Monday, October 22, 2012

Green Machines!

France. A world where an American is cut from those beautiful streaming items...Pandora, Hulu, Netflix, etc. BUT, as evil or genius you may think Apple is, the Apple TV has allowed us to bridge the boundaries of nations and watch our beloved English movies....for a small fee of course, but hey, a few dollars for a night IN would barely cover two espresso for a night OUT. Long story short, we love it.

As mentioned earlier, we've had quite a stream of guests come through the past few weeks, and recently, a friend of ours had rented a food documentary called Hungry for Change. We both dig documentaries and think food is pretty cool, so we cozied up one Sunday afternoon to see what it was all about. 

In summary (if you didn't just watch the preview), the show tries to make people realize that all the processed crap they're eating in America is slowly killing them, and it's time for a change. Some stories were, 'yeah yeah, we know,' and other things really made you think. Honestly, I think living abroad has actually bettered our diets in some ways. I'm not going to lie, we consume about double the amount of cheese, butter, cream and wine as back home, and we don't feel a tad guilty downing a buttery crepe or confit de canard (literally, duck preserved in its own fat, then cooked in it's own fat. It's the best piece of meat you'll ever eat!) But other than that, most everything else we eat is fresh or at least contains ingredients we can pronounce as well as count on our fingers.  In addition, corn is actually hard to find here, so companies don't tend to pump all their products with corn syrup. Even buying 'corn tortillas', we found most of it was flour!

So yes, we've escaped some evils, but there's always room for improvements. I often think about this, too, having gone through surgery,  that there is that slight possibility that cancer may feel like showing face again. Taking preventative measures from the start is the one real defense I have, and the reassurance was there in the film as it interviewed two women who overcame/recovered from this disease just by changing their diet. And what did they eat? Well, A LOT more vegetables than we eat, that's for sure. Or to be more specific, more greens - leafy greens, fresh herbs, grasses, algae, anything with chlorophyll. 

I decided to come up with a personal challenge: To go a whole week eating something green for at least one meal, if not two per day. Once you're actually conscious about this, it really does become a bit tricky being creative with your food (aka, eating more than just salads). But hey, we made it work, we felt great about what we ate, and are trying to keep eating green as much as possible, when possible. Below you will find the results of creative cooking with green things, and some of the heath benefits from the ingredients. Thanks to Apple TV, we are trying to change our health from good to even better. So, then, you have to ask YOURselves......

How much Green to you allow into your diets?

Green Stuff used for the challenge, and their benefits:

Known for centuries as both a spice and a medicine, dill is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It aids in digestion, helps regulate menstrual cycles, is thought to be an anti fertility agent and fights against free radicals.

Packed with tons of vitamin K and A, fiber, calcium, protein, etc, etc, spinach is packed with antioxidants, can improve cardiovascular health, combat certain cancers, and fight against aging. 

These guys do a ton - everything from keeping you hydrated, to improving your skin and nails, to stimulating hair growth, to fighting certain cancers. 
This little guy helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, fight against the growth of cancerous cells and tumors, rids your digestive track of the nasty toxins to help you digest food more efficiently, and helps the body absorb all those good-for-you nutrients.

Again, tons of vitamins with more vitamin C than your daily glass of OJ. This also helps lower inflammation, rids your body of toxins, freshens breath, reduces water retention, and fights certain tumor growths. Sweet! 

Packed with Vitamin A (the 'anti-infective vitamin) this onion-like cousin of garlic helps defend against colds, activates your white blood cells, and has antibacterial properties. This also helps spur the growth of the healthy bacteria in your gut (like the stuff you get from Activia yogurt) and is a diuretic, aiding in fluid retention.

This is a great leaf for salads as it's a great source for vitamins and minerals, has anti-bacterial anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, is thought to fight against certain cancers, and is a good thing to help you stock up on your folate.  

This leafy thing contains vitamin C to help the immune system, vitamin A to help vision, calcium for those bones and teeth, vitamin E for antioxidant superpowers, and more.

Green Lettuce
The greener the better, so definitely pick just about anything over iceberg (which is simply a bunch of water with no nutrients). Has similar benefits compared with arugula and endives.

Ok, this is a fruit, but it's still really awesome for you. It has a million vitamins, contains healthy fats, keeps your heart, eyes, and skin at tip top shape, prevents cancer and birth defects, cures bad breath, contains anti-aging properties...well the list goes on and on.

This guy is packed with vitamin C, Calcium, and vitamin K, etc. etc. which means it's great for your immune system and keeps you bones strong. It's also been proven to reduce tumors and allergic reactions, prevent cancer and detox your body. Nice.

Dishes with Green Stuff 

Spinach/bacon/cheese omelets and cold cucumber tomato salad with dill vinaigrette 

Merguez Sausage in a chive leek mustard cream sauce and roasted vegetable with fresh parsley

Potato Leek Soup and side salad with a parsley vinaigrette, mint ice cream (oh wait, that green doesnt count)

Cheese Burgers with an arugula/endive/lettuce salad

Spinach/Chive/Dill and Cheese quiche with side salad

Chicken marinated in a parsley vinaigrette with Endive/green lettuce salad

Leftover Leek Soup
Guac and chips with leftover spinach quiche

Leftover guac and chips
Stirfy w/ Broccoli and Leeks

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you two are getting into the food movement! (i.e. less processed foods, more fresh vegetables, less meat, eating locally)

    Iceberg lettuce has "no nutrients" that food science can *currently* identify, but it is definitely still good for you and worth eating. I would suggest eating whatever has been in a traditional diet, regardless of what goofball "nutritionists" say in 2012.

    Kate, Jenny and I have been really into Michael Pollan's books, which I cannot recommend highly enough. His book _In Defense of Food_ literally changed my life, and is a gardener's version of what chefs have been saying for years.