Ramblas Vegie market

Eat your vegetables!

I have to eat vegetables, lots of them, cruciferous guys and dark greens being at the top of the list. Whenever I eat something that doesn’t agree with me, the magical curative elixir is vegetables.

Alkaline is the word that trends a lot when talking about diets and vegetables. I have had personal trainers push for an alkaline diet, have read about it and one sees it advertised on the covers of health magazines. Checking the web, there is some controversy about what the diet mongers say and what science says.

Toted as a great weight loss tool, anti-cancer, type 2 diabetes and an anti-inflammatory diet for arthritis, the foods that are included on the alkaline diet are good for you: vegetables, fruits and meat as a condiment. If you have read any previous posts, you know that all processed foods, sugar, wheat and cow dairy products are on my list of no-nos. Remember, this worked well for me but I am not a dietician or a doctor. Just sharing how I took this GERD beast by the scruff of the neck and kicked it out of my life and got off the PPIs.

What is an alkaline diet?

WebMD says “First a little chemistry: a PH level measures how acid or alkaline something is. A Ph of 0 is totally acidic, while a PH of 14 is completely alkaline. A PH of 7 is neutral. Those levels vary throughout your body. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a PH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a PH of 3.5 or lower or below so that it can break down food.”

The alkaline diet claims to keep the blood “alkaline” by maintaining an alkaline PH level. Research suggests that nothing you eat can really change the alkalinity as your body does this itself and keeps your blood PH pretty constant.

I tend to think of vitamin and mineral content much more than alkalinity. For example, 1 c. of brussel sprouts have 124% of your daily dose of Vitamin C and the list of anti-oxidants are truly impressive. 1 c. of kale has 133% of your daily vitamin A needs and 45 different flavonoids.

Even Dr. Oz has a post about the 25 most alkaline-producing foods. Check out how many of these you have in your daily or weekly diet. We all know that if you look hard enough, you can find every type of diet possible on the web. So alkaline diet or not, seriously consider the health benefits of a vegetable heavy diet.

Every body is different, every palette is different, everyone’s upbringing with their food culture is different. Be adventuresome and try new ways of preparing the rarer and more interesting vegetable.

My smart daughter who is studying nutrition offhandedly said to me once “Mom, eat what you want and what you crave. Your body knows what is best if you listen to it”. Great advice. Whatever vegetables you choose to eat is up to you. Explore raw foods, roast different combinations of veggies, create salads that are color pleasing, make cruciferous vegetables your best friend.

Here is my latest salad obsession

All the recipes are in three stages of the diet plan

First stage: The beginning, healing diet indicated with an “H

Second stage: A maintenance diet when the inflammation is gone and you are moving into a gluten and dairy free diet indicated by an “M

Third stage: Paleo indicated by a “P

 Shredded Brussel Sprouts Salad with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette

H  M P

1 lb. brussels sprouts

1/3 c. dried cherries or cranberries

2 slices bacon, cooked and cut into small dice

1/2 c. walnuts

 

Shred the raw brussels sprouts with the slicing disk of a food processor. Toast the walnuts in a small pan until they just begin to take color. Chop the walnuts, add the cherries and diced bacon. Pour the Maple Walnut Vinaigrete over the brussel sprouts and toss to coat the well. This can make an entire meal! Vegetarians, leave out the bacon.

 

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette

H M P

 Shake together in a small tupperware or whisk in a small bowl

 

3  tsp. dijon mustard

1 1/2 T. maple syrup

2 T toasted walnut oil

2 T. balsmaic vinegar

2 T. pineapple white balsamic vinegar*

Living in the Midwest, I travel around and just found the most wonderful shop in Iowa City, Iowa.

Harvest Oils and Vinegars is beautiful shop that specializes in artisanal oils and vinegars. I tend to be fairly conservative about my balsamic vinegars BUT their pineapple white balsamic vinegar made this dish come alive. Also, as you notice above, I used TOASTED walnut oil which is really sublime. This store just opened and the website is not yet functional for on-line sales so call to place an order. Harvest Oils and Vinegars is a wonderful place to try different combinations of the highest quality. Let your imagination go with this oils and vinegars. Support your  local businesses!

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PS The above photo is from my roaming and  fabulous blogpartner/photographer Jake, who was in Barcelona and snapped this on the Ramblas. Thanks Jake! Send more photos on your world travels!

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