Thursday, August 01, 2013

Is a Cherry a Berry? And other half-assed nutritional research

Yesterday I regrettably realized I'd bought dried cherries instead of my usual dried cranberries.  I decided to eat them with my low-fat cottage cheese anyway.  Cran w/ cc might sound gross but is really good... so is grated carrot with cc, or even cran & carrot in cc w/ added crushed Brazil Nuts.  Several times over the last couple months I've thought to myself, if I had to live on nuts and berries, I'd be okay with that.  Except for if the hunting and gathering was trickier than plucking from a shelf, but I'm sure I could adapt to woodsy hunting and gathering too.  Making cottage cheese would be over my head though.

Anyway so I went ahead and spooned in a small serving of dried cherries into my cottage cheese, but knew from the first bite that cherries must have more sugar/sweetness in them.  Actually store bought dried fruit is not ideal anyway due to added sugars, but again, similar to my tolerance for the evils of Jell-o, I think in moderation dried fruit is probably a healthier snack option than no fruit at all.   I finished off my cherry/cc combo, and will make my way through the bag (or offer to the kids) and then go back to cranberries... because knowing berries are "ok" on my diet, I wasn't sure if a Cherry was considered a Berry.

Maybe that is standard knowledge, or an obvious thing, due to there not being "berry" in the name, but I googled it.  Because I google almost everything.

The answer is No, a Cherry is not a Berry:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_a_cherry_a_berry

And here is some information about how Cherries can be good for you anyway (similar to berries there are antioxidants):
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/01/17/cherries-health.aspx


And why do I care?  Well now that both Stew and I are working our way through the 17 Day Diet, I'm having to rethink and re-research things in order to guide Stew through it (since he hasn't read the book).   However we aren't doing the first cycle as hardcore as we should be, mostly in the form of allowing in some Optional Snacks from later cycles.  This is to satisfy evening dessert sweet cravings, which might be shooting the whole initial detox in the feet by doing it... but if it looks like weight loss is stalling, at least we'll know what we can cut out to get back on track.  We've already agreed to reduce the quantity consumed.

Therefore another nutritional google I've done recently is a comparison of Sugar Free / Fat Free Chocolate Pudding vs. Hershey's Special Dark Kisses.   Because we can both finish off a shared quart of pudding/jello in one sitting and I was wondering if it would be better to go back to the dark chocolates I'd relied on previously.


Jell-o pudding (and it's cousin gelatin dessert) basically has no nutritional value whatsoever, no positive OR negative associated with it.  Just straight up calories.
http://www.dietandfitnesstoday.com/jello-nutrition-facts.php

However here is a food blogger that calls Jell-o a chemical nightmare and avoids it at all costs:
http://mywholefoodlife.com/2013/03/06/sugar-free-jello-exposed/

Also here is a so-called "fat cyclist" that just for fun challenged himself to eat only Jell-o for one day.  It came up in my "is jello bad for you" search (there are people in the comments regaling on how nasty Jell-o is for you).  Plus that guy seems funny.  Might have to start following his blog, even though this particular post was from '09 so I don't know what he's up to now.  Though it does look like he is still posting, so the Jell-o day didn't kill him.
http://www.fatcyclist.com/2009/02/25/the-jell-o-chronicles/

While Dark Chocolate has more calories/fat/sugars, it does actually have some positives associated with it (Hershey's touts beneficial "cocoa flavanol antioxidants"), also there is some fiber and various minerals listed as a positive:
http://www.dietandfitnesstoday.com/calories-nutrition-facts.php?id=19904

The 17 Day Diet book allows a 1.5 oz serving of dark chocolate under their optional snacks during PMS. The PMS exemptions is also where I came to start eating Brazil Nuts, and now I'm addicted.  Pretty much I've decided I have variations of PMS every damn day, so why can't I have a serving of dark choc & b-nuts every day as a snack if it helps me cope?  Even better, Dark Chocolate covered Brazil Nuts (haven't tried these yet, but daydream of them).

In the end, we've decided to taper our pudding/jello consumption to less of a binge every night to more of a one 1/2 cup serving per night until we run out.  Then take a day or two break from it (basically until next grocery restock), possibly supplementing with dark chocolates on those days (my idea, might have to hide the chocolates from Stew though).

And yesterday?  I finally snagged some Brazil Nuts after having been without for several days due to my 'Mart not restocking fast enough (the agony!).  I did a little hunting and gathering outside of my usual foraging region, a.k.a. I stopped at the only hippie granola healthy food store we have locally.  I'm sure there are all kinds of cool things in that place but I always find myself beelining straight to what I need and then trying to get out of there ASAP.

Because for all my googling of nutrition info and interest in health and self-proclaimed hippie tendencies, I always feel self-conscious in health stores. Or overwhelmed?  It's a similar feeling that I get at craft fairs.  Like my interest/involvement is only shallow compared to others there, as if a I'm a poseur- not a regular customer/contributor, just passing through now & then.  Self-confidence issues maybe?  I don't know, but probably, since it always makes me feel a little better that the dude at the register chats me up and compliments me on my outfit (which has happened twice now).  That's always a nice end to a long afternoon of errands, especially when followed by a handful of nuts (ha).  Next thing to hunt/gather... some kisses (ha ha).




1 comment:

  1. Who knew that cherries weren't berries? Not me. Dried fruit of any kind makes my mouth pucker. But chocolate, any day! Thanks for your comment on my blog....I'm so surprised your 11 yo hasn't been told anything by his peers.....i thought the kids at our school were meant to be nice ones, but maybe not huh. I wish i could of kept mine in a bubble of safety, the big bad world just keeps closing in.

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