EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES DAY

TL 5-26 EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES DAYWhen I stopped to look at this banner, I thought, “Oh, what pretty and vibrant colors!”  The more vibrant the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more healthy it is for us!  Why are fruits and vegetables so important?

Whether it is fruits or vegetables, fresh is always best.  Make sure you wash everything thoroughly before you eat it!  Some fruits & veggies need to be organic – the ones with a thin skin.  Those with a thicker skin that will protect the inside don’t need to necessarily be organic.  I try to buy organic apples, for instance – because I rarely peel an apple – in fact, I never peel an apple.  I always eat the skin, so I want to know it’s safe.  It costs a little more, but I think it’s worth it – at least I hope it is.THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU

Even though fruit should be eaten with extreme caution if you’re diabetic because of natural sugar, there are a few that get the green light because they are lower in carbohydrates.  I’ll probably never get to eat grapes or fresh cherries again, but as I said a few days ago, my apricots are considered low in carbohydrates.  I’m still dancing on a cloud over that news…  lol.  Here’s a handy list of fruits and the carbohydrate count and calories.

http://www.weightlossforall.com/carbohydrates-fruit.htm

Vegetables are less tricky and we can afford to use them with wild abandon!  Again, if I’m buying an avocado, for instance, it doesn’t have to be organic because the skins on them are so thick and act as a natural protection for the inside of the avocado.  Thin skinned veggies like carrots, I try to buy organic.

I’m the first to admit I would refuse to eat a salad with no dressing on it, but if I can add about 2 Tablespoons of my lemon-poppy dressing, I will eat it with no problem!  If there is just a little bit of not so good mixed with the best and most nutritious foods, that makes it palatable.  Here’s a list of vegetables – just click on the one you want to use and it will tell you how many carbohydrates it has.

http://www.carb-counter.net/vegetables

I like to put fresh baby spinach in a bowl and top it with sliced radishes, strawberries or pears, feta cheese and a few pecans.  Then I top it with my Lemon poppy-seed Salad Dressing.  Here’s the recipe:

LEMON POPPY-SEED SALAD DRESSING

makes 4 servings

1 WW point per serving

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbs. Honey Tree sugar-free honey *

2 Tbs. Splenda

3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 c. plain no-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 c. low-fat mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

1 Tbs. lemon juice (I like fresh squeezed, but the bottled stuff is okay too)

1 Tbs. low-fat milk

DIRECTIONS

Whisk all ingredients together.  Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

*Our local Walmart recently stopped carrying Honey Tree sugar-free honey – sigh.  When we go out-of-town, we stop at the Walmart stores along the way and stock up – or…  the Honey Tree company sells their products on Amazon.  We love the internet! 

http://www.amazon.com/HoneyTrees-Imitation-Honey-12-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B000YSXDDY

I know it’s a bit pricy – but it keeps my D happy…  and if D is happy – everyone’s happy!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PECAN MONTH

NATIONAL PECAN MONTHWhen I think of pecans, my mind goes to our Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS.  There’s one building in particular that smells positively divine from the moment you enter – with the scent of warm candied pecans!  To be honest, that is my favorite way to eat pecans!

To me pecans taste like childhood,
They fell from the family tree.
Sticky leaves, crackling branch wood
Hulling and cracking, we three—
Siblings, nuts in varied degree.
– Terri Guillemets

Pecans pack a punch with dense calories and high fat, but as we all know by now, it’s the good kind of fat.  Just one ounce is a hefty 104 calories!  That’s a point and a half if you’re counting points like me.

The apples and pears in the grocery store look especially good right now.  This recipe for Apple-Pear Crisp is a real crowd pleaser at potluck dinners.  I leave the peel on the fruit, but you can peel it if you want to.  🙂

Apple-Pear Crisp (makes 9 servings, 5 points per serving)

Ingredients: filling

Cooking spray

1 lb. Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 1″ thick slices

1 lb. Bartlett pears, cored, cut into 1″ thick slices

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

4 Tbs. Splenda brown sugar

Ingredients: topping

1 large egg

6 Tbs. Splenda brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. uncooked rolled oats

6 Tbs. butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 9×9 glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Place fruit slices in medium bowl.  Toss with lemon juice and Splenda.  Set aside.

To make topping – in another medium bowl, beat egg.  Add Splenda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix to combine.  Add oats and mix well.

Spoon fruit into prepared baking dish and evenly sprinkle oat mix on top; drizzle with melted butter.  Bake until fruit starts to bubble and topping starts to brown, about 45-50 minutes.

Allow crisp to cool for a minimum of 2 hours.  Cut into 9 pieces.

Enjoy!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

So…  am I the only one who wants to know how LITTLE exercise I can do and still see results???  Hey, I’m just being honest.  I wish I enjoyed exercise, but the fact is, I really do not like it.  I’ve tried everything to try to “distract” myself from the task at hand (TV, music, etc.) – but the fact remains that I really don’t want to do it.

I read something that made me so very happy!  Apparently, a Scottish study found that just 10 minutes of leisurely cycling with two 20-second bursts of hard pedaling, done three times a week is equal to a quality workout!

Is it too good to be true?  You can bet I’ll try it and hope for fabulous results.  Feel free to join me!

Sometimes I get bored with the bike – so I go bowling.  I burn 237 calories per hour (if I stay away from the snack bar) – yikes!  :-/

Eating habits still count as well.  If you can find some blue plates (they are not easy to find here in Wichita) that would be great.  Why?  Psychologically, blue does not stimulate the senses – or make us think we need to eat more.

The happiest plate is not the one that is empty – it’s the one that is filled wisely.  Most of the plate should have green on it (i.e. broccoli), then a protein source (i.e. beef, chicken).  You can have a bit of complex carbohydrate, such as 1/4 baked potato with that, but if I can skip it, I do.  I’ve learned to enjoy veggies, fruits, beans and nuts.

I learned that skipping meals just makes you binge at some point.  It’s best to just eat all three meals and be smart about portions.

Have you ever kept a food journal?  I didn’t used to, but sometimes it helps because I catch triggers that make me want to fall off the diet wagon.  I can thwart the urge to sabotage my efforts and be successful.

If you have a choice between eating out and brown-bagging – pack your own lunch.  It’s a matter of control.  For example, I like the Arby’s Turkey & Swiss sandwich, but they use mayo on them, which adds about 100 calories that I can do without.  I can get similar ingredients and make my own – but hold the mayo.  I think the bread I use is probably fewer calories than the bread they use too (certainly lower in carbohydrates).

I’ve learned to swap ice cream for yogurt.  It’s going to sound weird, but I am hooked on Dannon Light & Fit 80 calorie yogurt.  All of the flavors are delicious – no lie.  Some of them are fruit, but others are dessert flavors like Boston Cream Pie and Toasted Coconut Vanilla.

Heart disease is the number one health risk for women – and a major complication of type 2 diabetes.  I have to make some small changes in my daily diet and exercise routine.  I’ve also learned that it’s okay to laugh more and stress less.

I’m thankful that with a few baby steps, this diet thing seems to be working well.  🙂

 

 

 

 

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

TL 6-5 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

https://youtu.be/kmyEmKLBrIg
Since common sense does not seem to be as common as it used to be, let me inject just a bit here today. On this WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, let’s make an effort to do some thinking before we choose what we will eat. In the process, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you could save, both financially and for the environment.

Nearly one pound of food per American gets tossed away every day! That number nearly boggles the mind, but how can we be better stewards of what we receive? There are ways to stay on your diet and stop the waste of precious food.

1. If you’re eating at a restaurant, order off the kids menu if you know you won’t eat it all. There is absolutely no shame in doing that! Those scaled-down meals will be just enough to fill you up and you will have a happy plate. No waste of food!

2. Invest in a vacuüm sealer! If you keep meat in the freezer (and most of us do), the vacuüm sealed meat will stay good for a long time.

3. Don’t buy perishables in bulk. Well there’s a dose of “duh” for you. Unless you have a family of 15, there is no reason to buy things like fruits and vegetables in large quantities. These foods do not keep for a long time and will have to be tossed if not used up in a timely manner.

4. If you are cooking for one or two, make four meals at a time. If your significant other does not mind leftovers, cook double and save the extra for the next day. You’ve used the same amount of energy that you would have used for one meal, but you now have two meals.

Let’s take a trip to Colorado with John Coyote.  No waste there, right? 

There are popular diet plans that encourage food waste to whittle your waist. The truth is, if you would just use common sense about portion size and not let your eyes be bigger than your tummy – you can eat just enough without waste! 🙂