How to Eat Healthier – Part Three

One of the scariest true facts is that chemicals thought to cause cancer are often found in food and drink products in the U.S.

Not all chemicals in food and drink products are regulated. Most aren’t.

Awhile back I had no energy to get out of bed on most days. Without resorting to taking an anti-depressant (I wasn’t depressed just fatigued) I was willing to try any non-chemical method of regaining my vigor.

My primary care doctor had told me that emotional distress can cause physical fatigue.

One idea she told me was to buy Ubiquinol from the pharmacy. The pill was supposedly a better version of CoEnzyme Q10.

CoQ10 is thought to give a person energy. I thought nothing of popping this pill until I read the ingredients. The Ubiquinol was listed as having Red and Blue Food Dye.

No kidding. After that, I stopped buying and taking this supposedly healthful product.

The pills were coated in an orange color–which should’ve been a tip-off.

Shortly after I stopped taking this OTC product my energy started to get elevated again. So I was lucky the fatigue slowly slowly got better.

You might not know this: a lot of drugs that are prescribed like atypical anti-psychotics cause weight gain precisely because the pills cause a person to have a ravenous appetite.

I take a pill that I’m grateful didn’t cause weight gain.

To end this blog entry I want to give you a dose of common sense.

Alas, common sense isn’t at all common.

I’m 53 years old, so technically I’m living in mid life.

Yet I haven’t packed on any extra pounds in mid life and have maintained the same weight as when I was 40.

Part of this equation is that I don’t eat a lot of food. I eat healthfully 80 percent of the time. I wrote about the 80 Percent Rule in a long-ago blog entry.

When I’m not hungry anymore I stop eating. Often I leave food on my plate–not a lot yet there’s food left over.

Thinking that you have to “clean your plate” so as not to waste food is a mistake. Why are you cooking too much food to begin with?

It’s also not your fault that chain restaurants sell huge portions of food. The food they’re giving you is unhealthy most of the time: the food was bought cheaply and prepared cheaply.

Then it’s loaded up on the plate. You could be tempted to eat it all or take home the leftovers.

Taking home leftovers is better than eating the huge portion all at once. You’ll have a second meal the next day.

Eating healthful food in moderation–five a day of fruits and vegetables–is one sensible guideline I think is non-negotiable if you want to stick to the one best nutrition guideline.

In How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life Frank Lipman, MD goes so far as to recommend eating two servings of fruit a day.

Eating two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables isn’t that hard to do every day. I have an organic navel orange for breakfast and a serving of an in-season fruit for an afternoon snack. I have a salad three days a week for one serving of a vegetable that day. Mix in a vegetable for dinner on most nights:

Voila–you can see it really isn’t hard to eat healthfully 80 percent of the time.

How have I been doing in executing my sub-goals for Step Three Perspire with the  Changeology 90-day action plan?

Remember: I wanted to buy and bring salads to my job to eat for lunch 3x/per week. And I wanted to exercise at the gym 2x/ per week.

In the next blog entry you’ll find out whether I succeeded or not.

Advertisements

Breakfast Recipes

You can’t go right with boxed cereal.

Most cereal has too much sugar and natural flavors which are really fake chemicals. The government allows companies to hide the chemical names of ingredients by using the term natural flavor or natural flavors on the food label on the product.

Remember: Natural flavors are fake chemicals. They’re no friend to your waistline or your health. It’s simple and quick to make healthful breakfast choices that don’t include chemical-laden frosted flakes or healthy-in-name-only cereals.

Remember: any product name that makes an emotional appeal to you as being healthy for you most likely has these chemicals and other not-good ingredients lurking in their contents.

Trust me: I’ve read an article in a women’s magazine that purported to give you quick-and-easy breakfast recipes. Only those recipes didn’t seem quick and easy to me when I read them.

Here’s the deal: eggs in moderation are OK. Avocados have heart-healthy fats. Allegedly people who eat a lot of avocados are skinnier if this is something that might interest you as some kind of fact. This seems far-fetched to me.

I’m going to give you here two recipes I found in reputable books.

Misty Copeland in her book Ballerina Body has a rolled oats snack recipe. I haven’t created this yet I’ve bought rolled oats to make for breakfast.

Instant oatmeal isn’t a healthful choice. It takes mere minutes to boil the water and seconds to swirl the water in the oatmeal. Yet it isn’t the greatest health option.

20-Minute Rolled Oats Breakfast Recipe:

Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats

Maple Syrup

Nuts or seeds like slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds

Boil 2 cups water.

Add 1  cup rolled oats.

Lower the flame.

Heat 10 to 20 minutes linked to your desired consistency (a little mushy or firmer).

Stir the oats as they’re being heated up.

Shut heat. Mix in maple syrup, nuts, seeds, cranberries, or diced dried apricots.

(I use Coombs organic dark amber maple syrup.)

The point is taking the time to have a good breakfast is worth the 20 minutes it will take.

Egg Muffins

Scramble four eggs in a bowl.

Stir in diced or slivered red pepper, onions, mushroom, broccoli, and fresh cheese.

I used red pepper and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Pour into muffin pan slots.

Cook for 10 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The tops will rise above the rim of the pan slots.

I heated my eggs for 15 minutes.

Understand:

Grating your own parmesan cheese wedge is preferably to buying any parmesan cheese in a plastic container or in a cardboard bottle. Those kinds of cheese have unnatural preservatives that people really don’t need to be ingesting.

Fresh Direct online food delivery service in New York City will grate for you for about sixty cents extra the fresh wedge of parmesan that you buy.

Voila:

Easy to cook breakfast recipes that are better than any boxed cereal and healthier I guarantee you.

Bon Apetit!

Eat Well to Be Well

brussels sprouts scallops

Kettlebell Kitchen Brussels Sprouts with Scallops

Eating well is a form of self-nourishment. My ethic is to eat well to be well.

In New York City an online food ordering service has started up.

Kettlebell Kitchen markets to a health-conscious crowd.

That’s a slick marketing tool. You can pick up the meal packages in your gym or have them delivered to your house or apartment.

Beef is sold mostly as well as some chicken dishes and turkey dishes.

There’s not a lot of strictly vegetarian packages.

You can order an actual meal plan that is sent every week. Or you can go in and choose your own items as often as you want–every week, every other week, or twice a week and so on.

If you live in New York City and don’t like to cook using the Kettlebell Kitchen service can be cheaper and healthier than dining in restaurants all the time.

In the coming week I’ll be giving a healthful breakfast recipe.

 

The Myth of Meal Plans

bucatinipad thai

FreshDirect Meal Kits Above: Bucatini with Tomato and Burratini – left. Pad Thai – right.

The first trainer I had at a gym left to open up his own boutique gym.

I subscribe to his newsletter. In it he bemoaned the fact that new members of his gym expect him to give them a meal plan. He frowns on this.

Quite simply: if you want to lose weight you have to change what you eat. It might not be as simple as calories in versus calories out either.

The type of food you eat matters. Merely eating less of unhealthful food isn’t going to get you fit for the long-term.

Eating mostly whole foods is the ticket. Eating a mostly plant-based diet.

I align withe Forks over Knives movement. I only eat chicken and turkey not any other kind of meat.

The FreshDirect online delivery service in New York City sells meal kits like the ones above. All the ingredients come in a box and you prepare the recipe on your own.

I have more to say about eating well to be well. I’ll talk about this Eat Well to Be Well philosophy in coming blog entries.

Meal Plan #2

gran padano

I’ve become committed to eating more healthful food options and cutting out the junk.

I think that as a person gets older cutting out the junk food is imperative.

Our older bodies aren’t always as spry as we were in our twenties and thirties.

So it makes sense to cut out the junk. We can replace the junk with food that gives us energy and stamina throughout the day.

Here was yesterday’s meal plan:

Breakfast:

Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grains granola with skim milk

8 oz organic orange juice

A.M. Snack:

Plain yogurt (Greenmarket fare)

Lunch:

Caprese Salad

(Heirloom tomato slices layered with fresh mozzarella slices.)

P.M. Snack:

Plain yogurt

Dinner in photo above:
Organic zucchini stuffed with gran padano shredded cheese

Scoop out inside of zucchini. Sprinkle with parmesan or goat cheese.

Heat at 350 in oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

(I used gran padano because I didn’t have parmesan cheese.)

Night Snack:

1 organic Anjou pear

Meal Plan #1

salad october 2017

Sunday, October 8 2017

Breakfast:

Cheerio’s with organic skim milk.

Lunch:

Amy’s Organic Minestrone soup.

Afternoon snack:

7 mini sweet peppers from CSA box.

1 container Horizon organic chocolate milk.

Dinner:

CSA salad with green leaf lettuce, hot pepper slices, shredded red cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots. Newman’s Own balsamic salad dressing.

Night snack:

Fage 0 percent fat plain yogurt.

4 squares organic chocolate 74 percent cacao.

I’m not keen to buy cans of soup that have natural flavor as an ingredient.

Natural flavor is a euphemism for chemicals whose actual names don’t have to be listed on the nutrition label.

Yet make no mistake you’re consuming chemicals.

I’ll report back here with a recipe I’m making for some kind of squash that arrived in the CSA too.  It’s a Gold Nugget personal-size Hubbard. Perfect for lunch.

More recipes to come here in the coming weeks along with some belated fitness inspiration or what’s call fitspo.

Every little bit of wellness counts:

Just walking five blocks or have a salad or whatever bits and bursts and sprints of doing that we can helps us get mentally and physically better.

Every little bit counts.

Food Spending Challenge

Years ago Gwyneth Paltrow failed in living up to a food spending challenge.

She was allotted $29 dollars per week to buy food. It’s the amount of money the average SNAP or food stamps recipient gets to buy food.

The point is not that you should have to live on twenty-nine dollars each week. The point is that people who receive food stamps should get a livable benefit that’s bumped up to the cost of living.

You don’t say? Yes, I do. Give people collecting SNAP more money.

It’s unconscionable that Americans have to go hungry and without food.

I’ve said before in here that buying food at a Greenmarket and supplanting these items from a food pantry is nothing to be ashamed of.

I want to return to talking about nutrition and how to develop a healthy eating plan.

I’ve decide to chronicle three days worth of a nutrition plan and eating routine.

$175 dollars with a $5 delivery tip as part of this total cost bought me:

Lobster salad (not cheap because it’s real lobster)

One CSA Box (community-supported agriculture)

  • Contains green leaf lettuce, mini sweet peppers, five hot peppers, mint, thyme, and sage, red potatoes, head red cabbage, one carrot, 2 non-organic Empire apples, container of cherry tomatoes, and container of heirloom tomatoes

2 beefsteak tomatoes

2 containers organic blackberries

2 organic Bartlett pears

6 containers Fage (pronounced Fa-ye) fat-free plain yogurt

1 box Barbara’s crunchy oats cereal

1/2 gallon organic skim milk

58 oz bottle Evolution organic orange juice ( my go-to when oranges aren’t available)

2 bars organic 74 percent cacao dark chocolate

1/2 pound scallops

Earthbound Farms container organic spring mix salad

4 organic bananas (they often arrive green and need to ripen)
2 Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup
2 Amy’s Organic Minestrone Soup
2 Amy’s Organic Vegetable Barley Soup

In the next blog entry I’ll record the kinds of meals you can make that I made with these groceries.

I’d love to hear the kinds of recipes readers use to make meals.