Posts Tagged ‘whole foods’

Unrecipe of the Week: Roasted Nuts

September 3, 2015

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Nuts are a great snack. They are plant based, all natural and high in protein and heart healthy fats. That is until a commercial company gets ahold of them.

When I began my Whole 30 quest a couple of months ago, I became a stickler for reading labels on anything that had them. While most of the food I eat doesn’t come in a package, nuts are a whole food that typically does. When companies roast nuts, they add oil to them. Planter’s, one of the largest commercial nut companies adds peanut and/or cottonseed oil to thier nuts, as well as salt. Since legumes (peanuts and peanut oil) are off limits, as is cottonseed oil on Whole 30 and Paleo, I decided to roast my own.

Everyone I share my freshly roasted nuts with loves them. Nuts are already high in healthy unsaturated fats and don’t require any extra oil when roasted. By roasting them “naked” the flavor of the nut is enhanced, and not over powered by the flavor of the aditives. They are so easy to make, that there really isn’t a good reason to buy those cans again.

How To Roast Nuts:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees*. Spread the nuts (I love cashews!) in an even layer on a baking sheet with sides. Roast in the oven for about 5 minutes, and shake the pan or stir the nuts to redistribute them. The nuts on the edges of the pan will brown much more quickly than those in the middle. Continue to roast the nuts until they are an even light brown color, and begin to release a delicous “nutty” smell. They will likely take about 10-12 minutes, but could take longer or shorter, so keep an eye on them. Beware; once they start to color, they brown very quickly! Remove from the oven and cool before enjoying.

Store in a glass jar after cooling.

*Smaller or more dense nuts may benefit from a slightly cooler oven temperature. If you are roasting pine nuts, for example, use a 300 or 325 degree oven, and watch them carefully.Time may vary due to the size and density of the nuts.

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Healthy Jumpstart

June 29, 2015

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I am vehemently opposed to fad diets. Over the years, we have been told that lots of fat is good for us, (hello original Atkins) until someone else decided that it was fat that made us fat. Low carb, gluten free, juice fasts and the ultimate extremes of Master Cleanse have all had their moment in the sun. Packaged and portioned meals, ala Jenny Craig, or group diets, like Weight Watchers have become large national chains that could rival McDonalds. At the end of the day, we just need to learn how to eat healthfully, and embrace it as a way of life, not a temporary diet. Easier said than done.

I am usually a healthy eater, but lately, I seem to keep going off track. I become so restricted in my eating that I end up binging afterwards. I keep gaining and losing the same few pounds, which come off slowly and come back quickly. When I am restrictive, my stomach settles down, starts to flatten out and I sleep better. Once I start eating more “normally,” I experience bloat, wake up in the night with a burning belly and have trouble staying asleep. This week, after one stressful day of poor eating and not enough sleep,powering through my workout was more difficult than usual. I am ready to embark upon a change for the better.
Whether it is referred to as an eating detox, Paleo, FODMAP, or Whole 30 plan, many nutritionists recommend a period of eliminating foods that could potentially cause inflammation, leading to gastrointestinal issues, sleep disturbances, skin problems or sluggishness.

This week I am going to give it a try. I am going to eliminate dairy, sugar, alcohol, legumes,        (including beans and soy products,) wheat, and grains, while concentrating on pure, whole foods, such as seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. Lean cuts of meat are also allowed, but I choose not to eat them.

The premise is resetting our minds to eliminate cravings for foods that aren’t good for us, while allowing all of the things that may be making us unwell to exit our bodies. At the end of the elimination period, which is recommended from anywhere from 2 weeks to 30 days,(or a lifetime if you go Paleo.) depending on the plan, one should add back the things they eliminated and missed, slowly and in moderation, to evaluate how they feel. Many find that dairy, or wheat does not bother them at all, where others react immediately to reintroduced foods. The ultimate goal is to find a way of eating that works best for you on a long term, sustainable basis.

I am going to start out with a seven day goal, and hope that at the end of the week I will want to keep going. Many people have attested that the first week is the hardest, and they don’t start to reap the benefits until they are well into week two, and then its downhill from there.  I don’t think I eat enough sugar, or drink enough alcohol or coffee to experience any withdrawl symptoms that some have recounted, but it won’t be easy to live with others who are not doing this with me. I am ready, and I am going for it. In writing this, I just shared my plan with a whole lot of people, so the pressure is on me not to fail.

I will keep you posted on my progress. Who wants to join me for on a journey for more energy, better skin, better sleep, and a healthier all around relationship with food? Let do this!

Photo:  Glasshouse Images

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Eating Outside the Box

March 7, 2013

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I pride myself in being a generally healthy eater, trying to concentrate on fresh, whole foods that are low in fat and refined carbohydrates. Not my whole household does the same.

When B was a baby, she ate everything I gave her. She loved scrambled eggs, fish, tofu, fruits and vegetables. Stir-fried broccoli from the local Chinese restaurant was greeted with smiles and kicking feet. Then, something changed.

It started innocently, with a chocolate chip cookie baked as a distraction during the days that followed 9/11. She eyed it tentatively at first, then gave it a cautious lick. As a big grin swept over her face, she realized she discovered something delicious. Still, sweets were offered in only in moderation.

Next, there was the hotdog, offered unwittingly by a parent on a play date. Little by little, she was introduced to the fried, the processed and the heavily sweetened. Little by little, she balked at the healthy foods being served to her, and morphed into an average kid, with an average palate.
Now heading into her teens, her poor habits are exacerbated by her ability to go into the kitchen and help herself. I am the enabler, making sure the cupboards and freezer are stocked with foods she likes.

Last night, when I saw the wrappers from the afternoon snacks in the trash, I offhandedly voiced my concern, stating that she was going to end up diabetic if she didn’t clean up her act.

Today after school, B asked me if she is really a candidate for illness, even though she is active and far from overweight. The sad reality is that she is headed in that direction. It was a wake-up call for both of us.
Article after article discusses how sugar, and an unbalanced diet could lead to all kinds of health risks, from diabetes to cancer. Just because those Pop tarts are organic, and the granola bars whole grain and trans fat free, doesn’t mean they are healthy.

By the time we reached home, she had outlined her new eating plan.

Scrambled eggs for breakfast tomorrow, instead of a toaster pastry. Perhaps moving onto oatmeal later in the week.

I have been instructed to stock up on pears, grapes and bananas, as well as cashews, carrots with dip, and the ingredients for an afternoon smoothie to be eaten as snacks or dessert.

Dinner will be a challenge, but if we focus on the foods she likes, it’s a start.

In essence, it’s time she starts eating outside of the box. Literally.

What can we offer up to the pickiest of eaters that comes from the earth, not a package? I intend to find out.

We have all heard of Meatless Monday. Perhaps we need to coin “Try it Tuesday”, “Whole Grain Wednesday” or “Thirsty Thursday”? Even a day called “F$2k It Friday” could exist, because sometimes you just to kick back and have some pizza after a long week.

Let’s see how we do. Can she change her eating habits? Can I avoid buying food in a box? Can I get creative with the foods she likes, in order to make her fresh, healthy dinners that she can enjoy? Time will tell, and I will of course tell it here.

Stay tuned, as we set out to eat outside the box.

Eat.Sweat.Blog.

September 30, 2009

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Eat. Sweat. Blog.

Now that sounds like something we can relate to!
The Socialworkout.com is serving up a challenge that incorporates all of the aspects of healthy living. The challenge, beginning October 1st and running through the entire month, encourages you to work out 20 times, achieve 10 of the many “food feats” they list, and blog about it on their site.

Food feats include simple lifestyle changes, such as going soda free for the month, dairy free for the week, being a localvore for the day, or working a shift at a food bank.

The site plans to post a daily food/ exercise pairing to help you get started.

Log onto The Socialworkout.com today to sign up for the challenge, and follow indigojones on their site, as we eat, sweat and blog throughout  the month.

The Social Workout Fall Challenge is sponsored by City Harvest, Equinox, Whole Foods, The Kitchn, Cleanplates and Rouge Tomate.

photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images


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