Doesn't it make sense to wait until the holidays are over to talk about mindful eating? There are so many special foods during this holiday season, why don't we just wait until the new year begins?
Mindful eating allows you to maximize the enjoyment of your foods!
Mindful eating is about how you eat and why you eat and not primarily about what you eat. It means eating with intention and without judgement. So does that mean you can eat all you want of anything? Yes! Doesn't that mean that you'll blow up like a ballon? Probably not. Though you might start by gaining a little weight, many find that as they give more attention to their food, learning to savor every bite and noticing when they are full, they slow down and start to eat less
But can't mindful eating be used for weight loss? Yes, it can certainly be an important tool to help with that. However, since our culture is filled with so many calorie-dense foods available all the time, additional approaches are sometimes necessary. The first research studies using mindful eating techniques were with binge eaters and it was found to be very successful with this population. There have been a number of other studies which have shown that it can help with weight loss, diabetes, and a number of other diseases.
So how can you start eating mindfully? Take a deep breath (or two) and understand that it takes practice. Be clear about why you are interested in starting. There are lots of good reasons to eat mindfully. Know what yours are. There are many great books to help guide you in this practice and I've listed two below.
But while you are getting your book or plan together, here are a few techniques that you can try.
> Close your eyes and count to at least 5 (10 is even better) before you put anything in your mouth.
> Notice how hungry you are - quantify it on a 1-10 scale.
> Don't take a second bite until you've completely swallowed the first.
> Try to recognize the various flavors and become aware of
how their intensity changes as you chew.
Mindfulness in all areas of life is beneficial. The American lifestyle is a hectic, stressful one and often results in mindless eating contributing to obesity and many of our other diseases. Enjoy your next meal to the fullest - do it mindfully.
Two good books to get you started.
Eating Mindfully by Susan Alber, Psy D
& Liliam Cheung, DSc, RD
Discover Mindful Eating by Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD
#stonesoupblog #mindful eating #cookingtogetherwithfriends #holiday eating
This is the time of year when we feel free to indulge a little more since we know that New Year's resolutions are right around the corner. However, there is no reason that some of these wonderful foods can't have some nutritional benefits. Whole wheat flour and rolled oats are the "good" carbohydrates and when I substituted the olive oil for butter or margarine, which was part of the original recipe, I found it worked as well. As a result there is very little saturated fat in these cookies!!
1/3 cup whole wheat flour 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashion rolled oats 1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg
3 Tablespoons olive oil 2 oz dark mini chocolate chips
(orange-infused olive oil is my favorite)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Measure and combine the the flour and the oats into a bowl.
3. Measure and add the baking soda and salt to the flour and oats and stir together.
4. Measure the olive oil into a small bowl.
5. Measure and add sugar to the bowl and mix until smooth.
6. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture and blend well.
7. Beat egg in small bowl and blend into the flour mixture
8. Measure and fold in the vanilla, cherries, and chocolate.
9. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet with parchment paper.
10. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes and put on wire racks.
#oatmeal cookies #cookingtogetherwithfriends
Party time! Cooking with a large group is really fun. Our church encourages members to offer small groups with any topic of interest. I offered a "cooking together with friends" group and limited the number to 12. Many of you have gatherings of friends or family that are about that size and these recipes are really fun and flexible for such a group. Who doesn't like a pasta entree or a fruit crisp for dessert? Since the quantities for the recipes on my website are mostly for six - I doubled them. Each person was assigned to bring some of the ingredients and we were able to keep it under $8.00 apiece. Everyone was also asked to participate in the clean-up. I've included the menu items which are linked to their recipes on my website. Since each recipe makes six generous servings, we found that we had a lot left over, however, we didn't have heavy eaters in our group. You should take into account the individuals that are coming to your group and adjust the quantities needed, though they do make great left-overs. Have this great meal with good friends and enjoy the party!
Below is a one minute video of the making of the meal. Cooking together, not only results in wonderful food, but creates a sense of community and smiles of contentment.
#stonesoupblog #cookingtogetherwithfriends #cookingtogether #churchdinner @triciascooking
It's fun to serve this soup because the presentation is so pretty. However, there are other reasons to serve it. It's easy to make, tastes great, and is really good for you. The artistically inclined can use a knife or fork to create a beautiful swirl with the dollop of sour cream or yogurt put on the center. This is a lovely first course for a dinner or a larger portion with great bread and a salad is a wonderful meal. You may start with fresh broccoli and squash, which is what I did initially; however, I have found that the frozen version of both these vegetables works equally well and still gives a wonderfully nutrient-rich soup.
1 head broccoli
or 20 oz frozen broccoli, thawed
7 cloves of garlic, divided or
(or 7 teaspoons garlic paste)
2 cups divided reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
If you have an untrimmed head of broccoli, trim the large leaves from the broccoli and remove the tough ends of the lower stalk and chop the broccoli into pieces.
2. Peel and mince 4 of the garlic cloves.
3. Combine the broccoli, 2 cups of the broth, and the minced garlic in a soup pot. Bring it to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer the soup, partially covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the soup from the heat. Transfer the mixture in batches to blender. Cover and process until smooth. Keep if warm until squash soup is finished.
24 ounces frozen butternut squash
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons butter or oil
6 tablespoons of sour cream
salt, pepper, and cayenne to
6. Peel and mince the remaining 3 cloves of garlic and combine with the salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne into a small cup.
7. Sauté the garlic in oil or butter over medium heat for 30 seconds and add the spices and cook 1 minute more.
8. Add the squash to the garlic and spices.
9. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth, stirring until well-blended. Simmer until squash is tender and flavors have mingled. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Pour ½ cup of each mixture at the same time into opposite sides of each soup bowl.
11. Drop 1 tablespoon of sour cream in the middle of each bowl and swirl with a fork, creating a design.
#stonesoupblog #soup #broccoli
#healthy eating #squash
If you google "Best Tiramisu" like I did, you will find a number of wonderful sounding recipes. Making the custard from scratch with cream, mixing it together with heavy cream, and using the other full fat items will certainly give you a very rich dessert. However, most of these recipes were considerably over 400 calories and over 30 grams of fat per serving. Is this very rich dessert really going to make you feel good as you try to digest it in the next few hours or when you step on the scale in the morning? As a foodie who loves wonderful tasting food and as a dietitian who also loves great tasting food but sees the problems lots of calories create, I pondered this question. The answer that made sense to me was to make some compromises. There is no way that I'm going to make tiramisu into a health food. However, the following recipe has many ingredients that can be made with whole fat, low fat, or no fat ingredients. I made the recipe with mostly no fat ingredients and when cut into 9 servings, the calorie count was 248 and the fat 4 grams. I served it to a small group of women with very favorable reviews. As a dietitian I know that an occasional very high fat treat will not usually cause great health problems, but I know that you can lower the fat of some of these items without making a significant difference in the taste. Let me know what you would choose to do? I'd love to hear about what you tried.
1 cup cold water
1.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding*
1 3/4 cup milk*
8 oz of cream cheese*
4 oz of frozen whipped topping, thawed*
2 packages of lady finger
4- Tablespoons coffee liqueur
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips1/3 cup of sweetened cocoa
*These items may no-fat or full fat, the difference in calories and fat is significant, but not the taste.
Make pudding with the milk according to directions. Beat the cream cheese in a mixer until smooth; mix in the pudding adding 1-2 tablespoons of liqueur.
Fold the thawed topping into the mixture, when well-combined, add the chocolate chips. Line pan with ½ of the ladyfingers and pour ½ of the remaining coffee liqueur over the fingers. Put ½ of the cream cheese mixture on the ladyfingers in the pan. Add the remaining ladyfingers (or as many as needed to make a layer). Pour remaining liqueur on the second layer of fingers and put the rest of the mixture on top. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and refrigerate until it’s time for dessert.
#Stonesoupblog, #Tiramisu, #Cookingtogetherwithfriends
Savor every bite.
The best way to savor every bite is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. You may be saying to yourself - but I never learned to do that! Let me suggest that you entered the world doing that instinctively, babies spit out food when they've had enough. Food is one of our first pleasures and often one of our last ones as well. Since we all deal with food daily, our life improves when we thoroughly enjoy the food we are eating. Won't this lead to gross overeating and obesity? No. In May of this year the British Journal of Nutrition said that those adults who most often ate three meals a day at a set time were those adults less likely to be overweight. Eating on a schedule helps us to avoid getting too hungry. Also pleasurable meal experiences also were linked to normal body weight. So how can you truly enjoy what you eat? Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full and take the time to savor every bite.
#stonesoupblog #nurturing #weightloss #enjoying eating
Paella is a wonderful rice dish originating in Spain. Tradition says it was a dish of leftovers, often containing a mixture of meats, seafood and vegetables. It's not necessary to include all these ingredients because paella is a flexible dish. You can use the ingredients you like best; for example, mussels are often included in recipes, but if you don't like mussels just omit them and add something you like better. This allows you to adapt this beautiful recipe to the dietary preferences of your guests and yourself. I've included a recipe I've used a number of times with great success. A paella pan is worth the investment since it is also used to serve this attractive-looking dish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the clams thoroughly with a stiff brush under cold running water and set them aside on a plate with the shrimp. Slice the sausage into 1/2 inch round pieces. Spray a fry pan with vegetable spray, add 1 tsp oil and sauté the sausage until browned. If necessary, drain on paper towel. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and cut each thigh in two. In the same skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and sauté well, turning with tongs to brown evenly. Remove chicken to a separate plate. Chop onion and mince garlic , cut the pepper into strips and chop the tomato. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil to skillet and sauté onions, pepper strips, and tomato over medium heat until vegetables have softened In a paella pan, combine the onion/pepper mixture, rice, salt, and saffron. Pour in 6 cups boiling water stirring constantly. Arrange meats and seafood on rice and scatter peas. Do not stir again once arranged. Set pan on the bottom rack in the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove paella when done, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with lemon
#stonesoupblog #paella #cooking together
Pasta is often considered the center of an Italian menu. But in Northern Italy, where the short grained Arborio rice is grown, the rice becomes the star and is made into wonderful risottos. Arborio rice becomes creamy as it releases its particularly high starch content as the broth is slowly stirred into the rice. It seems to me to be a wonderful expression of the Italian preference for high quality, slow food as compared to low quality, fast food. (See the movie, The Big Night, for an entertaining depiction of the cultural clash between American and Italian ways of eating.)
Risotto is a very versatile dish, taking on the flavors of the type of broth and other ingredients added. Though there are wonderful risotto recipes that include various vegetables, meats, and seafood, the one given here is simpler and may be used along with a meat dish to create a lovely meal. Traditionally in the Italian cuisine, it is often a first course or "primi", which is how it is used in the menu you can find on my website.
Have you tried this? Do you have a favorite variation? Leave a comment - let others know what you think.
1. Put broth in a saucepan and bring to simmer.
2. Dice the onion
3. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a second pot and heat to moderate temperature. Add chopped onion to heated butter. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes until softened, but not browned.
4. Measure rice and and add to onions. Using the wooden spoon, stir for 1 minute, making sure all the grains are well-coated.
5. Begin to add the simmering broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next ½ cup, reserving about ¼ cup to add at the end. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
6. After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, add the reserve broth, cream, and peas and stir well.
7. Turn off the heat and immediately add the rest (1 Tablespoon) of butter and Parmesan and stir vigorously to combine with the rice.
8. Serve immediately.
#stonesoupblog, #italian cuisine, #risotto
Including fruits in your diet has many health benefits. A delightful way to enjoy fruits is to make a crisp. It's a perfect dessert, easy to make, and tastes great. Unlike many other baked desserts, ingredients do not have to be precise. You can choose a favorite fruit combination and if you add a little more or less than the recipe calls for, it really won't make a big difference. In the following recipe, if you have lovely fresh peaches and blueberries, that's great. But if those great fresh fruits are not available, frozen fruits work and even canned ones in their own juice will give a wonderful tasty result. Another bonus is that this crisp, depending on the fat used in the topping, is acceptable for vegans as well. In the following recipe, I've given precise ingredients and amounts which you can count on for an easy and great dessert, but I'd love to have you comment and let me know if you enjoyed it or if you altered it.
Blueberry Peach Crisp
2 cans (29 ounces sliced peaches) in their own juice
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2/3 cup brown sugar, divided
5/8 cup flour, divided
3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 cup of quick cooking oats
3 Tablespoon butter, oil, or favorite spread
Directions for Proceeding:
1. Drain peaches in colander and mix with berries in a large bowl. (Frozen berries do best in semi-thawed state.)
2. Combine in small bowl, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
3. In a large bowl coat fruit well with flour mixture and put into the baking dish.
4. In medium bowl combine oats, 3/8 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and
1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
5. Add the softened spread and mix well. (Use pastry blender or clean hands.)
6. Spread the dry ingredients evenly over fruit.
7. Bake a 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Cover with foil after 20 minutes if the top is too brown.
8. Serve warm with a frozen topping if desired. Serves 6
So, what do you think? Will you use this recipe as written or change it? Please comment and let me know!
There is little doubt that it is easier to make a meal for kids than to have them help. So why include them in this process? The reason is that there are many benefits you can reap from involving your children in making a meal.
Benefit #1. Both you and your kids will be working together on a project that has immediate rewards. The importance of this project, includes not only the meal, but the special time you have working together.
Benefit #2. Your child will be learning an important life skill, which, I've learned in my work as a dietitian, many people don't have. I've had people say that they cooked supper and meant they had put a frozen pizza in the oven!
Benefit #3. Your child may be willing to try some new foods.
Benefit #4. Your child will learn that special meals are not just restaurant ones, and that can be financially beneficial.
Benefit #5. Most meals made at home have much less salt and fat than those eaten out and can help keep the weight of both you and your kids in the normal range.
I think the benefits are best realized when the adults take the role of the "sous chef" and the kids lead the way as much as possible.
Depending on the age of the child, the meal can be become more or less complicated. My granddaughter was very proud of her appetizers. An adult will need to decide what help the child might need in cutting the baguette and using the
The only ingredients for these appetizers include a baguette, a small bottle of pesto, and Parmesan cheese. After slicing the baguette and putting it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, my granddaughter put some pesto on each and grated cheese on top. Then with a little help from her "sous chefs" she watched the appetizers under the broiler until the cheese melted. These appetizers were definitely a great hit with every one.
My grandson chose the main course and dessert; both of these recipes were a little more ambitious than I would have chosen myself. My recommenda-tion would be to have three or four recipes available so the kids could choose from them. However, though the recipes were ambitious, they were a great success. Everyone loved the peppers, sausage, and potatoes, which was a one pot recipe; we choose red and yellow peppers to make the dish more colorful. The lemon bars were a great hit and I did simplify the recipe we used just a little for my website. All the recipes are available on my website - "Cookingtogetherwithfriends.com" - Menu #8. Please comment, sharing an experience you've had cooking with your kids. Also, click on the website to see the rest of the recipes.