Monday, July 4, 2011

Healthy Choices

Hi Everyone,

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you are enjoying the summer weather as much as I am.  Did you have a chance to read my last blog about my favorite fitness/nutrition author, Bob Greene?  The other day I was reading a book written by a popular blogger, and she  mentioned how she and other bloggers had a chance to have a conference call with Bob.  I sure hope I am able to figure out this blogging world and maybe have some opportunities like that.  I've also learned that there are conferences for people who blog about healthful topics.  I hope to spot one ahead of time, and get a chance to put it on my calendar.  Sounds wonderful.  This is all so new to me.  Any tips from some of you seasoned bloggers would be greatly appreciated.

So, I never know what my topic is going to be until I sit down and just start writing.  It's kind of fun.  I love learning from other bloggers about some of the healthy choices they make.  I'd like to share a few of the healthy decisions I can now easily make, in regard to nutrition:

*If you take the time to make "baked" fries, (and they really don't take all that much time), they are probably even better tasting than "fried" fries, especially with the variety of tastes you can come up with, using different herbs, and different types of potatoes.  Here is a recipe for Curry Sweet Potato Fries from Joy Bauer's book, Your Inner Skinny.  It is surprisingly good. 
This recipe makes two servings.  The curry adds a wonderful flavor.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Cut one medium sweet potato into wedges approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Spread out the fries on the baking sheet and spray them liberally with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with curry powder, salt, and pepper.  Toss the fries with hands to coat evenly with the seasonings, then arrange the fries in a single layer.  Bake for 20 minutes,flipping the fries halfway through.  You can finish by broiling them for 5 or more minutes, depending on how crispy and brown you like your fries.

*As much as I love Ranch dressing, especially Light Ranch dressing, I've now made myself switch to oil and vinegar dressing.  Since I genetically have high cholesterol, this is a very wise choice, since the olive oil is the "healthy" fat, and Ranch dressing has saturated fat.  You know, the switch wasn't has hard as I thought it would be!

*It saves a lot of calories, and takes away the saturated fat, if you simply substitute mustard for mayonaisse on sandwiches. Plus there are some wonderful flavored mustards out there.   Thank you, mustard, for being low in fat and tasty at the same time.

*If you enjoy air-popped popcorn, that's the healthiest choice for how to eat this high fiber snack.  I'm still working on that one, so I make the air-popped popcorn, and then add a package of  light microwave popcorn.  At least it's a step in the right direction.  It makes a huge difference if you put the popcorn in a warm oven for about 20 minutes, in a stainless steel bowl. 

*Mozzarella cheese sticks, made with skim milk, are a wise choice for a healthy snack.  Add some fruit and/or whole grain crackers, and you're ready for a workout, or that project you need to get back to.  I feel the same way about fat free cottage cheese.  Yum.  Almonds are another quick high-protein grab.

*We all know that peanut butter is good for you, but look for the natural peanut butter, with the oil at the top.  If it's "non-stir" then you know it has some saturated fat that has been added, to keep it solid at room temperature.  You wouldn't want your arteries to have a solid mass of cholesterol in them, would you?  I've chosen to take the time to stir.

*That's all for now.  There's more to share, but I'll wait for now, and save it for future posts.  What are some of the healthy food choices that you can easily make?  I'd love to hear about them, and learn from you.

I hope this finds you well and happy.

Mary R.

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