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Food Relationship: What You can Eat to Hydrate

It’s 3:00 PM in the afternoon and I look down at my water bottle. The day is almost done and I’ve only drank half the my minimal of what is needed to be hydrated. Unfortunately, coffee doesn’t count. Why on earth would I add hydration count to my endless daily check-list? From brain function, gut function, adrenal function- hydration is the everything in biological function.

How much water should you drink? National Academy of Science Engineering Medicine   gives guidelines on the minimal fluids you should take daily. According to the site, I need to take in around twelve eight ounces per day, water as a safety blanket it is!! 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?  There are drinks you need to limit or completely avoid.  Sugary drinks such as juices and sodas needs to be limited.  This goes for caffeine and alcohol too. It is thought that caffeine intake can cause dehydration, a quick run through studies on coffee. Mild coffee drinking is fine and not known to impact hydration ability.   Sugar and too much sodium are the top dehydrators you can drink.

What Should You Drink?

  • Water
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal Teas
  • Non synthetic dye or natural drink
  • Water with fruit and vegetables

Your food life is two fold on hydration.  Drinking is the primary way to obtain and maintain hydration. However, eating certain whole foods (not cooked or lightly cooked) contains significant portions of water in them.

What Can You Eat to Boost Hydration?

All of these contain at least 90% of water and tons of nutrition. Food relationship multitasking at its best.

  • Canteloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Pickles
  • Yogurt
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

The Exceptions

Broccoli and squash contain more water when cooked.

sliced fruits on tray
Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

Sports drinks are known to help with hydration and keeping hydration in short periods.  They should only be consumed when significant water loss is involved or recommended by doctor. 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 all the time.

Foods Rich in 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 in your food relationship. I am going to grab more of my lemon & lime water. Gotta catch up!

Namaste and be fluid

Juls

close up photography of eyeglasses on pineapple
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

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Health Foodie: Lower Acid and Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

Simply because cannot take “no” for an answer- I had to find answer to my pasta dilemma Largely, due to the sauce, a lower acid pasta sauce. So what’s wrong with the sauce? Too much acid producing agents like tomatoes and meat. Meat? Yes, digesting meats requires more stomach acid production. My stomach gets all dramatic and I end up in pain. My solution was Puttenesca. Puttenesca is a tomato sauce with a specific combinations of plants, veggies, and (most of time) anchovies.  I HATE anchovies. If I had a choice between those greasy, tiny fish and bugs.  I choose bugs. We will say no to the anchovies this time. And every time.

This sauce still carries the problematic acidic tomato.  I opted for campari tomatoes as they are sweeter with lower acid.  To reduce acid more, you can add in some carrot puree.  The tomatoes didn’t irritate my reflux.  Since the anchovies got to go- I went with capers to give that briny, salty taste.  Best part, is more concentrated veggies means more nutrition.  The instructions are for the sauce, your base is dealer’s choice. As complex carbs can help absorb stomach acid, I opted for a brown rice/ quinoa gluten free pasta but zoodles are just a good. 

Lower Acid Pasta Sauce

Ingredients and Prep

  • 3 Garlic cloves, diced
  • Oregano 1 tablespoon dried
  • Olive Oil 1 tablespoon
  • Campari tomatoes, 16 oz, quartered
  • Green or black olives sliced (2.25 oz can or I eat a specific green type, about 10 olives)
  • Capers 1-2 tablespoons
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of carrot pure

Cooking

  1. Put in diced garlic and olive oil and gentle stir for about 5-7 minutes on medium.
  2. Still on medium heat, place in diced tomatoes and oregano and cook until tomatoes have broken down plus a few minutes (25 minutes). In the last 5 minutes you can put in optional carrot puree to lower the pH level.  
  3. Put in olives and capers for additional ten minutes.  1 1/2 tablespoon of capers is enough for me. Start with 1 tablespoon and add to taste.  Do let it cook for a minute before adding. 

With a few quick switch outs with some veggies, I have a delicious alternative.  Plus its a graduation from my dorm room ragu phase. There is nothing wrong with an occasional jar sauce on some veggies every once and while. However, there is more flavor and nutritional punch in this bowl. Love your food relationship and show it how to love you back.

J.Riley

Health Foodie: Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas

Health Foodie: Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas

I haven’t put out a recipe in a long time. Not from cooking slack, but more from needing quick meal ideas that improve health with minimal effort. What do you when life is insanely busy, need a quick meal, and please dear God, I need less salad in my life? K.I.S.S. it. The K.I.S.S (keep is simple silly/stupid) method has ruled in this household for months. Looks like it’s going to be for a couple more. In the craze, I don’t want to lose what fuels us and our minds in nutrition, but we can’t sacrifice sanity. This is part of my cheat list of quick meals. Some are grab and go while others take a bit of prep and cooking. Only two salads made the list ’cause we need a break. Real nutrition is in all of it.

Quick Healthy Meals:

Run In Store & Grab Ideas

  1. Veggie burger with fruit. Watch those healthy options. Many put gluten in and it’s more filler than nutrition. We opt for a burger with portabellos and veggies or use portabellos period.
  2. Rotisserie or baked chicken with grab a veggie tray or salad kit
  3. Baked beans and green beans or greens
  4. Cauliflower crust (pre-made) with pizza sauce, cheese, and veggies

A Little More Investment Meal Ideas

This downloadable comes with several healthy meal ideas centered around “latin” flavors. This is our family’s obsession and 90% crowd pleaser. When meals have common ingredients it requires less planning and easier meal creations.

Healthy meals can be a valuable time investment of food relationship and mental wind down time. When there isn’t time or priorities bump cooking down the list, we don’t have to sacrifice wellness. Veggie forward, whole foods, whole grains are literal life savers from brain function to heart love. This makes healthy meals even more vital. Love the long and short of your food relationship. More quick and healthy meal ideas to come of different flavor varieties. Follow by clicking “Yes” to have them delivered to you.

J.Riley

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Food Allergies Hidden in House Hold Products

Having any food allergy, from the Top 8 and beyond, leads to a challenging life style. The foodie with allergy life requires constant label and food investigations and awkward questions at gatherings. It comes with additional risks when someone or a company isn’t honest. Thankfully, organizations like F.A.R.E. (Food Allergy Research and Education) make information and advocating needs easier. Companies labels are improving, especially with allergens on the ingredient list and the GF (gluten free label). Allergies are not confined to the food aisles and this is not as well know. They lurk everywhere. Only one Federal law protects the top eight food allergies and it only deals with food labels. Otherwise, if you clean with it,  take a prescription, take an OTC, put it on your skin, has a kosher label, or more then a company is not obligated to tell you when an allergen may be in their product. Take this short list of products with the Top 8 allergens and quick tips for foodie allergy “but it’s not a food.”

What Are the Top 8 Allergens?

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Peanuts
  4. Tree Nuts
  5. Fish
  6. Shellfish
  7. Soy
  8. Wheat

This is the short list and more allergies exists. The Top 8 Allergy list was created from the most common known food allergies. However, if you suspect an allergy or intolerance, get tested. There are companies now that test a wide range of allergies and intolerances.

Products with Top 8 Allergens You Might Not Know About

  • Playdough: wheat
  • Marzipan: almonds
  • Worcestershire: fish
  • Some vaccinations like Flu Shot: eggs
  • Supplements: some contain shellfish or fish
  • Milk body wash or hand soap: lactic acid or milk proteins
  • Lotions: some contain almonds
  • Exfoliating products: walnuts or nuts
  • Lip balm and lip glosses: possible fish oils

Please always read labels on household products as 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.  However, learn the chemical names of your allergies. Example of milk: lactic acid, casein, caseinate are all various components of milk. Always check. 

Be extra cautious and listen to your body’s reactions as allergens are not always on a label either.  After taking on the GF life, I was still reacting as though I was still eating gluten.  I was informed that it may be my laundry detergent. They were right.  Water and flour are suspected added as fillers in many products, but with no confirmed proof. I had to go with the welts, hives and suspicions. We switched to a recommended natural product and the reactions stopped.  Along with the laundry switch, we changed cleaning products to due a reading/investigation about peanut oils in cleaning products. I like my house clean but don’t want to put my sons life at risk.  Being mindful of symptoms and habits is your best weapon against continuous reactions or deadly ones. Take all out all products for a couple of weeks then add in former products one at a time. It takes two weeks, at least, to work out an allergy. Spread out re-introduced products days apart. It might take time to react again if that was the culprit.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Foodie with allergies or not, being savvy with allergens is a part of being well. Knowing one is safe contributes to their well in being relaxed and to your well of positive input. Caring for others always comes back in one form or another. When we can navigate and trust our environment, it enhances quality of life. Be informed, ask questions, and share information. Share this post if it makes it easier

J.Riley

Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

Health Foodie: Thriving on Nutrition and a Budget

This is very much a daily passion for me. Healthy food relationships should never break the bank and its is achievable. When hitting the urban jungle, make the most of your hunt for a better you and your family.

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

With my littlest red in tow we set out for our biweekly marathon of food gathering in the urban jungle. For a family of six plus a dog,  it’s the only marathon I ever care to participate in. It’s not the worst chore I have to complete as my laundry piles on my dryer.  However, we do love to eat and it’s crucial to maintain our wellness. There are strategies I use to keep our wellness goals while shopping and lessen my pain in the after math

List. List. List.

I am a list freak.  Largely to help me regulate my thoughts and ADHD. But I do love them and labels. List may mean meal planning which saves money on its own. Creating a list adds further kindness to your wallet in decreasing impulse buys. When creating your list, pad in your health favs and a few not so healthy favs for those cheat days. Don’t go hungry. Your stomach will lead and mine usually sabotages my wellness and budget. Many major store apps will allow you to find most of what is in stock, on sale, and, some times, which aisle to find it in. Target will automatically link you to the store you’re in and bring up the store map in the app. Walmart App, not grocery app, now has an in store feature.

Develop a love affair

Love the stores in or near your neighborhood. Traveling too far when not necessary spends more than save. The more you go the more you will see sale patterns which leads in to three….

Shop sales and in season.

Healthy food on sale. Not junk food on sale.  Companies are starting to recognize the demand and putting natural/organic/healthy items or produce on sale more often.  This past month at one of our local stores, between sales, in season produce, and digital coupons, I cut my bill in half. We saved almost $150. Many stores have online adds that you can compare prices which saves another valuable resource of yours, time.

Use loyalty programs and digital coupons.

If I receive a paper coupon in store or the mail I will use most of the time. Otherwise all many coupons are available on a loyalty card.  Saves paper and money. Double bonus. In one particular store, the more loyalty program is used, more personal rewards. Stores may track what you buy and give back specific to past purchases. There are grocery apps that do reward just for uploading a receipt.  Use them. Some apps of these apps can be used for school fundraising. Other stores allow for schools to give a number to link your loyalty cards. In your every day purchases, your child school benefits.

Make budget from for sales.

When you have some extra budget room and sales are really good take advantage of the abundance.  If you have the room, squirrel it away as long as it won’t expire before you use it.

Take advantage of shopping clubs, online services, and pick ups.

 If you benefit from buying in bulk then a shopping club like Cosco or Sams may be worth it for you. Toilet paper is a guarantee it will be necessary always, but with perishable items be mindful. Truly buy what you would use. A kindness to your wallet and your environment. During one summer, as a foot injury necessity, we used store pick ups a lot. It’s an excellent way to keep impulse buying down and seeing potential costs. Delivery your door is becoming an option with similar benefits and convenience.

Meatless Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays….

Meat can be expensive, especially lean meat.   Lately, I am finding one of our stores putting meat substitutes crazy cheap.  We are riding that gravy train for as long as it last. We like using cauliflower as well. Bonus, cauliflower can be easily found in every form in most stores.  As a substitute, cauliflower adds nutritional value and protein content while wallet friendly. Too much meat protein can be hard on some of your organs, especially kidneys.  Just a thought to keep in mind on how many meatless days you want to try.

We have a large family, dog, and dietary needs- the need for the budget to stretch can get scary. However, with these seven solutions make magic happen. In your food gathering hunt, make the most of you and your food relationship.

Namaste in your food gathering hunt

Juls

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Exchange of the Cookies: Vegan and Allergy Friendly (GF, DF, Peanut Free)

Ever get ahead of yourself? This morning I did. Lofty Monday goals to finish this post and life did not agree, so I panicked at my alarm when an unfinished post went out. Much like making five dozen cookies to bake this weekend, I set goals and got in over my head. This is the final product of vegan cookies that my whole family can eat. That is a victory. The allergy count as of now? No gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts, most tree nuts (coconut is okay), most fruits with digestive issues. So what’s left? Uh not a lot. In my experimentation, I have come to love oat flour and brown rice flour. They are easier flours to digest but not the only ones. All purpose is great for most things but I find making cookies with g free all purpose flour tends to be chalky. Ack. Oats expand and hold it all together which is great when eggs are not invited. There are egg substitutes but less is more for me. Especially in the nuances of baking. I was completely confident in my abilities to make purchases in a bakery years ago. But when vegan is the best option for allergies… it’s expensive. The years of baking frustrations followed but it’s paying off. Now, I am a straight forward and un-sophisticated baker, who has cookies for “Santa.”

My kids know Santa isn’t real. Mom and dad take credit for the presents and these cookies.

Iced Sugar Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cup Brown rice flour plus 1/4-1/2 cup extra 
  • 1/2 cup Oat flour*
  • 1/2 cup Vegan butter, soften to room temp plus 1 Tbsp set aside
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (for sweeter 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla 
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp of Salt
  • 3-4 Tbsp of coconut milk**
  • Clean space to roll out dough
  • Cookie sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Basting or pastry brush
  • Optional: food coloring

*You can opt to ground plain quick oats to a fine powder.  ** Coconut milk is best, but any milk or plant-based milk can be used to accommodate allergies or lifestyle. Rice milk is nut free and dairy free but thin. Half the amount of milk the recipe calls for.

Icing Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut milk or milk*
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Butter

Making and Baking Cookies

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  
  2. Mix sugar and butter. 
  3. Add in Vanilla Extract and 2 Tbsp of coconutmilk
  4. Dry ingredients: In a separate bowl combine brown rice flour, oat flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix.
  5. Combine dry ingredients with sugar, butter, extract, and milk. Add in food coloring here.  
  6. Mix with hands or use a baking spatula.  The consistency should be that of play dough- firm but easy to shape.  Additional Tbsp of milk may need to be added- add in on Tbsp at a time.
  7. Spread 1/4 cup of brown rice flour over clean surface for dough 
  8. Place dough on flour covered surface and roll out dough to around 1/4 of an inch in thickness.  
  9. Use cookie cutters to create cookie shapes and place on parchment paper and cookie sheets.  
  10. Unused dough can be mixed and rolled out again to create more cookies.
  11. Melt 1 Tbsp of Vegan butter in a separate bowl.  Then use a basting or pastry brush to place a thin coat of butter on each cookie.  In a pinch, use clean hands to spread butter on each cookie.  Let’s be real, having basting brush was coincidental but I am not chefy enough to have a pastry brush.  Real cookies for real people. 
  12. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes.  It should be firm on the cookie surface but slightly soft.  As they cool they will harden.

Mixing the Icing

  1. This is fairly straight forward. Whisk powdered sugar, butter, and 1 tbsp of milk of choice.
  2. If it’s too thick, that extra tbsp of milk held back can be used. You can add food coloring while whisking or just leave it plain.

Now I will be honest. Straight foward right? I am crazy sensitive to sugar and knock it down a lot, especially considering the use of icing to add in sweetness. If you have a crazy sweet tooth, add in extra sugar at your own risk. Also, the texture is going to be… well not Loft cookies, those super soft ones. It’s is supposed to be a firm outside, soft in the inside and middle. (After it cools) If your conscious, food relationship, or loved ones with either are in need of a holiday treat. This is it.
I’m heading back to the kitchen for more cookies and ideas to share. Look for more soon or hit the “yes” but to the right for it to come to you.

Extra love points. Mark your boxes of what is and isn’t there.
Extremely helpful for those with dietary needs.

Namaste. Love your light in this holiday season.

Health Foodie: Messing with Iconic Dishes Part One

Health Foodie: Messing with Iconic Dishes Part One

As my love affair with all things spicy cools off, I have to find ways to live in between.  I am between my love of food relationship exploration and the need for it not to kill my stomach.  Creole food is one of those perplexing situations for me. About a year ago on a pinning spree I took on gumbo and LOVE it.  I love the earthy and fiery flavors with the simple base.  Recently, a more palatable version found my bowl as tweaking to remove shellfish allergy and reduce reflux triggers.  This reworking of a Creole icon reduces the spice, lowers fat content, and switches to a low acid tomato.   Make your shopping list, grab your pots, and find the zydeco music.  It’s time to channel that not so spicy but spiced up food encounter.

Gumbo/Stew

Ingredients and Prep

Roux

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour or all purpose gluten free flour

Gumbo

  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 tsp of Creole Seasoning (cayenne will do in a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley (1 tbsp dried parsley can be substituted)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 stalks of celery sliced
  • 1 lb of chicken cooked and diced
  •  oz of smoked turkey sausage (if you can handle the spicy go for chicken andouille sausage)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 9 ounces of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Optional add ins: crawfish or shellfish

Cooking

  1. Roux: this mystical beast is the wonderment base.  The key is to never leave it alone and constantly stir.
    • Heat skillet to medium heat then add in oil.  Gentle stir in flour with a whisk and keep stirring.  The goal is a medium to medium dark brown.  Once you reach the desired color, give your arm a break and head to step 2.
  2. Add in: garlic, red bell pepper, celery, and tomatoes.  Cook for 10 minutes
  3. Add in broth, meat, and spices
  4. Simmer on low for about an hour

How you address or dress this dish when it’s done is up to you.  The classic is with rice.  We went for corn polenta (pictured), but it’s up to you and any idea you dream of.  Classics like this have staying power as it carries tradition, memories, and iconic flavors.  It doesn’t mean you can’t mess around a little in your food relationship.

Namaste

Check out part two next week!