Lunch for Two for $10!

In: What's Cookin'?

Over the last decade, I have spent the same amount of money each month on food. Ten years ago, that meant that I had a dinner party at least once-a-week, provided snacks for all the neighbor kids, had a liquor cabinet stocked with premium brands, and bought food at gourmet shops, both for guests as well as my family of four who ate nearly all meals at home since “school” took place at our dining room table. Today, it means that I feed myself and one child with the occasional Whole Foods gift card tossed my college kids’ way…and no dinner parties…and no liquor. Nobody can tell me that the price of food has not quadrupled in that time as I have spreadsheets to prove otherwise. And yet, you can still eat a clean, tasty, and nutrient-rich meal for less than what it  costs to go to McDonald’s. I am going to have a conniption if I have to explain the obvious health benefits.

But with the recent conversations about healthcare coverage, people are focusing on the wrong thing. Sadly, people do not consider the backend expense of poor eating habits and lack of nutrition. I save a bundle by having a healthy family. According to Forbes, medical expenses for the average family of four exceeds what they spend on groceries. Well that is stupid!

If you want to save money on both food and health care, consider eating at home as a start. Step two is preparing fresh foods for your family. And include them in the process. One of my “rules” for my children was that they learn to make 50 meals before they left home. I implemented that “rule” when they were young enough that they thought it fun to chop, stir, slice, and pour; by the time they realized that I could not make them do anything, they already knew a tremendous amount about nutrition, food pairings, and taste, not to mention how to use food to heal themselves.

The next time you are tempted to grab something quick and easy,2013-05-02_14_24_29 try making some grilled fish, rice, and salad. The dishes featured in this post each took me less than fifteen minutes to prepare and cost $10- for two people! That is $5 each. You cannot even get a fastfood meal for that much. And if you are truly that short on time, grill some meats or tofu one day and use it for salads the next three.

Enrich yourself with healthy eating; enrich your life cooking with others; and enrich your savings by abstaining from empty calories. Bon appetit!



Keep Steppin’ Toward Your Goals!

In: Fit-n-Fab 40's, Mish-mash

Altogether and to the tune of “I Feel Pretty”- “I feel icky, oh so icky. I feel icky and blecky and gray!” Okay, that is all I’ve got. I am sure there is some medical condition that goes along with my symptoms. WebMD says either appendicitis or a strained muscle. Now if I had stools that looked like little fingers, it could also be colitis, or something like that. Regardless, it is totally my fault, I am certain, and is definitely a result of the prescription I’ve given myself to create a bigger and bolder me.

As I mentioned in “Serving Size, My Ass” some months back, I’ve been doing a bit of an experiment. Though not stuffing my face with quarter pounders, mostly because I am terrified of eating at establishments where they have to remind their employees to wash their hands after wiping their asses; oh and I don’t consider “beef product” to be acceptable for human consumption (Yeah Andy, I hope you are reading this!), I have been eating as much and exercising as little as the average American 45-year-old woman. I’ve reached two conclusions: genetics and lifetime habits give us the bodies our personalities inhabit. That works for me but some of you poor suckers out there are doomed. Best to kill yourselves now. Oops, just kidding. Unless you are nearly 100, you still have the lifetime habits thing to work for you. So get on it!

We don’t choose to whom we are born, though Hollywood and uber rich people, who have the good sense to know that they are entirely unattractive and ought not to procreate filling the world with mini-me’s, have introduced sperm and egg discrimination, an unnatural selection, if you will. For the rest of us, we’re stuck with the couple who fucked each other. In the memorable words of my then 6-year-old, “The daddy put his penis in the mommy’s vagina and his sperm chased down her egg and got it.” And if they were fat, knock-kneed, and hairy, good chance you too will look like a troll. But as I said, lifetime habits… and a good wax job will help a lot!

And what are some of these habits? Well Grandma Leone taught me to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, which I do, as does my daughter. At some point that habit will affect genetics, I am sure. (I just had a very disturbing vision of a kangaroo pouch developing where biceps are that collects water. Don’t ask me where the water will come from but you must admit that the placement of the pouch is handy because immediately after drinking you can wipe your mouth on your forearm.)

And Grandpa Nick was a lifetime gardener who taught me the indispensable worth of growing a home garden from which one can harvest the vegetables at the time they are ripened with all of the delicious micronutrients and enzymes at their peak. My mother and her parents insisted that salad is something to eat in addition to cooked vegetables, as well, reinforcing the habit of eating raw and colorful foods daily.

And let’s not forget the importance of moving the body. I have seen firsthand what not doing that will do as my mother has become quite sedentary the last ten years. She actually broke her foot getting up to turn off the tele. And to think that our neighbors thought it dangerous for us to be skateboarding off the roof! But truly that has been the most painful part of this process for me. Sitting still is an art form; being slothful is gross. So upon my return last week to what would have been an hour a day of exercise, something anyone can do, even if in increments throughout the day, I thought I’d jump right in. Well let me tell you, moving a body that has not really been moving for six months is a bit of a chore. But if you’ve always been an athlete, it is relatively easy to get back on that horse. Which is what I did and most likely the reason I have now been laid up doing nothing for three days. My strength and muscle memory did not account for the stiffness and rigidity of my ligaments. Damn! Hello 45-year-old body, you suck!

Persistence and perseverance are key. Blown ACL and meniscus, broken leg, broken foot, torn hamstring, dislocated shoulder, Broken nosebroken tailbone are injuries I’ve rehabilitated from and other than being a human barometer, I’m no worse for the wear. However, after this little injury and the last one, oh yeah the one when I broke my nose the first day back after breaking my tailbone, I am going to try walking the horse before galloping or even trotting.  After all, there is still plenty of time to jump fences for all of us. We just have to get there one step, habit, and sometimes faceplant-at-a-time.

But in the eternal words of Rob Schneider, “You can do it!”

Throwback Thursday

In: Fit-n-Fab 40's

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I thought I’d pay homage to a gal pal whose Facebook posts included a Throwback Thursday music surprise that would delight me and is in fact one of the few things I miss about being on FB. But like so often, one thought morphed into another. Within only a few leaps, my mind stumbled upon yet another example of how different things are today than when I was a kid.

The song below was sung by a man who had a music revue show in the way of Sony and Cher, a rock-and-roll version of Lawrence Welk if anyone still recalls who that was. Anyway, the guy committed suicide- totally tragic. But that is not what gave me pause. Rather it is the title of the song that is loved by so many people of my generation, or well… a little older than I. “Candida”. Hmm…I wonder if there will be love songs written titled, “Herpes” or “Human Papilloma Virus” that people will dance to and remember fondly 20 years from now. Maybe someone can do a remake and title it “Christina” or some other three-syllable word that is not associated with disease…so no to Hillary, Margaret, Obama, and Pelosi, but maybe Diana.

In all seriousness, yeast in the body is a major contributor to cancer and all other auto-immune disorders. Mike Adams, AKA Health Ranger of NaturalNews gives a general overview if you aren’t aware of the pervasiveness of the fungal disease nor the inexpensive and available home remedies. Hint: Grandma knew what she was talking about with the garlic.

Juicing Juicy Juice

In: Fit-n-Fab 40's, What's Cookin'?

Cleaning out the tank from time-to-time is a good thing! It is sort of like re-booting your body, wiping out the gunk and clearing the path for the good stuff that feeds your organs, cells, and blood. I have used juicing for general health purposes as well as to treat illness. Aside from the fact that you cannot possibly eat as much in vegetables as you can if the juice is extracted and the pulp discarded, a liquid diet for a time enables the digestive system to rest.

There is a really good video titled “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” that I saw for the first time just over a year ago. It was educational and a fantastic “pay-it-forward” story of redemption and renewal. Indeed the gentleman who created it overcame tremendous health problems and earned himself a hot bod, but he also cleared his head and has admittedly become a much happier person.

I would argue that not all juicers are created equal. I have a slow juicer made by Hurom that is my favorite one yet. (I believe that Joe Cross uses a Breville, which may even be a step up from mine.) It acts like a masticating juicer in that it is able to extract the juice from leafy greens better than the less expensive models that simply press, but is upright, much easier to clean, and completely separates the pulp, which comes out nearly dry.

I try to include both green and orange/red vegetables, incorporating either a squeeze of lemon, some fresh ginger, or some green apple to cut the grassy flavor of the greens. My kids shy away when the juice is loaded with beets, but I love the earthy flavor. Warning, your poop will be red if beets are used. Just sayin’.

So as spring is upon us and you get the urge for some cleaning, don’t neglect that which is the most important- your own health. Clean out the toxins, waste, and indigestible stuff that sits in your belly and watch your skin become more radiant, eyes more clear, tummy less bloated. I will be doing a juice fast starting March 1st if you care to join me.


By: M7 Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment on Juicing Juicy Juice

10, 10, 10 Can you hear me now?

In: What's Cookin'?

lambToday’s lunch consisted of lamb ribs chops on a bed of mixed baby greens, mache, with red bell peppers and a little caprese salad. So delicious. All for under $10, 10 minutes, and 10 grams of animal fat. Yes, indeed, I bought the ingredients for under $10, all organic and from Whole Foods. It took me 10 minutes to prepare this meal, including making my own vinaigrette and sauteeing the lamb.

There is no excuse for not being able to eat well because of either time or money. But if $10 is too costly for a meal, substitute 6 ounces of chicken or even a can of tuna…or grow your own greens and tomatoes. And shop somewhere other than Whole Foods. The point is that the value, even on the front end, is much more than what BS is being purported by the soccer moms who don’t know how to cook, or are too lazy, and think that McDonald’s is a time saving, economical, and nutritious option if you don’t eat the bun!

However, for my family, we invest money in food rather than health insurance. It is crazy to me that people will spend $1000 per month for a family of four to have basic health coverage and yet will eat total crap, get sick, miss school, work, functions, only to complain about the crappy health coverage they have. You’ve heard it before: “you are what you eat; garbage in, garbage out; you get what you put into it”. The same applies to food and the health of your engine. Keep it clean so your motor is hummin’  a long time!



“Single Serving Size, My Ass!”

In: Fit-n-Fab 40's

395547_2917153280627_1014581357_2929834_294509463_nSo let’s get this straight kids, you do not get to have an ass like that at 44 and eat the “single serving size” portion that the US Food and Drug Administration has determined appropriate. How do I know? Because after 6 months of eating according to the recommended allowances by the FDA, I no longer have an ass like that either!

How have things changed since before I had children 20 plus years ago, when I was not as meticulous about what I ate, and now? For one thing, a single serving of soda was 6 1/2 ounces then; and today, according to this 20 ounce bottle of ginger ale in front of me, that is a single serving. And a candy bar to go with that soda? Well a single serving used to be about 160 calories. And now? 400! What was called “King Size” and appropriate for 2 1/2 is now labeled as a single serving. How did that happen?

There are a number of reasons that contributed to this situation: the sugar embargo and the introduction of High Fructose Corn Syrup, corporations marketing to consumers in the “Costco” era where more is cheaper and therefore better, the FDA saying it’s okay, blah, blah, blah. fat ass What it really comes down to is people’s unwillingness to take personal responsibility for their decisions. Nobody made you pick up that fork. It was not a corporation that made that woman’s ass look like that!

So cut it out. Literally. If you can’t do it all at once, aim small, miss small. Cut the candybar in half; substitute garbage sweets for nutrient rich ones, ie, Hershey’s Reese’s for dark chocolate-ceovered almonds; drink water with a slice of fruit in it. And then reward yourself with something other than food…like a healthier pancreas!

This is an addendum I’m adding here. A dear friend, Andrew, the hugger, shared this photo with me. It is a fantastic visual. However, it is not entirely accurate. Most of those drinks have High Fructose Corn Syrup, not sugar in them. And to elaborate on what I wrote above, when HFCS is eaten, the body is only able to digest small amounts at a time and only in the liver which converts it directly into fat. Unlike other carbohydrates, HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin, the substance that acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. Hence, the vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full, causing us to crave even more food in an attempt to get the nutrients we need. May I remind you that the FDA has ruled twice that HFCS is “safe” to consume. And if the government is saying that it is safe, isn’t it? I don’t think so…unless you want to be morbidly obese, have diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.