Caryn’s New Year’s Diet

Sneakers on a Pier3 copyI’m starting off the new year with a  diet.   I want to set myself up for success, so I will not make this an all or nothing plan.  I will start with 30 days and if I have a slip up so be it.  Yoni Freedhoff says slip ups happen so I will accept that it will happen and move on. After 30 days I will assess my progress and decide what the next step is.

My diet is about social media.  I don’t think I consume it in a healthy way.  I spend an excessive amount of time on social media.  Since I did not have it growing up, it is a novelty that I cannot get enough of, kind of like junk food for some people.

I long for those days of simplicity with paper and productivity.  I remember fondly writing little notes in class and passing them to my BFF known then as my best friend.  I remember hours of phone conversations instead of endless digital chats.  When I wanted to learn something new, I would get a book on the subject or read an article in a journal.  Now I just scroll through my Facebook feed and click on the many links to learn about stuff I don’t really need to know.

One of the problems has become too much information.  I can’t take it all in. Too much of anything is unhealthy.  Too much food, even good food, is not healthy.  Eat less, is the message top nutrition scientists have been saying for years.  I am going to implement this same advice for social media consumption.

My high school buddy Dr. Tanny is also dieting.  He proposed the idea and it was just the impetus I was looking for to stop the insanity of Facebooking. Partnering up with someone who has the same goals is motivating and fun.  Exercising with someone helps with accountability and reduces the chance of missing  a workout.

We will see how far we get and what positive experiences stem from this approach to reducing the consumption of social media.  Dr. Tanny will wean himself off slowly by ranting on twitter. I will relax on Pinterest for now.

Video

Montreal Dietitian Janna Boloten on Breakfast to go!

http://bit.ly/TAqcTa

Read the story and get the recipes here!

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s

84DE5FFB-AF0F-420A-BB5F-B5C79E404033When I was working in public home care, I used to visit a lot of seniors.  Sadly, many of them had some form of mild to severe dementia.  At one of my home visits, a family member of one of my clients asked me if coconut oil was good for improving the memory of those with Alzheimer’s.  I told them I never heard about that.  I went back to my office and I did a bit of googling and found that there were in fact studies being done on this.  Researchers where looking at the fatty acids in the oil to see of they had any effect.

I met a few other families that had heard about this and were cooking with coconut oil and telling me that it was helping their loved ones.  Who was I to tell them there wasn’t yet enough evidence to confirm that coconut oil improves memory? Many seniors especially those over the age of 80 are at risk for malnutrition as evidenced by weight loss secondary to myriad of issues.

coconuts

Here is a current article written by a dietitian on the Extenso website that confirms that coconut oil is not the cure for Alzheimer’s.  But coconut oil is fat.  Fat has calories.  Calories are needed for weight gain especially for those who need to increase weight to improve health status.  It would be remiss to tell those clients not to try it.

The placebo effect is a beautiful thing.

Addendum: Dr. Joe posted this on October 10, 2013!

 

 

(Featured image taken off madeofmuscle.net)

 

Finally, a perfect salad cuite.

The mysterious Sephardic salade cuite has been reproduced in my kitchen today! I had almost given up on this savoury tomato and pepper salad but I thought I would give it one more chance.

I am very happy that I did. It turned out perfectly and the secret ingredient is patience.

I am posting the recipe here before I forget what I did. I wonder what the Jittery Cook and Norene have to say about this salad.

Caryn’s Salad Cuite Ashkenaz Style

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 2 red peppers whole
  • 2 green peppers whole
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP Paprika
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil

Cook the peppers in the oven or on the BBQ (I used the BBQ because my oven was busy with Apple Cake, Broccoli and Lukshen Kugels) until they are totally black. Let them cool and then peel off the blackened skins. Remove all seeds. Chop them up and set aside.

Heat a TBSP of canola oil and toss in the garlic. Cook for about a minute. Dump the tomatoes in and bring to a boil. Add the sugar.

Toss in the peppers and the rest of the oil into the pot. Now is a good time for the paprika, salt and pepper. Get a good boil going and then turn the heat down, to just below the medium setting.

Here is where the patience comes in. You have to stir the mixture so it doesn’t burn. Do this every 5 minutes or so while the recipe reduces. It took about 2 hours to get to the right consistency.

Let the recipe cool down and then transfer it to a container and store in the fridge. Serve cold.

If you like it spicy add some tabasco sauce or hot pepper flakes along with the other spices.

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Black Bean Brownies

Cooking time: 25 minutes Makes 16 squares

image
Ingredients
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
2 TBSP vanilla extract (the real stuff)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 Tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (if desired)

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put all ingredients in a food processor (except chocolate chips) and mix until smooth
Feed chocolate chips through the top chute with quick on and off pulses
Poor mixture into a well greased 8″ x 8″ pan

Dr. Joe’s Chicken Paprikas

CHICKEN PAPRIKAS

½ cup canola oil
2 chopped onions
5 cloves of minced garlic
2 green peppers
3 tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons paprika
15 pieces chicken with skin taken off (legs and/or thighs)
½ cup water

DIRECTIONS

Saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent.
Add chicken and stir. Add chopped peppers, tomatoes,
salt, pepper and paprika. Stir. Add ½ cup water. Stir.
Cook 45 minutes on low heat. Place on bed of rice, dress
with parsley.

chicken-paprikash

Dr. Joe’s Goulash Recipe

GOULASH with tofu and hungarian paprika

Place enough canola oil in a 2 liter saucepan to just cover the bottom.

When the oil is hot, add two chopped onions and sauté until the onions are light brown and translucent.

Add two cubed tomatoes, a cup of cut green beans and three chopped peppers of different colors. Green, yellow and red are ideal.

Add 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic and a teaspoon of salt. Stir well.

Add 2 tablespoons of Hungarian paprika and stir well.

Peel about 10 red potatoes and cut them into approximately 2 cm cubes. Add these to the pot along with a cup of water. Stir well.

When the potatoes are starting to get a little soft, add two cups of mushrooms. Stir.

The goulash is done when the potatoes are soft, roughly five minutes after adding the mushrooms. At this point you can add more salt, depending on taste. A little black pepper may also be added.

In a separate pan, sauté some onions and garlic in a little canola oil. Take a one pound package of hard tofu and cut it into little cubes. Sauté tofu in the onion-garlic mix until the tofu starts to get a little brown. Sprinkle with paprika and keep cooking. Add a chopped red and a chopped yellow pepper. The tofu is done when the peppers get soft.

Place the goulash in a serving dish, and add the tofu mix to the top. Sprinkle liberally with fresh chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

(If you are the kind of person who likes to walk a little on the wild side, add a spoonful of sour cream. Even with this, the goulash will be low in fat. Your taste buds will thank you.)

Goulash soup