The Real Deal About Pasta

Once I told an M.D. that I wanted to lose weight.

“Lay off the pasta.” He laughed.

As an Italian person I should not be against eating pasta.

However most white food like rice pasta and potatoes is not healthful.

I’ve decided to have pasta at most once or twice a month.

The health coach I hired told me whole-wheat pasta isn’t a heck of a lot better than regular pasta.

The solution to maintaining your weight is to understand that having a “treat” like pasta every so often–as opposed to every week–could be fine.

Thinking in terms of having a “cheat day” when you’re “on a diet” is a mistake.

Thinking in terms of food being “good” or “bad” sets you up to fail.

In this blog years ago I touted my own strategy: the 80 percent rule: to eat healthful food 80 percent of the time.

Which for me hovers at 90 percent right now.

I’m the odd girl out because I love vegetables.

And I’m odd because I’m Italian and I rarely eat pasta.

My contention is that food that’s good for you can taste good.

How do I feel after eating pasta? Sluggish.

In a coming blog entry I’ll talk about ways to get more energy.

Weekly Menu

I thought I’d share with you my food menu for one week.

In the hope of corroborating the research on how eating healthful food can improve a person’s mood.

This was the menu I recorded for last week.

The items on this week’s menu were different on most days except for the snacks. Breakfast is the same every day.

My experience having eggs for breakfast every day shows that eggs are OK to have every week as an alternative to a box of cereal

I don’t think you’re going to harm your health by having eggs. Step away from the Skinny Bitch diet book that tells you not to have eggs.

The alternative–chocolate Special K with artificial flavors–I beg you please no.

Breakfast:

Two or three organic eggs with diced tri-color peppers and mushroom slices.

Monday:

Lunch:

Amy’s Organic butternut squash soup.

Snack:

PetitPot organic chocolate pudding.

Dinner:

Shrimp ring with cocktail sauce and salad.

Tuesday:

Lunch:

Organic lettuce chock full of raspberries, chickpeas, olives, carrots, and cashews.

Dinner:

Salmon filet with cauliflower.

Wednesday:

Lunch:

Again a salad like the one on Tuesday.

Dinner:

Maple-glazed turnips-and-carrots recipe.

Thursday:

Lunch:

Ditto for the salad.

Dinner:

Scallops with roasted root vegetables.

Friday:

Lunch:

Roasted butternut squash.

Dinner:

Again a salad chock full of goodies.

Saturday:

Lunch:

Amy’s Organic Chunky tomato soup.

Dinner:

Chicken cutlet with green beans.

Sunday:

Lunch:

Salad.

Dinner:

Tofu and broccoli in sesame oil.

Daily Snacks:

Organic raspberries or blackberries.

Organic Fair Trade bananas.

Organic Fuji apples.

Other fruit when in season.

After a workout:

Fage plain Greek yogurt full-fat kind with organic blueberries and a drizzle of raw honey.

_____________________

I don’t believe the beef industry hype that red meat or any kind of meat is good for you.

The most I eat is chicken and turkey and fish and seafood.

I don’t like that Driscoll’s seems to be the only option in town for berries. As I’m aware that Driscoll’s might not treat their farm workers fairly or justly.

I’m in favor of giving so-called “migrant” farm workers U.S. citizenship and a livable wage.

In the coming blog entry I’ll give the Maple-glazed turnips-and-carrots recipe.

I was surprised to find turnips for sale in a food market. So they might be available where you are too.

Status of 3-Month Challenge – Update

Hmm _ forgot I scheduled this blog entry and wrote 2 entries with the same title 🙂

On January 14, 2020 in this blog I wrote about the 3-Month Challenge I wanted to achieve.

My goal was to cook my own dinner 4x per week and do a walk-run on the treadmill 1x per week.

On March 17, 2020 the gyms in New York City were forced to shut down along with the retail stores.

As far as my goal of cooking dinners 4x per week this has been achieved.

In the time of the pandemic and living indoors it has been easier to cook dinner nearly every night.

My concern is how the changed nature of living life during the pandemic had disrupted anyone who was using the Changeology 5-Step 90-Day Action Plan to realize our goals and resolutions.

In this extraordinary time each of us needs to act kinder and gentler towards ourselves and others.

I live with the belief that everyone living on earth is doing the best we can with what we were given in life.

No judgments–that is the way to move forward–to live with no judgments.

Before the pandemic hit I had started to use the treadmill. I continued to lift weights.

Now that everything has changed I understand what it feels like to have your life upended by a circumstance outside your control.

I will talk about this more in the next blog entry.

Getting Support for Your Goals

The one small act of scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast has whirled into action other goals in a snowball roll.

The health coach services end in two weeks. This 2-month health coach service was well worth the money.

This is why I tell readers to get the support you need to plan and prepare for the new goals you want to take on.

One of my ideas is to go back to school for a writing degree.

It can be scary to make changes even though the changes might be positive.

That’s why I say: create a support team of individuals you can talk with.

Lastly: to remember that with health you have everything you need.

What I write I would like to educate, empower, and entertain readers.

To give followers the idea that it’s not as hard as you think to make changes.

I’ve been scrambling culinary sunshine for 6 weeks so far.

I say Go for It: risk change.

You don’t know until you try what’s possible.

Carrot Soup Recipe

carrot soup

This is a photo of the carrot soup I made from scratch using a food52 recipe.

The recipe is rather long so I’ll give a link to it at the bottom of this blog entry.

The egg muffins I believe I posted the recipe for in my Recipes category in the cloud.

Here it is again:

Beat three eggs fluffy.

Add mix-ins: sliced mushrooms, diced red pepper, diced onions, cut tiny broccoli florets, or whatever you’d like.

Pour egg mixture into muffin tin baking pan. You’ll get about 2 to 3 egg muffins.

Heat at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or possibly only 10 minutes depending on your oven.

Voila: a breakfast food on its own or part of a hearty winter lunch or dinner with the addition of a soup

The carrot soup took me 35 minutes total to create.

Here’s the carrot soup recipe.

 

 

 

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.

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!