Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Posts tagged ‘canning’

Hodgepodge Thursday

Today I have several topics, from the class warfare of fitness to arsenic in rice, and my own personal fight to be fit.

people exercisingThe 1%

In the realm of fitness, I am seeing a larger gap than the economic gap that has everyone in such a tizzy. The people in the gym work hard to outdo each other for levels of fitness and “cleaness” of eating, while the much of the world languishes in ill health. It seems that there is a dichotomy of those who try their utmost and those who don’t do much of anything, with a very small “middle class” of those who are moderately fit. Is it that once you head down the fitness path, you want to keep going? Is there some sort of all or nothing mentality at work? Then I heard about this study showing that, unless we change our ways, we will become heavier and heavier as time goes on. Two obese peopleWhat is it? Why is it? I think it is simply the abundance of tasty food. Ask most people “Would you like oatmeal for breakfast, or a doughnut?” Unless they are attuned to the effect on their bodies of that choice, they will pick the doughnut. There are so many obstacles to overcome- treats brought into work, meals eaten in restaurants, the lack of everyday exercise, portion creep. All of it adds up. To get it off requires diligence and commitment. So unless something drastic happens, the same gap that has occurred economically will continue to grow between thick and thin.

bowl of rice

Arsenic in Rice

Rice is one of my favorite foods. I checked out the reports on Arsenic in rice, wondering if it  was as serious as it sounded. Apparently it is. Both inorganic and organic arsenic have been found in rice. Why rice? Apparently it needs silica to grow, and arsenic is chemically similar enough that the rice absorbs that instead.

What Have I been telling you?scroll showing the law of unintended consequences Let me quote from Consumer Reports: “When the rice initially planted in some of those former cotton fields produced little grain due to that pesticide residue, farmers solved that problem by breeding a type of rice specifically designed to produce high yields on arsenic-contaminated soil, according to Andrew Meharg, a professor of biogeochemistry at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.”

Wh-wh-what!?!?!? Do I need to say more? What did they think would happen if they got something to grow in arsenic?

Here is my answer:

my jars of picklesGrow your own, can your own, freeze your own. Granted, we can’t do that with everything, I’m not going to put rice paddies in my back yard. I will limit my rice consumption, and rinse it thoroughly before cooking. I do try my best to know where my food is coming from and how it is grown. What about you? Any thoughts on how to not bump yourself off before it’s time?

Making Healthy Cooking Easier and Cheaper

Eating as healthy as possible, as cheaply as possible does require more effort on your part. Here are some of my top thoughts on making it easier. There is a phrase I hear a horse trainer using that applies here:”Make it easy to do the right thing, and hard to do the wrong.” If we make doing some of these things too hard, we won’t do them. The other thing to keep in mind is the “80/20” rule – make 80% of your diet as “clean” as possible, so you can afford the other 20%. So if tonight you have a whole wheat pizza with black bean and salsa topping, it will won’t be so bad that you get your potatoes from a box the next night.

  1. Prepare beans overnight, double batch, freeze half
  2. Cook double portion of brown rice, freeze half
  3. freeze produce, including large amounts from auction or market
  4. Do some of the prep work for tomorrow’s dinner while cleaning up tonight’s
  5. Soup usually makes huge batches, freeze half.
  6. Use tools- food processor, blender, whatever, to make it easier.
  7. Use the microwave as often as possible

I think you can see a trend here. I rely heavily on my freezer, especially since there are only two of us. With the worries about BpA’s in canned food, I’m reluctant to use too many, especially tomatoes, since their acid is more likely to leach the BpA’s out of can’s lining. I have canned my own, and will do so again, but I also dry and freeze a lot.

Of course, all this work fits into my philosophy that it is too much sitting and easy food that led us to where we are now, so reversing that by actually participating in our own food preparation is a good thing. If you have any ideas, tips, favorite recipes or any other tidbits, send them along.

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