Food and Fitness Tips

Happy Thursday All!  It’s Friday Eve!

Chef P has the day off tomorrow so we’re heading to Borough Market in London by train!  We were there just before Christmas last year, so at least I know what to expect and what I can get there!

I’ll talk about that in another post, but for today, I’m going to give you some food and fitness tips and just some general well-being tips; well probably more food tips, but it’s nice to throw something different in once in a while. :)

Stop-Smoking-Aids¤ Stop Smoking!  Probably the number one thing you really should do.  Women who stop smoking by the age of 30 reduce their risk of dying of tobacco-related diseases by 97%.  Quit by 40 and your risk is reduced by 90%.  Stop Smoking Day here in the UK is March 13….next week.  What a perfect time to give it up for good!

¤  Drink your H2O.  Water is a secret weight-loss weapon.  Dehydration slows your metabolism and stops fat burning.  But 10 minutes after drinking 500ml/17fl oz. of cold water, your rate of calorie burning rises by 30% and peaks after 30 minutes.  Nearly half of that comes from your body trying to heat the water.

¤ Enjoy your food.  Don’t just woof it down!  A recent paper published in Obesity found those who chewed their food properly, keeping it in their mouths for up to eight minutes(!) before swallowing, ate less.  Chewing properly also helps release nutrients from the food, so you don’t need to eat as much to absorb the right amounts.

pasta¤  Eat Pasta!  White pasta has an undeserved bad image:  The Mediterranean diet uses white pasta and is one of the healthiest diets in the world.  It proves you don’t have to give up your favorite foods to eat healthy.  Pasta is high carb, but low on the Glycemic Index, because the starch molecules are encapsulated in a unique way in the pasta dough.  However, don’t overcook it as this breaks down the structures, raising the GI.

¤ Keep a food diary.  Keeping a food diary can help you lose weight.  If you’ve had a bad week, you can go back and pinpoint where you screwed up it went wrong.

¤ Cut down on the saturated fats.  Yes, we’ve heard this before, but this is great for keeping your heart healthy.  Even though you cut out the saturated fats, your body still needs fat so you need to consume the good ones, in particular the oils found in avocados, nuts, sees and evening primrose oil.

¤ Try coconut oil.  Coconut oil is great in food and has so many benefits.  It doesn’t degrade at high cooking temps, unlike many other oils and you can even use it in smoothies.  It’s high in lauric acid – a good thing (a type of saturated fatty acid – also a good thing), which can speed up metabolism and great for your joints.  Go for an extra-virgin, raw, cold-pressed oil to really benefit your health.

nocake¤ Crave a dessert after dinner?  Brush your teeth after eating.  The taste of the toothpaste and the time it takes distracts you, so your craving goes away.  Pop a toothbrush in your bag if eating out.

¤  Avoid drinking water with dinner.  Too much fluid can dilute the digestive enzymes in your mouth and stomach, making them less effective.  Aim to drink 30 minutes either side of your meal.  An occasional glass of wine with dinner is fine, but sip it slowly to make the most of it.

sleepy_cat¤ Get some sleep!  Lack of sleep contributes to obesity as it affects the amount of calories we eat the next day.  Different hormones affect men and women after a poor night’s sleep.  The hormone ghrelin rises in men, increasing their appetite, and the satiety hormone GLP-I falls in women, so they don’t feel full after eating.

Red Cabbage Slaw ~ South Beach Diet

cabbagecartoon

Happy Saturday and welcome to the weekend!

Chef P brought home a small head of red cabbage the other day and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it.

I had been looking through a magazine and came across a coleslaw recipe, so I thought that would be a good idea.  However, I couldn’t use the recipe I saw (not SB friendly) so had to look through my SB books to find something.

I ended up using a recipe in my low blood sugar cookbook which is based on the same principles as SB.  The recipe is applicable to Phase 2 as there are apples in it.  You could make it a Phase 1 recipe by just leaving them out.  However, I had tasted it before remembering to add the apples and it seemed to be missing something and tasted much better after I put the apples in.

I’m giving the recipe as it is written, but I used half the amounts in the dressing as the head of cabbage wasn’t very big; about the size of a softball or grapefruit.  The recipe calls for 3 Granny Smith apples, but again, I used just one apple and just a regular apple (Royal Gala) as I didn’t have any GS apples.  I think any apple will do.  I also added one grated carrot for a contrast of color and used a red onion instead of a regular onion as I find them less harsh when raw.  I also sliced the red onion really thin and used more than the recipe called for.

**RED CABBAGE SLAW**

DRESSING

½ C/4fl.oz./118ml extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp minced onion

1 tsp horseradish

1 tsp dry/powdered mustard

1 tsp celery salt

¼ tsp salt, or to taste

black pepper, to taste

VEGGIES

1 head red cabbage, shredded

3 Granny Smith apples, cored and grated

1 carrot, grated (optional)

HERE’S WHAT TO DO…

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing using a whisk.

If you have a mandoline slicer, it will make quick work of shredding the cabbage and you’ll be able to make nice, thin slices.  I also used it to slice the onion.

Toss the veggies around in the dressing and then add the grated apple.  Toss again to combine and add the grated carrot, if using.

Toss well.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours prior to serving.  Stir occasionally.

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Enjoy!

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

 

 

 

 

Is your Diet making you FAT?

Well here we are, the second month into the new year and swiftly approaching the third already.

Can you believe it??

Before you know it, the daffodils will be popping up, the leaves on the trees will be sprouting again and everything will be turning greener and springing into life.

So here’s a question for you…How many of you have fallen off the diet wagon already?  Come on now, raise your hands….let’s see…1…2….3,4….5…….6….hmmm….thought so.  Don’t worry, my hand was partially up.  I haven’t been totally bad, but haven’t been totally good either.

I was reading an article over the weekend that talks about the diet mistakes we make and they’re making us fat instead of the other way around.  I admit to sort of doing the second one.  How many of these are you guilty of?

SKIPPING BREAKFAST

smily-breakfastSome think that not eating breakfast encourages your body to burn fat when in fact, thin people eat breakfast; fat people don’t.

Not eating breakfast leads to overeating later on as your blood sugar drops mid-morning, making you crave foods that aren’t healthy such as that double mocha and Danish.  Plus, you are more likely to binge at night as your body plays catch-up on missed calories, making you more likely to store the calories as fat.

So what should you do?  Any form of protein in the morning ~ plain yogurt with berries, an omelette, smoked salmon or sugar-free muesli with nuts ~ makes for a breakfast of kings, thin ones!  Can’t face having breakfast?  Eat a handful of walnuts or almonds about an hour after waking should be enough to stop you bingeing later.

WEEKEND BLOWOUT

nocakeIf you eat healthy all week, is it fine to treat yourself at weekends?  Even after 5 days of restraint, two days of freestyle carbicide will make you gain weight. (What’s carbicide?  Eating every bad carbohydrate within reach!)

Let’s say you eat and sensibly manage your carb intake during the week and then binge on lasagna, burgers, bread, cakes, ice cream, etc., over time, you could gain 10 lbs. or more.  Carbs are first stored as glucose and water, but will turn into fat if it isn’t worked off, so you’ll need to do extra exercise during the week.  Many people equate the weekend with being relaxed so therefore, they relax their eating habits.  If you feel compelled to overeat on the weekends, then it suggests the way you’re eating during the week isn’t satisfying you.

So what should you do?  Pepper your working week with small amounts of what you fancy, such as a small glass of wine, a piece of dark chocolate or a bite or two of cake.  If you end up having a big greasy breakfast on Saturday morning, make sure the rest of your meals for the day are healthy.  If you say to yourself ‘oh the damage has been done and I may as well continue for the weekend’, then you’ll gain back weight.  That’s how fat people think.

DIET DRINKS

Diet drinks have no calories so they won’t impact on your weight, right?  Wrong!  People who drink diet sodas are fatter than those who don’t.

Diet drinks feed a sweet tooth as, gram for gram, artificial sweeteners can be 13,000 times sweeter than sugar.  When your body receives a sweet taste without the expected calories, it triggers sweet cravings that make you eat more.  Sweeteners have also been shown to have a similar effect to real sugar on blood glucose and insulin levels.  One study found that a high intake of diet drinks could increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 67%.

So what should you do?  Drink water or soda water with fresh lime or lemon or have some decaf or herbal tea or coffee.  If you want something sweet, coconut water with nothing added is a natural, healthy choice.

BUT IT’S HEALTHY!

Just because a food is healthy, doesn’t mean you can eat it in excess.

Hummus, pistachios and peanuts contain healthy fats but come will mega calories and often fail the ‘eat just one’ test.  Such foods can act as triggers for those with a tendency to overeat.  A food labeled ‘healthy’ doesn’t give you the option to just completely ignore calories.  Beware of cereals, snack bars and drinks that present themselves as healthy that are anything but.  Most people know that if sugar is listed in the first few ingredients, then it’s best to put it back on the shelf.  However, you do need to be aware of the sneaky ways that manufacturer’s list sugar on ingredients.

So what should you do?  No matter how healthy they are, don’t keep foods around that you find irresistible.  Things like raw almonds or Brazil nuts are a better choice than something like wasabi nuts.  If you find it difficult to have only 1-2 teaspoons of hummus with your veggies for a snack, then choose something else.  Avoid so-called healthy foods with ingredients such as corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, fructose or any other word ending in ‘ose’.  Some foods produced by weight-loss programs can be high in sugar, artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates, which increase appetite.

FAT PHOBIA

OliveOilDon’t avoid fat if you want to lose weight.  Successful dieters get 30% of their daily calories from fat.

Studies show that the tiny 10% of people who lose weight and keep it off eat moderate amounts of good fats.  Fat is highly satiating and keeps you feeling fuller longer.  When dieters avoid fat, they are hungry all the time.  An obsession with low-fat products merely fuels a craving for fatty foods and that’s why they end up stuffing themselves with cakes and ice cream.  Low fat food is pointless because when the fat is removed, it is replaced with something else to retain taste and texture and that is usually sugar and flour, which provide calories but not very good nutrition.

Fat also provides essential vitamins A, D, E and K.  Unfortunately, we are now deficient in many of these thanks to the low-fat message, especially vitamin D, which is one of the reasons behind the re-emergence of rickets.

So what should you do?  Make sure you eat plenty of good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids as there is evidence that these help the body burn fat.  Oily fish, coconut oil, walnuts and flax seeds are all good sources.  Put a small bit, about a 1/2 teaspoon of butter in your morning porridge or on your steamed veggies.  Try drizzling extra virgin olive oil on your veggies also as it gives them a nice added flavor.

HOW SUCCESSFUL DIETERS KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF

MaxineDiet90% of people who go on diets regain the weight within a year.  The US national Weight Control Registry studied the habits of the 10% of people who did keep off anything from 30 lbs. to 300 lbs. for five years or more.  Here’s what they did:

78% ate breakfast every day.  75% weighed themselves at least once a week.  62% watched less than 10 hours of TV a week.  90% exercised moderately for an hour every day (most chose walking).

IN CONCLUSION…

The only diets that have been proven effective for long-term weight loss in randomized controlled studies are those that focus on higher amounts of protein and vegetables, and limit carbohydrates to those with a low glycemic index (GI).  GI is a number rating out of 100 that refers to how quickly a particular food causes spikes in blood sugar.  Low GI is considered 55 or under.

Gives you some things to think about, eh?

  Terri  

What to do with…GINGER

HenryVIIIHenry VIII is said to have used ginger as a medicine for its qualities, as outlined by Culpeper, the herbalist, 150 years later:  ‘Ginger helps digestion, warms the stomach, clears the sight and is profitable for old men; it heats the joints and is therefore useful against gout’.

ginger

fresh root ginger

Ginger has an impressive record in treating many ailments:  it is said to help poor circulation and to cure flatulence and indigestion.  It is taken as a drink for coughs, nausea and influenza.  In the East, ginger is chewed to ward off evil spirits.  It is considered to be a cure for travel sickness and the essential oil is used in perfumery.

CULTIVATION

red ginger

red ginger plant

The ginger plant is an upright tropical plant, which is propagated by dividing the rhizomes.  It grows to about 3 feet, with elegant lance-shaped leaves and yellow flowers tinged with purple or red flowers.  Harvesting takes place 9-10 months after planting and in many parts of the world, this is still done by hand.  Much of the crop is washed, sun dried and then ground to a powder for domestic and commercial use.

CULINARY USE

gingerbreadThe essential oil is used in commercial flavorings.  Fresh root ginger is extremely popular in a variety of stir-fry or curry dishes.  It is used in different techniques; slices can be added to marinades or in cooking and removed before serving.  Grated, chopped or crushed ginger is used in pastes or braised dishes.  Finely shredded ginger can be added to fried or stir-fried dishes or it may be used raw in salads.  Pickled or preserved ginger is served as appetizers or used in savory cooking.  It is also used in Western baking, for example, in traditional ginger breads, cakes and biscuits such as ginger snaps.  The spice is also used in chutneys, pickles, jams and sweet preserves as well as drinks such as ginger beer, ginger ale and ginger wine.

TYPES OF GINGER

Fresh Root Ginger   Look for plump, silvery skinned pieces, which are called ‘hands’.  Young ginger has smoother, thin skin firmly clinging to the firm and quite heavy root.  Older ginger has thicker, papery skin which sits more loosely on the root.  Avoid ginger that is wrinkled, softened or very light in weight.

Ground Ginger  Pale sand-colored spice widely used in baking.

crystallized ginger

crystallized ginger

Crystallized Ginger  Preserved by cooking in syrup, then dried and rolled in sugar.

Pickled Ginger  A savory condiment used in Oriental cooking.  Chinese pickled ginger is light, sweet and sour and quite hot in flavor.  Sweet red pickled ginger is slightly tangy, but mainly sweet as it is candied.  Japanese pickled ginger is more delicate than Chinese pickles.

Preserved or Stem Ginger  Traditionally packed into decorative, bulbous Chinese ginger jars.  The plump, tender young ginger is peeled and preserved in syrup, making it sweet and fairly spicy.

COOKING TIPS

Use a little crushed ginger in marinades for pork steaks or chops.

Try adding a little finely grated fresh or chopped crystallized ginger to fruit puddings using rhubarb, plus or pears.  Can even be used in crumbles or pastry pies.

ginger-tea

ginger tea

Make a soothing tea when you’re feeling under the weather.  Drop a slice or two into a mug and add hot water and honey along with a cinnamon stick and a slice of lemon or orange or add a slice to some lemon tea.  Ginger tea is also a natural remedy for menstrual cramps and helps relieve stress.  It encourages normal blood circulation, strengthens immunity and reduces inflammation.

Minced fried ginger can be added to Asian dishes just as you would fried garlic to Italian dishes.  It takes ordinary rice to a new level!

Got an overload of ginger?  You can freeze fresh ginger.  Simply freeze the whole root in a resealable plastic bag.  You can then use it without thawing.  Using a sharp knife, peel off the skin for the amount needed and then use a microplane to grate what you need.  Don’t leave the whole root out to thaw as it will become soft and mushy when thawed.

Hmmm….I may just have to go make myself a cup of ginger tea…..

♥  Terri  ♥

Want to Stay Young? Eat These!

Good morning World!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you romantics out there!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

OldPeopleCartoonStaying young.  It’s something most of us want to do, but as time goes by, things start to go haywire…an ache here or there, age spots, hair thinning or going grey, you can’t move as fast as you used to, you get annoyed at young people and you find yourself at the doctor’s office more than you want.  It can’t be helped…we all grow older.

Some say ‘you’re only as old as you feel!’ which is fine as long as you ‘feel’ about 21 even when you’re nearly 3 times that age.  But some aren’t so lucky and do feel their actual age.

So what or who do you blame?  Was it due to all those late nights when you were younger?  Too much booze or cigarettes or even drugs?  Is it mom and dad’s fault?

Actually, genes account for only about 25% of aging, so what you eat could possibly make a huge difference in how you’ll feel when you get ‘over the hill’ if you aren’t there already.  Here’s how to adjust your food intake and get smoother skin, a faster brain and some other youth boosters…

OliveOilOLIVE OIL

Youth Benefit: Less wrinkled skin

Australian researchers found that those who regularly ate olive oil along with fish and veggies had, on average, 20% fewer wrinkles than those who did not.  This may seem just a cosmetic benefit, but an American trial recently linked deeper wrinkles with increased risk of osteoporosis.

SPINACHspinach

Youth Benefit: Healthy eyes

An antioxidant that protects the retina against damage from years of exposure to sunlight is lutein.  The high lutein in spinach is specifically related to lowered risk of macular degeneration (MD).  To help protect eyes, the MD Society recommends eating two to four servings of lutein-rich leafy green veggies a week such as spinach and kale.  Pour olive oil over greens as lutein is fat-soluble and therefore better absorbed if eaten with a little fat.

ONIONS

Youth Benefit: Lower inflammation

Onions, especially the red ones, are useful in avoiding arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  Controlling inflammatory status may allow a better chance of successful aging.  Quercetin is the nutrient in onions that help with anti-inflammatory.  Other foods with quercetin are citrus fruits, apples and sage.

BRAZIL NUTSbrazil_nuts

Youth Benefit: All-around anti-aging

Brazil nuts get high marks for anti-aging on account of their very high content of selenium, a vital antioxidant mineral.  According to the UK government’s 2011 National Diet and Nutrition Survey, many of us do not get enough of this mineral, with women over 65 faring worst.  Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function and cognitive decline.  Just 25g/¾oz (a handful) daily, will significantly boost your selenium level.

blueberriesBLUEBERRIES

Youth Benefit: A clear mind

Blueberries could play a role in healthy cognitive function.  Research found a 200g dose sustained people’s ability to perform tests of short-term memory and concentration.  The berries are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, which may help protect brain cells and arteries and keep blood flowing to the brain.  Cranberries and pomegranates contain similar levels of anthocyanin.

BROCCOLI

Youth Benefit: Cancer protection

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli contain glucosinolates, which form anti-cancer chemicals.  When researchers added juiced broccoli to precancerous cells, they found the survival rate of these cells was reduced by 95%.  Other studies have shown that these anti-cancer chemicals may also reduce levels of estrogen derivatives that stimulate breast tumors.  Other cruciferous veggies include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes and watercress.

RED WINE

Youth Benefit:  Heart health

Research shows moderate imbibers of any type of alcohol (one or two units a day) tend to live longer than both abstainers and heavy drinkers.  Alcohol can also increase the ration of ‘good’ (HDL) to ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol in blood vessel walls.  Stick to no more than 150ml/5fl oz of wine per day.  Other foods that provide these flavonoid benefits without the alcohol are 70% cocoa chocolate, red grapes and red apples.

Other foods for staying young include OILY FISH such as mackerel, salmon and sardines which contain the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids for healthy joints, STRAWBERRIES for healthy arteries and CARROTS for a strong immune system.

So avoid junk food, eat healthy and stay young!

  Terri  

Silken Chocolate Pudding ~ South Beach Diet

Hi Gang!

StormNemoCartoonHope you all had a wonderful weekend and that all of you on the east coast of the US survived the big snow storm.  Many of my family and friends had anywhere from 22″ to 3 feet of snow!  We had a small storm last night with rain and snow and high winds…I was glad we were all snug indoors!

Today I’m going to give you a quick and easy SBD dessert you can whip up in about 5 minutes, assuming you have the necessary ingredients.

It’s a silken chocolate pudding, which I must explain first.  Chocolate pudding in the US is not the same as what it is in the UK.  In the US, when we hear ‘chocolate pudding’, our first thought (or at least mine) is Jell-o brand chocolate pudding.  That smooth, custard-like, melt-in-your-mouth pudding.  I always enjoyed the top after it set as it got a bit chewy and gooey, unless you like to cover it so you don’t get that.  In the UK, saying ‘pudding’ is like saying ‘dessert’ as it could mean anything from a sponge cake to an apple or rhubarb  crumble…something sweet to have at the end of the meal.

Think back to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  There’s a scene where they all get on the cart with Luna Lovegood (being pulled by a horse-like animal that only Harry and Luna can see)  and one of her lines is: ‘I hope there’s pudding’  It didn’t matter what type it was, as long as it was available.

This chocolate pudding is more on the lines of the US version.  It’s not exactly Jell-o brand, but I think it gets the job done.

This is made with silken tofu, which has a softer consistency than regular tofu and is perfect for this creamy Phase 1 pudding.  Tofu (in the US) comes in soft, medium, firm and extra-firm consistencies.  I’ve only ever seen silken and firm here in the UK.   Be sure to buy the soft type to use here.

SILKEN CHOCOLATE PUDDING

16oz/454g soft silken tofu, drained

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 C granular sugar substitute

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt (i left this out – didn’t see the need for it)

4 Tbsp no-sugar-added light whipped topping (garnish, optional)

2 Tbsp dry-roasted raw peanuts, chopped (garnish, optional)

In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, cocoa powder, sugar substitute, vanilla and salt.  Purée until smooth.

Spoon the pudding into 4 dessert dishes, dollop each with 1 Tbsp of whipped topping and sprinkle evenly with peanuts, if using.

Serve right away or chill to serve later (add toppings right before serving).

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Sorry mine looks so dull, but I don’t have any sugar-free whipped topping, nor do I know if I can even get it.  We don’t have Cool-Whip here. :(

Enjoy!

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

 

 

Greek Sloppy Joes ~ South Beach Diet

“This is not military issue, airman. What sort of uniform is that?”

“Cretan camouflage sir. If you want to blend in with a bunch of drunken Greeks there’s nothing better.” ~ Good Morning, Vietnam, 1987

**************

Good Morning, World!

I’ve been cookin’ up a storm from my new SBD cookbook and the latest adventure was Greek Sloppy Joes.  It seemed fairly easy and I had all the ingredients, which of course, is always helpful.

It’s made with plenty of store cupboard ingredients that most of you should have on hand.  The only things you might need to go out and buy are feta cheese and spring onions/scallions.

To make it SBD friendly, instead of the traditional white flour burger bun, the recipe suggests serving it over whole-wheat orzo, but that’s not something I’ve ever seen in the states, let alone here in the UK.  I did have some other whole-wheat pasta, so just used that.  This recipe is for Phase 2, but for Phase 1, just leave out the pasta.

***Greek Sloppy Joes***

Makes 4 servings

5oz/142g/¾C whole-wheat pasta

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

12oz/340g lean ground/minced sirloin

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

14.5oz/400g can chopped/diced tomatoes

3 Tbsp tomato paste/puree

1/4 C/60ml water

4 Tbsp feta cheese (reduced fat, if possible)

1 spring onion/scallion, thinly sliced

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the beef and break up with a wooden spoon.  Cook until the beef is almost all browned but still a little pink.  Sprinkle with the oregano, cayenne and cinnamon.

Stir in the can of tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste and water.  Cover and let simmer until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 30 minutes.

While the meat mixture is cooking, bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.  Drain well.

Divide the pasta evenly among 4 bowls and spoon the meat mixture evenly on top.

Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of feta and some spring onion.

Serve and enjoy!

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♥♥  Terri  ♥♥