my green vermont

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Nutrition And Me

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

For breakfast this morning, I ate an egg.  It used to be you couldn\’t eat eggs, because they were full of cholesterol and they would clog up your arteries and you would die young.  But now eggs are fine–an excellent source of protein and omega-3 oils and other good things.  So I\’m eating eggs again.

I put salt on my egg , too.  For a while in the 80s salt was considered a killer, so I banished it from my cooking.  I even found a way to make bread without using salt, and wrote an article about how to do this (it isn\’t easy).  It turns out, however, that a no-salt diet is terrible for people with low blood pressure, especially for people with CFS and low blood pressure, so now I\’m back to salting my food.

I cooked my egg in olive oil.  Olive oil is the ultimate soul food for me. It is also pure fat, and my collection of non-stick pans attests to my fat-free period, sometime in the 90s, brought on by the Zeitgeist notion that you could eat just about anything without gaining weight (even cookies, especially cookies) as long as you steered clear of fat.

In addition to the egg, I had a small bowl of oatmeal.  Oatmeal is loaded with carbs, of course.  I lost a ton of weight back in the 70s on a practically-no-carb diet.  I remember going into ketosis (a good thing, according to the diet book) and buying a whole new wardrobe. I also remember experiencing some savage food cravings.  I know better now, of course, and have welcomed carbohydrates back into my diet.

As I sweetened my oatmeal with a little Vermont maple syrup–pure sugar, you know–I thought back to those grim days (was it in the 80s or 90s?) when, cowed by the fear of hypoglycemia and obesity, I eliminated sweetness from my life. 

Having finished breakfast, I poured my daily regimen of vitamins and supplements into a pill box, and it struck me how the contents of that little box had changed over the years. They used to include megadoses of C (eventually proven to be ineffective against colds), later a good dollop of E (but no more, since it\’s supposed to be bad for you), also some gingko capsules (which we now know do nothing for memory), and I\’ve forgotten what else.

Although my supplement list is pretty pared down these days, I do add some Vitamin D–the vitamin that our naked ancestors following game all day on the savanna got plenty of.  The vitamin that we, slathered in sunscreen, swathed in synthetic fabrics and imprisoned indoors by our computers year round, are pathetically  deficient in.

I usually listen to NPR\’s Morning Edition during breakfast, have been doing so for years.  That is where I get a lot of my knowledge about which substance to banish from my diet and which to welcome back like a nutritional prodigal son. 

Today, no sooner had I doled out my dose of Vitamin D than I heard a reporter say that research has shown that recent claims that we need Vitamin D supplementation in doses as high as 4,000 i.u./day are fallacious and misleading.  We might need, the new research indicates, at most one tenth of that.

Feeling foolish, I put my D capsules back in the bottle.  But I did not throw them away.

I\’m keeping them for the day when somebody in a lab somewhere determines that megadoses of Vitamin D are in fact the key to vibrant health.  I just hope that my sound nutritional practices enable me to live until then.

5 Responses

  1. I like Bridgett's idea. A daily dose of joy, a small capsule of pleasure, a bit of appreciation for the moment, will probably keep us just as healthy as A, B, C, D, E, etc. Relish the olive oil, savor the syrup, cuddle with Bisou and put away the supplement bottles!

  2. Amen to that! The enjoyment and appreciation of what we eat also matters to the body and the soul. So I'll bless both the kale and the chocolate cake.

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