Skating Uphill - August 2014

The Uphill Skater: Living a Healthy Lifestyle


As promised, I have spent quite a lot of time and resources searching different sources for that elusive list of the “20 Super Foods” that we frequently see advertised. I was quite surprised to find that there are
many versions of that list. Yes, many of the items are the same.
I have also found lists of “Never Eat This” foods to include.


Every super foods list includes apples and many lists place apples as number one. Many other lists include grapefruit, blueberries, and watermelon, but warn about some other fruits. Eggs and egg whites are virtually on every list, as is olive oil. You will also find that water/lemon water is on most lists as well.

Another item often found is oatmeal. Recommended is steel cut oats, high fiber oatmeals, and NOT the packets of oatmeal, especially not the flavored and sweetened varieties. Shame, you know, they are very easy. Speaking of easy, yogurt is on most lists. Often they will add the caveat that it should be unsweetened or plain yogurt or only Greek, but usually specify that a serving should not exceed 80 calories or 8 grams of sugar. I not only keep yogurt for a snack in the fridge, I use it as a substitute in many recipes for sour cream or butter. Speaking of butter, both peanut butter and almond butter are big list items, too. Again, the stipulation is that it be natural or organic and when I saw this I immediately read the label on my peanut butter and found it had sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, molasses, and monoglycerides. On the other hand, Smucker’s Natural Peanut ButterTM contains peanuts and a trace of sea salt. 

Tuna, mackerel, salmon, and other fatty fish also are frequently listed. They say to not buy farmed salmon that may be colored, such as hormone treated, or refrozen. Look for wild salmon that advertises its origins, i.e. wild Alaskan salmon. Also, be sure that canned tuna is water packed. On the oil subject, avocado is also highly suggested. The beauty of an avocado is that you can eat and enjoy it in many ways. I love to eat it simply with a little salt or in an avocado and grapefruit salad with a little butter lettuce. In addition, you can plant the seed and rub the rest of it on your hands, face and even your hair. Pretty versatile, huh?

Nuts, topped usually by walnuts and almonds and ending with peanuts, are on every list, too. The catch is that a serving is one-fourth cup. So, that means don’t sit in front of the TV and eat a big bag of oily peanuts and say that you read in Pink Magazine that nuts are good for you. 

Most high-fiber vegetables, soy milk, high fiber cereals, and whole-wheat pastas are a common sense group that one always sees, but quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a relatively new addition and goes really well in what used to be called a macaroni salad. That is quinoa, chopped celery, onion, green peppers and pickle, with a light mayo dressing. For something a little different, make this salad and put raspberry vinegar and a little olive oil on for dressing. 

Finally, as a longtime vegetarian, I was surprised to find on nearly every list that meat is making a comeback. I found four ounces of lean organic steak and four ounces of white meat chicken on every list, except, of course, the one in Vegetarian Times magazine. 

There are many good things to eat, but now the “what not to eat” saga begins. I will keep this short, because I believe that most things in moderation will not kill you, but there are a few things to really avoid. First, and the one we all know, is process baked goods. Twinkies are the obvious, but also commercial cakes, cookies, pies and even most types of crackers have a list of ingredients that will curl your hair. Also watch out for things that are high in sugar. I will discuss this further next month, as it is becoming more and more obvious that hidden sugar is a BIG contributor to the obesity epidemic. High fat items are also a danger, so read labels. 

 I know this really sounds like a big downer, folks, but trust me, it is worth it in quality of life to just give a second thought to what you are putting into your body. 


Next month, I will talk about a subject that is oh so sweet, but oh so dangerous. Yes, we will take on SUGAR! 

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