Archive for August, 2011

Food Revolution Lettuce, Pepper & Salami Salad

August 10th, 2011 2 Comments Tags: ,

I ordered this fab salad while away on that all inclusive. It is certainly a keeper and one salad I will make from time to time. I find I get into a “salad rut” and make the same one posted June 22, 2010. So this is a dandy new edition to my repertoire.

Ingredients
washed mixed greens with radicchio
chopped green onion
roasted pepper pieces (posted March 28, 2011)
slices of Hungarian salami
pine nuts
salt, pepper to taste
olive oil
orange juice

Instructions
I suggest you plan to make this the day after you make roasted peppers (posted March 28, 2011) so there are some leftovers. You can prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time and refrigerate, then add the dressing ingredients, seasonings, mix and serve. Voila!!

It’s a treat for the eyes and taste explosion for the taste buds – a perfect combination!!

Commentary
Ok, gasp away folks. I know what you’re thinking – “oh my, an RD putting salami in a salad….again, take her credentials away!!” Take a pill already. Check out the photo, it’s not a triple decker salami sandwich, there are small delectable pieces that adorn this salad. All ingredients are healthful and naturally nutrient rich except the salami. Strike me down with a lightning bolt already….

Give this a try and you’ll surely love it. Serve it to any salad haters in your household to get them to rethink their position on the salad subject. You’ll surely win them over!! Trust me on this….

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Be Chew-sy

August 9th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Another new study results are out telling us something we already know – chewing your food more helps you eat fewer calories. This study came out of Harbin Medical University in China. There were two groups of men in the study, one obese and one normal weight. In a nutshell they found a 12% reduction in calories for those who chewed their food 40 times, hmmmmmm. This is no small reduction when added over a year. It could add up to a loss of 25 pounds – GULP!!

I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a rush I barely remember tasting and enjoying my food, and that’s a dog gone shame. There are many simple pleasures in life, tasting yummy food and feeling satisfied is surely one of them, ok two of them….. I also feel if people focused less on crazy diets and more on basics like this – chewing your food thoroughly, that’s one wise regimen in itself, don’t you think??

I have written many times about Dr. Brian Wansink’s book Mindless Eating. He describes a whole slew of practical eating behaviours we should be more aware of at home, when eating out, on the run and more. If you haven’t given this gold nugget a read I suggest you do so likity split.

There are many simple wisdoms in life, like chewing thoroughly that needs study results like this to remind us that “I told you so”. So basic yet so profound. Yes, be chew-sy and enjoy.

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Recipe for Successful Living

August 7th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I have written often about successful loser logic. In fact, there’s a category of that name. Last year I wrote about results of a study I conducted with a colleague of mine. After giving this more thought I figured how unimportant is losing weight successfully if you are a train wreck? So I dusted the old book off my shelf The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and felt now is a good time to highlight it.

I love a book that keeps on giving with wisdom and truth that have held meaning throughout my life to this very moment. The pages might be yellowed but the message is still new and pure as a sunflower. An oldie but a goodie, like someone I know…. I picked this up early in my career, circa 1989 and committed the 7 habits to memory reminding myself while taking transit to work.

The essence of any principle is that it holds true through the ages like gravity and the speed of sound. Stephen talks about being proactive and creating a vision. How on earth can you get somewhere without a plan?? Next he tells us to begin with the end in mind through personal leadership. In life we can continue to follow the crowd or take our own path and lead. Putting first things first is about focusing on what’s important and leaving the trivial stuff. You will never steer wrong in life when that’s your mantra.

He describes “win-win”. Well gee, the world would be a better place if we followed that rule in our relationships or simply driving on the highway. He goes on about empathetic communication then to synergize with creative cooperation. He ends with the importance of self-renewal. This book is more refreshing than drinking an ice cold Minty Mohito on a hot summer’s day, ahhhhhhh.

The summer time is perfect for self renewal. Sure go out and buy or download a new book and lie in your hammock and read ‘em up. Don’t stray from the old classics though, and this one’s a keeper. Because they can provide wisdom to get that proverbial compass of yours pointing due north in no time.

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Going the Distance to Quell Your Appetite

August 4th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

There are many variables I think about when it come to how our mystical bodies function. I took a very long few hour walk up a mountain last month and observed my appetite on the days that followed, hmmmmmm. I truly wasn’t as hungry as I assumed I’d be. It’s so easy to unplug your senses and instincts to justify eating more just because you did more.

You see I’ve been busier at work, more stressed, travelling and finding my routine turned on it’s head. I didn’t find I was ravenously hungry in those following days despite putting in the milage, especially with gravity by climbing uphill as an extra element, as I would have expected.

I read an interesting article reporting that at high levels of exercise our appetite closely matches our energy requirements. It also described that when our bodies are working properly, there are several mechanisms that try to keep our weight stable.

It’s important to understand that “going the distance” with regular exercise isn’t your “get outta jail free” card to eat and drink how much you want. It is an “appetite” fine tuner, of sorts which can work in your favour. Despite that we live in a society with cars and gadgets that hold cavernous cups and happy meals where food is available, abundant and a lot of the junky stuff is cheap and tempting.

Working on the “energy out” side of the equation by keeping active has so many benefits it’s staggering. Helping to control our appetite is just one additional benefit of the many to keep you going the distance.

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Micro-cise – Stealth Movement Movement

August 3rd, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I remember when micro-minis were in. There has been talk about micro-breweries, micro-loans and micro-climates. New out is the talk about micro-exercise. Ahhh, now you’ve got my attention!!

Oh for the love of the movement movement. I’ve written about this many times. Our realization of using calories when flexing any muscle seems so trivial yet so profound. I think the secret for our society to begin reversing the obesity epidemic lies in our knowledge of energy in and energy out. And no, I don’t want every person to start counting calories and learning how many you burn when you do stuff – nay nay I say.

As a society we’ve worked in so many dang conveniences that our couch has turned into our best friend along with many other gadgets. Now I’m not about to get out of my car in the rain to open my garage door to spend a few calories. I do remember those days though. I will add in a few activities especially when my work day has seen me sit in front of my computer with only a few finger movements as my muscle flex.

I also feel for those of us psyched out of ever wanting to exercise might just pay some mind to the notion of simply moving more. The researchers define moderate activity as anything that burns 3-6 times as many calories as you burn at rest. These include: hammering, sweeping, vacuuming, cooking, dog bathing, gardening, painting, lawn mowing (not the kind you drive though!!), shovelling and ballroom dancing.

I think you get the idea. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there and 15 minutes of something else each day can put a true dent in your own personal “energy out” equation without even dawning any exercise trunks. Well fancy that!!

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Food Revolution Cucumber, Fennel & Ricotta Salad

August 2nd, 2011 No Comments Tags: ,

I ordered this fab starter while I was in London a while back. This just shows you can find excellent, healthy food, even when eating out. I made this when I returned home. It was easy and delish. It ‘s great to change up your routine from the usual fare. This provides maximal enjoyment with minimal work. My kind of dinner accompaniment, that’s for sure!!

Ingredients

fennel, washed sliced thin
English cucumber, washed and sliced thin
soft ricotta cheese
fresh, washed, chopped basil
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper to taste

Instructions
An hour before serving prepare the ingredients and arrange on each plate. Pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the plates before serving. Add fresh chopped basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Commentary
Honesty folks, this is just that easy to prepare. It’s unique and lovely tasting. Serve this with olive or focaccio bread to be your very own Zamboni to scoop up the goodness. Enjoy!!

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Awareness is Bliss at the Fast Food Joint

August 1st, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I have written many times that awareness is bliss. We do better when we know better. Whether we’re reading a food package label, hopping on the scale to monitor our weight or visiting your doctor and dentist regularly – it’s all good.

I recently read about a study evaluating the effectiveness of posting calories on fast-food menus. The results give 2 thumbs up on this. The researchers found that 1 in 6 people took note of this information and those who did ordered about 100 few calories. Well bravo on that.

Ok, let’s do the math. Let’s say the Burger King had lunch or dinner with the Dairy Queen together 5 times each week. If they noticed the calorie postings on the menu board and had 100 few calories each time that would add up to a calorie savings of 500 calories each week. We know you need to save 3,600 calories to lose 1 pound. Happily then the Burger King and the Dairy Queen would lose 1 pound every 7.2 weeks and close to 8-10 pounds per year.

Some naysayers might balk at that and say “ya whatever, there’s already so much info on the menu board why add more”. Well, let me tell you with almost 60% of our population being overweight or obese, even a modest weight loss can help minimize some risk factors. Aha, so a little information can go a long way in achieving baby steps to improved health even a smidgen.

As this information get posted, so do more healthier options. How great is that??!! Very…. so we all win in spades. Realizing that people are eating out so often really puts this strategy to the forefront for policy makers to consider. So, what are we waiting for??
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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Nutrition News, Policy for the People | No Comments »