Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Add Some Walnuts and BAM!!!

Who would have thought that by adding walnuts to strawberries and half a red grapefruit could make fruit that much more fulfilling?

Hmmm protein and fruit; together. Makes a great breakfast or snack. And healthy too. Yummy.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Healthy Snacktime Treat

Here is a snack idea that might find you interest.
Many people enjoy the taste of peanut butter. How about adding it to a fruit or a vegetable?  I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches but since I am not eating bread at the moment, I decided to try something a little different; peanut butter and celery.

You might be surprised but it tastes great.  All you need is a few celery hearts and your favorite peanut butter and there you have a snack that has a good source of protein, vegetable and a little sodium. 

Peanut butter also tastes great with apples, bananas and pears. Who says snack time has to be unhealthy and fattening?  You can simply have something that fulfills that hunger and is good for you.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Snack Time: Grab a Fruit

You have been at work for at least three hours now. It is mid-way between breakfast and lunch and you are in the mood for a snack. Snack time does not always have to call for greasy potato chips, oversweetened cookies or rich chocolate.  How about some fruit? 
Did you know that eating strawberries can help to eliminate the damage cigarette smoking has done to the body?  Yes, berries are antioxidants that help to eliminate free radicals in your body.  They also improve digestive health.
Or how about a peach? Prevention Magazine says that a peach is made up of 87% of water and has potassium and is an electrolyte. Most of the time when we go for a drink of juice, our body craves the electrolytes for energy. You don’t even need the sugary juice at all. The fruit will do just fine.
Most people might say, "why should I eat that. I am not on a diet." Remember, a balanced diet includes about three or four servings of fruit. A diet is not a weight loss meal like most people think. It is the food that you eat, whether it is fat and greasy or lean. If all you eat is Popeyes chicken or McDonalds, then that is your diet. And if you only eat vegetables and fruit, then that is your diet. The difference is when you choose to eliminate things from your diet, then that is a lifestyle. I changed my bad eating habits for a new lifestyle that is so me, I think I'm going to keep it; because it is working in my favor.
If I were you, I’d put that bag of Orville Redenbacher movie butter popcorn away and reach for a very fulfilling fruit. The best thing is that, you can easily have it anywhere; at home, at work, or at school. And it always tastes great; so sweet you don't even need to add the unneccesary sugar to an already naturally sweetened food.

Fruit is healthy and beneficial to the body. Why not add some refreshing fruit to your diet today?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mori Avec Banan et Legumes

Many enjoy having a hearty breakfast which can include bacon or sausage, eggs and home fries, but perhaps you or someone you know are interested in a healthy alternative; well here is an idea.

Cod fish and plantains. It was one of those meals my grandmother used to make all the time. We Haitians refer to it as mori avec banan. Whenever she would come from Haiti, the first scent of the morning was of that meal and it smelled pretty good. Tasted good too.

I was prompted to make it for breakfast this morning. For one, yesterday I did not eat much. I had fruit for breakfast, a yogurt at lunch and that was it for the day. I woke up hungry. I felt as if some type of protein was appropriate to start my morning off.

That meal my grandmother used to cook when she came here to the states seemed so appropriate. Of course stubborn me always adds me into recipes, so it is never exactly the way it is dictated to me and yet most of the time seems to come out good. What I did differently was added some vegetables to it. Let's refer to these vegetables as legumes.
Mori avec Banan et legumes does not take long to make, has much less fat than bacon, eggs and home fries, and tastes good. So here is the recipe.

 Mori Avec Banan et Legumes

2 Pieces of boneless codfish (bacalao)
1/2 bulb of red onion
1 green plantain
1 tomato
Handful of mushrooms
Handful of radishes
Curry powder
Olive oil

1.    Slice the sides of the peel of the plantain and place the plantain in a medium sized pot filled with water and set it to boil. Let it boil for about 20 minutes. For faster preparation, instead of setting to boil, place the plantain in the microwave and allow it to bake for 5 minutes.

2.    Place the pieces of codfish in a pan filled with water and set it to boil. Remove the water from the pot and add more water to the codfish setting it to boil. Do this about three times, each time draining the water and removing salt.

3.    Dice the tomatoes and red onions, place it in a bowl and sprinkle it with curry powder. Add the mushrooms. Dice the radishes and add them to the mixture

4.    Take a large sauce pan and add olive oil and place over a medium fire. Add the mixture and let simmer.  Slice the plantain and add it to the vegetables simmering.  Add the codfish and mix with a spoon.  

This is a quick and easy meal that which if boiling the plantain will take about thirty minutes and if doing the quick preparation, will take 15.  Serves about two people. Fast to make even on those busy, got out of bed late and have to rush to get myself together for work days. What a way to have breakfast; homestyle is always the best.
Bon Apetite!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

To Be or Not to Be Protein . . . is a Luxury

Salad bars have popped up all across New York and have become popular places to eat.

What’s so great about them? You get to choose exactly what you want to add to your salad and make it to your liking from the protein, to the vegetables to the dressing.

The other day I went to one which allows you to choose one protein, three regular toppings and then your choice of dressing. There was a sign listing the different proteins available and so for protein I said chick peas.  The server told me that chick peas are not proteins.

Salad does not need to have meat in it to taste good nor does it have to be drained in salad dressing for it to have a good flavor. Though I was always one to go for the meatless salads, I can say that my taste buds have changed a bit lately.

About four weeks ago, I gave up eating meat. I do not eat chicken, beef, pork, lamb or anything that falls under the category of meat. Vegetables and fruits are mostly what I consume nowadays, but I do add beans or fish/seafood sometimes.

When I was eating meat as if it were a necessity, I loved it and acted as if I couldn’t live without it. I have tried a diet similar to this before where I gave up meat.  Back then, it lasted three months and in that span of time, I lost fifty pounds.  As soon as that weight was shaved, I went back to eating meat and since then, have gained almost double of what I lost.

This time I went a little more drastic but have found a way to make it better and more me-like. I gave up meat, bread, pasta, rice and coffee. Seems like a lot but if you consider food as a luxury, you will understand why the daily consumption of all these things are not so important.

True, your body seeks nourishment, but it is simply seeking nourishment alone without the overindulgence. Some people are only privileged to eat one meal a day and some, are not even blessed with that. Then there are those who get to have three or more meals a day. And so, I decided to keep that in mind and deny myself from the things I love the most and treat myself to those very things every once in a while like at family functions as opposed to having them every day.

I used to crave Popeyes chicken but nowadays, I crave things like curried potatoes and collard greens. And so I left work with the idea of going to the supermarket to purchase just those things so I could get in the kitchen and make it. These days, my new lifestyle has caused me to have to become a chef in my own right. But I love it.

Because protein is important to the body, I do find it necessary to substitute it with something; especially since vitamins may not always cut it and I do not add fish and/or seafood to my meals on a daily basis.

Instead of buying the white potatoes, I purchased yams, went home and started cooking.  I boiled some collard greens with red onions. I sautéed the yams in olive oil with garlic and added curry and ginger to it for flavoring. I also boiled some black eyed peas with diced tomatoes and I had a lovely meal.

I always thought beans were a protein until the server told me different.  So what can beans be classified under?  Are they a vegetable? Are they a grain? I will stick to my belief that beans are a protein.  

Some other choices you might decide to choose as your protein when creating your salad are almonds, walnuts, cheese, eggs, red beans or green peas. These all are considered proteins. I guess you can call these some healthy choices for those who want something other than meat; like me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fruit and Oatmeal

Breakfast time does not have to be the time when you are packing in the most of your calories. 

If you were like me, you probably are one of those people who don't mind having bacon, egg and cheese every day of the week. I used to go for my ocassional bagels with cream cheese or a corn muffin with a large cup of coffee. But since I started my no meat, no coffee, no bread, no rice or no pasta diet, my whole perspective on eating has changed.

I decided to change by decision because I rather do it that way than for a doctor to tell me that I have to. I realized that my lifestyle change does not mean I cannot enjoy the things I eat. It just means I changed to better choices of food. I can definitely say that for me, change was better than good. It was great.

Breakfast can be a meal where you still eat good, but a little on the leaner side. How about some good old fashioned oatmeal?  It does not take long to make and it is good for you. 

I know what you are thinking! Oatmeal? You probably won't believe this but oatmeal is very filling and could hold you until around lunchtime without even looking for a snack. Actually oatmeal is a great food choice that is not only filling but good for the heart and also reduces cholesterol. 

Here is an idea. Why not add some fresh fruit to it to give it that added umph.  How about some apples?  Or maybe some good old pears? While you might think plain old oatmeal is boring, you might not be able to resist oatmeal with fresh strawberries and blueberries in it.  Not only is it yummy, but it is also nutritious and has servings of your daily fruit value for the day.

Try oatmeal with your favorite fruit tomorrow morning. Or how about just the fruit!  A nice bowl of fruit wouldn't be so bad. What a great way to start the morning off!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Morning Salad

It has been about nine days since I started this no meat, bread, pasta, rice or coffee diet and I have been doing alright.

I was trying to figure out what I would be able to have without breaking my diet, especially at breakfast time when bacon or sausage and eggs every once in a while calls my name. I have not cooked as much ever before in my life until this past week. But I think I rather be my own personal chef so I could stick to my diet as opposed to going and buying what I really shouldn’t be having.

On the flip side, I will not deny myself though. I decided that instead of making it hard, I will indulge for special ocassions, like a birthday party, family event or so.  That way, it will be more like treating myself as opposed to an every day thing like it used to be. I think change is good and this change was needed; especially in the department of dieting and exercise. And so. I incorporated it from points of views of my own and helpful hints from others.  
It was suggested to me to try raw broccoli. Ruffage was not really a big part of my diet, but it is a helpful vegetable when it comes to weight loss and so, I have added it to my diet with different meals.  Here is a breakfast idea that I thought was delicious.

A Morning Salad

Consists of Raw broccoli, raspberries, oranges,  raw spinach, and any variety of vinaigrette dressing.
Takes about five minutes to make and is very tasty.      

While it does not have any protein in it, it has a daily value of fruits and vegetables which is great for the body. And it could keep you full. But, should you get hungry before your usual lunch time, have a fruit to hold you down.  This meal goes well with a nice caffeine free tea.  Enjoy!