Saturday, January 14, 2012

Food Be Thy Medicine

I've been getting emails and messages today from readers telling me, "Heids McGhee, there is no way I can do this.....I am too busy/work full time/have children/can't cook/live with picky take on what you are doing".  OK, readers, I am not going to let you give up on this before you even begin! 

If the thought of giving up processed foods sends you spiraling into a panic thinking your family is going to starve, you need to re-think what you are eating.  If your daily diet is a bowl of cereal, a lean cuisine/lunchable, noodles with some Ragu sauce, and then a bag of microwave popcorn while you watch Modern Family, then you need to join me!  This is about prioritizing your health and preventing disease.  Hippocrates said it best, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine by thy food."  Take care of yourself people!!!

So, I have a challenge for the way you eat.  Throw out your processed food and replace it with something else.  Bread, biscuits, muffins, crackers, cereal, tortillas, chips, pop tarts, granola bars. lunchmeat....your body does not need them.  So, don't stress over replacing them with homemade from scratch recipes.  Replace them with nature's food....your mealtime should be a protein (probably a meat), vegetables and fruit.  Fill up on that, and you won't even miss your Cheez-its, I promise!  Now, while you are working on that, I will work on coming up with fast, easy recipes that you can encorporate into your busy life. 

I encourage you (and your families) that the next time you are hungry, to head to the fridge.  Avoid the pantry.  Remember, we need to eat food that expires quickly.  When you are grocery shopping, shop the perimeter of the store....produce, meat, eggs, dairy.  Overwhelmed with going completely unprocessed?  Pick one meal to go unprocessed.  I suggest breakfast, it's going to cost you about 10 minutes extra each morning, but what better way to honor your body and your family than to begin each day with a healthy start? 

Change the way you and your children snack.  Next time your kiddos are starving, give them these options:
  • raw baby bell peppers dipped in hummus
  • cucumber slices with lime juice and sea salt
  • homemade granola ('re not allowed to complain about this one, it takes about 5 minutes to make)
  • homemade whole wheat muffins
  • hard boiled eggs
  • fruit kabobs
  • plain greek yogurt with frozen fruit mixed in (defrost the fruit and it will mix well)
  • celery with peanut butter and raisins (ants on a's still a hit!)
  • core an apple and slice it real thin, use the apple slices as "bread" and make a peanut butter sandwich
  • cheese and grapes
  • nuts
  • smoothies (milk, ice, frozen fruit)
I'm going to leave you with a recipe that I want you all to try for kale chips.  Kale is a great veggie that packs tons of nutrients. 

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • olive oil
  • seasoned salt
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Using a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner.   (or buy the bag of pre-cut kale....who says all convience food is processed?)
  4. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  5. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.               

We had kale chips for dinner tonight with tilapia and a couscous salad. 

Now, I've got to get to work.  I realized I've got the attention of lots of people with this little project I, I am working for you guys now!