January is a prime time for diets as people enter the new year wishing to shed some weight or to improve their health. I am not sure what the most popular food plan is right now but I have seen a lot of them over the years, from the Scarsdale diet, the T- Plan (lots of fiber), the F-Plan (no fat), Atkins (lots of fat), South Beach, etc, etc. Most of these food plans restricted certain foods severely with the focus on what you shouldn't eat. I admire those who can stick with a vegan diet or a raw food diet, but it can be challenging to feed a family in these restrictive ways.
Laura reviewed some food books she recently read in a post yesterday and her summaries are worth reading. Dr. Judy (Femail Doc) wrote last week about the negative effects calcium supplements can have on the cardiac health of post-menopausal women. There is no magic pill or supplement that substitutes for a well balanced diet of whole and minimally processed foods. Food preparation and mealtime should be a pleasure, not a chore that is squeezed into overly busy schedules.
I have enjoyed a cookbook I purchased a couple of years ago by Dana Jacobi called 12 Best Foods Cookbook. It is full of tasty dishes and interesting positive commentary featuring some familiar super foods (including dark chocolate!). Under each of the 12 foods, similar foods are also recommended. For instance, blueberries are highlighted, but the author also points out that other berries such as raspberries are loaded with nutrients too.
So bring on the colourful fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish and real chocolate and a toast to your good health.
Here is one recipe from the book that can be made at home or assembled at most restaurant salad bars. Served with grilled salmon and a fresh berries for dessert, the meal includes most of the 12 best foods. (This recipe serves 4)
1 cup broccoli,
4 green pepper rings, 4 red pepper rings
2 to 3 thin onion slices
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1 large sliced mushroom
8 whole cherry tomatoes
2 cups spinach, washed and torn
1 tbsp soynuts
2 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp dried basil and oregano,
1 clove garlic chopped, 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp canola oil, salt and pepper to taste