Cooking · Food · Health and Nutrition · Uncategorized

Getting Back to the Basics

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In the last year or two I have tried to get into more of a clean eating habit.  While I got amazingly off track, I did stick with a habit or too.  I have all but eliminated high fructose corn syrup from our diet with a few exceptions.  Those exceptions are as treats though and not daily foods.  I have turned more to locally grown or produced food sources like the farmer’s market and my own backyard.  I have also taken to trying to eat seasonally – what would have been available at specific times of the year when I was child.

The eating seasonally is the hardest to do because I do not really remember what was naturally available at what time of the year anymore.  So I went off track – way, way, way off track.  Processed food is much easier to cook and serve after all.  Pop it in the microwave and *poof* you have supper!   But with warm weather hear again, I am starting to bring back the good-for-you, good tasting foods.

One thing that has helped is a free online course from Standford regarding children and nutrition that I am taking.  It has made me get back to the basics of eating.  This has benefited my family because it has gotten me into the kitchen again.  We now start the day with a healthy, home-made breakfast that is just as fast as stopping by the corner store to buy something processed with 26 ingredients!

It is so easy to get overwhelmed with our food choices and trying to figure out a menu and what to serve that we forget about the important part.  That part is the family togetherness.  Food used to be a social thing, now it has become a hit or miss thing for my family.  The course I am taking is helping me to bring it back to a family thing again.  Instead of concentrating on diverse menus and intricate planning, I am just picking up simple foods and cooking again.  Wholesome, nutritious and most of all, good tasting foods using simple ingredients.

What are you doing to stay on track – or get back on track if need be?  What are your tips for staying focused without getting overwhelmed?

Cooking · Food · Health and Nutrition · Uncategorized

Cooking With What’s on Hand

Image     I was so hungry today as I was driving home from church that I almost stopped by a fast food place to pick up something to eat.  Something stopped me.  I kept thinking about all the fat and wasted calories in fast food and how much I needed to get back to eating better again.  I also thought about my pocket book, which is very thin at the moment being a full-time student and all!

     So I told myself to make do with what I had at home.  It isn’t like my pantry is bare.  I have canned tuna, beans, sardines, tomatoes, soup and the list goes on.  I even have fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden and fruit from the farmer’s market.  I decided I could make something fast, healthy and good tasting from those ingredients.  And I did!  

      I chopped up a yellow (Rose Beauty) and a red tomato (Uncle Lou’s Underground Railroad) from my garden, added a cucumber from there also.  Then I put in a can of tuna, tossed it all with dried herbs, EVOO and balsamic vinegar!  I meant to pick some fresh basil to chop up in there too, but forgot to cut it.  I enjoyed my salad with a side of cantaloupe that I got from the farmer’s market.  I’m already thinking of making it again and adding white beans and onions that I have.

Image      So my challenge to you (and me!) this week is to see how many meals you can cook from the ingredients you all ready have at home.  I will still be going to the farmer’s market for fresh produce, but instead of stopping at the local fast food joint or buying something at the grocery, I’m going to look in my cabinets and see what I have on hand to add to my produce and make most of my meals this week.

      Eating nutritiously doesn’t have to break the bank or take all day to cook.  I am guilty of letting my food go to waste more often than I like to admit or buying something fast and processed to microwave instead of utilizing what I have.   Let me know what you make this week and I’ll check back in with you on my success!