The Purpose Of Food And How To Cook Veggies
Let's talk about the purpose of food. What is the purpose of food? It's quite obvious, that the primary purpose of food is "nourishment." Historically this has translated as avoiding starvation. But because of our commercial/farming/technological successes, creation of extra food, we have become able to enjoy the pleasure of food whenever we wish. Food is an integral part of most holidays and frankly just fun - sensually pleasing. The difficulty is that as a culture, with our various addictions and habits that are so frequently counter productive/self-destructive, we have turned food from a blessing to, by virtue of our greed, into an enemy. We have become "The Fattest Nation On Earth" in the history of the human race. We, in the United States - that includes Hartford, Connecticut - have allowed ourselves to develop more dietary induced diseases than any other problem/risk.
That is, I believe that our over intake of food is more important than smoking, alcohol, heroin/cocaine, and HIV--probably even all combined! Food is the main generator of diabetes, open heart surgery, heart attack, stroke, gall stones, diverticulitis, hiatus hernia, cancer of the breast/colon/uterus/prostate, back pain, arthritis, and is a significant contributor to depression, knee and hip replacement surgery and a general loss of comfort in life.
Not being "preachy," but the biggest Self Help and Self Health information that I can give you is simply informing you and myself of what is reality. And this is reality. Food has changed, in large part from being a friend to being a foe.
Frankly, food is not an enemy. It is like anything else that needs to be limited. I am not against cigarette smoking, but I am against more than 2 cigarettes every other day and even then you must be disease free. I'm not even against the use of cocaine, as it has legitimate medical uses. I'm not even against the use of heroin, as heroin derivatives are excellent pain relieving medications that are used all the time in medicine. None of this is intended to be a word game. The point is that everything has a legitimate place, just like food does.
I probably could have named this article What To Do About Overweight Pollution: "The solution to pollution is dilution." What I am talking about is dilution with the lowest calorie foods: "Cooked vegetables, COOKED VEGETABLES, cooked vegetables, COOKED VEGETABLES -- without rice/cheese/meat including chicken/ oil/butter/margarine. If you are overweight, the most important thing you can do is eat lots and lots of cooked vegetables. In that sense, you are the solution to your overweight pollution by diluting your food intake with large and dominant amounts of cooked vegetables. I believe raw veggies can make you hungry. "The solution to pollution (in this case) is dilution."
Let's talk about what I consider one of the better ways of cooking vegetables sequentially.
- Fill a large pot 1/3 with water and bring to a rolling boil. Collard greens are probably the single best and most filling vegetable because they have a meat-like flavor, and are high in calcium. Wash, slice, throw away the tips on either ends.
- When the water in the pot has reached a rolling boil, take off the lid, put in your washed and sliced collard greens (or any other vegetable). Put the lid back on, set the timer for 5-20 minutes. I know, African-Americans may laugh a bit about where is the 2 hour cooked salt pork before you cook the collards and meat together for another hour, but this is definitely the way I would like you to cook your collard greens. Let's not make diseases, let's get rid of them.
- When the timer goes off in 5-20 minutes (for collards, probably 10-20 minutes of total cooking time), use a large mesh wire or a perforated (drain through) spoon, lift out the collards, put them on a plate or colander to drain and then put the lid back on the pot.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil again, take your next vegetables like washed/cut up carrots or onions and put that vegetable (not both, just one or the other), into the boiling water. Lid back on, set the timer for 5 minutes. Take the lid off after the 5 minutes of cooking, use the perforated/mesh spoon to take out that vegetable.
- Do the next vegetable in the same fashion.
You may think you know you, but if you have a weight problem, you know yourself mostly in terms of your mistakes. Even in the past when you had "success" that "success" was generally built on several incorrect ideas, and occasionally 2 wrongs make a partial right. What you need to know about your current weight problem is that, it is what you have done, and in large part what you believed was correct, that has created this problem. There is no implied criticism here; this is all an "invitation for your consideration" about how to lose weight down to trim and/or how to maintain a trim weight.
What I recommend for weight control is based on my 30 years of experience which has documented success after success after success but in all honesty, not total success. This is the way for you to use my expertise about what works: cooked vegetables, cooked vegetables, cooked vegetables, cooked vegetables, raw vegetables, and 4 ounces of beans once a day - as the vast predominance of your diet in order to lose weight - that's most, but not all, there is to it.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD