Beansandyoga

Practical, healthful eating and living.

February Favorites January 28, 2011

Salt on the roads.  Salty stews. I can’t take it anymore! By the looks of the searches bringing readers here, it seems I am not alone.

This week, my favorite foods were fresh avocado, fresh ruby-red grapefruit, and frozen mango chucks from Trader Joe’s.

Sweet relief.  They are restoring.  The avocado I ate straight out of the shell, although it would be perfect on a salad of Romaine lettuce, grapefruit sections, red onion, feta cheese and balsamic dressing.  To the grapefruit I added honey and warmed it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  Alternately, you could put it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.

The mango? Heavenly.  Briefly thawed with the help of a microwave, then topped with plain, whole-fat yogurt, it made my day.  When fresh produce looks like it could be better, don’t hesitate to go with frozen.  The flash freezing techniques in use today keep berries, mangoes and vegetables nutrient rich.   They are a great shortcut when you want to maximize flavor yet get food without additives.

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A Treasure Trove of Shortcuts January 22, 2011

I am all about fresh AND easy.  The freezer is my friend.  Check out these “secret ingredient” freezer shortcuts from Edward Schneider’s column and accompanying comments in The New York Times.  A few I’d like to try:

  • Onions, tomatoes and garlic cooked down into a paste.  Freeze in small containers and use as a base for paella.
  • Home-made pesto frozen into ice cube trays.  Thaw and toss with pasta.
  • Chopped garlic and ginger frozen together.  Use as a base for stir fry.
 

Calories vs. Nutrition January 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 9:44 am

Nutrition, long forgotten, is making a come back.  Left in the dust by meaningless calorie counting, nutrition waited quietly in the background as people became distracted with calories, neglected to feed themselves well, got sick, then became dependent on prescription drugs.  A sad cycle.

This past year, nutrition finally began to get the attention it deserves.  Michael Pollan’s book, “In Defense of Food,” released age old secrets on how to eat healthfully.  Life Time Fitness has started RevolutionaryAct. com, offering 101 revolutionary ways to be healthy.

As for myself, I continue to cook most of my own food.  I continue to pursue exercise in a form that’s fun and engaging, to the point I forget I’m working out. Why? Because working out CAN be entertaining.  You won’t catch me on a treadmill, no.  You WILL catch me on a bike trail outdoors, cross-country skiing, or in a yoga class.

The benefits? I feel good.  I’m still a size 2.  I break away from computers/media while working out, which allows me to hear my own thoughts.  An hour a day of connecting with how I’m feeling emotionally is a great deterrent to depression or seasonal affective disorder. (I live in a winter-dark climate.)

So pick a starting point and see what happens if it become a habit! Here are some ideas:

  • Take a 20-minute walk outdoors at least once a week.
  • Unplug from media, cell phones, computers etc. for 30 minutes each day.
  • Start carrying strategic snacks with you, like almonds, dried apricots and chocolate.  (Yes, I consider chocolate a health food.)
  • Buy fresh fruit in season, when it tastes good and prices are down.  I find that apples and oranges sold individually are generally of better quality than pre-packaged bags.
  • Pick up one new fruit or vegetable to try each time you shop.
  • Put nutrition first!
  • Quit counting calories.
  • Go for food in its natural, unprocessed form.