Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 107- Holiday Snax

Most of Charleston seems to have taken at least a four day weekend, so they had a vacation. I haven't got a job, so I just had a holiday weekend.

Memorial day has all sorts of important meanings to people, but mostly (sorry) it's the true start of the summer barbecue season. I don't go to barbecues, though, so I did something I find more fun than standing around in a smoky yard, watching uncle Bob try to out drink the neighbor.

I ate junk food and watched bad Lifetime movies on Hulu. Oh, and I listened to radio. A wild time was had by all.

Part of what I ate was some cheating chips (my nutritional rank this week was not even on the charts), followed by some curried onion fritter-things.

Curried Onion Fritters, as I made them, are just the fried dough recipe with curry powder swapped for the cajun and paprika. To end up with the right amount of "stuff", use about 1C flour per onion. And you'd probably be better off pre-frying your onions, and not making huge thick burger sized/ shaped patties. They don't cook as well.

You could use different spices and frozen or canned corn and get something tasty, too.

On the radio they keep playing these ads- for pistachios. All about how they're filled with anti-oxidants, and they lower blood cholesterol, and all sorts of other silly stuff. You just have to replace *20%* of your calories each day with them.

So, basically, if you replace 400 calories of... something, probably more filling than nuts... with pistachios you can "be healthier" or something. Wouldn't it be cheaper, and probably healthier, to just eat better food? I know I don't have much room to talk re: the whole healthier food thing. At this point I'm a mostly homemade junk food-etarian. But I don't expect 1/4C of expensive nuts to make me healthy, either.

Then again, when I went out to pick up more caffeine, there was an ad for a calcium supplement. They started with something like "it's tough to get enough calcium, you'd need to drink 4 glasses of milk a day (or something) or eat *seven pounds of broccoli*" and then I stopped listening, because I was to busy driving and day-dreaming about having 7 pounds of broccoli.

Sure, seven pounds is a lot. And yeah, if that were the only source of calcium, that'd be crazy. but they kept coming back to the 7 pounds number, like there's nothing between the two, and of course no one in their right mind would try to get enough calcium through *natural* sources.

Meanwhile, I'm still dreaming of what I could do with *7 lbs* of the stuff.

Sometimes I wonder what fear-mongering nutrition advertisers and supplement manufacturers think people lived off of before they came around. The vitamin aisle is a pretty recent invention, after all. Here's a list from the USDA of important nutrients, and their food sources. They don't list broccoli at all for calcium. There's a similar list containing only vegan sources of dietary calcium from a vegetarian website. The numbers differ somewhat (and broccoli shows up on this list), but nutrients in food vary naturally. It's why most people buy aspirin rather than brewing up willow tea- without measuring raw sources *every single time* you don't know how much is actually there.

Ok, enough serious. Everyone have a good (long) weekend?


  1. And there is increasing evidence that artificial sources of vitamins are dangerous. There's a strong correlation between artificial vitamin c and carotid artery hardening, which leads to stroke.

    Before the vitamin aisle, people didn't meet RDAs for most nutrients. But they also didn't live into their 80's with there own teeth, either. So I guess we can really thank nutritionists for reminding us to eat more oranges.

  2. I don't know a whole lot of 80 y/o with their own teeth. I do know some 60 y/o's, though. And I know *of* some pretty foxy 40-50 y/o guys. I'm sure that has a lot to do with nutrition. Or photoshop and plastic surgery.

    Oranges have strange texture. I'll stick with cabbage, thanks.

  3. I've never understood that whole "you'd have to eat 7 pounds of broccoli" or "you'd have to eat 50 bowls of some other cereal to get the same amount of vitamins you do in..."

    Why can't there be, like you said, something in between? Why can't you have some oatmeal and almonds in the morning, then perhaps 'just' a pound of broccoli with some tofu for lunch?

    Many people are clueless about how to combine foods for good nutrition. It's not something that's taught in school beyond the old "eat from the 4 food groups" or the food pyramid... both of which are almost hopelessly shortsighted. Everything that I've learned about nutrition I've learned because I made the choice and went seeking the knowledge. But I think for every person who makes this choice, there are probably - I don't know, 50? 100? more - who just eat whatever the TV tells them to eat. It's why McDonald's is booming and healthy independent restaurants are struggling or dying.

  4. Oats with nuts and "milk" doesn't have as nice a margin. I mean, which is better for the brand/ business chain- eating collard greens, black beans, and sweet potatoes, or taking iron and calcium supplements after a run through some drive through?

    I'm beginning to accept that most people don't know how to cook, either. Heck, I sold enough people frozen pizza, ramen, and microwave popcorn. You'd think I'd have total understanding of the "cannot boil water" thing by now.