Tag Archives: eat clean

Healthy Cookbooks I Use

I don’t usually use many recipes, but rather I combine the healthy foods I have in my refrigerator and create as I go. However, it took me time to get to this place. Like everything else it takes practice and repetition to learn what tastes good with what, and how to put it all together. These are all books I own, and use. It is great to flip through the pages and get ideas. Many of these I have owned for years. The new ones have been chosen by my kids. They want to make a list, walk to the store, and create what they see in the picture! Healthy cooking is a hobby I can get behind 100%. My Son loves the Alton Brown, Every Day Cook, and my Daughter chose The No Time To Cook! Book.

I will start sharing some of the recipes I love, and hope they help others as they have me!

I also included In Defense Of Food, those of you that have followed my journey know this was the book that began my “wake-up” call. Not a recipe book, but a reminder of what food is, and more importantly, what food is not.

Happy New Year! Happy cooking! Healthy life!

xo

Jennifer

               

              

              

             

New Books on my “wish list”:

       

Books for kids

    

Kindle

                         

Last night a small portion of our Happy Body Project call was spent on simple carbs vs. complex carbs. I know all of this is a bit scientific, and a little boring, but it is really important information for all of us to know when it comes to where we get our energy!

My sad scientific attempt was boiled down to how I remember it:

Simple Carbs=Short Chains of Sugar

Straight into the bloodstream=sugar/glucose/energy rush, then crash

Complex Carbs=Long Chains of Sugar

Body has to work to get the sugar/glucose/energy out of the food by untangeling it from the fiber, so sugar is released slowly=even, sustained energy

 

This document from UCLA is a GREAT explanation!

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Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for your body. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

What’s
 the
 Difference
 Between
 Complex
 and
 Simple
 Carbohydrates?

Complex carbohydrates are energy yielding nutrients that are put to good use in the body. Technically, they are long chains of sugar molecules arranged as starches. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates are often good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Simple carbohydrates are sugars such as fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar), and lactose (milk sugar). Certain sugar-containing foods, such as sodas, are referred to as “empty calories” because they provide energy but little nutritional value.

Where
 Can
 I
 Find
 Complex Carbohydrates
 in
 My
 Food?

You can find abundant complex carbohydrates in whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, beans, and vegetables. Because the sugar in whole fruit is combined with fiber and the sugar in milk is combined with protein, these simple carbohydrates are also considered more complex in nature. Milk products and whole fruit are also rich in nutrients, unlike other foods high in sugar.

Are Complex Carbohydrates High in Calories?

Contrary to popular belief, the calorie content of foods that contain complex carbohydrates is relatively low. Jumbo portion sizes and/or added fats, such as butter and cream sauces, are what increase the calorie content of these foods. Calorie comparisons of food items with and without added fats follow.

 

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Benefits
 of
 Complex
 Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates can be an excellent source of fiber, which provides you with several benefits:

  • Decreased blood cholesterol levels and reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Decreased constipation and othergastrointestinal disorders.
  • Improved w eight control bypromoting a feeling of fullness withfewer calories.
  • Improved diabetes control by slow-ing the entry of sugar into the blood.

Sources
 of
 Simple
 Carbohydrates

Simple sugars are found naturally in fruit, vegetables, and milk. But most of the sugar we eat is added to foods, such as candy, cake, ice cream, many breakfast cereals, sports bars, and soft drinks. One 12 oz. can of cola actually contains ten teaspoons of pure added sugar!

What
 Is
 the
 Function
 of
 Simple
 Carbohydrates?

The main purpose of simple carbohydrates is to enhance flavor and act as a preservative in processed foods. Since most of the food sources of simple carbohydrates contribute no protein, vitamins, or minerals to your diet, they are called “empty calorie” foods. To illustrate this point further, a nutritional comparison between a complex carbohydrate (whole wheat bread) and a simple carbohydrate (soda) is given below:

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 Know Your Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for our bodies. There are two types of c a r b o h ydrates: (1) simple carbohydrates and (2) complex carbohydrates. All carbohydrates are ultimately broken down into glu- cose (blood sugar) to fuel the cells in our bodies.

What
 is
 the
 Difference
 Between
 Simple
 \and
 Complex
 Carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, include table sugar (sucrose), honey, corn syrup, molasses, and the natural sugars found in fruit (fructose), and milk (lactose). When sugars are added to foods, they provide a very concentrated form of carbohydrate, with many calories but few nutrients. Thus, they contribute many “empty calories” when added to foods such as soft drinks, cookies, candies, and other sweets. The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugars each day, which amounts to 300 calories – the amount of sugar found in just two 12-oz. cans of soda. Added sugar should be limited to 10% of total energy intake, or 12 tsp. of sugar (48g) a day based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Complex carbohydrates, or starches, are comprised of long chains of simple sugars. They can be found in whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole fruits, vegetables, and beans. These foods not only provide calories, but they are also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which makes them more filling and more nutritious.

Fact
 or
 Fiction:

 Candy
 Bars
 and
 Sodas
 Are
 Good
 Sources
 of
 Energy

Because of the way the body metabolizes sugary, processed foods, a candy bar or soda is not an ideal energy source. Most sugary, processed foods are converted immediately to glucose after consumption. This creates a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and a sudden burst of energy. But this energy is only temporary. The high blood sugar levels cause the pancreas to secrete large quantities of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that works to promote fuel storage in the body. When sugary, processed foods enter the body, a high concentration of insulin is secreted which causes glucose to be rapidly removed from the blood, leaving you without energy and craving more sugar. Thus, people who eat candy bars and soda for quick energy are actually defeating their purpose.

Most high-fiber, complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly than sugary, processed foods. As a result, blood sugar levels rise more slowly and steadily, and insulin is secreted in lower concentrations. This means that glucose leaves the blood more gradually, giving your more sustained energy.

Choosing Whole Grains

Not all complex carbohydrates carry the same nutritional benefits. “Refined,” starchy foods like white rice, white pasta, white bread, and cereals made from “enriched wheat flour,” lack the fiber and several of the nutrients that “whole grain” foods provide. In a sense, refined, starchy foods act more like simple sugars in the body and provide mostly empty calories.

What
 Is
 a
 “Whole
 Grain?”

A whole grain has four parts: the germ (the nutrient-rich inner part), the endosperm (the soft white, starchy inside portion), the bran (the fibrous coating around the grain), and the husk (the outer inedible shell).

What
 Is
 “Refinement?”


Refinement is the process that removes all but the endosperm portion of the grain, leaving a white, nutrient-poor, refined flour.

What
 Is
 “Enrichment?”

Enrichment is the process that adds back five nutrients to white, refined flour: iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. All the other nutrients from the whole grain are still lost (magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, chromium, vitamin E, and fiber).

What’s
 Considered
 “Whole
 Grain”
 and
 What
 Isn’t?


Use the following guidelines to make sure you are really getting whole grain products:

Wheat: “Wheat Flour” is the generic term for any flour made from wheat.

  • Cracked wheat, stoned wheat, wheatberry, 100% wheat, seven-grain, and multi-grain areall made from mostly refined grains, not whole grains.
  • Look for the word “whole” before “grain” or “wheat” on product labels. It also should bethe first ingredient listed.Rye and Pumpernickel: These types of products usually contain little, if any, whole grains.

    Oats: Oat products are generally whole grain, no matter how you slice it–instant, regular, fine-cut, or coarse-cut. The one exception is oatmeal bread where the first ingredient listed on the label is usually refined wheat flour. You’ll find oats way down on the ingredients list.

    Rice: Brown and wild rice are whole grains. White rice is not.
    Other Whole Grain Products: Try bulgar wheat, whole wheat couscous, whole wheat pastas.

    ©2005 The Regents of the University of California
    The data provided isresearched and interpreted by health professionals at UCLA.Varying opinions may be held by others in the health care field.

Own Your Story

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When I started changing the way I ate, and blogging about healthy foods, it seemed way WAY to disgusting to admit I had weighed close to 250 lbs. I actually never lied, I just didn’t tell the whole truth.

Much the same thinking I approached my eating disorder with. If I didn’t talk about it, I didn’t admit it, then maybe it didn’t really happen. These photos tell a different story, they tell the truth. Honestly as I look at these I think I was probably over 250 lbs at some point, but my guess is I handily avoided the scale and all Dr.’s visits during this period. I know I was well into the 280’s pregnant, but I don’t think this really counts. This isn’t denial, I just never felt bad about being heavier pregnant. After two miscarriages prior to my first-born I wasn’t going to give one single “pregnancy pound” a second thought. I also felt “released” from dieting, and finding the magic potion. That felt incredible.

There are not many photos of me at this weight…the “delete” button is an amazing gift when you don’t want to be held accountable and you are actively erasing history as you go.  If I don’t see it, and you don’t see it, then it didn’t really happen!  But it did.

I have showed these photos to several people and I am always amazed to hear, “Oh please, you had just had a baby!” Ummm….really? I am holding a 11 month old!!! I always want to say, “Is this what you looked like 11 months after having a child?” I think not.

It has been a lifetime of punishing myself, hiding from the elephant in the room, and hoping the right “diet” or “pill” would miraculously transform me into a super model overnight and then I could get busy living.

So the day I had to input my starting weight into MyFitnessPal I decided to put the weight I was that year. And that is ok. It was what I weighed. But I never fessed up to all those supporting me, or asking me for advice, that I had actually been much heavier. Skinny people reading this might be thinking what is the big deal? But heavy people, struggling with their weight-loss will understand why it was a breach of trust. In a way, I was posing. Pretending to have a little more self-control, to be a little bit less of a glutton than others.

Most people would think when you are losing weight you want to get credit for Every. Single. Pound. That is the difference between a normal person looking to lose some weight and an addict. I was hiding a gross, disgusting, nasty laps in self-control. No one I was meeting going forward was going to know how big I had been.

But as I started to realize I could never erase my past, as I stepped out of the shadows of the “old me”, the me I hated, truly loathed….I had to drop the cloak. I had to stand completely naked (metaphorically people, there are different websites for that) in the middle of the room and own all of my faults. I had to wrap a warm blanket of love and forgiveness around that sad, lonely, empty girl and tell her it was going to be ok. In order to do that there could be no lies.

I am a compulsive overeater battling a very real disease on a daily basis, and my heaviest, non-pregnancy, documented weight was 244 pounds.

At 244 pounds I was obese.  A BMI of 37.1.

What’s in a number? For a compulsive overeater, the truth. The truth is what is in that number. Until you are honest with yourself, there is zero chance of longterm success. Until you look in the mirror and accept where you are, and I realize how painful and impossible this will feel, I know…but until you are able to own where you are today, and start loving the person you see in the mirror today, I can promise you you will never get better. You cannot outrun any addiction. You must heal, and that takes self-compassion and love. A kind of love that no one else can provide for you, it must come from deep inside of you where the pain lies, and once it starts growing you will be unstoppable.

I am Jennifer, I am @HappyBodyFood, and this is my journey from unhealthy to healthy…but more truthfully this is my journey from self-hate, to self-love.

Simple Salad

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Using what I have, and what needs to be eaten!

Place the lettuce in the bowl.

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Add some veggies.

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Notice the 2nd plate? Mr. Happy Body Food came out of his office and said, “Hey, what about me?” Easy.

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Add some protein, nuts & parmesean in this case.

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Add some fat. I was out of avocado so went for the Pesto. Two spoonfuls, and a little lemon juice, like a splash. Mix and done.

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Enjoy!