As a busy mom, I frequently look for ways to accomplish more in less time. Cooking is an area where I can easily do this. I like to make the most of my time in the kitchen, so last night, I prepped some beans for the crock pot today.
It doesn’t take any additional time soak twice as many beans, so I soak enough to make more than one bulk dish. Last night, I soaked 1 pound of small reds, 1 pound of black, 1 pound of light red kidney beans in my larger crock pot.
This morning, I’ve got both Chili and Refried beans in dueling crock pots. You don’t have 4 crock pots in your possession? (Yes, I may have an issue with crock pots.) Not a problem. Make chili today and cook those refried beans tomorrow. Just put that helping of soaked beans in the fridge and cook ’em tomorrow. 🙂
(Looking to kick the nutrition of your refried beans up a notch? Grab some Moringa leaves from a tree and throw them in right before you put in the fresh beans.)
My crock pot fetish. The crock on the left was my grandmothers, then my aunts, and now mine. It is an original crock pot and still works wonderfully. The crock on the right is my trusty favorite. Its frequently on my counter. I use it as a prepper – in most cases we don’t like our veggies cooked to mush (pulls out and destroys the nutrition) but is wonderful at cooking down stocks from left over carcasses (chicken bones) and cooking tomato dishes and beans.) We eat lots of beans here. 🙂
So, I’ve been preaching choices and consequences to my daughter quite a bit lately. At 7 she wants what she wants and she cries if she doesn’t get it. It frustrates me to no end, I don’t feel like we spoil her, we don’t buy her everything she asks for, she has responsibilities, and she is required to eat what is fixed for meals.
Today, she wanted to go to the park. I said okay and that we would ride our bikes there. She was very excited. (It is August in SW FL) As we prepared to leave she decided she would rather ride her scooter. I discussed this with her and tried to focus on the consequences of this choice, that she would be required to bring the apparatus home after the park and that her bike would be easier than her scooter, yet she insisted. – Long story short – the mile home seemed like 15 to me!She kept whining and complaining that she was just going to die, that she couldn’t go on another step. We didn’t have a choice – we had to get home, plus, she had plenty of water for the journey.
We get home and it is lunch time. Consequences—> She still has chicken and mixed veggies from the other night that she has refused to eat – so that is lunch. She is now taking a nap in her room because she is just too exhausted to eat. LOL
Why is this relevant to your life?
Our daily choices have consequences. Everyday we choose a soda pop, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal, or a 10,000 calorie sandwich from a fast food restaurant. Our daily choices have consequences.
Unfortunately, we don’t see those consequences so readily as having to eat the food we refused the night before or by having to get home on our scooter when we’ve decided we are done.
These consequences may take years or even decades to develop. Enter the current state of our national healthcare crisis. Forget about the fact that no one can afford the care they need – WHY DO THEY NEED THE CARE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Choices & Consequences
I don’t typically like, what I call, scare monger tactics to make people see things, but this video stuck me hard. Our choices have consequences. I count myself lucky because I had friends who pointed me in a healthier direction. Better Choices.
I was close to this in my 30’s. Though not this big, I was struggling with my health, with depression, with pain, and the answer I was given at that time was to take prescriptions. SIX of them at one time – some to handle the side effects of the others. I was miserable. I thank my friend, Betsey, for opening my eyes to what nutritional choices could do and to how easy those choices could be.
If you are struggling with your weight, with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, pain in your joints, the beginning of heart disease, lethargy, cravings and such, changing a few things gradually could have a synergistic effect and redirect your current path.
I would love to work with to show you what simple choices could make a HUGE impact on your health! HUGE (and I’m not trying to sell Kia’s here either. – local humor)
Simple steps can begin to turn things around for you so that you don’t find yourself where this gentleman has found himself.
This is an amazing salad that even my husband will eat… His first response was “raw broccoli, ick” then he tasted it and was pleasantly surprised. The flavors of these ingredients melt together to give the perfect combination of flavor, texture, and pleasure in food.
It also contains a sugar, a fat, and a salt to help cause the brain to give you that “satisfied” feeling after you have tasted, chewed, and consumed it.
2-3 cups of finely chopped broccoli (I chop it tiny so you can get all the flavors in every bite.)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
10 rounds of Canadian bacon (Less fat, no nitrates – I buy mine at Costco)
3/4 cup of raisins (I prefer organic green grape raisins)
3/4 cup of slivered almonds
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1/4 cup raw, organic sugar
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
I soak my broccoli in a solution of water & Basic H (two drops) to clean anything still on it.
I’ve chopped the Canadian bacon into small pieces, then added the finely chopped broccoli
Add the onion, raisins & almond slivers & mix.
Whisk together the mayo, organic raw sugar, & white wine vinegar.
Pour over the salad and mix well. It is best when you let it marinate for a bit before you eat it! FABULOUS treat! I like to keep this in the fridge to munch on throughout the week.
I got an interesting call Monday evening. Yvonne McClellan of the News-Press called and asked to interview me and see “What’s in my Fridge.” So, to my house, she came to visit and check it out. (Click on the photo to be taken to the video or click the link below.)
An easy, healthy recipe to not only make the tater tasty, but I EVEN ate the skins!
Typically, I will bake a sweet potato in the oven, then crack off and peel off the skin. (Skins have feelings, and nutrients too.) When I finished baking these, the skins were soft and supple and tasty, so… I ATE THEM!
You won’t believe how easy this is!
You will need:
2 TBLS coconut oil
coarse sea salt
sweet potatoes (works for russets and reds too)
1 gallon zip lock
large piece of aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 375
Wash potatoes with water and a scrub brush & strain to dry
Place coconut oil in zip lock bag
put potatoes in zip lock and move around to coat in the coconut oil
Lay potatoes on rack to drip off extra coconut oil (OR…remove batteries from smoke detectors and turn vent fans on high prior to cooking)
Season lightly with course sea salt
Place on top rack in oven with strip of foil under potatoes to catch any additional drippings
Cook 45 minutes, or until tender
Cut into bite sized pieces and enjoy it all – skins taste amazing too!
Leftover potatoes (I make extra) can then be used to make a very tasty breakfast hash brown recipe.
Remember, Sweet Potatoes are VEGETABLES… NOT POTATOES!
As I began working to improve my health, and thus reduce my waist line, healthy food choices and portion sizes became really important. I used to crave sodas, breads and pastas, and sweets A LOT! I was certain there was no way to overcome them.
What I found was, when my body had the nutrition and components necessary for building a healthy body, the cravings melted away just like the inches on my waist.
Why or how could that be? Lets look at a graphic to explain a bit of it.
What we eat as a snack is just as important as when and how much we eat. When we grab a soda, or a donut, or a bowl of cereal as our answer to our hunger situation… we are really setting ourselves up to fail.
This is why the coffee break became so important. When you eat a bowl of cereal, a pop tart, or a donut for breakfast, as you can see in the chart, your blood sugar SPIKES quickly and drops off just as fast… leaving you in state of “starvation” via the mind tricks because of the sudden and drastic drop in blood sugar.
Otherwise, if your chosen food item is a good quality protein, then your blood sugar doesn’t spike, it stays stable and you don’t get those “I gotta eat a 10 pound donut” sensations 2 hours later.
How much to eat depends on your personal caloric needs for the day, how much activity you’ve had during the day, and how long it will be until your next full meal. I made some great snack suggestions earlier this month.
So, now you have the logistics of how it all works, suggestions of healthful snack option, and a hunger scale to use… all that’s left is a big glass of tasty water to keep things on an even keel.
Healthy snacking, and may the grumpies stay far, far away!
For more information on healthy alternatives and choices, please contact me.
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 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!!!
My hubby’s boss went fishing down off the keys and caught some dolphin fish. Tim asked me to prepare it for the grill, so here is what we did, and in my opinion, it was FABULOUS! Tell me your experience.
It did help that the fish was uber fresh, too.
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
2 4 oz fillets mahi mahi, rinsed & patted dry
3 TBSP maple syrup
Directions to make Cajun Seasoning:
In a small bowl stir together salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme until evenly blended
Place extra in an air tight container for future use.
Directions for putting together the Mahi Mahi:
Heat the grill to about 300 degrees
In a bowl, stir the maple syrup and 1 1/2 TBSP of the Cajun seasoning.
Brush the Maple syrup mixture over the mahi mahi fillets.
Cook the mahi mahi on the grill until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 minutes per side
We had chunks of the fish and that worked wonders as well!
Health begins with the foods we eat, how much, what and how often.
Tonight, I was especially hungry, so I filled my plate!
Grilled chicken boob (still moist and juicy), a baked sweet potato with Greek yogurt and fresh cut chives (not shown), roasted Brussels sprouts in grape seed oil, and a few peas that hubby wouldn’t eat.
It was a lot of food packed with nutrition, and I am full. But why do I bring this up? I am reminded of an Ice Cream Study. (It is time for desert)
What this study showed was very interesting. The size of the dish and the size of the spoon.
If we were to take anything away from this study it would simply be this:
If you tend to over eat and always clean your plate, try using a smaller plate.
Buy a smaller plate. Not a dessert plate, a 10 inch plate rather than today’s standard 12 inch. Leave the same amount of space you normally would.
Make it a “pretty plate” something you would enjoy eating off of, perhaps a piece of Grandma’s China – make eating special, not mundane.
Load your veggies up first, then only take enough meat to fill the small portion left on your plate. 1 serving is 4 ounces NOT 16.
Use a smaller utensil. When it takes you longer to get the food to your mouth, your stomach has time to catch up with what you are eating and allows your body to receive the signals BEFORE you’ve over eaten.
Think, think, think… Before, during and after each bite, and talk kindly to yourself.
Before you know it, you can make new eating habits that are a positive step toward a healthier you!
If you would like more information on healthy choices, recipes, health based support groups, educational seminars, or personal in-home consultations to take your life in a healthier direction, just contact me.
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