Deli meat: Packaged or fresh?

I do not often visit my supermarket’s deli counter.

One time I asked for lamb shoulder, and the butcher looked at me like I was nuts. Apparently, lamb was out of season?

Whatev.

I usually just shop the meat sections and grab the usual: ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, pork chops and veal (if it’s on sale). I only buy frozen fish: salmon and tilapia.

I did not, however, realize that the supermarket deli sold sliced meat for sandwiches. I avoid packaged sliced deli meat unless it’s on sale. Not just because I don’t want to pay full price, but also because I don’t actually like deli meat that much. It’s so salty.

But if I can get fresh sliced deli meat from a butcher?

Um. Yes.

According to Recipe.com, the only instance you should visit the deli counter is when you only need a few slices of a product.

And, really, packaged deli meats come in 8- and 16-ounce portions. Husband and I do not eat that many sandwiches.

The next time I decide to make Italian Turkey Sandwiches, I’ll get my sliced turkey (and pastrami for Husband) from the deli counter.

The best food for runners: Eggs!

Husband recently discovered the deliciousness of runny egg yolks.

I swear he’s behind on the times. I’ve known runny egg yolks were delicious since the beginning of time.

Not only are runny egg yolks amazing, especially on toast or bagels and YUM, but egg yolks are also good for you!

Seriously!

Luckily, they (whoever they are) changed the rules about eggs.

In fact, because of the easy-absorbing egg protein, the egg is one of the best foods for runners.

According to Runner’s World, eggs are good for losing weight, protecting your heart, fighting inflammation, maintaining bone strength and maintaining vision.

Sounds good to me!

Since February 17, when I received my comprehensive exam questions, I have gained four pounds. I plan to eat eggs every morning to improve weight loss and protein-muscle repair, and, of course, to enjoy eggs. (I also plan to go to the gym again… after comps.)

Plus, my heart is under constant stress. I am such a paranoid hypochondriac hot mess that I’m surprised the poor thing just hasn’t quit on me. Keep goin’, baby! I will feed you egg!

I’m already blind as a bat so I doubt eggs will really help me vision. I already eat tons of carrots! (Or are those just good for eye health?)

Husband and I have eaten commercial and cage-free eggs and found the taste is about the same. As it turns out, the nutritional value is the same, too. When I can, I’ll buy cage-free because it’s good for the chickens, but no way until I can afford that extra $1.20. (I know. It’s only $1.20.)

The article on Runner’s World features four recipes, but I only liked the sound of the 20-minute skillet dinner. I love eggs and greens, and tomatoes make my soul happy. I think I’ll have to make some tomato soup soon…

What’s your favorite egg dishI made a frittata once, and it was amazing. Like an egg cake!

Unhealthy health food

Occasionally, I eat a Larabar for a midday snack, especially if I’m on the run or planning an evening workout.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my favorite Larabar, which contains 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 11 grams of fat. It is 220 calories (and it. is. del. icio. us.). The Apple Pie or Banana Nut Larabars are probably better for me, but I cannot get enough of that cookie dough.

I like Larabars because they’re made from all-natural ingredients that I can pronounce. I do not eat Larabars because I think they’ll help me lose weight.

However, Larabars are one of the six healthy-sounding foods that aren’t really healthy. According to EatingWell, energy bars, like the Larabar, are about as healthy as a Snickers.

I disagree.

Snickers do not have fruit. Snickers do not contain only ingredients I can pronounce. Snickers are way worse for your teeth.

Larabars win.

Granola is also a non-healthy health food because it’s loaded with sugar, which is probably contributing in part to my weight loss plateau. (Note: I am never giving up granola. I put less than a 1/4 cup in my Greek yogurt every day. I love it. Screw the facts.)

And guess what! Yogurt, even Greek yogurt, is a non-healthy health food.

Figures.

Whatever. I get lots of calcium.

Salads, smoothies and sushi rolls made the EatingWell list, too. It never crossed my mind that sushi would be healthy except for the fact that I get omega-3 fatty acids from the fish.

Here is how I make my non-healthy health foods healthy again.

  • I do not load my yogurt and smoothies with sugar.
  • I do not cover my salad in salad dressing.
  • I do not eat refined carbohydrates and sugar on a regular basis.
Tada. Have a Larabar. Eat some granola and yogurt. Have a salad.

A palate of green: Soups and smoothies for the spring

When I was young, spring began in March.

At the beginning of March, my grandfather would start preparing his gardens for vegetables and flowers. I cannot wait for the sun-warmed tomatoes!

Homegrown in Home Garden skinnyshae grandfather

The first purple flowers of phlox began to bloom, and the song birds came back to bathe in the bird bath in the back yard.

Last Sunday, I visited my grandparents, and Papa plucked the first phlox flower of spring for my grandmother. The flowers are about the size of a nickel so it was a sweet gesture more than a romantic one.

Plus, they’re in their 70’s. Anything lovey-dovey is cute. (No disrespect.)

Papa also pointed out the Cardinals and Robins bathing in the pool of water that had collected after some wintry ice melted.

Flowers, birds and so much green. I love spring, and I’m glad it is finally spring in Kansas.

…well, as spring as Kansas can get… It sleeted-snowed last Thursday.

I crave greenery and outside during spring, especially since I know the summer will kill me (and all the flowers) with its stupid hotness.

I also crave green eats (and if I’m at a picnic… Holy cow! I’ll be a happy camper.) Fresh, crunchy salads are my favorite go-to lunch during the spring. It just feels right to be eating spinach in the spring.

Of course, green salad after green salad after green salad can get a little boring. What do we do when we’re bored? Eat French fries… or maybe that’s just me.

I am going to switch up my green routine this spring by adding in sweet smoothies and savory soups.

Last December, Lisa and Maria of Healthy Diaries posted the “12 Days of Green Smoothies” for the “12 Days of Christmas.” The Gingerbread Cookie Smoothie made me think of Christmas, but the green-ness of the smoothies just screamed spring! I’m excited to feed Husband the green Peanut Butter Fudge Smoothie. His favorite flavor but probably not his favorite smoothie color.

Another option I plan on trying is the Green Monster Smoothie from My Little Celebration!

Spring evenings can get a little chilly, and a warm bowl of soup feels good when the house is drafty regardless of the season. I found vibrant green soups at EatingWell, and I want to make the Spinach Soup with Rosemary Croutons for my chilly March evenings.

Green season! Green salads, smoothies and soups!

I’m so happy it is time for spring!

Dangerous Detox: Your body on fruit juice

There are two forms of dieting that I do not promote: fasting and detox.

In fact, I hate them, and when friends tell me they’re fasting or detoxing, I vehemently express my disgust.

Detoxification is the body’s way of cleaning out toxins. Detox, in my opinion, is meant for alcoholics and drug addicts. In those situations, detox is an important step toward recovery. However, for dieters and people who are extremely active, fasting and detox can damage the body.

According to Cathy Wong, licensed naturopathic doctor and American College of Nutrition certified nutrition specialist, detox diets minimize the amount of chemicals eaten, emphasize foods with vitamins and minerals and contain high-fiber, water-based foods.

So… juice.

The worst program I have seen is the lemonade diet, which include drinking 60 ounces of spring water, 12 tablespoons of organic maple syrup, 12 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice and half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper a day. The diet lasts 4-5 days or two weeks.

Ugh.

Why detox when you can just eat healthy food? Have you tried a detox diet or cleanse? Tell me about it.

Microwaves (do not) ruin all food

Microwaves ruin everything. Here’s proof.

When I use a microwave, I am reheating my coffee in the morning or steaming vegetables for a quick meal.

Otherwise, I really hate what microwaves do to food. Microwaves even ruin popcorn!

However, according to EatingWell, microwaves are good for these seven things:

  • Microwaves are good for cooking fish, which is good news for me because I tend to overcook on the stove and undercook in the oven. (I don’t know how I do it either.)
  • Microwaves sanitize kitchen sponges. I don’t have sponges, I have scrubber-brushes and I wash those in the dishwasher.
  • Microwaves are good for making potato chips. It’s just too bad potato chips are bad for you…
  •  Microwaves steam vegetables!
  • Microwaves soften brown sugar. When I made Monkey Bread, I had hard brown sugar and had to beat it to death to get it to soften. Well, now I learned something.
  • Microwaves cook bacon. My grandparents have cooked bacon in the microwave for as long as I can remember, but I don’t think I can get Husband on board with this one. We’ve also switched permanently to turkey bacon.
  • Microwaves act as a proofer. Also would have been good to know in the Monkey Bread situation…

I associated microwave cooking with TV dinners, which is my least favorite form of cooking and my least favorite form of food. (Pssst! I’m a fan of real food.)

I suppose I can put my microwave to use for the brown sugar, and I will continue to use it to steam vegetables, but I’m not putting fish in there. I’ll figure out the stove top first.

Confession Time: The weekend binge

Ugh. Here goes.

Beer.

Chicken wings.

Another beer.

Ice cream. Cheesecake ice cream.

On Saturday night, Husband and I met up with a bunch of my friends from when I worked as a bartender and went to a hockey game. The Thunder slaughtered the Oilers. The last three goals were so awesome.

We binged on beer, chicken wings and ice cream after the game. And by “binge” I mean I had two (not light) beers, eight or nine chicken wings and a 1/3 cup of ice cream.

(Before the game I had done nothing but eat all day so I was pretty full up before the binging, but the added binging did not help.)

I am re-committing to my resolutions on Monday.

Commitment five.

*hand slap*