Tag Archives: Whole Foods

You Are What You Eat

7 Dec

You are what you eat.

What was the last thing you ate?  Did it come in a package of some sort? If so, read the ingredient list.  What’s on there?  Are they words that you can pronounce?  Words that you recognize and understand?  Or do you see long, complicated words that you can neither pronounce nor define?  Does the ingredient list on your shampoo bottle or cleaning agent look similar to that of your latest snack?  If so, what does that mean for your body and health?  If the food and drink you ingest has an ingredient list composed primarily of chemicals, additives and preservatives, what does that mean for your body???

unprocessed natural food

 When you eat and swallow food/drink, your body immediately goes to work breaking it down, digesting, extracting nutrients and sending them to the proper places.  Then it gets rid of what’s left over.  All of the nutrients your body needs to function are derived from the food (fuel) you put into it.  The quality of the food you put in directly affects the quality of your body’s makeup.  Put in clean, whole, natural, REAL foods and you will find that your skin and hair look healthier, you have more energy, you feel less weighed down and bloated.  Your body is running efficiently because you’re fueling it with foods as close to their natural state as possible.  Your body is easily able to digest, and extract vitamins, minerals, nutrients and energy naturally existing in the foods.  But put in processed, preservative-laden food and you are forcing your body to try to function using chemicals and manufactured flavors.  Not gonna happen. Not very well, anyway.  Chances are, you will feel constantly tired, sluggish, bloated and even hungry.  In addition, your hair and skin won’t have a healthy glow.  I’d also bet your cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat percentage would register at unhealthy levels.
 Organic fruits and veggies, nuts & seeds, organic meats, eggs, and dairy; unaltered, unprocessed and unmodified, these are the best sources of fuel you can put in your body.  Alternately, Kit Kat’s, Pringles, Low Fat Veggie Chips, Chex Mix, Diet Coke and Chicken Flavored Ramen Noodles are NOT.  Eating a McDonald’s hamburger and fries for dinner is not the same as having a baked potato with grass-fed, organic beef.  Rice-A-Roni is NOT equivalent to brown rice.  And sliced peaches in syrup are not comparable to a fresh peach.  Why? Just look at the ingredient list; the box equivalent of the REAL food hardly compares.  The processed versions will have preservatives, artificial flavors and coloring (made of chemicals), and loads of other things that can be damaging to your body.  Some of them may not even contain ANY of the items in the title on the package!  The REAL foods, on the other hand, hardly come in packages and don’t even need an ingredient list!
The examples are endless but it all boils down to the same thing.  What you choose to eat and drink matters.  The food and drink you put in your mouth is the only thing your body is able to use to function.  It can not miraculously change chemicals into vitamins and additives into minerals.  If you put in junk, you will get junk in return.  If you put in top-notch food and drink, expect to be feeling better than ever before.  The slogan is simple, and so is the message.  So, next time you’re about to eat or drink something, think twice about what you are actually about to feed your body.  After all, you are what you eat. 

 

Cooking for One

28 Sep

I was recently asked by a client to write a blog post about “how to cook healthy for one”.  She explained that she is having a tough time cooking meals that are single serve, and often ends up making way too much food and has to give it away (or worse- throw it away).  While the recipients of her extra meals may think this to be just fine and dandy, my client wanted some ideas/thoughts/guidance on how to tailor her cooking to serve just one person.  I thought it was a great idea and probably something from which many more people could benefit.

dirty dozen

Here are my tips for simplifying cooking for one:

1) PLAN AHEAD: This one applies to everyone, whether cooking for one or for ten.  When trying to maintain healthy eating habits, it is ESSENTIAL to plan ahead.  Preparation is the key to making sure the best & most nutritious foods end up in your belly & the nutrient-empty bad food stays far, far out of temptation and hunger’s reach!  Whether this means chopping/slicing/peeling fruits and veggies as soon as you buy them, or getting lunch ready in Tupperware the night before, do all the planning you can.

2) COOK A LOT & PORTION IT OUT.   When cooking for one, it’s often hard to make proper adjustments to a recipe that is written to serve 4-6.  Instead of shying away from these recipes, I suggest setting aside time to cook (Sunday afternoon/evenings work for me) large quantities of food and then package them in single-serve containers.  For example: cook a Crockpot full of vegetarian chili and use Pyrex or Tupperware to divide it into 4-5 meals worth.  These don’t all have to be consumed within that week.  If you are someone who likes variety, keep one or two servings out for the week, and freeze the rest.  These frozen single-servings can simply be defrosted for another meal at another time.  If you can devote a day or an afternoon (just a few hours will do) to preparing a few big meals to be divided for the week (or frozen for longer), it will save you LOTS of time in the day-to-day.

3) FIND YOUR FAVORITE “STAPLES” AND ADD VARIETY:  everyone has a few “go-to” favorite foods (hopefully these are all whole, natural foods!) which they eat regularly.  One of mine is salad.  If you’ve ever seen me eat a meal, you can almost guarantee 2 things: it’s a salad and its in Tupperware!  Many think of salads as boring and unsatisfying but with a little creativity, they can be DELISH and filling.  Start with any type of greens, add your fav veg [tomato, peppers, carrots, snap peas, broccoli, cucumber, avocado, mushroom, peas, etc] and then make sure to add a source of protein [chicken breast, tuna, salmon, beef, soy nuts, tofu, edamame] and an all natural dressing [I use olive oil and balsamic w/spices].  I also add dried cranberries, raisins, or nuts to change it up.  Keep fresh veggies stocked at home, chopped and ready to go.  Then it is only a matter of assembling the mix of ingredients you want that day!

Another staple I love to have around is quinoa or cous cous.  Make several servings of either (for the week), and scoop a single serving out to serve with protein and veg.  You could also add either of these to a salad or stir fry dish.

4) DON’T OVER SHOP AT THE GROCERY STORE: don’t over do it when shopping just for you!  It is far better to buy less and use all the food than to buy too much and have some go to waste.   If you run out of milk/chicken/veggies/etc midweek, a second trip to the grocery store won’t be the end of the world.  Try and keep 4-5 days worth of fresh food in your house at a time.    Additionally, when you have more food around (that you don’t want to let spoil), you tend to eat more, and this can lead to distorted portion sizes….which leads me to my next point.

5) PAY ATTENTION TO SERVING SIZE: this is a good tip for cooking/eating in general.  Take a moment to LOOK on the packaging of the food and see just exactly how much a “single serving” is!  Make sure to portion out appropriate amounts of food depending on your daily calorie intake and dietary needs.  An entire pizza could be considered “single serve” if one person eats the whole thing!   Get in the habit of using measuring cups to portion out food instead of just filling a container.

 

Do you have any other ideas of “how to cook healthy for one”?? Let’s hear them!

Super Tabouli

15 Sep

Who’s hungry???  Try out this cool new twist on traditional Tabouli made  by one of my favorite chefs in the world- Chef Mike.  Mike is very creative and has cooked/baked some great stuff for me, which has all been delicious!  This week I got to try his “Super Tabouli” which uses quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur wheat.  This would be a great substitution for those with Celiac Disease, as quinoa is gluten-free!  I really enjoyed the quinoa instead of the bulgur, and most certainly give it two thumbs up.  As a Lebanese girl who has tried MANY tabouli recipes, I can safely say this is one of the best yet!  This versatile dish is great in place of a salad, as a side dish, or as a main meal served with a bit of grilled chicken!  Try it out and let me (and Chef Mike) know what you think by posting a response below!

Chef Mike’s Super Tabouli

-Two finely chopped large bushels of Curly Parsley
– Handful of chopped basil leaves
-One small chopped red onion
-Three large ripe tomatoes, I used a red, orange and some multi red green mutant from Whole Foods
– Finely Chopped garlic to preference. I chopped up three or four cloves
– I used 3 ripe lemons. Used an old school juicer
– One cup of cooked then cooled Quinoa
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Extra virgin olive oil to preference. I usual just pour it in till I like what I see