Connecting you with food

Connecting you with food

 

By Katherine MacPherson BS, ACSM HFS & UVAC Personal Trainer

Gluten Free, Farm Fresh, Organic Quiche, recipe at the end!
I am asked about healthy meal planning nearly every day as a trainer.  Whether it is fat loss or you’re just conquering a “healthy” life style the body needs to acquire the top possible items to do so.  In this blog post, you will learn about the BEST items of food to choose and the understanding of quality vs. quantity.
Let’s start with beverages. In weight-loss planning 101 you need to know the most important piece, “Don’t drink your calories!”  Tea and coffee may contain very little calories, but in the end it’s what you DO to the tea and coffee that eliminate the initial value and adds unwanted saturated fats and high volumes of sugar.  It is not just your cup-of-joe that can be adding on that extra pound or two of fat per week.   Many kinds of alcohol, juices, and sodas are packed with calories, food coloring, and sugar. Let say you add 2 tablespoons of sugar a day to your one cup of coffee, seven days a week for one month, that equals over 2/3 pound of fat a month! When in doubt, ask for a good old zero calorie ice water!
Where’s the beef?  Meat, fish and poultry are great sources of protein, iron, and essential fatty acids.    The major topic with purchasing these items widen from safety of animal welfare, environmental welfare, and consumer welfare.  This means choosing the “natural or organic” items.  A UK study on consumer perception of organic food from the British Food Journal found that consumers were more concerned with health and animal welfare, which greatly impacted individuals and their food choices (Harper & Makatouni,  2002).  Today many products contain harmful chemicals, hormones, and preservatives.  The preservative Monosodium (MSG) that is commonly found in cereals and meat have been known to cause weakness, difficulty breathing, nausea, headaches, chest pain, rapid heartbeat (FDA and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), USDA, 2006).  Purchasing certified organic items promise the consumer that there are no added chemicals, genetic engineering, preservatives, or hormones (United States Department of Agriculture).
Linking the last topic to this the next, choosing your veggies and fruits should be fun filled.  Every week it should be your goal to pack in as many colorful fruits and veggies as you can.  The nutrients, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that are in those products will make you strong, have lots of energy, and get you moving and feeling like a champion.  BUT: First, watch what you do to these items.  Buttering them up and adding salt will turn that delightful sweet-potato into a water absorbing fat bomb.  Love your veggies and fruits the way they are!  Second, remember just reading about certified organic products?  Well, the same applies to these choices too.  This can be difficult because prices for these higher quality items are a little more than the non-organic items.  But think about this, I used the word quality.  Items that were raised organic won’t contain harmful chemicals (USDA, National Organic Program). Walk into the grocery store today and compare the prices yourself.  Last week I purchased an organic cucumber for $1.99, the non-organic cucumber was $1.50.  Is that $.49 difference that chilling?
Dairy products are always an interesting topic for healthy meal planning.  When picking out your yogurts, milks, and other dairy products I highly recommend reading the ingredients label.  Some items can contain a great load of sugar!  For those who read my last blog “Dear Mary Poppins, a spoon full of sugar does not make the medicine go down, it makes the blood lipids go up,” you learned that over exposure to sugar can lead to obesity, high blood lipids and other unhappy health issues down the road like type two diabetes.  That delicious raspberry yogurt for lunch can be the same as eating 2 tablespoons of sugar!
Last but not least: your wheat products.  You need to be prudent when picking your products because it can affect you down the road.   Whole grain items are a major source of carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates fuel the body all day, but what happens when we have fueled up too much?  We store all leftovers in the adipose (fat) tissues in our bodies.  How come?  When carbohydrates are broken down in the body it will be converted to glucose, which is the simplest form of sugar.   Remember the sugar topic from earlier in this blog?  Exposure to long-term glucose (perhaps your toast for breakfast along with that PB&J you have with two slices of French bread at lunch) can increase your risk of high blood lipids (fat in your blood), heart disease, and many other health related issues.  This topic is raising and I’m sure hearing about those who are going wheat-free and gluten-free are not that uncommon.   What going wheat-free means is eliminating your bread and wheat sources from your diet.  A great read on this topic is Wheat Belly,written by William Davis, MD.  Your best items to avoid the bloating feeling and fat storing of either wheat and gluten are grains that contain flax, quinoa, rice, tapioca, soy, buckwheat, corn, and millet.

Quiche Recipe:

This meal can be a great choice for you and your family because you are cooking with REAL food!  This recipe includes minimal processed foods, a load of fresh veggies and protein, and will connect you with food!
You need:
1 small diced zucchini
½ cup of diced onions
6 Farm fresh sliced and grilled sausage links
1 cup of fresh diced spinach
6 egg whites
6 whole eggs
½ tbs. garlic power or optional seasoning
½ cup of diced tomatoes
Optional:
Cubed cheese
Crust:
2 cups of gluten free flour (of choose)
1 tbs. of coconut or olive oil
¼ – ½ cup of water
Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 450° degrees.
2.     Mix the top portion ingredients in a separate bowl.
3.     Combined the crust ingredients and roll out on a clean floured area.
4.     Grease a pie pan and spread the crust fully over the pan. 
5.     Pour all the contents of the wet ingredients into the pie pan.
6.     Wrap tin foil over the top of the pie pan.
7.     Bake for 40-45 minutes (check the quiche to make sure the egg is fully cooked)
Resources:
Harper, G., & Makatouni, A. (2002). Consumer perception of organic food production and farm animal welfare. British Food Journal , 104(3/4/5), 287-299.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG),” 31 August, 1995 (accessed July 28, 2006).
United States Department of Argriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service.  Organic Labeling and Marketing information.
United States Department of Agriculture. www.usda.gov