Still remember my mother at the dinner table telling us all to: “Eat your greens!” Kind of says it all.
I’m exploring Boston for a week. I’ve been coming across these eateries where you pick the ingredients for a large and interesting salad — a place called Sprouts on Huntington Avenue, another called energize (lc “e”) on Massachusetts Avenue, a third called sweetgreen (lc “s” and first “e” inverted) on Boylston Street, and a fourth called honeygrow (lc “h”) also on Boylston but further out, near Fenway Park. (I guess the culinary world in Boston is fascinated by e.e. cummings!)
All four salad bowls were spectacular…and off the chart as far as nutrition goes. Verde in Charleston, S.C., was another eatery with this kind of approach to wonderful salad bowls and powerful nutrition.
The ironic thing about these places is that for 12 bucks or so you get a very original and imaginative hearty salad that’s packed with a crazy level of nutrients (leafy greens being the all stars compared to other foods in general), but you could go to a pricey restaurant — I call them the “cloth napkin” type restaurants — and pay through the nose for the meal, but end up with a fraction of the nutrition and way more calories.
And then there was the salad bar in the Whole Foods in Atlanta, Ga., which was in a class by itself. Some of the plant-based ingredients and combinations completely original, at least to me. Droves of people showed up there every day at lunch and make themselves wonderful salads. While the WF salad bar in Atlanta was at a different level, the WF salad bar in Boston was rather pathetic in comparison. Go figure.
The acid test for Stoic eating is the willingness to eat foods that are nutritious but taste bad. Can you do that? For me, that would be asparagus, beets, brussel sprouts, etc. I can.
Pure lemon juice, not from concentrate. Myriad health benefits if you can get it down. Especially if you have a problem with kidney stones.
Twenty years or so ago, it was the low-fat craze — they demonized fat. Then we discovered the body needs fat, and was especially low in Omega 3 fats, so the mantra was eat the right fats. But now the pendulum has swung all the way over to the over consumption of fat — the Keto diet recommends that 70% of what you eat should be fat. The Keto people are even now apologists for how “healthy” saturated fat is. Crazy.
But don’t let it upset you. Just wait another 20 years and fats will be all bad again.
I’m on vacation in Charleston, and every morning I go to a bakery selling “gourmet donuts.” I buy a cup of coffee there, not a donut. But every morning, without fail, I see a parent come in with their children, and they excitedly buy these donuts that have an incredible amount of sugar and unhealthy fat — just way over the top, yet the parents feed their kids this stuff without a thought in the world, no hesitation at all.
I just have to think that the parents are really just completely clueless about nutrition and food to be doing this, for clearly they would not intentionally harm their own children, would they? They simply must have no idea at all how really bad refined sugar is for health, for each one of these donuts is like a sugar nuke — the sugary frosting is so incredibly thick (that’s the “gourmet” part, I guess), and so must be an intense explosion for the taste buds as well as an incredible surge of dopamine. All this a strong reinforcement for a food that could not be worse for health. Makes one wonder about how reprehensible these parents really are — or does ignorance excuse them?
I also see the same people show up every morning at the donut shop — sugar addicts, whether they know it or not.
Cinnamon and ground cloves every day. Both with extremely high ORAC values — off the chart. Also, consider broccoli sprouts, turmeric, and cacao.