Happy New Year! As holiday feasting has come to a close along with 2022, thoughts have likely turned toward New Year’s resolutions to be healthier and/or lose weight in 2023. The plethora of diets out there (Mediterranean, DASH, Paleo, Keto, Low FODMAP, Vegan, Low Carb-High Fat, Low Fat-High Carb, MIND, Weight Watchers and many more) can easily have you calorie counting, confused and stressing over micro-managing your macro-nutrients (“gee, how many grams of fat, protein and carbs should I eat?“).
So let’s cut straight to today’s pearl of dietary wisdom, expressed so eloquently by New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan and captured succinctly in this 3-minute video… Eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself. Seriously, people overcomplicate matters. I promise you that this single step of cooking your own food will advance you leaps and bounds toward a healthier you.
And I want to help. Members of The Nutritional Reset community receive delicious, nutritious and simple recipes throughout the year to inspire home cooking. So if you aren’t already a member, sign up here for free. And then, go ahead and eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself. Read on for more about why this is so important and for my special offer: invite your friends to join The Nutritional Reset Community and I will send each of you my Big Batches for Buddies recipe collection to inspire you in the kitchen.
Do you find that once the snow flies you drift into snacking and wanting to eat more? I do. Perhaps winter’s chilly temperatures trigger biological changes that stimulate hunger and increase cravings for more energy-dense foods. Call it an evolutionary drive to fatten us up to survive harsher conditions.
Another theory points to the fewer daylight hours. Sunlight is a cue for the brain to release serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter. So perhaps the relative lack of sunlight in winter prompts cravings for carbohydrates, which also stimulate the release of serotonin. People tend to be most vulnerable to snacking in the early evening, as darkness falls. And in winter, the window of time between dusk and dinner gets larger. If you snack mindlessly during this time, you just might get larger too. 😉
So this month I’m dishing it up on snacking. I’ll touch on the science of snacking, what to snack on when a snack makes sense and the type of “snacks” that are always A-OK!
This month in Dishing It Up on Snacking …
- The Science of Snacking
- Snacks that Satisfy
- Beware of health claims on foods (especially snack foods)
- Try an ‘Activity Snack’
- The 7 best short workouts for heart health, strength and mood
Read on for a bite-sized summary and links for each story …
Today I’d like to chat about how to reduce food waste with root-to-top eating and other strategies. I’m riffing, of course, on the carnivorous nose-to-tail concept where you consume as much of an animal as possible in order to reduce waste. Though in this case I am talking about vegetables. Why should we be concerned about food waste? Because:
- globally, we waste more than one third of our food (in Canada, food waste is estimated at approximately 20%), with food waste responsible for 10% of greenhouse gases and
- the price of food appears to be going nowhere but up.
Canada’s food inflation rate hit 6.5% in January compared with a year earlier. And I read in this recent article that “one in five are buying less fresh fruit and fewer vegetables” as a response to inflation. This saddens me since they are so vital to optimal health.
So I’d like to offer up some suggestions for:
- storing vegetables so they keep well,
- using as much of the vegetable as possible and
- how you can purchase vegetables more economically, including those that would otherwise go to waste.
“But I don’t have time to cook.” I hear this pretty much every time I suggest to my clients that preparing their own food is one of the most powerful things they can do to improve their health. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing though. Because it is hard to find the time to cook from scratch every morsel you put in your mouth. But there are strategies and shortcuts you can employ to increase the proportion of home-cooked food you eat. And, by doing so, take control over your plate, palate and portion size for prime health.
I have sprinkled many of these tips throughout previous posts. But I figured it was high time to gather them in one place. So, without taking up any more of your time, here are my top 10 time-savers in the kitchen.
I was at the Yoga Warrior Winter Reset Retreat last weekend to “dish the deets on detox” and a few themes came up whenever talk of cooking arose. One was that no one has any time to cook and the other was how much everyone loved their Instant Pot. So with that and Valentine’s Day coming up, I feel it is time to confess my own love affair … with leftovers! And since I am usually cooking just for two, the Instant Pot and leftovers go hand-in-hand!
But I actually plan for leftovers. In fact, leftovers are a meal planning secret weapon to make my life (at least my cooking life) easier. And when providing meal planning services, you can bet that leftovers are a part of the plan for my clients too.
Leftovers get a bad rap. Even their very name makes them seem like discarded, lonely old things that no one wants. But, to me, leftovers are pure gold! As they should be to any time-pressed person out there who wants to eat healthy food. And isn’t that most of us? So, to explain my attraction to leftovers, I’ve put together my top 10 reasons why you, too, should love your leftovers!