Friday, January 21, 2011

Eat This . . . Not That!

Just saw a depressing article about the worst sit-down restaurant foods you can order. Olive Garden's Salad and Bread sticks were on the list, along with a host of Cheesecake Factory foods. Take a look here to see if you favorite restaurant or food made the list.

I am going to make these up right here and now, but here are some guidelines for eating out with your family.

  • Don't order anything with Alfredo sauce!
  • Don't order anything deep fried.
  • Don't drink soda or juice with your meal
  • Don't let your child choose anything off the kids menu
  • Do share your meal with someone else (split it)- You can always eat something when you get home if you are still hungry.
  • Do order something with a side of vegetables instead of fries
  • Do give your child 2 or 3 of the healthiest options from the kids menu
  • Do share a dessert with at least one other person (or skip it)
  • Do drink water with your meal.
We try not to go out to eat more than once a week.

Here is some more info on the worst FREE foods:

THE #1 WORST "FREE" RESTAURANT FOOD: Olive Garden Bottomless Salad and Breadsticks
Garden-Fresh Salad (1 serving with dressing)
350 calories
26 g fat (4.5 g saturated)
1,930 mg sodium
22 g carbohydrates

Breadstick (1 with garlic butter spread)
150 calories
2 g fat (0 g saturated)
400 mg sodium
28 g carbohydrates

Olive Garden wins the battle of the fattening freebies by a mile. The minute you sit down, you’re staring at bowls of bottomless breadsticks and “garden” salad. Bottomless, however, doesn’t describe what you’ll look like if you spend too much time grazing in the Garden. Just one serving of each will give you 25 percent of your day’s caloric intake, before you’ve taken your first bite of your actual meal. But wait: Aren’t salads “healthy”? Not in this Garden: The free salad alone has almost a full day’s worth of sodium. Unfortunately, Olive Garden is far from the only restaurant that’s really a dietary minefield. Check out this comprehensive slideshow of the 20 Worst Restaurant Foods in America.

Hope this helps!

That is Henry making a mess at Aspen Grove Family Camp last summer. It was the only pic I could find of the kids eating out (we like going out to dinner without all 5 kids in tow!)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bountiful Basket Co-Op

I finally did it. . . . I tried out a food Co-Op. The one I tried is for fruits and vegetables. My sister Candee started doing it a few months ago, and she calls me to ask me how to use up a kind of vegetable that she got in her bountiful basket. They don't have it in every state, but these are the states that they have it.

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Washington
If you live in one of these states, you should check it out and see if they have a location near you.

For $15 you can get the regular basket, or for $25 you can get the organic basket. They both have about half fruits, half vegetables. It is whatever fruits and vegetables are in season, and it is as local as they can get it. It is all volunteer run, so there is no overhead cost. I got all of what is pictured for $25. I think that is about half what I would pay for it at a grocery store. I tried the organic one. You do have to pick it up at 7am on a Sat morning, but you don't have to do it every Sat. You can do it as much or as little as you would like. You pay before you go, and you show them your printed out receipt.

Have you tried out something similar? Let me know if you live near me and want to take turns picking it up!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My favorite bread?? Granny's Delight

I hope that some of you can buy this bread. It is soft, moist, and my kids LOVE it. We go through at least 4 loaves a week. Costco has the best price on this bread for us, but while taking pictures, I noticed that it is made in UT, so I hope that they sell it where you live!

Just to give you an idea of how much my kids love this bread . . . they eat the heel, they eat the crust, they love just a slice for a snack.

Why does MOM love the bread?

Per Slice:

80 Calories

6 grams of fiber

Whole Grain

Great price!

If you can't find this bread, be sure that you try different kinds of bread. Be sure it is 100% whole wheat flour, has NO HFCS, and NO trans-fats! The less ingredients, the better!

What is your favorite healthy bread?

Thank you James for being my model!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Face Plates . . . Makes Eating Healthy Fun!

My Sister Julie got these for my kids for Christmas this year. She told me that when she saw them, she just had to get them for us because it made her think of us. We used them the other night for the twins when I served up red beans and rice. The grapefruit and avocado are from the green salad we had that night. I usually give all of my kids at least parts of the green salad that we eat for dinner. I don't know too many kids that will eat lettuce (my older 2 eat it now), but they love the nuts, cheese and fruit that I usually put in my salads.

You can buy these at a few locations, but the cheapest I found was on Amazon . . . $10 for the boy face, and $12 for the girl face.

Another option is to JUST use food to make a face. I did a blog post on this a couple years ago when I made pizza faces.

If you are feeling very artsy, then I suggest you take a permanent marker and make a face on a paper plate and then fill in your food hair, and accessories on that.

Aren't these plates just something that you would have LOVED as a kid?

Thank you Julie! You were right on the money; we all love them! ;)

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad:

One Grapefruit (cut peel off with a knife, and section the grapefruit so that you don't have any of the membranes)
Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit into a bowl to use in your dressing.
Peel and cut up avocado.
1 head Romaine lettuce

Juice from the grapefruit (see above)
equal amount of olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Beans, Beans, the magical Fruit . . . . Red Beans and Rice for Dinner!

All of my kids love to eat red beans and rice for dinner. It is a New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice. I make it from scratch, which sound intimidating, but really the hardest part is remembering to soak the beans the night before. I got this recipe from my Brother Scott and his wife Brenda. They put together a cook book of all their favorite recipes, and this is one of our favorites from their cookbook.

I usually make brown rice for dinner, but since this meal is served with beans, I serve it with white rice. A green salad tastes great with it, but I often don't have time or energy mid week to pull it off.

1/2 pound small red beans
1/2 pound ham hocks or smoked ham (or ham bone) (or just chop up 1 C. of ham and add it towards the end)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 T parsley, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 large cloves garlic, crushed

To add at the end

1/4 Cup butter (I usually cut this in half)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
a few shakes of Tabasco (and put the Tabasco on the table for those that like it spicy)

Serve with 3 Cups of cooked white rice

Soak the beans overnight. Rinse and drain the beans in the morning. Put beans, ham, celery, parsley, bell pepper, bay leaf, onion and garlic in a crock pot with about 4 C. of fresh water (NOT the same water you soaked the beans in). Cook on Low for about 8 hours. About 1 hour before eating, add the butter, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Remove the hame bone.

The best time to make red beans and rice is when you have had a ham and have a ham bone. Just throw the bone in the freezer in a zip lock bag until you are ready to make it.

Fiber Facts from an old post on fiber. Please Click here to get a refresher on fiber and beans.

Dietary fiber consists of non digestible carbohydrates and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants. This includes plant non starch polysaccharides (for example, cellulose, pectin, gums, hemicellulose, and fibers contained in oat and wheat bran), oligosaccharides, lignin, and some resistant starch.
Since fiber isn't digested, but rather "passed through", people who eat more fiber tend to be slimmer than those who eat less fiber.
Fiber helps control/prevent diabetes. A German clinical trial reported that eating fiber-enriched bread for only three days improved insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese women by 8%.
Fiber helps prevent heart disease. In a Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals, researchers found that a high total dietary fiber intake was linked to a 40% lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to a low-fiber intake.
Fiber helps your cholesterol. It appears that soluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your intestines by binding with bile (which contains cholesterol) and dietary cholesterol so that the body excretes it.
Fiber helps relieve/prevent constipation. Some kids have this problem. It seem all too common.