Tag Archives: food

Gimmicks

I’ve been trolling along some training and fitness websites and I’m finding quite a few are selling some sort of supplement. Be it shakes or pills, all claim to be the key to your weight loss or overall health. Personally, I do use a protein powder in my breakfast smoothie and take vitamin D in the winter, but I do not believe you can achieve healthy weight lose by omitting a healthy meal and replacing it with a mere shake or drink of one sort or another.  You need to eat healthy, complete meals NOT just a shake. Shakes, smoothies and drinks should be look at as a supplement NOT a replacement, as I see some products are advertised as. Meal replacement regiments and diets are out dated and not effective in the long run. You may lose weight initially but without learning how to make healthy and sustainable food choices, by practicing, you will gain the weight back.

By preparing your own meals you are learning good habits and practices for life. Relying on a crutch will ultimately fail. Can you imagine you are going to drink a chalky shake (or maybe its delicious) for lunch everyday of the rest of your life? or are you going to count “points” forever? Probably not. Keep your intentions in the real world and always factor in the years ahead, not just the period of time you will be on your “diet”. As a matter of fact, avoid the “diet” all together and make your food choices your lifestyle.

Butternut Squash Soup

this is freaking delish. seriously. Squash is cheap this time of year so take advantage!

3 TB Olive Oil

about 3 lbs of butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 large onion

1 TB Sea salt

1 tsp pepper

4 Cups low sodium Vegetable broth (or chicken, whatever you like)

1/4 cup honey

1 pinch nutmeg

Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and add squash. Cook until lightly browned. Add onions and continue to cook until squash is deep brown. Add sea salt, pepper, broth and honey. Stir and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add nutmeg and combine. Using a hand blender (you can put it into a standing blender but BE CAREFUL! Hot liquids tend to erupt over the top of the blender) blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Trim your holiday treats

All those extra calories from Thanksgiving to New years can add up. Here are some ways to trim a few off and still enjoy all the goodies that make this time of year so special.

Flour

All purpose white flour has about 50 more calories per cup than the whole wheat variety. Cut those calories in half by substituting half the all purpose with whole wheat. If you don’t like the taste of whole wheat try “white whole wheat” flour. This variety is becoming more common. It can easily be found in Trader Joe’s and is offered by some of the smaller mills like Bob’s Red Mill. Here’s the difference between the two:

Regular whole wheat flour is milled from hard red spring wheat which results in a flavorful, tan colored, high-fiber flour. It creates heavy, denser, nuttier flavored baked goods.

White whole wheat flour is milled from white whole wheat, which makes it lighter in color and less bitter in flavor. Yet it’s got the same nutritional value of regular whole wheat flour.  It creates lighter, sweeter baked goods.

I bet you are wondering if you can replace all the all-purpose with whole wheat, the answer is no. The difference in gluten content affects taste and texture. You’ll get gummy cakes and muffins. ick. Go with replacing half at the most.

This is best for pancakes, muffins, quick breads and cookies.

Oil:

Try replacing half of the oil with applesauce.  This is best for quick breads and muffins. I do this often with great results.

Sugar:

Simply try cutting sugar in half. I do it all the time and have never missed it. As a matter of fact I think it tastes better. This is especially true of breads and muffins that you have replaced half the oil with applesauce. Because of the sweetness of the applesauce you almost have to reduce the sugar.

Another thing you can try are vegan recipes. Look over some vegan blogs and websites and see what you can learn. Often animal products are replaced by much healthier alternative and with great results.

Happy Holidays!

Superfoods

How did it happen that over the past decade certain foods have become “superfoods”? Has the nutritional profile of “modern food” become so poor we consider real food superfood?? True, these superfoods are healthy but they are just food. We have become so accustomed to these overly processed junk foods as passing for actual nourishing foods that we’ve become a society of people that think actual food, the stuff that has been provided by pure earth and soil, is some sort of miraculous item. It’s because the junk we eat is so void of any nutritional benefit, no matter what the package says, that anything even slightly better is miraculous.

Far be it from me to decry any marketing that highlights the benefits of fruits and vegetables but here’s the problem with the “superfood” angle. What really happens is within a short period of time, after such a study is released extolling the benefits of whatever food item was studied, the market is suddenly flooded with juices, bars, cereal, you name it,containing the miraculous item somehow stuffed into its ingredient list. So here we are, back to square one, eating a bowl full of sugar crap from a box with freeze dried blueberries because some study in Sweden said they are a “superfood”. They are just healthy, indeed very healthy but they are not going to cure you of anything. What are now being called “superfoods” are simply things that you should have in your daily diet. They are just good foods as opposed to most of the garbage being sold as food.

Here’s my take away. Buy a pint of blueberries. Roast some beets. Throw some raspberries into a smootie. In other words: EAT REAL FOOD. Then all your food will be superfood!!