So, I’ve officially sworn off diet coke (I think I may have mentioned that in a previous blog…but if not…I’ve sworn off diet coke.) and all artificial sweeteners that I can reasonably avoid. Which has, in turn, inspired me to go on a more-than-normal-for-my-already-ridiculously-healthy-food-choices-lifestyle kick. Superfoods, man. Superfoods. Yes. They exist. And, yes. They’re everywhere. I think the phenomenon began when scientists started looking more into specific kinds of foods prominent in certain diets in cultures where people don’t die as often as we do (nutrition-related, of course. Not considering war-torn, or non-nutrition-related disease-ridden nations). Olive oil, for example. After research into the folks in the Mediterranean, olive in all of its deliciously healthy outfits exploded. Then it was fish. Suddenly salmon and other cold-water species became the poster-child (creepy child-fish creature suddenly came to mind…just me?) for the healthy diet here in the states.
Now I think scientists are starting to fins that most foods are “super”. After drowning in processed, salty, greasy, packaged, dyed, preservatove-ridden excuses for supposedly fit-for-consumption edibles, it’s not that hard to see why they’re labeled as such. The fresh stuff is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and all sorts of goodies that make us glow. And it really does extend to all fruits, vegetables and, yes, even meats and grains. Have you ever looked at the iron and zinc content of a lean cut of steak? And sans the nasty hormones-like grass-fed or organic-you get all that without birthing two-headed babies.
Whole grains? Sure, if you stuff your face with them all day, the insulin police will detain those sugars in the fat cells, and you’ll be constipated for a week, but look at the vitamin Bs! Most whole grains are rampant with them. All those B-derivitives that make you happy and overall less likely to become a cereal killer. Ha. I pun.
Hormone free dairy products are awesome too. Calcium up the whazoo, and fantastic probiotic in yogurt. Fat content feeds the brain and tastes mighty good.
Don’t even get me started on all the fruits and veggies. There are too many. Seriously.
You talked me into it.
Blueberries: 1 cup scores 13427 on the ORAC scale (that’s Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_radical_absorbance_capacity), has 24% of your Vitamin C for the day, 4 grams of fiber, and a good 36% of you Vitamin K intake.
Cranberries: 1 cup of the fresh stuff scores 8983, has 24% of your Vitamin C and 5 grams of fiber
Strawberries: 1 cup of those juicy little morsels score 5938, has a whopping 149% (that’s over all of your daily intake requirement) of your Vitamin C intake, 3 grams of fiber, 29% of your Managnese requirement, 98.8 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, 137 of omega-6 fatty acids (due to the seeds) and has a measly 48.6 calories.
Prunes. Yes, prunes….okay…dried plums: 1/2 cup score 7291, have a whopping 9 grams of fiber, have an incredible 96% of your Vitamin K needs, and 27% of your Potassium requirement.
I could go on. Or you could just surf the net.
Anywho, I like pumpkin. It’s got a good amount of fiber, a crap-ton of Vitamin A, and it low-calorie to boot. So I made a super low-calorie breakfast pumpkin bake for breakfast….so I could eat Ramen noodles for lunch without feeling all bad. Hey. Balance, people.
1/2 cup Pumpkin puree
1 Egg white
2 packets stevia (or 1 tablespoon honey…that adds another 60 calories, if you wanted to eat Ramen for lunch too)
Pinch each, of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove and Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 cup Water
1 tablespoon Oat bran + 1/4 (extra) of water
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees on convection bake
2. Combine the 1/4 cup water and oat bran, and microwave on high for 40 seconds (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over)
3. Combine everything but the egg white.
4. Whip the white to soft-ish peaks, then fold in to the pumpkin mixture
5. Transfer to a sprayed 5 x 5″ casserole dish (or 2 4″ ramekins) and stick in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until no longer jiggly.
6. Let it cool down. Have a cup of coffee…enjoy the sunshine. Trust me. I didn’t do this the first time. I regretted not tasting my Ramen later that day.