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eat at home

Eat at Home!

eat at home
wrap filled with hummus, quinoa, shredded carrots and shredded apples, quick sautéd kale and dash of balsamic

In our fast paced, hurry up, glued to our devices world, eating at home may seem like too much of a hassle. There is no food in the fridge, the cupboard is bare, so eating out seems like the best thing to do or maybe you just don’t want to eat at home. But eating out brings a lot of extra calories to most people’s plates, through extra large portions and saturated fat. Now don’t get me wrong, we all need some fat, but most of us are eating way, way, WAY too much and when it comes to restaurant food, the giant portions stack nicely against your middle and thighs.

Time seems of the essence always, however, when taken into consideration the time taken to buckle everyone in the car, drive to a restaurant, reverse the process, go in, be seated, order and eat, then load up and unload again, a meal could more than easily have been prepared at home in half the time and for a fraction of the cost and let’s face it, for a lot less hassle.

HOW?? you ask?

Just a little preparation one day a week can make eating at home the easiest and least costly means of filling the bellies of a hungry family. If junk food has been on the menu for many years, changing old habits is not going to happen overnight, but with a little planning and preparation, dinner can be on the table any night of the week in thirty minutes or less.

Here are some tips to make Eat at Home happen:

1. Plan ahead. Sit down one day a week and do some internet research for recipes that fall into the thirty minute category OR buy a cookbook of thirty minute recipes OR google certain ingredients until a recipe that sounds appealing pops up. Make a menu for the week. 

2. Look at the menus and list all ingredients needed. Don’t forget breakfast, the most important meal of the day, and items to pack a lunch. Once all ingredients are listed, make a shopping list and go forth and shop. 

3. Spend an hour or so cutting veggies, making salad dressing or sauces if so inclined, and organizing for easy access. 

4. Each evening, go over the next day’s menu and be sure everything is ready to go.

5. Involve the family by having those old enough make their own breakfast, prepare their lunch box, and in the evening, everyone gather in the kitchen to pull a meal together. Kids can set the table and clear it afterwards. When adults both work outside the home, both should be involved with dinner, by either preparing or clean up, but none of this should fall to one person. 

People who avoid processed foods, eat at home, and focus on healthy choices like lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, will lose weight and be healthier than those who eat in restaurants or rely heavily on fast foods, whether they be boxed items used at home, or eating out fast food. And don’t be fooled into believing eating out is cheaper. Yes, there are times one meal at a fast food restaurant might really be cheaper, but in the long run, to eat at home will be much more cost effective, not only to your wallet, but to your health as well.

Follow my instagram campaign, #eatathome for quick dish ideas. Check out my recipes here on the website too.

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Peace and Joy!

Unknown

What’s up with Kale and Juicing?

Good morning from Lubbock, Texas! I thought I arrived in Hell yesterday, it was so hot. A whopping 100! On June 1st, no less! Keep in mind this comes from someone who lives at 7000 feet where mornings are so cool I have to wear my leggings and a blanket to have my tea outside. Going to be a hot summer here in West Texas!

So a friend sent me this opinion piece from the New York Times the other day: Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead. Yikes! Kale is the super star of the veggie lover’s world! What’s up with this? As a Certified Health Coach, I know a lot about Kale and other cruciferous vegetables and their potent health benefits; however, I recently began reading about hypothyroidism and these very vegetables. Seems that there can be some side effects to anything that we over indulge in and Kale is no exception.

cruciferous veggies

So here’s the thing: we are not meant to juice on a regular basis. OMG, did I just say that? I will be crucified by the juicing world, but I believe this to be the truth. When veggies and fruit are turned into juice, depending on the juicer, the results are no fiber or very little remaining in that juice you gulp down. This can leave you hungry in a short time and deprives your body of the work it should be doing to retain the miracle of the vegetables and their wonderful fiber, minerals and vitamins. Also, eating a wide variety of vegetables is always in your best interest because we obtain different vitamins and minerals from each.

Here’s the skinny, , taken from the Oregon State University Micronutrient Information Site, on why the kale and cousins have contributed to the hypothyroidism mentioned in the NYT article:

Very high intakes of cruciferous vegetables…have been found to cause hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) in animals (68). There has been one case report of an 88-year-old woman developing severe hypothyroidism and coma following consumption of an estimated 1.0 to 1.5 kg/day of raw bok choy for several months. Two mechanisms have been identified to explain this effect. The hydrolysis of some glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables (e.g., progoitrin) may yield a compound known as goitrin, which has been found to interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. The hydrolysis of another class of glucosinolates, known as indole glucosinolates, results in the release of thiocyanate ions, which can compete with iodine for uptake by the thyroid gland. Increased exposure to thiocyanate ions from cruciferous vegetable consumption or, more commonly, from cigarette smoking, does not appear to increase the risk of hypothyroidism unless accompanied by iodine deficiency. One study in humans found that the consumption of 150 g/day (5 oz/day) of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.

In other words, the amount you eat has more to do with the results you obtain than the veggies themselves. Don’t make a poison out of your medicine. Here’s what to do:

1: Cook cruciferous veggies. Cooking reduces the goitrogenic compounds found in kale and the other cruciferous vegetables, i.e. broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy and Chinese cabbage.

2: Eat a variety of veggies and don’t juice on a daily basis. Super juicing should be reserved for cases of cancer or other disease where high doses are needed to boost your immune system or for an occasional detox.

3. Be sure and get a daily dose of iodine. Iodized salt was introduced to our diets many years ago to help us avoid hypothyroidism. With the demonization of iodized salt, it’s possible you might be lacking if you eat a vegan diet. Add to your daily diet seaweed and/or iodized salt. 1/4 tsp of iodized salt will provide plenty. Check out this source for more on iodine and veganism.

kale

Kale and it’s cruciferous cousins really are super foods and as long as hypothyroidism is not an issue, it can be eaten on a regular basis. The key, as with all good things, is to not overdo it.

•Kale, with it’s high calcium content, supports strong bones.

•Kale boosts the immune system because it is rich in vitamin C.

•Kale helps protect us against cancer because of it’s antioxidant richness.

•Kale is high in iron for blood and energy levels support.

•Kale is packed with fiber and thus is good for digestion.

WOOHOO! Kale can stay!

Kale on my friends!

If you like this post and want to share the news with others, please share. Thanks!

Peace and Joy!

Beat Diabetes

Say bye bye to low carb diets!

 

 

I am stepping out on a limb here, but the low carb diets making the rounds these days may be killing you. Eating mountains of meat is going to push your cholesterol levels up and cause serious heart disease symptoms. Now before you send me hate mail, let me temper this with a few things. First of all, only one in three people will experience the high cholesterol rise. You could be one of the two who doesn’t see this occur. Great. But have you had your levels checked? Are you checking them often enough to monitor this occurrence?

Next, a lot of people on the low carb (yes, I’m talking primal) are still junking it with their diets. What I mean is, they are eating cheap meat and meat of all kinds, instead of choosing high quality, no hormone, no antibiotic, what the animal was meant to eat, meat. If you want to eat like a caveman, then eating meat raised in feed lots is NOT giving you a caveman diet. AND, are you eating your veggies? Lots of them? If not, your missing out on the nutrients you need to stave off disease and heart attack.

Now, one more question for you: Ladies, in caveman, hunter gatherer societies, did the women eat the same way the men did? My theory, based on why so many women have trouble sticking with the primal diet for any length of time and staying healthy, is that women were the gatherers, you know, seeds, berries, root veggies, and while the men were out on a hunt, they ate a lot more of what they gathered than of the meat that might or might not have been brought back to camps. Is my theory crazy? No more than the whole primal theory really.

I am advocating for you to eat healthy. If you are eating meat, then make it the best and in small quantities. There is research that shows more than 10-12 ounces a week is likely to send you into the danger zone. Ramp up the veggies no matter what your diet and eat your GOMBBS! (Greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, berries and seeds/nuts). Eating is definitely a personal choice. Make it the healthiest choice and say bye bye to low carb diets!

To learn about programs that prevent diabetes and a change in diet that will have you losing weight and feeling great, check out my Prevent Diabetes Programs. Gain your Ultimate Health!

Beat Diabetes

Are you gambling with your life? 3 Steps for Beating Type II Diabetes

We are easily lulled into complacency, thinking Type II Diabetes won’t happen to me, but upwards of 70 million people are walking around with pre-diabetes and YOU might just be one of them. Odds are pretty good if you are overweight, don’t get much exercise, and eat the typical American diet of fatty foods, sugared drinks, and few, if any, vegetables and fruit.

Want to up your odds of staying healthy and beating Type II Diabetes? Here are 3 steps for beating Type II Diabetes:

1. Eat your veggies! farmer's market veggiesI know, I know, you hate vegetables, always have.You were forced to eat mushy over cooked vegetables as a kid. Don’t know what to do with them when you buy them. They are expensive. Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be that way. Take your time and introduce yourself to a new vegetable recipe each week until you have built a repertoire of recipes you like, then start crowding them in to the daily diet until your diet is mostly plant based. This aids blood sugar levels in lowering and begins to lighten up the fat load in your blood cells. Going completely plant based is even better, but if you can’t go there, then lower your meat and dairy (combined) consumption to no more than 10-12 ounces a week. That’s not much, but more than that and you up your odds of Type II Diabetes, as well as heart disease. When you cut back on the meat, there is more resources for vegetables, not to mention that they are a lot less expensive than drugs.

2. Add 150 minutes a week of exercise to your life. That’s roughly 22 minutes a day. Think you don’t have time? It’s a lot less time than sitting in a doctor’s office for weekly appointments, blood tests, and possible hospital stays. Movement is Medicine. Make it yours!

3. Include healthy grains and legumes in your diet. Whole grains, such as barley, rolled or steel cut oats, brown rice, and other whole grains, along with a cup of legumes every day help keep blood sugar levels low and balance out the diet.

Lower your risk of Type II Diabetes and avoid being one of the 70 million people lining up in the doctor’s office.

Need some help beating the odds? Sign up for one of my programs and I’ll walk you through the changes needed for a life time of healthy eating habits and a healthy lifestyle. Beating Type II Diabetes is my goal for YOU!

 

 

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The Sugar Diaries: Laziness

snackfood

sweets

Though Thursdays are usually My Santa Fe blog, I decided to continue with the Sugar Diaries on a topic I mentioned yesterday: why are we eating so many foods with labels? All the items in the snacks above came in packages with labels, and most have multiple, not so good for you ingredients. BUT, the package is easy to open, it’s lying right there in front of you on the counter top or just inside the cabinet door and it’s easy to grab, pop open and gobble down half the package. Am I right? You know it! I call that the laziness factor and believe me I’ve been there, done that! But there is a way to beat the lazy factor. First and foremost, avoid buying snacks of any kind in packages, unless there is just one ingredient listed. Second, when you arrive home from the grocery store with pretty fruits and veggies, don’t relegate them to the vegetable drawer cause you know what’s going to happen. Two weeks later you have a funny smell emitting from the fridge every time you open the door since you never bothered to eat them. Instead, wash, cut, and present in bowls or bags right in the middle of the fridge so when you open the door, they’re easy to grab.

Too rushed for even that? Then buy bags of little carrots, sliced apples, sliced pineapple, berries, or celery already prepared so you need do nothing.

The laziness factor hit me square in the face the preliminary day before I started the sugar program. We received samples of a new “power bar” at work and even though I brought almonds and carrots for a snack, I was too lazy to go back to the break room and dig them out of my locker. Instead, I opened that bar up and ate every bite without even glancing at the label. I have been very aware of my actions since that moment. I am doing quite well on the program. No sugar since Friday. Being accountable to someone is really helping.

Need some accountability in your life? Contact me at: jane@janeannthompson.com for a free health and wellness consultation. Let’s talk about beating the lazy factor and getting healthy. I will be offering a pre-diabetes program soon. Watch for it here!

Peace and Joy!

farmers market vegetables

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd!

Trying to change eating habits is tough, but here’s a method that can get the ball rolling: crowding. Crowding out the old foods with new is a great way to help the taste buds adjust to nutrient packed vegetables and fruits. Start by adding one vegetable or fruit at any time throughout the day. Having a candy bar in the afternoon? A vanilla latte? Add a fruit or vegetable to the mix. After a few days, add another and another. The idea is that as you acquire a taste for healthier foods, the old, less healthy favs will be much easier to drop from the daily diet. Give this a go and let me know how it works for you!

Peace and joy!

Vegetable Provencal

Friday Foodie: Vegetable Provencal

Martegues boats

I recently returned from a trip which included the Provence region of France. This picture is on the L’Isle of Martigues. The colors, the sunshine, the countryside, all beautiful, but most of all, the food was delicious! Today’s Friday Foodie is inspired by the food of Provence,  as well as by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe, Eggplant Provencal. Her cookbook, Appetite For Reductionis a new fav for me. I’ll review this book as soon as I try out a few more recipes. So far, all are wonderful! I changed her original recipe by adding lots of the different vegetables of the region.

Though there is a lot of chopping and slicing going on, this is actually a very easy recipe. I hope you will give it a go!

Slice a baseball size fennel into thin slices.

Fennel
Fennel
Sliced Fennel
Sliced fennel

Half a medium size onion, red, yellow or white, whatever you have on hand, in half from stem to root. Slice each half into thin slices. Chop carrots into 1/2 in slices. I used orange and purple carrots. Slice a zucchini into 1/2 to 1 inch slices. Dice an eggplant into 3/4 inch chunks.

chopped veggies, eggplant, carrots, zucchini and onions

Chunk a large yellow potato. Yukon Gold are nice if available.

Yellow potato in chunks

I used a bag of mushrooms and 1/2 cup of red lentils, though any kind of lentils will do.

mushrooms and red lentils

Chop some Kalamata olives. I used about 1/2 a cup.

chopped Kalamata olives

There is red wine in the sauce, which meant the chef had to have a small glass. It was the middle of the afternoon when I made this and thought a full glass might be over the top!

glass of red wine

Then add the liquids to the vegetable mix.

vegetable provencal liquid and veggies

The liquid should almost cover the vegetables, so add more broth if needed. Add more wine to the cook if needed.

And Voila!

Vegetable Provencal

I served this on a bed of brown rice, seasoned with Herbes de Provence and garlic. Delicious!

Friday Foodie: Vegetable Provencal
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Provencal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dish is inspired by the vegetables and flavors of the Provence region of France. It is a hearty dinner served over brown rice.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut in ¾ in chunks
  • 3 medium carrots of any variety, cut into ½ in slices
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 bag of sliced cremini mushrooms or baby bellas
  • ½ c dried red lentils
  • 2½ tsps dried thyme
  • 1½ tsps dried marjoram
  • ¾ c of dry red wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ c finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat a 6 quart pan over high heat.
  2. When a drop of water will skate across the bottom of the pan, add 2 Tbs. water.
  3. Add sliced fennel and onion.
  4. Turn heat to medium and saute for 5 mins.
  5. Add garlic.
  6. Continue to saute for five more minutes.
  7. Add the mushrooms, and saute until they release their juices.
  8. Add salt and some freshly ground pepper.
  9. Add the bay leaves and stir for another minute.
  10. Add eggplant, potato, carrots, zucchini, red lentils and spices.
  11. Mix together so all ingredients are interspersed.
  12. Add the wine and vegetable broth.
  13. Broth should almost come to top of vegetables.
  14. Add more if desired; it's okay if some veggies are poking out.
  15. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
  16. Simmer for 20 minutes and then check the potato, carrots and lentils.
  17. If all are fork tender, add the olives and tomato sauce.
  18. Continue cooking until heated through; about five minutes.
  19. Remove the bay leaves.
  20. Add salt to taste.
  21. Serve over a bed of brown rice that has been flavored with Herbes de Provence.

Travels with the Friday Foodie: Oslo

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I had a visitor in my room yesterday, all the way up on the tenth floor, which in USA means the eleventh floor. The little bugger was exhausted, but I “helped” him back out the window before he had the chance to revive and use his stinger!

Eating healthy on the road can be tricky, especially in Europe where pastry is the easiest breakfast to find, but I am finding some gems here and there, and last night was one for sure. We ate at Cafe Saracafe Sara where they serve a bit of everything, though seem to have a Turkish emphasis. I started with an eleven dollar glass of house red wine, yikes, but house in Europe is usually a very good wine, and this was no exception! For my meal I had vegetable kebobs!

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They were grilled soft and had a light sauce that probably was made of yogurt. The side salad had a dressing of lemon and maybe a hint of oil. The rice and veggies were perfect together, but I only took a bite of the pita bread. Surprisingly, it was a bit bland and didn’t seem worth the calories. And this is one of the secrets of not over eating on the road. If something is not absolutely delicious, cast it aside and save calories for the treats you know you will allow yourself, which for me is some incredible pastries and of course…CHOCOLATE!

Healthy is always possible, but knowing there will be allowances made makes for a more realistic and enjoyable experience!

What are your tricks for traveling?

Peace and joy!

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