Archive for January, 2012

TEN RANDOM HELPFUL NUTRITION TIPS

  1. Remove the skin from poultry and cut the fat off of meat BEFORE you cook it (not after) and you’ll save yourself quite a bit of calories.
  2. Store natural peanut butter (the kind that only has peanuts and salt as ingredients with the oil floating on the top) upside down. It is much easier to stir in the oil once you’re ready to use it.
  3. Don’t be fooled by the word “organic”. Organic food is produced with out pesticides or chemical fertilizers. However, a prepared organic meal that you find in the supermarket, can be loaded with fat, sugar and salt.
  4. A great way to control portion sizes is to change the container. If you want to eat 1 cup of cereal, for example, get a small 1-cup bowl and fill it to the brim.
  5. Agave and honey act the same way as sugar does in the body. Don’t get caught up in the word “natural”.  http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-agave
  6. If you love pizza but only want one slice, order thin crust pizza, ask for “light on the cheese”,  and add a one-inch layer of your favorite vegetable. (Potatoes don’t count.)
  7. Cooking sprays are great in terms of  low calories but contain other ingredients in there besides oil, including propellant. A better idea: get a “misto” bottle and use olive oil. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=11318517
  8. When making roasted potatoes, leave the skins on—that’s where the fiber and many nutrients are.
  9. Sea salt is not “healthier” than regular salt. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sea-salt/AN01142
  10. Olive oil is good for your heart whereas butter is mostly saturated fat and an unhealthy choice for your heart. However, a tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of olive oil all have the same amount of calories.

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SPICY HONEY-BRUSHED CHICKEN

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken  

ingredients

2 t garlic powder

2 t chili powder

1 t salt

1 t ground cumin

1 t paprika

½ t ground red pepper

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts

1/3 cup honey

2 t cider vinegar

method

Preheat the broiler

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine the honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove the chicken from oven; brush ¼ cup of the honey mixture on the chicken. Broil for 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn over. Brush with the remaining honey mixture and broil 1 additional minute or until the chicken is done.

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DIGITAL DENIAL?

Last week, a family member took a photo of me on my i-phone. The minute I saw it I was horrified—it was NOT a flattering picture—I looked so OLD! So in a flash, I erased that horrible photo. Whew.

This modern-day technology got me thinking and I realized that digital photography and the ability to “erase” instantly can lead us to, what I call, digital denial.

Years ago, a friend of mine joined Weight Watcher’s after seeing an atrocious photograph of herself—she couldn’t believe that she was actually THAT big. Something “clicked” in her head once she saw the reality of that picture of herself. In those days, there were no digital cameras and no erase buttons.

Nowadays, when we glance at that appalling photo, we get rid of it in an instant. We can convince ourselves that it was just a “bad photo” and plunge into denial as we wait for a more flattering photo. Personally, I think it’s just another way of deluding ourselves. Your thoughts?

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THE DANGER OF ETHNIC FOOD

Eating out and making  healthy choices can be challenging but so many of us REALLY get into trouble (meaning, we eat way too much) when going out for ethnic food. This is because we tend to SHARE. First, we order way too much food because we will be SHARING. Next, we lay it all out on the table in front of us to SHARE. Sharing, in a nutshell, is really no different then being faced with a mini buffet right at your table. (And there is no need to comment about how dangerous buffets are, is there?)

It is impossible to keep track of how many spoonfuls of rice, chicken curry, or beef and broccoli we took. This, of course, doesn’t include appetizers, such as spring rolls, dumplings or poppadoms. Or what about ripping off a piece or two of naan bread? Can you see the dangers?

The best way to be able to enjoy ethnic food AND sharing is to use your eyes. Fill up  1/2 your plate with lots of vegetables that are not smothered in sauces. Throw in a bit of protein and starch. The amount of protein should be about the size of your palm and the starch should be no bigger than your fist. Then, take a good look at your plate. It will be full of delicious food and will be enough for sure.  Eat slowly and do a lot of chewing for when you’re done with the food on your plate, you are done. I know I sound like a killjoy but this strategy might really help!

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ROSEMARY WHITE BEAN SOUP

 

Rosemary White Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 pound of dried white cannellini beans

4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)

1-2 T olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)

2 quarts of chicken stock

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.

In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, sauté the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the branch of rosemary and the bay leaf.

Pass the soup through a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

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