Eat Well, Be Happy

Do you sometimes feel self-conscious when you’re eating a banana?

Once again, I’m going to try to flip this around so that I am writing in the morning or in the afternoon or some time other than in the wee small hours of the morning. So tomorrow, I’m going to have a little love fest here about my favorite thing in the world: maple. It used to be chocolate, but this fine, delicate silky flavor . . . well, that’s tomorrow.

Tonight, so as not to leave you empty-handed, I’m giving you charts. Oh good, Larkin, we love charts! These are interesting though. One is a list of benefits derived from eating fruits and vegetables. The other is “12X happy”, a look at a dozen things– foods and behaviors– that increase the body’s production of serotonin. Now, some people argue that even though some foods contain serotonin , that serotonin can’t cross the blood barrier, so they are of no effect; be a good girl and take your prozac.

But I don’t know. We really do have a very imperfect understanding of body chemistry, particularly where the brain is concerned. And here’s the thing– eating these foods is not going to have a deleterious effect. It will not increase suicidal thinking. Unlike Prozac.

Since I started keeping track of what I’m eating, and posting it, I have in general been more thoughtful about what I’m eating. Well, today I had a cheeseburger, but it was an excellent, first-rate cheeseburger and it’s not like I’m eating cheeseburgers every day. I’ve been reading a lot of ingredient panels, and mostly shopping for things that are “ingredients” themselves and fewer processed foods. Someone advised once to do most of your shopping from the edges of the store– fresh produce, meat, fish, dairy, cheese– all of that is along the edge. You hardly need anything at all from the center of the labyrinth. (And weirdly, all coupons seem to be for processed foods.)

I know that people will suggest that I get out of the supermarket altogether and instead join a vegetable co-op, or shop at the 2nd Street Farmer’s market, or in ethnic groceries. Well, I do go to Dorothy Lane Market sometimes, does “rich and white” count as an ethnic group? (Actually, to give DLM their props, they have fantastic selections of many interesting fresh foods, including excellent filet that is five bucks less per pound than Kroger.) My days are so crazy that I am often grocery shopping at midnight. The Farmer’s market just isn’t open then. (Though honest to goodness real produce markets certainly are, there are none of those in our fair city.)

Anyway, since I’ve been more thoughtful about this, I’ve noticed that I feel better. I have less digestive upset. I have more energy. I feel strong, even when- like yesterday – even when I’m in the doldrums. Good fuel in seems to equal better energy output. And it tastes good. And you don’t have to deal with the self-loathing that comes from a regular diet of Con Agra, Tyson Foods and Kraft.

I can’t help but wonder if we won’t find that many of the health woes that we endure– certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis– if they don’t have a direct link to forty years of consuming boatloads of chemicals, additives, preservatives, GMOs, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavors at every meal. But really, that’s a topic for a whole ‘nother column. Or several.

So do yourself a favor: eat well, be happy.

….

Target today 7o Steps 4061 (an undercount– turns out that when the clip on my pedometer broke and I tucked the pedometer into my bra, the “girls” hold it too securely, and far from every step is counted. Working on getting that fixed. ) 

Breakfast: yogurt with granola. Lunch: cheeseburger Dinner: one cup beef stroganoff, salad without lettuce, half-serving yogurt with granola.

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2 thoughts on “Eat Well, Be Happy

  1. Another good one. I watched a health program on PBS about a month ago that someone said “If it has a label on it, don’t buy it”. They were saying that the foods you mentioned, fruits and vegetables, and also seeds and grains don’t have labels and that’s all we shoud be eating. Natural foods. It’s kind of hard to base an entire diet on that (for me), but I can certainly understand why it would be very beneficial to us. I could get used to it, I guess, but we do eat a lot more fruits and vegs and we know that we are doing the right thing.

    Thanks for the charts! So, these are only the ABCs of fruits and veggies. Any other of these categories good for you, too? 🙂

    Keep it up, girlfriend. I’m very proud of you in your conquest.

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