A little note for comforts sake in your food relationship on my Notjusthealthnuts Facebook Page.
Namaste and See You Soon
A little note for comforts sake in your food relationship on my Notjusthealthnuts Facebook Page.
Namaste and See You Soon
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
As a foodie with food allergies I feel that any packaged product is potential death waiting to happen. That might be a bit dramatic. Seriously, my step son with bakers dozen food allergies and I of a few call certain products boxes of death. Largely, because it is. Shockingly it gets worse, food allergies are NOT just in the food aisle. They lurk every where. As a matter of frightening fact, companies can pretty much put any claim or statement on their product with little to no accountability. There is one major Federal law to “protect” us foodies with food allergies. Thank you foodallergy.org for informing us that only eight allergies have warning labels on a certain number of food products. If you clean with it, take a prescription, take an OTC, put it on your skin, has a kosher label, or smoke it (ew) then a company is not obligated to tell you when an allergen may be in their product.
Lesson one is read labels on household products but they are not required to have a warning label. We learned this the hard way with lotion containing almonds and hand wash with casein (milk protein). It was right on the ingredient label and we just didn’t think. Have you read their labels? I decided not to become a chemist for a reason. Read labels and learn the chemical names. Especially when it comes to cosmetics. Speaking of, lip balm and lip glosses may contain fish oils. Watch for that.
It isn’t always on a label either. After taking on the GF life, I was still reacting as though I was still eating gluten. As wise sage informed me that it may be my laundry detergent. She was right. Water and flour are suspected added as fillers. We switched to a concentrated, natural product and the reactions stopped. Along with the laundry switch and a reading/investigation about peanut oils in products, cleaning products were changed too. I like my house clean but don’t want to put my sons life at risk. Lesson two here is: if you have an allergy and have removed it from your diet, chances are its in a household or self care product. “Get rid of it” instructions below.
Other scary food allergy things
– Play dough contains wheat
– Marzipan is made from almond paste
– Worcestershire sauce contains fish
– Soy sauce is blatantly out there with having soy
– Read supplements and vitamin labels. Example, many joint supplements contain shellfish
– Ask before you vaccinate- some contain eggs
You have the PSA. Food allergies are everywhere. Practice food allergy safety- know chemical names, read labels, and listen to your body. If you are reacting as though you have a food allergy and you haven’t eaten it, it may be skin deep. Or more. Take away whatever you suspect for two weeks (takes that long to get out of your system) then keep it away if you get better or you can “challenge” by adding it back to see if the reaction happens again. If the reaction is severe or life threatening, don’t play chicken and stay out of challenges. If you aren’t sure if you are reacting or why or the reactions are severe, see an allergist.
Namaste and Share for the Good of other Allergy Foodies
This would not be categorized as a vegetarian dish because of our bacon entanglement. Also, I am literally eating my words on this whole “I won’t eat brussel sprout thing.” This collaboration of previous brussel sprout consumption dare and my ghost child’s new professed love of goat cheese with bacon enhancement. All culminating in a simple and quick delicious recipe. Anyone has the time and skill for this.
Ingredients and Prep
Brussel sprouts (steamed, cut in half)
Bacon (cooked, diced)
Goat cheese crumbles (package opened)
Olive oil- one tablespoon
Steps to brussel sprouts in bacon, cheese glory
1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Steam brussel sprouts and cut in half then spread out on pan
3. Cook bacon but barely (light brown and soft) or cheat like me and buy the pre cooked. D
4. Dice barely cooked bacon and sprinkle over brussel sprouts.
5. Place pan in the oven for ten minutes.
6. After the bacon brussel sprouts cool for five to ten minutes, sprinkle goat cheese over.
Done- Bacon fulfillment with sneaky nutrition