my mind for a while now. By a while I mean years. I was away last week, enjoying the luxury of having every meal prepared for me. Let me tell you – put a wonderful director in a kitchen with a handful of teenagers, most of whom are new to the facility this year – and they can put out a great meal. We take our tableware to the kitchen after we eat so we get to see what’s going on in there. Vases of fresh basil and baskets of fresh vegetables were on the counters.

skillet, roasted asparagus, recipe

We had whole foods cooked from scratch all week but two “foods” got the attention of my digestive system. At full attention, my system sent me a message. “Knock it off.” For one week a year I enjoy dessert at most lunches and every supper. Every. Supper. I ate cookies, tapioca pudding, cookies, ice cream with a pizzelle, and more cookies.

I tried a pancake and a waffle (I couldn’t decide between the two) but the “maple” syrup was fake, best called “breakfast” syrup. It was too sweet and lacked nutrition. I abandoned the plate and got myself a bowl of homemade, unsweetened oatmeal and added some peach yogurt. It was delicious. I ate a big salad at least once and sometimes twice a day. Between the sugar and one bagged salad mixed treated with preservatives, my belly rumbled.

whole foods, waffle, syrup, maple syrup
Photo by nabil boukala on Unsplash

Normally I’d say “I have a cast iron stomach, I can eat anything.” It’s usually in reference to the gastric sleeve surgery I had three years ago and my ability to still eat everything I want. Small portions now, but anything I want. I won’t be saying this anymore. “I have a cast iron stomach except…”

Ohhhhhhh don’t let me give you the impression I won’t be eating sugar again. I love a slice of Salted Caramel Apple Pie, cookies, banana bread and other treats. I won’t be eating them often let alone daily, at least not until I go back to the writing retreat. Dessert at the retreat will be enjoyed but probably only once a day.

Those Popular Diets and Processed Foods

Whole foods make a difference. Our bodies are designed for real, whole foods. I’ve been thinking a lot about the diets I see these days. High protein and low carb that takes weight off quickly but usually isn’t a lifetime eating plan so the weight comes back, and sometimes more. Drink this smoothie, its ingredients’ fiber smashed to bits, and lose weight. Swallow this pill or drink this drink, don’t change your diet, and you’ll lose weight (but it won’t stay off if you stop using our product…). Look around. Do you see a lot of folks following these methods who are still overweight and/or unhealthy, catching every virus going around? Is this you?

On Feeling Well

I haven’t been sick in years. I developed a severe lung infection that required two rounds of massive, dangerous antibiotics. How I got this infection remains a mystery. My idea of “sick” now is the time when my gut is rumbly, or I don’t feel 100%. No colds or “the bug going around” for at least six or seven years. Allergies get to me. Grass pollen has me a little stuffy today but not enough to need an OTC med. If you put sugary gas in your vehicle it’s not going to run well, or maybe not at all. My body doesn’t want it (well…my mind thinks it’s a good idea now and then.). “You don’t go anywhere to be exposed to anything,” I’m told now and then. Not true.

Hand Washing

I don’t go out all the time but I do wander into the public a couple of days a week, into places where people sneeze and cough into their hands to be polite and then touch things. I talk face to face with folks who are sick, sit beside them, handle their belongings. My hands dirty in the garden and don’t wash them before I munch down green beans or peas. I don’t even always wash my hands before I come in to grab a quick lunch after working outside. Mum said we’d eat a peck of dirt before we die so we might as well get started. Building a strong immune system was one of the best things she taught me.

Processed Food

I’m not giving up processed food. Bacon? We make our own so I know the ingredient list. Maine Sea Salt or Kosher salt, and if it’s flavored I use maple syrup. Sometimes I use bourbon (Maple Bourbon Bacon – heaven on a plate.). Steve mixes up marinades for the salmon he smokes. Honey, lime, salt, maybe even a little soy to break the “never soy” rule because once in a while we break even our own rules. I’m not giving up bread (OMG! GASP! CARBS!). See this fresh ground, still warm, whole grain red spring wheat flour? Still warm. Some of it is in a Mason jar with well water, the beginning of a sourdough starter. Barb asked me to write more about what I do with sourdough starter so that will be coming up. I’ve also used some in a poolish, mixed up last night and to be used in dough as soon as I finish here.
whole foods, whole grain, hard red spring wheat, wheat flour

New Category

To make it easier to find whole foods recipes and posts, I’ve created a new category called Whole Foods (because what else would I call it?). If I’ve replaced white sugar with honey, am using at least whole wheat (not the same as whole grain) flour or healthy ingredients I’ll have it in this category.

How’s your diet? Not feeling well? Maybe it’s your “healthy” food that’s dragging you down?