Tag Archives: health

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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Your Health Is What You Eat

Your health is what you eat.

A simple sentence but an honest truth.  We know this is true for body mass, weight gain or loss, for your energy level and for exercise results.  Think of your body as a fine car. The quality of the fuel you put in equals the performance levels of the different systems. If you eat high processed foods loaded with preservatives, salts, sugars and saturated fats, your body will feel sluggish.  It will process those ingredients at an erratic speed leaving you tired. It does not feed your muscles so that it can repair itself to be able to come back stronger at your next workout. Continue reading

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The Health Halo Effect

The point of advertising is to entice you to buy products or services that you didn’t ‘know’ you needed.  Many of us know this, yet we fall as quickly as children do, for the marketer’s tag lines and false claims, again and again.  Their products claim; low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free, sugar-free and even organic. Continue reading

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Are There Any Real Benefits In Buying Organic Produce?

The controversy continues over the nutritional and health supremacy of organic fruits and produce over conventionally grown.  

Every week a new ‘definition’ point of view is established.  

Paula Maier - OrganicThese are some facts to take into account.

It has been found that in about 60% of studies that organic food is higher in some nutrients than conventionally produced food.  

These statistics can be refuted by other studies, but you need to look if the studies that are being compared are done on the same physical area over-time.  Otherwise you are comparing apples to oranges because the soil being tested is not the same.

Polyphenols are antioxidants and may be one of the main reasons fruits and vegetables are healthy for us.  

One issue to consider is what the organic growing process filters versus conventional growing.  

Plants grown organically have to grow stronger from the start because they have to fend off a range of insects and growth disease on their own.  

This ‘defensive compound’ they create may help to keep us healthier according to Charles Benbrook, a researcher at Washington State University. He is with the National Academy of Sciences as chief science consultant for the Organic Center.  

He states. “If you keep putting on more and more nitrogen fertilizer the way conventional farms do, you drive yields up and produce bigger plants.  But, this dilutes the plants’ levels of vitamins, minerals and polyphenols.”

Shelf-life and sugar content

Apples, celery, pears, potatoes, strawberries, sweet bell peppers and sweet potatoes are higher in pesticides on the Dietary Risk Index (DRI), and lower on the Organic Risk Index (ORI).  This affects their shelf-life, and sugar content.  Also to be considered is if the plants are grown domestically (where they are subject to our mandates and regulations about growing procedures) or abroad.

Bottom Line?  Seek out the information in DRI from the EPA and other agencies, and imported vs. domestic statistics when you are making decisions about whether you want to buy organic or domestic fruits and vegetables.  

Make informed decisions with all of the facts.

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Great Ideas For Getting Your Daily Dose Of Fruits & Veggies

It is a great way to increase nutrition in your daily clean eating food plan to incorporate seasonal vegetables into your diet. The days of abundant vegetables and farmer’s market colorful produce are almost out of reach, but there are still beautiful, colorful vegetables available at this ‘quiet’ time.  It seems obvious, but many people steer toward pre-packaged fruit/vegetable juices for convenience which often do have added sugars, preservatives and salt to extend their shelf life. EATING FRESH FRUITS/VEGETABLES AVOIDS THOSE UNWANTED ADDITIVES! Continue reading

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The Serious Effects of Sugar

Sugar and how to manage it within your diet is a serious challenge for many Americans, of all age groups.  Do you crave it within your day?  Are you unable to pass it up if it’s within your reach?  Do you feel out of control with when you eat sugar?

Sugar can be an issue for a variety of reasons.  There has been established research that sugar can lead to belly and low-back flab.  Sugary foods are quickly absorbed, which then leads to insulin spikes that lead to rebound hunger and triglyceride levels.  These elevated levels leave you at an increase risk of heart disease.  Another aspect of these issues is that increase fructose can build fat deep within the abdomen which is one of the worst places to have that situation. Continue reading

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Why You Need To Have A Candid Conversation With Your Doctor

When you go to see your physician for a check-up, or to address a problem you have, a candid conversation is more important than you may give credence to. Why?

-If your doctor asks you about your smoking or drinking habits, they are not prying into your social life, but the frequency of cigarette and alcohol use can affect birth control side effects (increases risks of cancer). Which kind they may recommend can impact your sinus issues, increase your risk of stroke, affect the development of heart and lung disease, and an extended list of gastrointestinal and memory issues. Continue reading

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How to Make Your Time Exercising Really Count

If you are committed to getting healthier by utilizing exercise, make sure that you are getting the most out of every moment. Some behaviors to limit to achieve the most that you can are:   Continue reading

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Me in 20 years

 

I usually discuss issues of health involving diet, exercise, and health related topics. Today I wanted to share a thought Continue reading

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