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Alton Brown’s Healthy Diet Advice

Posted: January 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Nutrition, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »
If you haven’t seen Alton Brown’s show ‘Good Eats’ on the Food Network, you are missing out. It’s one of the best shows to improve your skills in the kitchen, and is most entertaining to watch. The tools and tricks he teaches are invaluable. The man is a creative GENIUS.
One of the most current episodes of Good Eats actually focuses on weight loss, given his own recent drop of about 50 pounds. He gave some simple lists of what he eats (and doesn’t eat.) While everyone’s body is different, his lists seem like a pretty sound way to eat nutritiously. And deliciously.
His Daily list includes: fruit, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, carrots, and green tea.
His 3 times a week list includes: oily fish, yogurt, broccoli, sweet potato, and avocado.
His Once a week list includes: red meat, pasta, dessert, alcohol.
His Never list includes: fast food, soda, processed meals/frozen dinners, canned soup (too much sodium), “diet” anything.
PLUS: Eat breakfast every day, no exceptions.
Rather than being a diet, these are all pretty sound recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, and for the most part, how I aspire to eat.
Although oatmeal is my breakfast of choice, he also makes a good breakfast smoothie suggestion: a total of 24 ounces (by weight) – to do so, put your blender on a digital scale and tare to zero. Add 4 ounces of acai juice, 4 ounces of light soy milk, 4 ounces each of frozen fruits to add up to 24 ounces). And his suggestion was to make it at night and put them all in the refrigerator overnight before blending. He also gave useful blending advice, including to start out slow and then build speed to a slow vortex in order to get it to mix thoroughly.
This seems slightly easier than Dr. Oz’s Magical Breakfast blaster, which I’ve also been tempted to make recently: From here: (
A 1/2 large ripe banana, broken into chunks (or other fruit of your choice), 1 scoop (1/3 cup) Soy Protein (like Nature’s Plus Spiru-Tein),1/2 tablespoon flaxseed oil, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 tablespoon apple juice concentrate or honey, 1 teaspoon psyllium seed husks, 8 ounces water (serves 2)

Mark Bittman’s ‘Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating’ [book review]

Posted: January 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

If there is anyone I trust will give me simple healthy living advice and proffer easy recipes that turn out successfully every time, it’s Mark Bittman, the author of the New York Times food column ‘The Minimalist.  He has also penned two of my favorite cookbooks, ‘How to Cook Everything’ and ‘How to Cook Everything Vegetarian’, and most recently has written an informative book called “Food Matters” a look at “eating, personal and planetary health”.

‘Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating (With more than 75 recipes)’
, (buy on Amazon) is one of my go to books for leading a healthier lifestyle, and discusses with clarity the impact our diets have on the environment, the economy, and our own health.

Best of all, ‘Food Matters’ is written from a distinctly personal point of view: as a food writer for the New York Times, Mark Bittman loves to eat. Unfortunately, doing so without setting any boundaries for himself caused an imbalance in health and weight. In response, he decided to shift to a new approach to food, and after shedding thirty five pounds has done the inevitable: written an eco-conscious book about it. His own personal strategies included adopting a diet that is almost “vegan until dinner”, and advocates a shift to a much higher consumption rate of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and a reduction of meat and dairy products. Fortunately there is no sacrifice involved – Bittman’s recipes are flavorful, easy, and a positive addition to anyone’s diet, and best of all are as good for your wallet as your waistline.

In Food Matters, Bittman argues strongly for a general shift in diet to “Less-Meat-arianism”, and simply and clearly explains the science, policy, and economic influences on our diets.

He outlines the current flaws of meat production in this country, which along with large scale agriculture and absurd farm subsidies, are harmful to the environment, wildly inefficient, and contribute directly to global climate change. While many environmentalists advocate a switch to vegetarianism, Bittman understands that this isn’t a solution for everyone (himself included). He does advocate however to make conscious choices to both reduce the meat that we are eating and ensure that it (and most everything else we eat) comes from mostly local and sustainable sources, and from animals that are allowed to pasture, eat grass rather than corn (which they can not digest), and live a good life.

If as a society we make changes in the way we eat, even the smallest changes advocated in this book, we will make a significant impact in reducing our environmental impact, improving public health, and adopting new healthy cultural habits that will ensure the future of our society.

Unlike many of the so-called diet books out there, Bittman’s advice for a healthy every day diet is balanced, creative, and encourages positive shifts in lifestyle without any radical proclamations.

Food Matters: A Guide to Concsious Eating (With more than 75 recipes)
336 pages, published by Simon & Schuster
(buy on Amazon)

Some Other Great Books by Mark Bittman:

How to Cook Everything (buy on Amazon)
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (buy on Amazon)

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