Friday, November 21, 2014

Memorable Meals {Recipe ReDux}

Food plays an important role in our culture and is part of all kinds of celebrations and gatherings. In Canada we've already celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday which often involves lots of food and food traditions. With that in mind, this month's Recipe ReDux theme is  A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful: In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.
Considering that I am awaiting the arrival of my first born (while I write this, she arrived before posting it), this was a very timely theme. It made me think back to my childhood, but also inspired me to think about keeping things simple and convenient in the kitchen - things my clients often mention as important in their busy lives. I had many ideas, but settled on a "redo" of hamburger helper - something that can be done in one pot and uses ingredients many people have around already. It's a convenience item that is still available on grocery shelves, but is also simple to make from scratch and thus avoid the excess sodium and other preservatives.

Just like many meals people currently consume, often our childhood favourites are lacking in vegetables. I added a few for flavour, but also served this with raw veggies and dip (as another childhood throwback!).
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Makes approximately 6 servings (depending on side dishes and size of appetite)
1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used sirloin)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium (about 1 cup) white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups whole grain macaroni
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup shredded marble cheese
salt and pepper
1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Heat skillet. Add beef and brown over medium heat.
2. Wash and chop veggies. Drain any residual fat from the beef, then add bell pepper, onion, garlic and tomato paste - cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add water, milk, pasta, and spices. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes (or until pasta cooked to your liking).
4. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley, and serve.
Check out other dietitian's recipes below for more inspiration for your kitchen!

Happy cooking,
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Out of Control

I often look at the start of a new month as a chance to review, revise, and examine my goals. With October ending on the high note of Halloween and November starting to feel a bit more like Christmas (since we've celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada already) there are lots of things to reflect on.

I continue my exploration into mindfulness, moderation, and minimalism. These areas really interest me as a dietitian, someone who enjoys spending time on self development, a soon to be mother, and as a life long learner. Thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I think it's fairly obvious to see that moderation is important. I truly believe in finding balance, since the enjoyment of holidays and food is part of the enjoyment of life...BUT of course, I prefer us to really taste the food, make wise choices, and learn from our mistakes. How do you want to spend your calorie budget? Is the kitkat worth it, or do you have a different 'treat' you'd enjoy more? Why? What do you like about it?

There is so much to be mindful of, but in our food culture we tend to eat first and think later (if at all). Balance is something I have worked on, and in some parts of my life (ie balancing healthy choices with the occasional 'treat') I do quite well. I do however tend to be a busy-body and have a hard time turning work 'off' so I continue to work on balance in other areas of my life.

Over the last 9 months or so, I have been mindful of my food and fitness choices in a new way since they are directly affecting my soon to be child. It has been a whole new way to look at mindfulness. Plus, with all the baby things available to purchase, it has been a great chance to think about minimalist living. I've been trying to clear out some of our stuff to make room for some of the things the baby will need. I also recently started reading Joshua Becker's Clutter Free with Kids to try to stay ahead of the game - I have this big idea that I'm going to have a lot of time to read this next year, but part of me realizes that isn't a realistic goal with a newborn!

As an entrepreneur and self employed dietitian, my life will be changing in many ways with the addition of this new baby. It may mean some changes for my business and will definitely challenge me in new ways. We've been dealing with lots of things that are beyond our control lately and waiting for the arrival of this little one is no exception. I am constantly reminded to let go of the things I cannot change, and there are many of them. I'm a 'doer' so part of my mindfulness practice involves trying to let other people do things for me, trying not to worry or stress about things that don't deserve my energy, and remembering to be grateful each day. Don't let a sense of a 'lack of control' get in the way of your dreams and goals. With mindfulness, moderation, and minimalism, we must take one small step each day (and sometimes a step back), but the long term results and changes will be worth it. Maybe you have an unrealistic expectation of yourself or are judging yourself by someone else's standards - instead focus on the positives and remember how far you've already come and the habits you're creating.
How will you finish out 2014 on a high note?

*I still plan to post and share articles as often as I can, but please understand that I will have a new focus in my life that requires my attention for awhile :)

Let go,
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching