spaghetti, ravioli, baked beans, peanuts. Sound familiar? Cooking is pretty straight-forward, many people in the USA could pull these out of the cupboard and cook them up.
How about coucous, edamame, lentils, navy beans, chick peas, hummus? Getting a little more out of some people’s comfort/familiarity zone.
Faba bean, mung bean, japanese eggplant, buckwheat, tricale, quinoa, teff, spelt… A couple of these I couldn’t even identify if you put them in front of me. Variety is THE KEY to a healthy diet, and I think we could all use more of it. I’ll try to work my way through some of these unfamiliar foods and offer any tips I have about their preparation and nutrition. I’d love other’s input as well!
In the meantime, a friend asked recently how to cook couscous; and the basic answer is:
1:1 water to dry couscous (ex. 1 cup water for 1 cup dried couscous). Boil the water, dump in the couscous, cover and remove from heat, wait 5 minutes before serving. After basic prep, you can add anything. Last week I chopped up some fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil and had a great dinner.
Tequila, triple sec, limeade, ice, and a blender. Happy Margarita Friday!! If you throw in some strawberries, you can count it as a serving of fruit!
I have a poster with this quote and a picture of a kidney bean plastered right up on my fridge. It was made by magicalfruit.org and I love it! Beans are a terrific source of protein and fiber, so if you are cooking for any vegetarians this summer, make some bean salads, bean salsa, and bean burritos and they will not be complaining of hunger! (although maybe of something else… see the title quote…) :)
This poor blog was abandoned for a few weeks; it turns out that vacationing, moving, and starting a new job leaves little time for online fun! But I am back, and will try to be more consistent. Did anyone notice that someone has opened another nutrition blog with a super-similar name. (Not that this one is so unique…!) :) bummer. Oh well, there’s plenty of room for everyone and hopefully they are giving sound advice.
I don’t have any great topic idea for today. If the rain would let up I might fire up the coals and throw some veggies on the grill. (Steak would be great but would also require a trip to the store…) My favorite is veggie shish-kabobs; mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, onion… I’m working on a good sauce to use to keep them from being too dry. I’ll let you know. Hope everyone’s utilizing the farmers markets to get in their fresh fruits and veggies!
That salt is salt?!?
Today I heard the argument for sea salt. (again) This scared me, because my friend (let’s call her Tanya) has high blood pressure and was using sea salt without restraint…
Tanya: ‘It’s not sodium chloride. It’s something else.’
me: That’s a myth. Sea salt IS sodium chloride (aka salt, aka sodium). It has the same impact on your kidneys and blood pressure as table salt.
Tanya: ‘At least it contains more minerals than table salt!!’
me: Trust me, it’s not significant.
me: Sea salt does add great flavor to foods! But that’s the only real benefit I’ve found.
Has your doctor or dietitian told you to minimize your intake of salt to help control your high blood pressure (hypertension)? Here are some key points/FAQs that may help you.
Salt is also called Sodium. It’s listed on the Nutrition Facts Label as “Sodium”.
It is recommended to eat less than 2300 mg of sodium every day. (I’ve seen estimates that the average American takes in between 6000-7000 mg of sodium daily!)
Table salt, sea salt, and kosher salt ARE ALL SALT. Many people switch from table salt to sea salt, thinking it’s healthier, but both actually contain the same amount of sodium. Garlic and other seasoned salts also contain huge amounts of sodium.
Today I received a comment on my website from a person who works for/with the Margarine Counsel (obviously emphasizing all the fabulous aspects of margarine). I chose to delete it because my goal with this blog is to sort through all the information out there and give you the best I can find. I am not interested in providing comments that comes from people who benefit from you believing whatever they are saying. Just thought you might like to know!
OK. You’re in luck. I know you’ve heard all about how bad “trans fat” is, but do you have a clue what it is?
First there was butter. Butter has saturated fat, which clogs arteries and causes heart attacks. So butter (saturated fat) is “bad”. So “we” (food industry) invented margarine, which is liquid vegetable oil that we changed into a solid form. This creates trans fats. Trans fats are VERY rare in nature, so pretty much only made by humans. Now, “we” (scientists) have done research and found out that trans fats are unhealthy, maybe even worse than saturated fats. So now “we” (government) made laws that have told everyone how bad trans fat is. So now, lots of food say “NO TRANS FAT! I ROCK!” However, if you read the nutrition label, you may see that they have replaced the trans fat with saturated fat (reminder: EQUALLY BAD).
What to do? Fat is fat. There is good fat (mono and polyunsaturated fats) and not good fats (saturated and trans fats). Humans need fat. Eat as little saturated and trans fat as you can, and eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat with little guilt (because they are good for your heart).
Questions? Let me know.
Hi Rhomee, thanks for the comment (“no exercise po?” re: DNA vs Diet post) . Sorry I’ve been negligent in checking for them! I’m actually not sure what ‘exercise po’ means, but if you’re asking about an exercise program, I’ve definitely tried it, and I’m trying to add on. Previously, I had been trying to lift weights and swim twice a week, in addition to the sit-ups and push-ups I do in the morning. Now I’ve added one day of strictly cardio, so we’ll see if that helps any.
High cholesterol is prevalent in my family history, so while that is working against me, I am definitely trying to max out the amount that I can control through diet and exercise.
So. After one whole year of eating less meat, WAY less cheese, using the right cooking oils, eating loads of fruits and vegetables, getting all kinds of exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight…
my cholesterol is still high.
That, my friend, is called genetics. The diet is a great tool to have to keep ourselves healthy, but unfortunately, DNA is the boss!