Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Real Food Has Curves"

Because I am so passionate about nutrition I have been known to get fired up over certain topics. Well the other day I was looking at the ingredients on the half and half container that my dad uses each day to put in his coffee. Normally when I’m shopping I get him the organic variety but this time he picked a nonorganic brand. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m 99.9% sure that half and half is just milk and cream mixed together. Well this particular brand of half and half had this ingredient list: 

INGREDIENTS: Milk, Cream, Contains Less than 1% of Each of the Following Sodium Citrate, and Disodium Phosphate.

I just couldn’t understand why it had to have sodium citrate and disodium phosphate. It really got me thinking about the subject of “real food.” I went to the library and took out a book called “Real Food Has Curves: How to Get Off Processed Food, Lose Weight, and Love What You Eat.” I haven’t finished the entire book so far but I am loving it and it has really made me think about the food I am eating. 

I am making a pledge to myself and invite my readers to do the same to really look at what we are eating and to focus on eating real food. Yes it is going to take more effort on your part but how can you really put a price on your health. Because what we put in our mouths has a direct relationship to our health. My challenge for you all is to make little changes. Read labels and only buy food with ingredients that you know, shop locally and in season at your local farmers markets, really think about what you are eating as you are doing it, and most importantly get in the kitchen. Next time instead of going to the store to buy an apple pie for dessert from the frozen food section make one from scratch at home. 
When I make the argument about real food I challenge people to think back to the time before convenience and diet foods. Before fat free and sugar free where even options. A time when people had gardens and got milk delivered to their doors. My question is was obesity ever and issue back in that time? What about heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure? Yes all of those things existed but in such little numbers that no one paid much attention to them. Thats because people ate real food. They sat down at the table for every meal and ate their meal as a family. 
The foods that individuals think of as problem foods today such as cream, butter, eggs are not the problems if you are eating local grass fed, organic varieties. The problems is the abundance of fake foods. Purple ketchup, macaroni and cheese in a box, TV dinners, soda, and fast food. All designed to sell and make a profit and not for nutrition. Although obesity is a norm these days people are more under nourished than ever. We live in a society of overfed under nourished people. Because although people are eating an alarming amount of calories they are lacking important nutrients essential to a healthy diet. So with that being said I challenge you to go to the library and check out a cookbook. Then head to your local farmers market and get in your kitchen and start cooking. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Local Food

      This is my favorite time of year because all the farmer’s markets start to open and our home garden has something to give us each day! One of my favorite Sunday traditions is to head to the Chester Farmers Market. I love the atmosphere of this farmer’s market and it is one of my favorites. I went around lunch time so I could eat lunch at the market. I had a locally made cheese danish and a smoothie that was made with all local ingredients. I love walking about and looking what everyone has. 

Farmer's Market Smoothie!!

Todays buys: kale, strawberries, raspberries, strawberry rhubarb jam, and yogurt!!!

      One of my summer/fall goals is to every week go to the farmer’s market and buy a new in season vegetable that I have never cooked with before and learn a recipe that incorporates this vegetable in it. I’m excited for this new challenge and to try some new vegetables and maybe even some fruits!! I think this week I am going to tackle beets!! If anyone has any recipes I should try with beets let me know. 

Carrots from our garden!!

Happy Fathers Day!!!

I have the most amazing Dad and Poppy ever and I wanted to wish them both the best Father's Day ever!! They are two of the most selfless, giving, amazing men I know and I would never be where I am today without there love and support. My dad has always gone above and beyond doing what a Dad does and I am forever grateful that I have him in my life. I wanted to post a recipe for a special breakfast that everyone can make for the special Dads in their lives. I hope everyone has a relaxing enjoyable Sunday full of fun and family and a little relaxation. I am off to the farmers market and then celebrating Father's Day with a cookout later on with my family =)!!!! 
Vegan Spelt Banana Pancakes 
I like experimenting with different flours when I'm baking and this was my first time using spelt flour. It is a great alternative as a whole grain and a way to mix it up. These pancakes turned out super good!! 

Ingredients (makes 9 pancakes): 
1 cup spelt flour 
a few dashes cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 ripe banana mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 tablespoons water
1- Make the chia egg first by combining the chia seeds with the water and set aside for a few minutes
2- Heat skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray
3- Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls
4- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients slowly, add chia egg and mix batter throughly 
5- Pour batter on skillet and cook on one side until bubbles form then flip and cook on other side until golden brown

Enjoy with some coconut oil and warm maple syrup!!