When you're in a hurry at the grocery store, do you find yourself making food choices based on health promises on the front of packages? If that’s you, buyer beware. This week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cracked down on 17 food manufacturers, asking them to correct food labels and claims that suggest that their products are healthier than they actually are. The products ranged from frozen fish sticks to ice cream and organic vegetable shortening. (Convenience can have a health price.
When I’m feeling stressed or a little blue, I don’t hit the vending machine or the drive-through window at the local fast-food joint. No, I grab a baking dish, or even a skillet, to make one of my favorite casseroles. Besides their comforting nature, casseroles are, by definition, incredibly easy—they’re simply any food that is cooked and served in the same dish.
We’re officially midwinter and I miss the produce bins at the grocery store during midsummer that overflow with fruits and vegetables at the peak of ripeness. Right now the produce section looks more like a compost pile than anything else. If I have to put one more anemic tomato in my grocery cart, I think I’ll scream.
Last week I blogged about the one pot I couldn’t live without, my enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven. And that got me thinking about more kitchen tools that I hold near and dear to my heart—one in particular, my cast-iron skillet. Some of my all-time favorite recipes are made in a cast-iron skillet.
I usually consider myself pretty rugged when it comes to the cold—but we could all use a little taste of sunshine in the dreary midwinter. So after a very Vermont winter wedding in January, my husband, Colin, and I decided to honeymoon in Kauai, Hawaii. It was a dream get-away, so much so that the minute we stepped off the plane back in Vermont and felt the frigid 10˚ air, we both looked at each other and thought, “I want my Hawaiian honeymoon back!”
Limit sodium. Ban trans fats. I know, I know. Keeping my heart in healthy form means paying attention to what I eat. And, let’s face it: I’m a nutrition editor, so I obviously like eating healthfully. But what’s with all of the negative talk? Can’t we just focus on what we can eat? What I should eat? Let’s hear something positive for a change.
My husband and I spent 10 days in Italy this past fall. And even though I felt like we were constantly eating and drinking, neither of us gained any weight and we both felt great. That’s because we were living the Mediterranean lifestyle to its fullest extent—we were doing plenty of walking, we were eating a variety of healthy, whole foods and delicious Mediterranean meals—in reasonable portions, of course—and we weren’t stressed out!
I was so excited when I heard about First Lady Michelle Obama’s new campaign to fight childhood obesity, called Let’s Move. As a mom, it’s easy for me to get behind any effort to help our kids be healthier. I know how hard it can be for parents and kids to eat healthfully in a world filled with busy schedules, a proliferation of unhealthy convenient food choices and picky eaters.
My husband and I are members of a year-round CSA (community-supported agriculture, with shares for members). In Vermont. That might leave you scratching your head, wondering what the heck we’re getting from a farm in Vermont in the middle of winter, but it’s a pretty sweet deal. The farmers store a lot of root vegetables and winter squash, plus they put up lots of goodies in the summer for the winter share.
When I read this week that former President Bill Clinton had two stents inserted into a clogged coronary artery, I thought of my own family. I’ve been focused on eating a heart-healthy diet for more than 20 years and I’m only 34. Why? When I was in junior high my dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol and Mom announced we were going to start eating more heart-healthy meals.