I have read many of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's books and articles over the past several years and am quite sold on the need to eat a nutrient dense diet. However, actually eating the Nutritarian way is not necessarily that simple to just dive into (maybe for some, but not for most -- or more of us would be doing it, right?) In his latest book, The End of Dieting, Dr. Fuhrman poses the question as to why so few people eat nutrient dense foods even when they can clearly see the need to do so. I was thinking, "YES! Dr. Fuhrman, tell us why this is!" All I could think of was the incredibly addictive nature of unhealthy foods. And guess what his answer was:
I quickly came to realize that science based information about nutrition alone wasn’t enough. many people fail to recognize their need to protect their precious health and lose weight? Why would they be unable and unwilling to change? Why would they want to remain unhealthy? Why would they want to reject unassailable, scientiﬁc, and dramatically effective advice? I’ll tell you why. Because of the overwhelming twin powers of food preference and food addiction.I like that he adds "food preference" in addition to food addiction. It's not only what our bodies crave, but also what our brains are patterned to want. Dr. Fuhrman goes on to say:
Unhealthy eating styles and food addictions have both taken control of our brains, and this addiction to certain foods is often as deadly as many other addictions.You can read any of his books to see the support he has for why eating the Standard American Diet leads to so many of the common diseases (and often deadly diseases) of our day. But I'd like to switch gears and come up with some strategies to help us desire more of these nutrient dense foods.
I'm not a huge fan of spending lots of time in the kitchen. I do love baking, but I'm finding my favorite baked goods not to be all that nutritious or helpful to my body at this stage of life. (Oh, how I wish that homemade bread were super nutrient dense though!) So when it comes to soups, salads, etc., I'd rather not spend a lot of time in the kitchen making them. Maybe that will change. But so far, I'm lacking the excitement thereof.
I think, however, that if I found some really tasty nutrient dense recipes for each meal of the day, I'd be more inclined to make them and eat them. Novel thought, isn't it? :) I have several cookbooks that I need to actually use. I'm more of a window shopper when it comes to cookbooks and recipe blogs, but that needs to change.
I've found a few blogs and websites that support a Nutritarian way of eating, so I'm going to start with finding at least one recipe a day to try until I find several that I love and think my family will also love.
For now, I'll share the links. And if you try some, let me know which are your favorites and we'll continue together until we've found more healthy meals to replace the less healthier habits we've acquired or have become addictive to.
- Raw Food Made Easy -- If you're not familiar with Jennifer Cornbleet, she is a raw food chef who creates her recipes with as few ingredients as possible so that it's accessible to more people. I've met her in person and have taken her online raw food course (I also have a few of her books) and she doesn't eat an all raw diet. She actually has recipes for cooked foods, as well. But she recognizes the health benefits and delicious nature of raw foods and eats mostly raw foods from her plethora of recipes. I want to try more of her garden wraps, which are the nutrient dense alternative to the traditional sandwich. Jennifer has a variety of approaches to wraps, so I'll try some out and will be sure to post my favorites.
- Carrie On Vegan -- Don't let the V word scare you. If you don't think you'll ever become a vegan or vegetarian, it doesn't mean you can't add some of these nutrient dense recipes to your meals. Check this out -- Carrie actually cooks kale with her oatmeal! That's something I've never thought to try, and I'm not so sure I'd like it with strawberries, but maybe I would -- or I could try apples and cinnamon instead (yes, that's one of my recipe trying habits -- changing things up before I even begin!)
- Healthy Girl's Kitchen -- Wendy posts some of Dr. Furhman's recipes as she explores them herself and also blogs about how to make eating this way more accessible. I like this post with tips about making salads more desirable in the colder months. Granted, our colder months are hopefully behind us, but you never know! (And they will come back again; I'm sure you know that :) )
- Fat Free Vegan Kitchen -- I've followed this recipe blog for awhile and have learned that it's not always fat-free, but it is pretty darn close. Wendy doesn't add oil, but there may be naturally occurring fat (which our bodies do need). These Hummus Crusted Cauliflower Steaks sound easy and yummy. It's a blend of a cruciferous vegetable and some beans. And I'd think that anything crunchy like that would taste like a comfort food. Right up my alley!
- Fat Free Vegan -- This is a recipe sharing site like allrecipes.com. So you'll get a variety and can tweak them to be more nutrient dense or to meet your needs. Even though potatoes are starchy and aren't packed with nutrients relative to their caloric content, I would include them occasionally and would like to try these Creamy Scalloped Potatoes for Easter dinner!
- Straight Up Food -- Cathy creates recipes for a whole food diet. This Southwest Stew looks really delicious and contains lots of beans and some mushrooms -- both which are on Dr. Fuhrman's list of nutrient packed foods or G-Bombs.
- Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian Recipes -- I almost neglected Dr. Fuhrman's website! He has over 1,000 recipes available in his Member Center that has a monthly fee. But you can also find a dozen sample recipes that are offered to everyone. I think I'll try the Mixed Greens and Strawberry Salad first. I do like my salads to be sweet! I think I'd make it with fresh strawberries instead of frozen though. There I go again changing the recipe before I even begin!
I'll get back to you on my recipe exploration. Let me know how you do, too! Until then, here's Dr. Furhman talking about his new book on the Dr.Oz Show if you want to learn more about his approach to healthy eating:
Photo of Vegetables by Nociveglia Creative Commons