Archive for June, 2012

Food Revolution – Goin’ Bonkers for Baked Beans

June 26th, 2012 No Comments

Well I’ll be, we were treated to this recipe at my mother-dearest-in-laws and loved it so much I wanted to share it with you. Talk about mmMmm good. She served it with her meatloaf which was a perfect marriage of tastes.

28 oz (796mL) can beans with pork
¾ cup finely chopped white onion
¼ cup molasses
1 Tbsp mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup barbecue sauce
1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 strips bacon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together (except the bacon) and transfer to an 8” x 8” baking dish. Lay bacon on top. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

She got this recipe from an old Calgary Stampede circular from back in the day. Hee Hawww it’s great to revisit old recipes that put a jump in your step AND your taste buds! It might not be an everyday side dish but it made that day we had it super.

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Best Food Forward – Grain of Truth

June 24th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

People hear the ‘f’ word, ‘fibre’ and they seem to tune out. Sounds too healthy for many and besides isn’t it for those fifty-somethings and up? Well listen folks to this grain of truth, you don’t need to only be noshing on those seniors cereals. Work in some delish grains.

Just the Flax – Using these cracked or ground in cereal or on salads is dandy. There are myriad benefits on your heart, your bones, your joints and more.

Lend Me an Ear – Corn – Whether it’s popped or boiled as is, bring on the corn any old time. They’re a good source of vitamins A, C and E, carbs, fibre, minerals, plus protein.

Keen on Quinoa - Try in a salad or as a rice replacement. It’s delightful to have something new that tastes great and is higher in protein than your usual grains.

Sow Your Oats – This is my morning breakfast of choice that gets my day off on the right foot. Those antioxidants protect me from those dang free radicals likened to those “occupy Wall Street” characters but floating around in your body.

Grains are full of taste, nutrients and are satiety’s best friend. The “drano effect” is another added benefit if you ensure you drink sufficient fluids. Greet your grains with gusto and go for it!

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Think About Your Drink – Bottoms UP

June 21st, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Ok so this article really isn’t about what you’re thinking…. It’s about hydration – drinking enough fluids in the pinnacle of the summer heat – yes, bottoms up!

I marvel at the miles of aisle at the grocery store full of stuff to drink. It’s a jungle along there and making decisions on what to have can be confusing for many. When you stop and think about other drinks we’ve gotten used to consuming outside of those aisles we can add drinks from the drive-through’s of mega-sized waves of pop to vente sized cups of coffee with a dollop of cream on top, to Mr. Big Gulp and more. Good grief. It certainly is a mad mad mad mad mad mad mad world in the beverage department, to say the least. Milk barely stands a chance.

Like any problem in life I like to keep the solution simple. What’s simpler than Mother Nature’s water? Yes old fashioned H2O. Because I prefer to eat my calories instead of drink them (mostly) I ignore all of the fancy packages, vitamin additions and sports drinks and just have water. I take it up a notch and get fancy at home by keeping fizzy mineral water on hand to enjoy with lemon, lime, a dap of juice on ice in the good ole summer time. Ahhh how refreshing!

Think of all of the sugar or sweetener and colouring, not to mention that dastardly caffeine in so many drinks. I get heart palpations just thinking about it. So take stock of the drinks in your fridge and your cupboards and decide to simplify things in your own drink department. Here’s some food for thought on drinks or “drinks for thought”:

  • feel free to start the day off with a cuppa jo if you must then move on and abort all thoughts of more coffee in the day, know when enough is enough already
  • keep water in a recyclable container with you and sip on that all day long
  • drink milk with meals
  • eat your fruit more than you drink your fruit in the form of juice
  • ok live a little and enjoy a bit of wine now and then, then put a cork in it

Keep in mind that all solids and fluids are water based plus drink water to quench thirst. You don’t necessarily need to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, but drink to quench thirst. Remember that kiddies and seniors alike aren’t as attuned to thirst and need to be offered and reminded to drink their water throughout the day especially in extreme heat.

You’ll certainly feel better when taking a leap to simplicity in your beverage department. Give it a try and free yourself of all of the madness. You’ll be glad you did.

Funny when I have people over and ask “would you like a drink?” My innocent guests ask “what do you have?” And I have to laugh and admit to well, mineral water or mineral water, skim milk and various juices. What can I say, who needs cupboards full of all of that sugary, caffeinated stuff? Not me, that’s for sure. So drink up and bottoms UP!

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Blazing, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

June 20th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Ahhhh summer is official here folks. What’s not to love? Our days seem longer with the sun up late. Our days are warmer, living sock free. Our food is fresher, now is the time to go coco over local! There is every element in place to do better from a health and lifestyle perspective, don’t ya think? Well yes if your attitude it tuned in the right place – the health channel of sorts.

If you’re stuck in neutral with your heart longing for greater healthfulness with your head second guessing yourself, I say ignore the voices and get your legs moving to get up go, before your get up and go, got up and went…..or something like that! Many of us have a picture of being healthier that’s so extremely healthy it’s almost unrealistic. Don’t gag yourself with a spoon! Dish up some goodness.

I say just vamoose and get started. Make 1 goal, any goal. Make it easy peasy and achievable. That’ll make you feel dandy when you reach it, then guess what? Make yourself another goal that’s achievable. Then you know what? You’re on a roll, baby, to a better you, one measly goal at a time. You don’t need to take on the world to be healthier. Get there by taking baby steps.

I don’t know about you but I try to live each day to the fullest whatever the season. But summer certainly does take the cake for oh so many reasons, I just love it. It’ll feel even better when you take on each goal as a pebble of change. By autumn there’ll be an avalanche of healthfulness and motivation that you won’t stop for nobody. You go girl!!

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Sleep on It!

June 19th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I just read another article about sleep deprivation and overeating. I have written about this a number of times and it would seem that it deserves more air time. Mayo Clinic researchers conducted an ultra controlled trial with 17 subjects and found that on the day following sleep deprivation they consumed on average 549 calories more than their average intake; double hmmmmm.

They suggested we might be dealing with 2 epidemics, not just one – obesity plus sleep deprivation. I’d like them to consider a third – the caffeination of our nation, with the over consumption that might also cause sleep deprivation. A negative Bermuda Triangle, that’s for sure.

The researchers weren’t quite sure why this happened. Well, let me count the ways. Drawing from my travels across many time zones that groggy readjustment when you go then return has me yawning trying to decide what my moaning feelings are telling me. I find myself asking “am I hungry; am I thirsty; am I tired? What do I really want? I try to use my head and think “hmmm if I just ate, then maybe I’m thirsty or just get some shut eye and see if that helps”.

There are many significant implications of this finding, that’s for sure. There are people who do shift work, people who consume too much caffeine, people who travel across time zones regularly and others who party hearty on weekends.

If you followed my “Trade-off Turnaround” series you’ll know that I can have a hey-day’s worth of assumptions to calculate what these various scenarios add up to in potential weight gain or loss in terms of packing on the pounds if we’re not mindful, that’s for sure.

Confusing the Cues
For anyone who may identify with this issue you may not be able to change your job, but you may be able to think about your reaction to your sleepy cues. For example, if your first line of offence when you are both groggy and think you are hungry I suggest your first line of offence is to drink a tall glass of water and eat a fruit and wait twenty minutes. Reflect on when you last ate and think with your brain instead of your fuzzy hunger cues. If it is indeed time to eat, then eat. But if your groggy cues are still complaining you might indeed be thirsty or just tired, so go get some shut eye and move on.

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Miss Behavin', Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Sedentary Spread

June 17th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I attended a conference last week and was reminded by one of the speakers how pathetic it’s gotten on the sedentary lifestyle front around the world, including Canada. Dr. Mark Tremblay showed statistics for all age groups of boys, girls, men and women over time demonstrating all groups having gained weight, gotten weaker and less flexible with larger girths. As I sat at the conference for a few days I could feel the spread. What gives?

He talked about even fitting in a measly 30 minute run amongst all of the sitting barely mounted to a hill of beans in the benefit department. It’s good to get a bonk on the head with a dollop of reality to shake up even those seemingly healthy folks. That includes me….

We’ve got to fit in moving any which way we can throughout the day, every day. Here are some nifty ideas to fit in stealth moves to help stop the spread:

  • hold your standing meeting at the office, well….standing
  • when you raddle on the phone at work stand up and chat
  • take intermittent stretches throughout the day
  • instead of e-mail someone down to hall, have some real face time and walk to meet them to say want you planned to message
  • take transit to work – it’s good for the environment and your back side
  • ensure you drink enough in the day will result in needing to visit the louvre regularly
  • host a walking meeting
  • get a pedometer and track the daily steps you take and aim to increase it over time

When I arrived home I fluttered and puttered around the house and garden, took my 3 mile walk and did my weights and mat routine. I feel better already. Start making a stand and get outta that seat to stop the sedentary spread. Thanks Mark I got the message!! And I hope you, my dear readers do too.

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Cherish Your Pops

June 14th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Thank God for my Dad
Oh our head of the house
He seemed so tough and such
But he was quiet as a mouse

Set limits he did
Through his actions he spoke
He expected a lot
Of all men, a fine bloke

A role model he is
While standing his ground
He just needs to give “the look”
Without making a sound

Tough love was important
That rule of the day
To get us to do the right thing
He expected us to obey

Has a stern outer shell
But a heart made of gold
Has his priorities straight
Through the years as we get old….er

So honor your Dad
Oh yes, mine’s the greatest
Live a life that brings pride
After all he helped create us!

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Food Revolution – Harry’s Favorite Potatoes

June 13th, 2012 No Comments Tags: ,

Mother Dearest was on a roll a while back and served up these yummy taters the day she made the meatloaf. This dish was my late father-in-law’s favourite potato dish and she served them on his birthday. How nice!

4-6 small white potatoes, washed and peeled
1/2 onion peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
1 green onion chopped
dab 18% cream
dollop of butter or soft tub margarine

Boil a pot of water and add the prepared potatoes until mostly cooked through. Drain then cool, then cut in half or the size of your liking.

Do the following while your potatoes are boiling: In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter then sauté both types of onion and garlic until softened. Add the prepared potatoes to your saucepan and cook further until browned. Add a smidgen of cream to almost cover the potatoes then simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Ready to serve and enjoy.

It’s easy to get tuber boredom by doing your taters the same dang way all of the time. Give this a try once in a while as your trip to tuber heaven.

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Best Food Forward – Blumen Blueberries

June 12th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Ahhh for the love of blueberries. Oh those mini-powerhouses of taste and goodness, it’s ridiculous. Saying they’re a super food is old news but reminding ourselves that a fruit so yummy to the tastebuds it’s so chummy with important bodily functions is a good thing.

They give the “all clear” to our arteries by sweeping out that bad cholesterol – the LDL’s. Rich in anti-oxidants they give the heave ho to those free radicals too. Elements in these can help hypertension. In addition, some research shows blueberry intake could affect fat burning and storage. Enough said, time to double up!

Wow how can so many benefits fit into those teeny weeny berries? One of Mother Nature’s wonders, without a doubt. Add them to cereal, compliment your cheese platter with them, garnish your salad, pump up your yoghurt with some or blenderize ‘em in a smoothie. I go bananas over blueberries any which way I can get ‘em.

Add these as a standing staple to your grocery list. So versatile and oh so blumen good for you. Enjoy!

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Digging for Dirt

June 10th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

What is it about digging in the dirt that’s so dang satisfying? I’m a bit of a late bloomer on the planting front and visited the nursery recently to pick up some flowers and potted plants. Talk about one of my favourite pastimes. I can wander around there all day…if I had the time.

I used to plan things out in my garden so systematically with plants, various varieties and colours. Now I just get a bunch, do some speed digging, stick them in the ground then give everything double doses of fertilizer to make up for lost growing time. Then Mother Nature does the rest, as usual. The robins, nuthatches and the kiddies next door approved, so I must be doing something right.

I remember when I was young and picked “gardening” from the proverbial “job jar” as a chore. Back then I wasn’t so keen to get up close and personal with the earthworms getting dirt in my nails. Funny when you grow up and have your own place how things change. I was out there for the balance of the afternoon and burned ~216 calories an hour. Not so bad getting things planted while fitting in some stealth exercise.

All I want to do these days is be outside when I have free time. Whether it’s a weeding meeting, a gardening party or a walk in the hood, getting active outdoors is so therapeutic. So if you’re still stuck inside move your cheese and get out and play. You’ll be glad you did.

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