Archive for January, 2012

Connie’s Food Revolution Coq au Vin

January 12th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

Nothing quite says lovin’ like working an authentic French recipe or two into your cooking repertoire. This is one of my Mom’s recipes she’s made over the ages. I specifically remember the first time she made it. Mmmmm I remember our house smelling like simmering red wine. Nothing smells better than that!! Ahhhh a memory I will behold for years to come. It was oui oui oui for me, that’s for sure!!

6 skinless chicken pieces (3 thighs, 3 drumsticks)
dollop of butter or soft tub margarine
6 slices bacon chopped (can replace with prosiuitto or pancetta)
16 peeled baby pearl onions
2 cloves peeled, chopped garlic
1.5 cups red wine
1 Tbsp chicken stock concentrate (1 cube)
2 Tbsp brandy
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup cold water
4 Tbsp cornstarch
10 washed button mushrooms
canola oil

In a shallow saucepan over medium low melt the butter and heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown slowly, then remove from pan and put aside. Add bacon, onion and garlic and brown. Stir in the red wine, chicken concentrate, brandy and tomato paste bringing it to simmer. Using a whisk, mix the cornstarch with cold water thoroughly in a measuring cup. Add to the simmering saucepan, stirring constantly for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken then cover the pan and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add mushrooms and simmer for 20 more minutes. Serve piping hot with a crusty baguette. Oui oui oui oui oui!!

I made a quick visit to my folks place a while back and was lucky to catch a picture of this dish bubbling on the stove with my i-phone. Not sure why I wasn’t staying for dinner, but I think I’ll certainly ask for a rain check on this number!!

Ok so it’s 2012, maybe I should give this a wee try myself. Processing this recipe’s got my tummy rumbling. I can almost smell it simmering on the stove!!

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TV Trade-off Turnaround

January 10th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Ok, so let’s consider another trade-off scenario this fine new day of 2012. This is following on the series about trading off posted weekly for the past few months now. Today we’ll consider the other side of the energy equation and focus on couch potato-dom… dum du dum dum!!

Here’s a scenario:

  • Let say you watch 3 hours of TV each weeknight (sitting quietly). On weekends you also catch a few hours each weekend day.
  • The tally totals to 21 hours of TV watching per week, at least.
  • You decide “it’s 2012 and I wanna get moving more”!! I say “bravo to that”!! Time to trade-off already. Ok so you decide you will only watch your favorite shows then do something else with your time that qualifies as low-mid level of intensity activity in between. This brings the TV viewing down to 14 hours of TV watching per week.
  • Watching 21 hours of TV each weeks only burns 1,680 calories/week.
  • Scaling back the TV watching as noted above while changing that with doing something low to mid intensity burns 2590 calories/week leaving you to burn 910 calories MORE each week. Burn baby burn!!
  • Doing this over an entire year can result in a 13 pound weight loss each year! Just think what it’ll do to your IQ :-)
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Posted in Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »

Homo Erectus, Stand Up and MOVE

January 9th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I was bleary eyed rising before the morning sun this fine day. I happily awoke as I read about a study showing that active kids do better at school. What a great way to get your motor started after a weekend’s slumber!

I thought about this more deeply as I took transit to work. That very act of walking to the bus stop, using the stairs to go from A to B, and finding 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there having face time with co-workers is a stealth way of fitting in 60 minutes or more of moving into the day.

Then I thought of this even more deeply. The species “man” (and WO-man) is called homo erectus, after all; not homo slumberus or homo slouchous or homo situs; we are homo erectus because we are meant to stand upright and move!!

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Try It You’ll Like It, Repeat! Word on Veggies

January 8th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

It frosts my eyeballs when parents assume kids, especially preschoolers won’t like a variety of vegetables – nay nay I say!! I just read about a study on this very topic. Studies have shown that the majority of young children do not eat enough vegetables yet can chow down energy-dense food like there’s no tomorrow.

A study was conducted on preschool children using vegetables most children did not like. In a childcare setting children were presented with two vegetables they did not like, some with dip and some without, over and over again. Using various study designs they found that children’s vegetable liking increased from the pre- to post- test.

Using a liked dip did not affect the overall effects on vegetable liking; they found using these could encourage initial tasting of the previously unliked vegetables. In both experiments the researchers found that by the sixth of eight exposures of the vegetable, veggie liking improved. They also found that this liking was sustained throughout the experiment.

The evidence suggests that encouraging small tastes of previously disliked veggies can reverse this preference in preschool children. And how great is that I ask?? VERY!!

In a real life, family setting I’d like to take this one step further. Note the veggies were not forced, encouraged or made deals pending on consumption. There was no praise given before or after, yet were presented in an emotionally neutral environment. And no, Monty Hall was not at the table playing “Let’s Make A DEAL” with the little tykes. So keep that in mind as you plan to do some stealth parental shaping work with your kids this 2012. And by the way, start eating your vegetables too!!

As Josh Groban sings “Don’t give UPPPPPP!”

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Francy Rants, Nutrition News | No Comments »

Back on Track

January 5th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

photo by G. Ruder

I’m back from vacation
And what do I find
Is one double chin
And the feeling I’m in a bind….

So I take out my pencil jeans
And cast off the mumu
Then I look in the mirror
And decide what I’m gonna do!

Will I start 2012 off
Like a sled down a hill?
Or will I get back to basics
That’s what I’ll do – I will!!

So I take out the porridge
And get back to my 5-10 a day
I’ll eat when I’m hungry
And focus on my satiety

Back to daily walks
And 3 meals plus small snacks each day
More balance and less extras
Then I’m well on my way

Take a fast 180 turn from the excess
And you’ll see
In a really short time
Back on track you’ll be

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Funnies By a Foodie, Miss Behavin', Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Trade-off Turnaround – Soda Pop Switch

January 3rd, 2012 1 Comment Tags: , , , , , ,

Continuing the theme of trading off started back in November, 2011. The purpose is to help get your head around how making small changes add up to loss if sustained over time. I thought I’d focus this post using a sugar pop scenario:

  • Let’s say you currently drink the equivalent of 2 large regular soda pop servings each day. You decide, “enough is enough, I wanna change!” and switch to the calorie free stuff or water once and for all.
  • The sugary routine added up to 620 calories/day while the change to the sugar free variety provides zilch – how great is that?? Very!!
  • This one change can result in a 63-pound weight loss in a year! How great is that? VERY!!


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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

Propel to Change All Year – 2012

January 1st, 2012 No Comments

Well folks you know where I stand on this topic of making New Year’s resolutions. In two words I don’t. Every day is a new frontier and a good reason to do better for yourself. Be it a Monday, a Friday, a vacation day or any day of any season is a good reason to eat better and exercise more. Here’s a running list of ideas to consider now and to refer to all year though. Upward and onward folks!!

DO – Aim to get more active every season of the year.

DON’T – Eat with distractions, especially in front of the TV.

DO – Work toward having more meals together as a family.

DON’T – Start any fad diet.

DO – Try a new easy, healthy recipe every few weeks and aim to cook more.

DON’T – Weigh yourself every day. You’ll make yourself nutty.

DO – Talk with your fellow employees about making your workplace healthier.

DON’T – Eliminate your favourite foods, you’ll just crave them 10 times more.

DO – Plan to make food choices using all of the food groups.

DON’T – Follow the crowd, follow your own inner voice and plans.

DO – Take the RealAge test once per year. It’s VERY insightful.

DON’T – Make excuses. Trust me, there are people worse off than you, so tune your attitude in.

DO – Get in the habit of reading food product labels AND find out what’s in the restaurant food you frequent. Knowledge is power.

DON’T – Change your plans like the wind changes direction every time the news reports on a different study.

DO – Schedule your annual physical check up and dentist visit. Stay on top of things because prevention is key.

DON’T – Take anecdotal advice. Just because Aunt Jane is a smart accountant, doesn’t mean she knows squat about nutrition.

DO – Work in small rewards and love yourself more.

DON’T – Aim for perfection. That’s as unrealistic as the hills are old.

DO – Work on looking and feeling better. You may do better when you feel great.

Ok, so there you have it, some food for thought as we propel ourselves into the New Year. Upward and onward!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Francy Rants, Miss Behavin', Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »