Category Archives: SOUP: Water and Vegetables

God’s Gatorade (part 2)

Most fruits and vegetables are 80-90% water, so they help hydrate your body as well as fill it with vitamins and nutrients. Here are three more highly hydrating snacks to quench your cravings.

035Field Irrigation: Watermelon and sunflower seeds. Sweet and salty, this snack satisfies both cravings. Just make sure you pay attention to which seeds you eat and which you spit.

 

036Mediterranean Berries: Greek yogurt and berries. Fill a small plastic container with Greek yogurt and add a few tablespoons of frozen raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries and your snack is ready to travel without refrigeration.

 

037newCooling Waters: Cucumber smoothie. Blend a peeled and de-seeded cucumber with fruit and milk. Refreshing, sweet, and a great way to consume the bounty of a too-prolific cucumber plant in your summer garden.

 

Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.   Romans 14:16,17 (NIV)

God’s Gatorade (Part 1)

What hydrates your body better than water? Better than sports drinks? Vegetables!

Most vegetables are 90% water or more and they contain natural sugars, amino acids, mineral salts, and vitamins. This combination does for your body what sports drinks advertise, but without chemicals. At 97% water content, cucumbers are God’s Gatorade.

Studies show that the food you eat provides 20% of the water your body needs each day. When you snack on vegetables, you get hydration, restocking of the minerals, acids, and vitamins your body needs, and fiber to move along what your body doesn’t need. Add a little protein to that snack and it’ll keep the energy flowing for hours.

Here are some super-hydrating protein-packed super-snacks. Any fruit or vegetable is going to have at least 75% water content, but the ones listed in these snacks are at least 90% water:

 

032The Aqueduct: celery with nut butter. This crunchy nutty combination is not just for kids. Let the water and protein flow.

 

033Muddle the Puddle: hummus and cucumber slices. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors to keep things interesting as well as hydrated.

 

034Bell Pepper Boats: half a bell pepper boat filled with tuna salad. This can be a snack, or two boats can be lunch. Easy to take on the go and they store well.

 

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

Sing a Song With Saint Patrick

To the tune of Oh Danny Boy, lift your fork and belt this out with me:

image

 

Oh eat your greens, the greens, the greens are calling

From head to toe they do a body good.

The vitamins and nutrients are flowing.

Tis you, tis you, must eat and I must too.

 

But come ye back for more greens on your plate.

Some mustard greens, spinach, kale, and chard.

Cholesterol goes down, they help my arteries.

Oh leafy greens, Oh leafy greens, I love you so.

 

And if you eat your greens with all that fiber,

They help your colon clean out all the junk.

Greens help your bones because they’re full of calcium,

So kneel and thank our God for making greens.

 

And I shall eat my greens for their B vitamins

That turn to glucose; gives me energy.

Greens boost my vision health. Oh, greens are wonderful.

I’ll simply eat my greens until you come to me.

 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)

Soup: the Power Tool Collection

veggie-power-toolsSoup is the second word in the title of this blog because soup reminds us to drink plenty of water and to eat our vegetables. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber which are the tools your body needs to function properly. Vegetable hammers help produce red blood cells, the vegetable saw cuts down cholesterol, the fiber shovel improves bowel function, and the vitamin drill and nutrient crowbar reduce your risk for heart disease, type two diabetes, and possibly your risk for cancer.

Sleep is a crew of workmen who spend the night building, cleaning, and repairing your body. Vegetables are the tools they use and water is their transportation. When the workmen don’t have the right tools, they improvise, but the result isn’t the same. You can build a house using only a crowbar, but we all prefer to live in a house built with a complete toolbox. Don’t live in an improvised body; give your workmen the tools and time they need and you’ll be amazed by their good work.

2014 March 006Vegetables are important for weight loss, but not because they magically melt fat or lock your mouth when a cookie comes near it. In fact, studies show that if you add vegetables to your diet, but make no other changes, you won’t lose weight. Veggies help you lose weight when you replace non-veggie food with veggie-food. The equation is not 3 burgers + 1 apple = weight loss, but 1 burger + 3 apples = weight loss. It’s this replacement of high calorie foods for low calorie plants that makes the scale move. Yes, technically you can lose weight by reducing your calorie intake and not include veggies—the Chocolate Cake Diet™, for example, lets you eat a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and nothing else—but it doesn’t help your overall health.

imageThere’s only so much space in your stomach toolbox. High calorie foods are a tape measure. You definitely need one: healthy high calorie foods have protein and good fats your body needs. But filling your toolbox with only tape measures doesn’t help you build a house you want to live in; it only helps you measure your house’s expansion. Ba-dum-bum-ching! Expanding waistline joke! Vegetables fill up a lot of space on your plate and in your stomach but contain very few calories so it’s like filling your toolbox with titanium tools that are strong but light. Many veggies are made up of 90% water, so they help hydrate you as well as fill you. Building your house body well is important because you and your body are in this for the long haul; till death do you part. Know what else we’ve done to death? This metaphor.

You might not like vegetables. When we were kids, my siblings and I tried to explain to our parents that they liked vegetables and we didn’t because their taste buds were old and dying. The truth is that your taste buds adjust to what they encounter regularly, be it spicy foods, salt, sweets, or vegetables. The more you eat vegetables, the more you crave vegetables. It’s like buying your first power drill. You get along okay with screw drivers and hammers, but once you get a feel for the power drill, you’re not going back to that battery-less wasteland. Vegetables are power tools and your body loves using them, so fill your toolbox with titanium tools, shed that unnecessary insulation, and build your house well.

 

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/fruits-veggies-don-lead-weight-loss-study-article-1.1844944 Fruits and Veggies Don’t Lead to Weight Loss

 

Pumpkin Haiku

img_3357Edible pumpkin

orange gourd of fall it is food

not only décor.

 

Driving down the street

passing homes with pumpkins on

front steps: I’m hungry.

 

Autumn chill pumpkins

not needed to decorate

will be tossed out soon.

 

Stoop gourds forgotten

by neighbors. Should I ask them?

Will they think I’m weird?

 

Bake, scoop, mash, puree,

boil, roast, freeze it for bread and

soup; yummy all year.

Chop and Chat

Whether you’re new to cooking at home or have been doing it for decades, cooking can sometimes feel like a chore. We eat every day, so we can potentially cook every day. Just like we go to bed on time or exercise more often when we make it fun, we’ll cook more often if we make it enjoyable.

  1. books-headphonesCook with your ears. Listen to an audio book while you cook or put on some music that’ll make your toes and your chopping knife tap together. If the audio book is a tear jerker, chop up a bag of onions and freeze the extra for later.
  2. 2014 June 049Rise and reward. Rise early twice a week to prep your recipes: chop the veggies or measure spices and save them in a little container. Get your ingredients set so that when you’re tired and hungry and it’s time to cook dinner, all you have to do is heat the pan and throw it all together. Or, in the case of a casserole, throw it in the oven. Reward yourself for your early effort with a special coffee or a favorite fruit salad. For many moms, being able to cook in peace and quiet in the early hours is a reward unto itself. If you use a slow cooker, your meal can be ready and waiting when you walk in the door.
  3. kids cook togetherThis last suggestion is my favorite: host a Chop and Chat. Invite a friend over and cook together. Yes, you will have different tastes and styles, but you will learn from each other and the cooking is accomplished—that’s the point, after all. Make salad together, scrape and cut carrot sticks for snacking, make a batch of soup or a fruit salad. We get together with friends to talk, but why not make our hands as productive as our mouths?

Cooking from scratch at home takes extra time and effort, but it’s worth it and can be enjoyable. Figure out what works for you. My favorite part of home cooking? The thing that inspires me to cook day after day, meal after meal? I love to eat and it tastes so good!

 

friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

 

Images courtesy of: www.parentmap.com (headphones), me (knife), http://www.pinterest.com (kids)