Have you heard these before: Don't eat after 8 p.m.; Avoid carbohydrates, even fruit; A piece of cake on your birthday will ruin your diet; You need to eat meat to get enough protein. Right?
Not exactly. While there may be some bad foods (like Twinkies and other processed items - you can't really call them food), there are no good or bad times to eat and no magic bullet for maintaining a healthy weight. The fact is, it's your total diet and exercise approach that matters in living a healthful lifestyle.
March is National Nutrition Month, the perfect time to take a fresh look at the big picture. We need to remember to focus on the total balance of foods we consume, rather than any one food or meal. No single food or meal makes or breaks a healthful diet. Your overall pattern of eating is the most important focus.
It doesn't matter if you eat after 8 p.m. What's more important is how many calories you ate the entire day, not when you ate them and splurging on cake or cheese during a party isn't going to ruin a healthful eating plan. Pay attention to the portion of your treat and enjoy it in moderation, exercise a little longer the next day or plan ahead to save calories, like skipping your morning latte.
Develop an eating plan rich with fruits, vegetables and whole-grains for lifelong health. Too often, people adopt the latest food fad rather than focusing on overall health. This is a good time of year to get back to basics and foods the way God created them.
Vegetarian Irish Stew
With a maiden name of Maloney, you can imagine that celebrating St.Patrick 's Day is something I've always done. This Irish stew is quick, sure to please, healthy, inexpensive and just plain delicious. It
is also fairly forgiving so feel free to modify it to fit your budget,
what's in your refrigerator and your family's personal preferences. You can also throw it in your slow cooker and let it simmer all day. (If you set the slow cooker on high, let it cook for approximately 4 to 5 hours. If you set the slow cooker on low, let it cook for approximately 8 hours.) Click here for the recipe.
Simple Irish Fare
Sometimes I just don't have the energy to get everything diced, sliced and measured for soups. Sometimes I am just too forgetful to get it all done in time to be cooked for dinner. And sometimes, I am just pretty lazy - even on St. Patrick's Day. An easier dish I like to prepare
is sliced cabbage, diced potatoes and coined carrots - all thrown
together in my pressure cooker with a little bit of vegetable broth. After about 5 minutes on high pressure, I release the steam and add some rehydrated Soy Curls or Morning Star Meal Starters. Toss it all together, add some fresh ground pepper and serve. My children love it with a little bit of Earth Balance added to their veggies. My husband, Englishman that he is, loves it served with mustard. I
guess if you are feeling really brave, you could add some green
food dye in with the vegetables to make a dish fit for a green
leprechaun. We love to have fresh bread and fresh fruit alongside to fill out the meal and make sure no one leaves the table without a full belly.
Also available as an eBook