Ughhh… so here we are, 2017 has arrived and we have no more excuses for guilt-free gluttony! Time to settle down into the everyday world and the obligation of taking care of ourselves.
Some of us may have done better than others at moderating the sugar and fat that passed through our celebrating lips, others may have consumed a bit more calories than needed. Calories will always be king – too much of any macronutrient calorie gets stored as fat if we don’t burn it. Calories-in must equal calories-out or less, respectively, if we want to maintain, or lose body fat. That is the crux of it and why exercise becomes a crucial ingredient of a healthy body lifestyle. Move it or get fat – Get 20 if you can!
Let’s address the dreaded “New Year’s Resolution”. I don’t have one. It is a life-long goal for me to monitor what I consume or I would weigh 5 or 6 tons by now, ha-ha, insert un-smiley face here. I was not blessed with a stellar metabolism – next time they pass those out I am at the front of that line and at the line front of the VO2 max endowments! My new year consists of a back-on-the-wagon approach, I am not in shock nor disappointed by an onset of abrupt changes, but start towing the line again, I must.
Time for a detox, some new exercises, new meditations and visualizations, and a renewing of commitment to reach and or maintain previous goals. This is exciting for me because I always enjoy the challenge of new beginnings!
This year I received some beautiful Christmas presents from my daughter, Vanessa. She gave me a 2017 Erin Condren day planner, some awesomely cute sticky notes, sparkly gold pens, and a Zen Garden!! I am all about organization so these are my kind of toys! I love writing down goals, it keeps me on track. The Zen Garden will be there to keep me focused if I need some positive distraction.
Some of you may already know that I am a life-long, low-fat eater due to my family health history. I was diagnosed clinically hypothyroid and anemic at the age of 7 and have endured severe to moderate adrenal fatigue for over 25 years, these issues led to my heart-attack and subsequent quad bypass surgery in 2011 – the doc said my eating habits saved me from an earlier heart attack and death. No, I will not eat Paleo. No I do not do coconut oil. We each need our own diet, diets are not “one size fits all”. I respect all healthy eating styles and endorse what works for each individual.
My genetic testing shows that I cannot process fats in a positive manner, and guess what? At least 33% of you are in the same genetic boat with me! No worries, you and I have got this. My recipes help get through the holidays without much damage, help with life’s other celebrations, and a few cheat days here and there. I strive for a balance of quality nutrients and some “good fats”. It works for me, I am not on any heart or cholesterol lowering meds.
No food recipe for you in this post, however I am offering a recipe of sorts. Here is my “basic recipe” for a Happy New Year:
Eat lots of greens! Greens raise your level of vibration and that is a positive thing. Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Asparagus, anything green and preferably raw, yes, raw. You will get the most benefit from the vitamins and minerals contained therein if the greens are consumed uncooked. Smoothies are best, salads work too. Add in some pineapple for reducing inflammation, and blueberries for antioxidant boosting. Next, squeeze in at least 20 minutes of yoga, resistance, or aerobic exercise each day. I suggest using the Fat Secret application or one similar, to monitor all of that. Fat Secret counts calories, macronutrients, and has a fitness tracker. It is another tool that I use daily to keep me in line.
These few ingredients above are only part of the “Recipe for 2017”, please add in a good dose of the following in generous amounts:
Adopt a positive attitude about life, living, and friendships. Start with honoring yourself. Small rituals can help create and maintain a positive mood which will be contagious to others around you. Start small. Take a spa bath or shower at home. Light a few candles, make some lemon water to sip, and soak in a warm tub infused with essential oils, baking soda, and Epsom Salt, for at least 20 minutes. Start eating healthier foods, or introduce more organic foods into your diet. Start a new exercise program or hobby. Read 10 minutes a day. Learn something new. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then step out to help others. There is little more satisfying than sharing good things when you are whole and available. Share with those in true need, support a homeless human or animal, try to make a difference in this world. Positive vibrations promote a positive environment for all – all of us need a little more of that. You can make your life, your body, your world, a beautiful place in which to dwell! Start with one ingredient at a time, adding more as needed to taste.
…spread the joy, not your waistline.
This is your recipe…Make It A Beautiful Life!
The Fat Free Gourmet
Did you know that over one million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year? That amount of cards is only second to those sent at Christmastime! Wow that’s a whole bunch of love being passed around!
You can also pass around this heart-healthy nosh, and it is the perfect recipe for a romantic fireside picnic with your special someone. Check this out, get some inspiration from Sue at “a purdy little house”. Doesn’t that look cozy and inviting? Great job, Sue, we love this!
Solo this Valentine’s Day? Treat yourself right, be your own Valentine and get some “me time”. Invite a solo friend or two for cocktails and appetizers. Valentine’s Day is not just for couples, it can be a celebration of all kinds of love! Find some more ideas for Valentine’s picnics by just doing a Google search which produced ideas like this one below. Lots of ideas on the web for inspiration!
Cranberries are the perfect color for Valentine’s Day, and are also an excellent source of nutrition. Cranberries contain Vitamin C and an array of phytonutrients which include anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. All good reasons to include cranberries in your diet.
My favorite low-fat pretzel to use for this easy recipe is by The Snack Factory, check out all of their delicious flavor options. Crisp cucumber slices are perfect too, so refreshing and light! Pick you favorite cracker, or perhaps some melba toast. Have fun, use your imagination, and comment below to let us know what accompanied your caviar!
The Fat Free Gourmet’s Cranberry Feta Caviar
- Fresh or canned whole berry cranberry sauce (not jellied)
- Fat-Free Feta Cheese, crumbled
- Freshly ground black pepper (not pre-ground)
- One of the following of your choice, chopped fresh or dried: Thyme, Oregano, or Cilantro
Layer in the order listed above, as shown in photos, in amounts according to your liking, onto a serving dish or onto individual crackers, pretzels, or sliced cucumbers. Now enjoy!
That’s all there is to it! My favorite choice for herb is dried thyme, and I like lots of ground pepper too…so yum!
Remember to celebrate love and life to the fullest, be kind to your heart with healthy food and lifestyle choices!
Make it a Beautiful Day!
Posted by The Fat Free Gourmet in fat free, fat free cookbook, fat free recipes, fat-free recipe, fat_free cooking, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, heart attack, heart health, heart-healthy, low cholesterol recipes, low fat cooking, low fat recipes, low-cholesterol, low-fat, low-fat recipe, Paleo on January 10, 2017
To Paleo or not to Paleo? That is the question.
If you are ApoE 3/4 or 4/4 that is not a question at all, you do not process lipids well – lipids are fats.
Approximately 25-30% of the population have the ApoE4 variant. If you do, you are at a higher risk for Cardio Vascular Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more. Find out if you have this gene though lab testing…do it! You CAN fight your genes and win if you start the fight before it is too late. Get tested. Don’t know where to start? Talk to a health professional familiar with genetic testing and get it done. Here is a link to one lab that performs the tests required to get the ApoE4 answer. There are other labs out there, this is just a sample to help you get on the info track.
The diet data studies are in for us 4’s; low-fat, good-carb, is the only way for us to control our lipid profile. The Journal of Nutrition study looks at the ApoE genotype interaction with quantity and quality of dietary fat consumed. The Journal of Lipid Research study looks at how the ApoE genotype modulates the LDL cholesterol-lowering response to a diet. Both determine lower fat intake in ApoE4 affected people is paramount in optimizing lipid profiles. More data is out there, please do some Googling!
Paleoists, I am not trying to “harsh your mello”, but I would like you to stop trying to convince EVERYONE that eating saturated fats as a method of weight reduction is safe. I don’t want my fellow 4’s, which could potentially include you, the Paleoista, to be killing themselves slowly.
“If we view the population as a statistical whole, switching from an unhealthy diet to a clean Paleo diet even if it is high in SFAs in average lowers the risk for CVD. Unfortunately, if we break down the numbers according to APOE status, this remains only true for those of us that don’t carry the APOE4 gene.
For carriers of the APOE4 gene consuming saturated fatty acids can substantially raise the risk of CVD
Unfortunately, the wider Paleo community has not yet realized this important fact and still promotes the consumption of SFAs to everyone, potentially putting people in harm’s way.”
Everyone should monitor their lipids. A full cholesterol profile is a must to determine if your food consumption is producing positive health results. Optimal eating habits should be the goal. So many factors are involved and cannot be addressed in one short blog post, but to sum up, genetic testing, lipid testing, and macro balancing are key:
“With all general guidelines and medical research on APOE4 and nutrition, we should keep in mind that the reaction of our metabolism to dietary changes is highly individual. Determining the right balance of macro nutrients, especially balancing MUFAs and carbohydrates for an optimal cholesterol profile requires individual experimentation and frequent retesting”
Please note that losing weight on a Paleo diet, low blood pressure, low BMI, and or being “buff”, is NOT an indicator you are non-ApoE4, or that your vascular system is healthy. FYI -“Grass fed” is not a blanket insurance policy for clean arteries.
I am thrilled if Paleo works for you non-4’s, but please have your lipid profile done anyway. Sometimes even good genes cannot combat a bad lipid profile.
Confusion now cleared, we low-fatters can get down to the serious business of modulating our intake of fats and cholesterol.
No diet is “one-size-fits-all”. Food can be medicine or it can hasten an untimely demise. Choose your menu carefully: do your research – read, read, read, employ balance, stay away from fad diets, make healthy eating choices a lifestyle you can live with while on this earth. Do 20 minutes of exercise at least 3 days a week, more is better.
All the best for a Happy New Year, my peeps! Make 2017 your healthiest year ever!
The Fat Free Gourmet
Posted by The Fat Free Gourmet in fat free, fat free cookbook, fat free recipes, fat-free, fat-free recipe, fat_free cookbook, fat_free cooking, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, heart attack, heart health, heart-healthy, low cholesterol recipes, low fat cookbook, low fat cooking, low fat recipes, low-cholesterol, low-fat, low-fat recipe, Thyroid, Uncategorized on November 8, 2015
A fat-free recipe for medium garden grown zucchini,
or other vegetable of your heart’s desire!
You can stuff them, steam them, sauté them, even eat them raw! They are a low-calorie vegetable that will take on the flavor, be it sweet or savory, of whatever you choose to mix with them.
Garden grown zucchini present a special challenge…size – it really does matter.
Young tender 6 to 7-inch zucchini squash are perfect for steaming or sauté, 8 to 10-inch are great for stuffing. If you allow them to grow larger, they become a problem: the skin is tough, the flavor is strong, and they tend to be a little bitter. Typically, zucchini larger than 10 inches go to what I call, “grated recipe” status; I use them in breads, fritters, cookies, salads. But, oh those seeds, what to do with them, they definitely must go!
This year’s garden provided an overabundance of larger zucchini nearing the end of the growing season due to my waning attention. With a glass of Moscato wine in one hand, and a 14-inch long zucchini in the other, I decided to do something daring…
I laid it on the counter. There it was, in front me, about 2 inches in diameter. What to do with it? I grabbed my knife and hesitantly sliced it in half. (Now, here is where it gets tricky: how big are the darn seeds?!) Hmmm, I inspected. This one had smallish seeds, and so I finished the slicing of it. I continued into ½ inch thick round slices. Not holding anything back, I spontaneously moved forward with a recipe I had been flirting with for quite some time!
You don’t really need a certain sized zucchini for this recipe, not a giant, smaller is better. Suffice it to say, my 14-incher turned out cravingly well even though it was a slightly larger sized zucchini than I would have normally chosen to use.
Here comes the fun part of this recipe: the tweaks! Those fun creative touches that will make this recipe your own. I am all about experimenting and trying new things! Looking forward to hearing what tweaks you did and the results. Try some of these and create a cravable new favorite!
- Use any sized zucchini except a giant, and cut it into any shape you like, you may have to adjust cooking time for smaller or larger sized pieces.
- Use any vegetable you like, simply adjust the cooking time for the density of the vegetable. For instance, potatoes and cauliflower may take a little longer cooking time to achieve the desired tenderness.
- Serve as an appetizer, a side to your favorite main dish, or as a main dish if you are doing vegetarian.
- Change up the ethnicity! Add different spices to the egg or the breading mix, your choice, let you imagination go wild! (I like to season both mixtures to give ‘two layers of flavor”.)
- Serve with a sauce and garnish! Fat-Free Ginger Sesame Dressing (Lighthouse Sesame Ginger Dressing is one of my favorite!) or a few dashes of soy sauce for Asian; with fat-free pasta sauce for Italian, with traditional fat-free Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing for game day festivities, or make up your own low-fat or fat-free sauce! You can even top them with a few sprinkles of fat-free cheese for the last minute of baking in the oven. Pictured are Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce, a dollop of spicy mustard, and sprinkle of cilantro; also pictured with fat-free ranch or blue cheese dressing.
- Marinate the zucchini before you bread them for another layer of flavor. A 20 minute soak in your favorite marinade would do the trick. How about soy sauce mixed with seasoned rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, or perhaps balsamic vinegar with a dash of garlic. Dill pickle juice for that “fried pickle” flavor!
Here’s the basic recipe:
1 14-inch long by 2 inch in diameter zucchini, cut ½ inch in thickness, or equivalent vegetable, cut accordingly
1 ½ cups fat-free egg substitute
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 ½ cups Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs or finely crushed (see photos) corn flakes
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Salt to taste
(add 1 tablespoon of grated low-fat parmesan topping to this mixture if desired)
Pre-heat oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, then spray with a light coating of fat-free cooking spray. Set aside.
Cut vegetables, set aside.
In a shallow bowl mix together egg substitute and onion powder, set aside.
In another shallow bowl mix together the last four ingredients, set aside.
Set up your breading prep area; from right to left or left to right whichever is most comfortable for you. Set up in a line with vegetables first, egg mixture second, corn flake crumb mixture, then baking pan. First dip vegetables into the egg mix using only your left or right hand, next into the corn flakes using the opposite hand, then place onto baking sheet. This method is the best way to keep your hands from getting “breaded”!
Bake for 30 minutes or until desired color is reached, and vegetables are fork tender. Serve warm. Serves 6.
Can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave.
(Yum, I just devoured some of the photo shoot left-overs from yesterday!)
Serve with the sauce and garnish of your choice.
6 servings, zucchini only, no garnish or sauce
Amount per serving:
Total Fat 0.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 282.9 mg
Potassium 321.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 3.5 g
Protein 8.6 g
Let me know how your “tweaks” turned out! Leave your comments below or on any of my social media haunts! I welcome everyone to share their ideas and results!
Hope you and yours are looking forward to a loving holiday season! I will be publishing the “Pumpkin Spice Latte Gelato” recipe soon, so be on the lookout!
Eliminate the excess – eat to live! ❤