My Perfect Day of Eats

by Holly on September 24, 2009

in breakfast,dinner,lunch,seriousness

Best. Day. Of. Eats. In. Recent. Memory.

I promise if you sit through my lovely day of eats, there will be a fun surprise waiting for you at the end. Hint: He’s It’s so much cooler than a giveaway.

Breakfast started with what may be my new go-to concoction…Strawberry Banana Oatmeal!

1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup organic skim milk
1/2 naner + 1/3 cup strawberries mashed
topped with…
other 1/2 naner + 1/3 cup strawbs
1 100-calorie pack almonds + walnuts
drizzle o’ honey

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And shocker of all shockers…there wasn’t even a nut butter involved!

Lunch #1 was fab: crunchy crudites + a killer sammie. Purple pepper (that’s for you April!) and cucumber.

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Followed up with a hummus, avocado + black bean layered sandwich on an Ezekiel English muffin…

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Lunch #2 was one of my fave things ever: a classic yog mess.

3/4 cup Oikos O% Greek yog
1 sliced naner
1 1/2 tbsp. PB
1/4 cup Dylan’s Sunflower Almond Chia Granola

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So far, my meals have included all my fave things: berries, avocado, Greek yogurt, crunchy veggies, nut butter, organic dairy and locally-grown goodness.

I would guesstimate at least half of my eats today were of the local variety.  Pat on the back to me.  Dinner continued this fabulous trend.

bed of mixed greens
1/3 block locally-made tempeh
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup diced orange pepper
1/4 cup raisins
BBQ sauce
1 sliced toasted spelt bread w/ melted pepperjack

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That slice of melty pepperjack heaven could be the best thing I ate all day.

How does one top a day of perfect eats? You may be thinking, there is no way.  Oh my friends, you have no idea…I had a very important date with somebody you may know…

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Michael Pollan, perhaps?

He’s defending food, solving the dilemmas of us omnivores, finding out what botany desires, delving into why nature is second and finding a place of his own.  I love this man.

In a nutshell, Michael Pollan is a writer who has taken a closer look at how the food systems in America have completely broken down, resulting in a diet of genetically modified, processed food that well…isn’t food.  He spoke on campus tonight, and as soon as I heard he was coming, I knew this gal was not going to miss it (the free entry didn’t hurt either).

I could go on and on about Michael, the Western Diet, our country…but I will stick with a few central points he made during his speech that I strongly agree with:

(1) Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

This is one of the quotes he is most famous for, and really, can you get any more simpler than this?  We need food for fuel; too much of it will make us sick; fruits and veggies are best.  Simple as that.

(2) We need to stop making the distinction between good vs. evil nutrients.

Pollan talks a lot about the culture of nutritionalism: boiling food down to different nutrients, enhancing it with nutrients and modifying things to make them ‘healthier.’  In the end, this doesn’t create food – it creates edible food products.  This is one of the reasons I am an ‘everythingtarian’: moderation won’t kill you.  Eating too much broccoli can kill you, as will eating too many doughnuts.  After all, doughnuts infused with acai powder, omega-3s and fiber are still doughnuts.

(3) Three-fourths of health care dollars in this country are spent towards PREVENTABLE diseases.

Mind you, all these aren’t necessarily food-related (i.e. smoking, alcohol), but think what might happen if we take a look at our current eating habits and change them, not individually but as a community.  Food connects us all.  What you eat connects you to others, and in the end, we do end up paying for the actions of others.

(4) Eat all the junk food you want if you make it yourself.

This one was obviously my favorite.  There is indeed truth to it: (a) it takes time and you won’t want to make junk food that often, and (b) you will know what ingredients are going in.  In the words of Pollan, have you ever heard of anyone cooking at home with high fructose corn syrup or making their own hydrogenated oils?

(5) Food is more than nutrients, calories, grams of fiber, guilt and health: it’s about community, sharing and pleasure.

Many Americans forget that food should be savored, enjoyed and respected.  I think we can all get wrapped up in calories and looking a certain way, but food creates a shared community…I mean look at the food blogging community we are a part of!

To steal some words from one of my favorite bloggers (who just so happens to be a champion of ethical eating) Erin, I walk in this world.  But ya know what’s more important?  WE ALL WALK IN THIS WORLD.

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When 7,000 people gather to listen to a food writer speak, you know change is a comin’.

Where do you stand on some of these issues? Do you think the U.S. needs a change?  Should we look to other cultures for answers? Let’s get some deep discussion going…I have a feeling there is soooo much to be said about this issue.

{ 43 comments }

Katharina September 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm

When you said you could die of too much broccoli.. I imagined the most epic fart in the history of mankind. Just had to say it!

As for your eats, Mizz Holly, DAAAAYUUUUM! ANDDDD isn’t adding raisins in a salad with BBQ sauce the best thing ever? I did that awhile back with some roasted chickpeas and holy crap I was like.. yum yum yum yum ymumymuymumymu.

I loved what you mentioned in this post. I wish I saw this. I think the U.S. is changing actually. It seems that crash diets aren’t rearing their ugly heads in anymore, and with celebrities like Rachel Ray (even though she can get obnoxious), she makes cooking not seem as time-consuming as most make it out to be. I think we can look to other cultures when it comes to the art of enjoying food.. and life in general. I feel that so many American’s lives are focused on making more $$$ to buy more things. I know this comment is really vague, but I should get back to studying for my Taoism test lol.

XO, girl. Have a fabulous Friday!

Brooke September 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I love that all your favorite foods (berries, avocado, greek yog, beans, nutz, whole grains, hummus) ARE MY FAVORITE FOODS. I think our first blogga date will be OCC!

This dude is my hero. I love his theory on homemade junk food. Dude, butter is soooo much better than any hydrogenated shiz. And butter IS SO GOOD! Lovez ziz all.

Lizzy September 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm

i agree on this day of perfection! you know how to rock it girl!

#4 on the list is so true. if your makin it yourself you know what your getting! Love this philosophy!

Andrea@WellnessNotes September 24, 2009 at 9:50 pm

How great that you got to see and hear Michael Pollan!

Yes, it is all about eating mostly natural, plant-based foods.

I also love the point about making junk food at home. It’s true, we won’t use all these crazy chemicals if we cook at home, even if it’s on the unhealthy side.

The other point that I think is so important is that food is about community, about sharing a meal, about enjoyment, a time to unwind, relax… Food is supposed to be about nourishing our bodies and bringing pleasure (which a wonderful tomato can do a lot better than a doughnut in my opinion – at least on most days…). So often food is associated with anxiety, don’ts, is seen as bad… That’s really a shame and makes me sad…

I do think that there is a movement towards cooking more, eating more natural foods, and buying local and organic foods and that’s wonderful. I think we can all do our part by sharing some great, homemade meals with our friends…

Again, great post! Thanks for sharing! :)

BroccoliHut September 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Yay for straw-nana combo and BBQ:)

Leianna September 24, 2009 at 10:12 pm

That equals like the best day ever. I have food envy:)

jessica September 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm

i LOVE that stuff you wrote about michael pollan! the whole junk food thing! perfect!

the us def needs a change.
-muffy

janetha September 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm

holy balls lady.. that english muffin thang is DROOLWORTHY. hummus, avocado AND beans? get out. you are right, all those eats are perfecto. ah! michael p in the house! jealous. i loved your recap. and i loved that so many people showed up to hear him. and i agree with all of that, and i especially liked #4. how true. love you lady! i hope i have some slack time to chat manana!

J @Whole Body Love September 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm

US residents desperately need to change their eating habits. I am often appalled at what many moms feed their kids and what many of my co-workers and peers feed themselves. So mant people live on processed items with very little real food in them!

Lynn @ The Actors Diet September 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm

i love your day of eats! wow, 7000 people? crazy awesome.

devan geselle September 25, 2009 at 12:42 am

i love you! and your blog!
this post is amazing!! Such strong points made! Inspriational! and totally true. Everything you wrote about what Micheal said is very true.

if I came over.. will you make me all my meals?
kay? thanks.
xo

Nicole September 25, 2009 at 12:46 am

Wow!! I wish that I was there for that!! I think that a change is coming too. I see so many people load their grocery carts up with 5/6 processed foods, ad 1/6 produce (which is made up of iceberg lettuce and maybe carrots). It makes me so upset especially if they have kids with them. I look down at my cart, and I have 1/2 for produce, 1/4 meats and dairy, and 1/4 grains w/ some processed (I LOVE my wheat thins!!). The sad thing is that most of these habits are passed down from generation to generation. We need to educate people on how to eat!

Kathleen September 25, 2009 at 5:21 am

So I’ve never really heard Pollan’s philosophy about food before- but I agree with it and love it completely. It just sounds like a lifestyle that makes you feel reallly good. Personally, I think we should look towards eating like the Japanese…I’m pretty sure they’re like one of the longest-living countries.
Btw, your oatmeal/all the rest of your eats look SO EFFING GOOD :) Jealous.

Rosey Rebecca September 25, 2009 at 5:25 am

Your strawberry oats look amazing! I wish I caught that on TV. He makes some pretty good points!

Chocolate Covered Katie September 25, 2009 at 5:35 am

Ym, that first pic looks like art! :)

VeggieGirl September 25, 2009 at 5:37 am

Perrrrfect eats, for sure!

I love M.P.! I got to see him for free while he was in Baltimore last spring. I really like point number four that you made and that you share the same everythingtarian idea. Did you know he is making a young readers version of the Omnivores Dilemma? September 25, 2009 at 6:48 am
Catie September 25, 2009 at 7:43 am

SO JEALOUS YOU GOT TO SEE HIM!

My mom always had one rule for my family growing up: eat food. Things that were processed so that they no longer looked like the stuff they were made out of didn’t count. Did we only eat salads? No, but when we did eat something that had been “processed” it was only processed in the sense that we could have done it ourselves in our own kitchen.

Beyond that, she encouraged balance but figured that as long as we were eating real food, we could let our bodies (and our taste buds) direct our habits.

April September 25, 2009 at 7:58 am

You are so right.. this is the most perfect day of eats!! Mmm!

And I love all your deep discussions.. they are so inspiring!

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) September 25, 2009 at 8:09 am

Love this blog post! My god, woman. You should start framing and selling your photos of oatmeal and yogurt messes. I’d buy them :-)

Also, I totally agree with: “Eat all the junk food you want if you make it yourself.”

Whenever I’m craving something “junky” like fries or cake or nachos, I try to re-create it at home. I still get to taste something delicious, but I can use the freshest and most wholesome ingredients available!

Susan September 25, 2009 at 8:11 am

I think it all starts with education. So many people eat poorly because 1) they don’t like to cook, 2) they don’t know any better. If we taught kids how to put together healthy meals, they wouldn’t be so scared of the kitchen when they get older. Maybe then people would stop reaching for packaged goods, and instead make it themselves. Plus, healthy meals at home aren’t complicated in the least bit – they’re quite simple actually!

Shannon September 25, 2009 at 8:16 am

I haven’t commeneted on your blog yet, but felt compelled today :). I’ve heard about Michael Pollan, but not read anything he’s written but I have to agree with everything you posted. My blog is little with mainly just my family and close friends reading it, but it’s amazed me how many of the adults (w/ children they’re feeding!!) have asked me (a 23 yr. old) questions about nutrition, a specific fruit/veggie/granola I’m eating, or some other food related question. I think it’s sad that people don’t know what they’re putting in their bodies (and sadder when they’re feeding they’re kids the same stuff). I honestly can’t fathom it. They don’t buy produce, instead opt for canned. They don’t take the extra few minutes to compare ingredient lists–no effort except remembering which product they saw a commercial for. No thinking involved when it comes to choosing food, other than what looks easy. I’m not a perfect eater by any stretch of the imagination, but it is sad and leads back to #3 on your post. Ok, done writing a book on your comments :). Your eats are amazing, btw!

brandi September 25, 2009 at 8:31 am

I miss berries already!

That’s so cool that you got to hear him speak! I loved In Defense of Food, and totally agree with most of his points. We don’t cook with that crap in our house, so why should we eat it in other things?

Angharad September 25, 2009 at 8:53 am

Mark Bittman covers similar issues in Food Matters and I love it. Completely on board. It irks me that people get so caught up in breaking food down into nutrient and trying to insert as much of the latest fad thing (acai, omega 3’s etc) into their diet as possible. What ever happened to eating good bread and butter, salads and fruits and the like?

Your eats do indeed look splendid today! That yogurt mess is going to have the town talking! Love you…xx

glidingcalm September 25, 2009 at 9:03 am

wow! 7000 people! so cool!

love the eats- my fav is the black bean with cado, or maybe the melty cheese. Honestly, melty cheese comes before cake or chocolate ANY DAY in my book!

insideiamdancing September 25, 2009 at 9:18 am

Firstly, I am now 110% sure that I voted for the right person to cook me dinner ;)

Second… I have heard SO much about Michael Pollan. Mostly the “eat food” quote, and people saying they followed his ideas. I had no idea what his ideas actually WERE and figured it was something along the lines of ‘Skinny Bitch’ (the vegan thing? is that the right name?) or South Beach or something. THANK YOU for explaining! Sounds solid and I agree with every single point you highlighted. Going to look out for the book. I would say I disagree with something just to make an interesting conversation…but I’ve got nothing. Hehe. First ‘famous’ food philosophy I have read that I agree with.

Nellie September 25, 2009 at 9:31 am

Sounds like a perfect day overall!!! I’ve read a lot of articles Michael Pollan has written, but none of his books :( I need to get on that. I agree with nearly everything he says, my only issue is he doesn’t take cost into effect as much as I think it weighs in the mind of most Americans (as a poor post-grad myself.) I wish I could afford to only purchase local, organic produce, but I can’t even afford health insurance! (don’t get me started there.)

Morgan September 25, 2009 at 9:37 am

I’m seeing Michael Pollan in the spring, and I can’t wait! I love his books.
Also, I can’t wait to try strawberry banana oats…yum!

Food Makes Fun Fuel September 25, 2009 at 10:09 am

Good eats! Local tempeh? I’m not shopping at the right local grocery stores apparently.
I read In Defense Of Food and loved loved loved it. Glad to see he’s getting bigger in front of the American people, because I love how he isn’t praising a diet but just showing where America came from and why it’s not necessarily taking the right path by going “simpler and more productive”

Michelle September 25, 2009 at 10:16 am

Oh Holly. I LOVE your thorough yet simple summary of Michael’s talk on campus!! What a great opportunity to go see him (and not have to read or buy the book – save some trees right?) hahahah It totally cracked me up thinking about even trying to make home-made HFCS..yeah, and good luck with the hydrogenated oils too huh? :P

Low September 25, 2009 at 11:14 am

So cool that you got to hear Michael Pollan speak!!! Thanks for highlighting it for us, you rock.

I agree with it all obvi.

And things like that cheese make my die. DIE!

Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) September 25, 2009 at 11:33 am

YUM!

I need to try Ezekiel English muffins. I’m an Ezekiel whore.

OH! Question! I noticed you’ve tried Perfect Foods bars. I got a sample box and the mail and wanted to ask–do they require refrigeration? The box didn’t say.

Michael Pollan is awesome.

Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 25, 2009 at 11:33 am

While I do not live in the US and cannot comment exactly, I’m sure there are many North American similarities that I’ve experienced.

Many people (including me and my bf) think that as long as you’re not eating doughnuts and Mcdonalds that you are healthy. Whenever I used to tell him we should get into better eating he would say “well a lot of people are doing way worse then us, don’t worry about it so much”. Luckily I take care of all food related matters in our house (and my bf is always supportive of what I do) I have been able to change our habits into more whole food eating.

People always think that proper food is gross, but eating right actually tastes amazing. I get questioned all the time on my food habits. I even put up a separate page on my blog just to list how great I feel now that I’ve made this change.

Gena September 25, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Holy moly, what a perfect salad!!!

Diana Colwell September 25, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Miss Hollis!!! You attended a public speaking event and didn’t notify your bff in the public speaking bizz!?!? WTF

Pollan is pretty sweet, huh? Just think, some day I could send you all over the world talking about food..

PS – WTF is with all the BBQ sauce lately? You bathing in it now too?!?!

PPS – hope the marathon training is going well, miss you tons!!!!

Jenny September 25, 2009 at 3:00 pm

damn stan, these are some epic eats!!

Thanks for the downlow on Michael Pollan. I think he offers an interesting spin on things that seem obvious to us, yet we don’t realize. I especially loved the junk food thing. Alright, I’ll eat chocolate cake — if i make it. Now you know this biddie ain’t gonna be making chocolate cake regularly so there ya go, moderation!

p.s. did I mention in my last comment I love you a whole whole whole whole lot?! ’cause i do!

dee (the apple hill adventurer) September 25, 2009 at 3:08 pm

i have breakfast envy … that bowl of oats looks FAB!!

purple peppers?? how cool! i have never seen those before

Heather September 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm

I want that sandwich, ASAP. It’s like the best burrito fillings ever on an ezekiel muffin, my favorite bread of choice. HEAVEN.

oh my goodness, Michael Pollan! so cool. I definitely think we need a change in terms of food. I’m really impressed with the Obama’s having the White House Garden, but unfortunately there’s just so much other stuff going on that nutrition seems like a minor issue. But the news is ALWAYS talking about the “obesity epidemic” but never talking about how to fix the food industry. It’s jacked up and I have tons of thoughts on it, but I’ll leave it at that as to not flood your comments.

Madeline @ GreensAndJeans September 25, 2009 at 4:41 pm

that salad looks AMAZING! I’m always throwing barbeque sauce where it “doesn’t belong.”

The US definitely needs a change, and the most important place for us to start is with children. We need a massive, broad sweeping change in school lunches. If we can get kids to start realizing that “good for you” food is actually tasty, I think that would be an amazing first step.

Jenna September 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm

heyy! i just found your blog on pb & jenny and i love reading it. your food pics are amazing! i just made my own blog and would love it if you could check out mine!
jenna

Alison September 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I would have JUMPED at the chance to hear him speak! What an amazing opportunity! I completely agree – change is coming for sure, we have GOT to be moving in the right direction.

Tiffany S. September 25, 2009 at 8:44 pm

It’s so easy and Mr. Pollan is such a fantastic advocate for eating well. He is honest about the hurdles we all face as consumers. That’s so great you got to see him speak!

Jess September 26, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I want to read his book! Jealous of you! Haha! :)

That certainly is one FABBB day of eats!!! :D
<3 jess
xoxo

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