Shall I Leave Some Room for Cream?

Ordering a coffee is such a personal thing. With the popularity of coffee shops as it is, many have developed a very specific way in which they take their coffee. I am not much of a coffee drinker, largely because I don’t drink caffeine since I am not willing to get withdrawal headaches again. I do, however, enjoy a cup of decaf every so often as I consider it a hug from the inside. As a result, I have limited knowledge about the various forms that are out there these days (bulletproof, pour over, flat white, Americano, etc) and insist upon ordering a medium at Starbucks rather than their naming scheme, which I still can’t remember.

One thing I know for sure is how much I enjoy adding cream to my coffee. In the past, I used to drink skim milk in my coffee until I discovered the beauty of half and half. The density. The color of the coffee when added. The flavor. The richness. The creaminess. The taste.

According to CalorieKing, one tablespoon of half and half has zero sugar, 15.7mg calcium, 19.5mg potassium, 0.4g of protein, 1.1 grams of saturated fat and only 19 calories. The question is: how much will you need to use?

In the past I used skim milk to lighten my coffee. It never matched in the delight of cream: A somewhat watery consistency with a gray-ish/ brown-ish hue. And while I was saving on the fat, since there was none, there was sugar in the milk. As the fat in milk goes down, the sugar in it increases. Take a look the next time you are in the milk aisle at the supermarket.

Where do you draw the line on taste versus nutritional value? What would you genuinely enjoy more…especially if it was your last one?

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So What About Diet Soda?

Posting business articles isn’t my thing but this one spills over (get it?!) into my line of work and touches on one of my hot buttons: soda. Being a food die-harder, I will always choose to eat my calories rather than drink them. Also, I never developed a taste for soda. My mother only had Tab or Diet Rite in the fridge when we were growing up. Even worse: more often than not it was flat. Have you ever tried either? That was what I thought soda tasted like. No thank you. Ever.

There is essentially zero nutritional benefits to diet soda, which by the way, studies have showed, leads to weight gain. Nor does it quench thirst. OK, maybe it’s the caffeine jolt that’s appealing and I’ll give you that, but that’s it!

I’m happy to see the increase in water intake according to the article, but next up is keeping sports drinks at bay for the non-athletes…Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Soup, Snow and Football Sunday…

This weekend was below freezing temps so there was no reason to go outside. What better way to spend the day than watch football (that end of the Saints/Vikings game!!!) and make some soup for the week. I’m a huge proponent of food prep. It allows for you to control your intake (what you actually eat and what’s in there), keeps you from making bad decisions and grabbing what’s available which may not be ideal and mitigates the stress of having to come up with “what’s for dinner”. Oh, and it’s usually less expensive than eating out/ bringing in/ buying for the one meal.

Enter the vat of lentil soup I made. It was so easy to put together, so tasty and so nutritious. A meal unto itself. The first photo is basically all the prep I did: basic mirepoix , which is diced carrots, celery, onions serving as the basis of a soup or stew for flavor and aroma. There is also some chopped garlic in there too. I sautéed them in my big soup pot with some olive oil and once the onions became translucent, I dropped in a bay leaf, some cayenne, cumin, turmeric (anti-inflammatory and colorful enough to stain my ladle lol). I typically don’t salt until I take a serving, if it is even needed, since the flavor cooks off and I fear over-salting (add a potato if that ever happens). I cooked for a couple more minutes then added stock (could be chicken or vegetable), a can of fire roasted tomatoes and the lentils. Lentils don’t need to be soaked, by the way. I found the basic recipe online and made a few tweaks. I let the soup cook on a low flame for a while and eventually added some more water to thin it out. Ultimately, a delicious lentil soup giving me protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals; it’s gluten free and vegetarian, as well. I threw in some broccoli when I took a serving but I always like to suggest heartier greens so they can cook down in the soup. Perfect for the evening and I didn’t even spill any when I jumped off the couch for the last two plays of the game! Remember to freeze some so you have a stash 😉

New Year, New You?

I always find it funny to see this headline at the start of the new year. What if someone is happy with who they are? Sure, everyone can use a tweak here or there, but it’s important to love yourself and a whole revamp is hard work and likely not necessary. My theory is similar to making changes in the way you eat: baby steps. To ensure that the change will stick, it’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, start with a small change…here are some ideas: one more glass of water per day (try it just after you brush your teeth), lettuce/ tomato on your sandwich, mustard instead of mayo as your condiment, a pickle instead of chips with that sandwich, self-contained (=no excuse) piece of fruit for a snack, measure out your cereal rather than pour it into the bowl (SO enlightening, I promise!), take a breath before you start eating to be present, have a fresh, new bag of nuts in your desk drawer should you get hungry for a snack. What are some ideas you have?

Wave the Wand!

I read this article today (http://www.foodandwine.com/news/amazon-dash-wand) about the new Amazon Dash Wand and thought to myself: that’s genius!  To no surprise, of course. From my perspective, as an RDN, now there will be no excuse to have healthy food in your fridge, most especially once Amazon takes the reigns from Whole Foods. Yes, you will need to have some items in your house initially so you can wave your wand and reorder them, but consequently, you will save time from not having to shop and instead, you can make healthier meals!  Let Alexa find you some healthy recipes, too.  Now you will just need to find someone to actually make you dinner …

P.S. Make sure you have frozen veggies in the freezer so you never have an excuse for running out!