Spotlight on Daikon Radishes

Today boys and girls we’re gonna be talking about something interesting called a daikon radish. It looks a lot like a big white carrot but it’s actually a part of the radish tribe.

Ok but before I dive all into this, I want to share how I found them.

About a month ago I came across one of those ad’s Facebook delights in stuffing into our newsfeed, but this was one I was REALLY interested in, as opposed to some of the nonsense they think I wish to see.

It was for a company called “Imperfect Produce”.  A quick read on it educated me that they are about reducing wasted produce that otherwise won’t make it into your local store.

I guess I never really gave much thought to the fact the fruits and vegetables you see are all generally similar sizes, shapes and attractive in appearance.

I never really thought about  things being “to big” or “to small” or “to ugly”  or “imperfect” to sell.  It can also be to an over abundance of a certain food as well. Only so many zucchini can go on a store shelf……..

This company buys food from farmers and it’s kind of a win/win. The farmer makes some money on what might have gone to the pigs, it’s not being needlessly wasted, and you get a cool produce box that’s an interesting variety each week.

When I checked into it, by checking my zip code, I was already thinking they wouldn’t deliver in my area.

Well, imagine my surprise when they showed my area was a part of delivery service. For 4.99 they bring you this interesting box..

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My first box came about 9:30 at night. They text you to let you know it’s on it’s way, and when they are close to you. I was really impressed that the box was so attractive and it was so pretty inside…..

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not only that, it’s delivered in a chilled (uh… not like “chill” laid back and calm “chill” but cold.. hahaha)  van so everything is nice, cold and fresh. It really impressed me… which I guess is why I’m starting my fourth order this week 🙂

Basically, you can choose all veggies, all fruit or mixed. You can choose from organic or regular produce. You can take the box the send you, or customize your own. You can also pick weekly service, or bi-weekly. I opted for a mixed box.

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For instance this “tiny” sweet potato. I don’t have little hands.

Not only all that, whoever does the marketing has a wicked fun sense of humor so I related to that as well.

Now back to our original story…..

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Carrot or radish?

When they showed Daikon radishes as being available, I figured why not give it a try? And like you, I knew nothing of them. So let’s get a little established on what they are.

The daikon radish looks like a white carrot. It’s a root vegetable, but instead of having a potent, peppery taste, it’s sweet, crisp and mild.

A part of the radish family it grows much larger than it’s counter parts, upwards of 20 inches long and 4 inches wide!

Unlike other radishes, it’s as good cooked, as it is raw.

On a nutritional level, they are full of vitamin A, C, E, B6, potassium, and other minerals, radishes can give your whole body an immunity boost.

Try them baked or boiled in stews and soups or in a stir fry. Also try them lightly steamed with olive oil, salt or lemon juice for flavor.  Slice daikon radishes and eat raw with a dip or peanut butter or add shredded raw Daikon radishes to salads.

Daikon radishes are very popular in Asian dishes.

Daikon is quite perishable, so if serving it raw try to use it within 4 days of purchase. If cooking daikon, it can be stored up about a week. Keep it in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Let’s eat….

So I looked for recipes and there are quite a few to be had. I liked the one that makes like fried “potatoes” out of it.

https://www.gnom-gnom.com/keto-faux-tatoes-radishes

Oh and hey, if you think Imperfect produce sounds like something you might want to check out to see if they’re in your area, go to http://www.imperfectproduce.com if you decide to do it, please use my referral code when you do http://imprfct.us/ltIQM

Tell me…have you ever heard of daikon radishes?

 

 

 

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Protein Rich Foods For Weight Loss

I’ve been talking alot lately about different diets and options some people are doing.

I’ve shared a comparison post on low Carb vs. keto…..    https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/09/low-carb-diet-vs-keto-diet/

Last week I shared what I love doing and try to implement most of the time which is a single ingredient plan…………    https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2019/01/14/single-ingredient-diet/

But one of the things many of these diets often show is plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dairy and lean protein as a way to get slimmer.

This doesn’t have to be labeled as anything, it is just sensible eating.

You can’t go wrong eating that way.

If I’m really pushing to lean out I key in on plenty of veggies and good quality protein.

Protein should make up about 30% of your meal in some form. It not only keeps you feeling satisfied, and your blood sugar level steady, it is essential for muscle building, repair, cell growth and lots of other important things in our bodies.

But what if you’re wanting to get more protein from plant related or other sources?

Is that possible?

Indeed it is with many tasty possibilities.

Lets look at some foods that offer protein packed benefits.

*Spinach. This is one of my favorite staples in my day often at breakfast and lunch. Spinach contains 5.3 grams of protein per cup. Interestingly the protein increases when cooked.

Other dark greens high in protein are kale, mustard greens and swiss chard.

*Sweet corn. Corn is often hated on but it can pack a nice nutritional punch and offers 4.7 grams per cup.

* Asparagus. I have to admit this is something I started eating as a big kid. Like uh….maybe a year or so back “big kid” haha

I guess it never seemed to interest me then one day I decided to experiment. Good thing too, asparagus offers 4.3 grams per cooked cup.

*Brussel sprouts. Gosh if there’s a veggie that gets hated on, it’s these little guys. Find a recipe that you think sounds good and try them. Just don’t boil them. They are amazing roasted in oven with a bit of olive oil. A cup serving will yield you about 4 grams.

*Mushrooms are another food I had to “grow into” a one cup serving is 3.9 grams. If that’s to much 3.5 ounces will get you 3.6 grams.

*Broccoli offers 3.7 grams for a cup.

*Edame or soybeans offer 18 grams for one cup!

*Black beans offer 7.6 grams for only a half cup. They are also loaded with lots of other healthy vitamins and minerals.

*This isn’t a veggie, but wild rice offers 6.5 grams for one cup.

*Almonds get you 6 grams per 1/4 cup. Toss some in with nonfat Greek yogurt and berries, its one of my favorite go to breakfasts when I’m time crunched.

*Potatoes. Are you surprised? A medium potato contains 4 grams!

* Steel cut oats…another non veggie but it contains 5 grams in its modest 1/4 cup serving.

*Chickpeas get you 6 grams in a half cup serving.

*Green peas contain more protein than any other vegetable which is why they are the primary protein source in many vegan protein powders. You’ll get about 9 grams of protein per cup and lots of healthy fiber too.

*Lentils are a huge source coming in at 18 grams for a one cup serving!

*Ok and a final one…I just have to include it because it’s such a powerhouse of protein, and that’s Greek yogurt. You get 23 grams of protein in 8 oz. And you will be getting lots of good for you friendly bacteria that help with digestion.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of protein foods that aren’t animal sourced.

Mixing up these types of foods will offer not only protein but lots of good body healthy vtimans and minerals while helping you stay lean.

Oops. In technical difficulties…I’m typing this on my phone and pulled up an image from my food post on calories and if they are equal. I didn’t realize this pic had text on it and I’m not sure how to make it leave haha anyway you can search up that post if you need more to read. 🤣    https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/05/the-equality-of-the-calorie/

Tell me. What’s your favorite non-meat source of protein?

Low Carb Diet vs. Keto Diet

With the start of a new year, I’ve watched with the usual fascination as all the diet plans and health products start making a new surge as people once again make a “resolution” to lose weight and get healthier.

I always marvel at how complicated people try to make it.  It honestly just doesn’t have to be so.

Anyway, one of the things I’ve been itching to get to is writing this post doing a little comparison of a low carb diet and the keto diet.

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Are they the same? What makes them different ? Is one possibly any better than the other?

I hope to offer some educated perspectives to this current trendy topic.

What’s the difference?

A low carb diet is simply that. You can make adjustments in your eating and modestly or greatly cut back on carbs. You become more selective about your carbs and where they come from.

For instance, I can really do without the carbs in cake or chips,  while the carbs in an apple or sweet potato offer my body lots of good vitamins and minerals along with those  complex carbs all for very few calories.

But hold up.

Not all carbs are equal as you may know. Simple carbs like the ones found in refined sugars meaning…. breakfast cereals, muffins,  pastries, chips, cookies, crackers, baked goods,  boxed snacks, sodas, sugared drinks, candy, alcohol etc… are ones that should be looked at critically first.

Simple carbohydrates are made up of just one or two sugar molecules. As such, it doesn’t take much for your body to break them down and absorb them (as glucose) into the bloodstream. For this reason, simple carbohydrates raise blood sugar much faster and usually higher than complex carbohydrates.

Often people may find with an awareness of exactly what they consume in a day they will realize those simple carb foods are the ones who need to be reduced in their daily diets. Doing so can almost painlessly lead to a slow steady loss of weight.

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Complex carbs ( starches made up of long chains of sugar molecules—are considered good carbs because they take longer to digest and thus don’t spike blood sugars as quickly as simple carbs) are found in good foods like whole grains breads and pastas, legumes, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, low fat yogurt, milk,  and tons of good for you fruits and veggies. So many veggies…..

Not only are they good for supporting all systems of your body they provide crucial energy as well. Find my post on carbs here…… https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/04/11/carbs-are-not-the-enemy/

Being on a low carb diet doesn’t mean you are on a keto diet although some tend to think that.  I hear so many people say it but honestly, many are on just an extremely low carb diet.

That being said, keto is a low carb diet. An extremely low carb diet to the exclusion of many of those healthy, good for you good carbs I mentioned along with most fruits and veggies.

In order to truly follow a ketogenic diet you need to be in a state of ketosis. This simply means your body is burning fatty acids (ketones) for energy instead of carbohydrate stores (glycogen in liver, and glucose in blood) and your carb intake must be at, and stay at, a consistently  low level to achieve that.

The levels of ketones produced can be varied depending on daily macros. ( Macro nutrients are the daily protein, carbs and fats you eat)  And the amount of carbohydrates consumed is one of the big differences when looking at low carb vs keto.

a ketogenic diet demands specific changes to all three macronutrients. For this reason, it’s hard to recommend a keto diet to someone unless they know how to track their macros or are really serious about learning.

When you have normal levels of ketones in your bloodstream, your brain and the rest of your body are fueled by stored body fat. But the only way to know for sure if you’re in a state of ketosis is confirming it through daily testing.

This can be done through blood, urine, or a breath analyzer test.

Urine strips are perhaps least confirming because they merely show the excess that you’ve eliminated.

Blood and urine strips are also more expensive as they are a one time use.

Breathe and blood tests show more up to the moment ketone levels.

So to clearly state… you could believe you are doing a keto diet but without actually testing for ketone levels and tracking your total macros, you could just be doing an extremely restrictive low carb diet.

Saying you’re doing keto doesn’t really mean you’re actually doing that without evidence to show that you truly have your body in a state of ketosis, this is where your body is actually using the fatty acids for energy and not glucose. Just because you reduce the amount of carbs you eat doesn’t mean you are using body fat for energy.

Lowering carbs can help you lose weight.

If you’ve been consuming more food than your body requires, and a lot of it in forms of the simple carbs we discussed, then lowering those carb levels will contribute to weight loss.  You can reduce these carbs that contribute to spiking insulin levels and that produce wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels.

Cutting back can definitely help with those issues, but again, it’s lower carb, not keto, but you will lose weight. Learning to replace those carbs with healthier choices will keep you feeling satisfied while your body adjusts to not having those foods.

If you’re goal is to lose weight but not be in ketosis, then eating  plenty of veggies and a healthy dose of exercise will get you to your goals.

For me, when I want to lean out more, I stick to just tons of healthy veggies, fruits, some whole grains as needed and protein. I’m not restrictive and I’m not hungry.

As you can see the differences between low carb and keto is more than “just” carbs.

What can I eat?

With just a low carb diet you have the ability to manage your macros a bit more easily. Low carb with lots of healthy veggies and protein will keep you full and satisfied. You won’t necessarily be overly concerned at carbs in veggies because they will fill you up especially with added protein.  Not only that, your body loves all the vitamins and minerals that are loaded into veggies and fruits.

You will be more mindful of carbs found in grains, rice, breads, pastas etc. as well as your simple ( non-essential) carb consumption.

You can however, if you want to, have a small slice of birthday cake at grandmas 90th birthday and  know it will knock you out of ketosis because you did so.

That’s kind of a win 😉

If you think the keto diet is something you must do, a typical macro breakout for your daily diet is 25% protein, 70% fats and 5% carbs.

Yes. You are seeing that correctly. 5%.

These are recommended macros for keto. Lowering your carbs to this level will force your body into ketosis meaning it will begin to use fat for energy.

Maybe unwillingly, but it will.

If you choose this path, ideally, you would want to do it in steps as drastically cutting all carbs will make you…. want to eat a wall…

well… maybe you wouldn’t but you might feel ridiculously hungry and all kinds of other awful things from immediate restriction. It’s best to do a gradual reduction to allow your body to prepare for what’s coming.

Another common mistake on this diet is to lower calories while cutting carbs which isn’t the best idea. Lowering carbs will lower calories. Don’t push for both.

put in my body

So what’s the best choice?

I have a personal opinion, for sure. I wrote a post comparing the keto diet and the DASH diet… you can get a lot of my thoughts and also the comparisons of these two diets in this post… find it here….  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/21/keto-and-dash-diet-review/

I’m honestly not a huge supporter of the keto way for lots of reasons. It’s just a hard sell to convince me that a higher fat diet is better than the many, many veggies and fruits and food groups that are eliminated on this diet.

And really, I gave up a long time ago following anything that tells me “foods I can eat and foods I can’t eat” plans. #rebel

And besides, I kinda like bread once in a while…and cake… and eating those things definitely wreaks havoc on the keto plan as it can knock you out of ketosis.  Not only that, to many people I know who are on it seem to live for “cheat” days so there’s that thought as well.

Don’t do a diet plan that you look forward to cheating on.

I think going a more low carb approach is less restrictive, easier to maintain, and has a broader range of foods you can consume which leads to less feelings having to do with out or deprivation. Not only that there isn’t the constant manipulation of macros and counting and all that other stuff which seems kinda tedious.

Maintaining a less restrictive diet will give you freedom and let you lose weight as well.

However, we’re all different. One method works for one and not the other. Find what is easiest to live, what let’s you still enjoy life, and what doesn’t leave you feeling left out because you “can’t have” what’s being served.

I still find at the end of the day, balance, moderation, and mindful eating are where it’s at when it comes to weight loss and no one thrives being deprived and hungry.

And don’t forget no matter what “diet” you may pursue, Paleo, Keto, Whole 30, South Beach, gosh there are so many, even my favorite, the old school sensible, moderate eating plan, at the end of the day weight loss occurs because of a calorie deficit and nothing else.

There is no magic diet.

Your best opportunity to be successful is to find the plan that you can easily stick to and is long term sustainable leading to a permanent lifestyle change while achieving weight loss.

Tell me…do you have experience with either of these options? If so, did you have success or have tips to someone considering it?

 

 

Spotlight On Yellow Squash

It has come to my attention I haven’t done a food spotlight post in a red hot minute.  I selfishly love doing them because I usually learn a lot more about foods I love and enjoy than I knew before I started researching the details for a post.

Me like… “wow! I’m eating so healthy!” haha

Seriously though, can you go wrong with veggies ?? I think not.

I decided to focus on one of my favorite “go to” veggies, the humble yellow squash.

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Yellow squash, also called yellow zucchini or summer squash, is a hot weather vegetable picked in its immature stage to ensure a thin, edible skin and sweet, soft flesh. This squash typically ranges in size from 6 to 8 inches long, although it can be smaller, depending on when you pick the fruit

With the recent massive recall in the states on romaine lettuce because of e coli, the shelves have been stripped bare in stores and salads, well just haven’t been happening.

Yeah I know there’s “iceberg” lettuce, but really, why does that exist??

Anyway, I digress.

Not making salads ( a huge staple in my meals) I was looking at other creative veggie ideas while we waited for the lettuce to return.

One of my favorite ways to use squash is to mix it up with other things, like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and some red onion, add some sea salt and crushed pepper, mix up with a little olive oil and roast in oven on a high heat. I then but it under the broiler for a few minutes to “crisp” the veggies a little.

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I cannot tell you how seriously amazing it is.

Wait. First you need some nutritional facts.

One medium squash has a whole 32 calories!

One cup of raw, sliced yellow squash contains 18 calories. This low-calorie vegetable is an ideal side dish if you wish to lose weight. Yellow squash essentially has no fat — a 1-cup portion provides only 0.2 g.

A 1-cup serving of raw yellow squash provides you with 3.8 g of carbohydrates, or 2.9 percent of the 130 g suggested daily. Carbs serve as the main supply of energy for your body. Yellow squash also helps you consume the fiber you need each day; 1 cup contains 1.2 g. Fiber can play a critical role in helping you lose weight. High-fiber foods satisfy hunger better than low-fiber foods by providing more bulk in your diet. Fiber also helps regulate bowel movements and decreases your chances of developing diverticulitus, a condition that affects your colon. Include 25 to 38 g of fiber in your diet every day.

Yellow squash serves as a good source of vitamin C — each 1-cup portion contains 21.3 to 25.6 percent of the amount your body requires daily. Ascorbic acid, another name for vitamin C, is an antioxidant that blocks cellular damage from free radicals, helping to slow aging and possibly decreasing your risk of heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

One portion of yellow squash also provides 8.6 to 11.1 percent of the daily recommended value of manganese, an essential trace mineral.

Have I convinced you to try it yet?

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Just ignore my massive tree in background photo bombing me 😉

Listen if you’re sitting behind your screen gagging a little ’cause the only way you ever had it is when your Mom boiled it to death in water on the stove turning it into a form of mush well… I’m sorry she ruined you for it 😉

But wait! You’re all grown now, you should give it another chance and try it in some different recipes or try it like I suggested to you, mixed and roasted with other veggies.

It’s a winning combo to eat foods that are filling, nutritious and low calorie.

Of course I’ll offer some recipes for you to try.

 

 

 

Your turn! Do you like squash? Have you tried it? If so what’s your fav way to eat it ?

Spotlight On Oranges

Have we talked about oranges yet in our food spotlight?

I think not.

I’ve spotlighted lots of other tasty foods, ( just look for past Spotlight posts) but realized munching on an orange the other day, I hadn’t brought it to the forefront.

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So let’s dig in!

Is there anything better than a crisp, cold orange? Sweet and tender with so much juice it runs off your chin?

One medium orange has about 80 calories, zero fat, 250 milligrams of potassium, 19 grabs of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein.

Loaded with vitamins and minerals the oranges biggest nutritional claim is packing a whopping 115%  of your daily Vitamin C needs.  They also contain healthy doses of Thiamin, Folate, and Potassium.

Oranges are also a rich source of various anti-oxidants that help our bodies fight diseases.

Because of it’s mineral and vitamin content it may help with heart disease and in the prevention of kidney stones.

Benefits of orange nutrition

  1. High in Antioxidants
  2. Enhances Immunity
  3. Fights Cancer
  4. Rich in Fiber
  5. Improves Heart Health
  6. Boosts Brain Function
  7. Keeps Skin Healthy

Oranges are also very acidic, which may aggravate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms in those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If you notice that oranges cause negative side effects like a burning feeling in the chest, nausea or belching, consider reducing your intake.

Orange juice and oranges do not have same nutritional benefits

While orange nutrition benefits are pretty impressive, it’s important to remember that the same benefits may not extend to orange juice. This is because oranges contain a good amount of fiber, which helps slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. Orange juice, on the other hand, provides a concentrated amount of the sugar found in oranges, without any of the beneficial fiber. Commercial varieties, in particular, are pumped full of sugar and additives, minimizing the nutritional value of orange juice. Eating the whole orange is always the best way to go, and keep juice drinking to a minimum for best health benefits.

Some other interesting orange nutrition thoughts…

There are very few calories in a large orange, but they are high in fiber, vitamin C and a host of other micronutrients. Compared to apple nutrition, oranges are lower in calories and fiber but higher in vitamin C, folate, thiamine and potassium. Be sure to add both into your diet to enjoy all of the health-promoting properties.

How about some fun facts?

This is one of my favorite parts of food posts, sharing random, interesting or unknown facts about them.

Here we go….

Orange is actually a type of berry, hesperidia to be exact.

Orange trees are actually evergreen trees.

About 20% of the orange crop is sold as whole fruit. The rest are used for juices, extracts and preserves.

An orange tree can grow to over 30 feet and live 100 years.

A single citrus plant can bear over 60,000 flowers but only 1% will turn into fruit.

Valencia oranges are the most planted variety of orange world wide.

It’s thought that the reason oranges have long been associated with fertility (and therefore, weddings) is because this lush evergreen tree can simultaneously produce flowers, fruit and foliage

Christopher Columbus brought the first orange to America in 1493

Oranges are the largest citrus crop in the world

Orange trees were first grown in China

Oranges and orange blossoms are a symbol of love

And finally, after chocolate and vanilla, orange is the most popular flavor.

Yeah that shocked me too.

For me, growing up as a kid, Santa also left big oranges in the bottom of our stockings. My kids have gotten the same thing growing up and now, my grandkids too.  There have been lots of jokes from them but, they also expect to get them too haha

Ok let’s eat!

I can’t tell you all about the amazing orange without some recipes too, right?

https://cleanfoodcrush.com/orange-chicken-stir-fry

 

 

Ok your turn! How do you like oranges? Do you have any special recipes using them?

 

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Healthy Eating Tips For Dummies

One of the most overarching things I hear ( and read) are from people who want to eat healthier, who desire to do so, but often seem at a loss of where exactly to begin.

I mean, really, it shouldn’t BE hard, right?

Get the good food, eat the good food.

Why on earth are chocolate covered donuts in the basket??!

Seriously though…..

As I write this I’ll toss out the disclaimer that I’m certainly no expert on perfect nutrition. I openly and freely share my vices with you….hello powdered sugar donuts and salt and pepper kettle chips 😛

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I have just learned how to control my behaviors associated with those things. I’ve learned that those foods don’t support my athletic or health goals. I also don’t deprive myself so if I want something, I have some of it and move on.

On the whole of my day though, I make constant choices to choose wisely in what I eat.

It has been a learned process.

Some days are awesome other days are …..meh.

Ok so now that we’ve got THAT outta the way, lets continue.

You aren’t a dummy, really.

When it comes to eating and nutrition you really are largely a product of what you’ve been raised in, what you’ve been taught, and what you’ve been exposed to. Ok and you do have a healthy amount of “free will” as a grown up in your food choices as well.

You can “choose” to buy a candy bar and coke in the gas station… or you can “choose” to buy water and a banana or pretzels.

Huge difference in calories and nutritional content.

So free will goes a long way to helping us become more successful in our efforts to eat better.

I totally understand environmental factors. I didn’t grow up with a focus on healthy, moderate eating.

I grew up with good food, cooked by a mom and grandmother who knew what they were about in the kitchen ( skills they taught me to which I’m grateful) and food was all about not just eating, but comfort, family, and eating, plenty!

Seconds were just expected and a given. Everyone ate till they were in the food coma stage.

Of all things I’ve learned/taught myself these past years is to stay away from that mentality. It is a feeling I don’t like experiencing anymore, nor want to.

So some beginning steps towards getting smart with food is to understand your background environment ( what food was for you in your family, how it was treated, foods that were prepared etc) and accept your food behaviors today.

No one makes you eat anything  you don’t want or more than what you need.

In the beginning….

Ya know, when our Creator landed us here a zillion years ago, eating wasn’t complex. I have no personal experience with this but eating then was probably what it was designed for.

Food was fuel.

You ate to get fueled and you didn’t eat again till your tank was running low and you needed it. Repeat process. Spend time running from wild animals to survive ensured you got your cardio in 😉

Of course our early ancestors didn’t have all the processed, fatty, sugary non-essential foods we have today or I’m pretty sure they woulda been having brownies for dessert too.

One thing is still the same though.

Food is fuel. We need it to survive and to have adequate energy to get through our days.

It’s WHAT we choose to fuel or bodies with, how much, and how often that has become the issue.

It’s eating to eat and not eating because we have genuine hunger and need to fill our tank.

We eat to feed our eyes, mouth, and minds very often, without as much thought to what our stomach is saying.

Are we really hungry?

We’ve been given natural signals to indicate we need to eat yet many people go through their days never being aware of those signals because they never let themselves become hungry.

Back to the basics.

There are a few things you can do that can help you get smarter with your eating. They aren’t complicated or really hard, but they may feel that way as you have to intentionally work to adjust your thinking and behaviors.

Ready?

Eat when you’re hungry. When you’re authentically hungry, feed your body. You get no extra points for ignoring your hunger or pretending it isn’t there, so eat.  If you aren’t experiencing those hunger signals, find something else to do.

Eat just enough.  Now this can be a fine line to walk for all of us as we tend to eat and think we need more but if we give our bodies a little time to process what’s been taken in we would realize that we’ve had enough. One thing I’ve learned and been amazed over is how little food it really takes to satisfy my appetite and end my hunger. The same is true for you but you may have to teach yourself new patterns and behaviors with it.

Be mindful and intentional. This is where your food choices come in with the other points above. Assuming we’re all adults here, each one of us knows and makes choices over the foods and drinks we consume in our days.

put in my body

No one *makes* me go through a fast food drive thru or *makes* me buy non-essential, empty calorie foods at the stores.

I am responsible for what I do.

Same goes for you.

I’m at a point in my journey now where if I want something, I am fully aware of the choice I’m making. For those of you who still operate in a zone of feeling “guilty” over food,  ( find my post on food guilt here…  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/07/food-and-guilty-feelings/     ) this becomes very freeing as you know you’ve made a purposeful choice and not just been swept away because you’ve deprived yourself for so long.

Making different, healthy choices won’t be easy in the beginning. Work on listening to your body and eating just enough to feed your hunger, even if your food choices aren’t the best.

As you master the first two habits, you can begin to change things you’re doing.  DON’T make sweeping, broad, extreme changes to your eating all at once. You will be setting yourself up to quit in 24 hours.

Small steps are the best steps.

progress

DO think about the foods you consume. Make a list if you have to. Which are healthy and offer good nutrition to your body? Which are non-essential empty calorie foods that don’t promote good nutrition ?

What non-essential foods could you swap for something healthier? Don’t forget what you drink too.

What non-essential. empty calorie foods do you consume that you could learn to live without or have on a less frequent basis?

Are you willing to try new things? To change you must be willing to step out where you haven’t experimented before. Add in a new fruit or vegetable to your week. Find a healthy recipe or learn to swap out higher fat ingredients for less fat options.

One of the biggest swaps I’ve made is using my non-fat, plain Greek yogurt in recipes that call for sour cream or mayo. Sometimes with the mayo I only use half to half yogurt. Not only do you cut fat and calories, you get a little extra protein thrown in too.  I also use this when making dip for veggie trays and as well as other sour cream based foods.

Look at how much added sugar or fatty foods you consume and see if you can eat less of it or make healthier swaps for something you like.

Learning to be intentional about what you put in your mouth will be your biggest challenge and your greatest victory to healthy eating.

Once you begin to master that, eating healthier begins to feel like an easy choice.

Why? Because when you build new habits, they tend to take over the old behaviors.

Undoing and changing a lifetime of learned behaviors is a purposeful and intentional choice made day by day, but with time and consistency you will be on your way to healthy smart eating and permanent lifestyle change.

What steps have you taken to becoming a smarter, healthier person?

Spotlight On Mushrooms

Mushrooms. Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi. They can appear either below ground or above ground where they may be picked by hand.

I know, you already saw the title to this post and have thought about  checking out and not reading past this sentence. Maybe my sass and humor might keep you around for at least the next paragraph or two 😉

Maybe you’re wondering of ALL the foods on the planet why I’d make fungus the subject of my food spotlight post. Why not something tastier and prettier to look at?

mushroom

I know… I hear you.. but miss out on telling you cool things about mushrooms you may not even know?

Like get this… do you know their DNA is more closely related to a human level than plant?

Really.

They are more closely related to humans than plants.

Ahhhh… now I’ve got you!

Bet you didn’t know that, right?

So are mushrooms vegetables?

The simple answer is no, it’s not a vegetable although it’s in the vegetable family due to it’s nutritional make up.

Ok so hold on for a little science here…..

mushrooms are fruiting bodies of macroscopic filamentous fungi.  Earlier when mycology ( the study of fungi) arose it was a part of botany.  This happened because fungi were considered to be primitive plants. The biggest difference in a (plant) vegetable and a mushroom is how they get their food. Plants if you remember from middle school science, possess chlorophyll and make their own food via photosynthesis.

How handy is that?

Fungi on the other hand exist on decaying material in nature.

There are also the obvious structural differences, such as a lack of roots, leaves, and seeds.

Fungi basically have their own kingdom on the basis of cellular organization.

So the bottom line?

We share similar DNA’s.. have you ever thought much about how good mushrooms are almost like meat?

I will mention hubby strongly argues this point 😛

I won’t bog us down in anymore science stuff, go look if you don’t believe me.

Have you ever wondered why mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D? And one of the few sources that naturally contain it?

Because like us, they can absorb it from the sunlight.

Their cellular structure allows them to absorb it just like our skin does.

Eat your mushrooms for natural Vitamin D 🙂

I hate mushrooms.

Well, not anymore.  I have to confess I haven’t started eating them till later in life. They started becoming more of a staple in my diet a few years ago, once I got past their ugly factor and bland appearance.

I can’t imagine now not tossing them in my basket with all the other produce.

They  show up in my breakfast veggie blend, salads, stir fry, and oven roasted veggie mixes.

Heck, I even grind them up and toss them in with hamburger for spaghetti or taco meat but don’t tell my family that cause they will say I’m trying to poison them.

Seriously, ground mushrooms are great add in’s to hamburger dishes. I tell you, no one will know. 😉

What’s the nutritional low down

One medium mushroom has 4 calories… 4 measly little calories… which means you can eat a whole lot of them for not much impact.

Low in calories and fat and cholesterol-free, mushrooms contain a modest amount of fiber and over a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants like selenium and glutathione, or GSH, substances believed to protect cells from damage and reduce chronic disease and inflammation.

One cup of mushrooms provides 1-2 grams of protein, have no fat or cholesterol and are very low in sodium.

So let’s eat.

If you haven’t been a mushroom fan, you might have to work through your issues 😉

Mushrooms are wonderful sautéed, especially with onions. They work great in casseroles, roasted veggie dishes and more.

Try these recipes….

https://www.plainchicken.com/2016/05/marinated-grilled-vegetables.html#more

If you haven’t tried them or have reserved opinions on them, why not attempt them mingled in with other foods?

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Do I look like I’ve just harvested these out of the woods?

Don’t be fooled with the pic above, I’m no gardener. Plants come to my house to die 😛 I thought you might just appreciate all my “back yard” behind me 😉 and it made a nice drop for mushrooms….

Oh. And don’t eat those mushrooms in the woods, they can mess with your head.

Your turn… you tell me… did my post make you shudder thinking you’ll never eat fungus? Or do they find their way to your plate? Do you have ways you enjoying eating them?