Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Food for Thought

Eat Clean
By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Dear Friends,

Now more than ever, nutritional nightmares abound on grocery store shelves. Products that are manipulated to hook us into food addictions take us hostage daily. You cannot be passive when it comes to buying your food and throw just any old thing in your cart. If you will implement a few simple rules, you will no longer be victimized by the food industry again: read the food labels of each and every product you buy.

If you see anything with an additive you can't pronounce or
don't know what it is, don't buy it. Watch too, for food dyes.
Did you know that Red No.3 (a dye allowed in foods) is also used as a pesticide for spraying on manure piles to kill maggots? (Source: EPA) Yellow No. 5 I know you've seen before in different foods and drinks. Allergists have reported all kinds of serious physical effects in some of their patients, including hives, asthma and behavioral problems. (Source: Lancet, Journal of Pediatrics). Think about it: why would you want your child drinking an electrolyte replacement drink that looks like toilet cleaner? Do you REALLY want that kind of dangerous junk in your food? These additives, fake colorings and flavorings are the food industry's weapons of mass destruction-true chemical warfare. We need to take a stand for Real Food and say NO to this kind of "food" because it is not food at all!

Keep it simple: eat easily identifiable real food. Skip the icky mixes that you constitute with water, partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils, and all that garbage. You know what food looks like. You'll find it in the produce section, the meat counter, and some fairly inexpensive dried beans, whole grains and breads on your grocer's shelves. Read the labels, strap on a whole new mindset of awareness and get rid of the junk. The results will astound you. You will see your children's behavior improve, your own moods even out and your grocery bill decrease- junk food is expensive.

We need to be reminded that we are feeding souls here-not filling holes. Your children's tummies can't be filled like a hole in the plaster. They need honest nutrition that will help them grow, learn and become all that God intends them to be. They can't do that on junk. Think about your car. You'd NEVER intentionally put less than decent fuel in it or you might damage the engine. Why would you do that to yourself or your family? You can always replace your car, but those faces across the dinner table are irreplaceable.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Real Food Rookie?

If you're a rookie at all of this "real food" stuff and you're interested in some classes, here's an option. There are also other classes from other real food bloggers, and there is a link to one set of classes on the side bar. Kitchen Stewardship also has good classes on things like sourdoughs and such.

Eat real food=feel real good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lunch for Kim

My friend asked me the other day to do a post on healthy lunches ( i.e. what healthful foods I feed my little guy), so here I go.

#1 lunch option: Leftovers. I know, I use my leftovers to feed my hubby lunch the next day too, but if you make a bunch for dinner while you're already cooking, it can feed the whole fam twice with one meal prep. Nice.

#2: When leftovers aren't an option, I like to have some cooked grains all ready in my fridge most of the time. When you have a whole grain or two already done, all you need to do is add some fresh or frozen veggies, a little butter, salt and pepper (or go all out and add some cheese!), heat, and serve. That's one of my favorite options. Yes, I got the idea to have cooked grains on hand from Kara. Love that lady. Check out this post.

Today, actually, I didn't have anything else ready, so I pulled out some broccoli, boiled it a bit, added some already-cooked quinoa, butter, s&p, and it was great. Plus, you can eat a bunch of broccoli and not feel bad about it one bit. Yum.

#3: Fresh seasonal fruit is, of course, a fabulous snack and starter for lunch. Fresh, raw veggies and fruits can make up most of a lunch. Try the muffin tin method, which is this:

1.Get muffin tin.
2.Put some dips in some of the holes, such as a yogurt dip, hummus, guacamole, real peanut butter, ranch, etc.
3.Put fruits and veggies in the remaining holes, and dip away.

This picture is thanks to my bff, Shayla. I hope she doesn't mind. :)

Here's a video on teaching kids to eat right, and she does the muffin tin thing at the end. She also gives ideas for great, healthful dips.

They say it's for kids, but who doesn't like some finger foods now and then?

#4: I have no problem with real food pb&j's now and again. If you don't want to or can't currently make your own bread, get some actual whole wheat bread (read the ingredients list. If there are names you don't recognize, try another loaf.), some whole fruit jam and some real nut butter of your choice--or peanut butter and honey, yum! Pair that with some carrots, celery, whatever your kids like, and take it to the park for a picnic!

#5: How about keeping some other sandwich makings in the fridge? Egg salad, tuna, or, for a treat, grilled cheese sandwiches are great, and you can add some veggies and even grains in to some of those.
For ideas with tuna, see this post.
For grilled cheese, you can add in pureed yams or squash in there with some shredded cheese, and it's fabulous.

#6: Some kids will eat salads, you know. Give it a try. Make sure to have some cool textures (like some nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and veggies chopped in different ways) and a good dressing. If they don't eat it, have a treat for yourself, Mom.

With all meals, try to incorporate a lot of variety and color. Color is a good indicator of nutrients (if it's God-made food, that is) and antioxidants. Stuck in an apple rut? Try some blueberries or something.

Here are some fun finger foods and dips that kids love:
Sweet Potato Fries
Incredible Edible Veggie Bowls
Hummus (I hope to have my friend post her recipe for hummus as well, because it is fabulous.)
Ranch Dressing

Anybody have some other ideas? Please share, as always.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A New Book Recommendation

This book is an easy read with some good ideas and a bunch of recipes. I think it's a great starter book, and it's easy to carry around in your purse and pull out when you have a minute to read some. You can read a quick bit and put it down easily, and then pick right back up again.

Clever title, eh?

Real Food Has Curves, a new book written by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, offers a 7-step plan for weaning yourself off processed foods:

  1. Seek true satisfaction. Enjoy genuine flavors, rather than fat, sugar, and salt added to mask the metallic taste of chemical additives.
  2. Read labels wisely. You can find food with "real" ingredients in the supermarket if you read labels carefully.
  3. Relish what's on your plate. Devote time solely to enjoying the pleasures of eating.
  4. Wean yourself off excess salt, fat, and sugar. You can also cook with smaller amounts of these ingredients by using natural substitutes like strong spices.
  5. Give your palate time to change. You'll gradually lose your taste for excessively sweet and salty foods.
  6. Go for high-quality foods. Look for products that contain the least amount of processed ingredients.
  7. Treat yourself well by not skipping meals. Try eating three meals a day at fairly regular times, plus a mid-afternoon snack.
Again, not a perfect source, but a great step up for the average eater, and great recipe ideas for beginners and established real-fooders.
Go grab a copy at your local library, and eat up.