Author: Time2Thrive

Healthy Recipe? …NOT!

Yesterday, I got the above in a newsletter from our health insurance company, and I was intrigued… Until I read the fine print, and I realized that they basically just sabotaged their clients with REALLY bad information. This is what I think of this “healthy recipe advice”. First rule: Don’t be fooled by “sugar free”. So, several things jump out at me here: It uses sucralose, which is NOT HEALTHY OR OK. Sucralose has been associated with all kinds of issues, from decreasing gut flora (the good bugs that help you), to breaking down into harmful chemicals when heated, to causing brain fog, to increasing insulin and glucose levels in already obese people. (Yes, obese people using Splenda have a blood sugar and insulin increase despite it being “no calorie”. Study here) At this point, in 2019, the only artificial sweeteners I personally use are monkfruit (100%, no other ingredients) or stevia leaf (again 100%, no other ingredients). Both made from natural plants. This cake has 3 ¾ cups of ALL PURPOSE WHITE FLOUR! WTH? …

What hunger REALLY means.

One of the things I teach when I do my Food As Medicine Classes is that hunger doesn’t just mean you’re hungry, it means MUCH more. Your body is giving you a signal it wants MACRO and MICRONUTRIENTS! In fact, I use this slide: An article in a recent Huffington Post was so well written, I’m going to link it below. Please read it. It hopefully will change the way you look at junk food. And it explains why you can eat a large meal of junk and still be hungry! Here’s Why You Don’t Feel Full After Eating Junk Food You can eat an entire sleeve of Oreos or a bag of Hot Cheetos and still not feel satiated. It’s because your body knows things your brain doesn’t. By Katy Severson 03/05/2019 09:25am ET You’ve just eaten 10 Taco Bell tacos and a frozen Mountain Dew and you feel… suspiciously still hungry. You’ve consumed about 1,880 calories, but your body isn’t satisfied. What’s happening? Studies show that satiety, the mechanism that stops us from …

Easy Chicken Soup

Today we went down to make lunch and we had two chicken breasts that we had baked yesterday. I try and buy the ones with the bone in and the skin on so that they have a bit more flavor than the ubiquitous boneless skinless chicken breast. Which reminds me of the time our middle son, as a toddler, asked me at dinner “Mom, how did they get the bones in this chicken?”  Do you think we’d had boneless skinless too much?  Eeek!  We burst out laughing.  Those were the days when chicken fat was evil. Not any more.  My husband looked at me and said “it’s too cold to have chicken salad” which is our go-to lunch for cooked chicken. He asked if there was anyway we could have soup, and since I love making soup, we gave it a try.  He is my sous chef and chopper, so I am lucky! This recipe literally came out of my head and my fridge but it turned out so good I thought I would post …

Low Carb Confusion

There is so much confusion about low carb diets. The choice is individual. See how they compare, without the hype.

The Skinny on Oils

There is so much information on cooking oil out there, and so much confusion! On my coaching boards we discuss this a LOT, mostly because restaurants STILL think they are smart cooking with VEGETABLE oil. NO! Do NOT use canola, corn or soy! They are: not heart healthy they do NOT help your cholesterol they CAUSE inflammation they are NOT good for high heat cooking! So, with that in mind, what oils SHOULD you use? Here’s the lowdown, and it is pretty simple. The first question you should ask yourself is what are you using it for? If you are heating it to saute or roast, then only certain oils are safe. Many “good oils” degrade when heated, so you need to stay away from them. When I teach my “Food as First Medicine” class, I use this great graphic from The Academy of Culinary Nutrition: (original here) One caveat I would add: if you use butter or ghee, use only organic PASTURE RAISED butter or ghee. It is much healthier nutrition wise. For our …

Protein Labels 101

Organic vs. Natural vs. Free Range vs. Grass Fed: Making sense of labels on your protein choices. Natural“Natural” can be very misleading. The USDA defines a natural product as one that contains “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed.” Processing must not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a specific explanation such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed.” So, based on this definition, ALL fresh, raw meat qualifies as natural. Confusing? Absolutely. This term does not require that animals be raised in sufficient open space or indicate that antibiotics have been used prudently. It does not bar growth hormones. It does not mean organic. The term can mislead consumers to believe that a product is healthier and more humane than it is. OrganicFood labeled organic must be third-party certified to meet the USDA’s criteria. Organic foods cannot be irradiated, genetically modified or grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals or sewage sludge. Organic meat and poultry cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics (sick animals must be treated, but cannot be …

Abuse has many faces…

I hated tickling.  As a kid both my sister and I were tickled by my father whenever he wanted to do it.  And as small children, we realized we HAD NO CONTROL.  At first, for maybe 10 seconds, it was funny, then it became either terrifying or painful. And we had no say.  And here’s the important thing:  Our father, ANY father or grandfather can read our signals.  He could clearly see we were uncomfortable, but he ignored that. Intentionally. And we forget that these fathers and grandfathers need to understand (and be called out) that this is ABUSIVE. And like this young mother, we need to get strong in the face of family “oh it’s no big deal” and stand our ground. Doing something to another person’s body against their will is NOT OKAY.  This young mother and writer does an amazing job here of articulating this boundary.  I only wish I had had a mother who would have stood up for me this way.  Sadly, my mother was much like hers.  Complicit in …

Rebecca Katz’ Cozy Lentil Squash Soup

I LOVE Rebecca Katz.  Ever since I “met” her cooking (and her!) at Food as Medicine in 2010, I’ve followed her blog, read and bought her cookbooks and tried to cook “more like Rebecca”.  She is a culinary rock star, and so I am sharing her new fall soup.  I happened to have everything it called for:  green lentils, a new organic delicata squash, and kale.  (full disclosure:  someone at my house claims to HATE kale, but when I call it greens, sliver it cooked in soup, it gets eaten!  LOL).  I also LOVE the spice combinations in this, they feel a bit Moroccan to me! Read her post here:  Rebecca’s Cozy Lentil Soup with Squash PRINT the recipe here. MAKES 6 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 20 minutes • COOK TIME: 35 minutes Rebecca states:  “Silicon Valley has promised us that, someday, little nanobots will act like tiny microprocessors in our brains, helping to make us smarter. I say, Why wait? We already have a teensy food that does that. It’s the lentil, the vegetable …

Beets 101

A lot of people don’t know how to cook beets correctly, so they end up being tasteless blobs that turn your fingers red. This is a short, simple post on how to cook them correctly, which I learned from the PBS Victory Garden cookbook — which is one of the most comprehensive cookbooks on vegetables. Unfortunately I think it’s out of print. 😞 Here’s how to make beets so that they are not only completely tender, but extremely sweet. Cooking them slowly at low heat caramelizes the sugar in them and makes them taste almost like dessert. Roasted Beets This works for any amount of beets.  Our favorite are the golden beets. (yellow) Preheat your oven to 275º (yes, not a typo, only 275) I take a shallow pan, I use a ceramic one, and I cut the stems off the ends and trim any extra stuff. Do not peel them. Place them in the pan, and drizzle about 3 tablespoons of olive oil on top of them, I shake the pan around a bit …

Kale and Fennel Gratin Casserole

My husband hates kale.  Almost all kinds.  But he thought this was good. That should tell you this isn’t your average kale recipe!  I adapted this from my local organic farm CSA, and it was a hit at our house.  You can make it dairy free without the cheese, it just won’t be as thick.  Enjoy, it’s like a great spinach quiche sans crust. Fennel, Kale and Rice Gratin Gluten free, Low Carb, (can be dairy free, see below) Serves 4-6 click here for a PRINTABLE RECIPE large bunch kale, stemmed and washed (you can use curly kale, like above OR lacinto kale, which looks more like a flat big leaf  spinach, either one works.  I like the flat one best) 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped 2 medium bulbs fennel, trimmed, quartered, cored and chopped (about 2 cups chopped) Freshly ground pepper to taste 2 large garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup chopped fresh dill  (or 1½ T dried dill) 4 eggs ½ cup coconut milk (the kind in …

Healthy EASY Coleslaw

Steve’s Healthy Coleslaw Just in time for 4th of July! My husband has become vigilant in helping find healthy recipes and he loves coleslaw, so here is our version of the summer favorite!  If you like less dressing, use less, or make more dressing if you like your coleslaw “wetter”.  This is WAY better than the pre-made ones full of preservatives and chemicals!   Ingredients: 1 cup Vegenaise:  healthy alternative to mass produced mayonnaise, in frig section at most large stores, or you can use Olive Oil Mayo or best yet, your own homemade mayo! 2 tbl Dijon mustard 4 tbl apple cider vinegar 1 tbl pickle juice ¾ tsp kosher salt 1 tsp onion powder 2 tsp celery seed 16 oz organic coleslaw mix OR 1 medium cabbage shredded and 2 organic carrots shredded (or purple cabbage or any combo thereof) optional:  garnish with cilantro or even add some in Mix all ingredients and combine well, refrigerate for an hour.  Best made ahead, always a good thing!  Happy 4th of July!

Time, Aging and Sheep

As we rejoice in a new spring of green and flowers after a VERY long winter, I am forced to see the evolution of time passing resulting in changes around me I don’t want, or like. Changes one cannot ignore. In the last year my husband and I have felt loss a bit more personally than in other years.  Our last parent lost her battle with dementia, leaving us truly the “oldest generation”,  we lost one of our groomsmen from our wedding in a plane crash, another friend my exact age passed away without warning in her sleep; a friend who baked cookies for our family every holiday passed away, leaving a void of both a friend and a cherished tradition, and two friends lost their fifty-something husbands very suddenly the same week a year apart.  And that doesn’t count the friends battling chronic illness, sudden health incidents and/or facing their own mortality. For everyone, time marches on, even when you’re desperately trying to anchor it to not move. The immortality of being 20 or …