Browsing articles in "Food & Menu Plans"
Oct 13, 2011

Nourishing Eating for Weight Loss

Coconut

Photo Credit: Alex Masters

I talked before about losing weight and changing my diet.  It’s been interesting to learn about doing it in a healthy, nourishing way.  I am trained in health and exercise, so I know quite a lot about what I need to do and how to do it.  However, I have never included guidelines based on the teachings of the nourishing real foods communities.  What they have to say, and what the mainstream health food organizations have to say, are two completely different things.

My two main resources for this experience are going to be Eat Fat Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, and to a limited degree, The Gi Diet by Rick Gallop.  They really do have a lot of similar things to say, with regards to the basics.  Eat less simple carbs and more complex carbs; eat more protein; consume more calcium.  There are a few things that they differ on, however, and those are where I have to make decisions on my own, based on what I believe and what I have experienced in the past.

Eat Fat Lose Fat explains the important of consuming lots of fat in your diet — in fact, consuming fats as the main source of your calories — via coconut oil, animal fats, and proteins.  They encourage fermented, traditional, and unprocessed foods.  They limit your consumption of carbohydrates, but within a comfortable limit (not as extreme as Atkins and other low carb programs).

The GI Diet is incredibly simple.  It discusses reducing your consumption of fat and bases most of your calories on a diet of low glycemic index foods, mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and low fat proteins.  However, they also encourage the consumption of artificial sweeteners, breakfast cereals, and limit natural sweeteners like dates and honey, and animal fats.  Foods are divided up onto a colored chart: low-GI foods are “green light“, medium-GI foods are “yellow light” and high-GI foods are “red light“.

There are some good and bad points to both arguments, and as with anything, you have to pick and choose.  So here are the guidelines that I am going to be putting in place for myself.

1.  I have come to love the humble coconut.  I never realized one coconut could provide so much.  I can make coconut milk, coconut meat, coconut water, coconut cream, coconut oil, coconut flavor… the list goes on and on!  Oh beloved coconuts, how I wished I knew about you before this!  It feels shameful that before I started exploring real foods, my closest experience with coconut was bleached, dried, shredded coconut flakes in a little plastic bag.  Now I buy the whole coconut, drink the water, and enjoy the delicious things I can make from the nut itself.  It’s brilliant!  Unfortunately I cannot get young coconuts, nor can I get organic ones, here in my city.  Therefore, I have to suffice with non-organic mature coconuts.  But they are still delicious and fun, and I cannot wait to enjoy them and learn more.  (Hmmm, nourishing coconut cream pie, perhaps?).  And speaking of coconut…

2.  Getting into the coconut oil.  2 tablespoons of coconut oil 15 minutes before every meal.  Wow.  At first, I didn’t think that would be so tough.  I started by putting it in my tea, as was suggested to me.  But I’m finding it less pleasant in the mornings.  Perhaps it’s the tea.  I handled it with my peppermint tea, but my black cherry and my blueberry teas were less appealing.  There are lots of other ways to get it down, but I’ll have to see about finding some way of consuming it.  I don’t have a problem eating the oil itself… it’s just not that pleasant to take in.

3.  Eliminate the majority of unnatural carbs.  By “unnatural carbs”, I mean ones that have to be processed in order to be consumed.  Things like baked goods, rice, hot cereals, and pasta.  I’m going to keep fruits, vegetables, tubers, and occasionally sourdough breads.  The majority of my carb intake will come from salads, steamed vegetables, and baked sweet potatoes.  Every now and then I’ll enjoy a slice of sourdough bread with a bowl of soup, but mostly I will be sticking with fruits and vegetables.

4.  I will be sweetening my foods with real sugar, honey and dates.  One thing that has always irked me aboutThe GI Diet is their promotion and encouragement of the consumption of artificial sweeteners.  I don’t trust artificial sweeteners and have no desire to consume them in any way.  Michael and I go out of our way to buy the full sugar version over the “low sugar” version of foods.

Having said that, I don’t intend to be consuming a lot of foods that require sweeteners.  By eliminating things like hot breakfast cereals, I have eliminated my need for sweeteners.  I will likely add a bit of honey to my tea, but that’s pretty much it.  As it is, I have been halving the sugar in our baked goods for months now, and both Michael and I find ourselves sensitive to too much sugar.  So I don’t really see this being a grand issue.

5.  I won’t be shying away from animal fats.  That’s something that the real foods community has taught me and that I am greatly thankful for.  Before I ever read their arguments, Michael and I had been buying and consuming butter over margarine.  As one brilliant lady once put it, “As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows over chemists.”  Now I include bacon fat, whole milk (when we consume milk) and full fat cheese without a second thought.

6.  I enjoy fatty foods without regret.  I can eat nuts.  I can eat fatty fish.  I can eat avacado.  I have completely eliminated salad dressings in favor of good ol’ EVOO.  I don’t eat deep fried, I don’t eat shortening, I don’t eat exorbatent amounts of fatty garbage foods.  I eat real, nourishing, fats.  And happily, too!

7.  Consume foods that are mostly found on the “green light” list.  These foods are great, and are almost entirely foods that are encouraged by the real foods community (with the exception of artificial sweeteners).  There are some foods on the other lists that I will be including (honey, dates, animal fats, etc.) but for the most part, my diet will be made up of “green light” foods.

So that’s my diet so far.  I don’t expect to be religious about it.  If the opportunity comes up for a sliver of cheesecake or a hearty lasagna, I’m not likely to turn it down.  This isn’t a martyr diet.  This is a more realistic way of daily eating.  I believe it is completely doable and achieveable and I’m really looking forward to it!

This post is a part of Thinner Thursdays at The Mommy Matters and Mommy Miracles.

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Oct 12, 2011

Easy Coconut Corn Soup

Thai Coconut Corn Soup

Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of my soup before it all got eaten. So I will use this picture of a gorgeous soup.

Photo Credit: Brenda Wiley

I am loving all this coconut!  I bought two lovely ones this past weekend and made some great works out of them.  It was so much fun to see how much you can get out of one measly coconut!  I decided to try a coconut corn soup for my lunches this week.  It was a great success.  Even Naomi seemed to like it.  I based it off of some other recipes, but this is how I made it.

Easy Coconut Corn Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Nada Sheppard
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh coconut milk
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 – 1.5 tbsp. curry
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 – 1.5 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup shredded coconut meat
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, melt coconut oil. Add in diced onion and cook til soft and beginning to brown, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add in peppers. Cook another minute or two. The peppers are not to get soft and soggy.
  2. Stir in curry and mix well, to combine with the oil and vegetables.
  3. In a medium sized pot, pour in the coconut oil. Add the curried vegetables, shredded coconut and corn. Simmer on medium low until corn is cooked through, approximately 10-15 minutes. Season to taste. Serve warm with sourdough bread.

If you try it, let me know what you think!  If you have any improvements, I’d love to try them out, so please share!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.
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Oct 9, 2011

Menu Plan Monday, Oct. 9/11

Overjoyed that it is (Canadian) Thanksgiving this weekend!  We’re off to celebrate with friends and family tomorrow.  I also am excited to see what I can do with two beautiful mature coconuts.  I’m going to attempt coconut milk, coconut oil, and shredded coconut!  It’s the beginning of my diet change and I’m really looking forward to it.

 Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner Do Tomorrow
 Sunday Bacon, Eggs, Hashbrowns
Strawberries
and coconut flakes
Tea with coconut butter
Family Thanksgiving
Dinner
Family Thanksgiving
Dinner
Roast Chicken
Drain/Shred coconut
Shred parmesan
 Monday Leftover bacon
Fried potatoes (Michael)
Strawberries with Shredded Coconut
Tea with coconut butter
Tomato Soup with Parmesan
1/2 Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Greens with Olive Oil
Strawberries with Coconut
Tea with coconut butter
Leftovers
Tea with coconut butter
Make coconut milk
Freeze coconut milk
Make coconut oil
Make coconut meat
Make coconut corn soup
 Tuesday Raw grapes
2 fried eggs
Sourdough bread
Tea with coconut butter
Coconut Corn Soup
Cheddar cheese
Sourdough bread
Tea with coconut butter
Salad with Olive Oil
Roasted Chicken
Steamed Broccoli
Brown Rice (Michael)
Tea with coconut butter
Store brown rice for tomorrow
 Wednesday Oatmeal with peanut
butter and honey
Tea with coconut butter
Chicken salad with coconut
1/2 honeycrisp apple
Tea with coconut butter
Soup leftovers
Chicken with steamed
broccoli
Brown Rice (Michael)
Tea with coconut butter
Thaw coconut milk
Store 1/2 apple
Cook mashed potato
 Thursday Coconut smoothie
Tea with coconut butter
Sourdough toast
Cheese
1/2 honeycrisp apple
Tea with coconut butter
Chicken with curry
1/2 sweet potato
Steamed peas and corn
Mashed Potato (Michael)
Tea with coconut butter
Shred parmesan
Thaw trout
Thaw beef
 Friday Scrambled eggs
Shredded parmesan
Sauteed mushrooms
Tea with coconut butter
Fried trout with onions
Cheese
Sourdough bread
Carrot sticks
Tea with coconut butter
Caesar salad
Stew beef
Mashed Potato (Michael)
1/2 Sweet Potato
Tea with coconut butter
Thaw steak
Thaw ground beef
 Saturday Steak and Eggs
Fried Mushrooms & Onions
Hashbrowns
Tea with coconut butter
Roast beef slices
Sourdough Bread
Sliced Tomatoes
Tea with coconut butter
Ground beef with Gravy
Steamed broccoli
with butter
Greens with Olive Oil
Fresh fruit with coconut
Mashed Potato (Michael)
Tea with coconut butter
Bake Sourdough Biscuits
Store ground beef for
tomorrow
 Sunday Bacon, Eggs, Hashbrowns
1/2 Honeycrisp Apple
Tea with coconut butter
Ground Beef and
Tomato Soup with
Parmesan
Sourdough Bread
Greens with Olive Oil
Tea with coconut butter
Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon
Sourdough Biscuits
Caesar Salad
Tea with coconut butter
See next week

 

 

This post is a part of Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.
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Oct 5, 2011

Freezing Black Beans

Black Beans

Photo Credit: Avital Pinnick

I love beans.  Michael does not.  Which means that enjoying them as a family meal is not a regular occurance in our home.  However, I know they are a great source of protein, fibre and many other delicious nutrients.  As such, I decided to prepare some delicious black beans and freeze them for quick and easy lunches!

I started by soaking them overnight, as is the norm.  I’m still out on the whole idea of saving the soaking and cooking water so at this point I toss it (you can share your experience with using the soaking/cooking water if you like!  I’d love to hear!).

After that, I put them in a pot and let them simmer on the stove for a couple hours to soften.  Once they were bite-able, I put them in 1/2 cup portions in muffin tins in the freezer.

Now they’re ready anytime I want them!  Salads, soups, nachos, wraps… who needs to open a can when you have perfectly portioned frozen ones ready whenever you need them?

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

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Minimomist and daughter nada and naomi
miniMOMist is an account of Mike, Nada and Naomi's journey into realistic minimalism, with the goal centered around simple living, and enjoying each other rather than things. We are a faith-based family and blog about our belief in God regularly. Our love for one another and our passion for a simple, minimalist life brings us much joy and pleasure.


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