Eating Healthy: Where I Got the “Wild” Idea

After a few test listens I received an alert that said “Swell has learned that you like Society & Culture.” No kidding, Swell. That’s like sitting in front of a psychic and having her tell me that I like clothes. While initially unimpressed I found that the more I use it, the more specific it gets; I knew that I liked the topics covered in TED Talks, but I was surprised to find that I like a lot of the content on NPR. I’ve even had a few “driveway moments.”

I know, it’s like going from watching Honey Boo Boo to Downtown Abbey. What can I say? I’m diverse.

EatingWildSideSo Yesterday on my way to work I was listening Dave Davies interview Jo Robinson on Fresh Air about her new book, Eating On The Wild Side. Robinson said lots of things I’ve heard before: carrots are good for you, the skin is the best part of many fruits and veggies and there’s no hard and fast rule across the board when trying to eat healthy. Then she started talking about garlic. Apparently you only get the full benefits of garlic if you activate something called allicin in it. Robinson then went into great detail about how to activate the allicin and blah, blah, blah… she lost me.

Feeling defeated and as if I’d never learn the “right” way to eat, I thought about changing the station. I didn’t need another person telling me that I wasn’t eating right and if I wanted someone to push the Paleo diet on me I’d just join the local CrossFit cult. Seeing as my best alternative was Ryan Seacrest’s “War of the Roses” on KISS FM, I refrained from jumping stations – and it was totally worth it.

Robinson went on to suggest that you can maximize your nutritional intake with foods that are commonly available; just choose wisely. Granny Smiths are the nutrition star of the apple family, rye bread is better than wheat, red wine is chock full of anthocyanins, and any member of cabbage family is nutritionally superior to the lettuce family. (Side note: did you know that wasabi is part of the cabbage family? Mind. Blown.) Apparently there are lots of things that I’m already eating that are good for me.

She also suggests that you buy your vegetables as fresh as you can get them and eat them shortly after. That works just fine for me since anything that enters my kitchen and isn’t prepared within a day or two of purchase usually finds its way to the trash. And did you know that tomato sauce gets better for you the longer you cook it? I’ve been known to forget things on the stove. Finally, sweet vindication.

At the end of the interview I found myself feeling both intrigued by what else I might find, but aIso confident that I could actually make this work. A little bit of know-how might make my trips to the grocery store so much more productive. I know what I’ll be purchasing with my bookstore gift card this holiday season. Well played, Swell.

How do you stay informed about eating healthy?

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