Skating Uphill - March 2018

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“February is the “BETRAYAL” month and March is the month to recover!
Read on to see exactly why!”
– The Uphill Skater –

I have been betrayed by February yet again. Not by a person; I’m pretty lucky in the friend department. Like you, perhaps, I have been betrayed by broken New Year’s resolutions, Valentine candy disguised as love, cherry pie disguised as patriotism, and just wanting something carb loaded because I ate the candy and pie—a vicious cycle that makes me crave a chunk of bread slathered with butter. Honestly, I thought February was going to be much better than it was.

So, March is here, and we are going to hit the “second chance” button on our lives and get ready for spring. I mean it. Let’s talk about new foods, new outfits, and most of all, a new healthy lifestyle. Get ready for some great food ideas and yes, maybe something besides jeans and a black sweater!

I am all over some great new food discoveries, and as usual, I have found some interesting research on some old favorites. How about the lowly egg? Did you know that vegetarian-fed, free-range eggs have more than twice the amount of omega-3s and vitamin E, and fewer calories and less cholesterol? They cost a bit more, but they are worth the difference. Also, organic whole wheat or whole grain bread has much more fiber and protein than other breads. (Not to mention brands, but I like the Arnold’s.)

The new meat buzz word is “grass-fed.” Does it make a difference? Yes, it really does. Grass-fed animals have never been exposed to hormones or antibiotics, and they contain much more nutrients than regular beef, no matter what the grade. Think more good fatty acids, beta-carotene and less saturated fats. I am also now buying butter and cheeses from grass-fed cows. Try it! Let me know what you think.

They say everything old is new again and lunch is no exception. Remember when your mom made your lunch and put it in a brown bag? I had a lunch pail with the Lone Ranger on it, which really dates me. It normally consisted of a PB&J sandwich, an orange and a Hostess cupcake. Fast-forward and lunch became a salad, or yogurt, or a smoothie, or fast food.

Well, now that is passé, as well. Now lunch is over-night oats, a Paleo meat bar, and an organic kiwi. Better for you? Yes and no. If you make your sandwich on whole wheat, or whole grain bread, and use organic peanut butter and a banana instead of jelly (a la Elvis), it is great for you. Who knew\ Elvis the junk food king was on to something?  It is a perfect combo of fiber and protein, with a day’s supply of potassium to boot. Replace the cupcake with an Atkins bar and you are good to go. In addition, we are back to not having to search out exotic ingredients and spending needless money.

So, how about that diet staple: The salad? If you look at the ingredients in restaurant salads it can be a bit mind-boggling. The Southwest has peppers, tortilla strips and beans; the Napa has grapes; and the Greek has cucumbers. Now to make a very special salad at home, or to take for lunch, I use what is known as the “everything-in-the-fridge” salad. I use any types of lettuce, tomatoes if I have them, blueberries, cheese, any vegetable that is on hand, and even nuts, if I have some around.  Also try tuna or a chopped egg for protein. Salad is an adventure.  Dressings are an adventure, too. I often do not have time to make my own, which is a bit of olive oil, wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and a packet of Sweet’n Low, so I have a variety of store-bought ones in the fridge. I am obsessed, at the moment, with Newman’s Own.

In conclusion, dear friends, the more magazines I read, and the more I explore food and nutrition, especially regarding new ideas and study results, the more liberated I feel to experiment and enjoy. I am also learning to shop differently. Healthy foods do not have to be hard to find, or cost an arm and a leg. I am now shopping “in season,” which keeps products fresh and prices low.

Let me know if you have any other ideas on healthy eating. It is always good to share.
Also blog has lots of ideas and tips. Love, Judith

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