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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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What's Your Food Fantasy?

Nutrition & Movement

I have to admit that I was kind of a late bloomer in adopting and embracing social media. While far ahead of many—some of my friends have no concept of things like Twitter or Facebook (never mind Pinterest and whatever else is so new that it hasn't trickled down to these ears yet)—I'm a real luddite when it comes to those who beat me to it and have at least three or four years of experience in their pocket and are "regulars." I'm more of a "drop-in," although I do try to remember to drop in more regularly.

That's why it took me until today to learn about the list that's been reverberating around Facebook: 100 Foods to Eat Before You Die. Late to the party … again.

It reminds me of the games we used to play at sleepovers when we were younger: If you could choose anyone, who would you want to be stuck on a desert island with? In the days ripe with teen idols like Paul McCartney or Davy Jones, Fabian or Paul Anka choosing just one was a tough job.

Though food doesn't hold the same attraction (at least to me) as someone like, say, George Clooney or Hugh Jackman, it might be a fun thing to think about. After all, unless we are really adventurous/recipe developers/restaurant critics/food writers, we probably don't get to indulge in all our food fantasies in the course of our lifetime.

I came across a lively piece online, written by Time contributor Josh Ozersky on this 100 Foods viral food craze, and here's what he had to say: "The list … looks like it took about six minutes to think up. It's simply a bunch of unconnected foods, listed alphabetically, without any kind of qualifier." He goes on to write, "It's the list of a chain-gang prisoner who never expects to have anything but salt pork and hardtack for the rest of his days."

His much more thoughtful list includes (my added comments are italicized):

Hot fresh bread (Yes! With lots of soft, creamy butter!)

Pit barbecue (My apologies to its fans, but not even close for me.)

Raw milk cheese (Don't know if I've ever had it, but if pasteurizing, as he says, kills the flavor of cheese, and most cheeses are, in fact, pasteurized, I'm all for it.)

Georgia peaches, New Jersey corn, California melons, Oregon morels, New England blackberries (Yes, again! I go crazy over just about any fruit or veggie, save okra. But to get the very best, get it close to the source, if possible. By the time it hits the supermarket shelves, it's old news.)

Prime beef (Can't relate. Haven't eaten beef in 30 years.)

Great olive oil and balsamic vinegar (Can't agree more. It makes all the difference in the world. I gave up salad dressing and instead spray on some great olive oil, then drizzle on some expensive and decadent balsamic glaze. Topped off with a squeeze of fresh lemon and some freshly ground black pepper plus a bit of grated cheese, it's a salad worth loving.)

Fresh mozzarella (Nothing like it. Still warm, right out of the "bath," or whatever the water is where it's made. I just wish there was another name for "curd," from which it's made. Sounds so unappetizing.)

Well, now that I've given you this list, I must admit to feeling a bit guilty, since this is a health blog. So, let's put some nagging qualifiers here: make the bread whole grain the cheese low-fat, the beef and fruits and veggies organic; and don't char the food on the barbecue (that creates chemicals that are carcinogenic and are linked to cancer).

And, indulge me for a moment. If I could forget about only healthy foods for a real exercise (I had to sneak in that word …) in fantasy, I'd have to add these foods to my desert-island/before-I-die list:

Ricotta cheesecake with a shortcake crust
French fried lobster tails
Mushroom risotto loaded with butter and cheese
French toast
Really crispy bacon
Sweet potato fries
Chocolate-filled anything

What about you?

You might also want to read:
10 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating
Eating to Beat Stress and Depression
What to Eat After Exercise

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