Monday, August 16, 2010
The Power of Produce
In 1988 an emotionless cardiologist uttered in monotone, “Get prepared, Mr. Fowler, you’re going to die…soon”.
Two decades ago, my diet was KFC, double-cheeseburgers, and Krispie Kreme’s flushed down with beer and ciggy-butts; a 300 pound poster child for self abuse. Fruits and vegetables were interlopers necessitating gravy to make them edible. Slothful, under the influence of cozy family traditions and repetitive advertising, I’d squandered the first half of my life eating foods not intended to enter the temple.
I nearly paid the ultimate price. Using produce to sustain health was not programmed into my Midwestern mindset. Since childhood I’d been encouraged to eat specific comfort foods. Over time, like most Americans, I was shanghaied from the path of nutritional righteousness by Betty Crocker, commodity brokers, bankers, and repetitive advertising that left tiny footprints on my malleable mind. Advertising frequency exerts a mighty influence over what you choose to eat. It generates awareness, creates interest, and arouses taste buds. I’ve pondered if the mass confusion, conflicting headlines, contrary opinions and such is by design. I'm a seeker of truth not a conspiracy theorist, but, keep in mind, it’s highly profitable to keep people fat, and sick, and coming back for more.
Motivated by the proposition of death, I began eating more fruits and veggies containing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber and less man-made nonsense. Subtly, new skills surfaced. Not feeding my temple the innate heavenly diet designed for humans had blunted my God-given skills. The American Cancer Society, the CDC, National Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and scores of health authorities are screaming in unison, “American must increase the fruits and vegetables they currently eat”. Produce from the celestial apothecary contains substances called phytonutrients; defenders of human health that battle cancer, heart disease, GI inflammation, diabesity, and blood pressure.
A vast body of research fruits, vegetables and plant foods were on the original menu of foods the Universe designed for its creations. Genesis 1:29. Instead, Americans are corporately swayed to consume synthetic creations from man’s inventive mind, brewed in his laboratories, having no counterparts in nature, ergo the health care catastrophe. Fruits and vegetables are your heavenly source of sustaining energy and give the temple the nutrients needed to ‘have your health.’ Alas, only one-third of Americans eat two or more pieces of fruit per day and 25 % don’t eat vegetables at all.
Forage for foods natural to your evolutionary lineage; fresh foods most apt to promote health. Today, a nation drools when offered health destructive foods; foods that diminish your fitness and quality of life. The Five-A-Day program recommends five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day to ward off diseases. That’s 2.5 cups, friends. One trip to the salad bar could take care of that in a jiffy; nevertheless summon the strength to resist the urge to asphyxiate the green salad in copious amounts of Ranch or Bleu Cheese Dressing. Opt for Olive oil and either wine vinegar or lemon juice.
• Support your community Farmer’s Market. Ask questions then shake the hand of the hard working family farmer
• Pre-cut vegetables into small portions then place in the refrigerator for easy access. Make vegetables as convenient as any other snack food and you’ll eat more of them
• Create a home-salad bar with healthy dips and vegetable you cut into interesting shapes. Dips include low fat salad dressing, guacamole, humus, low-fat cottage cheese, and salsa
• When serving cow burgers, Sloppy Joes, cheesy pizza or any other kid-pleasing fare, sneak in shredded carrots or broccoli. Just a small amount will blend into a red sauce and boost the nutritional value
• Grill kabobs. Cut bite-size pieces of vegetables and grill them on skewers or alternate with chunks of lean cuts of dead animal meat. Add a tasty marinade.
A nickel's worth of fresh produce beats a five dollar doctor visit on any day.