I had a handful of great stories brewing for today’s post, but decided instead to take this opportunity to highlight some interesting things on this blog all you quick browsers and email subscribers may have missed. I also want to gather your feedback on features you would like to see on the new SummerTomato.com. That’s right, soon we will have a brand new name, a brand new look and a brand new website!
I want to start by thanking everyone who has participated in the great conversations we have been having this week in the Comments section of my posts. If you have never visited the comments, we often have very interesting discussions there and I frequently chime in to answer readers’ questions (and ask some of my own!).
Here are some examples of the questions we’ve addressed:
From Karin: I was enjoying a lovely meal of leeks and collard greens and was thinking about this cancer article, and it got me wondering. Should I have mixed in some spinach or something with these greens? I know variety is always better, but do you think it would have any measurable affect on cancer?
@Karin Good question about mixing greens. Yes, technically it might be slightly healthier to have more different kinds in one meal, but if you are eating them all in the same week it is just as good.
From a culinary perspective, spinach is a very delicate green while collards are very hearty. I wouldn’t recommend mixing those specifically. Kale or chard would be a better option, but you would have to work with a more complex flavor profile that might not taste as good. Worth an experiment though!
From Matt: I believe, as Darya touched on above, adopting healthy eating (and exercising) habits now can really pay off in the future…I am at the point now that I don’t know why anyone would continue to eat poorly. I think depression, ignorance, and apathy only go so far…no one is forcing people to eat poorly except themselves.
@Matt I also find it difficult sometimes to understand the fatalistic attitude so many people have toward health. From talking to people though, I think a lot of it stems from the confusion and misinformation that gets filtered to the public about health. Also, because fresh fruits and vegetables are old-fashioned and “health” food is usually thought of as powders and bars, it has a reputation for being bad tasting. To me this is the biggest irony of all. If I had to choose between my diet and the typical Western diet on taste alone, I would choose mine in a heartbeat (and probably thousands more!).
The myths surrounding the value and taste of healthy foods are what I’m trying to dispel here.
From Greg: Interesting comments, but does anyone else agree that its only a matter of time before modern medicine does away with cancer and heart disease? I mean, people already get heart bypass surgery and cancer surgery, so doctor’s ability to treat this stuff is only gonna get better- I wonder if that influences people about whether they worry about cancer or not….
@Greg You would be blown away if you saw the data on how much more effective food is than “modern medicine” for both preventing and curing most of our chronic diseases. Check out the health books on my side bar.
It is hard for healthy people to comprehend how horrible it is to have debilitating disease for 1, 5, 10 years. You cannot enjoy your favorite activities, you are a burden on your loved ones, your mind is confused and basic functions are difficult. Medicine can do nothing about these things, but food can keep you sprightly into your 80s and 90s.
From Peter: I must admit, albeit embarrassingly, I am a bit lazy when it comes to food preparation. How much time do you usually spend on a typical dinner prep?
@Peter On week nights I try for under 15 min. I’m ridiculously busy and always starving after my workouts, so I have little patience for extravagance.
On weekends I might take a bit longer, for the foodie in me. My soups usually take 30-60 min, but that’s lunch all week.
From Healthyliving: If I do buy stuff at the grocery store that is unhealthy, is it better to just throw it away? I go back and forth between eating it and throwing it away, even though I know that throwing it away would probably be the best thing to help me fit into my jeans…..
@Healthyliving Great question! When I have junk food I don’t want I just give it to my friends. Most of them will eat anything. Sharing those calories over many people makes them less bad for everyone!
Subscribe to comments
These were just a few examples of the great discussions we have had. If you are interested in this kind of direct feedback, I encourage you to visit our comments section occasionally and participate. If you would just like to listen passively, a good option for you might be “Subscribe to Comments”–there is a link on the sidebar for you to subscribe via your news reader. If you do not have a new reader, I highly recommend Google Reader. I use it to zip through dozens of blogs and news feeds everyday.
Another feature on the sidebar you may not have seen is the new Quick Links section. There I have posted links to my FoodFeed (more on this in a second) as well as links to the major topics featured on this blog:
These are to help you navigate the site better and find older articles. In reality, these buttons are the same as the “labels” links at the bottom of each post. This list is simply the most common labels. You can click labels from any location to find more articles on a particular topic.
SummerTomato.com will be structured by several categories similar to the Quick Link labels. Currently the categories are:
- Basics – The basic tenets of healthy eating and weight loss
- News – Health news stories and the latest research
- Market – Farmers market updates so you know what fruits and vegetables are in season
- Science – Analysis of the scientific research that is the basis of my recommendations
- Recipes – An archive of all my recipes
- Tips – Quick tips and tricks to make healthy living easier
- Thought – Reflection and opinion on health, news and (when appropriate) politics
Articles at Summer Tomato may be linked into several categories depending on the topic, as well as subcategories for each topic (e.g. Market and Recipes will be further divided into seasons). There will also be labels/tags and a search box for very specific article searches. This structure is designed for easier navigation to subjects that interest you. If you have any suggestions for the navigation structure of the new site, now would be a great time to let me know!
The other Quick Link I mentioned (“I’m eating…“) is my FoodFeed. You might remember that several months ago I announced that I would post everything I eat (TwEating) on Twitter. I did this to give people a better idea of what kind of foods constitute a healthy diet (and also prove to you that I’m not vegetarian!).
Though I have been TwEating for nearly 3 months, a few weeks in I became aware of a Twitter-related service called FoodFeed, where everyone is encouraged to post their meals. Since I learned of it, I’ve posted everything I have eaten there as well. Now it is possible to follow my meals without following all my Tweets.
I was already planning to show my streaming Twitter feed on SummerTomato.com. I think this is good because it will include both my TwEats as well as all the interesting health articles I read each day–I only post about a small fraction of them on my blog. But alternatively I could have a feed with only my TwEats via FoodFeed. Since this is really just for you guys, I would love to know which you would prefer.
The reason I started this blog and am building a better one is because I want to help each of you eat and live healthier. From what I gather by listening to people, the biggest barriers to health are usually convenience and confusion about health/nutrition science. This is your chance to help me make SummerTomato.com as convenient and user-friendly as possible, so please take a minute and share your opinions.
Thanks for your feedback!