Monday, February 1, 2010
Where do we go from here?
In an attempt to better understand everyone I have spent the weekend reading, and re-reading, all of your comments and emails about your goals, frustrations and desires for better health. So far, the most common themes seem to be the following:
1. How to incorporate fast, easy and healthy recipes into your diets.
2. How to use food to promote good health and to help prevent or reverse disease.
3. How to fit in exercise for busy moms, working moms, and just overcommitted, busy people in general.
4. How to maintain good health during pregnancy and how to reclaim your body after pregnancy.
5. How to find the motivation to exercise and eat right when you are already stressed and overwhelmed and overcommitted.
6. How to lose weight without extreme and unhealthy diets and countless hours in the gym, as well as how to maintain a healthy weight while remaining emotionally calm and balanced.
7. How to bolster self-esteem, improve body-image and set a good example for our children.
8. How to kick unhealthy cravings, make better food choices and teach our children to do the same.
We are going to tackle all of this and more.
I have also had some interest in starting a book club to better understand and cope with emotional and compulsive overeating. If you are interested in this topic and haven’t emailed me yet, please do so. I hope to kick the book club off next week. We will select a new book each month or two to read and discuss.
For starters though, I thought we would look at how to include easy, delicious recipes into our diets that also promote good health. We are going to look at a few “super foods” over the next few weeks that are nutritional powerhouses. We will also try a few simple recipes for each super food and share our successes, or humorous blunders, with each attempt.
Remember, the more nutrient-dense, healthy foods we can include in our diets the better chance we have at staying healthy at the cellular level so our bodies can actually fight disease. Of course, I understand that food has to taste good too and be easy to make, so the idea here is simply this: super tasty "super foods," made super easy.
On Wednesday I will introduce you to the Full At Last Taste Test Team. Our team ranges in ages from temperamental 1-year old twins to a pork-fat loving 40-year old man. There are three finicky children (ages, 3, 4, and 6) a maniacal, health-obsessed tri-athlete, two stay-at-home moms and a 13-year old mutt that round out the team. Each recipe passes the lips, or attempts to, of the entire team and receives reviews from each. My hope is that this will lend credit to each recipe and help you decide whether or not it is something worth trying in your home. Please try these recipes on your own and comment with your thoughts so we can all benefit. We are in this together so your feedback is critical to our collective success.
And, without further ado … our first “super food” is … black beans!
Black beans are a fiber all-star, as are most legumes, and help lower blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar while providing a good source of protein and a healthy shot of anti-oxidants.
I typically make a double-batch of this black-bean hummus each week and use it for snacking (I love dipping baby carrots and raw bell peppers into it) as well as for the base of a super fast lunch (veggie wraps). When I run out of dinner options, I like to make a “Mexican pizza” with the remaining hummus and whatever vegetables I have on hand.
We will start with the hummus as it is the base for all three recipes.
Black Bean Hummus
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
Dash of crushed red pepper
1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of ground red pepper
Place garlic in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, black beans, jalapeño pepper, and crushed red pepper; process until smooth.
Spoon bean mixture into a medium bowl, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with ground red pepper. (note: I often skip this step and it still tastes fantastic)
Serve with homemade whole wheat pita chips, blue corn tortilla chips (I like organic Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips) and/or your favorite raw veggies.
Note: you can also buy fresh chopped garlic in a jar for a time-saver.
Vegetable Black Bean Hummus Wrap
Spread hummus on a 100% whole wheat tortilla. Fill tortilla with sliced bell peppers (high in vitamin C), cucumbers, sprouts (superb source of nutrients and contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals that can protect against disease), lettuce and/or your favorite vegetables. Roll it up and enjoy.
Black Bean Hummus
Shredded romaine lettuce
Grape tomatoes, halved or chopped
Green chilies, chopped
Green onions, diced
Lime & Avocado for garnish
Heat tortilla in a pan until crispy.
Spread black bean hummus on tortillas.
Combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, green chilies, green onions, cilantro & jalapeno in a bowl and then spread the corn mixture on the pizza.
Spread romaine over the top. Garnish with diced avocado & lime.