Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mindful Eating

Today I spent a glorious afternoon at Barnes and Noble engaging in one of my favorite activities; reading and thumbing through any, and every, book I could get my hands on! The best part about this complete randomness is that I never know what surprises are in store for me, and today was no exception. I came across a book that really got my attention; Mindful Eating. While I'm painfully aware of the relationship I have with food and my emotions, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is more attention being paid to this topic. If you're like me, you've probably tried at least one diet (or more) and have learned the hard way the dieting doesn't work long-term. This is a wonderful book that brings your attention to mindfulness in regard to your relationship with food. Mindfulness is simply the moment-by-moment awareness of life; but it’s not always so simple when it comes to our relationship with food. We so easily get caught up in our own thoughts and self-talk that we are scarcely aware of life as it passes us by; this is also true of our eating habits. We eat meal after meal, snack after snack, barely aware of what we’re eating and how much we’re consuming. I can recall many times that I've eaten while multi-tasking and can't even remember what the food tasted like...let alone whether or not I enjoyed it...or more importantly "am I full?" When we pay attention to the food we're eating (I mean really pay attention) we begin to notice all sorts of wonderful aspects of the food, and we become aware of how much food we’re putting into our bodies. We also rediscover the joy and pleasure of eating while figuring out how much we need (and don't need) to eat. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in bringing more mindfulness and meaning to your eating habits.

As always, bon appétit!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Easy Breakfast, Crustless Quiche

There are few of us willing to wake up an extra 30-45 minutes earlier every morning to whip up a nutritious and filling breakfast. Truth be told, most of us are lucky if we can pour ourselves a hurried cup of coffee before we rush out the door to begin our day. However, skipping breakfast should never be an option because it provides the energy you’ll need for the day ahead. Breakfast cereals are a popular way to start the day, but for the most part they are not hearty enough to get you through the morning. And for those of us who are gluten-intolerant, preparing a healthy breakfast can become even more of a challenge. However, with a little planning there is no reason why breakfast can't be tasty, quick and filling! The key is planning ahead; a fail-proof approach is to prepare the night before (better yet, the weekend before). The last thing you need to worry about in the morning is another thing to add to your “to do list.”

One of my favorite breakfast meals is crustless quiche. Prepare a large pan on Sunday afternoon and you’ll have breakfast covered for the next week. Trust me; you will not miss the crust! The following recipe is one of my favorite concoctions (spinach and mushroom quiche) The best part is that you can have fun with it; keep the basics (eggs, milk, salt and pepper) and then throw in left-over’s from last night’s dinner to create your own quiche—be creative and have fun!

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

Prep Time: about 15 minutes; Cook Time: 30 minutes


• 1 T olive oil
• 1 T butter
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1lb fresh spinach; chopped, steamed, and drained
• 10 eggs
• 1 ½ cups milk
• 6-8 oz feta cheese or goat cheese
• 1 lb shitake mushrooms, sliced
• ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
• 1 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large frying pan, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until tender, next add butter and mushrooms (continue to sauté until mushrooms are tender.) Remove from heat.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cheese, salt and the pepper, and stir to combine.

4. Add spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic, stir to combine.

5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish; bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.

6. Serve alone, with a tossed salad, rice, or roasted red potatoes (my favorite!)

7. Yields about 8 servings (more or less depending on how hungry you are)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weight Loss For Runners

I must admit that like most runners; I love eating almost as much as running! While I tend to watch my diet like a hawk, I’m not a big fan of deprivation. I think it is certainly okay to indulge in high-calorie or high-fat fare on occasion, but regularly overdoing it will hurt your health and running by adding (or preventing you from losing) extra pounds. The best way to get your eating habits under control is to eat smarter. For instance, if you like sweets, you don't have to give them up entirely. However, if you want to keep your waistline in check, you will need to exercise some control over the portion size.

There are some very helpful tips in this article from Runner’s World Magazine that I hope you’ll enjoy.,7120,s6-242-304--13785-1-1-2,00.html
As always, bon appétit!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Is food a thing or a relationship?

This is a question that took me some time to come to terms with. But, here’s the deal, what would happen if we were to start thinking about food as less of a thing and more of a relationship? In nature, that is of course precisely what eating has always been: relationships among species in system we call food chains, all the way down to the soil. Species co-evolve with the other species they eat, and very often there develops a relationship of interdependence. A gradual process of mutual adaption transforms something like an apple or a squash into a nutritious and tasty food for an animal Similarly, cow milk didn’t start out as a nutritious food for humans; in fact, it made them sick until people who lived around cows evolve the ability to digest milk as adults. Health is, among other things, the product of being in these sorts of relationship in a food chain—a great many relationships in the case of an omnivorous creature like man. Omnivores are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source. They are opportunistic, general feeders not specifically adapted to eat and digest either meat or plant material primarily. This creates quite a dilemma for most people that are trying to eat healthy and have bought into the vegan craze. If you’d like to learn more about the pitfalls of veganism, read the following article and visit the "Food Inc." website:
As always, bon appétit!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fat Habit: Drinking Soda

Researchers say you can measure a person’s risk of obesity by measuring his or her soda intake. Versus people who don’t drink sweetened sodas, here’s what your daily intake means:

½ can = 26 percent increased risk of being overweight or obese

½ to 1 can = 30.4 percent increased risk

1 to 2 cans = 32.8 percent increased risk

More than 2 cans = 47.2 percent increased risk

That’s a pretty remarkable set of stats. You don’t have to guzzle Double Gulps from 7-Eleven to put yourself at risk—you just need to indulge in one or two cans a day. Wow. And because high-fructose corn syrup is so cheap, food marketers keep making serving sizes bigger (even the “small” at most movie theaters is enough to drown a raccoon). That means we’re drinking more than ever and don’t even realize it: In the 1950s, the average person drank 11 gallons of soda a year. By the mid-2000s, we were drinking 46 gallons a year. A Center for Science in the Public Interest report contained this shocking sentence: “Carbonated soft drinks are the single biggest source of calories in the American diet.”

Bonus Tip: When it comes to making us fat, soda is only one of the big offenders. Other sugary drinks can add belly fat fast, too. That being said, do your best to avoid this fat trap—otherwise you can be slurping more than an entire day's worth of calories, sugar and fat (in just a few minutes). Yikes!