Another post about "how we eat" and "those damned French"

Michael Ruhlman writes about the paradox of the French diet, and how our low-fat, low-salt, high-sugar diets are killing us.

I've been attempting to increase my intake of fresh foods, eliminating the processed, boxed, and tagged crud from my shelves and my fridge. To this end, I've kept only a few items in boxes and bags in my cabinets.

1. Wheat Thins (preferably reduced fat, I actually enjoy the taste better), to be paired with Wispride Port Wine cheese spread. I've been addicted to this combination since I was a kid, and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

2. Thomas' Hearty Grains English Muffins. Put peanut butter, cream cheese, jam, or regular old hard, aged cheddar (Cabot) on these and I'm in heaven.

3. Kellogg's Raisin Bran. Love that stuff. I know it's loaded with sugar, but good lord I love that stuff.

4. Amy's frozen dinners. Namely, the Vegetarian Lasagna (it's just so time-consuming to make, and then most of it gets frozen and forgotten. There are only two of us in the house), and a couple of the other dishes. If it's been a long day, it's easy to just throw this in the oven and wait the hour for it to be done.

5. Ben & Jerry's. 'Nough said.

6. The odd container of a Pillsbury product, like Grands' biscuits or cinnamon buns. Again, time-consuming and more than I'm really capable of handling in my little New York kitchen.

7. Fluff. Again, 'nough said.

8. Fried tortilla chips. Tostitos, usually. Paired with Muir Glen medium Salsa, great snack.

Beyond those, and the occasional chocolate bar (I love you, Dove), I think we do alright.

1. Fish. Lots and lots of fish. Mostly salmon, since we're trying to keep my heavy metal-intake down (and no, I don't mean Pantera and Slayer), tuna on occasion, shrimp, and whatever strikes our fancy at the market this week.

2. Spinach. I loves me some of that. Baby spinach, tossed with broccoli, cherry/grape tomatoes, a bit of balsamic vinegar, and a touch of feta cheese is wonderful. Add in some bell peppers and shrimp and I have a meal.

3. Asparagus. Make it and I'll eat it.

4. Whatever fruit/melon looks good. We eat a ton of berries, apples when in season, and only when we're in NH, since I'm spoiled, and some citrus in the winter, supplemented by a lot of melon.

5. Cheese. Have I mentioned how much I love cheese? I eat more of this than anything else.

6. Chocolate. Wait...does that fall under processed?

7. Occasional meat. I'm mostly vegetarian (as I mentioned in the EATAPETA post), but I also have some iron issues, so I'm not above eating a bit of meat every now and again. Mostly lamb and beef, but occasionally some bacon will find its way into a stew. If I hadn't lost the enzymes necessary to digest meat, as can happen with long-term vegetarians, I would eat it a lot more often. There aren't many ways you can substitute vegetables in a meat stew and still have the heartiness.

8. Milk. Lots of milk. Skim.

9. Whatever Jason feeds me. The man is a genius in the kitchen. Out of the kitchen too, but especially when it comes to food. In many ways, he's the one who taught me how to cook creatively.

So there you have it. A basic look at the pros and cons in my cabinets and fridge. I left out the spices, but be assured, they're in there.

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