Wednesday, August 19, 2009


In one of my previous postings I mentioned Mark Bittman. Mark Bittman or MB for short, is a well known NY Times columnist. His weekly column in the NY Times is called 'The Minimalist". He uses both written words or video in his columns to talk about his topic for the week. I love watching his videos on preparing certain dishes. The videos are short, simple to follow, and you don't need a certificate from a cooking institute to make these dishes. In many ways these dishes truly reflect the name of his column, minimal. This past weekend I watched a video where he made a zucchini, corn and tomato salad. Of course I had to make it as I have fertile zucchini plants in the garden and need to be creative in preparing different zucchini dishes. There are only some many shredded zucchini omelettes one can make. I followed this recipe and it turned out well. Of course I couldn't help myself and had to improvise a bit on the recipe. MB is the author of several cookbooks including "How to Cook Everything". I don't have this book but do plan to purchase it in the near future.

I do have his book "Food Matters, A Guide to Conscious Eating". I like the themes he talks about in this book plus it has about 75 recipes which are all easy to make. I keep the book on one of my kitchen counters so that I can refer to some of his recipes. In his book, he talks about how government policy, marketing by big food companies and global economics influence what we buy in the grocery store, cook and put on our kitchen tables. He also supports that if we make changes in our food choices, we will shrink our carbon footprint and our waistline. I know I can be influenced in my food purchases by the marketing of certain food products. MB is also a proponent of eating more plant protein. He is not a vegetarian but decided to cut back on his meat, dairy, refined carbohydrates, junk food and processed food consumption. He lost 35 pounds, decreased his blood cholesterol and sugar levels and his sleep apnea disappeared. Basically he ate food derived from plants for breakfast and lunch and for super he ate whatever he wanted. This included meat, dairy and sugar. He also didn't eat heaping bowls of pasta for lunch and used some common sense in his portion control. But he didn't count calories. He calls his eating sane eating. Or in other words, eat food that matters. It is about eating whole food, real food and basic food. For MB, this is a lifestyle, not a diet. He supports a change in focus in our eating habits, back to something more saner, more traditional and less manufactured. He is not a purist and will go out and have a cheeseburger and when he travels, try different foods from that particular country.

I am trying to change my food choices - eating more 'clean food'. This means less processed food, more plant protein, food that has food value, less refined sugar and carbohydrates and more complex carbohydrates. I will not deprive myself of the joys of eating ice cream on a weekly basis or my fat free, sugar free latte. I will keep you updated on my journey. Until next time.....

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