Salad, Nutrition In Its Purest Form

Some people just don’t get it.  Soggy Iceberg Lettuce on a plate smothered in Thousand Island dressing, and they call that a salad.

It’s not. It’s a sad statement.

An enviable salad requires a little care. A little love. Take time to dry the leaves properly. And serve as close to room temperature as possible without wilting.

I don’t use a spinner. I find them annoying. And you have to clean that contraption afterwards.

Pat down the greens on a paper towel or clean dish cloth is the faster and easiest way. Let them breath in the open air for an hour and turn them over so they dry completely.

Salad is the height of nutrition. The abundant of chlorophyll insulates you against cancer like no supplement could ever. It’s light, and if you make it right, delicious – especially on a hot summer’s night like tonight.

If your goal is to loose weight, please listen. DO A SALAD A DAY. Everyday. And if your goal isn’t to loose weight, do a salad a day anyways.

A salad requires no fire or electricity though a refrigerator may help. Some chopping. Toss in walnut pieces, a little raw onion to spice it up, avocado makes anything taste great, bell pepper, whatever looks good and is seasonal. 3 to 5  chopped up olives is killer.

The crowning glory of any salad is the dressing. The one I’ve been doing a lot lately is sesame seed oil and lemon. I put my finger over the spout and sparingly sprinkle on 5 or 6 drops of sesame seed oil (don’t put too much, you’ll ruin it), and squeeze  some lemon over it. Takes seconds.

Fruit in a salad is awesome. Like say mango.

Ciao, Pietro

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Fruit Season Is On

Many of the diets coming out lately are predicated on eliminating fruit. Fructose turns to carbohydrate in the body, which contributes to weight gain. These Atkin-style diets often work, because they also eliminate alcohol, fast food, etc., and put a lid on calorie intake. And flush the system with water.

They work well. The bit about fruit though, in my opinion, is a fallacy. The misconception will fall out of vogue like the once prevailing belief that the world is flat.

In fact, fruit is a useful tool to the dieter. It hydrates you. Fruit sugars give you a burst of energy and satiate your appetite. People with a “sweet-tooth” are simply exhibiting the body’s natural desire for fruit, but perverting that desire with artificial sugar.

Sure, bad food combing with fruit and overeating may cause some bloating on occasional, but that’s temporary if at all.

I put it to the test every Tuesday night at hot yoga. After sweating off a few pounds, I dig into the fruit plate full-throttle along with everyone else. My weight is alway 2 or 3 pounds on the lighter side the next morning. The chilled fruit dispels my hunger pains. And tastes like paradise.

It’s false food that makes us fat. The body can’t assimilate soda pop, pasta, bread, grease, and of course anything with piles of man-made sugar heaped in.

Real food is assimilated effortlessly. Stuff you pull out of the ground. Or pluck from a tree. It doesn’t come from a can or fast-food restaurant.

The best place for fruit is China Town. A couple of shops I recommend are a little north of Dundas on the west side of Spadina. Spectacular baby Thai coconuts, robust mangos, sour sop, Durrean, and many curious wonders.

Tis the season for fruit. Make the most of it.

Ciao, Pietro

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Managing Your Expectations

At a younger and more blindly optimistic age, I would have benefited from someone talking to me about managing my expectations. If someone had, and more than probably they did, I wouldn’t have listened.

Enabling the deluded isn’t what real friends do. Real friend have your back. Conceits have a way of catching up with you and exacting an ugly toll. The universe doesn’t like hubris.

Humility. Egolessness. These qualities provide a healthy groundedness to the competitive challenges of the world.

If you’re not a professional ballerina by much younger than 30, or a rock star by much much younger than 40, it’s time to change your MO. And your wardrobe. The leopard skin tights have gotta go.

Or, if you’re expecting a chorus of angels to descend from the heavens when your future husband walks through the door, you might want to try a second date. Some people take a little while to grow on you.

We may think we’re misunderstood geniuses.  Or we’re as hot now as we were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. But we’ll never find joy in ordinary things – like your compulsory daily workout, for example – if our expectations are misaligned with reality.

The chorus of angels does come. We may just need to take an honest look in the mirror, and know our level. Hey, this is for me. Maybe not the youngest or richest or more beautiful, but he or she is alright with you…  a nice body though.

Ciao, Pietro

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Setting Parameters

The Laissez-faire attitude doesn’t alway work. You may find it takes some rules to get the results you’re looking for. Establishing guidelines are usually necessary to keep you from falling off the tracks and see-sawing into futility. Falling off is inevitable, a few iron-clad dictates keeps you from falling too far.

Some things should be obvious. For example, you never ever eat fast food – no matter how drunk or desperately hungry you get. That’s a no-brainer. You never eat canned food, poutine, processed cheese let along a pizza with pepperoni on it.

You need boundaries you never cross under any condition. You’ll never be stranded on a desert island with only Macdonald’s to choose from. Be honest with yourself. When ready to expand your repertoire of healthy rituals, the low end of your eating scale never gets that low, no matter what.

Here’s a simple ritual you can do that will facilitate weight lose and improve your health. Don’t eat for one hour when you first get up. And drink at least one litre of filtered water. Then, and only then, can you have your fiber cereal or smoothie or whatever it is you have.

Do this, you will immediately feel the difference. It shrinks your stomach and appetite, and helps you familiarize with the sensation of being empty. Empty out, before stuffing more in. Only after your first bowel movement should you eat.

People put too much stock in studies, but I don’t. You can find studies to prove anything, and public opinion blows with the wind. I put stock in my own experience. If you make the right decisions it shows, you see it and feel it.

Enjoy the process. Ciao, Pietro

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