Fast Food… What is it?

In 1955 an amazing thing happened that changed the way see food and what we expect from our food. The concept of fast food changed forever! The McDonalds model of fast food and their advertising took hold in our country.

When my folks were kids everything was made from scratch.

  • Most of it came from the family garden and was prepared and preserved seasonally to last the year. There was a lot of time spent in the kitchen preparing meals and foods for now and the somewhat near future.
  • Obesity rates weren’t an issue, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer were far less common than today. Then it all got "easier," or was it?

Advertising and marketing did an excellent job of convincing the American woman she was spending too much time "in the kitchen" (men too). Use this boxed food to "save time" and effort.  Commercials depicted happy housewives of the era having so much more time because they could now prepare boxed! Ready made food.  (If your listen to your grandma or great grandma you might find that Mac and cheese from scratch takes just the same time as the blue box to make and tastes better.)


Then, the fast food restaurant entered the scene. If the highly "fortified" boxed meals weren’t fast enough, then the fast food place with the yellow roof is the answer. This isn’t as big a deal in Sweden where they realize it isn’t good for you and rarely visit the places, however in America its become an issue of people eating it on a regular basis rather than as an occasion treat.  Enter mass malnutrition and a higher incidence of the big four. (not a college conference, unfortunately)
Let’s talk about ‘fast food’.

  • The average person needs 5-10 minutes to get to the fast food restaurant. (this number increases exponentially depending on the number of and ages of your children)
  • Then, you wait in line to order, another 5-10 minutes.
  • You find a seat at the restaurant, get your kids set up with their meals, clean up a spill of some sort and replace the spilled food, another 10 minutes.
  • You eat the food. (in our case, the 6 yr old will be eating for the next 60-75 minutes)
  • You clear the table and throw out all the trash from your meal, clean  up the kids, take 1 or two to the potty, and head out to the car.

At home, you wouldn’t have had to load and unload the kids, the meal could have been ready in the same 30 minutes for less money, the kids could have used the potty by themselves without fear of what foreign germs or strange people might be lurking in the bathroom.  Thus loading the kids up one time to get to the destination of the evening and if they spill dinner on their outfit it could be changed before going on to ‘the event’ of the evening.

It’s not difficult to prepare, create, and serve healthy foods/meals. The mindset is the biggest obstacle to overcome. We see TONS of marketing on the boob tube about how much easier it is if we use this box or that box, or allow a hand to help you out… But it really isn’t that big of a time saver, in fact, I’ve found I can make dinner faster without it…and I don’t have to freak out if there isn’t a box in the pantry anymore.  I don’t need no stinking box!

I hear so many people say, "I don’t have time to make it myself." "I don’t have time to eat healthy." and I can’t help but wonder…

When WILL you have time to schedule

  • the biopsies/chemo/radiation
  • the bypass/stress test/stent placement
  • the wait times in the waiting rooms/pharmacies/specialists office
  • insulin testing/administering insulin/dialysis/wound care

It’s really all just a trade off. Perhaps, a little effort today could prevent the need to be forced to schedule time for doctor’s visits and such. OR… Perhaps you could learn a couple new skills today that could prevent the big 4 and allow you to enjoy the later years of your life outside playing around rather than spending the time in waiting rooms with everyone else.

Stop listening to the boob tube adds, please. Washing some fruit/veggies, or making a batch of protein bars, doesn’t really take that long and the benefits could last a longer lifetime!!!

Here are some additional Fast Food Facts for you and another article about the cost of fast food or if you prefer pictures here is a cost comparison of fast food.

Choose Health

For information on food preparation classes or waist line reduction (weight loss) contact me.

Refried beans… MY way!

So, my 6-year old will eat many different foods, she just typically doesn’t want them on the night I prepare them.  The one exception is BURRITOS!!!!  I wrap anything in a tortilla (with the exception of the Avado- that’s new) and call it a burrito, she eats it.

When she was itty bitty she called refried black beans “brownies” and would suck them down like daddy’s shop vac.

So, here is MY recipe for Refried Beans.



  • EVOO – in a Pampered Chef mister
  • 2 cans of beans (Black, Red, Kidney, Pinto, we don’t care)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves shredded or chopped small
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic minced
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of minced carrots
  • 1/4-1/2 cup minced onion
  • (I have been know to shred zucchini and other veggies and include them as well—shhhhh, don’t tell my family)



  • Spray your iron skillet down with some EVOO (yes we always use cast iron – it is the ORIGINAL non-stick wear.
  • Sauté your cilantro, carrots, onions, & garlic (feel free to add others) The goal is to soften them up, not brown them.
  • Pour in you beans with liquid (be careful they don’t splash out onto your floors)


  • Smash your beans with your potato masher while they heat up in the pan.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix up the mashed beans and to keep them from burning in the pan.


  • Continue to stir intermittently with your wooden spoon, scraping off any bean mixture that adheres to the bottom of the pan. (That’s the tasty stuff)
  • When the beans become thick and no longer fill in the pan when you scrape it with your wooden spoon they are ready to eat.
  • Remove pan from heat and allow to cool some so as NOT to burn your mouth on molten beans.


Sorry, the steam was very thick, you can just see the black stripe down the middle of the pan in the right picture… The beans are done.


I usually prefer to use dry beans because there is less salt, no preservatives, and no BPA, but this night I had procrastinated and needed to get dinner done.

To use dry beans I typically pick a pound of beans (again, type is your choice – I don’t recommend green beans)  Rinse them off then allow them to soak in a large bowl over night with at least 3x as much water as beans.  In the morning, rinse them well, place them in a slow cooker, fill cooker with water and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Then just substitute for the canned beans above.  Easy Peasy!

How we use them!


Can you guess who’s burrito is who’s?

For more information on eating healthy and improving your health through diet, feel free to contact me.

Cream of Anything Soup

I make most of the food in our house from scratch, (1) because I don’t want the traditions of my family to disappear, (2) because I want to KNOW the quality and actual ingredients that are going into my food, and (3) my darling daughter is allergic to corn.  (try shopping at the supermarket with that one!) LOL

I originally came across this recipe on Pinterest and loved the simplicity and how easy it is to use.  I wrote it down on a 3×5 card and taped it into my kitchen cabinet near the stove so I always have the recipe. (Now, I pretty much know it by heart.)  I love that it is simply what my grandmother did for years.


So, Here it is!


  1. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add flour and stir continuously for 1 minute (60 seconds)
  3. Add your liquid (milk, turkey stock, soy milk, water, whatever you like)
  4. Season to your likings – we just use a dash of fresh sea salt and a good twist or two of our fresh ground black pepper.
  5. Stir over heat until it has thickened and use for your recipe that calls for a cream of something soup.

We sometimes add better than bouillon to it for meat flavoring, I add diced mushrooms, celery salt, etc.  The options are limitless and the ingredients are few and much healthier than all the stuff you can’t pronounce on the back of the can. Smile

Happy eating!

18 meals from my 12 pound Turkey.

I saw several news stories this Thanksgiving about the amount of turkey people throw away after the holiday.  It’s a known fact that the most expensive food you buy is food you throw away. So I thought I would share with you how we got 8 meals and turkey stock for 10 more meals for my family of 3 out of one 12 pound bird.

I roasted it for 4.5 hours (1 hour longer than the package said to because it wasn’t done yet)



  1. Sliced turkey breast hot from the critter, fresh from the oven.
  2. Turkey sandwiches at a nearby theme park with swiss & mayo & mustard.
  3. Turkey casserole (whole wheat pasta, frozen peas, fresh carrots, cream of anything soup, french’s french fried onions)
  4. Turkey burritos (homemade refried beans, fresh made pico de gallo, cheese, Daisy Sour Cream)
  5. 5-8 are yet to be determined, the turkey has been frozen in 1 pound, cooked portions in ziplocks for a quick addition to any meal.
  6. The other 10 meals I will use this turkey in, will be in the form of turkey stock/broth.  I have 10 16 ounce portions frozen flat in my freezer to use when a recipe calls for stock.  I know what’s in it and what is not.

I will blog on the recipes and the process for dividing this bird up sometime this week as I have to head off to my other job for a bit.

Happy Thanksgiving & thank you for reading.  May you find yourself Feeling Good Fast!

How the Cinch Inch Loss Plan Works

Its pretty easy. Two delicious meal replacements a day, your snack bar, your energy tea, and your 3-in-1 booster tablet.  You choose your own healthy dinner choice, drink 8-12 glasses of water a day, and move your body!

You can go here for a complete outline of information on the system, and videos answering many questions!

The Cinch program isn’t just delicious – it’s easy to follow. Continue reading →

Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak

(This recipe is modified from July/August 2002 Issue of Energy For Women Magazine.)
We are a health conscious family, and we still like and eat meat!  The trick is to find healthier ways to fix it!


1 12-16 oz Flank Steak, trimmed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2+ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper Continue reading →

What you eat for breakfast shapes your whole day. 1 of 2

Do you eat breakfast? I bet you do.  Whether your first meal of the day is at 5:00 AM or at 1:00 PM, you ARE eating breakfast.  That first meal of the day is breaking the fast.  What you choose to eat for this meal is just as important as when you eat it.

The American diet, and school breakfasts tend to offer many different refined carbohydrates. Muffins, toast, bagels, breakfast cereal, pop tarts…  This source of fuel allows our blood sugar to jump quickly.

Blood Sugar Roller coaster Continue reading →

Healthier Chicken Lasagna–Didn’t have Ground Beef

Healthier Chicken Lasagna

I’ve been cutting way back on our beef consumption. In doing so, I haven’t purchased ground beef in a lllllloooonnnnnggggg time.  Therefore, when I began making lasagna for dinner, I discovered I had no ground beef.


2 chicken boobs, grilled and cubed small
1 zucchini shredded
1 jar of Ragu Spaghetti sauce (I use mushroom since it’s the only way I get mushrooms in my home)

Mix these 3 things together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix:

1.5 cups of 6 cheese Italian mix
2 cups of small curd cottage cheese
1 egg
1 cup of parmesan cheese

Prepare 1/2 box of high fiber penne pasta (7 g of protein per serving)

Spray a lasagna dish with olive oil
Drop a cup of sauce mix into bottom of dish
Layer penne pasta on top of sauce mix
Smooth 1 cup of cheese mix over penne pasta
Cheese & sprinkle with parm.

Cook in 375 oven for 30 minutes – allow to cool for 5-10 minutes & serve!

Awesome, easy switches for improved health!

(Hubby didn’t even realize it wasn’t beef!)  So, in this meal, we have increased fiber and protein content by switching out brands of pasta, reduced fat and red meat by switching out beef for chicken, AND added veggies by adding a shredded zucchini!

Switching brands can save your life!

So can switching little things in our daily life!