Our local paper had a nice write up about five food groups you should eat this year to improve your health. The suggestions will surprise you, and not in a good way. In other words, cheese is not listed.
Topping the list of good foods is “ancient grains”. Apparently present-day grains are just not cutting it anymore, and we need to go Biblical on it. Amaranth, faro and spelt are among the favorites. I can’t wait to grind them with my pestle after a long walk through the desert.
These grains can replace brown rice and quinoa. Replace quinoa? I never even adopted quinoa! OK, I ate in a restaurant once or twice, but I didn’t see the need to repeat the experience. Also listed are bulgar, millet, and khorasan wheat. These items may be in my local Shoprite, but I haven’t noticed them yet. Shoprite recently reorganized, and it took me ten visits to realize that the protein bars were relocated to the allergy section near the baby products. With that logic, I don’t know how much luck I’ll have finding the millet.
It’s a good idea to vary your grains, they say, because sticking to a healthy diet is easier when you have lots of variety.
FYI - there are a great many varieties of cheese.
Olives are highly recommended, which I found encouraging, and of course they stress vegetables. It is suggested that we try a fun new idea by swapping a vegetable into a meat recipe, such as using a cauliflower “steak” on the grill. I'm saying no thanks to that.
They recommend seeds. Pumpkin, sunflower and chia (it's not just a gimmicky pet - it's food!). I like the salty crunch of seeds, but scrounging around in a bag and scooping seeds into my open maw gives me a sad, down market feeling, as if I’m about to load the car to leave the Dust Bowl and head west to look for work picking fruit. Seeds are fine on a hike or picnic, but nibbling on little seeds as a regular snack would mean my fingers would get all moist and mushed up by my mouth, ruining my darling fresh lipstick.
A new item on the healthy foods list was pulses. In fact, the United Nations is calling 2016 “International year of the Pulses.” Yes, they are. And here's why: pulses are not just good for you, they are also part of a sustainable planet and growing them is very good for the environment. What are pulses, you ask, and how can I make this amazing food source a part of my meal plan? They are lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas. In other words – legumes.
Why they are now called pulses is beyond me. I always called them legumes. Perhaps nobody paid attention to them when they were called legumes, so they decided to change their name, like pop stars do when they want more attention.
I really want to eat well, and I want my family to do so as well. I have been thinking of trying to cook more in a “Mediterranean” diet, which I think may be healthiest way to eat. I haven’t actually cooked anything Mediterranean yet, but I’m working up to it. Perhaps I could try a pulse. With cheese, of course.