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November 30, 2006

Pork Chops in Tomato Sauce

Even though people enjoy a good chop, they avoid pork thinking it to be high in fat. However, "the other white meat" industry has responded to this notion, and consumers can buy pork that is lean and heart-healthy.  Compared to twenty years ago, pork is about 31% lower in fat and 29% lower in saturated fat.  But forget about the numbers! As yesterday's post, Eating What You Want points out, healthy eating is about satisfying your appetite, and can help you "eat in moderation...as part of a well-balanced eating style." So take a fork to your pork! Enjoy this delectable dish from Free Gourmet Recipes.

(Makes 4 servings)

4 pork chops
1 pinch garlic salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks chopped celery, with leaves
12 ounces tomato paste
15 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups water

For an optional garnish:
1 green olive, pitted
2 lettuce leaves
2 slices of tomato

Season pork chops with garlic salt to taste. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chops and brown in oil for about 4 to 6 minutes each side. Remove from skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, saute onion and celery until translucent. Add tomato paste and heat through, stirring, until liquid is bubbling. Add tomato sauce and heat through, stirring, until bubbling. Add water to thin sauce. Return chops to skillet, reduce heat to very low and let simmer until meat is very tender and sauce thickens (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours), adding water as needed.

For more healthy recipes check out the other delicious recipes listed on this blog or visit Green Mountain Healthy Living Recipe Favorites.

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Posted by Laura on November 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 29, 2006

Eating What You Want

Christmas_candy In conversation with a friend who struggles with eating and his weight -- and also has Type 2 diabetes -- I mentioned last week's post about enjoying holiday foods, eating what we want in a way that makes us feel great, e.g., eating mindfully.  He was all agog, yet skeptical.  He didn't 'want' the turkey or green beans that usually made up his Thanksgiving meal.  He was into the stuffing and mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows aplenty) and homemade pies, with lots of whipped cream, thank you very much!!!

That revelation got us into the definition of the word 'want.'  Actually, his response to the advice to eat what you want isn't unusual.  When many of us think of it, all we think of are the generally rich goodies that diets and the diet mentality have taught us are off-limits.  But there are a couple of primary ideas at work behind this advice.

1) By eating what we want, we reduce the risk of overeating just to get what we want.  How many times have we eaten all the stuff we're 'supposed' to eat -- the 'healthy' stuff -- then continued foraging until we end up eating all the stuff we really wanted...and walked away stuffed?  What if we just ate what we wanted in the first place? Chances are we would have stopped when we felt like we'd had enough -- and that would probably have been at lot fewer calories.  Maybe the nutritional quality of the calories wouldn't have been stellar, but if we listen to our bodies (mindful eating), they generally tell us when to lay off the cookies and munch on a few carrots instead.  P.S.  It helps to eat regularly -- every 3-5 hours or so -- to help your body give you accurate signals.  If we get too hungry, we tend to want the richer stuff regardless of how much we've previously had of it.

2) When we think of the word 'want,' what comes to mind most often?  If it's cakes, cookies, and candy, we're likely still caught up in thinking that we shouldn't eat those foods at all.  But if we let ourselves have them when we really want them, we begin to see/feel when we really don't want them.  Instead, we want to feel well.  Eating cakes, cookies, candy and the like doesn't necessarily make us feel unwell -- it's just when they make up the majority of what we eat, or if we eat them until we're stuffed.  So if we eat them in moderation, as part of a well-balanced eating style, we find they are the treats they're made out to be.  We feel well when we eat them, but we find we don't want too much of them -- just like we don't want too much of other foods.

If we've got something like Type 2 diabetes that dictates we be a bit more judicious in our use of richer foods, all that means is that our definition of 'want' is a little different from the so-called average person -- but not that much different.  For the vast majority of us, including those with Type 2 diabetes, when we give ourselves permission to eat what we want, then put the 'goodies' up against the 'healthy stuff,' we'll find we want the 'healthy stuff' as much as we need it.  And we can forgo excessive amounts of the richer stuff because we know it's not what we 'want' on several levels. (I could go into the fact that the 'goodies' can be considered 'healthy stuff,' too, on many levels, but this post is getting too long.)

Anyway, if you can understand what I've just written, i hope it will help you truly enjoy the coming holiday season and all the wonderful things it brings.  I've gotta go now -- the busyness of this season is beckoning!

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Posted by Marsha on November 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 28, 2006

Always Be Prepared - NOT!

Hope your Thanksgiving was a beautiful treat – I’m thankful that it came, and now I’m thankful that it’s over :-). Just a tip, if you always put the carcass in the freezer to make soup later, and in 6 months you find it buried in the freezer and can barely recognize what it was, this time just skip the middle step and throw it out now!

SurdoueWe’re rounding the last corner of this year, and I’m wondering about what could make a real difference in the new year, if you identified and purposed to behavior differently, or added a behavior. I’ve come upon the idea of not borrowing trouble – going for the “fire-proof” choice at every decision. I've decided that I will not spend all my time trying to be a Swiss army knife at the expense of what's happening in the moment! Did you ever resolve to be "the best" student in the world, taking intense notes during a lecture, highlighting important passages as you furiously hovered over your notepad like a demented beaver? And then did you find that at the end of the lecture, you had absolutley no idea what it was about - you got all the parts and missed the point because you were so involved in "getting it it all down" that you failed to realize that you didn't "get it"?? Well, no more for this girl.

The turkey carcass tip exemplifies my new operating theory. It feels really good not to have a picked apart carcass of guilt sitting in my freezer right now. I think the Girl Scout message of “always be prepared” has not done well for me – I’m constantly preparing for things that don’t happen!

Take some time today to think about what in your thought patterns do not really support your life. Even if getting some alone time to think this through requires a major effort, it will be worth it.

Best - Gina

Posted by Gina V. on November 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2006

Jumping into a Healthy Lifestyle

Down by the river, down by the sea,
Mary ate a cookie and blamed it on me.
I told ma, ma told pa,
Mary got a spanking so ha! ha! ha!

Remember jumping rope? Oh, it was cool standing in line with all your little friends waiting your turn to jump in. When you were good enough to jump two people and two ropes at a time, well, that was the bomb.

When it was my turn to jump in I had a whole series of moves I had to get workin’. First, I had to get my body moving in rhythm with the rope. Next, the hands had to get in the picture, mirroring the rope going round and round in circles. Then watch for the opening, the opening, an opening, there it is…and I’m in!

As a chronic dieter, over the years I’ve often felt like beginning a new eating plan (even a healthy one), was kinda like jumping rope - waiting for everything to be perfect. I was always looking for just the right opening and then I’d be ready to jump in. The problem is, waiting for that perfect window of opportunity may leave you watching that rope go round and round for months, even years and before you know it it's your whole life. At some point you just have to start jumpin’!

Before you begin on any life changing journey you might want to start by setting a few goals that are right for you. Think about what you want to change and why, and what steps you can take to reach your goals. The changes don’t have to be big. Nothing has to be perfect - it never is. Just grab your tennis shoes and take a walk around the block.

Even small steps can make a difference in your health and before you know it, guess what? You’re in! You’re jumpin’ rope.

Down by the river, down by the sea,
Mary ate a cookie and blamed it on me...

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Posted by Cindy on November 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 24, 2006

The Day After

Happy day after Thanksgiving, y’all! Many of you out there may still have friends and family hangin’ round your door for the long weekend, looking at you with big hungry eyes that say, ‘Wow, that was a great meal yesterday, what’s on the menu for today?!?'

This is a scary concept for many of us, as the day after a holiday meal leaves many leftovers and temptations that hang around all day and in some cases all weekend long.

The key today would be to make it as regular an eating day as possible. Sure, everyone looks forward to turkey sandwiches, but the rest of your leftovers could be taken to a worthy organization in your area to  help feed folks who are less fortunate.

Sharing food with folks who really need it could become a lovely tradition each year. Consider getting up early, boxing up all your leftovers and then taking them to a neighborhood shelter. You might take a brisk walk with your family and friends, drop off your bounty, and decide to stop at your favorite coffee shop to enjoy a delicious espresso, a light breakfast and good company. Putting closure on your feast in a way which makes you feel great and helps others is worth considering.

Regardless of your decision about what to do with leftovers, you may want to move down a couple posts and reread Marsha's tips on mindful eating through the holidays, it never gets old.

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Posted by Cindy on November 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2006


Happy Turkey Day! And you know what that means...Leftovers!  This turkey tetrazzini recipe is from a site that claims to have The Best Turkey Recipes on the Planet.  Well, it is hard to find a better turkey leftover casserole recipe, but you be the judge! 

(Makes 4 servings)

  1/4 cup chopped onion
  1/4 cup fresh mushrooms
  1/4 cup each flour & margarine
  1 cup milk
  1 cup chicken broth
  1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  1 tsp dried whole tarragon
  1/8 tsp pepper
  1 dash of ground nutmeg
  2-1/2 cups cooked spaghetti
  1-1/2 cups turkey, cooked/chopped
  1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese divided
  chopped parsley
  lemon slice halves
  red pepper strips

Saute onion and mushrooms in margarine in a large, heavy saucepan until just tender. Add flour, stirring well.  Cook one minute, stirring constantly.  Gradually add milk and chicken broth; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly.  Stir in parsley, tarragon, pepper and nutmeg.  Stir in spaghetti, turkey, and half of the cheese, mixing well.

Pour into a greased 1-1/2 quart casserole bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Garnish with parsley, lemon slices, and pepper strips.

For more healthy recipes check out the other delicious recipes listed on this blog or visit Green Mountain Healthy Living Recipe Favorites.

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Posted by Laura on November 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Fallbridge_2_1"May we have more and more friends, and need them less and less." - Unknown Author

Posted by Cindy on November 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2006

Mindful Eating Through the Holidays

Turkey_1 Tomorrow marks the beginning of the eating season – I mean, holiday season.  It is a wonderfully festive time that does include a lot of great food that we often don’t see the rest of the year.  For people who struggle with eating and weight, though, that often means a gain of 5 pounds or more that we don’t take off once the holiday abundance is gone.

So here are a few tips for maintaining, not gaining, this holiday season.  They’re normal eating aka mindful eating tips which serve well because normal eaters usually don’t eat more than they want/need even in times of abundance.  They’re also mindful living tips, paying attention to our bodies and giving them what they need. These are taken from our FitBriefing Holiday Eating without Overeating: Eating the Best & Leaving the Rest.

  • Give yourself permission to eat what you want.  If you try to deny yourself, you’ll likely end up overeating out of deprivation.
  • Eat mindfully.  Stay in touch with hunger and satisfaction cues.  Respond reasonably to both.
  • Eat regularly.  Regular, well-balanced meals will keep your hunger manageable.  When we skip meals, we tend to overeat at the next one.
  • Move regularly.  Keep moving to stay in touch with how you feel.
  • Manage your stress.  It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little stress.  Don’t let it get out of hand.  Meditate, move, have fun!

Read some of our other FitBriefings on this subject for more in-depth coverage: Party Hearty without Putting on Pounds and Here Come the Holidays.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Photo by morgueFile & taliesin

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Posted by Marsha on November 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2006

Count Your Blessings!

3074068t Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth;
Love your neighbor as much as yourself.

Author Unknown


Whoever wrote this, I couldn't agree with you more. And allow me to add...

Count the value of your love and worth, worry less about girth.

Know your value as a human being, instead of the calories in a single green bean.

Happy Thanksgiving to All, Gina

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Posted by Gina V. on November 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 20, 2006

Truth or Consequences - The Kirstie Alley Reveal

I was all set with another post for this morning and then I picked up the latest issue of US Magazine. (I’ve already confessed some of my lofty reading habits). Anyway, there was a blurb in there about Kirstie Alley's recent bikini reveal on Oprah. I'm not sure how many of you caught it in real time or saw it replayed over and over later, but I did see it. I wasn’t going to post about it, because to be honest I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it.

On one hand I congratulate her, on the other hand I felt it was objectifying. Is the wearing of a bikini still the measure of success and self worth? Ms. Alley did make some brief comment like, ‘we are not our bodies’, so why oh why did she go on national television to show her new one off? Maybe there was a bonus in it from Jenny Craig? Just pondering…

In the article, she was quoted as saying she now weighs 145 pounds. I appreciate that one can look a bit heavier on television, but she did not look 145 pounds to me, or to others, including Rosie O'Donnell who has since been rather vocal about it. Again, I’m not sure how I feel about it all.

Unless you broadcast it to millions (and get paid handsomely for it), then it’s hard to keep the size of your thighs under wraps, as it were. Some of America and much of the media is going to take an interest. It’s just how we seem to roll these days, sad as it is.

Assuming Kirstie might (again I say ‘might’) be exaggerating her weight loss, should she be chastised because she did so on national television? After all, she fibbed in the first place about maxing out at 201 pounds on Oprah and then rescinded after media pressure changing her highest weight to 220 pounds. What the heck does it matter? 201, 220 or 300 pounds…it’s no one’s business anyway. If she looks and feels great now, why does it matter?

So, should Kirstie have left well enough alone? Does she perpetuate a myth? Does she inspire? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject of women and their weight.

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Posted by Cindy on November 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack