Food Rules Part 11…Eat Well-Grown Food from Healthy Soil

  • Farmer’s & ranchers can grow excellent food that is not “certified” organic
    (think soil in organic matters vs. synthetic 
    pesticides)
  • Remember organic does not mean necessarily mean food is good for you (i.e. “organic” soda)
  • Soils rich in organic matters produce more nutritious foods­try local & organic when possible

source: Michael Pollan Food Rules

Filling My Freezer

freezer

I’ve spent the past few months filling my freezer with wholesome, tasty food for my post surgery recovery time. I’ve really enjoyed cooking for myself, and seeing my freezer fill up with some of my favorite things to eat. Something unexpected has happened though…I’ve been surprised at how much I look forward to eating what I’ve made.

 

For many years, food was the center of my life (I’ve often joked that I like it so much it’s not only my hobby, I made it my career too). Part of it was because I was raised that way…upon finishing dinner tonight, we would chat about what to have for dinner tomorrow. But the bigger part of it is that I’m a food addict. Many (most?) people have some sort of drug they use to self medicate-something they can turn to when they’re sad, stressed, anxious, depressed, lonely… whatever it is they feel that they don’t want to feel. For me that drug is food. It’s always there; it’s cheap, legal, easy to get…the perfect friend to help get me through a crisis…or just through an ordinary Tuesday.

 

I looked forward to eating. It had to be a BIG EVENT…something would make me happy, and fulfill me, not just fill me. Every bite of every meal had to be delicious, exciting, like that first bite of chocolate (or syringe of heroin). Unfortunately, thinking that every bite has to be special meant that no bite was special. I was just chasing the idea that food could/would take away all my woes and make me happy…but all it left me was disappointed & unfulfilled (well, and fat…).

 

By starting to cook for myself, I’ve come to appreciate how wonderful simple, homemade food can be. A baked sweet potato topped with spicy black beans (simmered with caramelized onions, tomatoes & green chiles), and melted seriously sharp cheddar cheese is a go-to, quick, easy, delicious meal that I look forward to. Or those same beans over brown rice with diced avocado & salsa. Yum! By being mindful of what I’m eating, and enjoying the simplicity of good food, I no longer crave the ‘excitement’ of food. Going out to eat is a rare occurrence…something I’m forced to do because I don’t have time to cook, rather than what I do every meal because it’s more ‘exciting’.

 

By appreciating simple food, I once more get to enjoy a super special treat. I once more get to feel. Sometimes happy, joyful, blessed…sometimes sad, lonely & scared. But I feel…that’s the important thing.

Resolutions Revamped

As I have mentioned in past blogs, I am not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions simply because I think it often embraces the all or nothing mentality that gets us into trouble in the first place.  That said, I stumbled into this blog From College Girl to College Girl (just in case it needs to be noted, I am not a college girl) about New Year Resolutions Revamped that is worth the read. I really like reframing the typical resolution into something more concrete and not nearly so daunting as say “lose 10 pounds by summer.”  After all, isn’t good health more about what our weight says on the scale?  We should care for our body no matter the shape or size and embrace our ability to move, run, walk, dance, etc.

Even if you are not a college girl like me, check out this post.

 

Old: “I’m going to lose 10 lbs this year.”

Why focus on weight and appearance for your New Years Resolution? You should instead focus on feeding your body with healthy foods and listening to what it wants and needs. After all, the number on the scale is… well, just a number.

New and Improved: “I’m going to make more meals at home.”

After the holidays, we fall into a bit of a nutrition slump. We’re used to eating bigger meals, eating out with our family and friends, and sampling the wide variety of Christmas cookies! And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! But, most of us grow tired of this and are ready to get back on our normal eating schedule. After New Years, make a resolution to make more meals at home. This will give you a chance to try new recipes! Also, eating at home is often healthier, more nutrient dense, and lower in empty calories and more conducive to weight management.

 

Old: “No more desserts for me!”

Everything can be incorporated in an overall healthy diet. Cutting out your favorite foods will only lead to wanting them more, so give yourself permission to eat your favorite foods in moderation.

New and improved: “I am going to eat at least 3 different kinds of fruits/vegetables a day.”

Instead of focusing on what you are going to cut out of your diet, focus on what you can add into your diet! Fruits and vegetables are a great place to start. Fruit can also be a yummy and dessert! Check out this recipe for banana whip.

 

Old: “I am going to work out every single day.”

Again, this goal is very vague.

New and improved: “I will sign up and train for a 10 mile race.” or “I will try 2 new group fitness classes a month, and work out at least 3 times a week.”

Being more physically active is a great New Years Resolution! But, if you do not consistently exercise, making a resolution to “work out more” or “exercise every day” may not be specific enough. If you like to run, try signing up for a race with a few friends. Set up a training schedule together! If you don’t like to run, find other ways.

 

Old: “I’m going to get the bikini body I’ve always wanted.”

What is a “bikini body” anyways?

New and Improved: “I’m going to focus on what I love about my body.”

Try committing to saying 3 positive affirmations out loud everyday. Or make a list of 10 things you love about yourself that you love about yourself that includes non-body related personality traits. Add to this list often and read it often!

 

Old: “I’m going on a diet.”

New and Improved: “I’m going to fuel my body with the food it needs.”

This year try to REBEL against conventional fad diets that do not provide long lasting results and can be dangerous to your health.

Old: “I am going to start eating healthier”

This is a great resolution, but it’s too vague and general. Try coming up with specific and small health goals that you can accomplish and focus in on.  

New and Improved:  “I am going to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night” or “I am going to eat 2-3 servings of vegetables per day” or “I will start eating breakfast”

These resolutions will help you eat and be healthier and are specific and achievable!

 

Old: “I am going to spend more time working, etc.”

This is also a great resolution! But we often find it harder to make time to relax and stress relief.

New and Improved: “I will set aside 2 hours per week to practice self-care

Taking time for yourself to relax and clear your mind will actually help reduce stress and help you accomplish more!

Resolutions Revamped

As I have mentioned in past blogs, I am not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions simply because I think it often embraces the all or nothing mentality that gets us into trouble in the first place.  That said, I stumbled into this blog From College Girl to College Girl (just in case it needs to be noted, I am not a college girl) about New Year Resolutions Revamped that is worth the read. I really like reframing the typical resolution into something more concrete and not nearly so daunting as say “lose 10 pounds by summer.”  After all, isn’t good health more about what our weight says on the scale?  We should care for our body no matter the shape or size and embrace our ability to move, run, walk, dance, etc.

Even if you are not a college girl like me, check out this post.

 

Old: “I’m going to lose 10 lbs this year.”

Why focus on weight and appearance for your New Years Resolution? You should instead focus on feeding your body with healthy foods and listening to what it wants and needs. After all, the number on the scale is… well, just a number.

New and Improved: “I’m going to make more meals at home.”

After the holidays, we fall into a bit of a nutrition slump. We’re used to eating bigger meals, eating out with our family and friends, and sampling the wide variety of Christmas cookies! And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! But, most of us grow tired of this and are ready to get back on our normal eating schedule. After New Years, make a resolution to make more meals at home. This will give you a chance to try new recipes! Also, eating at home is often healthier, more nutrient dense, and lower in empty calories and more conducive to weight management.

 

Old: “No more desserts for me!”

Everything can be incorporated in an overall healthy diet. Cutting out your favorite foods will only lead to wanting them more, so give yourself permission to eat your favorite foods in moderation.

New and improved: “I am going to eat at least 3 different kinds of fruits/vegetables a day.”

Instead of focusing on what you are going to cut out of your diet, focus on what you can add into your diet! Fruits and vegetables are a great place to start. Fruit can also be a yummy and dessert! Check out this recipe for banana whip.

 

Old: “I am going to work out every single day.”

Again, this goal is very vague.

New and improved: “I will sign up and train for a 10 mile race.” or “I will try 2 new group fitness classes a month, and work out at least 3 times a week.”

Being more physically active is a great New Years Resolution! But, if you do not consistently exercise, making a resolution to “work out more” or “exercise every day” may not be specific enough. If you like to run, try signing up for a race with a few friends. Set up a training schedule together! If you don’t like to run, find other ways.

 

Old: “I’m going to get the bikini body I’ve always wanted.”

What is a “bikini body” anyways?

New and Improved: “I’m going to focus on what I love about my body.”

Try committing to saying 3 positive affirmations out loud everyday. Or make a list of 10 things you love about yourself that you love about yourself that includes non-body related personality traits. Add to this list often and read it often!

 

Old: “I’m going on a diet.”

New and Improved: “I’m going to fuel my body with the food it needs.”

This year try to REBEL against conventional fad diets that do not provide long lasting results and can be dangerous to your health.

Old: “I am going to start eating healthier”

This is a great resolution, but it’s too vague and general. Try coming up with specific and small health goals that you can accomplish and focus in on.  

New and Improved:  “I am going to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night” or “I am going to eat 2-3 servings of vegetables per day” or “I will start eating breakfast”

These resolutions will help you eat and be healthier and are specific and achievable!

 

Old: “I am going to spend more time working, etc.”

This is also a great resolution! But we often find it harder to make time to relax and stress relief.

New and Improved: “I will set aside 2 hours per week to practice self-care

Taking time for yourself to relax and clear your mind will actually help reduce stress and help you accomplish more!

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain – Part 2

  • Downsize your dinnerware. Eat from appetizer or bread
    plates rather than pizza sized dinner plates.
  • If you bit it, write it. Keeping logs of food & drink will help
    avoid mindless eating.
  • Eat a protein packed breakfast. Those who eat protein rich
    breakfasts consume fewer calories all day.

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain -­ Part 1

  • Rethink your drink.  Beverages don’t contribute to fullness like foods.  The # 1 contributor to weight gain is alcohol consumption.
  • Up your exercise intensity. One of the best ways to make your body more resistant to extra calories is to get more exercise.

Source: appforhealth.com

Holiday Traditions – Hazelnut Maple Biscotti

After browsing the latest Bon Appétit & Eating Well I found myself feeling the pressure to go into a baking frenzy.  Everywhere you look from the Internet to grocery store magazine shelves, decadent, delicious (not to mention) festive cookies are calling your name.  Normally I would feel the pressure to make every single one of them,  but this year, I am going to stick to my tried and true favorites.  Always a tradition, my Hazelnut Biscotti marks the beginning of the holiday season in my house. I wish I could tell you this biscotti recipe spans generations in my Italian blooded family, but alas, that would be a fable.  I actually spotted this recipe years ago in a now defunct vegetarian magazine.  Though it didn’t come from my Italian roots, at least I know my favorite Italian aunt, Zia Patty will enjoy these tasty bites with her morning coffee.

 

Hazelnut Maple Biscotti

Hazelnuts (a tree nut) are a good source of folate & dietary fiber. Consuming tree nuts may even reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.

½ cup pure maple syrup (not pancake)

½ cup hazelnut butter (I ground my hazelnuts which is actually pretty simple)

¼ cup butter

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor (optional)

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup lightly toasted hazelnuts

Semi-sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate for drizzle

 

Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheet with parchment or silpat). In a medium bowl, cream together maple syrup, hazelnut butter and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and liquor, blending well. In a larger bowl, combine flours brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend. Make a well into dry ingredients, add egg mixture and mix until incorporated. Add nuts. (Knead by hand if necessary). On a lightly floured board, divide dough into half and roll into 2 14-inch logs. Place logs on prepared sheet, then flatten about 1 inch high. Bake for 25 minutes or until loaves spring back when touched lightly. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reset oven to 300. Slice cookies on the diagonal. Place slices flat on baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes (a lot of this process is trial and error; I like my cookies crisp so I bake longer). Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with chocolate (or dip in chocolate) if desired.

 

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

dec_post

Makes 12 cupcakes 

¾ c - heavy whipping cream 

6 T – unsalted butter

1 ½ T –  cocoa powder 

1 ¼ lb - high quality semi sweet chocolate, small pieces 

3 – lg eggs

7 T – granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting tins

6 c - peppermint ice cream

2 c – hot fudge sauce, warmed

  1. Preheat oven to 350° 
  2. Melt cream, butter, cocoa powder & chocolate in double boiler, medium heat Combine eggs & sugar, whip until fluffy & lemon yellow in color, about 10 minutes 
  3. Slowly drizzle melted chocolate into egg mixture, whisking briskly 
  4. Spray cupcake tins heavily with vegetable spray, coat tins with sugar 
  5. Fill cupcake tins to just below top Bake @ 350°F, 12-15 minutes, until tops just begin to crack 

Serve with peppermint ice cream & warm hot fudge sauce 

Eat Like an Omnivore – Food Rules Part 10

  • Add new species to your diet – plants, animals & fungi
  • The “dazzling” diversity of foods offered in supermarkets is deceptive – most come from corn, soy & wheat seeds (rather than leaves)
  • Diversify the species you eat

Source: Michael Pollan Food Rules

Against the Grain

against the grain

By +Janice D’Agostino on Feb 24, 2012 10:00 AM in Recipes

Good bread is the great need in poor homes, and oftentimes the best appreciated luxury in the homes of the very rich.” – ‘A Book for A Cook’, The Pillsbury Co. (1905) Whole grains are a great ally for everyone on a journey towards a healthy weight. Delicious minimally processed grains fill you up with plenty of fiber that stays with you a lot longer than their over processed cousins. As an extra added bonus for choosing whole grains, you get an abundance of nutrition which the body then happily uses to supply energy and burn off excess fat. Many of the breads and other things we eat are made of “refined” grains. Refined means that a large chunk of the important nutrients and fiber have been removed from the grain – apparently, it makes the product last longer on the shelf so they can buy larger quantities to store for production. While it may save companies money to refine the grains, it does no good for your health even if they have been enriched with vitamins from other sources.

Read more: Against the Grain http://caloriecount.about.com/against-grain-b556783#ixzz2kvOfjHr1

Page 10 of 49« First...«89101112»203040...Last »