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New Year’s Food Resolution

January 4, 2013

Every year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions.  As noted by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45% of Americans make New Years resolutions, and 8% are successful.  The number one resolution is…. drum roll please….

Losing weight!

If a New Year’s resolution is statistically not the way to loose weight, how about setting yourself up for a successful way of eating?

  • Don’t keep junk food around.  If you’re like me, you’ll eat it!  If it’s not available, you’ll have to make a trip out in the cold to get that junk food.
  • Snack on dried fruits if you have a sweet veggies
  • Craving sugar?  How about a teaspoon of honey?  It’s so sweet that your craving just may go away.
  • Eat before grocery shopping.  No explanation needed.
  • While you’re at it, shop the perimeter.  Real foods (fruit, veggies, meat, juices) are found around the perimeter of the grocery store.  Super processed crap is found in the middle aisle.
  • Carry a water bottle – you’ll be more likely to drink water,  stay hydrated and keep the munchies at bay.

Check out more suggestions at Fit Sugar – happy 2013!


Buying Local Through a Buying Club

December 17, 2012

Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital was just added as a Winter Harvest pick up site.  Winter Harvest is a buying club organized by Farm to City in Philadelphia that runs from December through April.  For the Jefferson community, this means that sustainable food options are available all year long: farmers’ market May to October, CSA from May through December, and the buying club from December through April.buying club winter veggies

As with most buying clubs, you go online, pick what you want to order, and pick it up at the designated place and time.  You only order what you want, when you want it – unlike a CSA.

For the Winter Harvest buying club there are over 500 items available – and they are ALL LOCAL!  Produce, eggs, meats, cheeses, yogurt, breads, soups, hummus, herbs and more!  The farm and method of growing is provided for every item.

So what are the benefits?

  • Your money stays in the local economy
  • You get local goods from farms with sustainable practices
  • You eat with the season, and gain an understanding of what it takes to get your food from farm to plate
  • Less shipping miles means less oil is used to get your food to you
  • Your money spent on food goes back to the farmer, not a corporation
  • The farmer can spend more time farming and less time finding avenues to sell his/her product
  • Point and click shopping online with a one stop delivery – it’s convenient!

Your dollar is a vote – every day, every season.  Buy local and sustainable when you can!

Fall Yogurt: Pumpkin Puree, Greek Yogurt and Maple Syrup

December 5, 2012

My roommate has opened up my world to many random food compilations – including pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt and maple syrup.

Pumpkin yogurt?!

Other delightful that you might enjoy in your yogurt during the fall are:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin/butternut/acorn squash seeds
  • Raisins
  • Apples,
  • Asian pears
  • Honey

Get creative, and enjoy!

Swiss Chard and Apples

November 15, 2012

This recipe is a great way to get a serving of seasonal greens AND fruit into your meal!

3-4 pieces of Swiss chard
2 apples
1 small onion
1 medium carrot
1 handful sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp olive oil
Dash of turmeric

  • On low-medium heat, combine olive oil and diced onion.  Cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Separate Swiss chard greens from the stalks.  Set aside the greens.  Chop stalks into 1/4 inch pieces the stalks, add to pan.
  • Cut carrot into 1/4 inch pieces, add to the pan.  Continue to cook for about 5 more minutes.
  • Core the apples.  Cut into 1/4 inch wedges and add to the pan.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan (at low heat), and place a lid onto the pan.
  • Cut Swiss chard greens and add to the pan, recover with lid.
  • Cook until greens are slightly wilted/a texture you enjoy.
  • Add non-salted sunflower seeds during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  • Add a dash of turmeric for an extra cancer fighting boost!

Notice how this recipe has a little bit of everything: healthy oil, green veggie,  fruit, carbohydrate (carrot!),  and protein (sunflower seeds!).  Having this combination in the dish helps nutrients absorb more easily and will have you feeling fuller, longer.

Food Myth Busters

October 24, 2012

Anna Lappé, writer of the recently published Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It  and founder of the Small Planet Fund, spoke at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia on October 21, 2012.  The audience got a sneak peak of the Food Myth Busters campaign through watching the video below.  The campaign will continue to release videos that “expose the propaganda peddled by food lobbyists”.  This is the perfect place to start to understand what is in your food and where it comes from on this Food Day 2012!

Food Stamped! National Food Day Film Screening in Philadelphia

October 11, 2012

October 24 is National Food Day and to celebrate the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital will be sponsoring a film screening of the documentary Food Stamped at 6 p.m.    The screening will take place in the Solis Cohen Auditorium of Jefferson Alumni Hall, 1020 Locust Street.   Tickets are $5 and $3 with a Jefferson or student ID (collected to cover the cost of the institutional screening license).

This event is opened to everyone.

Check out the trailer here!

Food Stamped is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Through their adventures they consult with members of U.S. Congress, food justice organizations, nutrition experts, and people living on food stamps to take a deep look at America’s broken food system”

“Food Stamped should be seen by anyone and everyone. A surprisingly delightful film given the toughness of the subject”, says Deborah Madison, a best-selling author.”

Sprouted Chickpeas

October 3, 2012

Recent news stories have highlighted BPA (a nasty bit found in some plastics, and worth reading up on) in the lining of canned goods.  Trying to stick to using dried beans, I found my garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas!) sprouting in the fridge after one too many days of soaking.  A quick search online revealed that sprouted beans are a great snack as is, or can be cooked with!

I ate a few of my newly sprouted garbanzo beans and used the remainder for a quick and easy recipe that I found on Smitten Kitchen.  I substitute quinoa or rice for the potato and have found it had rave reviews at a few potlucks that I have hosted.

Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon
serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side

2 teaspoons oil or ghee
1 small yellow onion
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger, from a 3-inch piece
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1 dried hot red pepper or dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 pound baby spinach
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger

To serve:
Whole roasted sweet potatoes
Cilantro leaves, to garnish
Toasted unsweetened coconut, to garnish

Heat the oil or ghee in a large, deep Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to brown. Add the garlic, ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and red pepper, if using. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat for a few minutes or until the chickpeas are beginning to turn golden and they are coated with the onion and garlic mixture.

Toss in the spinach, one handful at a time. This will take about 5 minutes; stir in a handful or two and wait for it to wilt down and make room in the pot before adding the next handful. When all the spinach has been stirred in, pour in the coconut milk and stir in the salt, ground ginger, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer then turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the chickpeas are warm through. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

Serve hot over roasted sweet potatoes, with cilantro leaves and toasted unsweetened coconut to garnish.

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