Sunday, October 16, 2011

Food for Thought

Back in my pre-homeless days I had a simplified way of looking at food.

Fish is brain food; oatmeal is for healthy skin; citrus fruit is for vitamin C; olives, molasses, spinach are for iron; pasta is for energy; an apple a day does keep the doctor away. I put myself on a New Millennium Diet. No longer recall where I found it; perhaps at Warren Medical Center in Washington, New Jersey. May have been published in one of the center's magazines. My list was photocopied.

Basically the diet was fruit, nuts, vegetables, rice, legumes, perhaps something else. I stopped eating meat, due to super high cholesterol. I used honey, never sugar. I ate a naturally sweetened cereal (name brand escapes me, have not seen it on grocery store shelves in a long time); it was more expensive than regular cereals but I was working, earning enough to afford the splurge.

That diet went right out the window when I began living on the streets. Actually it went right out the window when I was living with other people. With no income, if hungry, one eats what one is served. There were exceptions, but basically food served for homeless and poor people lacks nutritional value. It is often tasteless, stale, overly sugary or, as in the case of milk, spoiled. Many homeless people have poor teeth; Lincoln Park had a lot of apples strewn about, because most groups that gave food to the homeless included apples which they could not chew. Bananas a better fruit choice.

When the Safe Haven program took me off the streets, the first thing I did was to shop for food that would put me back on my no-cholesterol diet. Did not work. I bought, on sale, two bottles of apple juice; maybe even Juicy Juice (all natural). I used to drink apple juice daily. Often mixed with cranberry juice, because I do not like cranberries. The real cranberry juice, not the Ocean Spray kind. Do not remember, maybe six months later, I dumped out the first bottle of juice.

I make feeble attempts to start eating better. Yet with prices doubled, income half of what it used to be ~ less than 1/2 ~ I tend towards buying frozen meals that I can heat in the microwave; no stove in this apartment. I periodically check out prices for fish. Love fish. Food for thought; I think fish would help increase my brain power; improve my memory.

I could do better with a Blog Action Day post on the subject of food. If my memory power was normal, I would have known the date and been prepared, not doing this at last moment. Okay one blog down, several more to go.

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