HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
- July Recipes
- July's Exercise
- Daily Diet Tip
- Cooking with Beer
- Practical Tips for Parties and Get-Togethers
July Recipes - Click Here
Well, it's July, which means we'll all be firing up the grill and kicking back a few tall ones!! Based on that, we have a special menu made up entirely of recipes that include beer!! People nowadays are either drinking it or cooking with it, so we have a menu based on beer as a prime ingredient, and a great beverage that will tempt even a die-hard teetotaller into giving it a try!! If you hate the taste of beer, try our cherry beer - it's great!! So this month, either July 1st on Canada's birthday or July 4th on America's Independence day, celebrate with some malt and hops on your table and be careful with those fireworks!!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
July Exercises - Click HereEach month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.
Cooking with Beer
It just makes sense to cook with beer. Beer has more in common with a lot of the food that we eat than does that other popular cooking beverage. It contains grain (barley), herbs (hops), water and yeast. Wine contains grapes. Adding beer to a recipe can really change the character of the dish. It can enhance particular ingredients, help blend the flavors of the dish, or just add that little zing that your meal might be lacking.
Don't be afraid to experiment when cooking with beer. Naturally we've all heard of beer batter and the recent grilling phenomenon, the beer can chicken, but you really need to try to think outside of that box. A nice start is with a loaf of beer bread. Most cookbooks have a recipe for one but it's really not necessary. Just replace some or all of the liquid in a bread recipe with beer. Or try other things such as deglazing with beer, a sort of of coq au beer, add beer to stew … you get the picture.
There are a few things to remember when experimenting with beer. As with any other liquid, when you cook with beer you will almost always reduce some or most of the liquid away which will magnify its flavors. For instance, if I were to make a brown gravy using beer instead of broth or water I would opt for something like a sweet stout with little hops bittering because I don't want bitter gravy.
Another point is that, as any homebrewer can tell you, the delicate aromas of your favorite beer will be lost if you boil it for very long. Many beers are prized for the hops in the nose. This aroma results from the oils of the hops cone which quickly dissipate when boiled. So if you're going for that hops aroma in, say a soup, try a splash of your favorite IPA after reducing the heat. If you're going for the deep rich flavors of a darker beer in a stew, add it at the beginning and boil it with the rest of the ingredients that you normally would. The mellow sweet and roasted flavors of the barley will stay with the stew and blend with the flavors of the other ingredients.
Never cook with a beer that you wouldn't drink. If it doesn't appeal to you as a beverage, chances are it wouldn't appeal to you in a recipe.
The most important point is to experiment, experiment, experiment. Virtually any recipe that calls for a liquid of any sort could be replaced with beer. Think it through, though. A Berliner Weise probably wouldn't work for that bread recipe I mentioned earlier but it might be just the thing to brighten up a stir fry.
Pairing Good Beer with Good Food
For many the idea of pairing food with drink means wine. The idea of pairing beer and food might seem a little less refined but beer goes with a lot more than pizza and hot wings. In fact beer is far more congenial a partner for many foods than is wine. The ease with which beer marries with almost any dish in any cuisine might seem to make conscious pairing a waste of time. But putting the right beer with the right dish can create a transcendent dining experience indeed. Beer is very forgiving. It would be difficult to find a combination with very negative effects; a problem that seems to crop up too regularly with one in considering wine and food. Prohibitions like the no-fish-with-red-wine rule simply do not exist when pairing with beer. The main thing to remember is the three Cs - compliment, contrast and cleanse. Use one or two of the three Cs and your pairing will be a hit.
- Compliment – Choose beer with a similar profile to that of the dish. If it is a sweet or fruity dessert then a pale beer brewed with fruit like an apricot wheat beer or a framboise lambic, a Belgian raspberry beer, should do nicely. If the dish is a grilled steak then beers with similar flavors like a rauchbier or a porter will make the perfect compliment.
- Contrast – Contrasting a beer’s flavors against a dish can be equally satisfying and often more memorable. For instance serving a subtle and sweet American wheat beer with a spicy Thai or Indian dish can work to balance some of the hotter flavors of the meal.
- Cleanse – This one is easiest. Most beers already work well at cleansing the palate because they are carbonated. This is why especially bubbly beers like Pilsner are popular with rich or fatty foods such and pizza and barbecue. But imagine beer’s cleansing role as similar to serving a refreshing sorbet between courses. This changes the purpose of beer from being just a beverage with which to wash down food and presents some interesting possibilities. Sour beers like Flanders Red, Berliner Weisse and many Belgium brews perform especially well in this role.
This month's menu has a diverse use of beer in recipes with meat, poultry, and vegetables, along with dessert. And see how easy it is to change the taste of beer with just a small amount of another flavor. For those who don't like the taste of beer, it will be a refreshing change.
Submitted by: Maria Albus
Practical Tips for Parties and Get-Togethers
You would think that following a healthy eating plan and getting lots of exercise would be relatively easy in our warm summers, long days and with the availability of plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Unfortunately, it is our most difficult season. Many parties, barbeques, weddings, cottages, holidays and family get-togethers tend to sabotage most people. One has to stay very aware of the temptations out there and be very vigilant in order not to overindulge.
I came across a good section in Dr Brian Wansink’s book “Mindless Eating”, where he gave some practical advice for ‘Party Bingers’. He defines these situations as parties, buffets, receptions, tailgates, and happy hours. These are high-distraction environments where the food is the backdrop for either business or fun, and it’s easy to lose track of how much we’ve eaten or drank. Party bingers are often professionals who frequently wine and dine or single, stay-out-late, young people. I would like to add that knowing how cottages are with friends and family visiting, I would also include this environment for almost a free for all of eating and drinking over one evening or a weekend.
For these situations he gives this advice:
- Stay more than an arm’s length away from the buffet tables and snack bowls.
- Put only two items on your plate during any given trip to the table.
- Use the volume approach to make yourself feel full. Chow down on the big healthy stuff (like broccoli and carrots) and then see if you have room for the rest.
- When you think you’ll be distracted by an important (or fun) conversation, set the food down and give the conversation your full attention. Remember, the more you focus on people (and distractions like the Super Bowl on TV), the more you’ll tend to eat.
- As you enter the room, tell yourself you’re there first to conduct business and secondly to eat. (Or that you are there to meet people and socialize, not just to eat!)
- In these situations, there is always too much food. We are not there to over indulge. Realize that the food is just there to enhance the purpose, which is to socialize. Strengthen your resolve to eat less or to eat lighter food.
- If you plan to attend a cocktail party or a buffet-style dinner, arrive late or leave early. If you arrive late, most of the good stuff will be gone by the time you show up. Leave early and you’ll make it easier to avoid a second (or third) helping of dessert. Red flags should come up when you are invited out. There is always a lot of food. Aim to eat slowly and aim to choose your foods wisely. The more slowly you eat, the less likely someone will be trying to offer you more food.
Stay vigilant. Parties are not an excuse to eat what you want. We must learn good habits of eating, to get weight off and keep it off takes work. Learn this summer how to control your intake at parties. Make this your challenge.
You can do it. Just don’t ever give up trying.
Written by: Dr Doug