Finally, the cold is gone! I’m (relatively) free from burning chest pain and a hacking cough. I started chronicling my journey to recovery at the end of the duration of this cold, so an instantaneous revival of health was not strictly due to the addition of superfoods to my diet. The illness had run its course. Then again, my choice of meals may have had a greater effect than I thought.
Last week, I asked a few friends if they would join me on this health detox. I realized that their diets are already quite different than mine, and none of them seem to be currently suffering from a cold. One of my friends is on a weight loss diet before her big formal dance coming up, one obsessively takes vitamin supplements, another is going gluten free to practice for Lent, and my roommate already eats vegetarian. (I'm beginning to wonder: is this the new normal?) So, I continued the adventure independently.
As I began the first days of incorporating a super-meal (quite opposite to a McDonalds happy meal) into each day, I realized I needed to shop for ingredients. The Cellar market at Santa Clara offers many organic and natural food options. I picked up snacks there, including a Bobo’s Coconut Bar, chocolate coconut Luna Bar, and a mini pack of HALLS Defense. I admit, I may have purchased a few other unhealthy snacks like Poptarts and Oreos, but they did not resurface in the meal plan for this week. On the other hand, Safeway proved to be a maze of health products signaling advanced nutritional supplements. I stocked up on all types of berries: blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. However, the acai berry was nowhere to be found in any form. Perhaps I should search in a supplemental store like GNC. Dr. Perricone, Oprah’s nutrition expert, believes the acai and goji berries retain certain properties beyond antioxidants that help to combat viruses and sometimes even shed extra weight. I find myself making the mistake of preserving my berries for too long and then, unfortunately, they spoil. With lists on lists of superfoods out there from plenty of nutritional experts, it is difficult to ascertain which is superior. Most lists include these foods for their enhancing nutritional properties: oats, salmon, blueberries (and strawberries), broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, grapefruit, nuts, green tea, quinoa, kiwi, buckwheat, yogurt, soy, black beans, and kale (SELF Magazine). My goal was to integrate three of these items into a meal for three different days.
My aversion to sushi is inconsistent with my affinity for seafood. An adventurous friend encouraged me to try to the Bistro’s lunch specialty. On Monday, I ate the lion king sushi roll from the Benson cafeteria. Its main ingredients were salmon layered on a rice roll, oozing with avocado (not my favorite) and crab meat, and drowning in spicy mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce. I was surprised by its unusual flavor, declaring that it tastes “like nothing”. After the food digested hours later, I didn’t feel any better. I was still congested and heavily coughing, my health level at a solid 6. I continued to have the same sushi roll the next week!
Tuesdays are my traditional weekly lunch date to eat and converse with my best friend from high school, Caitlin. I usually get the Bronco Salad from Fresco, but instead I opted for my own salad concoction from the salad bar. The main ingredient was spinach leaves and a heaping pile of quinoa. My salad also featured dried cranberries, egg whites, broccoli, carrots, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. I had tried quinoa before and knew that it was tasteless to me. As I was finishing the creation, I was majorly disappointed when I spilled vinegar on my leather boots, so I grabbed a napkin to blotch it up quickly. Why do I have such bad karma if I’m trying to eat healthily? At the end of our lunch, Caitlin offered me half of her RiceKrispy treat, but I hesitated. She had been fiercely coughing since we sat down, and I was afraid of catching her germs when I was already trying to get over mine. She insisted that I was already sick, and I caved because I can’t resist dessert.
Oz Garcia, encourages breakfast as the most important meal, and he recommends adding a special dietary superfood to increase chances of eating healthier throughout the day (Time). It appears I was following Oz’s directions already. By the end of three days, my health level improved a considerable amount, and I felt that the food’s natural proteins provided more energy than I would have had without those additions.
|Oatmeal with Berries|
I’m going to resume my superfood experiences next week. Have you been as lucky as I was to recover from illness quickly? What have you heard is the best superfood out there? I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Danziger, Lucy S. The Drop 10 Diet Cookbook: More than 100 Tasty, Easy Superfood Recipes That Effortlessly Peel off Pounds. N.p.: Ballantine, n.d. Print.
"EarthSave - Food Intervention Programs to Achieve Health Independence." EarthSave - Food Intervention Programs to Achieve Health Independence. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.
Sifferlin, Alexandra. "What's the Healthiest Breakfast? Here's What the Experts Say." Time: Healthland. Time Inc., 13 Apr. 2012. Web.