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Sunday, January 31, 2010

A note on portion size...

Check it out. One portion size of Cheerios (1 cup) and skim milk (1/2 cup) fits in one of those little pyrex snack bowls. I could probably fit 4x this amount in our bowls!!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Other ways to explore- painting!

I like to let Baby A explore different foods by letting her dip her fingers in them, letting her taste them, and by letting her PAINT with them! So far we have used pudding and ketchup.



The ketchup was perfect for creating Valentines for her grandparents!

It's messy, yes, so try it on the high chair try and prepare to go right to the tub when you are finished. 

Talk about it, paint with her, play and have FUN!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Eat well, feel good?

Check out this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer...


What is the bottom line? Plan your meals, eat well, and your family will follow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tip: Storing Tomatoes

Oops, how did I miss this tip? I have ALWAYS put my tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Just recently I read that I should be doing the opposite.  Apparently you should be keeping them in a bowl on the counter (out of the sun) and possibly you should be lining the bowl with paper towels. I haven seen conflicting info regarding the towels, so I'm not completely sure about that.


Make Your Own: Tex Mex Casserole

Oh gracious this is what we had tonight!!!!! Talk about cheesey, beany, goodness!
I don't have Baby A's reaction because she was finishing up her italian wedding soup made for her by her granny.  Long story short, it was supposed to be her lunch yesterday and then today but we kept her home from the sitter because she had a fever. (She's okay, had her at the doctor today, it's just a fever, possibly to do with the two top teeth that are about to shove through...)

Anyway, onto the lucious meal that is the Tex Mex Casserole!


Servings:  6
Preparation Time:  15 min
Cooking Time:  40 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy
Points: 4






Thanks Weight Watchers!

Ingredients


1 spray(s) cooking spray   
1 cup(s) canned yellow corn, drained, or frozen, thawed corn kernels   
1 Tbsp canned green chili peppers, chopped, mild or hot   
15 oz canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained   
1 cup(s) cooked brown rice, fresh or day old   
3/4 cup(s) shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese   
3/4 cup(s) fat-free sour cream   
1/4 tsp chili powder   
1/4 tsp table salt   
1/8 tsp black pepper   
2 Tbsp scallion(s), chopped (dark green part only)   
2 Tbsp shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese   

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2-quart glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine corn, chilies, beans, rice, 3/4 cup of cheese, sour cream, chili powder, salt and pepper; stir in scallions.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and casserole is slightly bubbly, about 10 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes to firm up before slicing into 6 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.

I changed this up by accident. I went to put a bunch of corn in and instead dumped 1/2 a bag of mixed veggies in! Whoops! Oh well, it was nice and colorful, and surprisingly still tasted GREAT!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Freezer Tip: Use a container

When freezing soups or other semi-liquid foods, consider placing their bag IN a tupperwear for the first day or so. I made black bean soup a few weeks ago, set it on the wire rack, and let it freeze for a few days.

Little did I know, the soup weighed the bag down and it went down in between the rungs. I nearly broke my finger trying to dislodge it!!!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I would be so lost...

...without foil casserole dishes!!!



Normally I use reusable materials when cooking at home, but when taking a casserole to somebody's house, this is the perfect vehicle! I use these at home sometimes for freezing meals, too.  I have heard you can use a glass dish, lined with foil, freeze that, and then after a day, take the casserole out of the dish and voila, the foil supports/holds it in. I will have to try that, not that that's completely earth friendly either.

Anyway, you can find these at the grocery store- 2 or 3 for around $4.50.  Great invention!

Make Your Own: Breakfast Burritos

Here's what we had tonight.

Egg and Bacon Breakfast Burritos


breakfast


POINTS® Value:    7
Servings:  2
Preparation Time:  10 min
Cooking Time:  10 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy
Bacon and scrambled eggs are rolled up in tortillas, baked and then topped with sour cream and avocado. A nice change from a bowl of oatmeal.




Ingredients



2 serving(s) butter-flavor cooking spray   
3 large egg white(s)   
2 large egg(s)   
2 slice(s) Canadian-style bacon, finely chopped   

1/4 tsp dried oregano   

1/8 tsp table salt   

1/8 tsp black pepper   

3 Tbsp salsa, drained of excess liquid before measuring   

2 large burrito-size wheat flour tortilla(s)   

4 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream   
1/8 medium avocado, ripe, cut into 2 wedges   

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat.

  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites and eggs. Add bacon, oregano, salt, pepper and salsa; stir well.

  • Pour egg mixture into prepared skillet; increase heat to medium. Let eggs partially set and then scramble using a spatula. When eggs are set but still slightly glossy, remove from heat.

  • Spoon half of egg mixture into center of each tortilla. Roll tortilla to conceal filling, making sure to fold in ends. Place burritos, seam-side down, on prepared baking sheet. Bake until burritos are very hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve each burrito with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1 slice avocado.

Notes

  • For a breakfast on the go, fill a toasted whole-wheat pita half with the scrambled egg mixture, sour cream and avocado.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Baby Food Grouped

Check out this nifty poster from Wholesome Baby Food!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Make Your Own: Ham, Egg, and Cheese Bake

Ham, Egg and Cheese Bake....

DELISH!




 As you can see above, I took a slight detour by adding tons of veggies. If you don't know how I roll by now, let me tell you. I'm like the Sneaky Chef, but I'm not sneaky at all. I'm Captain Obvious. My veggies are all out in the open but they are plentiful and they are yummy!

I added green bell pepper, red pepper, broccoli, and a few mushrooms- all that were sauteed beforehand.  I used the leftover ham from mac and cheese last week, and used two different cheese blends, mainly because I did not have enough!



  • 6 Servings
  • Prep 15 min
  • Bake 40 min

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 slices white bread, crust trimmed and discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 8 ounces sliced deli ham, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
Veg out
Skip the ham and swap in an extra layer of sliced tomatoes.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Layer the bread, ham, 2 cups cheese and 2 tablespoons chives in the dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour into the dish and top with the tomato slices in an even layer.
  2. Bake the eggs until nearly set, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon chives on top and bake until golden.


Baby A ate this as a finger food and devoured it. The hubs and I both enjoyed seconds;)

Thanks, Rachel Ray!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Feeding Baby Green




This is the book that started my love affair with food and feeding my daughter.  Dr. Greene wrote an easy to read, packed full of information book that is divided by stages/ages (pregnancy, breastfeeding, first foods, etc).

The whole premise of this book is ---if you feed your child only bland mass-processed jarred/boxed/blended foods, then you may end up with a picky eater on your hands.  The idea is to feed your baby real food- with real textures, real colors, less preservatives, real spices....and the list goes on.

My girlfriend fed her baby "real" food from the start and I am continually impressed by the food she eats!  At three, she would sit at preschool with her homemade portobello mushroom pasta, while all the children next to her ate: lunchables, chicken fingers, and mac n cheese from a plastic container.  Every. Single. Day.  The next day, little T would bring in an indian inspired meal, while her neighbors chowed down on bland, salty, nutritionless "kid" meals.  I knew I wanted to raise my child like that and begged R for help. At my baby shower, she gave me some books that I still refer to now and then!

Baby A is currently 9 months and eats everything you see on this blog.  Naysayers keep telling me that she will be picky as a toddler just like their kid, which I hope is not true, but we shall see! For now, so far so good!!!

I bought my book from Amazon.



Thanks infibeam.com for the image.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bento Boxes....ummmmm it's so....small?!

A reader just emailed me, excited that her bento box arrived, but shocked at it's small size. You read the dimensions online and think okay, cool, and then it comes and you're like, oh my, that is small. But it's so cute. And totally doable.  I am not doing anything amazing with mine yet, but I hope to get more and more creative with them as time goes on.

For now, I use my bentos to create well-balanced, colorful meals. 

Example- Snack for Baby A:
1 mozzarella cheese stick, a silicone cupcake holder filled with diced tomatoes.
Or halved blueberries.

For myself, I might take celery sticks, carrot sticks, and pepper strips with a container of light ranch tucked in. Baby A might take the same meal, but it would all be diced and no dressing (only because you can't really dipped diced veggies in dip)!

I try to plan meals that lend well as leftovers so I can take it for lunch the next day. If I am taking soup, I skip the bento and throw it in a tupperwear.  If I am taking yogurt, I leave it in it's container. When I pack eggplant parm and pasta, I can't fit a huge amount of eggplant OR pasta in, and that's okay. I don't need several servings for lunch, just once. In the other box (top layer), I'll pack veggies/fruit/nuts.  I have yet to be unsatisfied by a meal I have packed.

I did a websearch for bento meals to see what I could come up with.

Check out two by kastinkerbell:


The second one is an italian lunch, and the first is dumplings and veggies. Very simple, very easy. That reminds me, I should do something way cooler with my veggies- look a those pepper stars!!!
She probably used something like this to cut.


I am not completely sure though, as that opening looks tiny. If you know, please enlighten me!


How much would a child love this?
 

This looks like mainly rice and veggies...


From flickr.
This omelet was colored with Betty Crocker food coloring MARKERS!  I have no idea where to get these but they sound amazing!




Sometimes, Baby A's top box looks as simple as this...but with cheerios.
I will fill the top with cheerios for her to snack on throughout the day at babysitting. The bottom will have fruit, veggies, and/or cheese.  Then I will send a baby Tupperware with soup, pasta, or something else substantial.


Ok this is just cool!


Lastly, PBJ!




You don't have to kill yourself with these, have fun, and create colorful meals!

When looking for inspiration, google bento boxes OR laptop lunches.


Send me your pictures!

Kawaii Bento Boxes- Cute and Convenient Japenese Meals on the Go





Several of my friends have expressed interest in purchasing bentos and I'm pretty sure that two of you have! Here's a really cool book to help you figure out what to put in your boxes.  I bought it but have not explored it yet.  The book is easy to read and is laid out nicely!  If you take on the bento challenge, please send me pictures!!

You can find it here for purchase.


Have fun!

Thanks lunchinabox.net for the pic!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Freezer Tip

I always try to label food with contents and the date it was made.

Note to self- next time write legibly.  To my defense, I wrote this at the end of my insane cooking day, my hands were wet, and Baby A was READY to be "all done" with cooking! :)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Make Your Own: Mac N Cheese

This is one of the best/easiest Mac 'N Cheese recipes I've ever tried. Okay fine, it's the second. Ever.  Once I made it though, I had no reason to continue my search. I found it last year when I was pregnant and for the life of me I cannot figure out where I got it from...so if you know please email me so I can give credit! 

This freezes beautifully and makes a wonderful meal for a friend in need of meals. I made two this weekend- one for a family member who just had a baby. I omitted the ham and instead took a pack of hot dogs and buns.  The other was for elderly family friends who have been ill. 


When I make this for my family, I always add peas to up the nutritional value. Baby A LOVES yummy combo and eats it as a finger food.  I have made it with cheddar cheese (the hubby's favorite) and with a 5-cheese italian blend.



 

Smac 'n Cheese w/ ham



Prep Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: serves 4
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
1/2 pound macaroni, cooked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk, heated
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large, ripe tomato, sliced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
ham
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375° F.
To make cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, add 1/2 cup cheese and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Put the cooked macaroni into the casserole, pour the cheese sauce over it, and mix gently with a fork. Top with sliced tomato and ham; sprinkle the remaining grated cheese evenly over the tomatoes and spread the crumbs over the cheese.
Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.


Variations:
Use a different kind of cheese.

Add peas.

Add chicken instead of ham.

Add ground turkey/beef instead of ham.


Any other ideas? This is great for the old and young.  Nom nom nom!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fast Food ... A Big UGGGGH

That and portion control are my two big weaknesses.  The hubs and I love to eat out at restaurants, and to grab coffee on the go.


Eating out is two-fold-sucko...you spend money and USUALLY eat poorly.  Sure you can get a salad, but be careful what goes in it, you could end up consuming more fat and calories than if you had a huge burger and fries. Boooo!



Generally I do my best to make a good decision- like at my favorite Mexican place- I get something that "can't be THAT" bad for me.  Uhhh I looked up the stats on the best website ever- Dottie's Weight Loss Zone and was pretty saddened to find:
 860 cal/33 g fat/5 g fiber/98 g carbs 19weight watcher points

I did weight watchers a few years ago and I THINK I was allowed to consume 22 points per day (does that sound right?).
Those 19 points do not include cheese, beans, guac, OR chips on the side. I yi yi.






My husband and I love to get breakfast sandwiches on weekend mornings, though we haven't in a long time because I cannot justify eating that much fat/calories for breakfast.  At a restaurant that shall not be named here's our fave sandwich. 
Sausage Egg Cheese Bagel Sandwich (660 cal/35 g fat/3 g fiber/63 g carbs) 15.5 
Crap, that's a LOT of freakin' fat.



As we teach preschoolers about eating healthy, we often tell them foods fit into two categories: 
good foods / sometimes foods


That sandwich should = a never ever food. Eesh.


But it tastes so good!

Last week I stopped at good old Wawa for some cash to pay the sitter. Never one to resist a hot cup of brazillian coffee, I filled up a cup. While I was walking to the register, I was tempted. I was hungry. Everything smelled so good. It was a cold day--soup would be good! Even better, mac and cheese!  Maybe a shortie hoagie? Be strong. Be strong. Be strong!


What did I get, you ask? I got a VEGGIE SNACK!


It had broccoli, cauliflour, carrots, and celery with some light ranch dip.
It  was 130/cal  7g/fat  3g/fiber
The fat was in the dressing, so I tried to go light on it


What are your tips and tricks for eating out?  Where do you go? What do you get? 








Bento Accessory Alert!

Target has silicone cupcake pans in heart shapes that fit in the bentos! This is much more the size I was looking for originally when I purchased some a month ago.



The yellow is from allthingsforsale.com, the pink from target. It will fit much more food in there:)  The one on the left will still be great for Baby A's portions, as well as for dips for us.


They are selling for $9.99/12. Not too bad considering they will last a very long time!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly Menu

I'm trying out a few new things this week- an easy chicken casserole and a beef barley soup. I will update with how they turn out!

Baby A tried asparagus today and enjoyed it!  I made 2 batches of mac and cheese, 1 chicken casserole, and beef barley soup. YUM!

Spicing up 16 Bean Soup

For those of you who don't know (JEN J!), you can buy a bag 'o beans at the grocery store- usually 15 or 16 different beans to make soup with. The directions are right on the bag- it's pretty easy!  You do have to soak the beans overnight so plan ahead with this meal.



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I made some yesterday and was surprised that it came with a chili seasoning. That excited me, but I was not totally pleased with the lack of oomph it provided.

Here are some ways we like to add flavor to our soup...

1. Use chicken stock instead of water (shoot for low fat/sodium)
2. Add ham
3. Add ground turkey (cook it first!!)
4. Add other veggies (celery, carrots, onions, whatever else you enjoy)
5. Experiment with other spices---taco seasoning, curry, cumin even!
6. Add tomatoes


Last week, I added ground turkey and the veggies. Maybe I diluted the seasoning too much by adding extra broth and other ingredients?

Baby A loved it. I spoon fed it to her and was careful of the larger beans (sliced them in half with her spoon).



Sunday, January 17, 2010

10 Best Foods You Aren't Eating

Eesh. If this were a test I would fail. I think the only food I regularly eat on here is not a food- cinnamon.
How about you?

The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating

beets cabbageMaybe you should be eating more beets, left, or chopped cabbage. (Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times, left
(This post was originally published on June 30, 2008, and recently appeared on The New York Times’s list of most-viewed stories for 2009.)
Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores. I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice.
  1. Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.
    How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.
  2. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
    How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.
  3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
    How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.
  4. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
    How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.
  5. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Just drink it.
  6. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.
  7. Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
    How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.
  8. Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.” They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.
    How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.
  9. Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,” it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
    How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.
  10. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies.
    How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.
  11. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.
    How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.
You can find more details and recipes on the Men’s Health Web site, which published the original version of the list last year.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Feeling, smelling, tasting



Eating with a baby is such a fun adventure. I make a point to prepare A's food in front of her. If it's something that needs a lot of preparation or blending, I generally have her in her high chair in the kitchen. Otherwise, I take it all into the dining room and prepare it right on her tray.

We always make every attempt to do the following steps together:

1. Touch the fruit/veggie. Even though she is young (9 months old), I describe it to her.  I try to explain what we are about to do- "The skin is hard, we are going to cut it open so we can smell and taste the juicy fruit inside!"
2. Smell it. Describe how it smells.
3. The best step- TASTE it!

These pictures show Baby A exploring and tasting kiwi- she loved it!






Friday, January 15, 2010

Crock Pot Meat for Babies

I don't know why I hadn't thought of this yet--but what a great idea.  We just made chicken in the crock pot and it was a much nicer consistency for A!




Meats in the Slow Cooker are Great for Babies!

From Wholesome Baby Food

January 12th, 2010 

I made pulled pork in the slow cooker yesterday (or was it the day before..) and tweeted about how it reminded me that this is a great way to make meats for babies.  On our Meat Recipes and Meats for Babies FAQ pages, I note that using the crock pot/slow cooker might not be the best way to prepare meats for babies due to their inherent stronger taste.  This is particularly true when you are just starting baby on meats.
Pureed meat is a bit icky as it is with the odd texture and taste; making it in a crock pot so that it soaks the juices and becomes “stronger” often makes babies recoil in horror!  It’s true, I hear it all the time and somewhere in my memory sticks, I have pictures of my own twins’ terrified faces to prove it.
Anyway, if your baby is getting adjusted to meats, it could be a good time to use the crock pot and slow cook!  Using a slow cooker will make most meats soft, tender and easy to shred into bits and pieces.   You can toss the meat into the crock pot and add any liquids and herbs and spices you desire.  You can also add veggies and lentils and other legumes too!  Give this tasty pork recipe a try!
1 pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
1 cup water or low sodium natural chicken broth
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
shake of pepper
shake of nutmeg
1 small onion, finely diced
Add tenderloin to the crock pot.  Mix water and juice together and add the pepper and nutmeg, stir then pour 1/2 of the liquid over the tenderloin.  Turn the tenderloin over and add the rest of the liquid.  Add the onions and garlic and stir it up.  Turn the cooker on low and cook for approx. 6 hours.
When done, remove the tenderloin to a cutting surface and then shred with a knife and fork – much like you would do when “pulling pork”.  Please ensure the size of the pieces you offer your baby don’t pose a choking hazard.
Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

10 Rules to Live By

Awesome post by Cheap, Healthy, Good.




1) Seek information.
Read. Research. Watch. Absorb. Flip on your interweb button and learn about food. Get facts from experts, health professionals and reliable sources who know what they’re talking about. Gather good data and apply those numbers and strategies to your own situation. Do not let advertising make your decisions for you.

2) Ignore dumb fads.
A good rule of thumb: if it sounds like something your crazy co-worker would try, keep on walking. This includes master cleanses, herbal laxatives, TrimSpa wannabes, apple cider vinegar diets, grapefruit diets, chicken soup diets, cabbage soup diets, that godforsaken cookie diet, and their ilk. As mentioned above, these are often dangerous, pricey, and based on bum science (when they’re based on any science whatsoever).

3) “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Of all the theories I’ve heard on healthy eating, Michael Pollan’s credo seems to be the most reasonable and potentially effective, not to mention the most conscious of the financial, environmental, and social consequences. Let’s break it down.
EAT FOOD: consume whole foods and/or products with very short ingredient lists. “Don't eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.”
NOT TOO MUCH: check your portions.
MOSTLY PLANTS: eat less meat. Increase your produce intake. Serve more whole grains.

4) Cook.
By cooking at home, you regulate portions, control ingredients, spend less money, and reduce wasteful packaging. It keeps you out of restaurants and fast food joints, where serving sizes are much larger than they were 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. So, experiment with dinner. Learn how to use a knife. Pick up How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. A few minutes in the kitchen could save you a few years of heartache down the line.

5) Get up and move.
To lose weight and keep it off, you must consistently burn more or as many calories as you ingest. This is an unassailable fact, and means some degree of daily exercise, probably for the entirety of one’s life. Use it or lose it, folks.

6) Drink water.
It’s been estimated that soda makes up 10% of all calories in the American diet. That’s practically enough for its own food group. Plus, USA Today and Yale University say: “[Soda drinkers] do not appear to compensate by reducing calories somewhere else in their diets, so they tend to pack on extra pounds.” By replacing pop with water, you’re cutting calories and hydrating your body in a healthy way.

7) Kill your TV.
According to the National Institute of Media and Family, “children who watch more than three hours of television a day are 50 per cent more likely to be obese than kids who watch fewer than two hours.” If TV is that detrimental to kids, you know it can’t have a spectacular effect on adults. Same goes for your computer and/or Playstation. That’s time you could be cooking, moving, socializing, learning, reading … you get the picture.

8) Have breakfast.
The National Weight Control Registry is a reputable organization that monitors people who have kept 30 pounds off for at least one year. (On average, it’s 66 pounds for five-plus years.) Of those successful individuals, 78% eat breakfast every single day. It prevents overeating through the rest of the day, and “may leave the subject with a better ability to perform physical activity.”

9) Remember: everything in moderation.
Are you a cold turkey kind of person? More power to you. But lots of us are baby-steppers, and when we attempt to overhaul everything at once, it results in massive burnout. So, unless it’s a medical crisis, take baby steps. Change your behaviors a little at a time. Don’t starve yourself. Work your way up to more intense exercise. You may not even notice the difference after awhile, because it’s become such a part of you.

10) Don’t diet.
Change your lifestyle. The vast majority of successful dieters gain the weight back, maybe because he very word “diet” implies a temporary modification of habit, as opposed to a lifelong adoption of behaviors. For weight loss to work, it’s gotta be for the long term.

So true, so true. I know all of these are important steps, though it can be easy to forget one or two sometimes!  What are your tricks and tips?






[pic from here]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Make Your Own: Tomato Curry Lentil Stew

In my on-going quest to expose my family to new and delicious healthy foods, I tested this recipe last week.  Baby A enjoyed this soup immensely---so did we! We had it for a few meals and ate wheat bread with olive oil as a side. Once day, I served a cup with a side salad. The three of us had never had curry and were a little hesitant but I am happy to say we all loved it.

ps-Want to elicit weird looks from your babysitter or mother-in-law? Feed your family this soup and live to tell about it:)


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 ounces stewed tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped, with leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine lentils and water, bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat to simmer, add tomatoes, onion, and celery. Cover and let simmer 45 minutes. Check every 15 minutes to stir, and add water if necessary. Add spices last 15 minutes to taste. Taste and re-spice if necessary before serving.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 200 | Total Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 0mg

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