Cooking With The Undomestic Housewife

SImple but good recipes with a hint of fun facts and nutrition info.

Help Your Body (and your weight) 1 Digestive Meter at a Time. June 26, 2012

Filed under: food,health,lifestyle,Uncategorized — Kristi bri @ 11:44 am
Tags: , ,

About 4 years ago, I learned that the longer something, like steak or pork, takes to digest, the longer it will stay in your digestive tract. Like most, I thought “so what? It’ll come out eventually.” That’s where we’re wrong—in part. The longer something like pork or beef takes to digest, the more time it has to calcify into the knicks and crannies of your intestines, then little pieces of food like corn, or more meat can get stuck and build up over time causing all sorts of illnesses—including a common cold. This is why enemas have become such a fad; people are trying to uncalcify their innards. This alone can do wonders for your overall health. I’m not saying go run out and get an enema (unless you want to), there are many ways to do this ‘naturally’. My apple fast is one sure-fire way also.

I found this article on Yahoo which outlines some important info for food choices that I wanted to share. It talks about the do’s and don’t of some foods and their digestive properties.

I’ve never been one to diet. if I’ve been on a gorging streak, I knew I was in the wrong and would choose to eat a little less, or make healthier choices for a couple weeks at a time. But for the most part, I maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle anyways; I only eat fast food about 3 times a year—maybe 4 or 5 (That’s not to say that I won’t eat pizza or burgers, but I have to really want it and I’ll wait until I get a good one from a restaurant—not a chain) .

Like a lot of people, I don’t like the idea of Diets. I believe that you can only restrict yourself for so long before the taunting and non-stop thinking about the cookie and soda etc. will win in the end. Like it’s been said before: life-style change and moderation are key; you need to know WHY things are bad for you and WHY things are good for you and change the way you view food.
When food becomes a source of health and energy, the way you look at it will be much more than just “this will make my stomach stop growling”.

For example: If you tell someone: “soda’s bad, you can only drink 16 oz a day.” Or tell them, “cut soda out and you’ll lose weight”, they’re more likely to fail because they don’t know WHY the soda is bad for them. But if you  have someone who knows that a can of soda has 10 tsp of sugar in it–picture that for a second: an entire (healthy) banana loaf has equal to or less than 10 tsp sugar. Tell them It will also affect their bone density and cause tooth decay , taking that soda away from that person will be easier. Education is key. Now, if the person is well educated and still chooses to pick the unhealthy option on a regular basis, then there may be more underlying problems. – not to mention the whole “if you tell me I can’t, I will!” attitude most everyone has.

Knowing what you’re putting in your body and the effects of it will help to have a successful ‘diet’.
Finding foods that are easily digestible but fill you up AND keep you full is tricky juggling act. Take pork for example: It takes up to 14 hours for pork to make its way through your entire body; vs. a salad which is 2-3 hours; or chicken, which is 4-6 hours.  How many times will you eat again in that 14 hours vs. the 2 hours?
Starving yourself is not a good idea either because depriving your body only makes it say “Oh yeah, the first thing he/she eats next I am going to suck the life out of!” So if you are STARVING and you go for a cheeseburger (because we all make poor choices when we are hungry as all heck), your body will suck the fat, carbs, sugar and whatever else it can out of that burger in order to store it encase it becomes deprived again.
So, if you do find yourself super hungry, decide to have a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit or a salad with chicken first (if not all by itself), then your body will suck out the vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, iron, protein etc. and store that instead. Plus, making that choice to eat the veggies first  (and have a big glass of water too), will most likely fill you up before you want to gorge on something unhealthy—or at least you’ll eat less of the unhealthy thing.

In short, this article teaches you that things, like whole grains will help to fill you up. Plus they are full of fiber, which will actually help to pull fat through your digestive system on its way through. 

Ginger will help digestion of the stomach as well as relieve nausea. Mint (peppermint/spearmint) will also help ease the stomach—if you’ve read the Hunger Games, you know that Katniss chews on a peppermint leaf after eating because it makes her know she’s done eating and helps her digestion. Yougurt—with live/active cultures—can do wonders for the intestines—just like Jamie Lee tells us on the commercials.

If I could do one this with this blog post, its to make you think about what you’re eating with every single bite; think about all the good things that piece of food is doing for your overall health. Don’t just think about the calories, sugar and fat in each bite—that’s another blog post. Once you learn the health benefits of what you’re eating, you will become in tune with your body and know what it needs when you’re bruising easily (iron—in spinach and broccoli), or your tired or have a headache (you may need water) or you’re getting leg cramps (potassium—bananas)  etc. Learn to heal your body with exactly what it needs. Food was put on this earth for a reason and it wasn’t to process and make chemical reproductions of.

* I did not include pictures because I didn’t think that anyone would want to see that and I’m sorry if this post was a little disorganized; I just Have SO much to say about it!

 

Cranberry-Orange scones– Take that Starbucks! You can keep your 490 calories! June 24, 2012

Image
YUM

When I worked at Starbucks, my absolute favorite thing was setting up the food case in the am. There was a high chance that there was at least 1 cranberry orange scone that was broken upon arrival to the store. And what that means is that it can’t be served to any customer, so we would mark it out and I would eat it. Despite knowing it was 490 calories and god-knows how much sugar/fat, I would devour the entire thing with no remorse or guilt. I’m not sure how they even got 490 calories into that small scone (which, by the way, won’t keep you full for more than an hour), without making it with pure sugar and lard.

I swore to myself that one day I would make a replacement that I was sure would cut the calories (hopefully) in 1/2– or at least make it a little more guilt-free.

And my friends, I think I have found it! Made with dried orange-flavored cranberries, orange zest & juice, mostly whole-wheat flour and Chia seeds, which (I have talked about HERE) are so amazing for you and a great substitute for poppy seeds in cooking/baking.

This is a very versatile recipe: you can (and I have) substitute the ‘flavor ingredients’ (ie. the cranberries & zest) for things like blueberries and white chocolate chips, or raspberries and chocolate chips etc. The possibilities are endless. BUT, if you are going to use a fresh berry, it’s best to make the dough as per normal, but then FOLD in the berries, so you’re not crushing them with the mixer. If you want to mix them in, that’s fine too, but I personally like biting into a piece of scone and getting a mouthful of full berry.

These little gems don’t really need anymore introduction, so without futher adieu, here’s the recipe.

You will need:

  • large Mixing bowl for dry ingredients & a smaller one for the eggs (if you have a mixer, you can use the mixer bowl as the ‘dry’ ingredient bowl).
  • a fork or whisk
  • measuring utensils
  • a knife &/or dough cutter (Technical term?)
  • a grater or zester
  • a cookie sheet (you can spray it, or grease it if you want)

Ingredients (Makes about 8 scones– just depends on the size you cut them):

  • 2.5 cups of Flour; you can use any ratio of whole wheat/ All purpose flour.
  • 2 Tbsp Baking POWDER
  • 1/2 tsp Baking SODA (**try not to get powder and soda mixed up)
  •  pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar (you can either substitute honey(add to ‘wet’ ingredient list), or use brown sugar)
  • 1+ Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2+ cup dried cranberries (I used orange-flavored dried cranberries from Sprouts)
  • Zest of 1 orange

filling: Tbsp any kind of jam (I used strawberry, because that’s what I had)

Icing:

  • Mix some of the orange juice (no more than a tbsp or 2) with some zest and powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want. Don’t make it too runny or it won’t stiffen and it will soak into the scone and get everywhere (I made this mistake), so add lots of powdered sugar.

Getting started:

  1. Pre-heat oven to about 375-400 degrees.
  2. Combine all your dry ingredients in the bowl specified
  3. Cut-in the butter with a potato masher (if you don’t have the actual tool for this). Your dough should be a bit crumbly and stuck together at this point.
  4. Beat all your ‘wet’ ingredients together in the smaller bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ones and mix together until fully combined. *if you’re using a  mixer, use your dough hook (the one that your husband/boyfriend uses to pretend he’s Captain Hook.)

    dough ball

  6. Once the dough has formed into a ball-shape, flour a surface to dump the dough on to.
  7. knead the dough a couple times and then press into a circle about 1.5 inches thick.
  8. Spread the jam into a thin layer on the circle (don’t take note by mine (below)– I spread a lot and this caused the scones to slip and slide apart while baking)

This is NOT a thin layer *don’t do this!*

9. fold the circle in 1/2 and then slice into triangles. These will grow quite a bit in the oven, so they can be rather small triangles. You should be able to get at least 8 scones out of this.– if you need to pull it a bit longer, go ahead.

Fold in 1/2

10. Place on your baking sheet at least 1-1.5 inches apart and Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

11. Once cooled, mix up your icing and drizzle over the top of all the scones, sprinkle with love and ENJOY!

~K

 

Getting Back on track in so many ways! May 24, 2012

Filed under: food,health,less fat,lifestyle,Uncategorized — Kristi bri @ 8:26 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Image

It’s 9am and I’ve been at work for 2 hours already. On my way to refill my cup of water I pass a line of people by the printer. I peeked to see what the commotion was: Yet another box of donuts. Just yesterday we had birthday cake and today we’re scheduled to have birthday ice cream bars for lunch.

This line is long enough to make me realize I have never seen a line up for donuts in an office before. You would think my co-workers are afraid that someone has played a nasty trick on them and 2 of the 3 boxes are, in fact, empty; first 12 get 1.

As I pass the line to the kitchen (and the fridge, where I’ll grab my yogurt), I decide to forego the donut and have the ice cream later; it will be much more satisfying. But, alas, one of the ladies asks if I’m “going to have one?”, “You look like you need it. I’m worried about you girl.” She exclaims.

I’m tired of all the comments I get regarding my (normal on the BMI index) weight, so in my head I reply:  ‘and you look like you don’t, I’m worried about you!’. Keep in mind, I have worked with these people for 2 months and have spoken to them maybe a couple handful of times.

As I throw my yogurt lid in the trash, I notice the 13 gallon bin is already half full of fast food bags from breakfasts eaten. All I can do is sigh.

Just last week I was asked if I was anorexic. This didn’t shock me as much as when she said “you know, just wanted to ask before rumors start.” Rumors? About me and my eating habits? I am 5’6 and 115 lbs. I am a size 4. Over 60% of my office are generally the same height and over 170lbs, so keeping in mind where the comments are coming from, I think to myself: ‘in comparison to you, I probably do look anorexic’, but instead I reply ‘no, I eat all the time! Constantly throughout the day I am munching.’ The difference between us though is that I am munching on fruit, veggies, nuts etc. while you much on chips, donuts and soda while your digesting your Whataburger breakfast and anticipate your mcdonald’s lunch.

I am not trying to bad mouth my co-workers, most of them are extremely nice people, and this is not what this blog is going to be about, but on a side note, it’s hurtful to me, being skinny, when you comment on how you “just want to feed me  a hamburger, or milkshake” (which I’m still waiting for btw–pineapple please), or calling me anorexic. I am happy with my body and I’m finally at a place where I can eat healthy and be satisfied. But what if I were to be like “oh, Jeff are you sure you should be in line for the donuts this morning? You’re looking a little bloaty. Or: Suzy, I don’t mean to be rude, but have you been to the Dr. lately to have your thyroid checked? Looks like you might not be burning as much weight as you should.” I think the rumors would fly about me then!

I don’t feel it’s anyone’s job to judge my weight or eating habits when I cook an awesome dinner almost every night and when asked what I have for lunch, –leftovers from dinner– you say “oh, well it must be nice to have so much time.” Really? To make dinner? I understand people these days are on a tight time restriction, but does that time restriction start when you’re grocery shopping and instead of reaching for the healthier option bread or crackers etc., time restriction sets in and you have to grab the cookies and chips instead?

I don’t have a problem with over weight people either. I know their struggle, I grew up with people in my family plagued by regret and insecurity due to weight. What I do have an issue with is people who ask me how I stay so skinny, or ask for my ‘advice’ on weight loss and then go to KFC for lunch (this has happened), or with people who constantly talk about the weight they need to lose and do the same thing. I am not here to preach how to lose weight either, but as someone who lost 25 lbs and has maintained my weight and healthy life for 3 years now, I think I have some room to share my knowledge and things that I am constantly learning—and I appreciate when people can share with me what they know too!

I read a blog this morning that was ‘freshly pressed’ and the comments that followed are what inspired me to write this. My goal is to get back on track with this blog, which was initially to post recipes that are easy, yet not time consuming; delicious, yet not filled with fat or sugar or corn syrups etc. I have strayed away from my original goal of this blog.

I am not here to judge your life, but offer a helping hand if I can. I would like to break this up into a few posts on things like sugar and it’s affects, sodium, fast food, etc. that way I can help to educate people on just what they’re putting in their bodies and how cutting them out, or altering them can help.

I am no health nut, I may have a fast metabolism, I may not. I love ice cream and chocolate and candy just as much as the next person and I eat something everyday that satisfies my cravings. But everything in moderation is the key! I believe we are grown people; we’re not 5, where you had to eat your salad before you had your pizza, or you had to eat your veggies before you had dessert. I know what I’m about to say is going to have some people outraged, but why not sometimes, and the key word being sometimes, skip the 800 calorie dinner and go straight for the 800 calorie dessert. Or, instead of fooling yourself with a salad when you KNOW you’re going to have a piece of pizza, just have the pizza minus the salad topped with the 200 calorie ranch dressing and 150 calorie bacon bits! You are not going to drop dead of diabetes (hopefully) on the spot. FYI: I’m not saying replace dinner with dessert everynight, so don’t go shouting “kristi says eat dessert only!” use your heads people.

I also believe that you are not going to starve to death if you need to skip the donut and wait an hour until your lunch. If that was the case, people fasting all over the world (Whether it be for religion or forced, ie. holocust) would have dropped dead the first day. I understand some people have bigger issues like hypoglycemia– my mom suffers from it. But if you have it, you know and should prepare. bring a pre-proportioned baggy of almonds for such a case.
I say ‘pre-portioned’ because I know even I will eat the whole entire bag if it’s just there at my desk, so I plan.
Just this morning I saw a girl go through an entire bag of chex-mix before the donuts arrived. This was also after her breakfast. She does this every day. Not only is that probably over 2000 calories/bag, it’s +1500g of sodium: over 1/2 the recommended daily intake(2000). Later when asked “aren’t you on meds?”, she replied “just heart pills.” My heart wept for this poor girl who is killing herself with sodium alone. Heart disease is the number 1 killer in the US right now and can you guess what may be a major factor in heart health? Sodium.

I plan everything I eat and try and wait until I’m hungry to eat the next thing on my list. I don’t eat just because it’s noon and I have to. People back in the way-back times (technical term) ate strictly for energy. I sit at a desk all day– what do I need energy for? Nothing, but I still get hungry and that’s a welcome discomfort: If you’re hungry, you’re doing something right, you’re not overeating! You’re eating for necessity. You want a donut? Fine, have one, but slip that granola bar out of your lunch and save it for tomorrow!

I know I have probably touched some hot spots here, but I feel like today in America, people are so pre-occupied, they don’t have time to cook or eat healthy, but healthy choices are there and I don’t know many people who don’t have a TV near their kitchen. If you’re ‘too busy’ chasing after kids to do anything and you complain of not being able to sit down—you should be proud! Being active—even if it’s just cleaning your house—burns calories! So next time your shows are on and you want nothing but to sit on the couch and veg, try doing some lunges in front of Biggest Loser, or Jersey Shore, or prep dinner during commercials!  You want a piece of cake and know you’ll probably have 2? Make them tiny pieces that will add up to 1 normal size. or even better: add up to 1/2 a normal size; you’ll feel more satisfied!

Like I said, everything in moderation and that’s the key to success in happiness—and that goes for everything—not just food!

Fun fact: microwavable meals were invented by bacteriologist– NOT chefs or cooks, but by people who could probably figure out the best way for something thats made mostly from chemicals to taste like real food. ie. ‘generic’ low fat yogurt– read the ingredients; there’s one in particular that has 0 milk in it, just milk protein concentrate! But yet, it has calcium, probably injected.

 

Chocolate Dipped, Peanut-Butter-filled Pretzel squares…Fewf, what a mouthful!…Literally July 18, 2011

Filed under: baking,dessert,easy,food,health,lifestyle,treats — Kristi bri @ 5:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

When I first discovered peanut butter pretzels, it was a fateful encounter at Sprouts. We were picking up some meat for a bar-b-que, but I was starving NOW. Sitting at the check-out was a pre-packaged bag of these little puppies. I thought “pretzels, that’s a good-for-you (kinda) snack; peanut butter? I love peanut butter!!!–SOLD to the hungry girl at the check-out. I made it juuust long enough to pay for them, but not long enough to get us out of the store.

After that bag was finished (2 hours later), that was the sad and unfortunate end of the love affair— until we met again at a Kroger in Dallas a year later. Not only were they in a massive container, but at $5.00 they were cheap and only 140 calories & 7 grams of fat (for a serving of 10). How could I say “no” to saving my money AND my waist-line! Little did I know these little gems were going to become a staple in my household. Even my husband who doesn’t like peanut butter will go through about four handfuls of these in 1 sitting.

One day while munching on some, I noticed a similarity to the pretzel M&M’s (which I’ve only had once… so I don’t know how I came to this conclusion) and wondered how I could recreate the flavor fully. EUREKA: Chocolate dipped! And they would be a perfect addition to a gift for a friend’s birthday a few days later. I set out to get chocolate.

Ps. Hershey’s bars from the dollar store work well and are a lot cheaper than normal grocery store.

The only concern/problem I had was whether or not the chocolate would stay firm once it cooled (and wasn’t in the refrigerator)–if someone knows the trick to this, please comment.

Ingredients: Serves as many as you want–1 Hershey’s bar will easily cover over 30 pretzel nuggets.

  • Peanut Butter filled pretzels.
  • Chocolate- helps if it’s at room temperature. (About a 1/2 cup of chips, 1 Hershey’s bar, baking chocolate, white chocolate etc. etc.)

What you need:

  • A pot of boiling water (pots usually don’t come WITH boiling water, so you might need to make that happen…just sayin’)
  • A bowl that is big enough it can rest on top of the pot without touching the water. (see below) I don’t know what this technique is called but it’s used by Chocolatiers when tempering chocolate so it doesn’t burn etc. (?)
  • A spoon (normal size–like you’d eat cereal with).
  • Either some sort of baking sheet with wax paper on it, or I didn’t have wax paper, so I covered a cutting board in saran-wrap. (this is to put the finished product on to cool and it helps if you can fit it in the fridge.

What to do:

  1. Boil the water (As afore mentioned),
  2. Place the bowl on the pot at an angle (so the chocolate is contained in the corner)
  3. Keep moving the chocolate around so it melts evenly
  4. Once melted, you can attempt to “dip” the pretzel nugget in the chocolate, but I found it easier to use the spoon and use a spreading action to get it on there.
  5. Place the “dipped” nugget on your cooling surface.
  6. Repeat until all desired pretzels are covered–or you run out of chocolate.
  7. Place in fridge until chocolate is hardened.

Notice the pot in the bowl.

If you’re feeling ambitious and maybe this is  a nice party favor or something, try dipping the corner of them in the opposite colored chocolate and/or rolling them in a topping like Graham crackers, sprinkles, peppermint candy (for Christmas) etc.

Sprinkle with love and ENJOY!

 

Apple Fast– A good summer Cleanse. September 1, 2010

Filed under: food,health,lifestyle,recipe — Kristi bri @ 10:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Apples for 3 days

Apple Fasting

Apples are not only used to keep the doctors away anymore. They contain your day’s worth of vitamin C, 1/5 of your daily fruit intake, plus they contain an abundance of fiber and enough energy to keep you going for a while. I read that if you are riding the toilet train a little longer than usual, you should incorporate an apple and a cup of green/white tea into your morning breakfast; that’s sure to create the most perfect ‘poo-cocktail’.

A couple of years ago I was informed of the delicateness of the human intestines; what over-exposure of meat does to them etc. That’s when I was told about the 3-day apple diet/fast/cleanse.  Here’s a break-down of what was explained to me: Anything that can’t be digested easily creates gas, aka: farts.  things like beef and meat get caught in the grooves of the intestinal walls and basically–for lack of a better phrase– calcify. I know this seems odd because we’ve been eating meat for ages, but our diet was significantly different, including vegetables, un-processed grains and no chemically enhanced foods.

Apples on the other hand, help to break up the foods in your belly. After only eating apples, the enzymes in your stomach focus on digesting one thing: the apple fibers. Once the apple fibers (the insides of the apples) are in your intestinal tract, they loosen all the calcified material; when the peels make their way down, they scrub and catch all the ‘bad’ particles.

The 1st time I did this I noticed the amount of times I reached for things that I didn’t need to eat; chips, candy and other things that were just laying around. It made me realize that I was eating unnecessarily when I wasn’t even hungry. And the good thing about this cleanse is that you can eat as many apples, any kind of way, and as many kinds of apples as you want. You want apple sauce? go ahead, you want to sauté some apples with a little cinnamon (no sugar), sounds good to me.

You can drink BLACK coffee, and green/white tea. It’s also a good thing to fresh/pure drink apple juice (because for sometreason everything else these days has to be laced with sugar) and as much water as possible. Staying on this fast for three days will allow your body to digest, clean out toxins and stored fats and rejuvenate. This is a simple, yet effective fast that is great to repeat every few months to maintain the balance within the body (http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art3627.asp).

So:

Start the day before by eating a light meal for dinner. Drink lots of water.

The next 3 days eat as many apples as you like, any way you like (most people eat 5-10/day, but that’s just an average). I imagine you don’t have to comply with the 3-6 meals a day rule here (I say this because I rarely eat breakfast and can manage until about 3pm without eating if I have to–which i think would be handy in this case). Recommended apple brands include: Jonathon, Jenneting, Black Arkansas, Oregon Red, Sheepnose, Delicious and Arkansas Russet. Organically grown apples are by far the best (http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art3627.asp).

On the 4th day start off by consuming 2-3Tbsp of Olive Oil, I know: BLECK. This will help your system adjust to the foods it’s going to have to start digesting again. Drink lots of orange/apple juice to start the day off and try and stay away from anything like bread, meat or hard sugars for today (if you eat things like carbs, you’ll probably get bunged up–not an ideal situation). By the 5th day resume  normal diet.

It’s recommended that you do this about once every 1-2 months along with a light exercise like walking or yoga. This shouldn’t be used as a weight-loss regime, but rather a way to get back on track to healthiness.

I’ll be doing this over the weekend and if you do: let me know your struggles and achievements.

Sprinkle all your apples with love  and try to enjoy this cleanse.

Websites that helped me with this blog: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art3627.asp and http://www.ehow.co.uk/how-does_4586218_apple-cleansing-fast-work.html

XO

Kristi