Archive for September 9, 2013

You Have The Power To Change Yourself!

youshouldtryeatingfoodI’ve got to stick with my cooking and packing theme for another day, after all, it’s one of the biggest topics I get emailed about.  More than anything, I want to convince you all that your health and weight aren’t the result of not enough pharmaceuticals or diet foods, but the end product of your everyday food choices and lifestyle habits.  You Have So Much Power to Change Yourself!!!

I love all the new Paleo/ Real Whole Food recipe sites out there, and the Cookbooks that go with them are amazing (although I ONLY use the internet for my recipes).  HOWEVER……  between the FoodNetwork, Food TV shows, the Cooking Channel, internet recipes, and food magazine covers and recipes, there’s this HUGE MISPERCEPTION that to make great food, you need to invest time, money, and a lot of effort.  You. Don’t.

I rarely ever, ever, ever, make a “recipe” in the past couple of years.  I don’t really need to anymore.  I did when I cooked lowfat/lowcal, because you need a LOT of tricks to make bland, fatless food taste good, but that’s just not necessary when you use Real Whole Food with Fat Attached.  Honestly.    All the years of combing through chicken recipes, (I have one old cookbook called “1,000 Chicken Recipes”) , marinating the chicken, coating it, sauteing it, blahblahblahblah, and sometimes it still came out tough and dry.  Now I buy bone in/ FAT ON chicken, pop it in the oven on 400 for 40 minutes with salt and pepper, and it comes out lovefoodnotgetfatperfect EVERY SINGLE TIME.  I slow roast meats with the “fat up”, with salt and pepper, and it comes out perfect every single time.  I cook fatty lamb sausage, or pork and venison sausage, and don’t drain off all the fat, and it comes out perfect every single time.  Vegetables??  Top liberally with butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, and some hard grated cheese – it’s perfect every single time.  I cut up potatoes or spaghetti squash, top with butter and cheese – everyone loves it. Kids eat vegetables when they have butter and cheese on them!!

My point:  we’ve been corrupted by decades of low fat thinking and cooking.  Good food isn’t hard, and it doesn’t need to be time consuming – recipes aren’t necessary.  Real food mixes perfectly with good butter ( get some Kerrygold – it’s grassfed and sold everywhere), or good olive oil ( get extra-virgin, first cold pressed),  good hard cheese, salt and pepper, and that’s good enough.  Quit stressing yourself out that you’re not Martha Stewart or Giada. You don’t need to be.

Still worried about the fat?  Please, go over my fat and cholesterol posts.  Fat is GOOD for us; our body needs cholesterol; these are necessary nutrients, and best of all, they’re satiating.  Repeat this:  Real fats don’t make me fat; processed, refined carbs do.   Eat Real Whole Foods, including fats, and you’ll feel full and satisfied.  This is in opposition to eating processed, refined, or (most)restaurant foods:  they’re full of sugar/flour/chemicals/and transfats that stimulate your brain into wanting more, and damage your liver, your immune  and your digestive system.

succsmorningStill worried because you’ve built such a high wall between yourself and cooking?  Don’t be.  Keep wrapping your mind around this new point of view: “Fat is good; cooking is relaxing; I can do this.”  That said, use the cookbooks/recipe sites/magazines if you want to, I’m just saying don’t be intimidated or fooled into thinking complex, lengthy recipes are the only way to make a good meal because they’re not.  Cook enough and pretty soon you’ll be comfortable taking what ever’s in your fridge and throwing it in the pan, adding a few herbs / spices and having it come out wonderful.  Here’s what I’ve been making all summer:  in a frying pan, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook down.  Add a meat and some grated parmesan, and  Wa La! it’s perfect.

Here’s something else we’ve done a hundred times this summer:  eggplant or zucchini pizza.  Cut zucchini into round discs, about 3/4 inch thick, or slice a medium zucchini length wise. Spread tomatoes or tomato sauce on, top with crumbled meat, some veggies, and plenty of mozarella, bake at 425 for 20 minutes.  It’s delicious.

This weekend we went to visit one of our daughters at her college and attended a 3:30 football game (Oregon is AMAZING!), we packed our lunch and ate in the parking lot: a shredded roast from 2 weeks ago that we got out of the freezer before we left, and some raw vegetables.  No, it wasn’t gourmet and it wasn’t even that delicious. It was just healthy food that filled us up. But we were going out to dinner and didn’t need to over-indulge.  We were fine and that was even after a big leg workout for both of us that morning.

A lot of changing your weight and changing your health will rest on changing your view of meg:reese:careating and cooking.  Real Whole Foods are delicious; they can also be simple and fast.  Not every meal needs to be a culinary experience, but every meal SHOULD nurture your body and satisfy your mind.  Real Whole Foods do that; processed, refined foods do neither.

Details on Weight Loss Strategies Classes coming tomorrow.  This Class will focus on Food/Biology/ and the How-To’s of permanent weight loss, which is a combination of Real Whole Food and Positive Thoughts and Attitudes.  Food is everything, but if you can’t break your self-defeating habits, thoughts, and patterns, you’re sunk.  We’ll fix that!

This last picture is my sweet Reese and oldest daughter Megan.  Talk about a positive image!

Weight Loss Classes; Hate to Cook; and Self-Sabotaging

kitchen nightmareI’ve had several emails and conversations about cooking; actually, they’re about the dislike of cooking:(  Planning/shopping/prepping/cooking/packing,… the whole thing can be pretty time consuming and if you’re not used to it, very daunting.  The option of NOT cooking, just buying premade foods, going out to eat frequently, or serving pasta every night, is a really easy road to go down.  Like I always say, Big Food’s done a great job convincing us – for decades – that we don’t really need to cook because they’ve got our back.  Their stuff’s pretty much better than homemade, right? And we deserve it, right?  And the kids are super happy, right?

If you’re reading my Blog, then you know none of these assertions are right, they’re all wrong.  Big Food, premades, restaurant meals, simple pasta dinners – “for the kids” – they’ve made 70% of America overweight, and created disease and poor health like never before in history.  The health predictions for our children are absolutely disastrous.

Big Food is in BUSINESS to make money, and to be effective,  they use the best MENTALvitamin donuts strategies money can buy. (Beautiful, fit, healthy people chowing down on their foods; fun people happy with their food, etc…)  Now YOU’VE got to use YOUR best mental strategies to resist their hypnotic pull and get healthy.  You can do this, I swear.

Our daily habits and thoughts are patterns we’ve WORKED on for years.  Your cravings? Your attitudes? Your likes and dislikes?  You’ve pampered and nurtured them for quite a while. They seem real and solid, right?  Here’s what I’m talking about:  You’re tired at the end of the week, so you don’t feel like cooking.  You go out to a restaurant (because it is Friday after all), and completely indulge (because it is Friday, and you had a long week…).  The Super Hyper Palatable food stimulates pleasure receptors in your brain, and you feel Super Great while eating it.  Relieved, happy, satiated.  For a while.  If you over-indulged in carby, trans fatty, chemicalized foods, pretty soon the positive feelings are replaced with horrible feelings: uncomfortable fullness, indigestion, negative thoughts about yourself, and big plans to start all over tomorrow with a great diet plan.  Sounds like Addiction, right?  The Desire, the Action, the bad physical feelings, and then the assertion with yourself to Change The Behavior soon (again).  This is what I refer to as the Diet Ferris Wheel or Diet Roller Coaster.

The problem is, each time you repeat this pattern, or any pattern – good or bad, parts of your brain lay down “paths” (neurons) that will bring you back to this action over and over and over.  You can’t change your patterns without a solid plan to change your thoughts (where everything begins) and your attitudes ( how you feel, what you like..).  The good news?  This is Totally Possible!

Let’s take the one example of hating to cook: what if you meditated on “I love to make healthy, delicious, meals for my family”,  or “I can’t wait to Power Cook so I can watch my favorite show while I’m doing it”, or “Cooking relaxes me”? Whether these statements are true or not doesn’t matter.  What we say, what we focus on, it becomes real. (Think of your response to a nightmare, or some of your fears: heights, flying, strangers, … ) Another strategy:   What if you planned and made  a precooked meal for at least one of your weekend nights?  That way, when you’re legitimately tired at the end of the week, there’s very little effort required on your part.  What if you wrote notes of your goals? Or a list of habits and thoughts to work on?  There’s so many actions you could take to change your behaviors.

Honestly, getting healthy and/or losing weight is about the Food, but it’s really about your Mind.  No plan will work if you can’t stick to it, and really bad, ingrained habits make plans impossible to stick to.

That said, I’m going to be booking some dates later this month and into the next, afternoon and evening, to hold a Weight Loss Strategies Class.  I’ll be going over a little bit of Digestion and Blood Sugar Biology (because you need a “Why”!) and then Mental Tricks, Kitchen Tricks, and Cooking Tricks.  These classes will be about:  The Foods, The Reasons, The Mind, and The How-To of Losing Weight and Keeping It Off.   I’m going to hold 6, but really it will be just 3 different talks/subjects; I’m trying to cover the day and the evening people.  Come to each of the sessions to make some Real Changes in the way you view food, cooking, your health, and your weight.  All the details by the end of the week.

If you aren’t local and can’t join a class, please check out my Services page.  I do this all the time One-On-One via Phone or Skype.  It’s fun and it’s effective and it can be very personally tailored.  In the meantime, eat Real Whole Food!





Testosterone, Cholesterol, Willpower, and Digestion

rosie the riviterI’ve got a Friday Round-up of Topics, none of which seem connected, but since all of them have to do with health, weight, and mood, or in other words, our well-being, they are:)

First, I’ve had a few questions about Male Testosterone.  Hormones are a VERY complex subject, it’s not cut and dried like diabetes T2, which is easy; so I don’t have great, definitive explanations, but I do have some information.

Testosterone levels are decreasing – drastically – WORLDWIDE.  They’ve literally plummeted in the last 20 years.  The CDC says the average middle aged man now has the testosterone levels of a much older man from 20 years ago.  Babies, boys, teenagers, and young men ALL test lower.  This has DRAMATIC consequences, as low testosterone causes:  triglycerides and small, dense, cholesterol to increase;  coronary artery dilation diminishes (= high blood pressure); insulin output increases; central abdominal fat increases; ESTROGEN levels increase (associated w more stroke, heart attack, and cancer); blood becomes sticker/more fibrinogenic; decreased HGH (human growth hormone); less bone mass and more bone fractures.  I could go on, as this is a VERY short list.  The links between low T and brain health ( or lack there-of) are HUGE.  The whole “oh, too much testosterone makes men violent and crazy” – that’s not happening here, at all.  We’re talking about the average man being way below normal.  Did you know the human heart has more testosterone receptors than any muscle in the whole body???

If your testosterone is low, PLEASE, find a good doctor WHO SPECIALIZES IN HORMONES, preferably someone who thinks outside the Standard Box, and get help.  Try PrimalDocs, or PaleoPhysicians, or for starters.  Dr. Eugene Shippen has a great book called The Testosterone Syndrome.  Here’s a GREAT podcast which contains a ton of information on testosterone by Dr. Ty Vincent.

Become informed and take charge of your own health.  Learn as much as you can, no matter what you’re dealing with.

Next up, more cholesterol news:  Jimmy Moore’s Cholesterol Clarity Book is finally out and it’s FANTASTIC.  He interviews 29 MAJOR experts in cholesterol, lipids/fats, and heart disease – literally the cream of the crop and the most breaking of breaking news.  He’s running interviews of these researchers and doctors on his podcasts, and here’s one from MIT lead researcher, Dr. Stephanie Seneff – this is a MUST listen to if you’re interested in your health.

Read, listen, learn:  become Invested, Involved, and In Charge of your OWN health.

Switching gears again,  did you know your brain uses more energy when you’re doing something you don’t like/don’t want to, i.e., exerting WillPower, than when doing anything else?? Isn’t that interesting?  The problem with that?  You can feel exhausted and weak;  in other words, using WillPower leaves you more vulnerable to falling off any wagon you’re on.  Obviously, WillPower can be used for many things: work, shopping, being lazy, procrastinating, exercising, etc, but I’m referring to healthy eating habits.   Want to use LESS willpower?  Fill your mind with Biological Facts about food, nutrition and your body!  It’s SO MUCH easier to make healthy choices when your decisions are guided by facts and not feelings.  This goes back to me saying make Health your priority, as opposed to Weight Loss.  If you think processed, refined foods are the devil, you won’t eat them.  If you just think they’re kind of high in calories, but you can make-up for that later, you’re sunk.

Lastly:  if you’ve been to any of my talks, you know that I love to talk about Digestion; specifically, that the pH of our stomach should be between 1.5 and 3.5, which means HIGHLY ACIDIC.  This is optimal because the acidity of our stomach is a line of immune defense against bacteria, virus, and pathogens, and because that high acid triggers digestive hormones and enzymes to break down our food to the barest little molecules for our body to use.  Gas, bloat, GERD, reflux – these are all signs of NOT ENOUGH ACID as opposed to too much.  Seriously.  If you’re on an acid suppressor, you’re in trouble.  I do long talks on this, but quickly,  know that if your stomach has INsufficient acid, you’re not getting the nutrients you need from your food, no matter how great your diet is.  Also, the parietal cells that produce the acid also produce Intrinsic Factor, which is the ONLY thing that allows our body to use Vitamin B12.  Low/No B12 means HIGH homocysteine.  High homocysteine is a leading factor in Heart Disease.     Low stomach acid also means minerals like Zinc are much LESS available;  zinc is a major mineral needed for Testosterone production.    Low stomach also also inhibits proteins from breaking down to Amino Acids.  Amino Acids are CRUCIAL for building Neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA, etc) which promote good brain function – like having plenty of WillPower.

We’re not just a bunch of independent symptoms.  We’re a Whole Part.  Start thinking of your health and your body as Completely Connected, because it is.  Any questions?

Consistency and Mindset are the Keys; and Tips

woman eating chocolateHere’s an email I think several will relate to:

” Dear Debbie,

I can’t seem to stick to a Real Whole Foods Diet for more than 5 days, I just get so hungry, and my favorite foods aren’t the Real Whole Foods you talk about.  I don’t want to eat raw eggs and cream also grosses me out.  But I need to lose weight and I’ve tried several other diets.  I just got diagnosed as Pre-Diabetic, and because of your blog, I know enough to be worried.  Any advice?”

YES I have advice!!!  It’s all about your Mindset, and your Mindset allows you to either be Consistent (no matter what), or “be good”/”be bad” ( the Diet Rollercoaster – because you’ll make up for what you ate later…..).

When consistency is difficult, work on your MIND.  Fill it with facts and information about Biology Based Nutrition:  excess carbs ALWAYS get turned into Triglycerides; fried foods from restaurants use RANCID oils that cause disease and weight gain; people who drink Skim Milk are HEAVIER than people who drink Whole; Insulin from carbohydrates and Trans Fats from junk food and restaurant food DESTROY arteries and my body has to build plaque to fix it; excess glucose and insulin have Mood Destroying Effects; if I eat ________, I’ll have gas/bloat/refulx – and that’s not normal and it’s causing damage to my gut; if I stop at Starbucks and get the candy coffee and the sweet (lowfat?) treat, I’m causing a MAJOR glucose/insulin rise. If I add MORE good FATS to my meal, I’ll stay Fuller LONGER and have more willpower to skip the snacks.  ETC ETC ETC.

Here’s a good one to meditate on:  there’s NO fixing a day or two of damage that happens every single week or worse, every few days.  You Have to get off the Diet Rollercoaster, and you can only do that by working on the Mindset that gives you permission to put junk in your body (because you’re going to atone for it later) and learning to be scared/leery/wary/anxious about the HEALTH effects of processed/refined sugar/flour/chemical foods.

Worrying about your Weight is NEVER EVER enough to keep you on the straight and narrow, oh you drink diet soda?ever.  If it was, 95-99% of all people who lose weight on a “diet”, wouldn’t GAIN IT ALL BACK.  Focus on what happens to your body from the food you put in your mouth, and if you have kids, think about what their food is doing to their body.

Our Mood, our weight, our health, they’re all the result of the ACCUMULATION of actions we do every single day.  Being “pretty good” half the week or most of the week can lead to “pretty bad” health, weight, and moods.  Next time you drink that diet coke, eat the McDonalds french fries, have half the box of carby cereal, run through the list of what those foods/chemicals/carbs/trans fats are doing to your body; it’s not a pretty picture.

Focus on Real Whole Foods:  clean meats, healthy fats, tons of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, some beans, some good dairy (if you tolerate it).  Practice going hours between meals to allow Insulin to cease (fat storing hormone), and Glucagon to work (fat burning hormone).  Recognize food for the power that it holds over you, and the power that it has to change you.

And to the person who wrote this email:  you’re on the Right Track – because you’ve made the connection between the Diet Roller Coaster, your pre-diabetes, and eating Real Whole Food for more than 5 days!!  That’s a GOOD thing – so don’t be upset with yourself! The mindset that will get you health and at a good weight sounds like it’s developing.  Be patient with yourself and just keep working on it.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and you want PERMANENT change here, right?

me sprintingHere’s where I’d focus:  keep reading this blog and links to other blogs that talk about the BIOLOGY of your food and your body.  Stay away from Diet/Low Cal/Exercise a Ton examples of weight loss, as a matter of fact, TRY TO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS, just focus on your health and your mood.  Put sticky notes with positive reminders (‘my health matters’  ‘I want to feel good all the time’  ‘consistency matters’ ..)   all over the place (mirror, bedside lamp, computer, car, desk,…) .  What are your favorite foods?  Find the corresponding REAL whole food recipes (PaleoOMG, CivilizedCavemanCooking, StupidEasyPaleo) and PLAN a time to shop/chop/cook/pack (after it becomes Normal, it’s not an Effort).  Write a list of your health conditions (include mood)  and what foods can help improve them.  Commit to your Health, and Weight Loss will be a SideEffect – I promise.

Hormones Rule – So Every Bite Matters

guy:dog reading paperHave you been able to read my posts in the past week and a half on fat and cholesterol?  If you didn’t, check out here, here, and here.  I’m trying to get the point across that we’ve been under an umbrella of really, really, bad misinformation about what causes heart disease, weight gain,  or makes poor health – or good health for that matter, for decades.  Good fats from clean animal sources and tropical oils are huge sources of nutrients that our body uses to build and repair:  brain cells, heart cells, hormones, organs, etc. These healthy fats also induce NO/ZERO/ZIP/ZILCH insulin response; healthy fats also build healthy cell membranes that are “properly” insulin sensitive (as opposed to insulin resistant).    Insulin is an anabolic hormone – it builds our muscles, it builds our fat stores.   Trans fats and Omega 6 vegetable oils have health destroying effects on our heart, our brain, our hormones, our organs, etc. When our body uses trans fats and inflammatory Omega 6 vegetable oils to build cell membranes, our cells AREN’T properly insulin sensitive, they are much more likely to be insulin resistant.

Sugar and flour products, with their propensity to induce high blood sugar, and their lack of nutrient density, are also huge culprits in heart disease, poor health, and weight gain.  When our blood sugar is above normal, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin to sweep it out of the blood stream and into the muscles, the liver, or to remake the excess glucose into triglycerides.  Eat simple, refined, processed foods all day long (bagels, cereals, anything made with flour or sugar), and have a blood stream full of glucose andcereal:time to make insulin – all day long.  Talk about serious damage to the lining of your entire cardiovascular system: the endothelial cells become damaged and inflamed from these substances (excess glucose and insulin), and your body works hard to “patch up the bad spots” (hello plaque);   your extremities, your kidneys, and the backs of your eyes – these areas CAN’T develop Insulin Resistance, and the cells of these areas are literally killed by the onslaught (hello Diabetes).  For the muscle cells that can say NO (i.e., can be Insulin Resistant), they suffer from nutrient deficiencies because when the cell says NO to insulin and glucose, it also says no to other nutrients it needs to live/produce energy.

When insulin is high and present, Cortisol is often high and present.  When Insulin is present at all in the blood, the FAT BURNING hormone Glucagon CAN’T be released into the blood.  It’s  an either/or hormone situation.  That’s why some people work out for hours, but because they’re eating 6 “mini-meals” of carbs throughout the day, no fat loss is happening.

How long does it take Heart Disease to develop? 25 to 30 years.  How long does it take the average disease condition to develop? 20 years.  Keep that in mind when you shop for your family or eat:  cereals, chips, crackers, frozen foods, fast foods, these things are poison; they’re all refined, processed flours and sugars.  HUGE insulin response, low to zero nutrient value.   Damage occurs EACH TIME these foods are eaten, you just can’t see it, but the hormonal response is there.

Here’s an inspiring post from the Wheat Belly Doc, I love that guy!

kids:donutsIf you’re new to this way of thinking, and the thought of going without sugar and flour seems overwhelming, or even unnecessary in it’s “extremity”, consider that we have an epidemic of obesity and disease like NEVER before.  For the first time ever, kids are predicted to NOT live as long as their parents.  It’s The Food!  We’re not a country who’s deficient in Pharmacuticals, we’re a country deficient in Real Whole Foods.  If you’re stumped as to what you could eat, or feed your family, check out my What I Eat page for ideas.  Once it becomes normal, it’s not an effort anymore.


Moms, How to Feed Your Family and Live Life on Real Whole Food

kitchen disasterThe longer I do this the more I realize how ingrained NOT cooking/packing/shopping/planning has become in our culture; I think this is saying a lot because I come from a health and fitness world, where it seems like it should be a little more natural, or common.  I know I say this all the time, but Big Food’s done a great job through Big Advertising convincing us that effort on our end isn’t necessary;  the Family Meal from KFC, or the frozen meal from Marie Calendar’s has all our nutritional, emotional, and familial bases covered.  This just couldn’t be further from the truth.  All that processed, refined, pre-made food is killing us, literally.

Effort IS required if you want to be healthy, and you want your kids healthy.  Implementing that effort is only effort – until it becomes normal, then it’s not an effort anymore.  Honestly, I’ve got 4 kids myself, and I know how much busier life is when it’s not just your life that you’re managing, but several others.  It just takes a Planner, and a date with the Planner, to make this Real Whole Foods thing go smoother.

Here’s some ideas (there’s ways than this, this is just how I do it), sit down on Sunday (pick a time and stick to the time – does it need to be super early, before they get up, or super latethinking after bed time?) and get your planner and your calendar out side by side ( hopefully, you’ve written everyone’s schedules on the calendar), now, plan your days in detail: what time you need to leave the house, who has what appointment, consider drive-times and if you have real little ones, consider the extra time it takes to get them out of the house, or in the car.  Do you have days you aren’t home at all?  Do you have days you need to pack everyone lunch for the car ride, or dinner for after a late practice or consecutive practices?  Days you need to put a roast and vegetables in a crock pot early in the morning?  Could you spend 3 hours on the weekend, or one day during the week, Power Cooking (more on that further down)?  Consider all these factors when you think about your grocery list.  For instance, if you’ve got nights where you have back-to-back practices/clubs/meetings etc, think about what foods pack easily.  I’ve always said that while I HATE bread and grains, sometimes with kids, sandwiches are MUCH LESS evil than fast food.  Buy the best ingredients you can.  If your child has attention/stomach problems, pick Gluten Free breads (they have to be stored in the fridge) (remember that G-F means High Carb – they’re not a magic food, nor good for adults or sick kids).  There’s plenty of lunch meats now that have no nitrates, sugars, or fillers, and good cheese is easy to find.   There’s also nut butters, and low sugar jellies, or just nut butters and fruit, what kid doesn’t like apples or celery and nut butter?  Bags of homemade trailmix are good:  buy a mix of nuts, dried fruits,coconut chips,  and dark chocolate chips and mix in a big container, baggy up portions for the road.  Sometimes you’ll be doing this on your own, and sometimes, you can get them to help.

The best thing about packing?  It’s a trait that you’ll pass on to your kids – Honest.  You know that verse, “train a child in the way he should go, and he when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  ?  It’s actually true.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my older kids employ healthy habits that have NOTHING to do with me asking, nagging, or initiating.

When I decided about 6 years ago to have a NO JUNK food policy in the house (no pasta, no crackers, no boxes or bags of any kind), my kids were kind of older: high school, middle school, elementary school.  It was bad.  They were furious.  My husband was even mad.  And you all with teenagers know I’m not saying talking about a cute-furious, but a bad-furious.  It lasted for weeks, (“there’s no food in the house, just stuff you like to eat…”)  and then after a few months, the anger started to die down.  After 6 months, it was gone, and we had a new normal.   It was interesting, a few weeks ago one of my college girls had a friend over for the weekend.  The friend commented that our refrigerator and pantry were empty; my daughter replied that we had a TON of food, it’s just stuff you have to cook or make.  My heart melted:)

rachel and guyOh, what about that Power Cooking I mentioned earlier?  I started doing this years ago when Rachel Ray came out with that 5 Meals In a Day show – it’s brilliant!  I get a list together of dishes I want to eat for the week, and cook up the meats, chop up vegetables, and do a BUNCH of prep or actually cook up some of the casseroles, all in a few hours.  This makes a HUGE difference in life.  Some of the food I’d freeze to pull out later, and some things last perfectly for days in the fridge, as a matter of fact, anything with a sauce actually intensifies in flavor when it sits and develops.  Do any of you slow cook your meats?  Or boil and shred 10 or 11 chicken breasts?  Doing a big pan of meatballs is a time saver – make 30!  Bake a spaghetti squash and 8 potatoes in the oven at the same time, refrigerate them.  Chop a giant container of onions, zucchini’s and tomatoes, baggy and refrigerate. And don’t dismiss frozen vegetables:  green beans, peas, corn, broccoli – these things are quick frozen and taste great, especially with Real Butter, or Olive Oil, salt&pepper, or hard grated cheese on top.  Want your kids to like Brussel Sprouts?  Serve them with bacon, butter, and romano.  They’ll eat the whole pan.   Take a few hours to prep, and your whole week will be easier – and healthier.  I like to listen to podcasts or watch a tv show when I’m doing this, it helps pass the time.

My message?  Please don’t assume that because you’re busy, and/or have a bunch of kids, that Good Eating’s going to need to take a back seat.  Food is SO IMPORTANT.  If we’re eating crap, and feeding our kids crap, then health, energy, attention, mood, attitude – it all goeshow to cook old school downhill.  Moms, you can change that .  It was interesting, one of the talks at the Ancestral Health Symposium was on Who’s Paleo?  Biggest group:  mothers/women between 30 and 50.  Wow.  And who buys most of the groceries, packs the lunches, and makes the meals?  Those same women.  We Have The Power to Change The World.  Weight and Disease are SKYROCKETING.  We all know why and we can change that!  Be the one who teaches the next generation to cook, to plan, to pack; be the one who instills the belief that what we eat matters so much.  Your kids will be so much better off for it, right now, while they’re still young, and later, when they’re adults.

I’d love to hear about what you’re going through right now at your house.  Drop me an email if you get the time, but if time’s limited – spend it planning, shopping, chopping, and cooking!  Eat Real Whole Foods.