Sunday, June 24, 2012

Do you eat this way?

Many of my clients ask, "Do you eat like this?" after they see the meal plan I put together for them.  The answer is, yes.  I eat lots of veggies, lots of protein, less dairy, and have cut out most gluten containing foods.  This did not happen overnight, its been in progress for many years.  These changes occurred as I learned more about real nutrition.  The biggest and fastest changes came when I started working at NW&W this spring.  Have a look for yourself.

What I ate in High School:
Breakfast: Big bowl of Cereal+ Skim Milk, or Carnation Instant Breakfast + Granola Bar

Snack: Nutrigrain bar or an apple

Lunch: PB&J sandwich + Fat-free Yogurt + Carrot Sticks, Occasionally School Lunch.  I would usually buy a school made granola bar or Twix because I was still hungry.

Snack: maybe leftover school granola bar before track practice or nothing.

Supper:  Spaghetti + Broccoli, Grilled Chicken + Broccoli + Potato, or Hamburger Helper+Broccoli, (mom made me eat lots of broccoli)

Snack:  Low-fat Ice Cream or bowl of cereal 

What I ate Last Year:
Breakfast: Big bowl of high fiber cereal + Soy Milk, Or two eggs + toast

Snack: Fat Free greek yogurt + fruit + Nuts

Lunch: Salad + PB&J sandwich, or something from the hospital cafeteria

Snack: Apple or Granola Bar

Supper: Spaghetti, Tacos, Stir-Fry, Black Bean Burgers, Pizza

Snack: More Yogurt+Fruit, or Low-fat Ice Cream

What I'm Eating Now:
Breakfast: 2 eggs + 1 cup veggies cooked in butter + 1/2 sweet potato or a slice of Udi's bread with PB.
Snack: Fruit Smoothie 

Lunch: 5 cup salad + sardines,  or Leftovers.

Snack: Small Fruit + Deli Meat + Almonds

Supper: Salads, Stir-fry, Curry, Meatloaf, Chili, Tacos

Snack: 1/2 Banana + PB or Berries + Cream

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mexican Meatballs

Ryan and I have a propensity for taking basic recipes and molding them into whatever we want.   I've found this to be especially important as we have started eating fewer processed foods such as pasta and pizza.  As delicious as grilled meats are in the summer, no one wants to eat them every night.  For a little variety this week I used this recipe as a guide to craft some Mexican Meatballs and then paired them with roasted eggplant for supper.
cumin spiced eggplant ready for roasting
During hot summer days I still try to use the oven as little as possible like I did in Georgia.  When I do turn it on, I try to maximize its use as much as possible.

My meatballs were a little different from the recipe since I found it after having already gone to the grocery store.  You can always simplify this recipe by making basic meatballs (Meat+Eggs+Seasonings), then pour a jar of salsa over them, and bake till done.  When life gets hectic, keep it simple!  For any pescatarians or vegetarians out there, tuna, salmon, or black-bean balls could be made and then baked with mango chutney or peach salsa for a Caribbean twist.

Mix together 2# ground turkey, 1/2 large onion diced, 1/2 can diced green chiles, 2 eggs, 2-3 Tbs heavy cream, 1 Tbs ground flax seed, 3 garlic cloves pressed, 1 tsp dried Oregano, 1/2 tsp dried cumin.
some with sauce, some without

Form into balls and place in a greased baking dish.  Refrigerate.

Render fat from 2 slices of bacon in a medium sauce pan.
Remove bacon, and eat.
Sautee 1/2 large diced onion and 3 pressed garlic cloves in bacon fat over low to medium heat until translucent.
Stir in 1tsp ground  cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, dash of chili powder, stir and cook until dry.
Add 3 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce diced, and the remaining green chilies.  Cook 1-2 minutes.
Stir in 1, 14oz can diced tomatoes, simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour sauce over meatballs and bake at 400 degrees for 20-40 minutes depending upon your meatball size.
Serve over rice/beans and top with guacamole and sour cream.
Warning, This dish has a Kick! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Don't Always Be The Food Police

After seeing the light of good nutrition, some people become 'The Food Police.'  Sometimes it is good to be the the Food Police, most notably when eating at home, shopping for groceries, or if you have food allergies/sensitivities.  However, there are times when leaving your badge at home is a better idea.

1. You've been invited to a picnic and have been instructed to bring your own meat to grill, sides and condiments will be provided.  While standing around chatting please do not make the host ashamed of their potato salad by discussing the evils of the processed fats in lowfat mayo, or the fact that the ketchup is full of high fructose corn syrup, or how even diet soda may lead to diabetes and Alzheimer's.  Unless they ask of-course...  Ultimately, people are there to enjoy the food and the company; lets keep it light hearted.  You could always bring some veggies to grill for yourself or just offer to make the potato salad.

2.  You're at a party and someone offers you a slice of store bought cake.  Be polite, and simply say no thank-you.  A birthday or graduation is not the time to educate people on trans fats and artificial food colorings.

3.  You're at a party and someone offers you a slice of homemade cake (butter, sugar, flour...) the real deal.  EAT IT!  Unless it sends you into a sugar binge, then a simple "No Thanks" is just fine.  When love is put into baking something like a cake, it's fine to have a treat.  It's not something you eat everyday.

4.  While eating out, do not interrogate the waitress about every ingredient, especially if you are at an Applebees, Chili's, or TGI-Friday.  Do your homework beforehand and look at the menu and ingredients at home on the internet to help you make an informed decision.  "May I have real butter on my potato?" or "May I just have some olive oil for my salad dressing?" are some appropriate non-threatening questions.  When eating out, you give up a large portion of control and to some extent will have to deal with it.

5. The grandparents are watching the grandkids for the weekend.  Yes, you can request that they not go to Mc Donalds, or that Spaghettios not be heated on the stove.  Unless your little ones have food allergies/sensitivities, you might have to accept the fact that a little soda, a few Cheeze-its, and even an ice-cream cone are going to make it into their mouths.  I promise they will live.  If you know that your child reacts poorly to certain foods or ingredients, help out by supplying some safe foods, or giving a list of foods that are and are-not appropriate.  This will make the weekend much more enjoyable for everyone.

6. You don't want your kid eating the school lunch.  Most schools will print out the month's menu, as well as post it on their website.  Instead of packing the same turkey sandwich everyday, see if you can't include some similar items with what the school is serving.  Preservative free hotdogs, homemade meatballs or chicken nuggets, full fat yogurt with real fruit.  There will probably be days when the lunch is not too offending: chili, chicken noodle soup, and tacos.  Let your child eat the school lunch some days, this helps them feel more like their peers.

7.  Your doctor sent you to a dietitian for your high cholesterol and she wants you to eat low fat and count calories.  Please don't be rude, or discourteous.  She is only telling you what she learned in college and during her internship.  Let her know that you appreciate the time she is taking with you, but that you feel some of her information is outdated.  You are trying a whole foods approach to eating and want to see what kind of difference it makes.  She spent a lot of money on her education, please don't make her feel stupid.  It's not her fault the USDA and ADA propagate an inflammation and disease promoting diet.

8.  You have changed your diet, but your spouse has not.  Educate them slowly on why you are making these changes.  Constant comments about their diet habits and how bad that bag of popcorn is for their blood sugar, will not make them want to change.  Even if they are not on-board with everything, they can still help cook the meals that you eat together.  After a while they will probably come around, at least a little.

As educated consumers, and health conscious eaters it is our job to spread the word of balanced eating and good nutrition. However, if we beat people over the head with information when they are not ready, it only builds resistance and resentment.  Be an example to others by bringing your lunch to work.  When people ask why you eat the way you do, an answer such as, "I'm eating in balance; it's much different from what most typical diets promote, but I feel really good and have more energy."  This type of phrase is non-threatening and will probably stimulate some good conversations.

Remember to be the good cop, not the bad cop when it comes to food.  You will meet less resistance when your not handcuffing people into your ideals.