HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE
Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?
What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:
- eating better (such as reducing processed foods)
- exercising/moving more
- stopping smoking
- working on that depression
We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.
Need More Fruits and Vegetables?
""I'm not a big veggie or fruit eater. There are only a few of each that I really like and I usually only like veggies if they have sauce or gravy on them. What is a good way to incorporate fruits and vegetables in your diet if you're not a big fan of them?""
Many people have a hate-hate relationship with vegetables and the causes are many. You can blame genetics (some people are extra-sensitive to bitter tastes); the pile of Brussels' sprouts you had to gulp down to be excused from the table or withered canned vegetables you ate as a kid. But the fact remains that vegetables and fruits are powerful health allies. Read on for tips that can help you boost your intake.
1. Top up your favorite dishes with the veggies you really like.
- Pasta dishes:
- Add mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli florets, diced carrots, celery, chopped baby spinach to your lasagnas and spaghetti Bolognese. You can do the same thing with meat loafs or pies.
- Puree some cauliflower, pumpkin or butternut squash and add in your macaroni and cheese.
- Saute some onions and garlic, throw in some asparagus, spinach and mushrooms and add your whisked eggs to make a veggie omelet or scrambled eggs.
- Bake an egg, sunny side up in a Portobello mushroom seasoned with fresh thyme or sage.
- Quesadillas / Tortillas: :
- Fill with kidney beans and chopped kale and top with fresh tomato or mango salsa.
- Fill with sauteed beef sirloin strips, some red and green cabbage (or tomato, cucumber and lettuce) and top with some cheese or hot salsa.
- Roasted meats:
- Layer bell peppers, chopped sweet potatoes, diced baby beets and baby carrots next to your chicken - they'll cook in the chicken's juices.
- Grill, broil or bake some fish and serve with a salad of your choice (radicchio leaves or paper-thin slivers of radish and fennel with ribbons of carrot or anything you fancy) and drizzle with some vinaigrette - simply whisk some vinegar with olive oil (you can infuse your oil with herbs) and a little bit of mustard.
Whatever veggie you add to your meal (even if it's a frozen one), remember: Keep the crunch (unless you're using pureed vegetables, of course). Overcooked, mushy vegetables are not only plain gross but most of their nutrients have been destroyed.
So, either enjoy your veggies raw or add them to your stew, soup or sauces at the last minute. To preserve their nutrients and flavor, veggies should retain their original color and have a crunchy texture.
2. Drink your veggies.
I'm talking about green smoothies - start with half a cup of greens, some almond milk and a cup of fresh/frozen fruits and gradually increase to two cups of greens. Believe me, you'll barely taste the greens and you'll get hooked fast.
You can also try vegetable soups such as carrot, watercress, pumpkin, squash, corn, beetroot, red bell pepper and tomato soups, to name a few.
3. Make it fun.
- Vegetable kabobs;
- Celery sticks with peanut butter;
- Veggie sticks, baby carrots or snap peas with hummus or cream cheese;
- Add dried fruits like prunes to curries or apricots and berries to your breakfast cereal.
- Fruit skewers;
- Make fruit sorbets or popsicles at home;
- Seared fruits (try adding some cinnamon powder and a little bit of vanilla essence).
4. Try Purees
Can't stand the sight of a few vegetables? Puree them!
- Blend some bell peppers (these should preferably be of the same color) and add to your sauces.
- French toast: Add some banana, mango, pineapple, pumpkin or squash puree to your whisked eggs before dipping in the bread.
- Scrambled eggs: Add in some pureed squash or cauliflower.
- Pancakes: Give them an original twist (and color) by adding some sweet potato, beet or spinach puree to the batter.
- Oatmeal: Add some mashed banana, a pinch of cinnamon and some nuts or seeds to your oatmeal before cooking. You won't even need a sweetener.
- Muffin or banana bread: Add some pumpkin, squash or mango puree to the batter.
These are only a few tips. Don't be afraid to experiment with your food -the possibilities are endless.
Submitted by: Shari