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“We are what we eat.” I said that to a lady once and she replied, “I don’t look like chicken nuggets.”

“But your insides do”, I answered. This was as difficult for the plump lady to swallow as the gristle on the chicken wings her young daughter was gnawing, her little mouth shiny from fried chicken fat.

Why these nice church-going people were eating out and not taking in what I was suggesting is not worth pursuing. The future never rests in why. That they went to the grocery store and passed by a produce market and did not buy nature’s most powerful medicine—fruits and vegetables was probably a consequence of habit and convenience. But I did not let the greasy menu smear the page I was on.

As a friend I felt compelled to share some information with her. Sitting in her immaculate, attractively designed living room, it occurred to me that some people take better care of their homes than they do their bodies. This same woman whose daily spending at the “Golden Arches” could have bought stock in the company boasted of the Aloe Vera, Dieffenbachia and Philodendron in her house to filter toxins, pollutants and carbon dioxide from the indoor air.

What about the toxins, pollutants and trans-fat she put into her body? Trans-fats are “partially hydrogenated” which means they are created by adding hydrogen to vegetables oils, making them toxic chemicals. Some researchers call them “silent killers.”

Pleasing to taste, these deceptively dangerous substances lurk undetected by our naïve palates in such treats as donuts, processed cheese, cold cuts and even some breads. Butchers will tell you fat provides the flavor in steak. We can then choose a leaner cut. What the manufacturers don’t tell you is fat in packaged cookies, cheese, chips and cake is the hydrogenated kind--unless the label indicates otherwise.

Trans-fat should be less than 1% of total daily calories. Eat that big-o chocolate chip cookie once per month, the processed cheese in your macaroni less often than that. What about the hot, freshly bubbled-in-fat donuts? Dunk them. Where? The nearest trash can. We know you can’t eat just one.

The Fitness Gourmet motto is: “If you can’t wash it, don’t eat it.”

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