Doctor’s Tip: Eat lunch like a prince
The Blue Zones are five areas in the world where people live particularly long lives — of good quality. These people engage in frequent, low-level physical activity and are mainly plant-based. One of the lessons from The Blue Zones is to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Last week’s column was about breakfast, and today’s is about lunch.
In the second half of his book “How Not to Die,” Dr. Michael Greger talks about his daily dozen — plant foods we should be eating everyday and why. Daily raw cruciferous vegetables (e.g. kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, arugula, Brussels sprouts) are important for optimal health, as are foods with intense flavor (herbs and spices) and color (e.g. greens, red cabbage, red onions, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, yams). Lunch is a good time to eat many of Dr. Greger’s daily dozen, in the form of a big salad.
A healthy salad might look like this: Put chopped chard, spinach, kale, arugula, carrots, peppers, red cabbage and red onions in a large bowl. You can buy the ingredients separately and chop them yourself, or buy a box or bag of “power greens,” or a bag of pre-chopped salad ingredients. On top put tomatoes, and unsalted sunflower and pumpkin seeds (the seeds provide healthy fats and also help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the greens). If you didn’t get your handful of walnuts or almonds at breakfast, put these on top of your salad. Finally, add ½ to ¾ cup of cooked beans — or canned beans with no added salt — or organic, frozen edamame (legumes — beans, lentils and chickpeas — are one of the daily dozen).
Use balsamic or apple cider vinegar for a dressing, or make your own oil-free, vegan dressing, which you can google on the internet. Here’s a recipe for such a dressing, from the “The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook”:
• 2 tablespoons of oil-free hummus (make your own — recipe is in this cookbook — or buy Engine 2 Plant Strong hummus at Whole Foods)
• 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, or sections from ½ orange and their juice
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 teaspoons of your favorite mustard
• 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
• Optional — 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
If you’re still hungry, eat some Wasa multigrain crackers with oil-free hummus on top.
How about eating lunch out? Most restaurants will be able to put together a decent salad. Ask for balsamic vinegar on the side, or a vinaigrette (which has some oil in it) on the side, and dip the tip of your fork in it before each bite of salad — that way you get the taste of the dressing with minimal oil. Consider Masala Indian Restaurant in Glenwood or the Nepal Restaurant at the CMC turnoff, and specify vegan — no dairy or ghee. Ask for roti rather than naan (which contains dairy). At Dos Gringos in Carbondale, you can get a veggie burrito or a taco salad without the tacos — both are made to order. The Village Smithy in Carbondale has a few vegan options, as does the Beer Works.
Dr. Feinsinger, who retired from Glenwood Medical Associates after 42 years as a family physician, has a nonprofit Center For Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Nutrition. He is available for free consultations about heart attack prevention and other medical issues. Call 970-379-5718 for an appointment. For questions about his columns, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.