Nov 16 2014

For Weight Control Learn to Cook More Fruits and Vegetables

Illness from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are all related to being overweight. The risk of being overweight has increased because we eat more of our meals away from home (where calories are always greater), and portions sizes are larger.  Less cooking at home and more eating out is linked to meals that contain less fruits, and vegetables, while supplying more saturated fat and calories. When we do eat at home too few of us know how to prepare the foods that will keep us healthy or we do not know how to plan a meal that will be “balanced”.

According to a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association many Americans (specifically parents) simply lack the knowledge of how to purchase and prepare foods for healthy meals and therefor are not passing the skills onto their children. There are three recipes I recommend new cooks learn and use to improve meals they include  how to roast vegetables, vegetable soup and fruit based desserts such as a Fruit tart, or Apple Brown Betty.


Almost any vegetable can be roasted and added to any meal making it “healthier” and serving a fruit-based dessert will help to insure the diners are getting closer to eating the recommended fruit servings they need each day. A good vegetable soup makes a nice addition to lunch or even a good snack in cold weather.

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Sep 29 2014

Eating Disorders- Books to Read

Published by under General Topic,Health

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  up to 24 million Americans suffer from disordered eating. It is critical for anyone with symptoms of an eating disorder to seek professional help. Early treatment gives the greatest chance for a full recovery. The National Eating Disorder Association is an excellent resource.  Signs and symptoms of disordered eating may include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic yo-yo dieting
  • Frequent weight fluctuations
  • Extremely rigid and unhealthy food and exercise regime
  • Feelings of guilt and shame when unable to maintain food and exercise habits
  • Pre-occupation with food, body and exercise that causes distress and has a negative impact on quality of life
  • Compulsive or emotionally-driven eating
  • Use of compensatory measures, such as exercise, food restriction, fasting and even purging or laxative use to “make up for” food consumed

To read more about this serious problem consider these books recommended by the Renfrew Eating Disorder Center   :

  •  Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder & Take Your Life Back by SHANNON CUTTS, BBA
  •  Overcoming Overeating by JANE R. HIRSCHMANN, MSW & CAROL H. MUNTER
  •  Moving Away from Diets: New Ways to Heal Eating Problems & Exercise Resistance by KARIN KRATINA, MA, RD,NANCY KING,MS& DAYLE HAYES,MS
  •  Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders by AIMEE LIU, BA, MFA
  •  Binge No More: Your Guide to Overcoming Disordered Eating by JOYCE NASH, PhD
  •  On Eating: Change Your Eating, Change Your Life by SUSIE ORBACH, PhD
  •  Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder by JOANNA POPPINK, MFT
  •  The Exercise Balance: What’s Too Much, What’s Too Little, and What’s Just Right for You! by PAULINE POWERS, MD & RON THOMPSON, PhD
  •  Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by GENEEN ROTH
  •  Life Without ED: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too by JENNI SCHAEFER & THOM RUTLEDGE, PhD
  •  Getting Better Bit(e) By Bit(e): A Survival Kit for Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorders by ULRIKE SCHMIDT, MRC Psych & JANET TREASURE, PhD, FRC Psych
  •  Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem by GLORIA STEINEM


If you or someone you care about has an eating disorder, it t is very important to obtain professional medical help. Contact the primary care provider and ask for a referral to an eating disorder specialist.

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Sep 17 2014

Eight No Time To Cook Breakfast Ideas


Breakfast Parfait made with yogurt, fruit and cereal

Breakfast helps with weight control and children perform better in school  when they start the day with good food.

I recommend families avoid foods with a high concentration of sugar, such as  donuts, pop tarts etc. Sugar belongs in dessert not morning food (the natural sugar found   in whole fruit and milk is OK,because  these foods carry many other vital nutrients too). Good sources of protein at breakfast can include   milk, yogurt, egg, peanut butter, beans,or Canadian bacon. Include fruit- preferably a whole piece of fruit not juice and  I like vegetables too  such as eggs or egg whites prepared with mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes or eggs served with Sofrito.


Planning ahead for a morning meal that is calm and relaxing can impact the entire day. Here are a few ideas for

No time to cook breakfasts:

  1. Smoothie: combine equal amounts of yogurt and frozen fruit in a blender. Blend 10 to 20 seconds- if needed  add a little juice or milk to thin the drink.
  2. Melt cheese over a whole wheat English muffin.
  3. Spread peanut butter on a slice of bread, wrap around a banana, and eat like a hot dog.
  4. Frozen whole grain waffle toasted and topped with fruit and yogurt.
  5. Cottage cheese and fruit.
  6. Stuff a whole wheat pita pocket with cheese and thin slices of apple. Heat in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds.
  7. Tortilla wrapped around scrambled eggs.
  8. Bagel  topped with cottage cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and thin apple slices.


Here are two favorite recipes to cook

Overnight Breakfast Porridge

Assemble ingredients before going to bed. Makes 1 large serving, double portions to serve more.

¼ cup rolled oats

¼ cup white rice or cooked brown rice

2 tbsp raisins, chopped

¾ cup water

3/4 cup milk


Combine all ingredients and let soak overnight in the refrigerator. In a saucepan cook on  low heat for 10 – 20 minutes while the family gets ready for the day. Add more milk or water if it gets dry or too thick.


Blueberry Breakfast Puff

Makes four servings

Like pancakes but easier- no flipping.

2 tbsp butter

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1 tbsp butter in two  1 –quart ovenproof casseroles and place in the hot oven for 1-2 minutes to melt the butter.While butter melts, beat together the eggs, and milk until well blended. Pour over the flour and blend with a fork, breaking up any lumps.

Remove warm dishes from oven. Swirl butter to coat the dish. Divide the batter equally between each dish. Pour ½ cup berries on top of the batter in each dish. Bake in hot oven 20 minutes. Serve with maple syrup.

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Jul 07 2014

Beet Reuben Sandwich

It might sound a bit weird to make a sandwich using beets but the result was heaven. I got the idea from the Maine Grind in Ellsworth, Maine where I ordered it on a recent trip North. Since then I have made it for friends and family with lots of accolades and recipe requests. The recipe is simple: spread Thousand Island dressing on two slices of bread, place  cooked sliced beets, drained sauerkraut, and a slice of Swiss cheese between the bread slices. Butter the outside of  each slice of bread and grill the sandwich just as you would if you are making a grilled cheese sandwich. You want the cheese to melt and the crust to become golden and lightly browned. What a delicious sandwich. I plan to make it again soon with golden beets.

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Jun 16 2014

Emeals it Might Help You Eat Better


A co-worker raved about e-meals, he said it took the hassle out of shopping and helped him eat better and healthier. I was a skeptic, after all cooking is my hobby.  I do not find it tedious and I hate following recipes. I thought I would give it a try in hopes it would be good enough to recommend to patients.  I contacted e-meals and they sent me a free subscription. I have been using it for about 8 weeks and  I think it is great. I have been surprised at the quality and simplicity of recipes. Pictured below is a marinated pork dish with a side of kale and crispy garlic bread- it is part  my current low-calorie meal plan

Each week you will get seven recipes and an easy-to-use grocery list. The grocery list is ingenious, it includes the main items and a list of the staples you need to have on hand such as flour, salt, sugar and so on. It  is well organized, there is no guess work and now after using it for a few weeks I feel I can trust it. Below is a menu form the Mediterranean plan that includes the main entree, plus polenta and a side Watermelon Tomato Salad .

I am only cooking for two but I started with the Mediterranean plan for a family of 3-6. I expected portions to be small but they are not. I found I had too much and after two weeks I switched to the Low Calorie meal plan for a family of two. I love this plan because it includes so many of my favorite vegetables. Below is a picture of a lentil rice dish and squash.

Switching meal plans is a breeze . I just changed to the Low Carb plan and they just added a diabetic meal plan which I intend to try too. If you want  delicious, healthy, easy to prepare menus I recommend you try e-meals. A one year subscription costs $29.95.


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