Posts Tagged ‘grocery list’

Week 2: Power Up Your Plate this #NutritionMonth!

March 4th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

When it comes to food choices, quality counts. Nourishing foods promote health and can help you feel your best. Take small steps to bump up the quality of your meals and snacks: get clever with cooking, swap in nutrient-rich choices and enjoy deliciously healthy foods. Here are some tips to get you started.

Jump-start your day! Power through your morning by eating a good breakfast.
A nourishing breakfast gives you a fuel boost plus protein and fibre to help you stay alert and avoid mid-morning munchies.
In a hurry?
• Blend frozen berries, yogurt and milk for a super smoothie. Make it even better with baby spinach and ground flax.
• Wrap peanut butter, a banana and trail mix in a whole-grain tortilla for a portable, crunchy breakfast.
Got time?
• Make a burrito with scrambled egg, lentils or soft tofu, sautéed red pepper, avocado and salsa wrapped in a warm tortilla.
• Top French toast with yogurt, sunflower seeds and warm sautéed apple slices.

Forget the food court! Pack good food fast with “planned extra” leftovers for lunch.
Packing lunch is a healthy, budget-friendly habit. Keep it simple: reinvent “planned extra” leftovers for a lunch that’s way better than the food court. Try these tasty ideas:
• Cook extra chicken for dinner. For lunch, wrap chicken in soft tacos, with crunchy cabbage and shredded carrots, a sprinkle of feta and big squeeze of juicy lime.
• Roast extra root veggies. Layer them on crusty whole grain bread with hummus and baby spinach for a scrumptious sandwich.
• Toss extra cooked whole-wheat pasta, couscous or barley with pesto, cherry tomatoes, lentils and small cheese chunks for a protein-packed salad.

Swap your sip! Sugary and creamy drinks pack a calorie punch.
Your best choice for quenching thirst? Water! Add zing with mint, berries or citrus wedges. Carry a water bottle and keep it fresh all day. Swap your sip with these tips:
• Choose fizzy water with a tangy citrus twist instead of sugary pop.
• Like a latte? Filled with nutrient-rich, hydrating milk, lattes can be a good choice. Go plain, without sugary syrups or whipped cream. Try decaf to cut caffeine.
• Tea lover? Try hot or iced black, green or herbal teas without added white sugar or honey. Enjoy the taste of the tea itself.

Trade your treat! Pack nutrient-rich snacks so you can steer clear of the vending machine.
Nourishing snacks satisfy hunger between meals. To stay energized and satisfied, snack smart with small, portions of nutrient-rich foods. Treat your tastebuds with these good-for-you snacks:
• Fresh veggies + garlicky black bean dip
• A crisp apple + a couple pieces of tangy old cheddar cheese
• Crunchy roasted chickpeas + a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips
• A couple of naturally sweet dates filled with almond butter

Clever cooking! Flavour food with tangy citrus, fresh herbs and fragrant spices.
There are lots of simple ways to cook healthy without sacrificing taste. Try these tips to add flavour to meals:
• Add pizzazz to plain grains and pulses by cooking barley, brown rice or lentils in low-sodium broth.
• Stir ½ to 1 cup of canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potato into muffin batter for a veggie boost.
• Make a luscious mashed potato with roasted garlic, a little olive oil and warm milk.
• Purée vegetable soups, such as potato, sweet potato or broccoli, with low-sodium broth for deliciously creamy texture and taste.

For delicious recipes with a healthy twist, visit: How’s your 100 meal journey going?

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at:

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes, Foodie Fundamentals, Miss Behavin' | No Comments »

As the saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum…”

October 23rd, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We have all heard the saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This saying came to mind recently when the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s press release exclaimed “Cut the crap!” They revisited their nutritional recommendations for a healthy heart and slightly shifted their position suggesting we eat more whole foods and less highly processed, low nutrient junk food, AKA “crap”! How wise is that? Very!

Well, well, well, what a breath of fresh air these well thought out, new recommendations are for everyone! Over the past decades the masses have complicated matters of the heart and the diet, transforming the innocent act of eating into such a complicated affair. We got to focusing too much on micronutrients, while losing the essence and joy of food and eating somehow. It’s time to put “the bread” back into “breaking bread together”!

I am not proclaiming that nutrients in the food don’t matter. Our masterful machines – our bodacious bodies need all nutrients to function optimally. Changing our focus to one overarching goal – to consume mostly whole foods in a balanced fashion, is sage advise. Aiming to cook these whole foods at home more often can be life changing and for some life saving.

Instead of needing to remember a wide array of complicated food and nutrition rules – “…more of this, less of that, this percentage of the other… ” you simply have to ask yourself, “Is this a whole food or not?” When you look in your fridge, freezer, pantry and grocery list you can easily see if you are on the right track. Make small changes to move in the direction of eating whole foods more often in balanced proportions.

A few weeks back I made a vat of tomato eggplant sauce and froze it in smaller containers. Last week I made a lasagne with ground beef & mushrooms, spinach & ricotta and noodles using that trusty tomato sauce. This week I assembled this cinchy dinner of smoked salmon & brie, whole grain bread with a side salad. Next week I plan to create some calzones and dip them into my tomato sauce. Trust me, I am no Julia Childs and approach this to make food prep as easy and enjoyable as possible.

It’s helpful to take stock of your whole food enjoyment right now. If you have been falling short during this harvest season get a move on to your grocery store or market and load up.

Because it’s true, the whole IS greater than the sum of its parts. Eating more home-prepared, whole foods is better for you than consuming your nutrients from a bottle or elixir and following a plethora of illogical food rules, don’t you think?

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Posted in Eating Vortex, Foodie Fundamentals, Policy for the People, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Portuguese Style Roast Chicken Piri Piri

December 15th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I found myself in the engaging country of Portugal last month. The countryside, the people and the food are all a delight to experience. On one fine day we were treated to a family style dinner that filled up our tummies and tantalized our tastebuds. Roast chicken is one food you can rarely make a mistake with and easy to perfect over time. Give this a try!

1 roast chicken or chicken pieces
3-5 peeled and crushed garlic cloves
dash of paprika

1. The day prior to serving, prepare the marinade of garlic, paprika and vinegar into a paste and baste the thawed chicken. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Roast or barbecue the chicken as per usual instructions.
3. Serve with super hot piri piri sauce to dip your chicken in if you like heat! Make a few veggie dishes to accompany your fab chicken. Enjoy!

This chicken was delectable: a simple family meal made to the nines! I am now adopting a Portuguese cooking style when I make chicken and am recommending to everyone I know to do the same. Give it a try!

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Idaho Harvest

October 1st, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Gotta go
Just to try
Beloved potatoes!

Always in style
So versatile
Enjoy any time
Conscience reconcile!

Good for you
Side dish or stew?
Vitamins & minerals
Plus fibre too!

Farmers field
A lot of yield
Have to say
Such a big deal

Honest and true
From everybody

Cherish the land
Now I know…

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Posted in Rhyme Time! | No Comments »

Colour Your World

September 12th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Don’t you just love watching the leaves turn colour this time of year? As Mother Nature colours our world, consider adding more colour to yours… on your plate and in your lunch bag. The rainbow of fruits and veggies add a wide array of nutrients with health sustaining benefits that really taste great!

What’s Up Doc? – Add veggies to your lunch bag such as a bunch of crunchy carrots.

Paint the Town Red – Make a tantalizing tomato sauce batch to stir things up a bit.

Get Green with Envy – Steam some raging rapini to perk up your dinner repertoire.

Be a Purple People Eater – Enjoy purple plums in season as a perfect snack or meal accompaniment.

Orange is the New Black – Whip up an old orange smoothie to enjoy as a snack or with a muffin for a fast breakfast.

The healthfulness of these colourful foods elevates them to the super food stratosphere while tantalizing your tastebuds… not to mention, they fill you up. Paint your own impressionist creation at meals and snacks to please all of your senses and ratchet up your nutrition.

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals | No Comments »

Twitter Tattler – Sweet Goodness Give Me Fruit!

August 18th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I was doing my daily scanning of the Twittersphere recently and read a tweet from a woman’s magazine about sugar and fruit, good grief. My eyeballs get frosted when this sort of negative messaging about amazing food gets airtime. What gives?

The author discussed high and low sugar levels in various fruits and even dared to mention some having as much sugar as a candy bar. Ya I know that sugar is the new villain on the block these days, but the last thing we want is for people to cut down on fruit because of it when it possesses so much goodness.

We all know that added sugar is in a variety of packaged foods and drinks and having too much of the white stuff isn’t a good thing. That’s what we need to cut back on, NOT fruit.

Before setting out to write this segment I took a snack break and washed a bowl of cherries, ahhh. How I love cherries in season. The first sighting of them in the grocery store makes my heart skip a beat with glee. That article noted 4 fruits with higher sugar content – cherries, figs, mangos and grapes. First of all folks I never judge any one food using 1 parameter, such as calories or sugar unless that’s all it contains. Mother Nature’s candy IS fruit and each type does contain natural sugar but so much more goodness in its natural form it’s ridiculous.

Cherubic Cherries – Take cherries for example they’re a good source of vitamin C and fibre and have shown they can alleviate inflammation. I love how these are eaten, one juicy morsel at a time around the seed, one by one. They can’t be gobbled down mindlessly or you could crack a tooth if you’re not careful.

Fabulous Figs - Then there are figs. I have fond memories of my Dad nurturing a fig tree in our yard growing up. These provide a good source of fibre plus iron, calcium and potassium plus polyphenols. I love enjoying figs on an antipasto platter or for dessert.

Magnificent Mangos – These are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A which can promote healthy skin plus benefit immune function. I enjoy sweet succulent mango in one of the lunch salads I have most days.

No Griping About Grapes – Lastly the grape is an excellent source of vitamin C, K and manganese with polyphenols. They’er a perfect snack – so portable, so tasty perking up your taste buds naturally.

I would never in a million years steer clear of these four fabulous fruits or any other for that matter. And neither should you. I don’t see any nutritional benefit from candy bars which were compared to some of these foods from the gods. Fruit helps fill you, taste delectable and are inherently lower in calories than other foods. They serve as an excellent snack and are my first line of defence for my hunger strategy offence. Enjoy all fruit each and every day.

I add mixed berries to my morning oatmeal, enjoy a banana mid morning, plus a seasonal fruit during late afternoon’s “witches hour” that tides me over to dinner time. I add fruit to salad to punch up the flavour.

Choose Mother Nature’s candy – fruit throughout your day. I discuss a Fab Four Food Changes to make in my ebook, Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Check it out.

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Francy Rants | No Comments »

What’s sweet, savoury, creamy and tart that goes crunch??

July 9th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

What’s sweet, savoury, creamy and tart that goes crunch?? Dessert you say? No, it’s salad, my salad! I have proclaimed myself as the best salad maker in all of the land. I make it every night and it disappears like a magician’s bunny rabbit – poof! Never a morsel left when I have company either. To me, salad should taste delectable like dessert. If you have “veggie haters” in your household, give this a try. Here are some salad basics:

Veggie Might? – Every salad has a base of fresh crunchy lettuce. I choose a different variety every week to keep things interesting in my bowl. Sometimes I use a spring mix, sometimes I feel like something bitter and use baby spinach or arugula other times romaine. I always slip in an extra veggie by adding in peeled English cucumber cubes.

Sweet Dream Believer – I add 3 sources of sweetness – multicoloured mini tomatoes, cut up fruit in season – pomegranate, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, plum, nectarine, apple, grapes, mango, grapefruit or pear; and cut up dried fruit – cherries, cranberries, blueberries or raisins.

Pucker Power – Add in some sharp cheese to make you pucker – whether it’s some shredded asiago or Romano, crumbled feta or goat’s cheese.

Crunch & Munch – Sprinkle some unsalted toasted nuts to your mix – slivered almonds, soy nuts, pumpkin or sesame seeds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans or pine nuts.

Put Some Bite in Your Bark – Include some sliced Spanish onion that adds punch to your pucker!

Get UNDressed – Grind some fresh pepper and add a dash of salt then drizzle on balsamic vinegar and olive oil. There’s no need for a plethora of bottled dressings.

Mix it up well like the Tazmanian Devil did on the Bugs Bunny Show. The cheese will add a creamy mouthfeel, while the the dried cherries will leave an endnote of cinnamon on your palate. Every forkful is a taste explosion with sweet, savoury, creamy, tartness that goes crunch! This combination will turn a veggie hater into a greens keeper who will beg for it every night. That’s the best part!

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Taking Stock of Asparagus

June 25th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

As the produce department shifts into summer mode, fresh asparagus is there standing on guard for thee! This is one staple vegetable I have on hand that requires minimal fussing to steam while accompanying most any meal whether it’s a BBQ night, a pasta night with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top or diced in bite sized pieces in a salad or omelette. Asparagus soup is one of my fave’s too.

Who needs to drone on about all of the nutritional benefits when it tastes so divine, but I will share a few nuggets. A mere handful of these stocks provide 25% of your daily folate, not to mention B6 and Vitamin C, inulin. Why take all of the allure out of such a tasty food, but it’s good to know nonetheless?

If you don’t routinely stock up on this super veg, take stock and pick some up this week. They’re so easy to prepare you’ll wonder why you overlooked these spears of plenty. Enjoy!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals | No Comments »

Pulp non-Fiction, Think About Your Drink!

May 14th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

While grocery shopping recently I mistakenly wandered up and down the seemingly mile-long beverage aisles, zigging and zagging the river of empty calories that flowed in those parts, swoooosh. Ok folks I haven’t railed on about what we drink in a long time. Since warmer temperatures are sneaking up on us, I thought I’d plant the seed of drinking wisdom in your noggin before you stock up at a grocery store near you.

The plethora of bevy’s that have infiltrated our lives are staggering from hot beverages, to cold, to bubbly, to flat. I say it’s time we wake up on this and dial it back, don’t you think?

Fruit Fix – Fruit juice and drinks have a health halo like no other. They tantalize your sweet-loving taste buds but fall flat on the fiber front and more. Get in the habit of eating your fruit rather than drinking your fruit. It’s way too easy to guzzle back a few 8 ounce glasses of juice which adds up to 4 fruit servings. Eating fruit helps fill you up and never lets you down. Nix that fluid fruit juice fix now!

Burst of Effervescence - How I love to rail on about soda – pop goes the weasel! Oh ye sweetened vat of food calorie nothingness that makes me crave gallons upon gallons, glug, glut, glug. It’s time to cave to the craving and put a lid on this nasty habit. Choose mineral water instead and add mint, lemons, limes or even a freshly cut cucumber and keep jugfuls in your fridge.

Blender Bender – If you are a ole smoothie lover, make a U-turn at the fast food smoothie counter and make a vat of your own. Add fruit, yogurt, skim milk and more to create a perfect fast and hearty meal or snack. Check out my Food Revolution Recipe section for a few smoothie recipes.

Caffeine Kick – Do you wonder why you and/or your kids count so many sheep at night trying to fall asleep? Maybe it’s the caffeine that has infiltrated your drinking repertoire that’s keeping you up at night, a baaaaahd habit indeed. Awareness is bliss remember! Evaluate how much your getting and cut back if you’re indeed overdoing it.

White Wonder – Milk is a white knight of beverages that is so versatile and nutrient rich it’s ridiculous. Kick hunger and nutrient emptiness to the curb with this bold bevy and include it at mealtimes every day.

Are you now soaking up some beverage wisdom? Read more about this in my e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books. Before you stock up on liquid emptiness for the whole family think about your drink and be wise without compromise!

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

Getting Started – Fab 4 [not 44] Food Fundamentals

May 2nd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

The world of dieting is like the wild west on steroids, don’t you think? Amidst our busy lives you’d think that KISS principle would prevail. Sadly, many people feel the more far fetched and challenging a regime is the more willing some become lured in to try it.

I have said many times that “diet” has the word “die” in it, which can’t be good for anybody. Food richness should fill you up and make you strong and healthy not deplete every cell in your being.

My e-book Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books is different because it discusses many aspects of lifestyle and ways to motivate yourself before even talking about food in Chapter 7. Many diet books have a long menu of restrictions and rules that make you hungry, listless, cranky making you crave food you can’t have. Mine doesn’t. Following the premise “all food fits” I have a Fab 4 [not 44] list of food fundamentals to get you started to help you eat better:

¤ 1) Get your 5-10 a day – Veggie Might?

¤ 2) Get your 3 a day – Be a dairy queen

¤ 3) Think about your drink – eat your calories don’t drink your calories

¤ 4) Beware, Be Aware – Food Awareness – for packaged and restaurant food choices

There are oodles of tips and tidbits to learn how to trade off throughout the book to help you tip the scale in your favour. Get all of the juicy details, won’t you? Something delightful to gnaw on, that’s for sure!

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Successful Loser Logic | No Comments »