Posts Tagged ‘food’

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Whoa…Chicago

February 18, 2013

So here I am in Chicago for over a week on mini vacation first and then Ome work tomorrow. Trying to stay true to my new lifestyle is TOUGH in this city! Sauce and butter and breaking oh my. Not to mention the massive amounts of bakeries here. So far I’ve done well, not great but ok. I just got back from the store so I could stack my room with “safe” foods so that should help. My wife went back home this morning so the bakery stops will stop. 🙂

I guess though that no one is perfect and I’m learning or at least trying to learn not to obsess over every little failure of will. At least I’m having a grass fed bun-less burger with a salad for lunch. Back on track!

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A Little Mexican Can’t Hurt, Right?

June 8, 2012

Went to a new Mexican place last night. Second night this week of eating out so that’ll be it for a while. I had what is basically a stone bowl with grilled steak, shrimp and peppers so it wasn’t that bad. I think I’m going to immerse myself in Mexican cooking for a while and see what I can come up with. More to come.

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Restaurants and “Healthy” Food

June 6, 2012

What I’m learning is that basically, eating at restaurants a lot is simply not good for you. I know, I know, stop the presses and issue a full alert. My lovely wife and I used to eat out ALL the time, 5 sometimes 6 days a week because, well, it was easier than cooking even though we both love to cook, go figure. I’m not talking about fast food restaurants either, I’m talking about local places and a few chains (very few, we stayed away from a lot of them). You would think we would’ve been doing okay by staying local and out of the chains, as I’m learning this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I have always liked to taste my food along with the spices and herbs that complement it. I never needed a lot of fancy sauce or large amounts of condiments to go with it, just food, a little spice and sometimes butter. Mostly I would order from the “from the grill” section that most places have some version of, thinking that would limit a lot of the sodium, fat, etc that gets added with extra sauce. Again not because I was worried about that sort of stuff but because I like to taste my food and not a salt lick. As I look through some of the nutritional info of even some of our favorite local places I am kind of horrified with what I’m finding.

Salmon and Rice, in my head was pretty healthy but when you pack on 500mg of sodium and the added butter (or variant) the lower calorie and fat content is virtually wiped out. This is the same with a lot of the “grilled chicken” salads even before you add the horror show that is salad dressing offerings in restaurants. When I think back to all the stuff I used to eat it makes me wonder (given what I know for sure now) how I ever stayed at even the large weight I was. This stuff is basically poison (and no I’m not being overly dramatic) and I was eating it almost every day, sometimes for every meal. I’m pretty sure I’m not a dumb person, well mostly sure anyway but revelations like this make me wonder.

Again I’m learning things that I’m pretty sure I always knew but just kept hidden from myself. I do enjoy food again, I can actually taste it and I don’t feel as if I’m drowning in a bucket of thick oil after I eat. You know that feeling, just after you eat, where there is this coating in your mouth and runs down your throat, right? Come on, I can’t be the only one with that feeling. Anyway, I’m sure eventually I will eat out at places more regularly than I am currently and I hope that by then I’m smart enough to make much better choices than I used to.

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Baked Eggplant “lasagna”

June 5, 2012

Brown some ground beef (or chicken, I used chicken for the one in the pic)

Slice up some fresh eggplant

Spray some butter substitute in the pan (I use this stuff called Olivio because I can pronounce everything in it)

Open a small can of tomato sauce (I typically make my own these days but the canned stuff from Amy’s is serviceable)

After you brown the meat, drain it. Lay the eggplant slices in the pan and sprinkle some grated Romano cheese on the eggplant. Pour the sauce into the pan with the meat and stir until mixed up. Cover the eggplant with the meat/sauce mixture and add some italian seasoning to it (oregano, garlic, basil, etc) sprinkle with shredded or grated parmesan cheese and bake for about 40 minutes on 350 or until the eggplant is tender.

I have to admit this one was really good. 🙂

Baked Eggplant "Lasagna"

Baked Eggplant “Lasagna”

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Food Companies Are Out To Get You

June 5, 2012

One thing I’ve learned so far in my journey is something I’ve always known in the back of my mind…food companies only really care about themselves and not their customers. I will pick on General Mills for a second, mainly because I always loved their cereals. They sold $14.9 billion  worth of their wares last year making a profit of $2.9 billion. Do you really think it matters to them if they lose a couple of Cheerios eaters along the way? It doesn’t, not one bit. The Cheerios eater can die or change their lifestyle or whatever and General Mills does not care, why? Because they are a giant soulless, lifeless corporation! That’s why! Do I honestly believe that they have mad scientists sitting in labs figuring out how to kill people with the large amounts of sugar in their cereals, yes, I mean no, of course that’s probably not true but where there is smoke, there is fire.

Cheerios (and yes I’m a former Cheerios addict) is one of the better cereals out there, health-wise and it’s a giant trap for diabetics and folks seeking to lose weight. The total carbohydrates in a serving (1 cup) of Cheerios is 20 grams. That isn’t a lot when you compare it with their other cereals. Chocolate Lucky Charms, for instance has 24 grams of total carbs and its serving size is 3/4 of a cup. When is the last time you were able to eat 3/4 cup of cereal? See the game that’s being played? They aren’t consistent about serving sizes even across their own products, it’s not a lie, certainly but it’s clearly an attempt to mislead. I was completely ignorant of this before I started really paying attention to labels and the way foods are made.

I’m not one of these crazy hippy “get back on the farm” types but you really do need to develop a relationship with your food. Understand where it comes from and how it is made. If you saw where cereal was made (never mind sausage) you might never eat it again either. I’m not talking about going to a farm and slaughtering a cow but you should understand where that cow is being slaughtered, how it was taken care of and more importantly how it was handled after slaughter. I think if I understood this fully before, a) I would’ve stopped eating meat and b) would’ve been a lot skinnier in the first place. I’m learning that it is just super important to really grasp where you food is coming from and how it relates to your body than just about anything else nutrition-wise. In the next couple of posts I’ll explore nutrition labels and why, as my nutritionist says “those are just places for the companies to print lies”

Anyway, thanks General Mills for being a good sport and really I loved your cereals for many years but I’ve moved on and so should you. I picked on them because Cheerios was an addiction of mine but there are a lot of cereal manufacturers out there with even less morals and even bigger lies. The bigger picture though is that of personal responsibility, I know folks who eat cereal for every meal and are just fine, their bodies can handle it, if yours can’t then it is up to you to make smarter choices (I’m learning this the excruciatingly hard way). If you’re like I am trying desperately not to be anymore and think “well they wouldn’t make it or advertise it that way if it was really bad for me” then you need to really examine your mindset. I was addicted to eating Cheerios for breakfast (and sometimes dinner) but no one forced me to, I ate way more than the serving size but I was the one pouring it into my bowl. The least we could do is make it tough for these companies to pick us off.

Sources: http://www.generalmills.com/Media/NewsReleases/Library/2011/June/earnings_4_q_f11.aspx

http://www.cheerios.com/Products/Cheerios

http://www.generalmills.com/en/Brands/Cereals/LuckyCharms.aspx

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Fish is Good Food

June 4, 2012

One of my favorite foods has always been pretty much any kind of fish. Since beginning my journey I’ve been experimenting with a few different methods of preparing it. Top of my list is salmon (responsible fishing is important so pay attention to labels and countries of origins!). If you take some lemon juice, horseradish sauce, fresh thyme, fresh basil and sliced tomatoes, put them over the fish, wrap in foil and bake for about 25 minutes it is delicious and tender! Tomorrow I’m going to be making some local Lake Erie favorite Walleye. It will be my first time making it (I know right?) I’ll let everyone know how it turns out.