I noted with some interest recently a news story regarding the profit margin of a certain global conglomerate. In short: McDonald’s Profits Plunge 30 Percent. I mused: “Jeez. I only stopped eating there like a few weeks ago. I had no idea I was contributing so much.”
I was a rather regular customer, and I hate to admit this. It was an issue I think of time, or at least that was my justification, though I think perhaps it was more a matter of habit. Suffice it to say that, for a while there, at least a few times a week, the first nutritional effort of my day was a small fry, double cheeseburger, and small coke from McDonald’s.
I decided that had to change as I found myself feeling rather tired a lot.
Sluggish, I was, and chronically so. Difficult to leave my futon in the morning. Feeling like sleeping at my desk. Tired, and not just tired like drat, I tossed and turned last night. Tired. All. The. Time. I decided it was time to once again reference The Book.
The Book: SuperFoods—Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life. I have a well-worn copy I’ve had since I discovered it in my 20s, and the last time in my life I felt truly great was partly in part to my interest in this fine book. I knew it was time to once again return full-blast to its sage advice.
The advice: Eat more beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, and yogurt. Or at least these or foods that the book groups with these foods into “families.” For instance, the “pumpkin” family includes carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and orange bell pepper.
I started by giving the blender permanent residency on my counter. Rather than fries these days, the first thing I enjoy in the morning is a smoothie. Today’s, for example, included pineapple, cucumber, an orange, a (frozen) banana, a bit of fresh lemon juice, some ogret, and a handful of baby spinach. I generally have enough to enjoy some at the time and an extra serving to pack for later.
The smoothie regimen does more than just give an easy way to front-load my day with the good stuff. It also helps me logistically fill my crisper drawers. As a perpetual bachelor, it’s difficult otherwise to justify mass quantities of fruits and vegetables without an efficient way to create a dish that uses bunches and bunches of the stuff. Because I’m using more fruits and veggies in smoothies, I am able to keep more of those items in stock and not worry that it will go to the bad before I use it. So, I’m more inclined as well than before to include a spinach salad in my day’s intake.
A few other examples of strategies to keep me on this path:
I also use the technique known as “overnight oats” to get some more whole grains into my piehole. One scoop of ogret. One scoop of oats. Into an eight-ounce jar for a few hours, and you have a fine way to get your oat-y goodness. I do recommend keeping this simple, however; I was throwing blueberries in before, and that can get not so nice if it’s kept for more than a day or two. Simple. Vanilla ogret. Oats. That’s it.
And, I would not be anywhere on this new regimen without a chain restaurant establishment known as the Pita Pit. My standard order there is a small tuna salad with spinach, red pepper, black beans, and tomatoes, with a little shot of dressing or sauce (the sweet onion sauce is delicious). I find the pita sandwiches to be just too bready, and I do not trust that the “wheat” pita is actually whole wheat. The salad is quite generous itself, however, so the bread is not needed.
Also for the quick shot of protein a person needs sometimes: Bean & Cheese Burrito from Amy’s. These things are a basic protein at a nice service size and heat up in the micro-wave nicely.
G’ahead, ask: Have I noticed a difference?
Think I’d be blogging about if I hadn’t?
My energy levels started feeling more normal in a week. I also noticed other differences, but the main was that I was not feeling sluggish. And, I may be imagining it, but in the three weeks since, the trousers feel like there is a little more wiggle room. I also note a better mood generally. I just feel better. Imagine that. All I did was start eating more dark-colored fruits and vegetables, and I feel on the whole much better.
I wanted to share this here because you never know who might read it and go hey, maybe I could do with a bit more in the leafy green category nowadays. The rewards can be tremendous.
::Sipping beet juice::
More food talk: I am these days addicted to a television program called “Gilmore girls” and so it is likely that those joining our table on Thanksgiving will in addition to the usual sides will get to try a helping of “Jonny Machete.”
Also, I think this would be a nice model for the stuffing (‘dressing,” actually, since we don’t usually put the stuff in the bird).