Monday, February 23, 2009

The Healthy Fridge

This is part 2 of my "Healthy Kitchen" trilogy. This is just a basics list - you can certainly add or subtract as you see fit. These are items that I try to keep on hand at all times. Some of them, like the fresh veggies, fruits, and dairy products will probably have to be replenished once a week or more. Others you can keep on hand until they run out!

Supermom's Healthy Fridge List

- low-fat milk (whole milk for kiddos under three, if you please)
- reduced fat cheese (I find that 2% cheese is much more palatable than fat-free, and there's
really not that much of a difference)
- Eggs
- yogurt

- ham
- roasted chicken or turkey cold cuts (low-sodium 100% natural READ YOUR LABELS!!)

- lettuce
- tomato
- cucumber
- carrots
- celery

- apples
- grapes
- stone fruits (such as peaches and plums)

- low-fat mayo or salad dressing (i.e., Miracle Whip)
- ketchup
- mustard
- dill pickles (slices or spears)
- pickle relish
- Salsa
- low-fat salad dressings (we like ranch, french, balsamic vinaigrette, and Russian)
- olives
- roasted red bell peppers
- pickled vegetables

Of course, there are almost always a few leftovers, and specialty items not on the main list for specific meals (if you eat things like asparagus or Brussels sprouts daily, go ahead and add them to your list, though (-: ).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Taste the Rainbow!

"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth . . . "
Gen. 9:13 (KJV)
When God said these words to Noah, He established a covenant with man that He would never again bring destruction to the entire earth by the means of water. This was also giving Mankind the responsibility to take care of itself, so to speak. When he replenished the earth with people (through Noah's family), He also replenished it with animals and vegetation. Colorful vegetation.
Those in Noah's time ate this vegetation no questions asked. They ate because God gave it to them. They really didn't have much choice. To that end, I guess it's not really fair to say that God gave them ALL that vegetation - we actually have more of a choice now than in Noah's time. But the premise still remains the same.
See, in Noah's time, they didn't have goodies like multivitamins and protein shakes. They had to get their nutrients through the food they ate. That's how God designed our bodies. That's also how God designed our food.
The Skittles people have it right - "Taste the Rainbow". But the rainbow shouldn't be in the form of artificially flavored fruity candies. Quite the contrary - the Rainbow should be God's bounty!
We can get most, if not all, of our daily vitamins by ingesting foods from every color on a daily basis!
Here is an excerpt from PERSONAL HEALTH; The Color of Nutrition: Fruits and Vegetables by Jane E. Brody of the New York Times:
Red, including tomatoes (especially cooked tomato products), pink grapefruit and watermelon, which are rich in the carotenoid lycopene, a potent scavenger of gene-damaging free radicals that seems to protect against prostate cancer as well as heart and lung disease.
Red/purple, including red and blue grapes, blueberries, strawberries, beets, eggplant, red cabbage, red peppers, plums and red apples, which are loaded with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins believed to delay cellular aging and help the heart by blocking the formation of blood clots. Dr. Heber includes red wine in this category.
Orange, including carrots, mangoes, cantaloupe, winter squash and sweet potatoes, rich in the cancer-fighter alpha carotene, along with beta carotene that protects the skin against free-radical damage and promotes repair of damaged DNA.
Orange/yellow, including oranges, peaches, papaya and nectarines, which provide beta cryptothanxin, which supports intracellular communication and may help prevent heart disease.
Yellow/green, including spinach, collards, corn, green peas, avocado and honeydew, which are sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These are strongly linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of preventable blindness in developed countries.
Green, including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and bok choy. These are rich in cancer-blocking chemicals like sulforaphane, isocyanate and indoles, which inhibit the action of carcinogens.
White/green, including garlic, onions, leeks, celery, asparagus, pears and green grapes. The onion family contains allicin, which has antitumor properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. Dr. Heber includes white wine in this category.
With these facts in mind, maybe it's best for us to all turn to what God has given us to consume!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Healthy Freezer

This is the first post of a trilogy - the other two are The Healthy Fridge and The Healthy Pantry. I think I am posting this for myself as much as for anyone else, honestly. To get it through my own head that these items are what I need to have on hand at all times.

So, based on my own research and a LOT of label reading, I have deduced that these items are great to keep on-hand for quick, easy, healthful meals.

So, without further ado, here's The Healthy Freezer

Supermom's Healthy Freezer List

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts/tenders (1 lb portions)
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 lb portions)
Extra Lean ground beef (93/7) (1 lb portions)
Ground turkey breast (1 lb portions)
Turkey or Low-Fat smoked sausage
Turkey or Low-Fat Italian sausage

Stir-Fry mixes

Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)

Frozen Puff Pastry

It's a small list, but I feel fairly easy to keep up. If anyone can think of anything else to add, feel free to comment or email me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Breaking Free from Bondage

If any of you have read Dr. Rita Hancock's book "The Eden Diet", you know all about her description of food as "bondage" keeping us from Christ. I never thought about this fully until yesterday.

I wonder about the hold food has on me.

See, I LOVE to cook - I love to make people happy with my culinary creations. I love to invent new recipes, dissect old ones, and re-create classics. I love the challenge of making something fattening and unhealthy a better choice. I collect cookbooks - it's one of my greatest hobbies. I am a food network addict - especially their reality shows. In fact, I fantasize about one day sending my audition tape in and becoming the "Next Food Network Star".

So where does that leave me? Without food, what do I have left? It has been such a huge part of my life, I have to ask, can I REALLY let go? WHAT can I immerse myself in if not food?

Then God spoke to me. He said "Why can't you immerse yourself in ME?" (See, God knows every once in a while I need a good swift kick in the butt . . . )

And I realized - he doesn't want me to GIVE UP my hobby. He just wants me to LOOSEN MY GRIP on it so that I have MORE TIME FOR HIM!

SO, this morning I changed my morning routine a little.I always have what I call "Coffee with God" where I have a cup of coffee, read the bible, and pray. This is usually a 15 minute venture.
Well, this morning, I lengthened it to 30 minutes. Just 15 minutes more. See, that extra 15? I would close my bible, open one of my coveted cookbooks and read recipes. This morning? I read more of my bible.

Then God led me to Ecclesiastes 5:10 : (KJV) He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. It took me a few minutes to realize what God was telling me. I mean, what does FOOD have to do with SILVER? Then it hit me - DUH! It was an analogy (for me) - SILVER and ABUNDANCE refers to FOOD and GLUTTONY in my life. Or, specifically - COOKING!!

The first commandment tells us - "Thou shalt have no other God's before me"
I didn't realize until this morning that all this time I have been worshipping the god of food.
Thank you Lord for new epiphanies and revelations.