The Fewer the Feet the More You Can Eat

Posted: 1791 days ago in Wellness

fewerthefeet

My girls reminded me that I taught them this little diddy when they were younger to help them make good food choices.

It’s really important to get enough good-quality protein in our diets.

Though there are vegetable and grain sources of protein, I’m sticking to animal proteins for this particular discussion. Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: regardless of the type of food being discussed, my across-the-board recommendation is that you choose organic, pastured, grass-fed farm proteins and wild fish proteins.

Beyond that, I believe that we should be eating more fish and fowl proteins than beef, pork and the like. Don’t discount game meats, either. I’ve recently had kangaroo, buffalo, and venison, and they were all delish, and much more likely to be pastured and grass-fed than their moo-ing and oinking counterparts.

Why does more feet mean it’s bad for you?

Red-meat proteins are the most difficult to digest;  in fact, much of it ends up putrefying in our colons.  That just sounds nasty, doesn’t it? It should, because it is. Additionally, red meat is higher in cholesterol and saturated fats than its white meat counterparts, and fish. The unsaturated, Omega-3 fatty acids found in wild fish actually have health benefits, and their protein structure makes it much easier to fully digest. Just think of how difficult it can be to fully chew a piece of steak, versus how easily a piece of fish breaks down in your mouth.  If it’s indigestible, you are probably not receiving nutritional benefits from the food.

fishSo – fish for dinner? Have at it, with little portion control. There’s not much that can beat a grilled piece of fresh fish. It’s both healthy and delicious when cooked with just a little olive or coconut oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

chickenIf it’s chicken for dinner, try to have it with equal parts of veggies, like on a caesar salad or in a pot pie. Grilled, broiled, baked, or barbecued, but definitely not fried, please!

cowOn steak night, have it “on the side”, instead of the main attraction. I made a stir fry with some thinly-sliced steak last week. My family also loves having a petit filet-mignon with a perfectly-baked potato and huge salad.

The point is, my dears, not to deprive yourselves, but to know which proteins digest most easily, nourish you the best and have the fewest down-sides, and consume them accordingly.

Bon Appetit!

Get Plated

Posted: 1792 days ago in Everything Else

getplated
So I got wind of this new company called Plated from a friend of mine that owns BlogCatalog, who subsequently knows a lot about new and innovative ideas. So thank you Tony. He got my attention when he brought up a new online food delivery service.

You know I am all about good food, but sometimes I get tripped up by the inconvenience of it all. You know, when you’re all ramped up to cook something yummy, and realize that you don’t have a key ingredient. Or – you’re just done with the same old, same old.

That’s where Plated comes in. And frankly, it’s a really cool concept, so I decided to give it a try.

plated

With Plated, users ‘shop’ their online site (www.plated.com), browsing through a selection of available meals. Once you find the meal(s) that you’d like to make, you add them to your cart, Plate by Plate. You specify a delivery date, and a box arrives with every ingredient you need (less standard pantry items like salt, pepper, or olive oil), in just the right amounts.

So, no running to the store to buy a $10 jar of saffron that you will never use again.

foolproofEach Plate comes with step-by-step instructions (and pictures!) for easy preparation. At $15 per person it’s not cheap – but when you factor in your time, countless trips to the grocery store and volumes of unused ingredients cluttering your cupboard, it’s a really nice way to cook at home with much less fuss and muss. Plus – if you sign up for a membership, they discount it to $12. Membership is $10 a month, so if you can see yourself purchasing more than 2 plates a month – it’s a worthy investment.

tiki_masalaFor my first Plate I ordered one of our favorite Indian dishes, Tiki Masala. My husband and I enjoy eating it, but had no idea how to prepare it. He was leaving for a trip, and I thought we’d cook and eat a nice dinner together before he left.

So, I signed up for a Tuesday delivery since he was leaving on Wednesday; we anxiously awaited our delivery.

And waited… And waited…

Finally it came – on Wednesday afternoon, just before hubby left. Oh well. To their credit, Plated customer service helped me figure out that the food was safe to eat, as they had placed a sensor in the well-packed box that indicated if temperatures go above the safety zone. They did say if the food was bad that they would credit or replace it, but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t fall all over themselves with apologies, especially being a first-time customer who made it clear that it messed up a date night. Fun story though – immediately after I ordered, I saw the owners of Plated on the popular TV show “Shark Tank” (did I mention how obsessed I am with that show? Oh, that Mark Cuban!) so they were quite likely overwhelmed. But still!

Back to the cooking. Sans husband, I picked through all of the ingredients and got ready to rumble. The packaging is great, and the instructions were very easy to understand. I felt like I had my very own soux-chef in a box!

tiki-masala copyThe resulting dish was quite delish – if a little SPICIER than I am used to! I kinda wish they might have given me heads up on that, and perhaps mentioned the option of, “if you prefer less heat, use ½ the amount of ______”.

All in all it was a positive experience.

Plated is perfect on a regular basis if you have a little more money than time, want to expand your culinary horizons, or just for an occasional break from the monotony of “What’s for dinner?”

Bon Appetite! XO.

Ditch the Sugar

Posted: 1797 days ago in Wellness

ditchthesugar

In case you ditch me before the end of this article, let me be very clear:

Ditching sugar doesn’t mean that you should use an artificial sweetener in its place. EVER!

While living in the south, I learned that it’s all about the sugar. Sugar as in sweet tea, delivered with an equally sweet, slow, southern drawl. Had I indulged, I would surely be a diabetic by now.

There’s a whole bunch of talk about how Sitting is the New Sugar – in fact, I wrote a piece about just that, and I do mean it. However, let’s not forget that sugar is indeed still evil, and it’s an evil that hides around corners and masquerades as many other, seemingly innocent names.

Let’s take a look at a few of those, because just when you thought it was safe to eat something that did not list sugar as one of the top ingredients (and I do applaud you label-readers!), these alter-egos sneak up and bite you in the pancreas:

  • Anything ending is “ose” like “sucralose”
  • Anything with the word “syrup”
  • Anything with the word “cane”
  • Anything that says sugar, even if it sounds healthier, like beet sugar
  • Anything that says juice

Don’t mistake a natural sugar for something that is healthy, either. No sugar or sugar-like substance adds nutritional value! Got that?!

And oh – the places it hides! You have to read every single label of groceries you bring into the house, and pretty much assume that any foods you eat out will contain sugar. My family and I went sugar-free for 6 months and it was WAY harder to avoid than I thought. One time I ordered a chicken Caesar salad and asked the waiter to check with the chef to see if there was sugar in either the marinade for the chicken, or salad dressing. “We make both in house, so there probably isn’t any”, he said confidently. I was feeling pretty good about it until he came back to the table, sheepishly reporting that the chef added sugar to BOTH the simple marinade AND the dressing.

W h y   –   o h   w h y   i s   t h a t   n e c e s s a r y ? ? !

sugarAfter the torture of going completely sugar-free, we’ve backed off a bit just to be able to enjoy a meal out.

Many of us indulge in foods that are obviously full of refined sugars – desserts, sodas, candy, coffees, etc. Add that to the hidden sources, and each of us will consume about 130 pounds of sugar this year! Now, ain’t that sweet?

In my perfect world, you’d use some sugar only in dessert preparation and the very rare soft or sports drink. Otherwise, get used to the true, delicious flavors of good-quality food, prepared with fresh herbs and spices. If you do this, you’ll probably find like I did, that just looking at a candy bar makes your teeth ache, and you’ll be very happy that you ditched the sugar, sugar!

Check out FitSugar for a comprehensive list of sugar impersonators.

XO!

Adios, Joe. It’s Been Nice Knowing You…

Posted: 1842 days ago in Lifestyle Wellness

adiosjoe

Until recently, I would have told you that I didn’t have an addictive bone in my body.  

And I would have been wrong.

I started drinking coffee regularly when I was around 40, which was about the time I discovered my love of soy mochas (damn you, Starbucks!). An occasional grande’ with a friend morphed into a cup each morning, courtesy of my Keurig.

And then – ohhhhh, and then – I traded in my coffee for a few days with some herbal tea with lemon and honey so I could nurse a sore throat. What I woke up to on day three can pretty much be described as Chernobyl, happening in my head. I actually thought I was having a stroke, and proceeded to perform neurological tests on myself. When I projectile vomited, I nixed the idea of the stroke and decided that I had a terminal brain tumor.

I am not exaggerating one bit – I truly thought I was dying for the better part of the day.

cupofcoffee

Just when my husband was about to insist that I go to the Emergency Room, I started to feel a teensy bit better. It wasn’t until the next day when I began to feel halfway human, that the lightbulb above my head had a coffee cup inside of it.

Now – I’d heard of a caffeine headache before, but had never heard of a reaction as extreme as I had experienced. In fact, Johns Hopkins reports that it can take a habit of as little as ½ cup of coffee per day to cause withdrawal symptoms, while 13% of folks will suffer the extreme symptoms that I did.

Are you kidding me???

If getting off the stuff did THAT to me, what does ingesting it every day do to me? A lot – but not all of it negative. Truth be told, there are quite a few positive effects of caffeine when ingested on occasion.

Personally, I never want to experience that kind of hell again, so I’ve said adios to my daily cuppa Joe. On most mornings now, you can find me drinking a cup of hot water with lemon or tea, and an occasional cup of decaf because I really love the taste and smell of coffee.

Joe, it was good while it lasted.

3 Easy Breakfast Options

Posted: 1846 days ago in Wellness

It’s been a topic debated since the beginning of time…

Is or is not breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Whether you agree, disagree, or agree to disagree – it doesn’t change the fact that a good, solid breakfast can influence your energy levels throughout the first half of your day. Ask yourself, ‘what did I have for breakfast this morning?’ Then ask yourself, ‘how did I feel during my morning meeting?’ If you refilled your coffee cup more than once, you need to be asking yourself whether the food you ate was enough to sustain you through the morning. My guess is, it was not.

In this video I make three recommendations – two because of seasonal influences – and one, for those of you who say, “there’s never enough time.”

HA! Boy did I prove you wrong.

If you have any breakfast recommendations of your own, please leave them in the comments section below.
Happy Friday to all of my readers!

heart

Once Around the Vegetable Garden

Posted: 1931 days ago in Wellness

oncearoundthevegetablegardenWinter is coming, which means I’ll be cold 24/7 and have the appetite of a bear. 

My answer to those issues? Make soup!

I only make one kind of soup, but it’s different every time. I bet you’re thinking, “huh?” 

It’s called “Once Around the Vegetable Garden” because I put one of everything from the produce section in it, and that can vary from day to day.

soup_recipe

If you are okay with meat or fish, you can skip the beans and add mini-meatballs or a hearty fish fillet midway through to make it more of a stew.  It’s great just like that, or ladle it over quinoa or brown rice.  Serve with some crusty Italian bread and a shave of fresh parmesan… it is just so good!

The best part about this soup? If there is any left after a few days, blend it up and freeze it in small portions (Only do this if you haven’t added meat or fish).  Then, if you’re making pasta sauce –  throw some in. Meatloaf for dinner? This makes it healthier.

You get the drift, don’t you?  It’s a bonus dose of veggies!

I’m always looking for good go-to meals…will you share some of yours with me?

Bon Appetit!

Where Did All The Water Go?

Posted: 1952 days ago in Wellness

drinksgaloreWhen did it start being ‘de rigueur’ to have “drinks” in the house?

When I was growing up, we had a bottle of milk (yes, a bottle) delivered by a milkman every week, in the fridge. On a special Friday night – once a month or less – we’d go pick up a pizza and a 2-liter soda.

That was it.

There was no case of Pepsi in the garage, bottles of Gatorade in the fridge, or V8 Splash in the pantry. When you were thirsty, you drank water. My mom instilled this in me very young, so as long as I can remember, I’ve always chosen water. I even took the healthy habits mom engrained in me to college and beyond. Of course, if I went out for dinner, I might order soda or juice, but at home it was, well, water. H20. It was my norm, and I didn’t think it at all odd until I started having friends of my own over after a workout, to watch a movie, etc.

They would ask, “What kind of drinks do you have?” Hmm. Water, with or without ice!

I started to question myself. What were all these drinks people were asking about, and why didn’t I have any of them?

It wasn’t until years later when our girls started having play-dates that I actually broke down and stocked other beverages in the house. I had to; their friends were always requesting juice boxes, soda, or Gatorade. Trust me though when I say, I fought the good fight. I tried adding a bit of fruit juice to club soda or offering 100% organic juices; both were a no-go. These were not ‘drinks,’ these were health food in disguise! I could feel them wondering, where are the Capri Suns?!

The bottom line, friends, is that we really should not drink our calories for many reasons. Sodas and non-fruit juice drinks are the worst offenders (and don’t EVEN get me started on diet drinks…that is a rant for another day). You may argue that fruit juice is a source of vitamins and minerals….but really, you should just be eating the fruit. It is fresher, has more fiber and doesn’t spike your blood sugar as quickly as main-lining a tumbler full of Motts or Tropicana every morning.

Just eat the damn fruit.

Your body doesn’t do a great job of registering calories ingested while drinking, either.  So that 20-ounce, 200-calorie tumbler of sweet tea won’t satiate your appetite at all, and you will still eat your full lunch in calories. In many cases, your drinks pack a greater caloric punch than dessert – oh my!

(on a side note: my kids beg me to keep some ‘drinks’ on hand so they won’t be embarrassed by me. I cave, sometimes.)

Juicy Self-Love

Posted: 1980 days ago in Wellness

beet juice recipeSelf-love is probably the number one way of boosting your mood and honoring the relationship with your body.

I know that I get so busy, taking care of the kids, the house, and running my own business, I sometimes forget about me. Little ole’ me needs some lovin’ too.

To find love, you must first find it in yourself. Then the whole Universe will mirror it back.

There are tons of ways to love yourself up. You can get a massage, go shopping, read a book, take a short trip, hike in nature, or just soak in the tub with a glass of wine.

These all sound amazing, but let’s talk about another way to show your body some love.  Practice self-love with food.  And not just any food.

Dark leafy greens. (And you thought I would suggest chocolate!)

Spinach, kale, swiss chard, collards…

These leafy greens will boost your mood, keep emotions steady, and ultimately heal you and the world around you.  As you eat more and more green goodness, your body will start to go through a transformation.  Your cells will begin to change, breathing in the oxygen from all those leafy greens, feeding your blood.

While this is happening, over time, you will notice that your behavior, thoughts and emotions will change.  As you pump your body with these whole foods, REAL foods – the more REAL you will begin to feel.  You start to feel more compassionate towards others, but best of all, you will be compassionate towards yourself.

It all starts with you. Once you treat your body as a temple, a sacred home, your thoughts and actions will shift.  This shift will lead to healing and will foster self-love.

juicingrecipeThe fastest, easiest way to feed your blood with greens is by juicing.  By juicing, you are getting all the vital nutrients and minerals into your bloodstream within minutes. Keeping emotions level, your thoughts pure, and practicing self-love in the most basic way.

The first step is healing you.  As you start to change, your family and friends, see this change and often times mirror you.  Others around you take on your gentle demeanor; your kindness and love. This ripple effect can happen. I promise you.

Start with feeding your gorgeous body liquid nutrition. 

It changes your cells, and your being which is a gentle way to connect to your body, soul, and to others.  Self-love in this form is life-changing.

Lisa Consiglio Ryan

About Lisa Consiglio Ryan

Lisa Consiglio Ryan is the founder of Whole Health Designs, juicy clean living advocate and mama of two. She loves her Bikram yoga practice, running, and is on a mission to spread the word, "Food is Love." She provides detox programs and private coaching for women who desire to embrace clean living. As a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach, Lisa has worked with thousands in her Renewal 10 Day Detox programs. Her work has been featured in Fitness Magazine, TinyBuddha, Elephant Journal, Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Life, The Daily Meal, and Mind Body Green. You can also check out Lisa's 'Kickin’ It Clean' gluten-free meal plans for plant lovers, and Juice Shop.

I Fell Off the Wagon So Hard I Left Skid Marks

Posted: 2001 days ago in Wellness

falloffthewagon copy

Holy sh*t. Why is it that the weather starts to turn even the slightest bit cold, and I reach for the white flour? I mean, if I eat one more bagel I’m going to start speaking Yiddish, for real.

“Everything in moderation” is a great mantra to live by, and my 80/20 rule of eating clean or splurging is one better than that. But I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up. 

White flour is the ultimate nemesis. For me, it’s the difference between being bloated and sluggish and lean and energetic. I can get away with an occasional bowl of pasta or a bagel, but I quickly reach the point of no return. 

Are you like me, in that you find yourself justifying bad behaviors? Well, I’ve justified my way right into a carb-addiction that will clearly require a serious detox to get out of. In fact, that’s the perfect answer to get me back in fighting shape.

My detox of choice?

I’ve decided to gift my readers with ‘detox words of wisdom‘, from the ever-incredible, Lisa Consiglio Ryan. Lisa is Certified Health and Nutrition Coach and creator of www.WholeHealthDesigns.com. She has personally coached thousands of women all over the country on how to get back on the wagon.

Lisa is an amazing woman that I’m very fortunate to call a friend….and friends share, right?

Coming this October 7th, Whole Health Designs is launching their ‘Fall Renewal 10 Day Detox‘ 2013. Over the 10-day period, Lisa will guide participants with a step-by-step whole food cleanse, no guesswork needed. And the benefits?

How about…. an average weight loss of 4-10 pounds; decreased belly fat and bloating; feeling lighter and noticing clothes loosening up; tons of energy so you can accomplish a lot in your day. You won’t need to resort to the vending machine or the local Starbucks for the mid-afternoon pick-me-up; sugar cravings disappear; the best sleep ever; sound sleep (no getting up to use the bathroom or insomnia!); glowing, clear, dewy skin (my favorite side effect); and bright, sparkly eyes (I love this one too!).

The best part? The detox normally costs $129, but Dr. Tania readers are VIP. So, Lisa has so graciously offered a VIP offer of $79 for the 10-day fall detox. Just enter the code: DETOX4FALL 

Now that’s a big savings, and you all know how I love a good deal! For more on Lisa, visit her website: www.wholehealthdesigns.com

I hope you join Lisa and me in saying, “Buh-Bye” to the slump, and hellllllo to good health and energy!

Breakfast of Champions

Posted: 2004 days ago in Wellness

breakfastofchampionsAre you as hungry as I am in the morning?  

I am vehemently against the thought of going without breakfast.  I do believe that it is the most important meal of the day, but if you are one of those people who literally can’t stomach the idea of eating so early, here are some tips to rev up your appetite and metabolism so that you don’t need to ‘push through’ or wait until lunchtime to eat.

Let me just take a moment to debunk a common myth. For those of you who think that skipping breakfast (or any meal for that matter) will help you lose weight, that is just plain wrong. Truth of the matter is, there is no better way to SLOW your metabolism than by skipping a meal. That’s because your body is really efficient most of the time, but If you starve it during your waking hours, it will ramp down its caloric usage for survival. Meaning? You will end up burning fewer calories, and quite likely GAIN weight.

Not quite the outcome you were hoping for, huh? 

If time constraints or lack of appetite are what’s keeping you from eating, consider this:

  • Perhaps breakfast foods are not your thing. Would you be more inclined to eat last night’s leftovers, a smoothie, or some cheese and crackers? Then go for it! We are as likely to eat dinner for breakfast than not in our house. The current brekky-du-jour for my kids? Chicken Tamales! Go figure!
  • Eating on the run. This is not my best recommendation, but if it’s that or nothing, then set yourself up for success by prepping some portable breakfast food each evening. Things like cheese sticks, nuts, yogurts, fruit, nut butters, and protein bars bars all come in individual serving sizes. In fact, I keep “emergency nuts” pretty much everywhere, since I get really bitchy when my blood sugar crashes and I need food more than air.  My friend Lisa calls this “hangry”.
  • Drink some lemon water (hot or cold) to get the ol’ juices flowing. This will often stimulate your appetite and your morning constitutional.

A good breakfast sets the barometer for a day of healthy eating, truly it does! My breakfast of champions today? Greek yogurt with fruit and granola. Yum!

What did you have for breakfast today?