Cooking Meals

Here it is the miracle product:

red copper

This is the Red Copper frying pan you can get in Rite Aid for $20 or so.

It’s easy to clean–you can’t use S.O.S. or Brillo–not a wool pad. Use dish detergent that you scrub with a scrubber sponge and then rinse off.

I had no idea the ubiquitous status of this humble frying pan.

Until I saw the woman who was the spokesperson for Red Copper hawking one of the baking pans for $59 on TV.

Everything cooks quickly in the pan featured in my photo. Eggs especially so you have to watch over them while they’re cooking.

If I remember right this Red Copper pan doesn’t use chemicals to make it non-stick. You can find non-stick frying pans that don’t have chemicals.

I would like to return here on the weekend with a seasonal recipe that I delight in cooking from June through September.

It features zucchini–my favorite vegetable.

I think Greenmarket season is a magical time of year for buying a bounty of fresh, local, and organic produce that you can cook with.

It’s true: the food you eat can boost your mood.

 

 

 

Budgeting for Food

People who hang out shingles as personal finance experts will tell you to allot only certain strict percentages to categories of spending like utilities and food and entertainment.

I say: that’s bull crap. You can absolutely spend more in one category as long as you cut down and reduce or halt spending in the categories that don’t matter to you.

Case in point: though I’m a single person I spend a ton of money on food each month. My contention is: it’s better to exercise and eat right even if that costs a lot–than to wind up in ill health and have to pay a hospital bill.

Now that the Greenmarket season is here I’m going to reiterate like I do every year: in New York City you can use food stamps to buy produce at Greenmarkets.

This is a great thing. Other people might judge a person who uses food stamps to buy expensive food. That’s not right. Poor people deserve to eat healthful food. Poor people deserve to be healthy too.

Wherever you live you might have an online grocer like PeaPod that delivers food. In New York City FreshDirect delivers food and household items.

This beats walking or driving to a food market, wheeling a shopping cart around, and standing in a long line. Plus you’ll use up a lot of gasoline making weekly trips to a food market.

I’m all for curbing or ending our reliance on foreign or other oil supplies.

In the next blog entry I’ll write about a miracle product that you can use to cook food with.

Nutrition Action

SDC10499.JPG

I want to talk about food and nutrition again. We’re coming up on Greenmarket season in New York City. Here you can use food stamps at a Greenmarket and there’s even an incentive for doing so. I think you should if you get food stamps buy fresh produce at a Greenmarket this time of year. Or year-round if a market is available in the winter.

The pasta is fresh angel hair pasta. The mussels are Newfoundland rope organic mussels. I order from an internet grocery that delivers. I had splurged for Mario Batali tomato sauce yet won’t do that again–it cost a ton of money for one jar.

I sloshed the mussels in red wine. You can fill a large saucepan with just enough water and place the mussels in the water. The water shouldn’t be so high that it goes into the shells. Steam the mussels for 25 minutes or so. Pour the wine over the mussels halfway through.

One time I was eating mussels in a restaurant. As you might know I’m Italian. So I’m eating the mussels and the woman at the table next to me tells the young girl with her: “Italians love their mussels.”

I was astonished. There I was Italian and I’m eating mussels.

The table decor is the spring tablecloth and vase and candlesticks. I firmly believe in changing your table decor at the start of every season. It can give a lift to your spirits.

I eat mussels. I have muscle. I doubt the two are connected. Yet enjoying good food  can improve your mental health too.

 

Drinking Plenty of Water

I’m on a big kick now to get people to drink plenty of water.

Divide your weight in half to get the number of ounces of water to drink each day.

I’m as guilty as anyone of resisting drinking water.

If you don’t drink enough water you could wind up needing to go to the ER for hydration via an IV drip.

Without enough water you could get so fatigued that you can’t get out of bed.

If drinking water doesn’t appeal to you, try using a bigger glass and filling it halfway so you’re not overwhelmed. Or use only a 10-ounce glass and fill it all the way.

I’ve ordered one of the Ellen DeGeneres Joy mugs to use throughout the day to drink water.

Drinking water flushes out toxins. Drinking water gives you clearer skin. Drinking water keep you hydrated. Thus drinking water helps you maintain your energy level.

What’s not to love about drinking water?

A Practical Guide to Health IMHO

Before you listen to me feel free to consult an M.D. or other professional.

I just wanted to write on the weekends about fitness and nutrition again. Like anything I tend to draw from my own experience because I want to uplift and inspire others.

Making positive changes is possible at any time along the road in your recovery and your life. A lot of time making a drastic wholesale change isn’t warranted unless you’ve gotten to the point of being in dire straits with your health.

I wanted to give some hope to readers and talk about what I think makes sense.

A bone density test revealed that I don’t have osteoporosis. This amazes me because I don’t consume 2,000 mg of calcium per day. It totally mystified me. Yet I think it’s proof that everything in moderation is really the way to go.

The older you get strength training becomes more important. I dead lift 175 pounds now because I do 3 sets of 10 reps. With lower reps I can dead lift 180 pounds or more.

I have no scientific proof that strength training can give you strong bones. I should Google this before I go off leaping into telling readers things about building better bones.

Yet I thought I’d talk about this to demystify all the hype and hoopla about what a person is supposed to do to be healthy. Expert advice aside I think a healthy dose of common sense is warranted.

My calcium intake consists of 3 sticks of string cheese a day (different kinds) for 600 mg. calcium – plus 1 cup reduced-fat chocolate milk (300 mg calcium) – plus 8 oz of skim milk with cereal in the morning (100 mg calcium) – plus whatever I get from dark green leafy vegetables or broccoli or another source.

I found out that Buitoni wild mushroom agnolotti (a kind of pasta) has 150 mg of calcium per package.

This all adds up to about 1,000 to 1,200 mg calcium per day. Plus I take a 2,0000 IU Vitamin D3 gel cap in the morning. If memory serves Vitamin D increases calcium absorption.

To prove a point I can prove without Googling because it makes sense to me: cutting out all dairy from your diet doesn’t make sense.

The anti-psychiatry crowd will recommend not consuming dairy. The health faddists will recommend not consuming dairy. At all.

Yes I’m living proof that there’s a happy medium. See this Mediterranean Food Pyramid for the details:

mediterranen_pyramid

You can have eggs, cheese, and yogurt on this beautiful “diet” which isn’t actually a diet just a sensible and healthy and yes delicious eating plan.

I really don’t eat white food like potatoes, french fries, regular pasta, and white rice. Nor do I eat a lot of whole grains either as a rule though you’re supposed to. Nixing refined grains is a must so I don’t have any of this kind either. High-fiber whole grain cereal in the morning is more my style.

The Mediterranean Diet has been written about in books since 1993 and this “diet” has been around forever as practiced by Italians in Italy and in other Mediterranean countries.

Really now. I don’t even think you need to exercise 5 times a week for an hour a day. Like some experts insist you need to do.

Tamara Allmen M.D. (certified menopause doctor and author of Menopause Confidential) and Lindsey Vonn (Olympic gold-medalist skier) and Miriam Nelson (Strong Women,  Strong Bones founder) all recommend strength training 2X per week and mixing in bouts of cardio.

That’s all folks.

The cardio can be spinning or Zumba or the treadmill or walking at a brisk pace or any kind of aerobic exercise you want to do for cardiovascular fitness. For maximum benefit to your bones and your body and your mental conditioning I recommend lifting weights as your primary exercise routine.

I’ll end here by also recommending the Mediterranean Diet as a good eating plan to follow 80 percent of the time. Striving to consistently eat healthfully 80 percent of the time sounds right to me.

Cannellini and Escarole

white-beans-escarole

This recipe is quick and easy and healthful:

Buy a head of escarole and a can of cannellini and a head of garlic.

Rinse escarole thoroughly in water to remove any residual dirt and dry with a paper towel.

Cut leaves off and saute in olive oil for about five minutes until the greens are soft and not fried. Add chopped garlic. (You can use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh.)

Halfway through sauteing add the cannellini and cook.

I’ve used habichuelos here which are the tiny version of cannellini.

Voila–in under ten minutes you can cook a dinner for one.

Add a stick of string cheese for a complete protein.

 

Sources of Protein

I found these sources of protein on a bodybuilding website:

Swiss cheese:

8 gm per 1 oz serving

Greek yogurt:

23 gm per 8 oz 0 fat plain

Sockeye salmon:

23 gm per 3 oz serving

Eggs:

6 gm – 1 large egg

Chicken breast:

24 gm – boneless skinless – per 3 oz

Turkey breast:

24 gm per 3 oz

Milk:

8 gm per 1 cup

Peanut butter:

8 gm per 2 tbsp

Quinoia:

8 gm per 1 cup

Tofu:

12 gm per 3 oz

Green peas:

7 gm per 1 cup

Tilapia:

21 gm per 3 oz

Light tuna canned:

22 gm per 3 oz

Shrimp:
11.6 gm per 3 oz