Let’s Get Cooking!

Cooking your own food is one of the best, health habits that someone can incorporate into their lifestyle. When you cook your meals at home, you can help decrease the amount of processed food you are consuming. Home cooked meals have the potential to contain less sodium, more potassium and be richer in healthier proteins and fats than meals purchased from fast food eateries or restaurants. Many people ask what recipe books I have or where I go to find new recipes online. With the rise in nutrition awareness, more and more food blogs are popping up all over the internet. With so many sites to choose from, it can sometimes be hard to decide if a blog is worth your time or not (Author’s credibility, Do the recipes match my health needs? Do the recipes even taste good?). With the help of my new dietitian, Jessica Harris, we put together a list of some of our favorite go-to recipe/food blog sites. We both believe that health and healing should start with whole foods and more emphasis should be placed on the quality of foods in the diet. Let the cooking begin!

Amanda Novy, Dietetics and NutritionAmanda’s Picks

www.paleomg.com: Juli Bauer not only entertains her readers with her day-to-day adventures, she also provides some of the most scrumptious recipes I have ever tried. Her recipe combinations are exciting and always consist of using whole, real foods.

www.againstallgrain.com: After years of battling an autoimmune disease, Danielle Walker decided to heal her body with food rather than extra medications. In her recipes, she focuses on natural ingredients that are easy on the digestive system but powerful in taste.

www.health-bent.com: Brandon and Megan Keatley, a fit and active husband-wife duo shares their beliefs on eating for health. They believe that healthy food does not have to be bland or boring and I couldn’t agree more with their recipes I have tried.

http://springfieldclinic.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Library/Recipes/ : Here, you can find a home for all of my recipes I have posted on somethingtochew.com as well as a disease-specific or ingredient-specific recipe library.
Harris, Jessica RD, LDNJessica’s Picks

www.penzeys.com: This is one of Jessica’s go-to cookbooks and is also home to where she purchases many of her herbs and spices. Jessica adds, “I like their mantra, “love to cook, cook to love” as it truly shows through the quality of ingredients used in their recipes.”

www.wholefoodsmarket.com: A popular grocery store chain that focuses on less-processed foods and products. Through their website, one can learn more about organic foods, special diet considerations as well as a large library of nutritious recipes to try.

www.thejoykitchen.com: Jessica adds that these recipes are creative and of high-quality. This website is especially good for those who get bored with the same-old ingredients and spice combinations. It also features a variety of tutorials on cooking and techniques to use in the kitchen.

www.halfbakedharvest.com: As a flexitarian, this is home to some of Jessica’s inspirations for vegetarian meals. “I love the summer grilled mexican street quinoa salad but I also added grilled bell peppers, zucchini and mushrooms to make it a veggie-packed summer dish”

Figge’s Favorite Groceries

grocery shoppingWith the success of  Figge’s Favorite Things blog post, I thought I would follow up with a list of some of my favorite foods that frequently occupy my shopping list. Years ago, my diet heavily consisted of processed luncheon meats, frozen dinners and snack bars. Today, fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are typically what fill up my grocery cart. This was no overnight process, but slowly, I began to step outside my comfort zone and taught myself how to prepare and cook with fresh ingredients. To stay healthy, I rely on clean, minimally processed foods. Combined with a healthy dose of physical activity each week, clean eating helps keep my cholesterol down, energy up and promotes a good night’s sleep.

  1. Eggs. Eggs have been hounded over the years for their fat and cholesterol content. However, with today’s research on eggs, we are learning that 1) the cholesterol found in eggs is not what is causing high cholesterol in individuals and 2) the benefits of the yolks include a Vitamin B12 source, eye-healthy lutein , zeaxanthin antioxidants, and choline, which is essential for cardiovascular and brain function.
  2. fresh-spinachSpinach. This green giant gets sautéed in with my eggs each morning and makes several appearances in other meals throughout the week.
  3. Peanut or almond butter. If I could eat almond butter every day, I would; but because the cost of it is often more than peanut butter, I tend to go back and forth between these heart-healthy fat and protein snack additions.
  4. Cauliflower. My kitchen often looks like a cauliflower war zone. For those of you that regularly cut up cauliflower, you know what I’m talking about! My preferred way of cooking it is steaming in a sauce pan and then mashing it in my food processor. Add a pinch of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, butter and garnish with chives and you have a great vegetable side dish (not to mention for the cost of $3 or less!)
  5. Spaghetti Squash. We have been having a lot of fun with spaghetti squash this winter. It is a great substitute for pasta in recipes. To me, it is not very tasty when served plain, but if you add mixed vegetables, seasonings, sauces or a homemade mayo to the mix, you’re set-to-go for a delicious meal.
  6. Chicken. This is the most popular protein consumed in our household. For that reason, I am constantly finding new ways to season and prepare it. We also consume beef, pork and fish but chicken definitely takes the podium for most consumed.
  7. Apples. This fruit is a good source of antioxidants and soluble fiber. I usually have at least one and sometimes two apples a day with my peanut or almond butter for heart-healthy, filling snacks.
  8. Whey protein powder. Since both my husband and I do Crossfit, we need a quick source of protein for our post-workout snacks. One scoop of protein powder poured in 8 oz. of almond milk allows my body to quickly refuel after a workout, promote lean tissue growth and speed up recovery time.
  9. Ground flaxseed. This antioxidant powerhouse can be easily mixed into recipes or sauces or can even be sprinkled on top of foods to add fiber, omega-3 and healthy lignans to any dish.
  10. Sweet potato. These Vitamin A giants interestingly are most often consumed with my breakfast meal. I’ll sauté a medium-large sweet potato in 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on Sunday nights and then portion out servings to grab and go for the week. NCI5_POTATO