Sunday, February 8, 2009

Best foods for active people: sweet potato

One of my top 10 favorite foods are sweet potatoes. I eat them at least twice a week. When I am in a hurry, I just heat them in the microwave (I bake a bunch on the weekend, so they are ready to go on weekdays) and sprinkle some spices on them (ginger, cinnamon). If I have more time, I stew them with red beans, tomatoes, green bell peppers and curry. During the summer, we roast them on the BBQ. Mmmmm, my mouth is watering just writing this.

Sweet potatoes are one of the best foods for active people too. They have lots of carbs, zero fat (peanut butter on them is tasty!), rich in fiber, and plenty of vitamins A, C, iron, calcium, and decent amounts of protein. After a long run, they are filling and a real comfort-food treat.

It is always the simple things in life that make us smile. A beautiful orange colored steaming hot out-of-the-oven sweet potato is guaranteed to make my day. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Boook review: In Defense Of Food

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

I have been reading "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. If you are confused with all the trendy diets and nutritional recommendations the media advertises, this is the book to read. It offers simple and practical advice, as well as an interesting analysis of the American culture around food.

"Eat food." Well, what else would you eat, you ask? Not everything we eat nowadays is real food. We eat highly packaged food-like substances with ingredients we cannot pronounce. "Eat food" means eating whole foods with recognizable ingredients and minimal packaging.

"Not too much." We have lost touch with our bodies. We eat when we receive external signals like commercials, times of the day, free donuts at the lunch room, stress...what happened to eating when you are hungry? And, stopping when you are satisfied? We don't need to count calories, all we need to do is listen to our body.

"Mostly plants." Chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer can be prevented by a simple change in our diets: eating less animal products, and more plants. Humans don't need as much protein as we consume in the Western diet.

If you don't wish to read the book, this site offers a a free excerpt and you can listen to an interview on NPR.