Koolaid To Kale

Quite simply put……….are you tired of starting over……AGAIN! “THIS will be my year” you said about 330 days ago.  Yet, as the last month of the year looms, your mind drifts to the short comings of your health goals that … Continue reading

Goodbye Yoghurt……Hello Kefir

Kefir……It’s believed that the name comes from the Turkish word “keif” which means good feeling.

And it’s my new food for the week. I scooped a jar as it was marked reduced at The Mustard Seed .

It has a cleaner, lighter flavor and texture than Greek yogurt Although I’ve just had a dish plain as it is, this will serve well in a shake shake and spiced up for a veggie dip.

12 things I’ve learned about kefir…….

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Emotional Eating, I get it!

Emotional Eating…….I get it!  I’m Italian, meals are important to us.  Family time together.  Unlike some, my emotional eating is connected with good things. Celebrations!  Family time.  And as I progressed in my Bodybuilding career, food was connected with success, purpose, intention.

Even as I raised my family breakfast and lunch resembled more of a drive through sort of kitchen.  BUT , supper/dinner together was not optional.  To this day our dinner is a time of gathering, sharing the day, giving thanks for all the nourishment (food and other).  It’s a time of family community building.  The planning, shopping, preparation, cleaning  up.  We say grace – dinner even has a level spiritual.

When you come to dine with us, you come to our shrine.

To deny the fact that our emotions are attached to food is one of this first biggest lies we tell ourselves.  Recognize it, bask in it and just simply and easily…….MAKE GOOD CHOICES!

The FOOD MATTERS people have numerous videos.  Check out this one.

When your done that one, check out what the medical society says about filling in the gaps of our food.

Take control of your food, take control of your emotions.

Crazy for Croquettes

As of late I have been crazy about croquettes. The biggest challenge for me in feeding a family is to get sources of protein into my children.  With my background as a competitive bodybuilder I can simply open a can of tuna or salmon or grab a cup full of leftover chicken or turkey on a bed of greens and call it a meal.  THIS does not work for kids!  You need to get creative.

I find the more I prepare recipes the more I personalize, customize and cook like a Nonna.  “At little of this, more of that, none of this, darn don’t have any of that, let’s try this in it, now that “feels” right.”

The basic ingredients are:

tinned tuna/salmon
leftover chicken or turkey (finely chopped)
cooked and mashed yams/sweet potatoes
egg
breadcrumbs
onions (finely chopped)

Add ins could be:   finely chopped celery, kale, carrots, garlic
Seasonings:   cayenne, basil, parsley, paprika

It has been my experience that one egg to every 2 tins of fish or every 2 cups of chicken or turkey

How tos:  combine all your chosen ingredients in a large bowl.  THIS is the part that the kids will love to help with.  Talk about engaging the senses.   The consistency should be just so it sticks together.  This now needs to be refrigerated until chilled throughout.

With wet hands shape into a ball which is then dipped into a egg and water mixture, followed by a roll in bread crumbs; flattened the ball into a patty. This patty can be meal size or smaller for an appetizer.

I have cooked these in a healthy oil on the stove top (in a cast iron pan) and in the oven.  Which ever works for your timing.  They only take about 3 min on each side so don’t go to far.

Once their done, layer on paper towels.  Ready for a meal with side greens, serve with lemon wedges for fish and fresh prepared cranberries.  IF there are any left they can be easily frozen for a quick healthy breakfast, snack or another meal.

Hot Cereals and Toppings

Comfort foods…….how are they working for you?

Rather than explain to you all the psychological and physiological reasons as to why we reach for comfort foods, I’d like to share with you tried tested and approved ways to enjoy comfort foods while staying within the guidelines.  The guidelines that will apply here are: low glycemic, as local as possible and stretching those leftovers.

Let’s start with hot cereals.  This is a big comfy one for me.  Not only it’s warming with a right down to your toes feel,  but also fond childhood memories of my bowl of hot cereal with the fish oil in the middle dissolving, is warming to my soul.

When I am not enjoying a NUTRIMEAL shake, this time of the year hot cereal does it.  In learning about oils I have realized that we can have a variety in our pantry.  I have teff, cream of wheat, regular oats and steel cut oats.  The BIGGEST rule with hot cereal is NO NO NO instant!  In comparing all of the above noted ones, they are pretty close in carbs and fibre.  I’m not too interested in calories.  Usually foods that are high in fibre will be lower in calories.  The longer it takes to simmer the better it is for you.

My pre health awareness bowl of hot cereal would have contained a generous and I mean generous tablespoon of brown sugar.  Change is a good thing.  I now increase the nutritional value in my start of the day by adding nuts, any kind that are your fav; some frozen fresh fruit and a squirt of agave.

My health gem for this week is cranberries.  I bought a bag of the fresh ones in preparation for our Christmas Dinner.  I’d love to see a show of hands as to how many people at a table actually eat these.  Minimal.  In having leftovers, I froze them.

In looking at my diminishing last bag of fresh picked from last summer strawberries, I reached for the frozen cranberries.  Oh my goodness.  Yes I get excited about food.  I get excited about simple food.   To create a week full of healthy breakfasts I cooked a triple batch of steel cut oats on Sunday morning.  Stop the cooking while there is just a bit of water left.  You can now reheat (use the microwave if you must) what you like and spice it up.  Which reminds me, add a sprinkle of cinnamon to help stabilize your blood sugars just a bit more.

There is one more that I would like to share.  Seeing the length of this post and realizing the value in your time, that will be Comfort Foods……..Part 2.