Plan to be healthy

healthyyouWe make new year’s resolutions, we commit to losing weight or getting healthier, but then it all seems to fall by the wayside and we are back into our comfortable settings, eating convenience foods or food like substances as I call them. Getting healthy can be daunting. But anything worth doing is worth doing right. You don’t have to do it in a day either. It is all about one step at a time, making small changes every day or every week so it becomes a habit to be healthy.

  • Get busy in your kitchen – Cooking doesn’t have to take long and can be a wonderful experience if you are doing it with loved ones. We all have to eat right? Teaching children how to cook will help them make healthy habits.  There are lots of healthy meals that can be prepared and ready in as little as 30 min. Find some great recipes on our recipe page.
  • Organize your pantry – Get in there and toss the junk! Go thru everything. Can you read what’s on the label? If you can’t it is not healthy for you. Stock your pantry with staples, whole grains, beans, nuts and lentils. If you can see the junk food it can stimulate cravings so get rid of it or at the very least hide it somewhere out of site until you are ready to treat yourself.
  • Use smaller plates– plate sizes are increasing. When you are filling your plate check it’s size, if you put less on your plate you will eat less. Also if you fill your plate and then sit down instead of having food within reach it will give you pause before you eat again resulting in knowing if you are full, therefore reducing your intake.
  • What’s in your fridge- Fill your fridge with healthy food. Fill your crispers with lots of colourful veg! If you find that you are not using all of the veg in a week, then it is time to make soup or blanch and freeze your extras so that you always have some veg on hand. If you have meal items on hand you are less likely to eat out or find something “convenient”
  • Along the outside- The next time you need to grocery shop i would hope you wouldn’t go the traditional grocery store, but if that is where you find yourself go only to the outside perimeter of the store. This is where the organic and less likely to kill you food is. haha
  • Chew slowly- pacing how fast you eat helps your body to register when you are full. So go ahead a savour your food instead of gobbling it down. this will aid in better digestion and mindful eating.
  • Turn off the TV- mindlessly eating in front of the tv or any screen is going to lead to poor food consumption and choices. Making food together can be bonding and eating together can lead to conversation!
  • Increase your vegetable intake- vegetables are the best way to protect your heart and body against obesity. You can add them to omelets, baked goods, pasta and of course smoothies! You can even substitute pasta for spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons. Find some fabulous recipes here.
  • Keep temptation to a minimum- the closer you are to the crap the more likely you are to eat it. Keep it hidden or better yet don’t bring it into your home.
  • Eat healthy fats– Switch out your unhealthy fats for healthy ones. It is easy to swap your butter for coconut oil or avocado. We need fats in our diet to help absorb our fat soluble vitamins.
  • Bye bye sugar– You know by now that white refined anything is bad for you… white refined sugar will kill you. Cut it out! Stick to natural sugars found in fruits and veg.
  • Cayenne pepper- if you are not eating this, you should be. Not only does this boost your metabolism but can cut sweet, fatty and salty food cravings. Sprinkle it everywhere.

It is okay to treat yourself once in awhile, but if you want to start your healthy lifestyle then find a way to do each of these things everyday. Like I said, you don’t have to do it all in one day but plan to be healthy and one step at a time you will suddenly find a more vibrant you!

 

Get out of the Grocery store

farmers-market-local-produce-520What is with the grocery stores these days? It is the place we all go to shop for food, but I find that there is little actual food in these stores. Have you stopped to read the labels on some of the products in there? It’s frightening! For me my rule of thumb is, if I can’t read it, it isn’t food and I am not going to be eating it or feeding it to my family.

With all the marketing and clever disguises the food companies assault us with it is no wonder disease is on the rise. We are no longer eating food we are eating food like substances.

So what are our options?  Some people say that eating local and organic is expensive or that they don’t have time to make meals. Have you calculated the cost of being sick lately? A little prep time once a week goes a long way in terms of eating healthy and getting healthy meals out to your family in a timely manner.

Here are some other options for frugal and healthy shoppers, that want to vote with their dollars and get away from the grocery store nightmare.

  • Join a food co-op or CSA (community supported agriculture) -this is a great option a real tangible way to vote with your dollars.  You can signup and receive weekly fresh produce from the people in your community. With co ops, they will require a membership or volunteer time in lieu of payment. Definitely a great alternative to the traditional grocery store.
  • Grow food in your space plant in containers of all kinds, vertical gardening is a wonderful way to utilize space, find a sunny window sill to grow kitchen herbs or turn your backyard into an urban farm!  Not only is gardening cheaper than therapy but you get tomatoes and you know exactly where your food is coming from and what went into it.
  • In season produce– cheaper and nutritionally superior, this is the way to go for healthy and frugal shoppers alike and when it’s local you are helping your community. If you buy too much you can always blanch, freeze, dehydrate or can your extras for the winter months.
  • Buy local– change your shopping habits and buy from your local farmers. You get to know where your food is coming from and get to know and support the people in your community. Find a local farmer here http://croptouring.com/
  • Buy your staples in bulk– buying in bulk quantities reduces the prices to lower or equal to the prepackaged items found in a traditional grocery store.
  • Forage– this is one of my personal favorites as there is so much food/medicine out there that we overlook every day. Lots of greens, berries, fruits and something for every ailment. After all our mother earth is here to sustain us. Don’t forget tho if you are taking from her it is a good idea to give back. I like composting as my giveback to the earth.

With making these few changes we are voting with our dollars and saying no to harmful pesticides, chemicals, gmo’s and artificial processed ingredients. Say no to the traditional way of shopping and get involved with your community at the same time.

 

Chicken feet for Strong bones, teeth and hair!

chicken feetI was out having some wine the other day with a friend of mine when he started talking about chicken feet soup.

At first I was like Eeeew! He continued chatting about how to make it and what health benefits these magic feet held.

They are full of collagen! Collagen is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin, helps absorb calcium and proteins, increases the production of red blood cells, make bone structure stronger and even help you lose weight by increasing the body’s metabolism of fat!

We have all seen those chemical creams that say they have collagen in them. They boost about improving the appearance of fine lines.  Well if you know anything about food as medicine than you know that collagen will work better from the inside out. This means we should be eating it if we want to reap the benefits of stronger bones, teeth and hair!

I will be heading to the farmers market this weekend to get me some chicken feet so I can make nourishing broth for a healthier more vibrant me!

I got the following recipe from Simplyrecipes.com. Try it out and let me know what you think!

How to Make Stock from Chicken Feet

Make delicious soup with stock from chicken feet. The rich gelatin of the feet create a rich and nutritious stock.

  • Yield: Makes approximately 2 quarts

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds of chicken feet
  • 2 large carrots, cut in half
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in half
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 peppercorns

METHOD

1 Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Put the chicken feet into a large stock pot and cover with boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes. Use a large metal spoon to skim and discard the scum that rises to the surface.

2 Drain the chicken feet completely. Rinse with cold water so that the feet are cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, chop off the tips of the claws and discard. They should cut easily if you cut them through the joint. If any rough patches of claw pad remain, cut them away with a paring knife.

3 Place chicken feet in a clean large stockpot. Fill with cold water to cover the feet by an inch. Add carrots, onions, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, immediately reduce the temperature to low. Partially cover, leave about a half inch crack or so, and keep the stock cooking at a bare simmer, for 4 hours. Occasionally skim any foam that may come to the surface.

4 Uncover, increase the heat slightly to maintain a low simmer with the pot now uncovered. Continue to cook for an hour or two. At this point you are reducing the stock so that it is easier to store. Strain the stock through several layers of cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (ideally both) into a pot. Pour into quart-sized jars. Let cool for an hour or so before storing in the refrigerator.

When your stock has cooled, it should firm up nicely into a gel.

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