Shortly before Christmas, I stumbled upon a book championing vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans as the cornerstone of a healthy, disease-preventing diet. This isn’t exactly breaking news…my Mama told me long ago…but with all the prepared foods we ingest because of convenience and all the stress in our lives, rather than cooking real food ourselves, a little prodding helps.
In the book, How Not To Die, by Michael Greger, M.D., I was impressed by the reams of research he had combed through, examining the top ten deadly diseases, and showing how our diets might be the building blocks of them.
The title, which is a bit more grim reaper than Santa Claus, and spelled out in cryptic lettuce letters, looked more like a murderous thriller than a manifesto for optimal health.
I could imagine everyone gathered around the tree Christmas morning, joyful and tickled about the new tie, gold toe socks or cozy flannel jammies, and then, rumpa-tum-tum, unwrapping an uplifting book about preventing death.
Then the chorus, “oh Mom, you shouldn’t have!”
So…I’ve kept the book to myself, my little Sherlock Holmes-turned-chef – secret, playing the good villain who sneaks more and more fruits and vegetables into our meals.
It’s an important, life-changing book, deserving everyone’s attention, that isn’t destined to become another failed new year’s resolution.
From heart disease, our number one killer, to breast and colon cancer, Dr Greger recommends ways to strengthen our bodies defense through diet. It’s practical, sensible, and not that difficult.
I’ve long been suspicious of eating fruits out of season, preferring in-season and ‘local’ produce, but the benefits of a steady portion of both far outweigh my reservations.
One word of warning: too many fruits and vegetables without the buffer of grains and beans, was very hard on my tummy. Our momma’s also warned us: “Everything in moderation.”
Turns out they were a lot wiser than we thought…