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  

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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  ♥♥

 

 

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 8

Hello!

I’ve got a new calendar with lots of kitchen tips so thought I would share these with you on a weekly basis.

Here’s the first round along with my two cents….

BOGOF♠ It is estimated that food worth £420 ($638) per person is thrown away every year.  Turn over a new leaf at the start of the year ~ avoid BOGOF (by one, get one free) offers in supermarkets which encourage waste and plan the weekly menu before shopping.

Terri’s thoughts on this one:  I see nothing wrong with these as long as it’s a product that you actually use.  We tend to get these more on store cupboard items, such as coffee or pasta; something that isn’t going to go bad in a short amount of time.  Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale.  Yeah, that BOGOF offer on the 20lb. bag of flour is great, but unless you run a bakery or do a sh!tload of baking, do you really need 40lbs. of flour??

♠ Use the unpopular chocolates from a selection box by melting them all together and making a fudgy chocolate sauce to pour over ice cream for an instant dessert.

Terri’s thoughts:  Unpopular chocolate??  This was definitely written by a member of the male species or Martha Stewart.  That’s like saying ‘leftover wine’. The only chocolate I don’t eat is if it’s wrapped around marzipan or a sickly sweet cherry.  And of course, that’s what most of us want to do, especially if you’ve decided to start a healthy eating regime!

♠ If a recipe calls for thinly sliced meat, freeze it for a couple of hours as it will then slice more easily.

Terri’s thoughts:  This actually does work!

♠ Put a damp tea towel under the chopping board to prevent it slipping or under a bowl while mixing.

Terri’s thoughts:  I actually have a piece of that rubbery shelf liner under my cutting board and I have a stand mixer so no need for it under the bowl.  Even if I’m using my hand-held mixer, I usually have my other hand on the bowl, turning it.

♠ When preparing a packed lunch in the morning, use frozen bread.  It will defrost and taste fresh by lunch time.

Terri’s thoughts:  A good idea if you take a lunch to work.  Taking a lunch is always a better idea than buying your lunch.  Think of the money you save!

Cheap-white-bread♠ To freshen a slightly stale loaf of bread, steam in a pan with a lid on until warmed through.

Terri’s thoughts:  Not a bad idea if you want to use it for a sandwich, but slightly stale bread will taste just as good as fresh when toasted.  It almost doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

Next week, how to sooth a sore throat, an idea for tissue paper and making a tastier cup of tea!

Terri  ♥

Food Gifts ~ Candied Clementines

I’m always looking for new and unusual things to make for the markets, particularly the Christmas Craft Fairs.  One of them I’m doing on the 8th is going to be situated at a hand-made shop; no, I don’t mean the shop is handmade, but that they sell handmade items!  So I thought it appropriate that I have some different homemade items other than my preserves and chutneys.

I found a recipe a few weeks ago for Candied Clementine Slices.  The picture with the recipe had them set into a pretty gift box so I decided this would be a nice item to have on offer at the fair.

It’s a fairly straight forward and easy recipe; it just takes a good bit of time: 2 hours simmering, 2 hours baking plus an hour for drying prior to dipping in chocolate.

***Candied Clementine Slices***

  • 600g (1½ lbs – about 9 fruit) clementines
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) granulated sugar
  • 500ml (17fl oz) cold water
  • 5-6 Tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate

♣ Cut the clementines into thin slices (about 4-5 per fruit) and discard the ends.

Sliced Clementines

♣ Put the granulated sugar into a large pan with the water and heat gently, stirring until dissolved.  Bring to a boil and let bubble for 5 minutes.

Sugar syrup - pre-boil

Boiling sugar syrup

♣ Add the fruit slices, lower the heat and give it a little stir.  Simmer for 2 hours, carefully stirring occasionally, until the peel is translucent and tender.

Clementines in sugar syrup

♣ While the fruit is simmering, line two baking trays with nonstick baking paper and set aside.

♣ Preheat the oven to a low setting (gas ¼, 110°C, fan 90°C, 230°F).

♣ Using a fork, transfer the slices to the lined baking trays in a single layer.  Bake for 2 hours.

In the oven!

♣ Put the caster sugar into a bowl.  Leaving the oven on, remove only one tray from the oven at a time.  Dip each slice into it and place on a wire rack to dry for 1 hour.  You’ll need to work a bit quickly for this step because the slices will start to dry on the baking sheet and the sugar won’t stick.  If that happens, put the tray back into the oven while you work on the other tray.

♣ If not needed immediately, store the slices in an airtight container.  I put them in single layers separated by greaseproof paper.

Drying...

♣ Shortly before giving, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Dip the slices into the chocolate to cover half.

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♣ Place on a tray lined with nonstick baking paper, leave to set at room temperature, then gift wrap as desired.  I put about 9 slices (100g) into a disposable mini loaf pan lined with a doily, put each one into a decorative bag and folded down, taped and then put ribbon and a Christmas sticker.

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Have fun with these on the decorating and gift wrapping.  If giving these to a foodie, perhaps wrap them and put them into a cookie canister or a pretty serving bowl to give to the recipient.  Give with a bottle of Port or Whiskey.  How about with some tea leaves and tea cups?  The possibilities are endless…just use your imagination!

These make great little gifts for perhaps your neighbors, the babysitter, the mailman, the paperboy, your child’s teacher, your hairdresser or dentist or your favorite clerk at the bank.  Going to a party this holiday season?  Bring some of these to your hostess along with a small candle or bottle of their favorite wine.  Who would you give these to?

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

Did You Forget Something? ~ False Advertising

A well known ‘hazelnut spread’ contains the following ingredients:

Sugar (50%) and vegetable oils (mostly palm oil), followed by hazelnut, cocoa solids, and skimmed milk. In the United States, this spread contains soy products. This product is marketed as “hazelnut cream” in many countries. Under Italian law, it cannot be labeled as a chocolate cream, as it does not meet minimum cocoa solids concentration criteria. About half of the calories come from fat (11g in a 37g serving, or 99 kcal out of 200 kcal) and about 40% of the calories come from sugar (20g, 80 kcal).

OK, so you’re saying ‘so what’, right?

Well here’s the thing.  Last night while watching the boob tube, there was a commercial on for this product.  It showed a mother and her kids at breakfast, running around and trying to get out the door in time for school or work.  It showed them eating this product on bread.  Not a big deal.

Then the narrator of the commercial started to speak and said that this product was a great way to start the morning as it contained

…”two whole hazelnuts in every tablespoon, skimmed milk and cocoa powder”…

Did you notice anything missing, like the sugar??  Why didn’t they mention that?  Because they know how bad the sugar is for you and they just thought they’d let that pass.  Perhaps they thought you wouldn’t notice.  Perhaps a lot of people won’t.

SUGAR IS THE ENEMY.

Now I’m no angel when it comes to sugar, but at least I have a pretty good idea of how much I’m eating.  Usually my sugar intake consists of home baked goods that I’ve made myself or my daily square or two of dark chocolate.  In checking the label on the chocolate, one square contains 3.2g of carbs, which I’m sure is mostly from the sugar.  And considering I don’t eat home baked goods everyday, my daily sugar intake is pretty low.  I don’t eat sugary cereals and I don’t drink soda of any kind.  We cook from scratch every night and don’t have ready meals or processed foods.

I use artificial sweeteners, honey, fruit sugar or agave nectar, depending on what I’m eating or drinking.  I try to stay away from the sugar because I know what it does to me if I have too much of it.  I have hypoglycemia/low blood sugar and it’s not fun when I get an attack.

The problem is that sugar can be an addiction just like smoking, alcohol and drugs.  It takes willpower to resist but sometimes resistance can be futile.

Usually it is easier to make dietary changes gradually, however sugar has the unique ability to inspire cravings which are refueled every time you give into them. The only way to break the cycle is to stop feeding the fire. Use this challenge as an opportunity to go cold turkey and break the addiction.

And stay away from that falsely advertised hazelnut spread.  Perhaps they should really call it Sugar Spread with Hazelnuts…

♥  Terri  ♥

Girl Scouts? No, Brownies!

Just picture it….

A brown square of gooey, fudgy, squidgy, chocolatey lusciousness and a tall glass of ice cold milk.

If I were ever to be dropped on a deserted island and asked what cake-like item I wanted to take with me, it would have to be brownies, as long as they were baked properly.

I can’t really remember if I’ve ever eaten a brownie I didn’t like, but even if I didn’t, I probably ate it anyway.  After all, this is chocolate we’re talking about here!

As I described above, brownies should be gooey and fudgy and not cakey.  If I want cakey, I’ll have cake.  Brownies should just about melt in your mouth without even chewing.  Just take a bite and hold it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth….mmmmmm.  Then wash it down with some ice cold milk.  Heaven.

Now I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves why I’m talking about brownies when I’m supposed to be a South Beach Girl.  Well, I’ll tell you!

These brownies are for selling at the Ramsgate Summer Squall at the end of the month.  I made a batch of them earlier in the week and needed to make more as I only got 12 and I’m going to need a good bit more.  I’ve got all my jarred items (jams, jellies, chutneys, etc.) but when I do a special event, I try to also have some baked goodies to go along.  I’ve got about 23 whoopie pies in the freezer along with the first batch of brownies so far.  I may make more whoopies next week.

I’ve made brownies on many occasions over the years, but this recipe is the one I’ve been using for nearly the past seven years.  I have other recipes, but don’t want to try them for fear of them not coming out as nice as these do.  Yeah, I hear some of you saying ‘but I’ve got the best brownie recipe’…well, that’s how I feel!  I have no idea where I got the recipe from as I re-typed it to stick in my cakes and cookies binder.  I do hope you try this and let me know what you think.

I don’t usually add nuts when I’m going to be selling them, especially with people having nut allergies.  It’s just safer that way.  There are two mantras you should always follow when making brownies:  Number one, do not over mix and number two, do not over bake.  You want them to be gooey inside, not cake-like.  The recipe calls for them to be baked for 25 minutes, but I bake for only 22-23 minutes and they come out all squidgy and gooey.  If you prefer your brownies to be cake-like, then by all means, bake them for the 25 minutes or even 26 or 27…just don’t serve them to me! 😉

~~~FUDGY CHOCOLATE BROWNIES~~~

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C

Line a 9″ X 13″ baking dish with baking parchment, using a bit of butter to hold it down.  Make the paper large enough so that it hangs over the edges for ease of removing the brownies later after they’ve cooled.

1 2/3 C /340g sugar

3/4 C / 6oz / 170g butter, melted

2 Tbsp / 30ml water

2 eggs

2 tsp / 10ml vanilla extract

1 1/3 C / 160g plain flour

3/4 C / 60g unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 C chopped nuts (optional)

powdered/icing sugar (optional)

Combine sugar, melted butter and water in a large bowl.

Stir in eggs and vanilla.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in another bowl and then stir into sugar mixture.

Stir in nuts, if using.

Spread evenly into prepared baking dish.

Bake 25 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky.

Cool completely in pan.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Remove by picking up paper and placing on cutting board.

Cut into squares in desired size.

Makes 12-16 brownies.

And please, do try and share them!  After all, you can always make more!
Enjoy!

♥  Terri  ♥