Do you-like me-have Room for improvement?… A Quick Check List
Are you eating out more than 2-3 times a week?
Eating out is health sabotage and with very few exceptions I don’t care where you do it or how good you think you are at ordering, it is near impossible to maintain your health eating out. Check out the sodium for starters-you may not have to look much farther to see that you are getting way too much (2000mg a day and even less if you a have high blood pressure). Just an example: 1320 mg sodium in a Southwest Grilled Chicken salad with low-fat balsamic dressing –McDonalds. Doesn’t matter if you are paying more for it-trust me the salt is in there.
Are you really eating enough vegetables? Could you do better?
If you are eating 5-7 servings a day of fruit and vegetables you are amazing and keep going. If you like me are closer to 3 a day then there is room for improvement. Mix them into your eggs at breakfast, add them in at snacks with your cheese stick or hummus, and make sure two servings are showing up at dinner. Pre chop those veggies and pack them into servings sizes if it make it easy for you. Having bagged spinach makes me use it more and a fat pinch on top of an egg sandwich as I run out the door becomes extra veggies that are very doable. Many people enjoy a weekend breakfast casserole and this is a great place to add extra vegetables-see pic. This one has green and yellow zucchini mushrooms and onions!
Are you replacing high fat proteins with lean proteins choices like fish, chicken, turkey and beans?
Lean proteins are a healthful alternative to high fat meats. We are all still dying of cardiovascular disease and need to reduce saturated fats in our diet. Is anyone cooking fish? Eating beans? Try to add in fish once a week and some beans twice a week-I like beans they are cheaper. Fish not only is lean but also has heart healthy fats-all of them-some more than others. Beans are a true super food not only are they a lean protein, they are fiber rich and filled with antioxidants! Beans don’t have to be served up as chili in a steaming hot bowl, you can add them to salads and pasta dishes-delicious!
Are you drinking soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweet tea, juice, lemonade, blended coffees, iced coffees*…liquids with Sugar!!
These are the sweet things we love to drink that come in pretty large container- these days, usually greater than 16oz and with a straw. This is a ton of calories and a load of sugar and our bodies are not made to handle it-Period end of story. Just cut them out-they are a treat if anything and should be consumed 1x weekly to monthly. Try replacing them with plain iced tea, plain iced coffee, sparkling water, water with real fruit added to it-think lemons, oranges, limes or just plain water. As long as you are consuming these items every day you are sabotaging your health and paving the way to obesity and possibly to type 2 diabetes.
* This is of course assuming that you are not taking your iced tea or coffee plain-meaning without sugar!
Ok so the nutritionist snuck out full force on this one but with the love of food sometimes you just have to give a hard look at what your doing and tweak things here and there.
So the sun finally came out over the weekend and even though it was not warm I was getting outside. Besides the usual stacking wood…stacking wood…and stacking wood. We worked on the fruit trees and I ventured into the vegetable garden. I must admit I have not paid the garden much attention this winter. I usually plant some greens in fall and then quickly lose interest.
I did not expect to find much, but to my surprise there was a bounty of Swiss chard! Rainbow chard actually it was just beautiful. I was going to have to plan a dish and it was perfect timing for my favorite Single gal Pasta.
I have to admit that in my house Swiss chard is a bit of a hard sell as far as the greens go. I’ve tried it in; sauces, an amazing quiche, eggs and other dishes-but they always seem to notice it. I however love it and this week with the house to myself-that is all that matters.
This dish is full of my guys not so loved ingredients; onions, goat cheese and of course the chard. Does anyone else out there sneak in their faves when they have the house to themselves? Feels pretty right on to me!
I hope you give this simple pasta a try and I like it with a glass of red wine, alone and parked in front of a new episode of rehab addict. Get out into the garden or pick up some winter greens and enjoy!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, thin sliced
- 1/2 box pasta, cooked according to package directions (suggest: capanella, rigatoni or bow tie)
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard (trim large pieces of stem and chop leaves)
- 1/4 cup Chicken broth
- 6 tablespoons goat cheese
- salt & pepper
- In a large frying pan add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add red onion slices, salt and pepper and sauté for 1 minute on medium and turn heat to low. Continue to sauté until soft and cooked through. Turn heat to medium and add chopped Swiss chard, broth and pepper. Sauté until wilted 3-5 minutes. Add in cooked and drained pasta. Toss to coat and add in goat cheese a teaspoon hunk at a time. Stir in cheese to coat the noodles.
- The goat cheese and caramelized onion combination with the Swiss chard really is amazing. The goat cheese acts likes a sauce and coats every noodle. Use a noodle that you love that is hearty and will catch all the good bits.