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Chef’s Tips: How to Cook Healthy

Casa-de-luzThought I would take a minute to give you some Chef’s Tips: How to Cook Healthy. Yes. It’s called Chef’s Tips: How to Cook Healthy and unfortunately, I can’t put a period on the end and still have good SEO, so I found my way around it….

WHAT’S BUGGING YOU, CHEF?

Why thank you for asking! I see all these blogs, all these articles showing all kinds of processed food, touting it as ‘healthy’ or ‘natural. Well, dog poop is natural. Would you eat that?

NO CHEF!

And you get my point?

YES CHEF!

We are in a world of information. Just because it’s on the web or in writing, doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Right?

I would say truly it pisses me off when I see recipes that are not healthy being labeled as healthy. But I change what I can. So I am going to start with one person…. myself and now you! lol

There are some very simple rules for eating healthy. And I think the cooking healthy follows. But first get into the right head space. Here ya go:

  1. If you can picture it growing from the ground, unless it’s magic mushrooms or oleander, eat it!
  2. If you picture a plate with a plus sign on it, one quarter is protein, 2 quarters are vegetables, and the last quarter is carbs. That’s an easy way to figure out portion control.
  3. If you’re eating carbs, try lentils and grain instead of white or wheat bread or pasta.
  4. Remember that both white and wheat ‘anythin’g are not necessarily good for you – unless your wheat is sprouted. (Read the book Wheat Belly).
  5. Cut back on alcohol one month at a time (one glass with dinner instead of two, then twice or three times a week with dinner, then once a week, then maybe only on a Saturday night, etc.).
  6. Alcohol = sugar. Just ask yourself if you want to drink your calories or eat them.
  7. And my all time favorite: Sugar = inflammation. Inflammation = disease. Don’t want to be sick? Start eliminating wheat and white flour. You can’t do it overnight. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just be mindful. When you go to eat a sandwich, perhaps a sandwich on rye, or ezekiel bread may be a better choice. Pasta is coming in, in all kinds of choices. Today I saw a combo of organic corn and quinoa. Interesting.
  8. Skip anything with sugar on the label. Now that’s a hard one. But converting from wheat to rice for a cereal and seeking out 7 g instead of 17g of sugar, is a great start.
  9. It’s baby steps. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do what you can do.
  10. More water. Less food. It should be part of your plan. We are told we need all kinds of ridiculous amounts of protein. Try less and more veggies for a week. Just see what happens.
  11. The jury is still out whether or not eating animal is healthy.
  12. If you are eating animal, make sure it’s grass fed or wild. At least check that you aren’t eating hormones and chemicals.
  13. If you are eating butter, do some research. There’s only one butter I know of…. Kerrygold that is really a pure butter.
  14. If you are not eating any animal just remember: there have been no reports of scurvy or any other things that might happen because people that are vegan or vegetarian are not getting enough protein. That’s just hype.
  15. Anything in a can or package should be only a quarter of your meal.
  16. You can take lettuce, tomato, avocado, cucumber and some nuts or seeds and make a yummy salad, which is better to eat after a protein like the french do because animal turns your insides acid. Veggies regain a good PH for you. It brings you back to alkaline and disease cannot grown in an alkaline body.
  17. Pick a protein.
  18. Add two different veggies (more than you usually eat).
  19. And if you add a carb, try lentils, beans and rice or whole grains instead of always pasta (yeah, I’m just like you – would rather just eat a whole bowl of pasta – but don’t do it). Remember: Pasta converts to sugar.
  20. These days there are pasta choices: Quinoa, rice noodles, etc. Try them out.
  21. Remember quinoa is a protein. If you do use quinoa pasta that is your protein.
  22. Here’s a chef’s tip: If you add very little water to quinoa shells, and keep stirring and stirring, it breaks down and turns into a creamy sauce, like what you have in a chicken pot pie……. That’s a yum way to create some kind of something! Load it up with vegetables. Use your imagination!

Healthy eating is a day to day project. There are some days, some hours, you just can’t manage to eat well (on the run, no other choice, insane cravings, etc.). Eat what you have to, forgive yourself and make the next food even better for you.

I have been eating mostly Vegan since before last Thanksgiving – four or five months now. And while I’m no saint, I can tell you that 90% of the time, I’m Vegan. When I cheat? I go to a ‘make your own pizza place’, or make my own at home, cover the bottom with sauce, add every vegetable in site (roasted garlic, caramelized onions, green and red peppers, spinach and whatever else is around), add some oregano and then sparingly dot the top with mozzarella. It tastes just like a full blown pizza, but you haven’t done hardly any damage. Take only 2 or 3 of the slices (3 if they’re small) and add a huge salad. I hate to say it this way, but if you are not vegan and craving veggies, you sort of have to trick yourself into eating more of them.

And there’s all kinds of vegan and healthier choices for salad dressing these days. Go explore. I even take salsa and guacamole and put that on top of salad with cilantro! Ole!

I guess the most important point is that eating healthy is different for everyone. Having a salad with your Big Mac may be a healthier choice for you. Eating a small french fries instead of large, may be a step towards your sense of healthy. But I can tell you for sure, we are all taking baby steps to our end goal and that’s to eat food that promotes a long life.

That’s the main question you want to ask yourself before eating something. Does this support my well being? You might say: “Heck no, but I want it”.  And that’s fine on occasion. But you will find if you are questioning your food choices, you’ll shop at better stores, spend more time seeking out organic produce and centering at least one meal a day around that.

Once you stop eating sugar as a food group, you will crave it less. Your taste buds will change. And you will start enjoying and even craving things that are good for you.

Pass the word. Stick me on your facebook page!

Thanks!

Happy Healthy Eating,

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