Monday, December 14, 2009

A Post of Plugs

I have been in the kitchen a lot. There has been excessive amounts of cooking and baking in our place. For example I made from scratch chocolate chip cookies in record time Saturday evening. I went from pulling ingredients from the pantry to on the cooling rack in less than 20 minutes, total, bake time included. So between that and the new running habit Nick and I came to the realization that we should probably be paying a little more attention to what we eat.

This made me a little nervous. Total red flag. You see Nick is an avid Internet researcher AND a scientist at heart. So when some guy who claims to be a doctor provides theoretical data supporting his new book and this book outlines some unique concept that sounds like a could potentially be healthy, like, I dunno, the benefits of steamed cabbage or something silly, he eats it up. All buyer beware out the window h
e just sees an interesting experiment to be tested. Plus, so much of what you find are actual weight-loss diets. I am not obese, I do not have major health issues, I do not need some dramatic life change sort of thing. It would be like giving chemo to someone with a sunburn. I am pretty sure if I started putting dramatic restrictions on my diet it would do me more harm than good. Also, I can imagine nothing more annoying than counting carbs or calories or fat grams or whatever on everything I eat.

So Nick does his Internet research and I don't particularly encourage him. He finds some information on raw diets that he gets all excited about. He explains to me that when you cook vegetables all the nutrients get cooked out of them and there is a certain percentage of raw food some Dr. suggests you eat. I explain to him
that he makes a valid point and that I could have told you the same thing and I am not a Dr. so perhaps not that informative and not very well-rounded.

Then yesterday he is like, "Hey can we go to Barnes and Noble? There is a book I read about that I want to get. It was written by a Dr. and it is called
Eat Right for your Type" The word diet wasn't used and it sounded like "type" might refer to body type or lifestyle so I was intrigued. Once we got to the bookstore Nick explained that it actually referred to your blood type. He said the Dr. that wrote it had some interesting ideas on how your blood chemistry effects how your body processes food and exercise. He's all lit up with the idea of learning how to eat to benefit your body on the molecular level. I am just thinking this sounds like a kernel of truth wrapped in a bunch of crap, wrapped in hard binding and an embossed book jacket, then sold for $30. We find this book, which is hardbound by the way, and Nick asks what my blood type is and starts reading. He learns that, based on my blood type, instense exercise won't benefit me as much as yoga and meditation. I find that hard to believe but something I could jump on board with. Then Nick says that according to the book I should be a vegetarian. Now I am a Midwestern girl that refers to bacon as nature's candy and would probably slash some one's tires for a good steak. In fact, I don't even order steak unless it is at a reputable steakhouse to avoid the risk a being offended by a less than pee yourself good steak. So yeah, that book got the axe. We did however find two other books that I am super pumped about.

The first is Healthy Cooking for Two (Or Just You) by Frances Price, RD. Ms. Price is a dietitian who was also a food writer and restaurateur. So think well rounded meals that don't taste like cardboard and are complex - pg. 199 is Fettuccine with Lemon-Walnut Scallops & Asparagus. AND in portions that don't leave us with leftovers for the rest of the week. How delightful! I plan on trying it out this week.

The second is a book by Dr. Gillian McKeith called
You Are What You Eat. Dr. McKeith is a holistic nutritionist who has a TV show by the same name as her book in Europe. From what I can tell it sounds like What Not to Wear only she invades your fridge and not your closet. I started reading it today and, I will admit, it is a bit much. Since she is holistic there is a sort of food as medicine paradigm, which I can accept, but my first thought was "Holy Smokes, as much as I would love to learn to cook with algae, I cannot afford to shop at Whole Foods this much." But it has some really great and really thorough information in it. What I really like about this book is that it appears to be very well-rounded, she explains how it is healthy to eat complex carbohydrates, and proteins, and fatty acids. I am totally OK with anyone that says nuts and avocados are good choices. Also, she encourages you and gives you guidance on getting to know your body and hence learning what nutrients your are lacking and what you should be eating. There are like 3 pages of poop analysis, I crap you not. Pun intended.

Finally, while on this series of shameless product plugs I have one more to make. Several people have asked how the whole running thing was working out for me. While it has become a little harder to be as committed due to the holiday and all the rain that has past through the Charleston area recently I am still running. However, I am sure I would have lost interest by now if it weren't for the GPS watch Nick and I purchased back in June when I actually started running a little. For as much as I criticized Nick earlier in this post, I have a similar hang-up. As incompetent as I am in the arena of all things mathematic, I am a total sucker for statistics and analysis. I came fairly close to
failing honors algebra 2 in high school cause no one could explain to me a practical application for the quadratic equation so I became confused and bored, but I totally aced my physics class a year later cause I could analyze the equations as they happened. So when my friend Stephanie told me about the Garmin Forerunner (I have model 405CX) I had to look into it. This thing has a heart rate monitor, stop watch, calorie counter, pacesetter, and GPS which means the watch also tells me how far I have been running. Then I can come home wirelessly transfer all that information to my computer and see my run plotted on a map, graph my heart rate and speed and then archive all the info so I can track my progress. It was expensive, like buying a Garmin and a watch at the same time, but totally worth every penny.

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