“Stranger Things” was one of this year’s unexpected hits. The show is indeed full of strange things: the Upside-Down, telekinetic powers, government experiments and creepy monsters. But here at Food Insight, we noticed something a little stranger: Eleven’s diet. But can Eleven’s eclectic choices of food provide her a healthy eating pattern? Let’s take a look.
Frozen waffles: Eleven has a strange fascination with this weekend breakfast staple throughout the series, and she is onto something. Incorporating frozen foods into your diet is a great way to reduce food waste. Freezing is a natural way to keep food safe by preventing microorganisms from growing and by slowing down the process that causes food to spoil. Waffles can also be part of a nutritious meal! Try swapping out white flour for whole wheat flour or adding fruit and nuts to the batter when you make your own waffles. Be mindful of toppings such as butter or maple syrup. A little can go a long way.
French fries: The first food we see Eleven devouring after her daring escape is French fries. While often a dismissed side item of fast-food meals, French fries can actually offer nutrients and be a great complement for lunch and dinner. French fries are potatoes. A medium-sized baked potato contains only about 160 calories. Potatoes are naturally low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. Even better, a serving of potatoes contains nearly 5 grams of fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system.
To make French fries a healthful option, slice potatoes to desired size. Leave the skin on for extra nutrients and fiber. Lightly coat the potatoes in olive oil for some healthy unsaturated fats. Add your favorite seasoning, such as garlic, to top it off and bake the fries in the oven until they are ready to enjoy!
Ice cream: For Eleven, ice cream tastes like freedom. She eats more than a spoonful after escaping in the beginning of the season. By now we have an idea that Eleven can use her mind to do some pretty extraordinary things. But you don’t have to have a superhuman mind to eat mindfully. Eating mindfully is the key to enjoying treats like ice cream. Pay attention to hunger cues, enjoy the flavors and textures, and eliminate distractions to fully enjoy an occasional treat.
No matter what your palate craves, there are ways to fit your favorite foods into a healthy eating style. Include your favorites among a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats!