Archive for the ‘Food Niblets’ Category

Chew on This – Weight Watching While Living On The Edge

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Weight watchers, here are a few ideas I have gathered up and tested over the years that you can use at home without spending a bunch of money or energy. Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and these recommendations are not for everyone. If you have special needs, take care…always see your doctor about any dietary changes. These ideas are just my own experiences and I am sharing them based on that fact only.

Anyone visiting certain areas of the Middle East will find that they may be offered a cup of hot mint tea. Mint is a favorite herb
for many culinary uses as well, but the reason I like it is because it chases away those winter blues. I often drink a cup of
peppermint tea, chew a piece of doublemint gum or have a chocolate mint patty…Pearson’s is the famous Made in Minnesota brand.
Wintergreen mints are also a nice uplifting treat. Use mint or a little mint treat instead of candy bars or whatever big calorie item you might use to chase the winter blues away. Note, I only chew about one third of a piece of gum at a time. Also, the dentist told my mom it’s good to chew gum for the gums.

Teas with Chamomile as a base…be sure and read your tea ingredients on the box of tea bags you use. Many teas have a chamomile tea base and that may not be good for dieters because chamomile is an appetite stimulant and acts as a calmative…sometimes the brain thinks the calm is low energy and wants food to fuel activities. it might better to drink tea minus the chamomile when you are watching your weight.

A nice squeeze of fresh lemon, and a dash of honey in a six or eight ounce glass of water between meals or twenty minutes before a meal can really serve to reduce hunger and help make smaller meals more filling. That or an apple may help. Change up with a little bit of pickle or apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Lemons can be cut up into pieces and frozen for weeks for your convenience.

For several years, I have been using the 400 calorie meal for 4 meals per day (1600 calories per day for moderate activity). I would do three sensible meals and then 400 calories for healthy treats. It has worked well, but I find that now that the habit is firmly established, and I don’t mean to say there weren’t a couple of times per week when I had a full fledged meal with numerous calories to stave off the feeling of being completely denied, I can actually skip a meal here and there when I am actually not feeling hungry.

The good thing about the 4-400 calorie meal plan is that it helps to keep the body’s metabolism up and even throughout the day, given that the food is good quality food and not a lot of empty processed calories. And, if you can get to the point where you feel like skipping a meal two or three times a week, you can save a couple of pounds a month…which I translate into saying you can save four pounds per month, because not only are you loosing two pounds, you are not gaining additional two pounds.

The bad thing about the 4-400 calorie meal plan is that I tried to make your goal even if I wasn’t hungry without realizing it. So now, I don’t do that, and I might loose a few pounds over the winter instead of gaining and then having to really watch it closer int he spring. Learn from my mistakes!

Another great way of watching it, the weight that is, is to change your food up everyday. Here are some examples of how to do this easily.
For your carbs, do rice one day, brown rice another, potatoes another and pasta another and wild rice another. Now remember that not all rice is created equal, you’ll have to read the container. For your protein, eat eggs one time, beans another, red meat another, chicken or fish another. Mix up your veggies, as well. Salad one day, mixed hot veggies another and then throw in a veggie juice or celery soup another. The reason for this is beside getting the recommended variety of foods, your body will not store foods unless it thinks more of the same is coming. Your body will tend to throw off the excess of any new food. Go at least a few days without eating the same food.

When eating pasta, throw in some whole wheat pasta with the regular pasta. It’s tastes great, is better for you, but doesn’t overdo the fiber thing.

I once lost quite a few pounds drinking pomagranite juice for a couple of days in addition to my regular diet. Don’t know why.

I did try the three glasses of milk per day and I did loose belly fat, but I couldn’t keep it up because I am not a big fan of milk.

At home, I try to eat as much high quality food as possible, but I do love my junk food. Avocados, bananas, berries, peas, carrots, fresh greens, potatoes, 12 gran bread, sour dough muffins,fish, chicken and pasta with tomato sauce make up about 80% of what I eat. The other 20% is frozen pizza and hostess cupcakes. I drink water or tea 95% of the time. Then I go for dinner out a couple of times per week, and save half of whatever I eat for the next day.

If you like what I have read, and want to help me back, buy a card from me so I can buy my husband a nice birthday present. And 10% of my card earnings go to Red Cross Disaster Recovery Aid.
go to;

bonus tip, if you have stayed with me so far…and you have…
use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate for your main meals
to fool the eye and stomach that you are getting a full portion…
that way, seconds won’t be so naughty!

good luck!

Salt Talk

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

First of all this has nothing to do with global arms talks of the late 60′s.

This is me blogging about salt in food.  Not the naturally occurring salt, but yeah, maybe that, too. I mean to talk about the evils of table salt. I have been speaking to friends about eating out at restaurants, one of my fav subjects as you may well know.  What I have uncovered is an unwillingness to go out as much as people age.  When I push the issue, I find out that people are concerned about their salt intake.  Many of them, and me, swell up after eating salty foods.  Mostly around the waistline, but in other places, too, like the face, hands, feet, ankles.  Need I say more.  No, I need not.

I do not own a salt shaker.  I use salt to gargle once in awhile.  My palate, taste buds, and brain are all attuned to a salt free, natural flavor of foods.  Even bland potatoes are delicious to me, just as they are.  I am not a super taster, I have fairly normal buds for a person my age.  I love spicy foods, too.  But once the salt is sprinkled or tossed or dumped in, mostly all I taste is salt.  Then, I get thirsty, then my cells swell, and I say, I cannot order that soup, or sauce, or sandwich again, while it’s bathing in salt.

Like many of you, I have watched PBS chefs do their tv thing for years and almost always they put a pinch or a dash or a teaspoon of salt in every dish.  Even ice cream has a ton of salt.  The only thing I really have ever liked salt on once in awhile for fun is cantalope.   That’s it.  Yet, they insist it makes the flavor of the food come out.  Not.  It covers the flavor.  (It acts as a preservative, too.)

If you are a chef, a cook, or a household person who creates exquisite food dishes for your family, friends and self, please heed these words.  Please offer a salt free alternative for every salty dish you serve.  People can put their own salt in dishes at the table.  Please don’t salt us up anymore!

Funny story.  Me and dh went into the old Monte’s and I ordered French fries without salt.  So the waiter brought over my fries, I tasted them, I felt them and they had salt on them.  So,naturally I sent them back.  Please, no salt this time!  Okay, another batch comes to me and I say, hey these STILL have salt on them, taste them yourself.  He did and agreed, yep, salt.  So the third one came.  Still salty I said.  The waiter said, no, I watched the cook.  NO salt.  OMG!  Potatoes are naturally that salty, at least certain varieties from certain unknown grounds!  OMG.

Some food is naturally salty.  Most processed food has salt in it.  So, we should get enough salt without addition.  There was an old time deal where people didn’t get enough iodine for their thyroids, and so salt was a way to get that because it was added commercially.  But nowadays, well, my thyroid is fine, so more should be researched about that, but maybe ask your doctor if you can do without salt because the theory behind all this is that salt swells cells (say that three times real fast) and swollen cells are more susceptible to invasion by stuff you don’t want in your cells.

Also, chefs want to know if they are doing something wrong.  It doesn’t help business if people complain about a restaurant, so I will tell the waitstaff  or the chef directly if something is wrong.  It’s my money and my body.  I take control in a kind way, and make things better for everyone.   I invite you all to join me in this activity whenever necessary.  And your bonus for reading to the end, is that honey is an anit-inflammatory agent.  How far that goes, well I seem to notice the difference after drinking a cup of tea or my homemade lemonade with a tablespoon of honey in it if I’ve gotten an extrra unwanted dose of salt previously.

Fried Egg Sandwich

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Fried Egg Sandwich

Some of you might remember the old timey diners where you can stop in for a quick fried egg sandwich on white or wheat toast with a hamburger pickle slice on top and a cup of coffee for $1.95 plus tax and tip.

Sometimes, late at night, when I am a little hungry after a light dinner,
I think about the new and improved modern fried egg sandwich, one with two 3/4 inch slices of fine toothed and sturdy, evenly and lightly browned toast, an easy over egg fried in a pat of real butter with a slightly raw egg yolk that drips just enough to leave a little puddle on the plate in the middle of the two sandwich halves. Then a thin slice of white American cheese, the real kind. Next, several two inch pieces of thin to medium thick bacon, very meaty, somewhat crispy, not too flexible, not too salty. Add a very thin slice of seeded red tomato, and finally a bit of shredded greens. Nothing to tear into, but an incredibly tasty combination of egg, bacon, tomato, cheese, and greens in between two slices of toast that feel like one delightful element with slight variations. The sauce, only butter and yolk, and only a little bit. Pepper, maybe, sometimes. To me, it is the classic of all classic sandwiches.

Now, serve that with a nice green salad and some iced tea or black coffee and you have a food lover’s dream meal.

You can make that at home for a couple of dollars. Or you can go over to the Northfield Golf Club and let Raphael and his team make it for you. Enjoy all the service, lovely view, and nice getaway from dirty pans and dishes…at a slightly higher fee. Or you can just lie in bed and dream about the classic fried egg sandwich.

Farmer’s Market

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Seventh Street, east of Water St. Northfield, MN Open Air no Phone See signs for times on Tues, Friday and Saturday around noonish.

I finally got to the Farmer’s Market this year. We have been so busy and forgetful at times! our Bad!

I bought the best tomatoes I have tasted since, well, I put them in the top three times I have had great tomatoes. Big, red, juicy, meaty, not too many seeds tomatoes for slicing, for salads or for eating like an apple, or making salsa.

I also got a red pepper with so much flavor. The best ever. Congrats to Northfield Farmers!

Then I saw a huge white mum plant. I love white flowers and have white lilacs and white hydrangeas, and white daisies in my garden. This was only $8.00, compare to $18.99 at CUBs. No comparison. Thanks!

The Farmer’s Market runs through October, depending on the frost date, and then there will still be items like potatoes, squashes and maybe eggs, honey, etc. In the winter they have held Saturday mornings over at the Red Barn off Hwy 3, once a month. Watch for that.


Thursday, August 28th, 2008

The New York Times has a nice article on figs. It’s a

healthy food that is much overlooked.