Laugh your way to better health!
Tag Archives: Diet
Can I Eat That? Random Leaf Stirfy
This week we ate the first fruits of our garden! The turnip plants were about four inches tall and I thinned them and tossed the rejected plants into some stirfry with delicious results. For you non-gardeners out there, “thinning” plants means pulling (or cutting) the extra baby plants from a row to give the plants that remain room to grow. The “baby” plants are what you see sold in stores in plastic bags and labeled…wait for it…baby kale, baby spinach, baby arrugula, etc. Baby plants are popular because they’re tender and sweeter than the grown up plants. Ever eat overly mature greens (spinach, kale, turnip, etc)? If it weren’t for the wilting, you could make shoes out of them.
I used to pitch the pulled plants along with the weeds, but then I discovered that you can eat them! You can eat the leaves of turnips, radishes, beets, and broccoli, as well as the obvious “leaf” plants such as lettuce, spinach, chard, and kale. When I found out that we can eat the whole plant, I was thrilled. My kids were not. I’m under no delusions: my present goal is not to make my kids like vegetables; that will come in time. My goal is to convince them that they can eat a green leaf from the garden and not die. I suppose I’m trying to convince a few of you readers as well.
Let’s do a quick science class review. The parts of a plant? Root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed. Depending on the plant, you can eat some or all of these parts. Quick quiz! Ready?
Which part can you eat from a carrot plant?
Root. Nice work, too easy.
Green bean plant?
Fruit and seeds. Excellent. The bean is actually the seed pod (fruit) and as the pod matures, it gets thin and tough and the seeds inside become hard; these seeds are what we see in the stores as dried beans in bags or canned beans (think Baked Beans, black beans, kidney beans, etc). Cool, huh? This summer I’m going to plant some dried black beans from the store and see what happens.
Turnip, beet, or radish?
When it’s young, you can eat the whole plant! Root, leaves, stem. Once it flowers, the plant is so tough; you’d be hard pressed to choke down any part of it.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you run outside and begin eating anything green in sight. No, that would be crazy. When you find a plant you think is edible, you should first Google it and base your consumption on unverified comments from an unqualified person on a random website. (I’m kidding! Although that’s exactly what I did….) What I am suggesting is that you try a new vegetable this week!
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
3 More 100 Calories Snacks
Geese keep flying north past my house, so in honor of Mother Goose…yadda yadda yadda, let’s get to the food!
1. The Creamy: 1/3 cup of cottage cheese, a teaspoon of jam, and some berries. To make cottage cheese, a chemical called rennin is added to milk and the proteins either clump together (curds) or stay liquid (whey). Since we’re eating our curds and whey, I call it the Little Miss Muffet.
2. The Crunchy: 1 Tablespoon of hummus and a plate full of vegetables. Disclaimer: to keep the calories to 100, there should only be 10 carrots on the plate, but it sure is prettier this way! I call it the Jack Sprat. “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean…”
3. The Vegetative: A peck of (non) pickled peppers. Or about a dozen small sweet peppers if you’re counting. I call it the Peter Piper. Pick yourself a peck and happy munching!
Chard Leads To Brownie
This week Stephanie Eusebi had a great idea on her blog, Stephanie Eusebi Nutrition and Wellness: Swiss Chard Wraps. ( Click here to see her recipe and step by step instructions.) I love tortillas, but I haven’t been buying them a lot lately for one reason: a medium sized tortilla can be 120 calories. That’s the equivalent of a brownie and I’d much rather have the brownie. That’s why I’m going to try Stefanie’s chard substitution. I can eat my meal AND eat a brownie after dinner and I’ll still come out even calorie-wise, better off nutrient-wise, and way better off chocolate-wise. (Should I skip the brownie? Of course! But this is a long term healthy lifestyle, not a crash diet…there will be days I need that brownie.)
For those of you not familiar with chard, it’s a big, slightly bitter leaf. Mmmm, sounds appetizing, right? Here’s a picture of it growing in my garden. Pretty, isn’t it? I started thinking beyond wraps to other tortilla dishes I could substitute chard in: burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. Ole! Seriously, if you have taco seasoning in your filling, will you even taste the difference? Taco seasoning is potent packet powder. Will you care if you can taste the difference if you get to eat a brownie guilt free afterwards?
It’s a small change, but it can make a big difference in your diet, your health, and your brownie intake. I think we have a winner!
“Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” Proverbs 11:28
MAGIC BEANS! For Weight Loss
Tired of snacks that don’t satisfy? Tired of spending a fortune on diet foods that don’t taste good and don’t fill you up? Try MAGIC BEANS!
MAGIC BEANS! come to you in a nifty paper packet. Simply add soil, water, and ultraviolet light to your MAGIC BEANS! and PRESTO! You’ll be snacking on MAGIC BEANS! in no time!
In a store you’d pay four dollars per pound, BUT you can grow a bushel of your own MAGIC BEANS! for less than two dollars!
Email me now and I’ll send you your very own MAGIC BEANS! for only $19.95. But wait! There’s more! If you keep reading, you’ll realize I’m full of crap!
MAGIC BEANS! are: ta ta ta taaaaa….green beans! Even if you’ve never gardened before in your life, I want you to give growing your own green beans a try this summer. Here’s why:
1. They taste better freshly picked.
2. They are SO cheap when you grow your own.
3. Beans store nitrogen in their roots as they grow; this means that they can grow in relatively awful soil. Most other veggies need good soil, but beans are hard core.
No kidding, when my husband and I bought our house ten years ago, we bought a tree and a shovel and went outside to plant it. Our soil was so hard that we had to buy a pickax to dig the hole. But the very next year we started a garden and our beans grew well.
Why am I blogging about this now? Because in a couple of weeks the weather will be gorgeous and you will have plenty of pent up energy and inspiration to do projects like prepping a small patch of dirt for your bean plants. Don’t worry, this is not turning into a gardening blog, but if you’ve never grown your own vegetables, give it a try. You’ll love them even more when you taste them home grown!
“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” Genesis 2:8
Image of the woman loving her Magic Beans is from http://blog.shelbysystems.com/2011/07/what-reaction-are-you-looking-for/
What kind of water is best for weight loss?
Most things you consume in a liquid state will keep you hydrated; some just have extra benefits or extra pitfalls that come with them. For example, juice has all of the vitamins and sugar found in fruit, but none of the fiber and mandatory chewing that slows down calorie consumption.
So here’s a quick 4 question quiz to see if you know how to keep your body hydrated and on the track to good health! I’ve included a few hints to help you along the way.
1. What percent of your body is water?
a. 30% like a gila monster after a day in the desert sun.
b. 60% One man actually lost 25 pounds of water weight in 48 hours to “prove” that scales are useless. That’s approaching gila monster humidity and he was promptly rushed off to get an IV drip.
c. 90% like a jellyfish.
2. How many ounces (total) of water should you drink each day?
a. 8 ounces – your blindingly bright yellow or orange colored pee should tell you that this is not the correct answer. Bad blog reader, bad! Most water bottles aren’t even that small.
b. 8 8 ounce glasses – correct, but don’t be lazy, do the math.
c. 64 ounces. Correct! (8oz x 8 glasses = 64) That’s 8 cups of water, or 4 pints, or 2 quarts or one half gallon, or three hours sipping at a water fountain. (I’m glad fountains exist, but when you’re thirsty, they’re maddeningly slow to drink from. Some sort of wall hose would be preferable.)
3. Which of the following beverages count towards your 64 ounces?
a. Coffee and tea. It’s water with natural brown food coloring. Don’t believe me? Check out this myth-busting research.
b. Juice and lemonade. It’s still mostly water, just watch the sugar intake. Sip and savor, but save the chugging for water.
c. Soda. Nope, not even close. It’s liquid, but your body has to use all the water it contains to flush out all of the chemicals it also contains, so you end up not hydrated.
4. Which of the following are benefits of drinking enough water?
a. Flushing out toxins. This is obviously good, right? No commentary needed? Why am I still typing?
b. Energized muscles. Not feeling up for a little exercise? Drink some water; dehydration causes muscle fatigue.
c. Hydrated skin that looks good. Eat your heart out, Maybelline! Moisturizers create a barrier that helps keep moisture in your skin, but if the moisture isn’t coming from the inside out, that barrier is ineffective.
1. If you need an answer key, leave a comment and I’ll contact you; I have some magic beans I’d like to sell you.
2. Gila monsters have more like 70% water in their bodies, not 30%, but they LOOK so darn dry! And in the dry months they survive by not urinating for months. Gross, but so very cool too. The point is, you are not a gila monster. Raise your glass and drink up! A toast to your health!
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Images are from:
10 Amazing Ways To Stop Overeating
This is a great video by Quirkology about ways to “trick” yourself into eating less. It’s also a great excuse to go buy little red plates and decorative mirrors for your kitchen! It’s science, Honey, I have to go shopping.
Just click on the link below.
My Yellow Brick Resolution
Our society has things backwards. The day that we’re expected to begin a self-improving, habit-breaking, life transforming New Year’s Resolution is the day after we stay up way too late and arrives at the end of one of the busiest and most calorie rich seasons of the year. If you searched the calendar for the one day that we are the most physically, emotionally, and motivationally drained, it would be New Year’s Day. It’s like asking me to start a low carb diet the day I tour a bakery. Not going to happen!
If one week into the New Year you’ve already lost your way, I invite you to travel with me down the Healthy Body Yellow Brick Road. We’re going to begin our year the same way we began with this blog: with SEX every day. If God has blessed you with enough mc² to take this suggestion literally, go for it! For the rest of us, remember that SEX reminds us to get plenty of Sleep and EXercise. (To read the first post of this blog and learn how to use your spouse to get yourself to bed on time, click HERE.)
This week we’re going to focus on sleep.
Ready, Dorothy? Let’s collect our traveling companions and get back to Kansas!
Hey Scarecrow! Did you know that sleep cleans your brain? When you sleep, your brain cells contract, leaving extra space between them. Spinocerebral fluid then flows around the cells, flushing away the proteins that build up there when you’re awake. Protein build up has been linked to alzheimers and dementia. When you get enough sleep (7-8 hours per night), your brain gets detoxed. I got so little sleep in college, I think I built protein palaces. http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/october2013/10282013clear.htm Another new study just announced that missed sleep results in an increase in certain chemicals in the brain – the same type of chemical increases that occur after a head injury. http://msnvideo.msn.com/?channelindex=10&from=en-us_msnhpvidmod#/video/7d94de3e-03fa-4090-aa8a-331b3c311c1e
“If I only had a heart” and if I only slept enough to keep it strong! Tin Man, a new study came out this past summer which links sleep and heart health. There are four factors that significantly affect one’s risk for cardiovascular disease: smoking, diet, exercise, and alcohol. New research has added a fifth: sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, it adversely affects your heart just as much as smoking does. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2353692/Lack-sleep-increases-risk-heart-disease-SMOKING.html
Lion, your courage to face the day and change your bad habits into good ones is also linked to sleep. Mood is affected by sleep. If you or someone you know has worked night shift, you don’t need science to tell you that lack of sleep makes a person more irritable, less patient, and well, not someone you want to be caged up with. Some studies have linked sleep deprivation with depression and other studies show that lack of sleep causes your amygdala (the part of the brain associated with negative emotions) to act up more and be less connected to the part of your brain that regulates emotion (and keeps the crazies in check). http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/between-you-and-me/201308/all-night-the-effects-sleep-loss-mood
Last, but not least, we can’t forget the Good Witch Leptin and the Wicked Witch Ghrelin. Well rested bodies produce lots of the hormone leptin which tells your body to stop eating. Sleep starved bodies produce more ghrelin hormones which tell your body to eat more. So in this metaphor, the Munchkins actually work for Wicked Witch Ghrelin. (Dunkin Donut holes, get it?) Come on, Lollipop Guild, you’re not helping us get to Kansas. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain
Join me in celebrating the New Year by resolving to get more sleep: rest for our brain, our heart, and our mood. On our Yellow Brick Road, the best thing Dorothy can do is lie down in the field of poppies and take a nap.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:2,3a
Images are from:
Jurkey and Junesgiving
One time per year; that’s it. Pecan pie, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey are limited to one day out of three hundred and sixty five, but I say “NO MORE!” (Or should that be “Please, sir, I want some more.”?)
I’m starting a new holiday: June Turkey. (Jurkey, perhaps? Or Junesgiving?) Thanksgiving dinner is so good, we need to eat it more often, and eating it in the summer might be even better than November. Here are the benefits as I see it:
1. It never hurts to be thankful. The USofA would be a better place if we gave thanks more and ate less. Chew on this for a moment: If your family income is $10,000 a year, you are wealthier than 84 percent of the world. We’re struggling to eat healthier in the face of an overabundance of junk food; much of the world is struggling to eat enough in the face of an under-abundance of any food.
Maybe Gratitudiet should be a new diet craze: write a thank you note to a farmer, grocer, or God before you eat…EVERY time before you eat. The eventual hand cramps will limit our ability to use forks or spoons and slow down our caloric intake.
2. No more pressure to stuff yourself silly on Thanksgiving Day. You only have to wait 182.5 days for the next turkey instead of 364; ie the world will not end if you don’t eat another mountain of mashed potatoes.
It’s actually a great idea to fill a second plate, just make sure you save it to eat later (hours later, people, not minutes!). Sometimes knowing I get to repeat a great meal helps remove the temptation to go for seconds NOW.
3. Better veggies. Let’s face it, summer is the time of year when vegetables are growing, so it’s easier to find them fresh and cheap. Instead of green bean casserole, you can have fresh green beans. Peel and cook some turnips and mix them with the potatoes for some extra nutritious mashed tubers. Take the recipe for sweet potatoes and cut the “good stuff” (butter, sugar, marshmallows) in half, or try roasting them with olive oil and cinnamon. The more vegetables you add to your meal, and the closer to “naked” you eat them, the more you can fill your plate, fill your belly, and stay on track for a healthy lifestyle.
4. Practice, practice, practice. Ladies of my generation, if your mother, grandmother, or mother-in-law usually cooks the turkey, then you probably have no clue how that sucker gets from fridge to table. But your day is coming! Granted, by the time we’ve become the matriarchs, we’ll probably be able to click on a turkey on Amazon and it’ll be shipped directly to our oven fully cooked, but it’s still a good skill to have so you can brag to your grandchildren that you cooked your own bird back in the “good old days”.
I used to think it was really complicated, but one day I saw turkey on sale for 69 cents a pound and thought “It’s just a giant chicken! At 69 cents per pound, I’m willing to take a risk and try it.” I discovered it’s pretty easy. The hardest part is manhandling the slippery carcass. Rinsing the bird is like giving a one year old a bath in the sink, just less messy.
Here’s what you do: buy a turkey now while they’re on sale. If you’re an awful cook, buy two: you need the practice. Put it in the freezer. (I once forgot about a turkey in the back of my freezer for a year and it cooked up just fine. Make sure you grease the chain saw with olive oil before you slice it. Just kidding :)) Check the weather in June and pick the hottest, most humid day you can for your Junesgiving; you’re not going outside anyway, so you may as well make the house smell good!
There are two traditional Thanksgiving dishes that I haven’t found a healthy “fix” for: stuffing and pecan pie. I made a sweet potato-pecan pie last year that my husband loved because it wasn’t sickly sweet, but I can’t call it healthy. And stuffing is stale bread baked in turkey grease; if you remove the grease part, you’re left with bad croutons instead of turkey-belly-ambrosia. I think this calls for some experimentation! What if it were zucchini cubes baked in turkey grease?
That’s what’s so great about Jurkey! You can try new ways to eat great food without 17 relatives critiquing your stale bread and turkey grease! I’ll let you know how the zucchini stuffing turns out. I’m off to buy my June Turkey; it’s on sale today for sixty EIGHT cents a pound.
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30