Saturday, August 28, 2010

So Easy, a Kid Could Do It

As soon as your child can sit up and talk, it's time to get them thinking about food preparation. Young children love to help and it's a great way to get them involved in making a variety of foods, that they are sure to eat, once they have "made it" themselves.

My Bug made most of this cake above. It's a much less sweet version of a recipe for sweet potato cake I found on a great but now defunct food blog.

Okay, so I helped by reading the steps, measuring the amounts, placing the pan in the oven and doing most of the cleanup. But she did quite a lot, right down to mixing the icing and drizzling it over top of the cake. And she had a great time!

If you try the recipe, know that I doubled it to make it fit into a Bundt pan, and I used only half the sugar it calls for, then added three sachets of Stevia powder.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Beat Boredom with Online Inspiration

I'm determined that my addiction to the Internet will make my life better, not merely waste all of my spare time. I'm always on the lookout for articles, websites, apps that will help me cook better meals for my family, and this Recipes for Health mini-site fit the bill.

Here you'll find a collection of healthy recipes which are beautifully photographed. You can search for recipes in a variety of ways but my favourite is to click on the photo of the food you're planning to cook. Scroll down to the left-hand side of the page to choose by ingredient or theme (e.g. burger alternatives, Lunchbox fixes).

Simply smart, healthy and delicious.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fructose Speeds Cancerous Growth

My nutritionist education at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition was an almost unending refrain about the health risks and dangers of eating processed foods, while espousing a return to the foods we were designed to eat. As each year passes since my graduation, I see more and more mainstream articles finally switching their focus away from fatty foods and towards the evils of processed sugars.

A sea change is coming. We're going to finally see the medical establishment admit that there is little to no evidence (in the last 50 years!) that eating a naturally fat diet causes disease and obesity. And we'll see a focus shift to the mounting evidence that manufactured foods are harming our bodies.

This Globe and Mail article links the consumption of fructose to increased growth of pancreatic cancer cells. The article states "While it's widely known that cancer cells use glucose to fuel their growth, last week's findings were the first to link fructose to cancer growth."

In my studies, I came across a lot of theories positing that for example, processed sugars in the bloodstream will lower the immune response, but very little scientific proof. To-date, few researchers have set out to study that processed sugars like High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) are detrimental to one's health. Who would fund these studies? The non-existent Union of Fruit and Vegetable Growers or America? And what type of scrutiny and backlash would such a study face, from the HFCS industry, the soda companies, manufacturers like General Mills whose breakfast and convenience foods are laden with processed sugars?

We need more academics and scientists to pursue independent research without financial backing by large corporations, if we want to find out the truth about how our modern diet is affecting our health. In the meantime, do your body a favour and cut processed sugars out of your diet; substitute if you must, with a more natural sweetener, like Stevia or honey.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dinner Planner for Week of August 9th

Running out of ideas for meals, this week, I again went to Epicurious to check out their Weekly Dinner Rush feature. That helped a bit. I could eat salads all week long, but this doesn't exactly work for the kids. Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday: Herbed Salmon (spread with mayo and dill before putting in oven) with brown rice and green beans
Tuesday: Takeout sushi
Wednesday: Rotini and Rapini with tomato meatball sauce (using ground buffalo)
Thursday: Leftover meatball sandwiches with Greek Salad
Friday: Chicken Pepperonata (Polish pinjar red pepper sauce), garlic couscous with peas and fresh red pepper strips with dip
Saturday: Shrimps on the Barbie with Caesar salad