Friday, December 10, 2010

The Holidays

Boy oh boy... the holidays have never been as tough for me as this year is.  Down almost 100 pounds now, it's soooo easy to say things like... "Oh, it's just this one bite" or "It's Christmas, I can nibble on this or that"

Really? Can I? NO!!! I CAN NOT!  Why?

Because it's just too easy to get into that bad habit again.  Ask me how I know.  I ate well in Hawaii, a few weeks ago... too well.  I ate some bread... GASP!! I know...but it was just sitting there on my plate, enveloping a lovely pineapple topped burger and avacado.  Could I have taken it off? Sure.  Did I? Nope.
Do I regret it?  Oh yeah!

Regret? is there any place for it? Yeah, especially when the bread hit my stomach like a brick, and my arthritis started flaring up ten fold.  I didn't stop there.  We circled the island in our rental car, and stopped at every stand to buy fresh fruit from sweet little Hawaiian ladies... but I also ate rice, and potatoes, and Japanese noodles.  All to my stomach's chagrin.

I gained 5 lbs on vacation.  I haven't gained one pound in a year and a half, and it took only one week to gain 5 lbs in Hawaii.  I've lost it already, but it took twice as long to lose it as it did to gain it.  I did MUCH better at our Thanksgiving meal.  I ate a ton of veggies, a small amount of meat, and ate NO BREAD AT ALL, and still lost 1 pound that week.  Thank God.

My hubby gained a little weight too.  He ate everything he wanted.  Bread, potatoes, fried foods etc... but you know what?  When he eats my home cooking... he doesn't gain any weight, in fact, when he eats my homemade bread, he LOSES weight, no matter how much of it he eats.  There's got to be something to that.

4 ingredients in my bread, compared to who know how many in store bought bread... hmmmm.... something to think about.  I know I can't have bread in my life, because I feel like my body doesn't do well with it in my system.  But... from time to time, I'll have an open faced sandwich made with my homemade sourdough starter, and it doesn't affect me in the least... of course, I don't over indulge either...

So... this Holiday Season... be kind to yourselves... and don't make excuses for eating badly... eat better 90% of the day, and your pants will fit you all the way through your holidays... eat the bountiful oranges, apples and tangerines that are on sale in the stores now... and stay healthier in the process...

Happy Everything people... much love to you all

Monday, September 20, 2010

Teaching Teens to eat well is such a blessing!!!

Aspartame is the DEVIL...

That's a one liner I wrote on my board last week during my Monday Monologue speech in class...

And it is...

But it's a hard sell to adults.  Everyone is so used to drinking diet this or that...thinking that they are doing something RIGHT by not ingesting calories... oh... but calories are better than chemicals... any day of the week.

Teens... on the other hand... take information and are interested.  They haven't formed life long opinions on food items yet, and are still moldable.  They bodies are young, beautiful, strong and agile, and many of them would like to keep it that way... especially in our youth obsessed, rail thin supermodel world.

It is such a pleasure to talk to teens about food, and have them really take the information in.  They want to live a long time, and have good health... just like us...

Talk to your teens about chemical additives in foods.  Let them know that fresh is best... and they are too precious to be science experiments...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Had a talk about processed foods with my class today...

I approached today's class with trepidation.  I have a very small budget for my cooking class at school, so one day of my week is spent just talking to my students... I'm sure they hate it... but it is a necessary evil.   It's sooo important to teach nutrition to young adults... I was very, very proud of my students today...  They made it very easy for me to teach...

I started with assigning homework requiring them to bring in a food label of any kind from home.  Only a handful of students did it... but it was a good class anyway...

I asked each of them to pass around the labels and write down on word they couldn't understand from the label, and then we went around the room and everyone said their word...

Disodium Phosphate
Maltodextrin
Soy Lecithin
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
etc... etc... etc...

I think by the end of class... they were either disgusted... or mad... I couldn't tell... LOL

We broke it down... and I wrote on the board... ASPARTAME = THE DEVIL... Cuz that's how I feel about it.

I told one lovely girl, I'd rather she drank a cup of water with a tablespoon of sugar in it rather than aspartame...

I got some really great questions too... One young man asked if someone could die from drinking an entire of case of Aspartame laden drinks in one day... OOOOHHHH... HOW I WANTED TO SAY YES!~!!   But, alas... I couldn't lie to him... but I did say it doesn't do that person any good... that's for sure...

Another young man asked... "Why is Diet Coke bad for you?"  I didn't have an answer that would jolt him... but I said that no one needs caramel coloring, aspartame, and all the other ingredients in it to quench thirst... I mentioned about three times that all we should be drinking is green tea and water...

Another young lady asked if Gatorade is bad... Again... I WANTED TO SHOUT "YES" FROM THE ROOFTOPS... but... I did admit it does have some electrolytes in it that are beneficial, and it should be drunk only during extreme workouts, and at half strength cut down on the sugar...

They may have been bored silly... but I liked the class... I felt like I may have made them think twice about the types of food we all eat...

Then I passed around an old picture of me 90 lbs heavier... my face looked like it was about to explode... and I explained that I understand that I have a lot more to go.., but on  the inside... I'm actually a 120 lb supermodel and my body hasn't caught up with my brain yet...

I told them... that one day... when they are grocery shopping with their babies and their hubbies one day... and they look into their babies sweet faces and want only the very best for them and they decide to buy their babies only the best, freshest, wholesome food available... and that will make all the difference.

It was a good day at school...

I love my class...

Monday, August 30, 2010

My new Job!!! Promoting good health to a new generation!!!

Boy, it's been a long time since I've been on here.  I sure miss it... but I've been so crazy busy with my new job, I just couldn't bring myself to get on the computer.  But alas... here I am... and so happy to be here...

My new job is sooooo cool!!!

I am a cooking teacher at my two older son's private High School... and I'm loving it... but it's sooo much more now that I have a new way of thinking and eating food.

Now, I have the opportunity to help 16-17 year olds think differently about food, to teach them that food doesn't come from a window while in a car, or from the frozen boxed food aisle.  AND IT'S WORKING!!!

Teens, it turns out, will eat fresh food if it's put in front of them.  GO FIGURE!!!  If the only choice is good, wholesome, fresh, simple food... THEY WILL CHOOSE IT!!!  Wonder of wonders!!!

Parents... listen to me... YOUR KIDS WANT TO EAT GOOD FOOD... I PROMISE... the only reason they eat so much fast food is BECAUSE THEY ARE ALLOWED TO!!!  I know it to be the truth...

I have been talking at length to the students about the detrimental effects of fast food and processed foods, and they are giving lots of information and talking about how they've begun to cut back on bad foods and eating more fresh foods...  SOOOO GREAT!!!

I have a microscopic budget, and cooking really fresh for the students is the best way to make a small budget stretch as far as it can go... ounce for ounce fresh is always less expensive than boxed processed stuff...

I am sooo proud of my class... so grateful I have changed my eating habits and have some young people to share it with...

Yahooooo!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Food that Fuels... beans!

Beans, beans, beans and more beans...

Any eating plan that doesn't include a TRUCKLOAD of beans, is not a good plan... in my opinion.

When I eat enough beans, I can go literally 6-7 hours straight without so much as wanting for needing another meal.  That's saying alot, since most adults eat every 4 hours or so...

Beans help everything "move" along in our systems.  Packed with fiber, so much fiber, it's hard to match it with anything else except maybe going out and munching on fresh wheat stalks in a field... beans are the perfect "meat" in a vegetarians day.  Coupled with some brown rice, it's a perfect protein source.

Now, I know that rice isn't "allowed" on the LDL plan... but I beg to differ with BROWN rice.  In a pinch, if I'm in a hurry, I'll scoop out a cup or so of brown rice I made up earlier in the week with just some water and little salt, and add a tsp of Agave Syrup and a splash of milk over it and scarf it down.  It's stays with me until I'm ready for my big lunch meal... and it's got some fiber in it too.

Beans, however, are great in the morning too.  Scramble up an egg or two, mashed up some beans with some hot sauce and seasonings, and place the scrambled eggs over the beans... and WATCH OUT WORLD... energy is at  your doorstep!

Don't enjoy the "music" associated with beans?  Put on drop of BEANO on them everytime you eat them, and that will never be a problem again...

I make my own beans from a bag every week, but you can use canned.  Just be sure to rinse them so all the salt goes down the drain too.

Sooo... eat your beans... and lose that weight!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What to do with a 5 foot long zucchini!!!

Ya cook it!!!  That's what ya do!!!

And I did just that...

My Mom brought this home for me from my Uncle's house in San Pedro the other day...
It's 50 inches long.
For those of you that don't know what it is... it's a Squash... a buttery, light green ridiculously yummy one too!

When she presented it to me... it was like being in Zucchini Heaven!!!
My mind immediately started thinking of all the things I was gonna do with it...
Was I going to chop it, slice it, stuff it, fry it, bake it, steam it...
and the answer to all of those is...
YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, AND YES!!!
With a 5 foot long zucchini, you can do ALL of it!!!

Soooo...


I cut a 2 foot section off, and seeded it, rubbed it with Olive Oil, salt and pepper and baked it
to tenderize it... just for a few minutes...



Then I stuff them!!!
This is a mixture of saute'd onions, celery, mushrooms, romano cheese and a tiny bit of Feta on top...
I can smell them now!!!
Lunch is gonna be soooo good!

Then...
I sliced another 1 1/2 feet of it into diagonal medallions...


Sprinkled them with Dill, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and they are going to bake
in the hot oven until tender...
I will eat them as it...
My family will eat them over Fettucine Pasta dressed with hot olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and Pecorino Romano shavings...

I still have another 18 inches or so in the fridge... for another day...
Since it fits in the fridge now... I can savor the flavor another day...

Buone Mangiare!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Make your own soda at HOME!!! BLECH!!!!

I was taking William to football practice the other day, and I heard on the radio about a product (I refuse to mention the name) that allows people to make their own soda.  The announcer was just RAVING about this product and how it will save the planet from all the bottles and cans using it will save.

I. Was. Sickened.

They were touting that this product will and can help us MAKE OUR OWN SODA at home...

Yep... just what everyone needs... to make soda in the comfort of their own home...

They went on to say that "You can now control what goes into your soda, in your own home... just purchase the product and buy any or all of the 30 flavors of soda syrup, and watch your money add up in your bank account from all those costly cans and bottles!" or something to that effect... YUCK!!!

What they failed to mention was that the "SYRUP" has all the nutrition and benefits of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING... and everyone might as well just start an IV line of chemicals and byproducts and HFCS directly into their veins...OH... and go ahead and make an appt with a Diabetes Doctor, Cardiologist, and the Funeral Director...

Why don't people get it yet!!!  Having never been a real soda drinker, but being married to one, has difficult in the past 20 years.  Drinking sodas wreaked havoc on my husbands system... Luckily, he's over his soda addiction and his blood test numbers are all normal now... but seriously... drinking all that junk, DIET OR OTHERWISE... is just about the WORST thing someone can drink... I swear, I would sooner drink bleach!!!

Diabetes is SKYROCKETING around the globe, predominantly in CHILDREN... and I believe that juice boxes, soda, and DIET soda's are the main culprits... couple that with a few fast food meals every week... and it's "goodbye mortality rate" ... hello... funeral director!

Then, yesterday, I was driving home from Los Angeles, and a big sign for a fast food restaurant touted...
"Go on... this is easier than this"  And it showed how the bag of fast food is soooo much easier than walking into a kitchen.  So the picture showed the bag of food on one side... and a kitchen on the other...nice.. really nice...  Why take responsibility for ourselves when permission is EVERYWHERE to just do what is easiest!!! 

The two beverages that should be ingested are these... water and tea.  THAT'S IT!

If everyone would just switch to drinking ONLY water and tea for a month, not only would the soda habit get broken, but... skin will get better, more money will be in your wallet, health will improve, sugar levels will be lower and weight will be lost.  Yes, even diet soda's are the devil... fake sugar is poison... always has been...always will be...

Take the challenge to end your addiction to soda's... won't you?  You'll be so glad you did!!!
One month, nothing but water and tea... YOU WILL LOVE THE RESULTS!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Salmon/Tuna Salad Wraps

Eating good fish is very important to an eating plan, whether it's a healthy one or not, we all need the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in our diets for heart health and overall vitality.

In 2005, my family and I went to Alaska on a Cruise, and while there, we took a fantastic tour of a Salmon Hatchery, and learned the difference between "Wild Caught" and "Farmed" Salmon... and learned that "Wild Caught" is FAR SUPERIOR.  So when I saw the cans, (yes cans) of Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon at Costco a few years back, I started buying them every week.  I don't even buy Tuna anymore... and I love Tuna...but I buy it fresh now, in steaks.  I buy Salmon fresh too, but most of the fresh Salmon around here is the much more inferior Atlantic Salmon, which is much cheaper, and also less nutritious, and is farmed, therefore it contains high levels of Mercury, and the fish isn't as fresh as it could be...

That being said (I sound like SUCH a food snob, but I guess I am, so I'd better own it) no disrespect to the Altantic Fisherman (hatchery owners) but the Pacific Northwest Salmon is the prized Salmon in Restaurants and tables bar none... that's why it costs so much...

Back to why I'm writing this...

Ahh yes... my recipe for Salmon and/or Tuna fish salad... I eat this wrapped up like tacos in lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves, or on long, thick stalks of celery, or in long boats of freshly seeded cucumbers halves or in hollowed out tomato halves...
YUM!!!!

3 CANS Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon or Albacore Tuna
1 whole onion chopped finely
3-4 ribs celery chopped finely OR 1 tsp celery seed
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped (yes you read that correctly)
1 cup SWEET pickle relish (rinsed under cool water of all the gooey stuff)
a few tablespoons Greek Yogurt or Mayo
1 tsp dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors mascerate.  This recipe is enough for 3-4 lunches.

I make a plate of clean lettuce leaves (4-5), place a couple tablespoons of filling into eat leaf, place some alfalfa sprouts or bean sprouts on top, or chopped cucumber or radishes on top, alongside a bean salad and a huge bowl of fruit, and I'm STUFFED until 8 p.m.!!!

I wish I would remember to take a picture of them when I eat this... but I just tear into them so fast, by the time I remember, it's too late...

I just made some yesterday, and I'll be eating them today in a cuke boat (I'm out of lettuce), so I'll try to remember to take a pic...

This recipe works the same with cooked chicken (fresh or canned, fresh is best), and turkey.

Enjoy!

(oh, and don't worry about the dried fruit or mayo... think of the alternative... greasy cheeseburgers and fries, this is MUCH better for you... REAL FOOD...)


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Doctors Visit...

So I had my regular check up yesterday with my Family Practitioner...

Had the blood work done, all the regular tests, got a TB test for my new teaching position etc...

He noticed my weight loss, and noted the 80+ lbs drop and asked my favorite question...

"How are you doing it?"

I told him, briefly {which is  MIRACLE for me, because those of you that know me personally, I am NOT short winded} how I eat now. 

My Doctor was COMPLETELY on board with the plan.

He, being an American of Japanese Descent, EATS THE EXACT SAME WAY... and told me that in his office, was a HUGE lunch of fish, veggies, fruit, minimal bread, and green tea to drink, and that in the evenings he and his wife eat a light salad or fruit for dinner until they are full, and then call it a day.  He says he has eaten that way his entire life, and has never had a weight problem.

Then I wanted to throw my purse at him... LOL...
Why? Because I think he should have mentioned that way of eating A LONG TIME AGO... to me... and maybe I would have taken the advice... or not... who knows... but still... ya just can't keep that kind of information hidden... ya know?

I was so happy to see their scale and my home scale matched the same numbers... don't you HATE it when your home scale reads less than other scales... I was a tad bit nervous to step on theirs, but I battled on, did it, and was pleasantly surprised...

I go back in two weeks for my blood test results... so hopefully the scale will show an even lower number...

I'm going to go make up some more recipes now... Ciao!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TODAY IS MY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!!!

Well... TODAY IS THE DAY!!!

The day I started on my weight loss journey... AND SUCCEEDED!!!

My goal was to lose at least half of all the weight I need to lose... and I did it...

I finally found a plan that I can LIVE with.. forever and a day... without ever feeling deprived, hungry, or ill.

My skin is clearer, my cankles are now ankles, my hair grows like a weed, my high blood pressure is GONE, and my heart skips are GONE!!!!  My A1C is PERFECTION!!!

So now it's time to set a new goal.

Another 80 lbs.  That's what I want... to lose another 80 lbs.

And you know what?

I WILL!  Wanna know why?  Because this LET'S DO LUNCH PLAN works!!! It JUST DOES!!!

As long as you follow the plan, and stay far, far, far away from anything processed... IT WORKS!!!

Soooo... onward and upward...

To another year and another 80 lbs...

Cheers!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What goin' on!!!

Holy Frijole... sooo much has been happening around here... I've hardly had time to breathe... much less write!!!

My husbands new job started today... yesterday he had to turn in his huge F350 work truck, and today he'll be driving home in a 2010 Buick LaCrosse... quite a change from the big and burly truck... but we just bought one for William, so we have one if we need one...

I got a little job teaching Culinary Arts one class a day at my two older sons High School, and I've been busy making lessons plans and menus, and renovating and purging my new classroom... sooo exciting...

I can't wait to get my hands on young minds and teach them about WHOLE FOODS, and gently cajole them to start thinking in terms of REAL food vs. PROCESSED foods, and showing them that cooking from scratch can be quick, fun and JUST AS TASTY as buying the junk in boxes...  I'm hoping they leave the classroom with a ton of new information, and a beginning of understanding about health and eating clean and limiting the chemicals and byproducts so prevalent in our food supply today...

Baseball and Football have been an everyday occurrence around here too, so not as much fun and leisure as I'd like has been happening... but Football Dead Period is coming up soon... so hopefully we'll be getting out and doing more soon...

So... as my new life unfolds... I am going to try to find the time to eek in some writing on here... I find I do much better on my eating plan when I have something to write about to keep me on track...

I hope it helps you too...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Marinades for all meats and veggies!

I love this eating plan, because it involves a plethora of protein options to eat during the day.  Over on my other blog, I've been posting pictures of some of the food I've been making for my family, and mentioning how I don't eat those foods any longer, but my family enjoys them. 

I've also been recieving many emails telling me that I should be eating those foods, that I shouldn't deny myself those foods because it's "not good for me".  HA HA!!!  If they ONLY KNEW!  Also, all the "bad" foods I make my family, are ALL FROM SCRATCH, using only the BEST ingredients available, and 99% of the time, they are made with wholesome, nutrient filled flax, wheat germ, non fat milk, olive oil, and lean meats and flours... so I feel REALLY good about feeding my family a cinnamon roll that has more fiber and minerals than most peoples breakfast cereal for a week!!!

That being said... I am so happy on this plan, and have been having a lovely time coming up with new and improved ways of spicing up and upping the nutritional value of lots of favorite foods.

One way to add TONS of flavor to foods is to marinate them... meats, veggies, fruits, what have you...

Here are a few of my favorites...

For beef, root veggies and portobello mushrooms I love to...

Mix together in any amounts you enjoy...
Soy sauce
orange juice
Worcestershire sauce
wine
salt
pepper
dill weed
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
and add the beef or veggies to sit for over an hour...
YUM!

For fish, seafood, zucchini, potatoes, string beans I like to mix together

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
honey
cayenne
salt
pepper
and either roast or pan sear the food with the juice...
YUM!

For a quick dip or a great sauce over lettuce wraps...

1/4 cup peanut butter (it's not LDL, but once in a GREAT while, it's awesome)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp soy sauce
dash olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
1 TBS teriyaki marinade sauce (not the glaze)
Stir together, let sit, covered, in fridge to blend flavors and lightly spoon over
lettuce wraps or your favorite fish, or dip steak skewers in it...
YUM!

Try them, you'll love them...

Yes, I know not ALL the ingredients are LDL "friendly" but I always do this when I am deciding on flavor over fat content and choices of foods...

"Will one tablespoon of this... be better than eating a fast food meal" and the choice is always a resounding... YES!

Marinades and dips ARE NOT for everyday use... but to add some spice and flavor and some pizzazz to meals and cookouts... go for it... drink LOTS of water, and EAT LOTS OF fruits to compliment the meal...


Friday, July 2, 2010

"But it's a Holiday... I'll just splurge today..."

All I can say to the title up there is... "blah... blahh...blaaaaaah!"

Been there... done that... and where did it get me? Almost 150 lbs overweight... that's where!!!

We overweight people have an excuse for EVERY eating occasion... don't we?

"It's my Birthday... I deserve a piece of cake!"

"It's the Holidays... I can't diet during the HOLIDAYS!"

" I HAVE to eat lunches with colleagues at work...surely I can't find healthy things on every menu!"

and my personal favorite...

"I can't give up grains and dairy, my DOCTOR says I need the fiber and calcium... so this won't work for me!"

All I can say is... OH REALLY?

If all those excuses are true... then WHY are there skinny people in the world, that eat at restaurants with colleagues, and during the holidays, and many don't eat loads of breads or dairy...Why?

Because they have learned to eat... because they know that dairy and breads aren't NECESSARY for life.

Don't get me wrong... I adore BREAD!!!!  I love making it every single day... I love feeding it to my family... I love selling it... but my body DOESN'T enjoy it.  MY system GAINS WEIGHT on it... then I crave more of it...and a vicious cylce ensues...

To lose weight and keep it off successfully, we MUST learn what we can and cannot eat on a regular basis. 
See bread and dairy AREN'T BAD FOODS... but if severely limiting them or doing without them altogether results in lost weight, and better digestive health, and lower blood sugars, etc... then THEY AREN'T VITAL FOR YOUR LIFE...and you can enjoy the OTHER multitudes of foods to feed your body. 

Calcium does not only live in dairy.  You can get lots of calcium from almonds, spinach, broccoli, peas, white beans etc...

Fiber lives in all fruits and veggies...

Going to restaurants isn't an excuse to eat badly... salads with protein and dressings on the side, or steaks with no butter and extra veggies in place of potatoes, drink water or tea, skipping appetizers fried in vats of oil, and passing on the bread basket are EXCELLENT ways to eat with friends and family, enjoy their company and eat well too...

Holidays are great... but they sure aren't an excuse to eat junk... neither are birthdays...  We all turn another year older whether we eat cake or not... it inevitable.  Eating well is a sure way to have MORE BIRTHDAYS.

Changing our eating habits (emphasis on the word HABITS) is just that... CHANGING HOW WE EAT ON A DAILY, MINUTE BY MINUTE, YEAR BY YEAR basis...  After all the weight is lost... we just CAN'T go back to eating our old way... or all the fat will surely come back...

Once in a GREAT while... it's fine to eat a piece of cake or a little ice cream... or even a sandwich... but be sure you are far enough along in your LDL lifestyle plan that you are sure you won't want to eat more and more and more after one meal...  Food has powerful triggers... and it plays tricks on our minds...

Enjoy this long weekend... and make good choices for yourselves... and feel good about those choices after all the fireworks are lit... You'll be sooo glad you did...

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hey... eat this and LIVE in the bathroom!!!


I'm gonna go on another rant here... so put your seatbelts on...

I love Jamie Lee Curtis.  I really do.  I think she is awesome... embracing her gray hair, refusing to let her body be photoshopped or airbrushed for magazine shoots... growing old gracefully... etc...  I get her... I really do...

Remember when she was the "body"?  She was a fitness guru, promoting good health and well being... almost her entire life...  Definitely someone to look up to... ya know?

So... I'm having a little bit of trouble with her commercials, and all other other commercials out there advertising little chocolate cups of "digestional cures".  All the "bifidus regularis" and such... all that junk is latin code speak for... ready for it?  Are you sure?  Wait for it... it's coming... hold on...

It's all code speak for "Pooing easily!!!!!!"

I want to understand why all these products have to be invented to "help with regularity" when all the cures are RIGHT THERE IN THE SUPERMARKET AND FARMER'S MARKET SHELVES!!!

The names of these natural cures?  FRUIT AND VEGETABLES!!!




Why can't ANYONE on TV talk about how you don't NEED all those chemicals in a cup, with a dash of good bacteria, to be healthy and "regular"... you just need to eat a LOT of fruits and veggies!!!!!

Why does everything have to be so DIFFICULT!!!

If ANYONE wants to know why Americans are sooooo "stopped up"... it's ALL because of our diets... ALL OF IT!!!

Cheeseburgers from a window, lasagna from a frozen container, white bread FULL OF AIR and YEAST, smashed fruit spread onto a plastic film, Aluminum cans filled with cavity inducing, carbonated sugar crystals,  sugar water tinted orange and red to 'replenish electrolytes" and the list goes on, and on and on...

Our bodies are designed to eat lots of fresh produce, a small amount of meat, and water...  When we start adding in fake cheese in a can, bags of greasy chips, chemically modified powdered "dips", mystery meats from the drive thru... our bodies work EXTRA hard to digest, breakdown, and ultimately eliminate all those extra chemicals and byproducts.  It WREAKS HAVOC on our kidneys and liver... every single day!  It's bound to stay put and cause a backup, and discomfort...

The cure?  Just like our Grandma's used to say... "Eat more roughage"... in other words... EAT MORE PLANTS!  They will go right through you... cleaning you out, and helping you feel great!

Personally, I stay away from anything that comes in a cup that disguises itself as chocolate and tells me it's for my bowels... remember those fiber chews from way back when? GROSS!

I feel the same about those fiber powders that dissolve in water... JUST EAT A COUPLE OF APPLES.. for criminy's sake!!!  Want fiber?  Eat corn, brown rice, apples, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, nectarines, grapes, bananas, mangoes, pineapple, guava, spinach, salad, tomatoes, cukes, eggplant, zucchini, onions and BEANS GALORE!!! etc... 

Feel FULL from low calorie, high fiber, high mineral and vitamin, REAL FOODS!!!

Those Activia, Metamucil, Fiber One, Choco this, and strawberry that crud is just a cover for poor eating habits...

Do it naturally, and never worry about getting enough water or vitamins, or protein...

Ms. Curtis... I know you mean well... but I'd much rather see you on TV promoting a healthy eating plan, full of real, whole foods, that will naturally help us to elimate and be healthier overall...

So that's my 2 cents... AGAIN!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tea... don't ya just love it?






Iced Tea... hot tea... chai tea... green tea...

LOL... kind of sounds like the beginning of a Dr. Seuss book... huh?

Do you LOVE tea...like me?  I've sort of become a tea fiend in the last couple of years...  I'm not shy about my tea addiction either... come and look in my pantry anytime... and you will see no less than 100 different types, flavors and kinds of teas...

I'm really a fan of loose teas as of late.  Whole loose teas.  I'm becoming less of a fan of the pre bagged teas, in the paper tea bags...Why? I don't know... I just like the flavor and all the little tools necessary to make good loose tea... I enjoy the process of steeping, filtering, etc...Call me crazy... but in my mind... all food is love... if it's the best type of food available...

Even more recently... I've been playing around with marinades, rubs, and even baking breads infused with tea...
and I have been LOVING IT!!!



Tea is a WONDERFUL food.  It contains THOUSANDS of compounds that are beneficial to our bodies... tannins, ECGC, amino acids, polyphenols, blood cleaners, etc... Basically... all those benefits have to do with the big "C", Cancer.  Teas can be a fantastic way to help prevent some cancers.. along with a healthy diet and virtually cutting out all junk and processed foods.

My favorite tea..hands down... is Rooibos, pronounced (roy-bus).  It actually isn't a tea at all, but a bark of a bush in South Africa.  They call it "Bush Tea" in Africa... and it's DELICIOUS!  It have absolutely NO CAFFEINE... and it's a gorgeous red color.  I buy it in bulk, organic from Amazon.com from David's teas...
They give it to newborn babies for curing colic.  They peel the bark from the trees, beat it up into tiny pieces... let it dry in the sun to turn red... and bag it up...
It contains flouride, magnesium, Polyphenols, some vitamins and lots of minerals.  Did I mention it tastes really good?  It's one of the few teas that is lovely with milk. I like mine with just a hint of honey... mmmmm...




If you hate to drink water... (that is soooo strange to me... but I know lots of people that actually say that), and want to stay away from soda's (diet and regular are the devil), try drinking some unsweetened tea, or sweeten it with a little honey...

You will lose water weight, hydrate yourself, add some vital minerals and healthy compounds to your body... and maybe even enjoy drinking non carbonated drinks a little more...
Its a fantastic alternative to soda...

Did you know... that if  you love drinking green tea... that is great... but squeezing in a little citrus (lemon or orange) will actually help you body absorb 50% MORE of the beneficial ECGC of the green tea??? 

Next time you want to marinate a steak or two or four... brew some tea, and mix in some soy sauce, orange juice, honey, worcestershire and a little olive oil and pour it over your meat for a few hours...
It'll add a little something something to the flavor of your meat that will dance on your tongue!

Making a rub? Add some loose tea to the mix for a depth of flavor that is earthy and lovely on chicken or fish or beef.  Just a tablespoon or so does the trick!!!

Enjoy... and drink tea for your health!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kabobs... The PERFECT LDL lunch...



I. LOVE. KABOBS!!!

Aren't they fun to eat?  I don't know why... but a steak and veggies on a stick is WAAAAY more fun to eat than steak and veggies laying on a plate...

But wait... did you think that Kabobs (Kebobs? Kebabs?) were only for meat, chicken or fish and veggies?  NOOO WAY JOSE!!!

Food on a stick IS AN AWESOME way to cure food duldrums.  It's also a wonderful way to get kids to eat foods they normally wouldn't...like fresh veggies or new fruits...




The skewers also don't have to be wooden or metal... you can use anything!  Rosemary stalks, toothpicks, pretzel sticks, bamboo etc...

My favorite way to eat a Kebab is to marinate a lovely meat in some orange juice, soy sauce, honey and salt... and let it get good and soaked up...
Then skewer all the meat together, and skewer all the marinated veggies on another... and BBQ them up...
DIVINE!!!

Dessert can be a bunch of fruit, cut up, and skewered up...
I also love to have a big glass of iced tea with an entire skewer of fruit sitting in the tea in my glass, flavoring my tea and getting all soaked up with tea... YUM!!!


I also LOVE skewered pineapple on the BBQ... no sauce, rubs or sugar needed... it's just luscious all by itself...
And I am not typically a fan of pineapple at all... but on a skewer and BBQ'd? I am a fan!


Love seafood?  Do up an entire skewer of salmon chunks, or shrimp, or scallops and eat to your hearts content for lunch!  It's like having a treat... on a stick...

I love to BBQ Apples and Onions on a skewer... and brush with orange juice and Olive oil....
Sooo yummy!

It's summer... go stick a stick into something and cook it over a fire...
You'll be glad you did!!!



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Things I've learned...

Yowza!!!

Just got back from a week at the beach a few days ago...

Why does leaving for one week, require two weeks of preparation and one week of post preparation?

My one year anniversary date of starting my new eating plan is fast approaching, and I've learned sooooo much I am bursting!!!  Time on the shore, with pen in hand, my boys surfing in the water, has led me to a list of things I've learned in the last year...

Oh, and for the record... I HAVE NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER STAYED on an eating plan for longer than 3 weeks... so this is BIG deal for me... HUGE!!!

Things I've learned since July 14, 2009...

1.  We are NOT destined to be and stay overweight forever just because we are over 35.... or 45... or 55!

2.  It IS possible to lose weight quickly by eating enormous amounts of GOOD, healthy food...

3. HFCS, ALL PRESERVATIVES, Aspartame, Splenda, Equal, All sodas, pre packaged foods of all types...
ARE. THE. DEVIL!!!!

4.Once your body gets used to eating fresh, wholesome foods, IT WILL purge itself if you eat badly... even once...

5.  Some people want to lose weight badly... but aren't willing to change their eating habits even one little bit...

6.  Eating really healthy causes other people to hide or not eat in front of you...

7.  Some people wouldn't compliment another human being for having lost noticeable weight if their life depended on it... instead... they'll say something like... "It's about time!"

8.  I don't HAVE to have a piece of cake just because it's my Birthday or someone else's Birthday... I won't die... it's really okay NOT to have it...

9.  Adapting non healthy recipes into uber healthy ones is a lot of fun!

10.  Dried fruit of any kind is my favorite snack... I keep it on hand all the time...

11. You don't have to lose POUNDS to lose weight... inches are GOOD too!

12.  Eating more fruits and veggies everyday is actually CHEAPER!!!

13.  Dinner does NOT have to be eaten at night...

14.  It is COMPLETELY possible to go out to dinner with friends and family to a restaurant and eat this way...

15.  Dairy was NEVER  my friend...I am so much healthier without it.

16.  I can and do eat eggplant every single day... and I never tire of it...

17.  Kids THRIVE on the eating plan... even if modified to include fresh, homemade, yeast free bread...

18. It feels FANTASTIC when friends and family THANK YOU for introducing them to this way of eating and say things like... "It saved my life".... PRICELESS!!!

19.  I will eat this way for the rest of my life... no question...

20.  I believe this eating plan saved my life... and added decades to my life...

Thanks God...
You are just too cool for words....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Homemade Enchilada sauce... NO MORE CANNED STUFF FOR ME!

Mmmmm....
Okay... I'll explain that...

I have a TON of cooking to do this weekend for a couple of place we are going... and Chicken Enchilada's were a demand request of my boys.
So we went to Costco today, to gather ingredients... and I forgot Enchilada Sauce.

So I got to thinking... (could you smell the smoke?)
What IN that sauce anyway...
So I looked up the ingredients label on line, and was disgusted to find MSG, Modified food starches, guar gum, and a host of other CHEMICALS in a simple sauce...

My solution?
Make it myself of course...

I looked up a recipe online... perused the ingredients... and decided to wing it myself... figuring as long as I had the spices down... I could make tasty AND healthy at the same time!

So here's what I came up with...
Trust me on the ingredients... when I had my boys taste it... they said it tasted JUST like real enchilada sauce...
The following amounts are approximations... you CAN'T mess this recipe up!

1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 Tbs flour
3 crushed garlic cloves minced...
1 can diced tomatoes or 4 tomatoes cut up into small pieces
1 bunch (2 cups?) mushrooms chopped really small (food processor is great here, just pulse a few times)
1/2 cup chopped green scallions
1 medium onion diced
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp taco seasoning mix
(use more of the last three items to taste)
Salt
Pepper
Water to thin the mixture as it cooks

Put all of this into a skillet and cook until thick and bubbly... thin with water a little...

Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulverize until smooth

That's it!!! You just made enchilada sauce!!!



I do NOT claim to know how to make Authentic Mexican fare... however, I will NEVER buy the canned stuff again.  I just had my sons taste this and they loved it.

I layered corn tortillas, the mixture, black olives, lowfat cheddar cheese, scallions in successive layers three times to make this casserole style dish...

I feel really good about having only FRESH ingredients in this dish... no prepacked anything except for the tortillas, which I made sure to buy with only corn, lime and salt as the ingredients... no lard or fillers.

I hope you try this for yourself!!!

Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seedy ingredients and advertising...

I've been doing a lot of grocery shopping lately, and in multiple stores, and I've noticed a new "trend" lately.  It seems the big food companies have heard the battle cry of 'NO HFCS' and have heeded it. I see package after package, bottle after bottle of whatever it is... touting "Now with NO HFCS!"  Really? Ya just now realized it's the DEVIL?  Ya JUST NOW realized that Europe BANNED IT in 1974 because of it potential to be life threatening?

  While I am a huge proponent of getting RID of artificial sweeteners, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Food starches, and all things "Partially Hydrogenated"... THEY MUST ALSO come up with a way to MAKE FOOD NOT TOO SHELF FRIENDLY... and help us go back to the days when food was FRESH... and ya had to eat it in a couple of days or it would spoil... 

A "food" with a long shelf life IS NOT A GOOD THING!  Have you ever seen the Morgan Spurlock dude... the guy who made the Documentary about eating McDonalds for thirty days?  He did an experiment on McDonalds food, and the FRENCH FRIES NEVER DECOMPOSED... IN 2 1/2 MONTHS... there is something really WRONG with that!  Click on this link to see what I am talking about...

Also... I'm really not happy with the amount of "cane sugar" and other seedy ingredients they put into foods, to replace the HFCS.  I truly believe they think we are stupid... and don't know how to read labels.

My kids don't eat (at least not in my house)  A LOT of their favorite foods they love.  Why? Because after learning what I've learned, and reading every single box, and ingredients list I touch, I've made the decision that I didn't have my children so they can be science experiments for our food industry.  Fruit is sweet enough without adding sugar.  Veggies taste great withOUT globs of cheese.  Snacks don't need to come from an individual wrapper inside a box... Munching on yummy trail mix and sipping on lightly sweetened green tea at a movie WON'T kill them.  On the contrary... they may just live a heck of a lot longer, and a good degree healthier.

I am so glad the food industry is trying to make some changes... but I don't like the CLOAKING of ingredients to make them seem healthier.  Some words to stay far, far away from are...

Partially Hydrogenated (anything!)
Modified
Processed
Food product
Fat
Saturated
Carageenan
starch
And Many More!

I like my ingredients lists to be no more than 4-5 ingredients.  I also like them to be words I can say to a 5 year old and have them understand it.  That's my rule of thumb.  If it's not... then I don't BUY IT!

Also... beware of grocery stores touting "New Convenient Size"... on products.  That just means they are giving you LESS food for the SAME price.  For instance... Pasta was ALWAYS sold in 1 lb packages... now... 12 OUNCES.. FOR THE SAME PRICE... Yeah... they think we are soooo dumb... so now... I only buy pasta that is sold in 1 lb packages.

Fleecing us isn't gonna work anymore...I'll make sure of it... somehow...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Almost a year...

Oy vay!  What a six weeks it has been!  Lots of Birthdays, Lots of hospital recovery (for my Mom), lots of graduations, just a lot of everything... all at once!

It's been so overwhelming, that writing felt like adding just that one. more. thing to the pile... but I've found a few minutes today... and there is sooo much I want to talk about!

First of all, I've been on another Plateau for the past couple of months.  I'm not worried, I haven't gained an ounce, but I haven't lost either.  Having done the LDL plan for almost 11 months now, I now what needs to be done to get the weight moving downward again... I need to decrease the size of my meal by 1/4 again, to compensate for the 80 lbs lost.  My body now requires fewer calories, so I need to adjust to that.

I love that I rarely feel hungry on this plan, and if I ever do get hungry, I just eat a bunch of fruit, like a watermelon wheel, or a handful of grapes, or a mango or two... I probably eat about 8 - 10 servings of fruit and veggies a day.  I will never cut down on my portion of those things... just my protein (meat) portions during the day meal.
I recently read that an adult over 40 only really needs about 4-5 ounces of protein a day to get all the benefits from it.  I was eating about 8-10 a day between my beans and turkey or chicken and occasionally red meat.
I think cutting down a little bit on my animal protein will help me get off this plateau.

Still, as I approach my one year mark on July 14, having lost 80 lbs in one year feels really incredible.  Just the other day, a friend of mine pulled me aside at the baseball park and asked me how much weight I had lost.  I was so happy someone noticed.  Having so much weight to lose, it's hard to notice the loss... I feel it... but outwardly, it's just now starting to be obvious.

I have family members and acquaintences left and right having the "surgery" to lose weight... and that is all well and good... I notice that when all the weight is lost, they go right back to eating exactly the way they were before the surgery... and some are gaining the weight back... and then some.  Just the other day, and friend that begged me to get the surgery "with" her about 6 years ago, was at a party I was attending, and she had gained every single pound she lost and added about 20 more.  As I gave her a hug, she whispered in my ear... "Later on, can you share the weight loss plan you are on... with me?"  I squeezed her tighter and nodded.  It broke my heart to see here so unhappy.  Her decision to have the surgery was right for her... at the time, and I am so proud of her for making that difficult decision, but the decisions to eat well or not is also difficult.  When I told her about my plan, I was very upfront with her about how important it is to stay far, far away from breads, pastas, and dairy. the biggest downfall of Italian women! 

I feel great!  My High Blood Pressure is GONE!  My swollen ankles are GONE!  My catching a cold every 6 weeks is GONE!  My energy is UP!  I have a lot more to lose, but I feel like I've done a pretty good job this past year.  I may not have lost as much as someone that had surgery, but I still did it...slowly and with lots of self discovery and information about how food is really "made" here in the US.

Have you had weight loss success too? Tell me about it...won't you?  Email me at  mamabella44@gmail.com and  I'll post it on here for ya... so you can help others!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Baba Ganoush!!!



You all know how much I LOVE EGGPLANT!!! and recently... I've discovered how very healthy and low fat Middle Eastern food can be...

Soooo... I decided to make BABA GANOUSH...and ooooohhh it is soooo yummy!

For all my LDL readers... you are going to have to decide if you want to eat this, because it has Tahini in it (Sesame Seed paste)... but I find that the benefits of the olive oil, eggplant, lemon juice, garlic and paprika are worth the little bit of seed protein from the tahini...(plus... I made my own tahini... so I know what's REALLY in it)

Here's what you'll need...

2 eggplants
2 tbs Tahini
juice of one lemon (or two if you like)
1/2 tsp paprika
3 cloves garlic (or more)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Roast Eggplant until soft, and peel it. (in foil, in oven for about 25 minutes at 375)
When cool, cut into pieces and place in food processor bowl...
Add lemon juice, paprika, garlic cloves, salt, tahini, olive oil... pulverize until very smooth...
Refrigerate...
YOU. ARE. DONE!

This is a GREAT dip for celery, carrots, toasted bread, cukes, etc....
It's a WONDERFUL alternative to heavy, mayo based, creamy dips...
It's very healthy... lots of potassium and folic acid...
The olive oil is FANTASTIC for UN saturated fats and  your heart...
Eggplant is VERY, VERY low in calories...

Please try it... and let me know what you think!

LDLers... Try it without the Tahini... and add white bean puree thinned with olive oil....

** Homemade Tahini - 1 cup raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
Pulverize until a watery paste...
Keep extra tahini in an airtight container in the fridge for a month...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm still here... just trying new stuff out...

I've been having a horrible great time getting our backyard ready for the summer and for eighteen 5th graders here on Wed. for an end of year pool party...

I've also been busy applying for a position at my two older sons high school.  Culinary Arts teacher... we'll see.  Even if I don't get the job, it's got me all excited about putting together a program that features healthy food choices and no processed foods as added class to other schools... Where there's a will... there's a way!

I've also been working my new business venture, and it's getting busier and busier as more people learn about my meals.  I'm sooo excited!  My goal is to have to prepare 30 meals per week.  I think I can do that alone, and if I get more than that on a regular basis... I'll need to hire someone to help... and I am soooo excited about that!!!

I created a healthy version of Baba Ganoush this weekend.  The original recipe is already very healthy, but I've added some fiber and flavorings to it that really made it sing... I'll post it this week after the party on Wednesday.

This will be the very first time I've ever had any of the School Mom's over my house... EVER... and I KNOW.. most of them live in HUGE, houses, with hubby's that are Doctors and such.  How do I know? Well, for the past few years, the parties have been at their houses.. and they were so large my entire house could fit into their three car garage!!!... but I love my little, clean, well kept house, with my new fabulous backyard oasis...and my hard working construction hubby...so I'm excited to share from my kitchen and my home... all 1700 sq feet of it... LOL!

I'll be back to normal soon... I hope... but then... the kids get out of school in a couple of weeks...wish me luck!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Zucchini Pecorino

I LOVE EGGPLANT Parmigiana... LOVE IT... it's on my "Death Row Meals" list... {{Don't know what a "Death Row Meal" is?... If I were ever on Death Row, and about to get electrocuted to pay my sentence, My last meal I'd request would be... Eggplant Parm, Cheesecake Factory lettuce Wraps, Sashimi, Blueberry Pie, and Espresso coffee with lemon...}}

But... alas... I ran out of eggplant this weekend... which is a shocker because I buy 8 per week... I must have been really hungry last week...

I did, however, have a couple of lovely zucchini on hand... and decided to throw caution to the wind... and make myself some Zucchini Parm... OOOHHHH...and I'm sooo glad I did!

This is a stove top version... no baking necessary... so it's ready in a snap!!!

Here's what you need to gather...

3 good sized zucchini
Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana Cheese 1/2 - 1 cup
1 can diced tomatoes (no seasoning, just tomatoes) OR
4 plum tomatoes chopped with juice
1 medium onion
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp dried parsley or 4 tsp fresh
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Slice the zucchini into either long spaghetti like strands, or into cylinders or matchsticks...
Slice your onion
Combine the parsley, 1/4 cup of cheese, the bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl, set aside...
Heat the oil up in a large frying pan,
Saute Onion until soft and translucent
Add zucchini and tomaotes and juice
Cook until tender...
Add tomatoes and cook until they break down somewhat...
Sprinkle on the reserved dry mixture in the small bowl
Stir to combine... cook for another minute or so...

Voila!!!
A dish fit for a great vegetarian lunch!!!
Sprinke with additional Cheese if desired!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Food for Thought

I just heard on the radio this morning... that the Federal Govt... for the past 60 years, has been using about 800 different pesticides on ALL our fruit and vegetable crops... and that the CDC or some oufit out there... is looking into those pesticides being the reason for ADHD.  YA THINK????

Holy Cow!!! Why on earth do they think Cancer and Diabetes, and a host of other horrible diseases are so prolific these days?  OUR FOOD SUPPLY SUCKS!!!  Our choices are KILLING US!

So the radio program talked about how buying Organic needs to become the norm... but the majority of Americans can't afford to buy organic anything... and if given the chance to buy fruits and veggies or buy junk... junk is the clear choice...

That news made me so sad. 

It is more expensive to buy organic.  It just is.  And it's WRONG...

IT'S WRONG THAT A 2 LITER OF SODA IS 69 CENTS THIS WEEK in my grocer's weekly flyer.

69 CENTS!!!!!

How can green tea or water compete with that?  Why don't they just GIVE IT AWAY... and continue the downward spiral of health and vitality in our country?  Why? Because they don't have to.  They make it up in volume... millions are ADDICTED to Coke and Diet Coke, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper.. and it won't stop.

You should have seen the display of animal like behavior last year when I was running our local Baseball League Snackbar, and I ran out of Dr. Pepper one night... I thought one hag was gonna grab my neck and strangle me...
over a SODA CAN!!!  It was like her entire world was ending... sooo very sad.

I have this overwhelming need to change the school lunch programs all over the nation.  I'm nobody... but I want to do something.  On my new menu, I've added a lunch making service to my repertoire...and you know what?  It's the MOST POPULAR part of my menu.  Moms everywhere are yearning for healthier, tastier alternatives for their growing kids. French Fries, Pizza and cardboard chicken AREN'T LUNCH... it's POISON!

Last night... and an away baseball game, my oldest son was hungry... and went to the snack bar.  He came back with two bags of trail mix.  I was pleasanly surprised and told him so.  He admitted he chose them because he knew I would approve and not give him grief about it... but he knew I would have if he come back with a dish of Nachos or a hot dog...

He knows me so well...

When we got home, he told me he was still pleasantly full from all the raw nuts and dried fruit he ate, and that he was glad he had chosen better for himself, even though it was because I was there.  He said he thinks he would have had a sour stomach and felt sick if he had chosen the junk food.

I feel like my work is starting to influence them.  When a 16 year old admits he was glad he had chosen better... SOMETHING has to be working... so I don't care that he only chose well because I was present... at least for that snack... he was healthier for it.

Be that light for your kids too... and watch Food Inc, the movie... and write your congressman about changing the school lunch programs all over the country to good, REAL, unprocessed foods... our kids very lives depend on it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cookin up a storm!

Catching a quick break from cooking for a few minutes... Whew!!!  My little business is starting to take flight... and I'm working hard... but having fun!  You know what they say... 'If you do what you love, you never "work" a day in your life."  I find that is SO true!!!

I am passionate about cooking more healthily, and started my business of preparing FRESH, handmade food for busy Moms and families... I feel really good providing REAL food meals... and trying to put the fast food business... out of business... for good. Yep... I said it... out. of. business.  They provide nothing of value... but heart disease, diabetes, and sugar...

I've been sort of absent the last few days, cooking up meals and delivering them... and it's such a blessing to be able to do so!!!

If a family stops eating out of a fast food bag, once a week... for a year... it saves... COUNTLESS calories, COUNTLESS pounds of FAT... COUNTLESS amounts of High Fructose Corn Syrup... and A LOT OF MONEY!

I know some people that eat fast food EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT... and it makes my heart break.  I know it's fast... I know it's convenient... I know it tastes really good... but just because something tastes good... DOESN'T MEAN IT IS GOOD...

I like to think of fast food in its separate form... what I mean is... in my mind... separating the lard... "meat"... fillers... pasty white bun... fries... the oil it cooks in... and then think of eating each of those thing ON IT'S OWN... and ask myself if I would still eat it.  The answer is NO!...  I would never just spoon a tablespoon of Lard into my mouth... yet... when eating almost ANY burger... that's EXACTLY what we are doing...
Still want a burger now?  Sometimes... to really eat better... we have to play tricks on ourselves and gross ourselves out enough to sway our thinking to the healthier way of eating.

I am just so happy that my service is being recognized as something of value... Sure... I serve thing I don't eat... like pasta and bread... but I am CONFIDENT in my food, and KNOW it is clean, fresh, healthy and just because I don't eat bread... doesn't mean other people don't... and I feel like EVERYONE deserves to eat good, yeast free, flax seed filled, handmade bread...in moderation... of course...

Soo... that's where I've been... and I will be writing more soon... just need to get a routine going in the beginning of this new business... and when I do... I'll be doing my weekly series more regularly...

Thanks for reading... It's an honor to write for you....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HealthiER Carrot Cake...




WARNING... THIS RECIPE IS NOT FOR STRICT LDL'ers LIKE ME... I make this recipe for my hubby and kids as a healthier addition to their school brown bag lunches...

Here's what you need...

2 cups flour
1/2 cup flax seed MEAL
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup craisins (optional)
1 cup chopped raw walnuts (optional)
2 cup sugar
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup olive oil (NOT Extra Virgin)
4 cups shredded carrot (use only 3 cups if you omit the fruit and nuts)

Stir it all together...and make muffins or loaves.  Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes depending on size of pan... and test for doneness...

I make a cream cheese frosting for them, and smear a thin layer on each muffin...

2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese (I use Neufchatel) softened...

Mix together and spread...

Buon Mangiare!

They really are delicous... and PACKED with carrot.. You'll find the batter to be more like a thick, gloppy consistency... don't worry... it makes for a dense, moist bread.
My favorite way to use them is to make square muffins out of them, frost them, and individually wrap them for each kid and my hubby for a lunch treat...
I feel good knowing there is yogurt, flax and carrot in them...


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CROCK POT WEDNESDAY!

OKAY!!!
The weather is heating up... and it's an even better reason to use your crockpot... less use of those hot appliances to heat up your house...

So say you want to make a delicious Chicken Cacciatore... but it's 110 outside...and you'd rather be in the pool?
Well... put it all in the crockpot and forget it!
Here's what you'll need...

A bunch of skinless, chicken pieces... I'm not picky...eat what you like... just make sure to take the skin off and all visible fat...

1 whole sliced onion

3 cloves garlic crushed

1 can PLAIN crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
Please... don't buy that sauce in a jar... it offends me... :)

1-2 tsp dried oregano or Italian Seasoning mix

1 lb fresh sliced mushrooms

1 thinly sliced bell pepper (any color)

Salt and pepper to taste

Dump it all in... set it to high... about 1/2 way through cooking (4 hours) pour in a cup of wine you would drink with a meal... stir, cover, and cook another 4 hours or until the chicken falls off the bone...

Serve over brown rice or Pasta and

ENJOY!!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mama's!!! TAKE BACK YOUR KITCHENS!!!

I know I hound.  I know I preach... I know I sound like a broken record... but times are dire for kids and their diets...  There's way too much out there to entice and beckon to people to "eat this", "It's healthy cuz it has one grain in it" and "isn't this a pretty colored drink?... drink me!"

Mama's... YOU are in control of your kitchens... EVEN IF YOU AREN'T HOME!!!!  If you are the one buying the groceries... YOU are the one in control... WHAT YOU BUY... ENDS UP IN YOUR CHILD... and if your child isn't as healthy as you'd like him to be... CHANGE YOUR BUYING HABITS...

Look... I'm one of those Mom's that couldn't care LESS if my kids want a certain sugary cereal, or a prepackaged, 54 gram of fat, HORRENDOUS Lunchable, or Pop Tarts... "because they like them"... No Freaking way!  EVEN BEFORE our new way of eating... I have never, ever purchased a box of Pop Tarts.  When my boys were little... and the commercials for those foods came on the TV... mine would make snide little comments about how mean I was that I won't buy them, and how much they wanted them...  It all fell on deaf ears...

Just because I have a weight problem... doesn't mean my kids need to have one too.

I've never been a soda drinker... but my husband sure was... and he would buy liter after liter of Pepsi, or Moutain Dew and stash them in our backyard fridge... the kids, as they got older...wanted to drink it too... and when Mom was gone... out came the glasses and the pop.

Hubby and I had a long, loooonnnng looooooooong "talk" about how what we eat and drink directly affects and influences our children... not to mention the empty calories and intestine and kidney eating effects of drinking sugary, fizzy drinks... As my husband's job became more demanding, and he spent more time at work, and I was able to take over FULL control of the shopping as the kids got older and I wasn't breastfeeding a baby anymore... the soda drinking has come to an abrupt HALT...  I even got our Pediatrician involved and asked him to use some scare tactics about soda and eating junk food too often to help dissuade the kids... and it helped...

If you want your kids and grand kids to eat heathily... STOCK YOUR HOUSE WITH HEALTHY foods... it's that simple...  Talk to your kids about calories, and making them count, and talk to them about how our kidneys work 10 times harder to filter soda and sugary juices, and we only have 2 kidneys, and if one shuts down... life can be hard...
Tell them how much better they'll do in school by eating more fruits and veggies, and to only eat junk food on Birthdays and major holidays... with lots of healthy stuff mixed in...  Tell them how many less tummy aches and headaches they'll have by eating good food.  Tell them how they won't break out in zits as often as kids who eat junk a lot.  Feed them positives like that... and you'll start to have good eaters.

Our goal to have good eaters shouldn't be to just have kids that eat whatever is put in front of them... because waaaay too many parents are feeding their kids processed, junk from a box, can or pouch... but to have kids that make good choices...even when faced with a bad choice...

I want my kids to choose water over soda... fruit over chips... homemade over processed... yogurt over ice cream... MOST of the time... I know it's unrealistic to have them choose the best ALL the time... but good habit making is a long arduous process.. that is totally WORTH the time... because the time it takes to do it and do it well... ADDS YEARS TO THEIR LIVES!!!  Good... healthy... never have to see the Dr. years.

So Mama... get out your pen and paper... and make a list of things you want your kids to eat on a regular basis... AND BUY THEM!  Now... remember all those other things you USED to buy...that they loved?  The chips, Cheetos, soda, Pop Tarts, Lunchables, sugary cereals, sugary oatmeal packets, Gogurts, Fruit Roll ups... etc???
DON'T BUY THOSE... really.  You'll hear some whining... some crying... and maybe some unkind words... but chalk it up to DETOXING.  Those food are ADDICTIVE for a reason... they are DRUGS.. and HORRIBLE  for your kids...  And please, please, please, please, please... NO ASPARTAME, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYPUP, SPLENDA, OR TRUVIA.. for the kids...

Buy grapes, and melon, and frozen fruit that you can whiz up in a blender, and whole grain crackers and REAL cheese, and good peanut butter and all fruit jams, and REAL meat... not the junk in the shrink wrap...

Sound expensive?  Think again...your grocery bill and your medical bills will GO DOWN... and so will the mood swings, and acne, and weight gain, and fatigue.  You will see bright eyes... energy... better hair, good teeth, self esteem, looser clothing... and better grades...

Mama... its up to you... it always has been.  If you are wondering why the kids aren't as healthy and slim and energetic as they should be...it's because of the pantry... plain and simple...

Let me know if there is any way I can help you... email me...I'm here...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Corn... Food of the Week.

Corn.  The forbidden veggie on soooo many diets.  Why?  Because it's sweet,  because it's starchy, and because some people just don't know any better.

The corn haters out there... need to get something straight... Corn is good for us.  Yes, it's a grain, and a veggie and the debate goes on and on... but really... it comes down to one thing... It's full of fiber and acts as "nature's broom".

Years ago, I came across a friends notebook full of jokes and one liners... and one entire page was dedicated to
(I'll be nice and not be too graphic here...) Poo. That's not the word it used... and it described all the different types of Poo, in a hilariously creative way... and one stuck in my mind... It said... "Corn Poo... no explanation needed"... and I got it instantly...Stay with me... don't click away yet... I won't stay on this subject much longer...
What it meant was... Corn... ever wonder how you can chew it, and chew it, and chew it for days... and in the end... it still looks like it came out whole? Okay, I 'm done... put the barf bag away...

The reason it does that is the hull... it's indigestible.  THAT is the broom part.  THAT is why it is so much better to eat whole grains and not the stripped way grains... the HULL is what is cleaning the lining of our intestines and taking away bad things with it...

Corn is starchy like bread, and it's gotten a really bad wrap with many diets because of it... but it is a GOOD CARB... it's natural... it's real... it tastes good without having to do anything to it... it can be eaten raw, cooked, steamed, boiled, bbq'd, popped, fried, etc...

Here's my favorite way to cook corn... I never boil my veggies... ever...


Get some corn on the cob... with the husks still one, preferably, and clean the silks off... but keep the husks intact...
mix together in a bowl...

1/2 cup olive oil
salt
pepper
bbq seasoning mix
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 clove fresh crushed garlic


Brush the mixture on the corn and BBQ the corn with the husks around the seasoned cob...
The husks will get all blackened and charred... and the corn will steam and get all yummy inside...



Enjoy!!!  No butter necessary!!!

I also add corn to every soup I can... every stir fry, every taco meat mixture... basically to almost everything I eat...  I love it's sweetness, and it's ability to make my body think it's eaten bread.
It's quite a filler upper.
I buy it by the 5lb bag frozen... and keep it handy for all applications...

Corn... Food of the week... A misunderstood, often vilifed food... but a good one to eat...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day Food Fest... a day early...

Carrot Cake Muffins sans Frosting

Apricot and Blueberry Preserve/ Cream Cheese  Danish... made with Homemade Challah, fortified with Flax
Fresh Homemade Hamburger buns... ready for the burgers for lunch today...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cheater, Stealer, Bad Food Eater!!!!

Cheating...

Such an ugly word.  It conjures us visions of philandering spouses, moving one space more on a board game on the sly, and eating something we KNOW shouldn't be eaten.  But wait... is eating a bad food really CHEATING? Who is getting CHEATED?   Is it maybe STEALING?   I mean... Bernie Madoff... MADE OFF with billions of dollars of other people's money... that's called STEALING... but some say he CHEATED them out of it... yeah... they are probably right...

So... for eating's sake... CHEATING  and STEALING are the same thing... Agree or disagree?

We are grown ups.  WE can make choices for ourselves.  We know how to read.  We have mirrors.  We feel guilt.  We know the difference between right... and wrong.  We know that eating Twinkie is bad... and eating an apple is good.  We know we should be drinking water and green tea, and not Mountain Dew and Iced Caramel Frappacino's.

Sooooo... why do we do it?  Why... do we undermine ourselves?  WHY DO WE CHEAT AND STEAL from ourselves?  What?  How can I say such things as we are CHEATING AND STEALING from ourselves?

Simple. 

When we make bad food choices... for whatever reason... "I was at Bunco, and the only food there was junk food" or "All my friends wanted to go to lunch, and they were all having nachos... and I did too" or "My son ordered fried chicken fingers... and I just couldn't let them go to waste... and I only ate 3 fries... so I was "good"."
we are cheating ourselves of nourishment.  We are cheating ourselves of being able to wear that smaller size.  We are cheating ourselves of feeling good all the time.

When we make bad food choices... we are STEALING time from our lives.  We are making SURE that we won't live as long or as well as we possibly could.  THE WORST PART?  In my book... the absolute WORST thing we can do?... is MAKE BAD FOOD CHOICES AND SERVE THOSE CHOICES TO OUR KIDS... to me... that's CRIMINAL.  When we know better, and choose to serve the "convenience" foods anyway... we are STEALING and CHEATING our children of their lives too.  Once we know better... we need to DO better.

My kids are finally getting used to it... but in the last 9 months... I've sort of been a little "fanatical" about what goes into my kids mouths... After shopping for the Snack Shack initial food stores for the baseball season... and after READING the ingredients (science experiment) of the Nacho "cheese" box (that by the way... NEVER has to be refrigerated... hmmmmm)... I've become even MORE crazy controlling about the food they eat...

I've begun to see fast food and canned, boxed and processed food as poison... REAL POISON.  I liken that junk to Crack Cocaine... I really do.

At first... my kids balked...and kicked and screamed foul... but now... if they do happen to eat the junk... they get SUCH horrible stomach pains and indigestion.  They feel lethargic, and sleepy.  They have begun to FEEL their food, instead of just eating it... and when they CHEAT... and they do... they don't like it.  The CHEATING has been less frequent these days... their bodies have LOVED the fuel from fresh and homemade foods, and have begun rejecting and purging the bad food.  HALLEUJAH!!!

I have cooked homemade for them for the past 16 years... We eat IN waaaaaaaay more than we eat OUT... but I wasn't as vigilant about the types of food and drinks allowed in my home as I am now.  The Food Police on ANY show can come in my home and I wouldn't bat on eye...Bring it on! BBBBUT!... my kids are still rebeling a bit...

It's REALLY, REALLY hard to be a kid, and have been allowed to eat bad food in the past...and to completely change now... especially with the kids at school eating junk on a daily basis... BUT... it makes kids stronger in the end.  When my kids share their good food, especially to the kids making the most noise about "eating healthy"... and the kid LOVES the healthy food, and WANTS TO BUY IT OFF YOUR CHILD... it gets easier for my kids.

I preach to them that the food I pack for them is fuel for the day and for practice... Slim Jims, pizza, and soda ARE NOT fuel... it's drugs. Plain and simple. Doritos, Cheetos, Ding Dongs, Fruit Roll Ups, etc... ARE DRUGS...  Just like Pot and Crack and Alcohol.  They are addictive... and they are hard to quit (okay, not as hard as some... I'll grant you that)... but when the CDC says THIS generation is the FIRST generation that WILL NOT live longer than MY generation...WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM!!!  When kids are getting Type 2 Diabetes at 3 and 4... THERE IS A PROBLEM...

Just because kids are thin... DOES NOT mean they are healthy.  WE are the keepers of the food.  WE are responsible to feeding and caring for our kids... IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO STOP THE CYCLE OF processed, easy, boxed, squeeze cheese foods...

Let's not CHEAT our children out of the best health they can have.  Let's feed their bodies, minds and spirit... with an abundance of natural foods... I know, Mom, it'll take a little longer in the kitchen... and it'll INconvenience you... but aren't your kids worth it?