A couple of weeks ago, in another of my favourite memes, we were listing things were were bad at. It seemed like every other list mentioned exercise, eating right, losing weight. Being in need of shedding more than a few pounds, taking care of myself has been on my mind a lot. Throw in the fact 50, yes I said it, 50 is coming up faster than I'd like, taking care of my body has become more of an issue.
So why is it so hard?
One reason is easy, temptation. I have zero will power. I can resist anything but temptation in any way shape or form. And I have lots of enablers. Damn you Kitchen Slattern for posting these delicious cookies, you too Niki Woo, for not one but two mouth watering German Chocolate Cake recipes (although you do have some delicious healthy recipes too). Movita's birthday is on the horizon, so testing recipes for frostings, fillings, cakes and decorations. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Baker Bettie and her Cookie 101 showing me the way to make the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. Yes, I place the blame squarely on your shoulders for every notch on my belt. Wipe that smirk off your face Alexander Keith, you've added more than a few calories yourself.
I have been accused of being an enabler too. Left Brain told me to lay off the recipes because Rory was baking so much that he was gaining weight. I do believe in spreading the calories around.
Being slightly more than 20 pounds over my ideal weight, I was shocked to find I fall into the category of clinically obese. That has all of the associated health issues. A bit of a sobering read.
Other than not being able to unstrap the feed bag, there is another reason it is hard to take care of ourselves. As anyone who has ever tried to research a food allergy will tell you, reliable information can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
I know a lot about food. Between growing up on a farm and working in the industry almost 30 years, I've picked up a thing or two. Few things raise my hackles faster than mis information about food. Here are a few of my current favourites.
I read an interview about a well know RAW restaurant and chef. Raw eating is basically not cooking your food, Google it if you'd like more information. It's an interesting premise. I'm not knocking the movement, the restaurant or the chef but... During the interview, she spoke about lycopene, a very potent anti oxidant found in tomatoes. Check, then she went on to say you'd never find a cooked tomato in her restaurant. Okay, but lycopene isn't heat sensitive, cooking tomatoes concentrates it and a tablespoon of tomato paste (or ketchup) has more than a whole raw tomato. Kind of a misleading comment.
The subway has been inundated with these ads promoting vegetarianism. Quite frankly, I don't care if you eat meat or not. I do. I don't debate the ethics of my meals. The reality is something dies so something lives, be it plant, animal or fungi, every meal of every species on earth. We're omnivores, not carnivores, not herbivores, we're designed to eat everything we can cram in our grubby little cake holes.
What I do take exception to are the ads and the misleading information about the animals with in. Pigs are not imprisoned in crates for no reason, they eat their young. Are notorious for it in fact. Never have I heard a sow "sing a lullaby" to her piglets, unless of course she's lulling them to sleep so she can eat in peace.
Piglets teeth are snapped off because they're tusks, and dangerous. People die every year in North America from pig attacks. They aren't like Babe, no matter what Disney tells us.
Cows are very maternal and will often search for their young for days. Yes, that would be the calf you are lying on and have just crushed or perhaps the one you just stepped on. Cows are kept on a vicious cycle of forced pregnancy to keep milk production. What exactly do you think happens to them if left alone? They give birth, nurse, wean, go into heat, breed, repeat. They don't take a time out to pursue a career, or just have a holiday, they breed. As does every other animal on the planet. Whether they're physically ready for it or not.
Cows enjoy solving intellectual puzzles and have been know to "jump" for joy. WTF, the only jumping I've ever noticed is the fence, usually into a swamp, away from plentiful food. Mensa material I tell you.
You don't want to eat meat, fine. I respect that. Don't feed me bullshit to justify it, you don't have to. Not only do I not care, I don't judge. Do what feels right for you.
The top of my list has to go to this little catch phrase I've been seeing around for a bit. "If you think organic is expensive, try paying for cancer." Offensive, dismissive and just plain incorrect. No health care worker on the planet will tell you if you eat organic you won't get cancer. That would be criminally irresponsible.
I get it. We live in an age of the 15 second sound bite and catch phrases. Everyone is trying to sell you something, from their ideology to the tricked out 9 layer forced air food dehydrator for a mere $999.99. I have the answers, the way, your life will be better if you just do this. Unfortunately, the vast majority of it is crap, pseudo science at best.
Our bodies are finely tuned machines. It takes surprisingly little to throw them off balance. Sure we go on, much like your car will even if you don't change the oil, but with a little care it runs so much better. Over the next little while, I'm going to post bits on healthier eating, sleep, hydration and exercise. Hopefully we'll all learn a little, lose a little and be ready for rockin' the summer.
Just so you don't all despair, here is a little comfort food you can feel good about.
4-8 cups of peeled, cored and sliced fruit, apples and pears for this recipe
1/2 cup of brown sugar, divided 1/4, 1/4
1/3 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, divided 1/4 , 1/2
3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, divided 1/4 , 1/2
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare and 8x8 baking dish. I use cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine apples, pears, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Mix until fruit is lightly coated.
In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Whisk until well combined.
Add softened butter and using a fork or pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture.
You should have soft clumps, about the size of grapes or smaller.
Put the fruit mixture in the bottom of the baking dish, then dot the top with the flour and butter mixture.
Bake in preheated oven 30-45 minutes. Cooking time varies with the amount of fruit used.
I normally use 6 cups and 30 minutes is about perfect.
Serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream or ice cream.
Why feel good? All the taste of pie with out all the calories. Far less sugar, fat, flour, no salt. What it does have, fibre, anti oxidants from the fruit and cinnamon and most importantly, taste. To really punch up the healthy? Throw a tablespoon of ground flax seeds into the flour mix, you've added lots more fibre and an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Boost the protein with some ground or crushed nuts, it's even better for you.
Dairy allergy (or want to cut even more calories), use soy margarine instead of the butter. Gluten allergy, use gluten free flour and oats. Don't like apples and pears, use what ever fruit is in season or that you like. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. (or what your kids will eat) You're welcome.
Drop by Rory's and see what's on everyone else's mind.
Drop by Rory's and see what's on everyone else's mind.