Category Archives: Recipe/Food Life

The Fluidity in Your Food Life

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This morning I checked out the 4th forecast and out came a deep groan.  Today hit over 100 ° F by eleven am; the festivities in a couple of days are predicted to be the worst.  The solar energy, vitamin D boost, sweat cleanse, and family time are the positives I am desperately going to hold on too.  Cling on too.  We will be armed with tons of sunblock, light clothing, and hydration for the negatives.  The state of dehydration affects your entire body and mind.  We must be prepared. However,  hydration is more than just the intake of fluids.  It’s how much, what you take, and what you eat.

How much water should you drink? National Academy of Science Engineering Medicine   gives guidelines on how much fluids you should take in at the very least.  According to the site, I just carry around a bottle all day because I need to take in around twelve eight ounces per day.  Food can count!  Some conditions require more fluid intake such as activity and heat,  Center for Disease, Control, and Prevention outlines other reasons.  Know and watch your fluid intake.

lime cocktail drink with two straws

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What about what you drink?  Plain water for the most part is best but doesn’t have to be the only means of fluids.  There are some you need to limit or completely avoid.  Sugary drinks such as juices and sodas needs to be limited in down, cool periods all the time.  In hot temperatures or activity, it needs to be avoided.  This goes for caffeine and alcohol too.  A non- synthetic dye water flavor may help you achieve your hydration goal.  I love herbal teas and I have been drinking lot on ice lately.  Infused water is an excellent way to make fluids enjoyable and reach those next goals in what to eat for hydration.

 

What can I eat to hydrate?  Your food life is two fold on hydration.  You can eat foods loaded with water.  You need to eat consistently to help your body absorb, hold, and use water better.

These foods have a considerable amount of water in them

  • oranges
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • cantalope
  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • celery
  • grapefruit
sliced fruits on tray

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Sports drinks are known to help with hydration and keeping hydration in short periods.  The main reason are electrolytes.  In a simplistic term, electrolytes are salts in the form of minerals that help with hydration and cleanse your bodily systems.  The electrolytes you need are sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, phosphates.  You can eat these easily.

Foods rich in most or all needed electrolytes

  • White beans
  • Dairy- yogurt/ kefir particularly
  • Fish- especially salmon
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds
  • Nuts- especially almonds and walnuts
  • Dark greens- notably kale, broccoli, edamame, bok choy, spinach, chard
  • Tofu
  • Baked goods with baking soda
  • Fruids: Bananas, water melons,
  • Avocado
  • Sweet potato
  • Coconut water
  • Tomato
  • Egg plant

Each of these foods offer it’s unique contribution.  A rotation/combination of each offers the best impact.  Drink and eat to keep your body and mind at it’s best, certainly in the scorching sun.

close up photography of eyeglasses on pineapple

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Namaste and be fluid

 

Health Foodie, the Moody Eater

Your mental health to function at it’s best requires a multi-faceted care routine.  Physical activity is one essential part.  The input of human connection is another.  Your brain needs creative exercises.  Self care is important.  Proper sleep is crucial.  Professional support may become part too.   Our food relationship plays into our mental well being too.    At times our emotions start to over ride the food choices we make, “eating your feelings” or “moody eating.” This can lead to body and mental harming decisions.  Or it could be telling us something important we need.  What if you could flip your food life and eat for your moods?  Give your brain and nerves what they need ahead of time and enhance their function.

When you eat for your brain,  think “whole rainbow.” If it doesn’t require an ingredient list or has very few ingredients, eat it.  Avoid chemical, dyes, etc as much as possible.  They can harm your physical body then affect your mental health.  Then aim for variety in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.  Super food is a gimmick.  There are some foods like avocados, spinach, kale, berries that are dense in nutrients.  More bang for your buck.  But their impact on your health is limited if you limit what you eat with them.  The variety doesn’t have to be daily and balance is key.  Eat seasonal or rotate.  For us this week it’s mangoes, pineapple, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, green lettuce.  Next week will be a different story.  Go “whole rainbow.”

This is where my food life gets serious.  I LOVE herbs and spices. Recently, a well meaning comment was made on a food item not having any flavor because it didn’t have salt.  No salt doesn’t have to mean no flavor. We have much work to do in our food life if we believe that.  Seasoning is more than flavor.  Just as your food is rich in brain and nervous system nutrients, herbs can do the same.  The herbs used in the recipes/ideas below have a variety of key nutrient players for mental wellness.  We will cook with chives, parsley, ginger, dill, and garlic.  These offer magnesium, iron, choline, potassium, calcium, vitamin C,  copper, and zinc.  All of these are important for your mental functionality.   I come across magnesium and zinc often as natural options people use for mental wellness.   Three out of six of our household members take magnesium for mental focus and help with migraines as a part of our medical conversations and care routines. Do caution with mixing with other meds and zinc should by food digestion only; just because it’s on a OTC shelf doesn’t mean it’s safe.  Other herbs and spices help with brain and nerve function: rosemary, basil, cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, bay leaf, etc.

Let’s start with the A.M.  Eggs and I have a love hate/relationship.  I love eggs, the yolk hates me back.  Pictured are egg whites due to this relationship but this works with scrambled eggs/omelet too.  It’s as easy adding a teaspoon of dill/ teaspoon of chives to your eggs while cooking.  You can do fresh herbs.  In this case I did dried dill and 3 chive stalks chopped.   Chives give a onion taste (similar to a green onion)  with dill adding lively flavor.  Another way to take your A.M. lightly.

This dish can go so many ways.  The base consists of lightly cooked veggies such as zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, onion, bok choy, etc.  I cooked them in a tablespoon of butter with two cloves of garlic chopped and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.  Not all veggies require the same amount of cooking.  Carrots, onion, mushrooms take longer.  After cooking five to seven minutes, add in things like zucchini and bok choy to cook a few minutes more.  You can add rice, I chose rice noodles.  Often I leave meat out of this part of the food relationship.  However, meat can be added.  I broke the routine by adding teriyaki marinated chicken in this case.

In all honesty, I thought all my children would hate this following meal.  Redreignofterror did not disappoint but the feedback I got wasn’t half bad.  The adults loved it.  This adult loved the simplicity and cheese.  Watching fats and getting in the good fats are important.  This was part of a day with very low fat.  A creamy, cheesy meal was well deserved.  Herbs make the encounter interesting with a balanced, light flavor.

A couple of notes about the recipe.  Dried herbs can replace fresh ones. I seriously did put in a packaged food.  I truly did not feel like cooking and chopping bacon, I don’t like grease or touching grease.  However, bacon can be cooked and chopped instead of the suggested ingredient. Dealers choice.

cheesy herb cauliflower and blt salad

I am currently glued to culinary videos and trying out new recipes.  Look out for more recipes and ways to liven up your food life soon.

Namaste in your mental health and food life journey

chili lot

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It’s about as Mexican as in you’re driving down the road hungry craving “Mexican” and you stop at some taco place. As much as I love cooking, there are times when I want something quick that stops just short of drive through. This is less sketchy and healthier- A “not a drive through- that satisfies my need for spiciness plus throw it in a pan” creation.

 

What you need

Pre cooked chicken diced

* cook it your self (1 lbs)  or buy rotisserie, packaged. No judgement zone

Brown Rice 1 dry cup cooked

* get the “it takes 5 minutes kind”

Diced Tomatoes   1 14.5 oz can

* no salt added, machinery may be involved

Corn 1 14.5 oz can, no salt added

Onions  1/2 cup diced

Cilantro 1 Tbsp

Garlic  2 Tbsp or 2 cloves diced

Cumin 2 Tbsp

Cayenne 2  Tbsp

Shredded Cheddar Cheese 4 oz, reduced fat

* separate into half – 2 oz and 2 oz

Reduced Fat Cream Cheese 8 oz

Turn oven on to 350 to preheat

Making it

Step one- get it prepped and together.  If your chicken isn’t cooked, cook it.  If your chicken needs to come off the bone, do it.  Cook your rice. Open your cans. Open your packages. Measure your stuff.

Step two- dump it all but 2 oz of cheese.  Then stir it together.

Step three- Sprinkle the remaining 2 oz of cheese on top

Step four- shove the dish in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 mins.

This can be vegetarian converted- replace chicken with two 14.5 oz cans of kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, or a combo.

Namaste your hunger quickly

Health Foodie: Taking A.M. Lightly

I have food infatuations. There are several items that are my staples, several in rotation, and an obsession of the moment. Egg plants and sweet potatoes have been it. At some point our relationship will cool a little and they will become part of the fridge stock.

Except salsa. We are always hot for each other. I love the substance of the sweet potato and avocado to fuel with the lightness of egg white and salsa.  It comes with a variety of nutrition which goes beyond the fuel. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals are a few things that fight disease, enhance bodily functions, and reduce aging. It is gluten free with “make it gluten options.”  An incredible balance to get us going.

A. M. Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes cooked and peeled
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  1. Mash sweet potatoes and flour together- start boiling water20180223_1019541067962792.jpg
  2. Spread out on a flour surface and shape a square
  3. Cut into 1 inch squares
  4. Place a few squares in boiled water- wait for it to float then let it ride the waves for about a min
  5. Pull out and let cool
  6. Continue for the rest of the squares

In picture it is topped with egg white, avocado, and pico.  Walnuts and raw honey would be a great option for a sweet tooth and omega brain boost.  Some whole fruit with yogurt or kefir is great. Tomatoes, oregano, chopped garlic, and chopped spinach are an amazing combo too.

Simple Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • One medium onion
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 table spoon of cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • 1 jalapeño dice
  1. Dice tomato and onion and jalapeño  then mix
  2. Squeeze in lemon or lime on mixture
  3. Stir in cilantro with add salt to taste

This is food satisfaction from the start that doesn’t have to be overly complicated.  The gnocchi recipe can be halved for a smaller amount or the full recipe offers leftovers for the next day.

Namaste and Start Your Day

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When Salad Goes Bad

From low calories to nutrient potential, salads can be a go to in “healthy eating.”  It’s an easy option to lighten up a meal encounter and comes with a variety of options.  It does have some pitfalls.  Eating raw is not for everyone and every digestive track.  Lightly cooking  veggies is a healthy option if veggies in their original form is detrimental to your food relationship.  Salads can fall into the monotonous status that is tasteless and boring.  Certain choices can hurt your relationship and health if you are not careful.  Fortunately a boring and unhealthy salad encounter can be fixed.

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Caution

When you’re out eating and trying to stay committed a salad seems like the no brainer option.  Often it’s not the case. Spend a few obsessive hours researching restaurant menus and nutrition, then most often you find there are hidden”fees.”  Croutons are not the sole culprit.  You pay for higher sodium in dressings, fried foods,  tortilla strips, sauces, etc.  Too much salt sucks out the good part of you.  Then there are the bad fats.  Not like “ooh bad” or guilty pleasure.  Like bad, bad.  Physically and mentally bad for you.  From too much processed cheese, fried toppings, and dressings.  Short lease those fats.  An every once and awhile entanglement is okay.  Then there’s your salad base. The semi- green base that’s the meh to your food relationship, it looks pale or wilted.  That’s your salad connection dying.  Read below to fix that.  When you are settling in at home or meal prepping, it’s a similar problem with salads.  High sodium, high fat, not enough variety thus nutrients.   It’s time to find the balance.

The Salad Fix

  In every relationship there needs to be a base to spring from.  In making a salad there are more supportive options such as Mixed greens, spinach, kale. These does more than carry the “fun stuff.” They have their own contributions to your nutrient profile on a plate. Once you have your base, then you need lean sources of protein.  Chicken breast, chick peas, cauliflower, nuts, seeds, turkey pepperoni, lunch meat are a few choices to add on. “Whole” is best, meaning it doesn’t require a label or comes with a few listed ingredients.   While it does this part well, protein is more than a filler.  It has it’s own set of nutrients and it builds from muscles heart to brain to body. When adding on to your base and protein, for nutrition and simplicity sake, rainbow variety needs to be your salad motto.  Each pepper, tomato, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, and so on is packed with their unique set of nutrients.  This is a great way to get multiple vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants.  It’s a better calorie burn with increase function of brain, nerves, eyes, etc.   When dressing a salad, it needs to be the right one.  Low calorie, low fat is not necessarily the best.  There are fats your body needs plus those low cal/fat option may have artificial ingredients that are harmful.  Avocado, sesame oil, avocado oil, or olive oil are a few examples of a short leased but great options to get dressed in.  Read ingredient lists;  the least amount listed on that bottle the better.

Not so salady options

Salad don’t have to look like the precursor to an entree.  An Asian vinaigrette with lean pork or chicken on chopped mixed greens/ bok choy is delicious.  Ground turkey taco meat with salad on greens is a naked taco. Who doesn’t love naked?  A limited use of pepperoni, turkey deli meat, ham deli meat with an italian dressing and greens makes a lighter cousin to the sub version.  There is so much more less salady options on Pinterest.  Just watch the base, ingredients, and dressing.   Armed with the right green base, you can break that food relationship boredom and not pay for it with your health.

Namaste & For the Sake of A Healthy Food Relationship Pass This Along

No Salt Added- Spice Up Your Food Life

Healthy food and meals can loose their excitement.  Especially when you take away the fats, sugar, and salt.  Wait, I am to entice you to eat healthy. Hang with me.  Decades ago salt was left by the way side as a  primary means to flavor food for me.   We are in deep with spices and herbs.  By this I mean I get way too excited when they go on sale and enjoy picking them out.  I am in deep.  I love the choices, options, and various ways to can make different flavor profiles.  I love that my food doesn’t taste bland and doesn’t cause me to bloat (salt does! bastard).  Even better, this is a friends with benefits relationship.  Most spices reduce inflammation which benefits your digestive system, joints, muscles, heart, and brain.  Brain and body love.  Certain herbs aid in memory and concentration, are rich in vitamins (some even have iron!), boost immune systems, and fight free radicals with antioxidants.  If you are not familiar with free radicals, those are the bullies who pick on your healthy cells which may lead to cancer.   You are constantly surrounded by free radicals. Herbs are a great free radical bully buster.  Food love with benefits.

There are some things you need to know.  Some spices and herbs may not be safe if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.  Most help with that but a few may need to be run by your doctor.  This is noted with that particular spice and herb below.  Please practice spice safety.  Herbs come in two forms: still looks like the plant (fresh) or confetti (dried).  Dried herbs store for longer periods of time and organic in a glass container is recommended.  Dried herbs are in the spice aisle and fresh herbs are in the produce section (in a bunch you bag or in a plastic container).  Spices can be whole or ground.  I haven’t picked a side and don’t see a reason too.  I am passionate about trying to stick with glass and organic when possible.  Dried spices and herbs are more at home in a dry, cool place.  They don’t do well in direct sunlight.  Let them live their vampire existence in a dry cabinet away from heat.

Now the good stuff. I kept this list basic with it’s benefits, draw backs, flavor profiles, and what I use them in.  Have at it.

Spices

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herbs

That’s the short list.  These are common in many recipes which gives you a great base for cooking.  As you expand you will find there is so much more love out there.

Namaste and rekindle the food love