Friday, May 7, 2010

It's an evolving process

I have been doing a lot of internal questioning the last few days. It seems to be something that has come out of watching Food Revolution, Ruby, reading many weight loss blogs and events in my own life. While weight loss is what we are working for as a measurable goal, health is much more of the focus.While calories and fat grams and sugars are important, they are not the first things I think of when planning meals ( or the things the guys ask about or look for.) It has evolved into a quest for eating real, actual, nutritiously dense foods with minimal chemical additives because it best fuels our bodies. This is meeting a desire to keep our food budget down, in an attempt to rebuild the financial cushion that was taken with the purchase of the car. Are things like Arnold's Deli Thins really superior to homemade bread in monitored portions ? Is any "organic" cereal supoerior to home made granola ? Questions like this flow in my mind. Before we began the weight loss journey, I was making all of our bread products, baked goods, yogurt and more, because it proved to be more economical. Once we began weight loss I gave these up in favor of commercially made pre portioned pre packaged items. It worked until I began to question just what it was that we were putting in our bodies in the name of lower fat and calories. I am going to stop doing this, and learn how to make my own and portion it out accordingly. It should be easy after all this weighing and measuring of everything else. I am going to spend today baking and mixing and so forth as Bob is taking Nick with him to work and an event after work. I can refresh my memory without interruptions on some skills.

Yesterday's eats were as follows

Apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal for breakfast

Lunch-Split pea soup with peanut butter on homemade whole wheat soda bread ( in the freezer from March) , carrots and celery

Dinner- roast zucchini, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms with Sesame Braised Chicken and Cabbage

Sesame Braised Chicken & Cabbage

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts -- cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cups green cabbage -- sliced thin
4 cups finely chopped kale -- stems removed
1 medium-sized onion -- cut in half and sliced thin
1 TBS minced fresh ginger
2medium cloves garlic -- minced
½ cup + 1 TBS chicken broth
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 can diced tomatoes -- (15 oz) drained
2 TBS rice vinegar
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped scallion tops
1 TBS sesame seeds

Prepare ingredients as listed above.
Heat 1 TBS broth in a stainless steel wok or large skillet. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for another minute.Add chicken pieces and cook for a couple of minutes. Add turmeric, coriander, and mix with chicken. Add kale. Sauté for another couple of minutes, stirring constantly.Add ½ cup broth and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat covered for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add cabbage, diced tomatoes, and vinegar and simmer for another 4 minutes. Remove from heat, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.Serve sprinkled with minced scallion tops and sesame seeds.Serves 4

Tumeric is a very healthy spice ! It smells warm like ginger and orange but with an earthy sort of character.Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic. It gets it's yellow color from curcumin.Curcumin has anti-inflametory affects , which work the same as chemically produced substances like hydro-cortisone and Motrin. Unlike these substances, curcumin produces no toxic affects such as intestinal bleeding and decreased white blood cell count.It can provide inexpensive relif for conditions like arthritis, IBS, Cystic fibrosis as well as inhibit the growth of cancer cells.It also seems to help prevent different forms of cancer as well as Alzheimer's Disease.

I was hoping to head out for a nice walk by myself today, but the weather has decided this would be a great day for a thunderstorm with heavy rains. Looks like it will be hall walking between playing with a few recipies !


Diane Fit to the Finish said...

I admire you for going back to making your own breads, etc. One thing I love about your choices is how healthy you feed your family, and adding in small portions of great healthy breads just makes sense.

I've been toying with getting a wheat mill and grinding/making my own breads. I know it would be so much healthier for us.

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

I had a wheat mill years back, and it does make for a tastier, healthier loaf ! From my experience, unless you have access to whole wheat at a low cost ( 1 cup berries yields 1 1/2 cups flour, and there are 16 cups of flour in a 5 lb bag) it is not always the most economical move. I had to order mine , and the shipping cost became a serious factor. One other advantage with a mill is that you can create flour from beans and other grains, which can make a great variety in your loaves. Mine finally died after 10 years of almost daily use, and at times I consider buying a new one simply for the possibility of variety