Monday, September 28, 2009

Simply Good by Mark Bittman

Another great article in this month's Runner's World. Mark Bittman is a great cook and a good runner - been doing both a long time, so I think he's pretty knowledgeable. He cooks sane, simple food - and runs a lot. More than I will ever run - guess I can have hopes right?
"To me, running and cooking are both uncomplicated pleasures that can be enjoyed with minimum equipment and time." One of the reasons I picked up running was because it was cheap and I could do it most anywhere. I didn't pick up cooking for the same reasons. I love to cook, but I wish I could cook cheaper! I love having random ingredients, and simple ingredients, fresh ones, aren't always really cheap. But, I also don't have tons of gadgets. I have my good pots and pans, a few good knives, and other simple things. Two things I love: microplane and my dutch oven. Fab!
"Plants, of course, means vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. What do these things have in common? One, they don't have ingredients, they are ingredients. Two, they might be shelled, or peeled, or trimmed, but they are essentially unprocessed." I love unprocessed foods. Give me fresh ingredients - none of this fake stuff. I'd rather have unsweetened tea (drinking Gold Peak Tea right now) then sweet tea made with sugar (too high in calories) or fake sugar (hint: fake). I do drink some diet stuff every now and then, but he does talk about moderation in this article as well.
"It was important I maintain my love affair with food. I believe no food is "evil" - its the proportions that are off. Don't fall into the trap of thinking about foods as good or bad - nothing is evil, or is going to hurt you in moderate proportions, similarly, no food is going to save you." I love this quote. I may write this on my fridge or something. Every year for my bday - I have Cheesecake Factory Dulce Le Leche cheesecake - I eat most or all of it. But, I don't have it every day. I love cheese - but if I do, I don't have it in 2 cups of homemade mac and cheese, I an ounce of it - or some shredded over a great salad. I love Oreos. If I could eat just one, I'd have them around the house - but I can't, so I don't bring them into my kitchen.
"Increasingly, studies show plant-based diets lead to weight loss or help prevent obesity." This is very true - but again, moderation is the key. Don't eat 1 cup of pistachios - eat 1/4 cup. Don't eat 2 cups of black bean soup - eat a cup. It is still all about serving sizes and moderation - even with dealing with healthy, nutritious food. I am still very much learning this myself.
"Studies show that diets rich in plant foods, moderate in fat and protein, and low in processed foods can help protect against diabetes." This is key! Obesity and bad eating habits are two key factors in adult diabetes. I have to give my Dad props in this area. Many years ago the doc told him to watch his sugar intake. He started. Now, he has kept off a bunch of weight for a few years now and has no medical problems, taking no medicine, is in great health! Go Dad!
"Unquestionable, eating sanely has rejuvenated my running, made me more youthful, and helped me feel, well, simply good." Eating good foods and treating your body well - exercising - makes you feel better! You perform better, you work better, you sleep better, you have fun better. Try it!
"Its impossible to eat well if you don't shop; its nearly impossible to eat well if you don't cook." I know many friends who dread going grocery shopping. I love it. I wish I had more money to do it with. I wish I could shop all the time at Whole Foods - but I can't (nor do I need to, Walmart is just as good). I miss Publix and guarantee I would grocery shop more if I lived near one. If any of you out there want grocery shopping how to have fun while doing it lessons, or need some new healthy recipes - ask me!

Check out cool stuff at Mark's website. Live healthy. You'll be glad you did!

No comments: