I have found, over the years, that having some simple go-to foods is important—especially in a world that sucks up our time, then hands it back to us with heavily-marketed convenience foods that aren’t so great for our health.
If lunch time is approaching, and I don’t yet have a lunch plan, for instance, I’m suddenly in danger of grabbing the nearest not-so-healthy snack.
So I’ve chosen a simple default: a green apple, cut in slices, with a bit of peanut butter spread across each sweet wedge. If I still want something more after that, I’m in a better frame of mind to choose wisely, because I’ve taken the edge off my hunger with a slow-release food.
If you choose apples, by the way, Eating on the Wild Side reveals that not all apples are created equal. Some, like the Golden Delicious hybrid (or Empire, Ginger Gold, and Pink Lady), can actually set you back health-wise, because of the high sugar content and the lack of anti-cancer nutrients.
Healthier choices include the Granny Smith, Gala, Braeburn, or Honeycrisp. And, among these healthier varieties, you want to choose the ones that have more color, because the presence of more color generally means that the apple grew in direct sunlight and thus produced more phytonutrients to ward off ultraviolet rays! Those phytonutrients in turn can help you ward off chronic inflammation (think arthritis), high cholesterol, cancer, and heart disease.
What’s a simple, healthy vegetarian food you can choose as your default, when you’re aimlessly seeking something to fill you up? Choose one and write a brief poem about it. Then post your poem on the fridge if you like!
Partner to Peanut Butter
A green apple,
sweet and tart,
opened to the heart.
—Poem by l.l. barkat