Tag Archives: cooking

Kale and Chorizo Soup

Food and soup should ignite a flavor opportunity for soul, while promoting good health for your body!

A health concern that many people have is to reduce inflammation, which can lead to disease and oxidative damage (which is why we seek out antioxidants).  One system-boosting food is dark, leafy greens as in the Kale and Chorizo Soup. They promote better brain health and are packed with folate and phytochemicals.  

This recipe includes other health boosting ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. Flavor and all that?!

Kale and Chorizo Soup – Cooking Light:

Serves 8 (serving size about 1 1/3 cup)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 oz, dry-cured Spanish Chorizo, diced
  • 6 cups unsalted chicken stock (I buy organic)
  • 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 12 oz. curly kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn or chopped

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.  
  3. Add stock, salt, pepper, potatoes, and tomatoes; increase heat to high.  
  4. Bring to a boil.  Partially cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in kale; simmer until potatoes are tender and kale softens, about 5 minutes.

Nutrition:

Calories-242
Fat-12.6g
Protein-13g
Carbs-20g
Sugar 5g
Chol-22g
Iron-2mg
Sodium-616mg

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All Or Nothing Behavior with Weight

When people feel frustrated with their weight or are faced with health issues that are worsen by their weight, they tend to make goals that are ‘all or nothing’.  Typically, this avenue of pursuit doesn’t end with you achieving your weight goal.

If you were making decisions involving a business, you would never decide to set goals that could not be attained; why do it with your weight?  

A more realistic, doable course of action for your weight is better.  

There are a lot of changes that can be made to improve your weight and health:

Ditch soda for quenching and refreshing choices

such as fruit/herb infused water, or brewed and chilled green tea.  I use lemon green tea, apple spice tea and dandelion tea (to soothe tummy troubles). I brew all three in a mug. Cool and add to 32 ounces of water. A squeeze of fresh lemon is wonderful as well.

Eat the foods you like, but tweak them over time toward lower salt, fat and sugar.  

This mindset allows you not to feel deprived and forced to eat foods you don’t like.  Portion control and frequency of consumption are important if you want to see your weight drop.  Over time, you will see your attraction to fried, over salted and sugary items reduce along with your weight.  

Eat at home more than you eat out.

Between the dreaded (but delicious) bread basket and not being in control of the ingredients or process of cooking, eating in restaurants can hinder your weight goals.  Cooking at home gives you the opportunity to try new recipes and to be in control of fats and ingredients.  

Take a cooking class, watch healthy cooking ideas on FoodNetwork, or visit my healthy food boards on Pinterest

Ignite a passion for flavorful, energizing foods. Many find using a healthy meal delivery service such as Hello Fresh delivers diet-conscious dinners for $11.50 per portion to your door for you to cook.

Make sure your plate is 1/2 full of veggies, 1/4 protein (non meat varieties work well), and 1/4 full of complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc.) at meals.  

Fresh fruit versus fruit juice is an easy change.

Snacking mid afternoon helps you avoid vending machines and drive thru windows.

I enjoy cottage cheese, 15 almonds with a string cheese, apples and a slice of sharp cheddar, Greek yogurt, or 2 hard boiled eggs and find them very satisfying.

Get your rest.

A lack of sleep can raise your cortisol levels (fight or flight hormone), which can lead to belly fat.  Evaluate your bedtime rituals if you have trouble falling asleep.

  • Disengage from electronics
  • educe stress with a bath or
  • reading all help signal that your brain needs to disengage and rest

Laughing and Gratitude

It may seem irrelevant, but laughing and being grateful can effect your weight. A constant state of stress and depression can keep you stuck at your weight. Look at what improves your mood, or ask for help if needed.

Being unhappy with your weight can be a vicious cycle of binge eating, rollercoaster weight loss and general unhappiness. Let’s work together to find a more permanent, health-oriented way.

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Sugar! Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?.pngI became more aware of the dangers of high sugar intake in American diets when I began blogging 6 years ago, and made diabetes a platform issue for my website, PaulasHealthyLiving.com. Our nation’s sugar habit is a driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the US and it’s believed to be a contributing factor to cancer and Alzheimer’s according to The New York Times (January 1, 2017).

The questions is, if it takes three weeks to change a habit, could you go four weeks without added sweeteners?

I challenged myself with this concept after a doctor asked me to remove maladextrin, a sugar substitute, to help with stomach issues I was experiencing.  It’s a daunting task, but it could help you reset your sugar taste buds.

Sugar comes with many different names:

If you begin looking at ingredient lists, you may be shocked how frequently you will see these names within the first 3-4 names on ingredients lists. The higher they are on the lists, the more there is in the product.  See the level of sugar in commonly consumed drinks and products across the nation.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar per day for women, and 36 grams per day for men.

A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams.

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?You may find yourself reevaluating a lot of the ‘healthy’ foods you regularly consumed previously like

  • granola or packaged cereals which predominantly contain added sugars
  • processed orange juice
  • flavored yogurt
  • pizza sauce
  • sugar free snacks

One effort to assist in this challenge would be cooking, and therefore, controlling your own food.  

If you buy it from outside aisles of the grocery, instead of the inside aisles, it more likely to help you in your quest.

What you will find at the end of the experiment is the pure taste in things such as

  • honey crisp apples
  • oranges
  • sweet red peppers and
  • many other foods

I’m not an advocate of all-or-nothing diet plans, and a bit of 80% cocoa dark chocolate makes my heart sing in the afternoon sometimes, but you will realize a renewed, sensitive set of taste buds that have been dulled by processed foods.

It’s an awakening to the beauty and amazing nature of natural food items and improved health is a bonus!

Paul Maier, Contributing Editor for Indian Hill Connection Magazine

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What Is ‘The New Healthy’?

I am thrilled to read articles and mainstream magazines that consider eating whole foods, including making whole grains, vegetables and fruit more of a focus in consumer’s daily diet, super cool and trendy. Daily talk shows bring in Food Network stars to show cooking as being approachable instead of elitist. Fast food chains are including vegetables and apple slices on their kids’ meals, as well as milk versus soda. Yes! Continue reading

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Kid Cooks Are A Hot New Food Star!

Getting children involved in the cooking process for your family benefits everyone! Making meals at home is a healthier and cost-effective choice for families. Continue reading

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