While in Walmart this evening (yes, I went to Wally-Hell) the cashier commented on how “healthy” my grocery choices were. Usually, comments like this make me feel great! But not tonight…
I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, while traveling between my morning shower and my closet to get dressed for the day and decided… “THAT’s IT!!!” and immediately started planning how to work my current Census job AND run my business AND start cooking healthy again on a regular basis.
I didn’t tell her how horrible I’ve been when it comes to eating, how unhealthy. I just smiled. I pretended like I’d been good all along — instead of confessing how I’d fallen off the wagon and was just starting to climb back on.
She asked questions about how to “put it all together” in a way that a family would eat it and it would still be healthy… so I offered some suggestions. She said I should write a blog or something. *grin* I gave her a business card and invited her to visit WickedBlog.
So, I thought I’d take a moment to offer some pointers on “how to hide the healthy” on a blog post. After all, I’m overdue a post anyway.
Extra fiber is easy to get if you add it into the bread-based products your family really wants and if you add fresh vegetables and fruits (with skins on whenever possible) along side.
Use flax seed meal in brownies, pancakes, muffins and even waffles. It joins whole grain flour (I mix whole wheat and unbleached plain half and half for everything I do). I also add in old fashioned oats to the mix and use only olive oil in the kitchen (for cooking, baking and even oiling the baking sheets). I add shredded carrots, shredded zucchini and walnuts/pecans/almonds to any breads or pancakes. Sometimes I add raisins, if I’m feeling really wild. 🙂
Applesauce added to pancakes, breads and muffins keeps the final product moist without using too much oil. An extra egg helps to keep it all together. The applesauce also reduces the amount of sweetener needed to make it taste good. I use honey and raw sugar (in tiny amounts) instead of the white overly processed stuff.
Add the flax seed to any “breaded” or “coated” anything – like the lean beef I used to make a healthy version of stroganoff (which also has additional vegetables and whole wheat noodles).
Another suggestion is to avoid most prepackaged foods — especially those with more than a dozen ingredients (or anything I can’t readily pronounce). I avoid MSG and all preservatives. I rarely use any red meat and stick mostly with chicken, turkey and am trying to convert the family to fish (with little success so far… but I keep trying).
Making sure that there is enough fiber is the first step to healthy, IMHO. With fiber — coming from NATURAL sources — you feel full for longer. It’s also pretty easy to keep a high-fiber, healthy and delicious low-fat, low-sugar batch of muffins around for snacking and is a healthy way to satisfy that “gotta grab something” urge while headed out the door.
There’s also a great chart on powerfully healthy foods here on WickedBlog. Hope this helps!