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|Monday, January 14th, 2008|
Wellness for your Body, Mind, and Soul
I have bought several so called “Healthy Cookbooks” over the years, hoping to find easy, healthy snacks for me to eat. However, most of the “healthy” recipes are actually recipes calling for disaster to my body.
First of all, the ingredients in most healthy recipes are impossible to find in a grocery store. Or worse, I have never heard of the item, and have no clue where to buy it. If I can’t pronounce the word, it’s not going into my body.
Secondly, the recipes in the health books are not really healthy at all. The ingredients call for light oil, light butter, light salt, Splenda, non-fat this, and non-fat that….and the list goes on. The caloric intake may be lower compared to a regular recipe, but labels with “light”, “non-fat”, and “artificial sweetener” are dangerous for our bodies.
Manufacturers are adding more chemicals and artificial junk to make the product less fatting. When the fat is taken out, sugar and carbohydrates are added. Find your favorite boxed snack and compare the labels from the low-fat box to that of the regular box. The low-fat box has less fat and calories. The label looks great, so you think that you are helping your body. Plus you don’t feel any guilt. However, as you keep reading the label, you will discover more sugar and more carbohydrates are added. Your body can burn fat off more easily than carbohydrates. Therefore, you are better off eating the real, untouched natural snack. (Example: Low fat ice cream may have 2.5 grams of fat. However, it may have 26 carbs and 16 grams of sugar. Regular ice cream may have 7 grams of fat with 19 grams of carbs and 12 grams of sugar. It will take your body longer to burn off the low fat ice cream because of the added sugar and carbs.
Most people fail to realize that your body needs fat! The brain is composed of mostly fat. Your body does not need an overload of the bad carbohydrates and sugars!
Speaking of carbohydrates- we need them! Eat them! No, not the sugar carbs, found in candy and cookies. Eat bread! Eat wheat! Eat grains! Eat vegetables! Good carbs help break down fat and help you eliminate the waste and toxins that are in your body.
Please stay away from all artificial sugars. They aren’t as sweet as we think they are. When we taste sugar, our brains think, “Yum, I am eating sugar.” However, the chemicals in artificial sugars make our stomach unable to digest the fake sugar….hence no calories. How sick is it that we have to put drugs in our bodies to trick our stomach from not processing it? The artificial sugars linger in the body because they are not digested in our stomach. Built up artificial sugars are burned off at a much slower pace than regular sugar. Therefore, if you consume artificial sugars over long periods of times, you could be slowing your metabolic rate, building up toxins, and causing your body to slow down.
Water only- no more soda! No more diet soda! Drink water to flush toxins out of your body. Your metabolism may be slow because you have too many toxins in your body. Water helps to flush any toxic wastes lingering in your body.
Key to not gaining weight- never let your body be hungry. Your body is like a car. It needs fuel to run. Without fuel your car will not run. You will have less energy, thus burning less calories. The emergency light in your body will turn on warning your body, “Uh, oh. Starving. Hungry. Slow down the metabolism. You need to conserve these calories until your next meal.” Think cave man or woman. In times when food was scarce, a cave people survived without food because his or her body’s metabolism slowed down allowing less calories to be burned. Bottom line- graze. Eat every two hours. I am strict about my eating. I eat every two hours and have stayed the same weight since high school.
Stop torturing your body by fad diets and weird eating habits. If you eat normally and have a set routine, your body adapts and stays at the same weight. However, if you keep yo-yoing with diets, your body never has a chance to adapt, thus causing you to go up and down in weight.
Some recipes may sound weird. You may try them and be surprised how good the food tastes. Have fun with the recipes, and remember the most important health lesson: What you put in your mind is more important than what you put in your mouth.
Don’t obsess over food. Don’t feel guilty if you eat something bad. I eat healthy 80 % of the time, but I have my treats too. If I eat a donut with a blueberry latte (real sugar added), I thoroughly enjoy every bite and sip. I am not going to say things like, “I shouldn’t have had this. This drink is going straight to my hips.” Enjoy your food!
Think positive, eat positive, live positive!
Renee’s Healthy Recipes and Snacks
Pumpkin Snack- Take unsweetened pumpkin out of can. Heat up in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Spread on a graham cracker. You can add a few sprinkles of brown sugar on top of it.
Apple Sauce- Heat apple sauce in microwave for 15-20 seconds. Spread on graham cracker. Eat and enjoy.
Apples and cheese- Slice up an apple. Take two pieces of thin cheddar cheese (the kind you would use to make a grilled cheese sandwich). Cut cheese into thin squares. Wrap the squares around the apple slices and eat.
Frozen Strawberries and Blueberries- In a blender take 1 cup of skim milk and ½ cup of frozen fruit of your choice (I love strawberries and blueberries). Mix in blender and drink.
Chocolate Craving- You will need skim milk and 2 tablespoons of Ovaltine. Mix in blender with 2 ice cubes. It tastes great!
Chocolate Pops- Use skim milk and 2 tablespoons of Ovaltine. Stir with spoon. Put chocolate milk in freeze pop containers to freeze.
Pineapple Oatmeal- When I am really hungry I usually make oatmeal. It is filling and healthy. Instead of sugar, I add crushed pineapple to it for sweetness.
Light Banana Bread- Well, it’s not banana bread, but it sure does taste like it. Melt half of a banana in the microwave until it melts (20 seconds or so). Make oatmeal (I use 3 different kinds. Quaker Oats, Wheat Germ, and 100 % Bran.) Once oatmeal is done, pour the melted banana over top. Mix it up. You can add some Grapenuts on top. It’s delicious!
Light Brownies- I love brownies. You only have one life, so don’t deny yourself of things you love. Instead of using oil, substitute apple sauce. The brownies will be less fattening, but very moist.
Use applesauce instead of oil when baking desserts.
Pizza- if you love pizza, but hate the calories, why not make one yourself?! It’s fun and healthy. Use wheat dough and put lots of vegetables on top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on it. YUM!
Pizza snack- open up a wheat bun. Put a spoonful of spaghetti sauce on top. Add a sprinkle of cheese. Heat up in oven for 10 minutes. You now have a mini-healthy pizza to eat. (Warning: when buying wheat products make sure the first ingredient says, “wheat, or 100% wheat.)
Yogurt Crunch- put ½ cup of yogurt in a bowl. When you buy yogurt, look for light yogurt, and check the carbs on it. (Don’t buy yogurt that has 30 grams of carbs or too much sugar.) Sprinkle Special K cereal or Grape Nuts on top of it.
Peanut Butter and Cucumber Sandwich- I know, it sounds weird. But it is delicious. Make a peanut butter sandwich. Instead of jelly, add thin slices of cucumber. Jelly has too much sugar in it. Plus, you are getting your veggies. (I buy low fat peanut butter. I also have Soy Peanut butter from the health food store, which has less fat and is still good.) Sometimes I microwave my peanut butter sandwich first, and then add the cucumbers.)
Tasty “Potato” Chips- Soy chips are delicious and healthy. My favorite ones are the barbecue soy chips.
Spicy Chicken Dinner- Spray frying pan with olive oil spray or Pam. (Olive oil spray is better though.) Cook chicken while adding some Salsa over chicken. Serve the meal with a hearty salad.
Hearty Salad- You can never go wrong with salad. It’s the dressing that adds calories. Make a salad with any veggies you want. I do not eat salad dressing. However, I add natural ingredients to my salads to give it a great flavor. I vary my salad flavors by using:
Pineapple Juice and some pineapple chunksSpinach Dinner- Take frozen spinach and cook in frying pan. Add garlic and onions. Add the meat of your choice. I use chicken. Once spinach and chicken are cooked, sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top.
Say NO to Sticks
As women we need to stick together..... not literally like sticks though.
Let's make a pact that we will embrace our curves and shape.
It's one thing to be in shape and feel great about yourself, but trying to force your body to be a shape and size it was not intended to be is harmful for both your body and your spirit. You can lose weight, but there is nothing you can do if you were born with big bones. You can tone your muscles around those bones to make you look firm and fit, but you have to realize your bone structure does not change. Unless you get an ax and start chiseling away at your bones (don't you dare even think about this... not even for a split millisecond), your bone structure will not change.
Appreciate the bone structure you have. If we all had the same structure, we wouldn't have ballerinas, soccer players, cross country stars, and boxers. Be fit for your body. Be healthy for your body. Don't try to conform and be a stick figure. Think about a stick about in the forest. Their frail, dark, and boring. Go out in the world, creating your own shape image. Perhaps you are a beautiful rose with long legs and a flowering upper body! (I know it sounds so silly!) Perhaps you are a winding river, thus envisioning your body as having constant flowing energy.
When you wake up in the morning, you look at the world through your window. Your senses are extremely powerful. All your eyes perceive are shapes and colors. Change the way you see your body and it will change the way you feel about it.
Enjoying every Bite
Many times, when my friends and I go out to eat, we will make small comments about the food we are about to eat. We will say things such as, "How many points do you think this is? Oh, I can't eat this. It has too many carbs. Oh, boy.... if I eat this, I will have to eat carrot sticks the rest of the day."
I am guilty of such saying during what was suppose to be an enjoyable meal.
I started thinking about food differently the other day, and to my surprise, I actually enjoyed ever single bite, with pleasure and satisfaction.
My mindful eating technique: Say you're about to eat a spoonful of rice. Ask yourself where the grain came from. It may have grown in a paddy field many miles away. Think of the many people involved in planting the rice. They had to harvest the grain, bring it to the market, and sell it. It has to be transported, repackaged, and then sold again.
Finally, it has to be prepared and served. You can analyze whatever you eat in the same way. Appreciating the hard work it took to obtain the food you eat will help slow down your eating, and allow you to enjoy each bite without stressing over carbs and points.
I do believe in eating healthy, but I also believe that food should be appreciated. In many countries, people have an interconnectedness with food, which is why these people seem to eat what they want to, and not gain weight. In our society, food is a major stressor. Thus, Americans have negative feelings associated with food.
Let's try to make food a way of enhancing our life. Food gives us nutrients our bodies need, and energy for our mind and spirit.
Happy, healthy eating to you!