Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I have Celiac Disease, and I eat gluten-free.
These days, it’s much easier to eat gluten-free than it ever used to be, thanks to ready-made meals and snacks. You can find a lovely section of gluten-free items in almost any grocery store, and the convenience is certainly welcome!
There’s just one problem I continually find with gluten-free foods: sugar. The sugar content in gluten-free foods is typically higher than in normal foods.
As we all know, sugar has become the new fat, meaning that more research into nutrition has made us realize that ingesting too much sugar is just as bad, if not worse, than consuming fatty food. Sugar in its natural form, found in fruits and in starchy vegetables, is fine and an important nutrient in brain development. What is problematic is our sugar-filled highly processed diet. Look at the labels! Everything we consume has ingredients that end in “-ose” or contain corn syrup. We are ingesting far too much sugar in one day, most of it the product of chemical combinations that are not very healthy for our body.
The problem with consuming so much sugar is that it raises our level of insulin in the blood, which will have long-term damaging effects such as diabetes, slowed metabolisms, hyperactivity, and over eating. Let us not forget the epidemic of obesity in our society, a phenomenon that people could turn around if they reduced their daily intake of sugar.
A couple years ago, I eliminated all high fructose corn syrup from our home. As I come across more and more items that are “bad”, I continue my journey of elimination – searching for better alternatives and altering our eating habits, bit by bit by bit. Because doing it all at once can be overwhelming!
We’re coming up on Summer Vacation time, and with that comes lots of un-healthy eating. At least that’s what happens to us when we’re on the road! We get in a rush, or we don’t plan properly, and the next thing you know lunch is junk food from the gas station where we filled up the car!
So when Nancy McCoy contacted me and told me she could help, I was all about it! Here’s a few tips from her to all of us…
When you have be on the road, there is a possibility that you’re going to think about fast food. However, just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean that you have to eat foods that are going to leave you feeling weak, tired, and bloated. You need to make good choices when it comes to food so you will have enough energy to enjoy your vacation. As athletes realize, healthy food and a lot of water can keep the level of your energy high, power your muscles, and make you recover quickly. The food you consume on the road is going to become your body’s travel fuel.
Drink a lot of water
Yes, you need to drink the right amount of water every day, but this becomes very important when you are on the road. It is because there is a tendency for you to be rushed, be swayed from your routine, and forget to drink water. This is also an occurrence when you need to access a source of water, so make sure that you have a water bottle with you.
The more I read labels on foods I’ve eaten all my life, the more my eyebrows raise. There is SO MUCH JUNK in our food! Sure, the “junky” food seems easier to grab and prepare, but in the long run, healthy eating is way more worth it!
When it comes to healthy eating as a family, time management and budgeting can make it a bit difficult to get the hang of. Especially if you are a parent (which is really where my brain is at these days), it’s important to foster healthy habits in your children when they’re young so they can carry those habits into the rest of their lives. Here are some ways to stick to a healthy diet on a budget, and to encourage positive habits for your kids.
Find a Farmers’ Market
The price for fresh produce at farmers’ markets is nearly unbeatable. You can stock up on locally grown food that’s in season to use for the week or freeze for a later date. At some farmers’ markets, you can find free-range eggs, delicious homemade jellies and jams, and raw honey. Since you’re buying food that’s in season and cutting out the transport costs, you’ll save quite a bit of money on produce.
Cook With Your Kids
Nothing is more frustrating than preparing a healthy meal just to have your child turn it down. To avoid this, try collaborating as a family to find meals that you’ll all enjoy. Once you’ve made a plan for the week, involve your children in the cooking process. Even young children can take an important role, like snapping green beans or topping a casserole with cheese. When they’ve helped to create a delicious meal, your kids will be more motivated to eat it and their confidence will grow in the kitchen.
My cooking preferences and tastes vary far and wide. There are certainly days when I enjoy creating a 5-course meal from scratch! And then there are other days when I don’t want to stoop to the health level of a drive-thru…but I don’t have a ton of time to work in the kitchen on dinner! For days like that, Foil-Pack Chicken was created!
I honestly don’t remember where this recipe came from! But I’ve modified so much about it that I think I’m pretty safe to call it my own at this point..so we’ll leave it at that.
What you need:
Tin foil Cooking spray Boxed stuffing (I use chicken flavor, and one box splits well among 4 chicken breasts)
Chicken breasts (one per serving)
Frozen broccoli florets (enough for a handful to go along with each chicken breast)
Shredded cheddar cheese
How to prepare:
Pull one sheet of foil for each serving (approximately 1.5 feet long) Spray each sheet with cooking spray. (You could also put a bit of olive oil or a pat of butter there. The purpose of this is to make sure the stuffing doesn’t stick to the foil, so whatever non-stick method you use will work!) Stir together the stuffing mix with about 1 to 1 1/4 cup water and let it sit until the water absorbs. Split the mixture into four parts and spoon it out on top of each non-stick area. Place chicken breast on top of stuffing mixture, then a handful of frozen broccoli florets, then a handful of shredded cheddar. Drizzle ranch dressing on top of the “mound” you’ve created, then sprinkle bacon bits on top of that. It should look like this:
I love that it’s so colorful! Do you know it’s good for you to eat COLORFUL food? It is! Continue reading