Category Archives: Nutrition

How to Perfectly Prepare a Spaghetti Squash

This is a spaghetti squash.

Say hi.

I’ve got nothing against some good starchy carbs, but a heaping plateful of spaghetti, even if it is whole grain, will put you in a calorie coma. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative. Anyone that tells you it tastes like spaghetti or that no one will know you used it is a dirty liar, but it’s delicious and you can eat as much as you want for hardly any calories. You bake it, scrape it with a fork, and the squash comes out in nice little noodles. I swear.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Carbs for All! Pumpkin Pecan Loaf Recipe

Carbs get a bad rap, but in reality only certain carbs should be avoided. In fact, your brain runs 100% on carbs, so if you stop eating them, your brain turns to mush and your mood turns worse. Choosing the right carbs is what is important. White carbs like pasta, rice and bread are so bleached and processed the nutrition is stripped from them. Not only that but they turn to sugar immediately, causing a spike in your blood sugar. I call this the Chinese Food effect: you can eat your weight in Chinese food, feel like you are going to explode, but an hour later you are hungry again looking for something in the fridge. Why? Cause the food is so heavy in sugar and fast burning carbs that your blood sugar levels drop, causing you to crave more food and overeat. Whole grains (not “multigrain” and not “made with whole grains” but 100% whole grain foods like brown rice, whole grain pasta and whole wheat bread) do the opposite- they stabilize blood sugars so you stay fuller, longer and they haven’t been stripped of their nutrients so you get a healthy dose of vitamins, nutrients and the food freebie fiber.

I love carbs. There is nothing better than having a big slice of sweet, delicious, warm carbs and a cup of coffee in the morning. Usually to get this, people will head to Starbucks to order a latte and whatever stale, sugar coated scone is left in the fingerprint smudged case. “It says bran!” you say. “It’s healthy!” Hardly. Just because it has one healthy ingredient doesn’t mean the rest are healthy, too. (While we are on the subject, the multigrain bagel is also clever marketing – it’s not whole grain.)

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could go somewhere and order a delicious treat and know that it is not only yummy, but completely healthy? You can’t, cause that doesn’t make anyone money, so you must make it yourself. That’s the only way you can truly control what goes into your food, and into your body.

TRAChealth sent me some chia seeds to try out for www.sweatlist.com, and by some, I mean 30 bags, and at a 2 tbsp serving size, it’s going to take me a million years to get through this stash. And so…I bake!

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Q and A: Any Light and Yummy Sammie Toppers?

Q: Hi! I am usually the one who opts for Subway sandwiches every weekend at malls when I find myself having not much appetite for other food. Can you recommend a low fat and sugar sauce that I can drizzle on my sandwiches besides my usual favorite, ketchup? -Maxis

A: Subway isn’t perfect, but it’s one of the fast/fast casual food places where I am comfortable eating and spending my money. Most of their offerings are light and relatively healthy, and you have the opportunity to stuff yourself full of veggies. But just like any other establishment, the extras are what will make or break your sammie.

There are a million low calorie dressings and sauces for sandwiches you can buy, but I’m not going to get into those because they are terrible little chemical cocktails that will actually lessen the nutrition of your sandwich. I’d choose full fat, high calorie real food over those any day.

Continue reading

Tagged

Recipe Remix: DIY Flavored Water

We all know to drink lots of water, and we all know water is boring. Many will reach for cheap (expensive) imitations full of artificial flavors, ie. chemicals, dyes and poisons, or you can get creative and make your own flavored water.

Slicing up fruit and adding it to a tall drink of water can liven up the flavor a bit, but I prefer, especially in the summer months, a little more pizzazz. Gather up different combinations of fruits and fresh herbs and allow them to soak in a big jug of water. Whatever sounds good, probably will be.

My most recent batch was a combo of fresh mint, frozen raspberries, blueberries and blackberries and some cute little key limes.

Continue reading

Tagged

Attune Foods Cereals: Funny Names, Serious Nutrition

Growing up, my sister and I weren’t allowed to have cereal. Wile you may be applauding my mother for keeping us away from sugary, processed junk, it was more because she was a single mom and was pissed every time she dropped $5 on a box of cereal that never lasted to see the next morning.

Because of this, I suppose, cereal doesn’t rank high on my list of breakfast choices- there are always more nutritious/interesting things to eat, and I usually prefer hot food in the morning, but when Attune Foods asked me to review their cereals, after looking at the nutrition profile, I couldn’t say no.

Attune believes “If what you eat is good, and pure, and true to its source, all else will follow.” THANK YOU. I’ve been saying that for years.

Uncle Sam Toasted Whole Wheat Berry Flakes and Flaxseed

Using a recipe that’s over 100 years old, Uncle Sam cereal may look like cocoa puffs, but it is made of only red winter wheat berries. They roll them, toast them, and then flatten them, then add flax seed. That’s it.

Each serving (3/4 cup of cup) has:

  •  190 calories
  • 10 grams of fiber (40 percent of your DV)
  • 7 grams of protein
  • Less than one gram of sugar

It used to bear the title of “Natural Laxative Cereal” until recently, one could only imagine because of the mental image it conjures up so close to the earliest and most important meal of the day.

The name Uncle Sam comes from the creator, Lafayette Coltrin’s side profile silhouette, which bore the resemblance to the George Washington. I would like to comment on the validity of this statement but the actual silhouette appears no where on the box.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Eating Healthy’s Too Expensive? I Should be 400 Pounds by Now…

Most people decide if a salad dressing is healthy or not based on whether it is cream or oil based. In truth, most salad dressings are horrible. If you think you are going healthy by going for the low-fat, low-calorie stuff, you are pouring a chemical cocktail all over your leafy greens.

When you cook at home, you control what you eat. Making your own salad dressing is not only healthier, it is insanely cheap. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m cheap- unless I’m drinking, then I’m generous and leave with the bar tab of a professional athlete.

Here is a salad dressing I make quite often, with random crap I found in my cupboards. It tastes a lot like a balsamic vinaigrette and I haven’t found a salad it doesn’t taste faboo on.

  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Put it in a jar and shake it up. This is a great way to use up old pickle or condiment jars. It ends up pretty strong so a little goes a long way. If the acid is too much, add a tbsp or 2 of water to thin it out.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

How to Perfectly Prepare an Artichoke

I love food that’s a project to eat. I hate taking an hour to prepare something that takes 5 minutes to inhale. And then another hour to clean up.

The ultimate project food is an artichoke. It’s super simple to prepare and when finished, you can plop down in front of the TV and peel the leaves, scraping the flesh off each one with your teeth while working your way toward the prize at the center: the artichoke heart. If you’ve never had a freshly steamed artichoke heart, you are sorely missing out. That pickled, fibrous jarred crap doesn’t even come close.

When I was little we used to dip the leaves in butter or mayo (it tastes a lot better than it sound), but now much  older and wiser, and to avoid turning a deliciously healthy veggie into a vehicle for saturated fat, I prepare it using my special, calorie-free ingredient:

Preparing and Steaming an Artichoke

Pick an artichoke that is full and green, with very little purple or brown on the outside. Wash the artichoke as dirt tends to settle between the leaves. Snip off the spikey, pokey tops of the leaves and slice off the stem so it sits flat.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

It’s Food, Not Rocket Science: A Little Love for Leftovers

The leftovers

I had a request for more recipes (HI, STEPHANIE!) so I here ya go.

Admission: I’m cheap. I buy discount. And I refuse to go shopping except to replenish fruit until there is nothing left, so I’m pro at getting a little creative. I am living proof that it is not more expensive to buy healthy. If it were, I think my thriftiness would have me near 300 pounds.

There are always those days where you have to just use what you’ve got. The ideas you come up with are sometimes frightening and end up in the trash, and sometimes you come up with some pretty good ones.

I haven’t been to the store in a while, and thought I’d use dinner as a chance to clear out some space in the fridge. I had left over tofu and zucchini from the Spicy Thai Noodles recipe, an onion I slice off of here and there that needed to be used up and some fresh spinach that was on its last legs.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

My Diet Plan Will be Called KISS Away the Pounds: Keep it Simple, Stupid

Dear Media,

Shut your face, please, you’re confusing the crap out of everyone.

I recently heard from EveryMove that half of people claim nutrition is more confusing that doing their taxes.

Get. Out.

I’m freelance so admittedly, my taxes are pretty complicated, but are you kidding me?

Rule #1 Eat lean protein

Rule #2 Eat fruit and veggies

Rule #3 Eat whole grains

Rule #4 Eat healthy fat.

Rule #5 Don’t eat too much.

And move- that one’s not even nutrition, but those right there are your key to proper nutrition, losing weight, maintaining a weight loss and not dying of obesity related issues.

How is that so difficult?

It really is just that easy.

OK, I get it. I watch The Doctors and Dr. Oz, occasionally, when Big Rich Texas reruns aren’t on (Team Whitney, that little drunk trashbag, I love her). Monday’s episode: chocolate is good for you. Tuesday’s episode: chocolate will kill you. Wednesday’s episode: chocolate is the new miracle weight loss food. Thursday: how chocolate makes you fat. Friday: don’t eat anything in your pantry at all because it will all cause cancer.

What the hell do they want us to eat!?

Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever, Right?

I’ve been sick for the past 3 days. I thought it was allergies at first, but now I’m convinced it’s payback for some heinous crime I must have committed and blocked from memory. Now, on day 3, I feel I’m on the upswing, because after 2 days of not eating, my appetite is back with a vengeance.

That’s a lie. I toughed it out for the darling boy’s Thanks for Doing Two Tours in Iraq, Now Don’t Let the Door Hit You in the Ass on Your Way Out In To the Real World Party (Congrats, Nick!), and killed half a keg to myself, as well as a few cows and whatever the hell hot dogs are made of. Oh, yea, that’s right.

The sweet tooth hit me tonight after a long shift at the gym (where members were not shy about bathing themselves in hand sanitizer after taking one look at me) so it was sliced bananas, a little chocolate sauce and some almonds. Dessert for dinner. I’m sick. I deserve it.

Continue reading

Tagged ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.