Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vegetables in Every Pot!

Most Americans are now too young to remember President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous message to Americans weary of a failed economy: “A chicken in every pot!”

It would serve to define a healthy society ~ and a healthy economy.

Now that we’ve experienced the worst of economic times since then, the message is still apt ~ if you modify it to: “Vegetables in every pot!”

While we don’t have the childhood diseases that led to a high mortality rate back then ~ by and large ~ we’re sicker. Ironically, there’s been plenty of food available ~ and that’s a big part of the problem. Too much of what we ingest is junk.

We look to food for diversion ~ for entertainment ~ as much as for nurturing our bodies. Unfortunately, the “nurturing” part has come up short.

There’s a very simple trick to make sure there’s a healthy soup simmering on the stove or in a crock-pot that will energize your body, and save you money, too.

Always keep a fresh supply of chopped carrots, celery and onion in the fridge. (about three carrots, three celery stalks and a medium onion). Also make sure you have some cans of chicken or vegetable broth, and diced tomatoes in the cupboard.

When you know this is a day you won’t have time to plan a decent meal, or the whole family is on the run, toss the veggies into a crock pot with a couple of cans of broth, a cup or two of water, some diced tomatoes, and maybe a dab or two of tomato paste, a tablespoon of cider vinegar, and some salt and pepper for taste.

That’s a base to get you started ~ to that you can add some shredded cabbage, a diced potato, a sliced zucchini, a can of corn kernels ~ whatever else you like!

Any left over soup can be heated up the next day for lunch.

Figure how much you would have spent picking up carry- out or going to a restaurant and put that into your savings account!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Thoughts on Eating Simply

We waste a lot of food.

I read recently that Americans toss 27 percent of all they food they buy from super markets and restaurants, and that just five percent of that wasted food could feed four million people a day.

Do we need four boxes of cereal? How about just one box and a box of oatmeal?

Does everyone need to have their own individual order when they’re eating out? Does everyone NEED a soda pop?

I don’t think there are many people who haven’t felt that depressing, emotional emptiness after you’ve filled your stomach and emptied your wallet eating dinner out. You secretly wonder: “Where’s the purpose?”

Are we mindlessly buying, micro waving, and eating in an endless cycle that does nothing to truly nurture us. Are we wasting our energy, as well as our food ~ and our money?

But if we feed our bodies well, we nurture our spirit. Either you do, or you don’t ~ and on a very basic level, you know the difference on a very basic level.

So there is an immediate recognition of energy coming back to you when you begin to reign in meaningless routines by being mindful.

If you plan to eat only what you need to be healthy, you’ll find preparing buying and preparing food to be incredibly simple, quite inexpensive, and wonderfully rewarding!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Eat Simply ~ Eat Well!

Sometimes it’s just a matter of eating less!

I get stuck sometimes gazing into the refrigerator for the makings of something “creative” ~ and it doesn’t always come together.

But the other day, for example, I found that even that half cup of leftover linguini I was tempted to toss down the garbage disposal ~ but didn’t ~ and that skim of marinara sauce in the jar, was just enough to save me from buying lunch somewhere.

I mixed it together with a few black olives, sprinkled some parmesan cheese and a little pepper, and it was perfect. I also grabbed a few raw baby carrots and some almonds before I headed out the door, and I was on my way.

There were once days when I’d scrape more than that off our plates after dinner, and often felt pangs of guilt left over from the years of listening to the nuns preach to us about the starving people in India.The sobering reality is that now there are starving people in this country ~ and but for the grace of God ~ any of us could be in a food line somewhere sixty days from now.

So returning to my “mindful eating” mantra ~ the key is to plan ahead. As opposed to making big hauls from Sam’s Club or Wal Mart that fill your cupboards and refrigerators, plan a menu ~ mindful of what you NEED to eat. Turns out, it's not really that much!

It will save you time, energy and money (not to mention calories!) ~ while you invest in your most important asset ~ your health!

(I’ll be presenting on this topic this Sunday, December 13th, from 11:30 – 12:30 at the Academy of Yoga. Would love to see you there!)