That particular song, with the above title, was released in the early 50’s. It was at that time the food industry began their big push on processed foods. Women were entering the work force. TV dinners, packaged cookies, frozen breakfast meats were all introduced to make life easier. Since at that time, mostly women prepared meals, the purpose of these products were to relieve the stress of having to provide healthy eating for the family. To make all these foods more palatable and have a longer shelf life they were loaded with bad fat, salt and especially sugar. We now know that cutting back on the amount of sugar we consume will eventually lead to weight loss and in turn prevent many diseases. When it comes to losing weight most people assume you must cut out carbohydrates. Do we need to cut sugar or carbohydrates? Is there a distinction? Is it necessary to cut out all carbohydrates? It helps to understand what exactly is classified as a carbohydrate before a generalization like that can be made. Do all carbohydrates turn to sugar? Are all forms of sugars the same? Every carbohydrate must be broken down into a simple sugar before it can be absorbed and used by the body. So what foods are classified as carbohydrates? A simplified way to look at this is basically every thing that grows in the ground is a carbohydrate. Whole grains take longer to break down as opposed to grains that are more refined. When a grain is refined the bran and germ are removed and all that is left is the starchy endosperm which quickly turns to sugar. However this does not mean that these different forms do not have a purpose. Whole grains give a more sustained energy and keep blood sugar levels at an even keel throughout the day. Refined grains such as white rice and pasta give a quick surge of energy. They usher glucose into the body at a quicker pace, which has its benefits after a strenuous workout when the body needs it immediately. Nuts, seeds and avocados are all basically carbohydrates but they also contain good amounts of healthy fats. The fat present in these foods gives a feeling of fullness. Fats also aid in helping the body absorb minerals and vitamins. Beans and legumes are carbohydrates but have a nice amount of protein which makes them a source of energy while also providing a vegetarian source of protein. Any vegetable that grows underground (root vegetables) has a higher sugar content than any vegetable grown above ground (leafy greens). Leafy greens have some protein, are very low in carbohydrates but high in vitamins and minerals and are extremely important for blood purification. Both root and leafy vegetables contain soluble and insoluble fiber which keep everything moving throughout the body at a healthy rate while pulling anything toxic out of the system. It is usually more beneficial to combine one from each category since they have the ability to enhance flavor in the other and also create a better balance in sugar distribution. Some fruits can be extremely high in sugar. However unlike fruit juice which is pure sugar, the fiber in fruit can slow down the absorption of the sugar content. Dairy products are another source of sugar. All dairy contain lactose a form of milk sugar. But here again the fat and protein content make these products more balanced. Since 75% of carbohydrate consumption is used for brain function, 25% for muscle movement and red blood cell production it is important to recognize carbohydrates as a necessary macronutrient. It is also important to re-evaluate the type of carbohydrates you are consuming and when to use them for your benefit. If you decide that excessive consumption of carbohydrates could be the cause of retaining unwanted weight, try to first eliminate all heavily processed, packaged foods. Then take stock in the amount of protein and healthy fats you are consuming to see if you are eating a balanced diet.
– 2 cups orange juice
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 seedless cucumbers diced
– 1 small red bell pepper diced
– 1 small onion diced
– 2 garlic cloves minced
– 1 small jalapeno pepper diced
– 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
– 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
– Salt and pepper to taste
– In a food processor mix mango, orange juice and olive oil
– Place in a large bowl, mix in all other ingredients and refrigerate.
– Remove all stems from greens and slice leaves in thin ribbons 1/4 inch wide and wash
– Saute onion in olive oil until light brown
– Drain greens
– add to onions with mushrooms, vegetable stock, parsley-cover and cook for 15 minutes medium flame.
– Add raisins and orange juice- cook for another 10 minutes.
Summertime is short and the perfect time to spend outdoors. Should we wait and put off starting a healthy way of eating until September? Or should we simply work our menu to include all that we love by upping the quality of what we eat? Potato, pasta and rice salads are usually filled with mayonnaise. Why not substitute olive oil and one of the many interesting vinegars available now on the market. My personal favorite is pear infused white balsamic vinegar. Not only will this choice avoid the risk of food spoiling in the heat, you will give yourself a healthy dose of Omega 3 from olive oil and feed the probiotics in your intestines with the vinegar. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes and at the same time receive the benefit of a shot of vitamin A as well as beta-carotene. Try using whole grain pasta, brown rice and quinoa instead of their white counterparts. Check out one of the many organic frankfurters available now without food coloring or preservatives. Use a good quality organic beef or turkey for your burgers. “Organic Prairie” is just one of the many new companies working towards eliminating food dyes and preservatives. Try mixing tuna or salmon salads with avocados, a little mustard and some dried cranberries. Boil a big pot of tea add fresh lemons, limes, oranges, fresh mint and sweeten with Stevia (taken from sunflower leaves) or Xylitol ( derived from wood pulp) and chill. However, it’s a good idea to steer clear of the instant versions which are usually filled with artificial flavors, sugar and colorings. Buying seltzer water and adding these sweeteners can also fill the need for a sweet drink instead of a cola. Cut up fresh fruit especially melons if you are invited to a friend’s barbecue or gathering and would like to bring something. Sweet mangos and watermelons can be as sweet as some sorbets and as satisfying. Of course, just because food is made with healthy and nutritious ingredients does not mean that it is always low calorie. Pace yourself. Moderation and mindfulness are still something to strive towards. And the ultimate key to any healthy meal is P&P=PLANNING AND PREPARATION!