29th June 2007

Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

This is a very healthy and easy vegetarian recipe for a high-protein sauce for pasta dishes. It’s one I created and is so popular with my family I’m asked to make it at least once a week.

It’s also very customizable so feel free to experiment and make substitutions! The protein comes from the nuts (I use Pinon Nuts, also called Pine Nuts, and Cashews) and the beans, which are also high in fiber so it’s filling as well as tasty.

I prefer to use the new whole-grain, whole-wheat, or multi-grain pastas but regular pasta works just fine – it’s a thick and very chunky pasta sauce so a larger pasta works best – Farfalle (bow tie) or Penne hold this sauce better than thin pastas such as spaghetti or linguine……………. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Recipes by Trisha

26th June 2007

Hosting a vegetarian

Vegetarian CookingI recently returned from a trip to the east coast to visit family and friends, and although it was a great visit, it was difficult to stick to my vegetarian diet, primarily due to miscommunication on my part, and misunderstanding by others, so I thought it might be helpful to talk about how to play host to a vegetarian.

Many people find it difficult to plan a meal that is not meat-centric, or that has other sources of non-animal-based protein. It’s perfectly understandable, since most people do eat meat as their primary, if not only, source of protein. What’s typical in most households is to serve a single side dish to the meat entree such as a starch (potato, rice, or sometimes pasta – generally in a cheese sauce), or maybe a simple salad, and bread (usually white bread or rolls).

Although the typical side dishes do give me something to eat, these choices mean either filling up on simple carbs (potatoes and bread) which are poor choices nutritionally (not to mention hard if you’re on a low-carb diet or just trying to not gain weight), or filling up on salad (which is generally what I do) and trying to make up for the lost protein the following day….. Sigh…..Salads can be great, but when you eat a lot of them they cease being interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in The Daily Diet by Trisha

22nd June 2007

Review Shaklee Cinch Bars

This week alone I’ve had two people email me to ask me my opinion on how the Shaklee Cinch Bars taste – it occurred to me that I’ve neglected to post a review……..so here goes…….

I LOVE both the chocolate flavor and the lemon cranberry flavor Cinch bars……..the peanut butter ones, not so much. They’re not bad tasting, but I’m not a huge fan of anything that’s peanut butter flavored. I’ve never cared much for PB&Js except if that’s the only thing to eat and I’m starved……

A lot of the “health” bars and “power” bars out there are not really very healthy (too much sugar or high in fat) and the few that are healthy taste like cardboard. I know – I’ve tried almost all of them and didn’t really like the taste of any except the ones that are really more like candy bars, which naturally aren’t good for us. I just want something that is both healthy and tasty that I can nibble on in the mid- to late-afternoon that will satisfy my need to “snack” without over-filling me (otherwise I wind up eating dinner too late). The Shaklee Cinch bars really fill that need – they are high in protein and fiber, and low in fat and sugar, and yes – they really do taste good. If you tried their old protein bars in the past, the new Cinch bars are a big improvement, so you owe it to yourself to try the new ones.

One of the things I really like about Shaklee is that they listen to their audience – when they first came out with the Cinch Bars they only offered a multi-flavor pack, so I generally wound up with a stack of the peanut butter ones that I’d give away after I’d eaten the other two flavors – NOW they offer packages of individual flavors – YAY! So I no longer have to feel guilty about not eating the PB ones…….I just buy packages of the two flavors that I like! Life is good……..

posted in Reviews & Comparisons by Trisha

18th June 2007

Success with my Shaklee Cinch diet

My Progress Report: (drumroll please) – I weighed myself this morning and am pleased to announce that I’ve lost 4 lbs!! Woo hoo! Now I know what you’re thinking…….4 lbs isn’t that much, especially since I’ve been using the Shaklee Cinch Diet plan for about three months now, but keep in mind that in the last couple of months I’ve hosted relatives at my home for two weeks, attended my niece’s [out of town] Graduation which was also sort of a family reunion, traveled on business, and just got back from vacation to visit family back east (my life is very busy! …..of course so is everyone’s these days it seems)……it can be very challenging to stick to any diet when you’re cooking for visitors, traveling, or staying in someone else’s home (especially when they’ve gone out of their way to prepare your favorite foods)…..so all in all I’m very proud of being 4 lbs lighter.

It’s even more reason to be happy when you realize that I’ve never had any success with any other diet plan in the past – this is the first one I’ve been able to stick to (except for my lapses noted above) and actually have any weight loss. And with no travel plans for the next 4 to 6 weeks (and no plans for visitors unless someone pops in unannounced) then I should be much closer to my goal of 10 lbs total weight loss by mid-August……..I’ll keep you posted!

posted in The Daily Diet by Trisha

12th June 2007

A Dietition and Nutritionist in the Kitchen

Wouldn’t it be great to have a dietitian and a nutritionist plan and prepare our meals. If we want optimal health and if we want to prevent certain diseases; obesity, cardiovascular and type 2 Diabetes, we could use their help. Most of us know that we should eat a balanced diet but, how about an optimal diet. And just what is an optimal diet? One of my trusted sources of information on how to stay healthy is Dr. Andrew Weil,M.D. In his The Healthy Kitchen cook book co-written with Rosie Daley a former cook for Oprah, he states that an optimal diet should be one that has variety, includes freshness and an abundance of fruits and vegetables, and is low in unprocessed foods. He is so bold as to suggest that while our diet should supply our needs for calories, macronutrients and micronutrients, it should also provide the pleasure that we expect from eating. Believe me, the recipes that I have tried; white beans and fusilli, applesauce muffins, vegetable lasagna, and the Santa Fe Chicken all provided pleasure. They were absolutely wonderful.

Aside from all the great recipes, you will find information on choosing organic, the importance of reading labels, use of garlic, sugar, salt and many more interesting and relevant subjects.

Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Health News by Joann

12th June 2007

Food Choices and Why They Matter

Our food choices matter. It’s not just what we choose but, how what we choose is grown and processed. It matters because we are what we eat. It matters because of the impact that our choices have on the environment; our soil, water; rivers and lakes and air. It matters to the survival of the small farmer. If you want health for youself, your family, your planet, then you should be choosing Organic whenever possible.

Do you understand what organic means? How do you know if it says Organic that it is. What are the benefits of choosing Organic. Can I afford it or, can I afford not to buy Organic. All of these questions plus many more are answered in Elaine Lipsom’s book The Organic Food Sourcebook. I have been using this book for at least 5 years as my organic food source bible. Also, see my list of favorite organic food companies and their websites.

It’s not just produce that we should be concerned with. If you are a meat eater, then you should be aware of how the animal was raised, fed and treated. Was the animal allowed to roam, given food that had not been treated with pesticides, given hormones. How was the meat processed once the animal had been slaughtered. If you eat grains; oatmeal, barley, wheat, rice, etc, do you know how the grains were grown? If you drink milk or eat cheese, what were the cows fed and how was the end product handled? Become an educated consumer and then you will begin to make better choices. We as consumers want and need safe food sources. We want our soils, ground waters, rivers and lakes protected. Use your food dollars to speak and make you choices matter.

posted in Health News, Recommendations by Joann