Thursday, January 7, 2010

Some of the Food I’ve Been Eating, Part 1: Fruits

Day 67

(I dedicate the “Some of the Food I’ve Been Eating” series to my friend Sunny who has been eagerly awaiting it.)

Many of you have asked what foods I’ve been devouring ever since I went meatless back on November 2nd. This entry is the first of a four part series and each part will focus on a different food group; fruits, meats/proteins, dairy (which I was still consuming before I cut that group out on New Year’s), and, of course, vegetables. These entries will not cover all the foods that have been in my diet these past eight weeks, just the ones I eat most often that have become my staples in this eating experiment.

Whenever I prepare my meals I like to include a serving of fruit. They are great for giving you the energy you need to function throughout the day and they have antioxidants. I prefer to eat them in their whole form as opposed to guzzling fruit juices that have less fiber and are usually loaded with sugars. Go with fruit in its whole form; it just feels better. Trust me on this one folks.

I purchased my first pomegranate a few weeks ago and cut it in half as soon as I got home. I am a sucker for products that are flavored with pomegranate (even artificially) such as grenadine, pomegranate teas, chocolate with pomegranate flavoring and etc. I was always curious as to what the fruit would look like halved and how the insides of a real pomegranate would taste.

The interior of the pomegranate I brought home looked like it contained all these tiny rubies with seeds inside of them that are surrounded by fibrous matter that looks like white latex. I removed all the “tiny rubies” or arils, as they are properly referred to, from the white matter and filled a good size tupperware (I refuse to capitalize tupperware no matter what my spell checker says) container with them and put the container in the fridge. Over the course of the next few days I kept on going back to the container to have some of the arils with my meals. They are very tasty but pomegranates are expensive, $2.50 for just one of them. Pomegranates are not something I can afford to consume on a weekly basis no matter how much you can get out of one.

Bananas have always been something I have loved but I find that they most often don’t make it through the week, no matter how early in their life cycle I purchase them. I love them but when they start turning brown I leave them be.

Apples are the fruit I munch on most often. If I get the organic ones from Trader Joe’s I find they are bigger, fresher, crisper, firmer and even tastier than anywhere else. The real kicker is that the Trader Joe’s apples are better priced than anywhere else and have a longer shelf life too. I pay 49 to 69 cents each for Gala and Granny Smith apples at Trader Joe’s. I bought two the other day from a mainstream supermarket and paid $1.97 for them. They were a higher price at lower quality. Go figure.

One last thing about fruits, beware of the “superfoods” label. This is a label I believe the produce industry has put on some particular fruits and veggies claiming that they are even healthier than less expensive fruits such as apples or strawberries. Pomegranates, coconuts and other more exotic fruits have been slapped with this label but many fruits that are not considered “superfoods” can be just as packed with vitamins and minerals as the so called “superfoods”. A 49 cent apple a day is just as effective at keeping a doctor away as a pomegranate that is $2.50 a pop.

Talk to you soon!
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