Tag Archives: meal planning

Are You Losing Your Mind?

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In the first large, population-based study of its kind, a team of researchers has found a link between vitamin D consumption and the risk of developing dementia. Older people who do not get enough vitamin D could double their risk of developing the condition. Similarly, younger people who do not consume enough vitamin D increase their risks of developing dementia later on.

Vitamin D is important for the body’s immune function, growth and repair of bones, and normal calcium and phosphorus absorption. It can be obtained from fish, milk, eggs and cheese. oily-fish

Dementia is a collective term used to describe the problems that people with various underlying brain disorders can have with their memory, language and thinking. Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and most common disorder under the umbrella of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is believed to currently affect 5.3 million Americans. It is most common in people aged over 65, in which a tenth of the population has the condition, but has been known to afflict individuals as young as 40 years of age.

The authors of the study, published in Neurology, state that low concentrations of vitamin D are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Worryingly, there are high rates of vitamin D deficiency in older adults – the group most at risk from developing dementia.

The CDC report that one third of the US population do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, with 8% of the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure and foods such as milk, eggs, cheese and fatty fish.

The study could provide a good starting point for this area of research. “Our findings are very encouraging and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.” New deitary guidelines are supporting eating vitamin D rich foods once a day and oily fish a minimum of once a week.

 

 

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Lock Me Up And Throw Away The Key

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I often hear that Organic, Clean, Healthy eating is too restrictive, too much like a permanent diet. I have to chuckle, especially when some naysayer actually sees what I eat.  So here’s me being completely open about my day and what goes in to my mouth.  What better day to choose than Monday.  here’s my menu. once you see it, leave a comment and tell me if you think my “diet” is TOO MUCH LIKE A DIE-T. (I’ll even be sweet and include some recipes, since I love cooking these and that means I know what goes into my meals)

 

Breakfast:granola_1

Low-Fat Winter Fruit Granola

Makes 24 1/4-cup servings

  • 4 cups regular rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried pears or apples
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 4 drops ginger essential oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the oats and bran on a large baking sheet.
  3. In a small pan over medium heat, stir in the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract. When the mixture begins to bubble, pour it over the oat mixture and mix well.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes. Add the almonds and stir the mixture thoroughly. Continue to bake until the oats and almonds are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes more, stirring again halfway through.
  5. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Bake until the oats are crisp, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the oven, and stir the mixture. Let the granola cool for 5 minutes, the stir again.

Storage: When the granola is completely cool, you can store it in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

Mid-Morning snack:

TSFL  Blueberry muffin mf muffin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch:

     Sweet Potato, Fennel & Olive Salad with Crispy Kale & Quinoasweet salad

Serves 2

– 1 large sweet potato

– 1 cup of cooked quinoa

– 2 fennel

– 5 kale leaves

– 1 cup of pitted green olives

– 6 drops Lime or Lemon essential oils

– virgin olive oil

– cinnamon

– paprika

– rosemary

– sea salt

The night before marinate the fennel, Start by slicing off the spiky top and the very bottom edge, then cut the rest into slithers. Place it in a big glass bowl and cover with the essential oils, sea salt and olive oil – there should be enough liquid in there from the oils to ensure that each fennel slice is coated. Then leave the bowl in the fridge to soften.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then cut the sweet potato in half, into slices and then into bite sized cubes. Place these in a baking dish with olive oil, sea salt, cinnamon, paprika and rosemary – stirring everything well with your hands to ensure that all sides of each cube is coated in deliciousness. Then bake for 30 minutes, stirring them once or twice during this time.

While the sweet potatoes bake cook the quinoa.

Chop the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and two or three minutes before the sweet potatoes are cooked add the leaves to the top of the baking dish with a little extra oil and salt.

Once the kale is crisping up remove the baking tray and mix everything together with the quinoa, fennel and olives.

Mid-afternoon snack:

     TSFL Chocolate Browniebrownie

Dinner:

     Green Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 4enchiladas

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled in salted water until tender
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • 1 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed
  • 4 oz chopped green chiles
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, spray with cooking spray and, over medium-low heat, saute chickpeas, onion, tomatoes, oregano, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Saute 5-6 minutes over medium-low heat or until all liquid from tomatoes has evaporated, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetable broth, Greek yogurt, kale, chiles, and scallions.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 casserole or baking dish. Lightly cover bottom of the dish with 1/2-3/4 cup of the sauce.
  4. Heat corn tortillas by wrapping the stack of them in aluminum foil and placing them in the preheating oven for 5-7 minutes or by microwaving them covered with a wet paper towel for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir 1/2 cup of cheese, chicken, and oregano oil into the chickpea mixture. Add heaping 1/2 cups of filling to one end of each tortilla and roll up or fold in half placing each one seam side down in the prepared casserole dish.
  6. Pour kale sauce evenly over top of enchiladas.  It will be very liquidy, but don’t worry, it will thicken as it cooks. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the enchiladas. Bake for about 25 minutes until bubbly all over. Allow to sit for five minutes before serving.

Evening snack:

TSFL Chocolate Mint ice cream  icecream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it.  That’s my meal plan for today This is pretty typical eating for me. Healthy, flavorful, and organic/fresh. Now tell me…  Does your DIE-T look like this?

 

 

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry Over “Rice”

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stirfry
Ingredients:
1 pound raw beef round steak, cut into strips – you want 10 oz cooked  (2 Lean)
1 tbsp + 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce (5 Condiments)
1 Splenda Packet (1 Condiment)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup broccoli florets – should yield 1 cup (2 Greens)
1 tsp sesame or olive oil (1 Healthy Fat)* Note Below
2 cups cooked, grated cauliflower (4 Greens)
Directions:
Toss steak with soy sauce and let sit 15 minutes.
Heat oil over medium/high heat and stir fry beef for about 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. Add broccoli, water and Splenda. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until broccoli is just starting to turn tender, stirring occasionally.
Add beef back in and warm thoroughly. Serve over grated, cooked cauliflower.
*If you are on my program, the food values are listed beside the ingredients

Spiced Crockpot Pot Roast

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Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs (40 oz) raw, boneless beef chuck clod roast (should yield six 5 oz cooked servings)
6 cups (1 1/4 lbs) whole mushrooms, trimmed
3 cups (7 to 8 large stalks), celery, roughly diced
3 cups green beans, trimmed
2 cups (12 to 14) scallions, roughly chopped
Crockpot Spice Blend:
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
potroast
Directions:
Trim all visible fat from roast. Rub black pepper and garlic onto roast; place in crockpot. Make several small slits in top of roast. In a small bowl, combine remaining spice blend ingredients; pour over meat. Cover; cook on low 6 to 8 hours or  on high 4 to 5 hours. Add vegetables during last 30 to 60 minutes of roasting.

Shrimp Salad

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shrimp saladHow about a shrimp salad for your dinner tonight! All on my weight loss program!!

7 oz shrimp
1/2 cup tomatoes
1/2 cup(cooked) broccoli
2 T Light Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1/2 cup shirataki noodles
1 T diced red onions
1 tsp lime juice (Fresh)

Mix all together and enjoy. Add sprinkle creole seasoning (or season salt). The best part about shirataki noodles is that they count as a vegetable! You will find them in your produce section. Remember to rinse them (they will have a slight fish smell, but are made from Tofu, but that will COMPLETELY go away when you blanch them for 3 minutes.

Veggie Pizza

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Love Pizza? Me too. But I try to limit my gluten and cholesterol intake.  When I tried this version I was in heaven.  Meet the Cauliflower Crust Veggie pizza.  Yum!!!

cauliflower_crust_pizza-291x437

Ingredients

Non-stick spray
2 ½ cups grated cauliflower (about ½ a large head)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup homemade or store bought tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup basil leaves, for garnish

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Grate the cauliflower using a box grater until you have 2 cups of cauliflower crumbles. Place in a large bowl and microwave for 7-8 minutes, or until soften. Remove and let cool. Mix in the egg, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the prepared pizza pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

Top the pizza with the sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top with basil before serving.

Chunky Soup

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chunky soupHere’s a treat for today. I stumbled on this low-calorie, low-sodium, low-fat, high-fiber, high-energy, gluten-free soup. This is my latest passion when it comes to my Lean & Green meals. I pair it with a spinach and avocado salad. Yummy. Bon apetit.

This chunky soup is low in calories yet surprisingly satisfying. It tastes delicious hot or cold.

1 head garlic
3 pt. cherry tomatoes
2 large bell peppers, cut into ½-inch chunks
2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch chunks
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup crookneck squash, cubed
4 Tbs. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Rub papery skin off garlic, and cut off top of head to expose clove tips. Place on square of foil, and drizzle with 1 Tbs. water. Wrap garlic, and roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until soft.

3. Toss tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, crookneck, and oil with paprika in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread on 2 baking sheets, and roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until vegetables are browned and tender, stirring once. Cool 10 minutes.

4. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into bowl of food processor; add half of roasted vegetables and 1 cup water. Blend until smooth, then transfer to large bowl or saucepan. Pulse remaining vegetables in food processor until chopped, then stir into puréed soup with vinegar. Warm, if necessary.

STORE/SERVE Refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Serve hot or cold.