“But I Love to Go Out For Ice Cream in Summer….”

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It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means… well it really means that we need to remember all those who died while serving our country.  We have a lot to be grateful for!  But it also happens to be the un-official start to summer.  Woo-hoo!  Which means the official start to ice cream season.  Uh-oh.

“But I love to go out for ice cream in summer….”

I’ve been hearing this one since the beginning of May.  :)  I cannot give you an answer to how many times you can have it either.   That’s up to you.  You think you want it because it is delicious but you also believe that it’s a “bad” thing to do.  So you wind up in a conundrum.  Relax.  Don’t feel torn about eating ice cream if that’s what you really want to do.  Stop beating yourself up and feeling as if you should not have done it once you’ve eaten it.  Enough with the regrets and the guilt!!  Either eat it and love it OR… skip it.  It may not feel like it, but you have a choice.  Buy how do you skip it when your brain keeps telling you that you want it?

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Fun at the Library: A New Book and An Inspiring Talk

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Food and laughing.  Two of my very favorite things in life.  If you share similar interests I have a book you need to read.  I had never heard of Jim Gaffigan but he’s my new favorite comedian.  Imagine Jerry Seinfeld going on about nothing but the intricacies of food and eating.  This book is totally hilarious and leaves you wondering how someone thinks up this great stuff.

With all the seriousness and stress so often involved with eating right, this book is a breath of fresh air that WILL cause you to laugh out loud.  We all need to lighten up a little and laugh more, don’t you think?

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Bacon and Broccoli Egg Bake

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Happy May!

Egg bakes or fritattas are easy, tasty, filling and healthy!  Everything you’re looking for in a breakfast, right?  Too many people are relying on boxed cereals, bagels, toasts, muffins, or even– gasp– donuts for their morning meal.  If there is one change you can make to your diet to feel immediate results, it’s to shift from a high refined carbohydrate breakfast to one richer in protein and fat for your essential amino acids and fatty acids.   If you aren’t feeling as energetic or sharp after too many sugars and processed grains at breakfast, it might be worth it to experiment with a little change like this.

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Start Your Gardens

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This is going to be the year!  I am determined to grow more of my own vegetables.  Every year we give growing plants a good try and we get a few things.  But to be perfectly honest, we wind up with mostly a garden full of rotting diseased tomatoes and bug-infested collard greens.   The problem is that I haven’t made the time or effort to properly care for my plants.  That is going to change and I am off to a good start so far…

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Forest Bathing

0407151646~2Do you spend enough time in nature?

I find it ironic that I can go for an hour walk in the woods and not come across a human soul, but I can drive by a Dunkin Donuts and see a line of cars wrapped around the building.

Sometimes on a gorgeous weekend day we will drive south and stop at random parks and beaches to walk and be outside.  Usually we don’t see too many other like-minded explorers.  But head to a mall or most any store and voilà– masses of humans.

It never ceases to blow my mind.   It’s pretty nice to have these nature walks to myself but it’s also kind of sad.

 

It seems that almost everyone I meet is overwhelmed with work/home/family responsibilities to the point where feeling stressed-out dominates feelings of peace and happiness.

Instinctively I think we all know it isn’t healthy to live that way.

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Making Beef Stew + A Saturated Fat Ramble

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It’s almost my 1 year anniversary as an ex-vegan.  My first bite of meat was homemade beef stew and it was amazing.  I could feel the nourishment immediately and my conclusion still stands that I feel better eating meat.  Over the past year we’ve made this beef stew a few times, especially in the cold months.  It’s become one of my favorite meals.  There was a time when I would have cringed at the thought of eating *gasp* “red” meat with all its “artery-clogging saturated fat.”  :)  I’ve since changed my perspective on this.

“Artery-clogging saturated fat”– funny how saturated fat always seems to be found in that phrase.  That is just one more tidbit unfortunately ingrained into newly forming dietitian brains in school that turned out to be highly questionable.  Sure, animal products are a source of saturated fat, however it’s not usually mentioned that the majority of the fat found in beef and pork is actually mostly monounsaturated (even in chicken skin!)  That’s right; the same “heart-healthy monounsaturated fat” famously found in olive oil.   Another thing many people don’t understand is that fats found in food are made up of a blend of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat– but are typically labeled simply as one or the other based on the dominant type.  So, there is actually saturated fat in your precious olive oil just as there is monounsaturated fat in your “unhealthy” butter.  It’s just one more thing that nutrition science has oversimplified but which ended up confusing people even more.

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Greenpeace Ranks 14 Brands of Tuna

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Do you ever think about how your tuna was caught when you purchase cans of tuna fish  in the grocery store?  We’ve all heard about the dolphin by-catch issue and now many tuna companies boast “dolphin-safe”– and while that is a good thing, is there more to the tuna catching story?  I used to buy whatever was cheapest, having no clue about the horrifying impact the tuna fishing industry has on our oceans.  If you care… (and how can you not care?) read on because which tuna you choose to buy really does matter.

Recently Greenpeace ranked 14 brands of tuna fish according to how sustainable, ethical and fair their tuna products are for our oceans.  Dolphin safe is now on most cans of tuna, however that does NOT mean ocean safe.  By-catch like turtles, seabirds, sharks and other marine life are often killed and discarded by irresponsible tuna fishing companies.

 

Top Ranked Tuna:

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I was so happy to see that the brand I’ve been buying was ranked #1 : Wild Planet— I’ve seen this both at Whole Foods and BJ’s.   Wild Planet utilizes fishing practices that minimally impact other marine life.  They do not source tuna from proposed high seas ocean sanctuaries of the Western and Central Pacific.  These havens are meant to be free from fishing to replenish marine ecosystems.

Following Wild Planet were American Tuna, Ocean Naturals and Whole Foods.

At the bottom of the ranking you will find the more popular brands:  Walmart, Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee, Kroger and finally Starkist.  According to Greenpeace, Starkist sources from destructive fisheries that kill tons of marine life as by-catch.  Many of the lower ranked companies don’t disclose where they catch their tuna, their catching method or type of tuna.  This is basic information that should be available if there were nothing to hide.  Take a look at how your brand of tuna made out and consider switching to a more sustainable choice.  Vote for what you believe in with your food dollars.  Visit the Greenpeace webpage on Tuna Shopping and click on each brand of tuna to learn more specific details.

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3 Winter Activities to Move Your Body and Soul

0222151450How is this winter going for you?  If you are anything like me, February is the toughest month to get though.  Instead of making a warm weather get away this year we decided to get the bathroom redone.  Looking out my window at the grayness and piles of snow while cringing from the shrill screeches of power tools down the hall I can’t help but wish we had done both.  And preferably at the exact same time.  But I am not here to complain about anything.  I am here to say that I have found a few outlets that have made my winter blues somewhat more bearable and you just may want to try them too.

I’ve been moving a lot less this winter, as are most of you from what you tell me.  It drags me down when I slack off too much like this.  We all know we feel better when we move! We can blame the weather and lack of motivation all we want for not staying active but those are only excuses.

I am a huge believer in the magical powers of exercising the body and hopefully you are in agreement.  And by exercise I don’t mean  in the sense that most people think of it– a way to torture yourself for the purpose of weight loss.  If that is how you see exercise then you are most certainly doing it wrong.  I am referring to exercise as in moving your body in a way that makes you feel good– both physically and emotionally.

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Exercise nourishes our bodies and souls in much the same ways that good food does.

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Listening to Your Body (Intuitive Eating)

cathyHave you ever forced yourself to eat something because it was part of your “meal plan” or because you thought it was healthy or low in calories or fat?

What happens?  You don’t feel satisfied and you sense something is missing.  You don’t feel nourished.

 

That isn’t how food is supposed to make you feel.  When you rely on external information (only 20 calories per serving!  cholesterol free!) rather than internal cues, you aren’t living in harmony with food.  What if you listened to what your body really wants …and actually honored those needs?  Your life would change.  You would free up a lot of wasted energy and be at peace with food.  You CAN get back in balance…

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I LOVE a Healthier Pizza

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Aside from the occasional frozen vegan pizza (not recommended) I haven’t had pizza in longer than I can remember.  All that wheat in the crust, even if I found the whole wheat dough or made my own from whole wheat flour, just didn’t feel good for my body so I stopped eating pizza years ago.  Then the cauliflower pizza crust craze came along shortly after cauliflower’s fame for lower-carb mashed potatoes (is there anything cauliflower can’t do?).  But I was dairy and egg free and those pizza crust recipes called for cheese and egg.

The idea to make this pizza came about because I have been working with a client who is trying to get her blood sugars down and lose some weight but she is really struggling with giving up her homemade pizza.  She left our last meeting armed with a cauliflower crust recipe and my promise to make it for myself as well.  After all, if I am going to be suggesting healthier versions of recipes I really ought to test them out firsthand.

Looking online, you’ll see many versions of cauliflower pizza crust recipes.  I went with one from The Detoxinista because I liked the ingredients she used and I have had really good luck with several of her recipes.

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