Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Food Rules Wisdom -- Eat Up!!

Michael Pollan wrote Food Rules which is an awesome manual for how to eat in a healthy way!

He answers three questions.

WHAT should I EAT?  Eat food.

Here are 4 really effective and simple tips anyone can follow!


#39 Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

Years ago, in order to eat most sweet or salty treats, one had to work hard, for quite a while, to prepare such goodies.  Take chips/fries for example, ... think of all the peeling, slicing, frying, and clean-up required.  Today, chips, fancy cakes, and more, are very readily available, and cheap!

by Maira Kalman

So, the rule here is that if you want some French fries, ice cream , or pie, just make it yourself!  More than likely, this won't be a daily occurrence.  However, if you're a professional baker, this rule might not be the best for you!

HOW should I EAT?

#46 Stop eating before you are full.

Lots of other cultures do this regularly.  In fact, many cultures even have names for it!  ...including Chinese, Japanese, Ayurvedic traditions, and more!  Think of it the way the French do, ask yourself "Is my hunger gone?"  It's a different way of thinking that many of us are used to; still, it can certainly help!

by Maira Kalman

#49 Eat slowly.  ..."Drink your food, chew your drink." -- Indian proverb.  "Put down your fork between bites."

Eat slowly of course needs no explanation.  Let me expand on the above Indian proverb.  Drinking your food means to chew until it's liquid, and chewing your drink means to swish it around in your mouth to really taste it.

#50 "The banquet is in the first bite."

The first bite we take tastes the best, and the last tastes the worst.  So enjoy that FIRST bite!!  As I always say ... SAVOR!

#60 Treat treats as treats.

As an extension of #39, a quote from the book under this rule: in the past..."The amount of work involved kept indulgences in check."  Having "treats" on special occasions is a great pleasure in life, just be sure that every day is not a special occasion for our purposes here!

COMMENTS: Read any good books lately?  I'd love to hear about a good book!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eat FOOD! 4 Rules to Help You Do It!

Food Rules by Michael Pollan is an awesome book!  Read it today, and take a taste NOW!

Pollan's book now has an illustrated edition by Maira Kalman :)

It can lead anyone in the right direction toward nutritional health if they follow just ONE of the 64 rules described in the book!  The first section of the book states to EAT FOOD!

I've chosen a few RULES for you to think about as you grocery shop, prepare food, and EAT this weekend!

#3 Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.

Companies add preservatives to make foods last longer, make old foods look fresher, and who knows the long term safety for humans, so let's not be the Guinea pigs!

#4 Avoid high fructose corn syrup.

HFCS is basically only in highly processed food.  Avoiding it will help you steer clear of lots of unhealthy stuff.  Companies are catching on.  Watch out if a product brags "No HFCS"; it has likely replaced it with some other form of sugar!  Better that you don't see HFCS anywhere on the package.

by Maira Kalman

#12 Shop in the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.

The majority of grocery stores are set up so that the fruits, veggies, meat, and dairy are all around the edges, while the processed foods fill the aisles all through the center of the store.

#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.

One more way to avoid processed food!  Just pick the "rule" that is easiest for you to remember, or makes the most sense to you :)

by Maira Kalman

HERE are some MORE GREAT FOOD RULES to learn from!

COMMENT:  If you're going to try out one of these or another rule, tell me that you're going to, and then tell us how it goes!  Good luck!  I'm happy for you that you will soon be feeling better than you have in a long time!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fun Fruits! from Convenient Costco :)

Certainly, it's best to eat fresh, local, and organic fruits and veggies!  Of course, there isn't always enough time to make that possible.  SO here are some products that can help you EAT YOUR VEGGIES and FRUIT on the go!   Wondering why you SHOULD?  Click HERE!

EAT these PRODUCTS to fit in MORE fruits and VEGGIES!!

More Berries!
More Fiber!
More Costco Cool Stuff! (here are some other Costco items)!

NAKED juice is delicious, convenient, and contains some really cool ingredients! 
...but expensive...buy on SALE at Costco!

Mighty MANGO is splendid!  Mango, apple, orange, banana, and lemon.

GREEN Machine is another yummy one! Apple, mango, pineapple, banana, kiwi, spirulina, brocoli, spinach, barley grass, wheat grass, parsley, ginger, green algae, "odorless" garlic.

BERRY Blast is awesome!  Apple, banana, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry.

Nature's Child Berry Squeezers (SPONGE BOB!) 
...I don't really like Bob, but these treats are 100% fruit!
JUST berries and apples!

These are super for kids -- portable, yummy, bright, and fun!

Costco has a super price -- way less expensive than anywhere on the internet!  
When on sale, they are only 50 cents each!

Strawberry Banana contains the juice of 10 veggies and fruits: sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, beets, white grapes, oranges, apples, strawberries, bananas.

Pomegranate Blueberry contains the juice of 8 fruits and veggies: sweet potatoes, purple carrots, tomatoes, carrots, apples, white grapes, pomegranates, blueberries.

Better VALUE than Naked ... buy on SALE at Costco! 
...more juice for half the price, doesn't require refrigeration.

Wyman's Fresh Frozen Wild Blueberries -- these are SUPER SWEET!
Delicious in muffins, smoothies, yogurt, or in a bowl on their own, any time!


Chocolate Berry Kiss Muffins (substitute blueberries for raspberries :)!

Looking for other FRUITY ideas?  Try one of these...

Feel free to share helpful tips, suggestions, questions, 
concerns, anything you like!, in a COMMENT below :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

3-Ingredient Fruit Salsa!

FRUIT -- the world's natural sweetness!

Another reason it's great: FIBERY goodness!!

This weekend my friend, Jenny, introduced me to this delicious FRUIT SALSA! She tried it first with sweetener, but decided (even being the sugar-lover that she is) that it's great even without the added sweetener!

Tupperware Fruit Salsa

1 Apple
3 Kiwi
8 Strawberries

Simply chop everything up and enjoy!  I used my mini food chopper, or you could use your
Tupperware Chopper if you have one! Great on toast, your favorite chips or crackers, or these:

Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips

These most simply have 3 grams of fiber per serving, making them a better choice than usual tortilla chips. They still should be considered a treat, but when you're having this special treat, you'll be getting some fiber and other nutrients too! These are made with a variety of nutritious ingredients, including flaxseed (unfortunately the seeds are whole making their omega-3 fats unabsorbable), quinoa and brown rice (healthy gluten-free grain alternatives), oats, sunflower and sesame seeds! Check out the Nutrition Facts and Ingredients.

It looks like Food Should Taste Good have tons of AWESOME products! I want to try them ALL!! Here is the website! I've also tried the yummy Sweet Potato Chips!

COMING SOON: more fruit yummies!

COMMENTS: Where have you found this brand of chips and snacks?  I got these at Costco, and the Sweet Potato Chips at Heinen's.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Win a Vita-Mix Bender!

Here is your chance to win a Vita-Mix!  Plus, visit my very favorite healthy dessert blog!

A Vita-Mix is a really fancy, expensive, blender that will basically liquify any combination of ingredients!

Use it to make these blender recipes:

Dr Oz's Green Drink


Blissful Baked Bean Dip

3-Ingredient Super Shake

Creamy and Refreshing Carrot Soup

Chocolaty Goodness

Creamy OJ

OR just about any smoothie you can dream up!

Banana, peanut butter, and flaxseed is delicious!

Ok, so go to Chocolate Covered Katie (one of my favorite websites!) and do any of the listed "entries" and be sure to leave a post there saying what you did.  Good luck!

COMMENTS: Do you like blog freebies?  Do you enter and try to win?  What's the best prize you ever tried for, or offered?!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tasty Tofu?! YES! Hubby-Approved!!

One of the first meals I started regularly making when I really began cooking about a decade ago. I am not sure what even made me think to try tofu! ...though a discussion of SOY is coming SOON!

My hubby who doesn't (DIDN'T!) like tofu ... thinks this is delicious!!!

Rich and Tasty Tofu Stir Fry

3 Tbsp soy sauce (or to taste)
1 Tbsp garlic, minced 
½ tsp ginger
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 lb package tofu, EXTRA-FIRM
2 T sesame seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 c broccoli, chopped
16 oz bag spinach
1 c cashews CLICK HERE to find out about why nuts are wonderful!
2.5 c uncooked brown rice (prepare)
Optional: some cooking wine and a bit of sesame oil...we have been omitting these for several years, but originally included.

Drain water from tofu as much as possible. Chop tofu in ½-inch cubes. Heat skillet or wok. Bring soy sauce, garlic, ginger, pepper, and some water to boil. Add tofu, cover, and simmer about 15-20 minutes, until tofu well-soaked with sauce; stir occasionally. I don't get tofu to crisp, unless I cook it in the oven, but it's always tasty. Remove tofu and remaining broth from skillet. Heat skillet and cook vegetables over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add tofu, remaining broth, and cashews. Heat together. Serve over brown rice.

You could probably use any type of veggies for this; any frozen bag of mixed or stir-fry veggies would work. The sauce flavors are so tasty -- they make anything really yummy -- like tofu!!

BONUS HINT about tofu: Firm is for savory dishes, and silken is for smoothies and desserts!

Reversing can be disastrous! Once, around the time I started making this recipe, I tried making a smoothie with firm tofu -- no matter how many pieces or varieties of fruit I added, I could not get rid of the unpleasant, tofu taste! I think he avoided trying new foods for a long time after that experience! Sorry, Nicholas.

As for stir-fry, you simply need the firmness to hold shape!

Read 5 BIG Reasons to Make Your Meat Portions Small!

Coming soon: Benefits of Soy; Soy and Cancer, and Milk Comparisons!

COMMENTS: How do you like your soy? How are you spending Mother's Day?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fabulous Fiber, PLUS Apricot Crinkler Cookies/Muffins!

EVERY superfood FILLS US with FIBER!

Oh my goodness, the average American only takes in about 10 grams of of fiber each day! It is recommended (and you'll soon see why!) that women eat AT LEAST 25 grams, and men eat AT LEAST 38 grams PER day! Since you're here reading, hopefully trying to get healthy, I bet your number is probably higher than average, but WE could could all benefit from MORE fiber! Learn why!

Besides the chocolate chips and vanilla, 
Apricot Crinkler Cookie ingredients are all fiber-full! (recipe below)


1. CHOLESTEROL REDUCTION for heart health! TWO mechanisms: fiber binds to BILE released when you eat, so your body needs to make more bile which is made out of cholesterol. Secondly, fiber binds to ingested cholesterol as it travels through the digestive tract, and both are ultimately removed as WASTE.

2. REGULARITY -- I won't go on about this ... you understand. Eat fiber = have happy poop :)

3. WEIGHT LOSS -- low-calorie, high-volume foods make you feel full sooner, and longer!

One study says that women eat a certain volume of food, regardless of the total calories. On average, women eat 3 pounds of food per day. If you eat 3 lb of lettuce you will consume a tiny fraction of the calories that you would if you had consumed 3 lb of steak or cheese.

4.  Slows ABSORPTION -- improves blood SUGAR control, AND provides sustained ENERGY!

5.  Cancer PROTECTION -- it's in all of us; the key is to slowing/stopping the chain of events that spurs cancer development; fiber helps with this! One way, for example, is by moving waste through the digestive system quickly, so that its cells are exposed to the toxins in the waste for less time. The Cancer Project provides a nice explanation of how fiber may help prevent various forms of cancer.

Plus, fiber sources UNDOUBTEDLY provide abundant vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, healthy protein, fat, and of course, carbs!

As well as LITTLE to NO saturated or trans fat, cholesterol, harmful substances such as nitrates, hormones, antibiotics...

Fruitful Fiber SOURCES!

Whole Grains

  • For pasta, couscous, orzo, bread, and more, choose 100% whole grain
  • AVOID the word ENRICHED in ingredients list
  • Of course, plenty of grains have super-short one-ingredient lists: quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, farro, barley, and more!

Fruits, Veggies, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds

  • Fresh, frozen, dried, freeze dried
  • No sugar added
  • Avoid salt
  • Avoid added chemicals, hydrogenated oils (Trader Joe's makes a great can of refried beans without hydrogenated oils!), ...I'm still working on dried beans  ... so I used canned, still, often.  
  • Fresh, Local, and Organic, is always optimal! CLICK here for a great way to get your hands on some!


Apricot Crinkler Cookies (or Muffins)!

1 c unsweetened, dried, apricots
1 c walnuts, ground
1 c bran
1 c banana, blended or mashed (2 bananas)
1/4 c chia seeds
1/4 c chocolate chips
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Stir everything up in a bowl until well blended. For muffins, fill muffin tin (or a silicone pan) and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. For cookies, flatten little scoops on a cookie sheet, as shown and described below. You don't have to worry about anything in here cooking enough -- you could eat the whole bowl of dough raw!~
Enlisting help is fun AND it makes little ones more willing to try new things!

My awesome silicone cookie sheet (you need a metal one below it for support)! This is how you make "cookies"; spread some dough/batter into a small cookie shape. Flatten out spoonfuls. Small is good if you love all the crackle-y edges like me :)
For muffins, you can fill as high as you like -- they won't change shape during baking. Sometimes, I fill them only slightly for more of a cookie :)
Don't worry, this is before they went in the oven -- she just wanted to try the mitts! Finished product is shown above! We ate them all up first thing in the morning!

COMMENTS: What is your favorite fiber source?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

YOU Did It! Rewards That Won't Fill Your Tummy!

Reward YOURSELF, and YOUR kids, with non-food-related prizes!

Food is a delightful part of life to be enjoyed and celebrated! However, it doesn't have to be the only reward in our lives. It's not that I don't ever use edible rewards, it's just that there are other ways. By using non-food rewards, we can reduce the strong focus of food in our lives.

Often achieving whatever it is you're rewarding yourself for, weight loss or athletic performance success, for example, IS enough of a reward. Still sometimes, early on and even after a long time (when burnout threatens), rewards can hit the spot to keep us going! Rewards can be an effective way to encourage positive behavior in ourselves, as well as in children.

Here are some examples for YOU:

1. Buy yourself FLOWERS, or go pick some from your yard or the wild!

2. Buy a new BOOK, audiobook, or magazine, or borrow something cool from the library!

3.  Get a MASSAGE from a salon, your partner/spouse, or have your kids climb all over your back!  Plus, this thing is totally AWESOME!  Homedics Percussion Massager

4.  Get a home FACIAL cream and use it!, or cook a sweet potato, remove skin, mash potato, stir in a 1/4 c plain yogurt, and when cool enough, apply to your face to SMOOTH and MOISTURIZE!

5.  Go to a MOVIE at the theatre, or get one from the library!

For your KIDS:

1.  Take them to a NEW playground.

2.  Find a CRAFT of whatever they desire (robot, zebra, fairy) and make it with them ...use an web image search, and you'll be sure to find an idea that you can do with what you have in your home!

3.  Let them CHOOSE a video or show to watch, or an electronic game to play, like Wii or something on the computer.

4.  Let them stay up "past their BEDTIME" to do something fun, like play dress up with you!

5.  Allow them to invite a friend to come over for a PLAY DATE.

Here are two resources with more ideas from 100 Days of Real Food and from Eat Smart Move More NC!  Happy motivation to all!

COMMENTS:  How do you treat yourself?  Your kids?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Savory Cheese Substitute (Dairy and Soy-Free)!

Rip Esselstyn wrote the Engine 2 Diet, and he, like his dad (one of the two main research physicians of Forks Over Knives), has cut out all animal products from his diet, and is feeling great and teaching many other people that they can do it too!

Looking for some BIG Reasons to Make Your Meat Portions Small??!  Click HERE!

One nutritious food he recommends is NUTRITIONAL YEAST!

Rip uses it for a pizza topping, on lasagna, salads, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and even popcorn, because of its cheesy flavor!

Here are some of the reasons why I think NUTRITIONAL YEAST is SUPER!

1. Sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free! ...there is also NO fat or cholesterol.

2. Nutty, cheesy, creamy FLAVOR, so it can be a great CHEESE SUBSTITUTE! -- Delicious on popcorn!

3.  Unlike baker's yeast, it's dead, so it won't cause yeast infections (candida).

4.  High in B-vitamins, especially B12 which is normally only found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.

5. Jammed with non-meat protein!

6. Plus, it's another fabulous source of FIBER! ...you can't get enough of this stuff (fiber) with so many benefits ...just be sure you are staying well hydrated!

Add it to any savory dish for an additional nutritional punch!

COMMENTS: Have you begun eating less meat?  How is it going?  Noticing any changes?  Think you can stick with it?  Have any ideas for how you will use nutritional yeast?  Please share!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Trying a TRI?! Tips for Triathlon Training

Here are 3 BASIC Elements of TRIATHLON Training SUCCESS!

Hey Clevelanders, you can sign up for the Cleveland Triathlon -- it's August 5th -- so plenty of time to get prepared!  It's downtown, so you race race through the city!  It is part of a series and is associated with USA Triathlon Association.   There are races of increasing distances, so you can pick your best fit!

If you want to head out to Fairport Harbor, Ohio, there is an AWESOME race on July 22.  It's run by Lake Metroparks, beautifully run, and with a very minimal registration fee, saving you $$$$!!  Formerly, the Pirate Triathlon!  The 20th Annual Lake Metroparks Lighthouse Triathlon is sure to be a great experience for you!
That's great that you signed up for a tri!  You'll love it!!

1.  Since you have some time, I would try to train for a race or 2 (5 or 10k) over the next few months.  Click HERE to find a RACE and a TRAINING PLAN.  Run 3 or so times per week.

2.  Simultaneously, over the next few months, go for one bike ride each week (begin with 20 minutes, or less if that's all you can manage, and work up to 45-60 min).  

You'll also want to RUN AFTER your bike rides, as often as you can, to get the feel of running after riding -- your legs will be HEAVY.  Little tri-lingo for you: this is called a BRICK (a bike-run).  So, save one of your runs (from your running plan) for after your weekly bike ride.  Alternatively, you could just run 1-2 miles after your bike ride, and this would be in addition to your running plan.

3. If you can also get in one swim each week that'd be great.  Once Lake Erie warms up, swimming THERE for as many of your weekly swims as possible will be very beneficial.  OPEN WATER swimming is very different from the pool!  But no worries, triathlons are awesome!  Like with the bike training, you can set a duration of time, perhaps working up to 30 minute sessions.  Just keep moving.

One note of advice: Try to keep your body as close to the surface as possible.  Though, I am 99% certain that whomever you are, reading this article, YOU could probably give ME advice about swimming technique, and I would gladly appreciate it!  Please leave a COMMENT if you have a clue that might help others, AND me!

And DONE!  It's really a fun, well-rounded exercise!

For the record, the order is SWIM, BIKE, and then RUN -- in order of decreasing danger!
...drown, fall off your bike, trip....with any luck, none of this will happen! :)  Good luck!

To find a race in YOUR AREA, go to www.active.com where there are loads of events listed which are held all over the country!  There are other sites, but this was one of the first to increase the popularity of the triathlon event for people of all ages and levels of fitness!  The site also has informative articles on a variety of training and other sport-related articles, from injury prevention to strength training!

Keep in mind THESE TRAINING TIPS (they apply to more than just running!), plus some GREAT reasons to SIGN UP (for a triathlon or a running race!)!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chia Seeds -- Energy Food of the Aztecs!

Believe it or not!  You've probably already had chia in your house!
It's the same stuff that grows as a CHIA PET!

Actually, CHIA SEEDS are good for more than growing a window pet!

They have been used for hundreds of years by the Aztecs as their primary energy source; with the Mayans as well, so much that the word "chia" means STRENGTH in Mayan!

Why are CHIA SEEDS SO Awesome?

Benefits of Chia

1.  Load of OMEGA-3 -- anti-inflammatory, pain reduction Among other benefits!
You find omega-3 in few plant foods besides flaxseed and walnuts.

2.  Awesome non-meat, gluten-free, complete source of PROTEIN!  Why would you want non-meat protein?  Why would you want gluten-free protein?  Here are some other non-meat sources of protein and PROTEIN BENEFITS

3.  Soluble FIBER -- really helpful for BLOOD SUGAR control, weight loss (increases the volume of food by 9x while only adding minimal calories...see note on GEL below), sustained energy (Aztecs used as primary energy source!) -- it keeps you going strong for a long, long time!

4.  Lots of antioxidants (quantity comparable with blueberries!), protecting it's omega-3 fats (#1) from oxidative damage (avoid rancidity -- yucky!, AND destructive to awesome health benefits!).  Plus, the antioxidants protect YOUR BODY from free radical damage!  More HERE on antioxidants and chia seeds!

5.  Here are just SOME of the other nutrients: CALCIUM, POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM, IRON, and ZINC!

Chia GEL = Combine 1 part seeds and 9 parts water, and SOAK for at least 10 min.  Add to any food that blends with liquid, such as oatmeal.

Recipes to Try!

CHIA FRESCA:  add chia to 100% fruit juice or add chia to water and a bit of lemon or lime juice!  A Mexican tradition!

Plus, 7 fresh-you chia seed recipes!

BONUS CHIA USE: Better Baking Breadcrumbs!  Use them in every dish!

COMMENTS: Did you ever have a chia pet growing up?  I don't remember ever doing it!  Did you ever do a funny one, like Garfield?  I see there are still a lot of options to choose from!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Super Recipe Website!!!

Looking for a great place to find the perfect recipe?
 I have been coming to www.allrecipes.com for years!

Image is from www.readydesigns.com (they have a great review on the allrecipes app)

It's fabulous for at least 5 reasons!

1. All Recipes has a whole range of categories to choose from, but really a basic ingredient or dish search works well! You can search thousands of recipes to find just what you are looking for, even when maybe you don't even know WHAT you are looking for! You can search FOR one or MORE ingredients, and you can also choose to EXCLUDE recipes containing one or MORE ingredients.

2. A lot of other people apparently use  All Recipes because there are lots of RATINGS, thousands for some recipes!  You can of course look at the SCORE, but you can also note the NUMBER of ratings. A really bad recipe isn't likely to be used very many times.

3. People write REVIEWS on the recipes on All Recipes, SO if you care to, you can read through the reviews and take bits and pieces of everyone's comments to make the PERFECT recipe for YOU!

4. Besides great recipes, All Recipes also has a lot of lessons (often through videos) for a variety of basic cooking techniques.

5. They even have a great app you can put on your phone, so you can pick a great recipe in the grocery store parking lot! Click on this link to find a great review of the APP! by readydesigns.com!

The tortilla recipe that I linked to look pretty awesome! I want to try those SOON!...with whole wheat flour and perhaps coconut oil :)

Plus, you can always go to my my recipe pages!  RECIPES and PRINTABLE RECIPES



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