Did you know that your body may be in need of water when you are craving food? The need for water and hydration may be disguised as a craving for food, especially sweets. Next time you feel a snack attack coming on try drinking a glass of water and wait a few minutes. It may just crush it.
Here’s another tip from Tim Skwiat, Head Nutrition Coach, BioTrust Nutrition:
“You may have heard that most fruits and veggies are better consumed raw instead of cooked, as cooking can reduce their vitamin and mineral content. While this is true in many cases, it’s the exact opposite with tomatoes. You see, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient with many positive health benefits. Unlike other veggies, cooking actually increases concentrations of lycopene in tomatoes, so enjoy tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes, and other cooked dishes with tomatoes more often!”
According to Tim Skwiat, Head Nutrition Coach at BioTrust Nutrition:
“Did you know that it’s not just the foods you eat, but actually the way you EAT them that matters when it comes to maximum fat-burning?”
“For example, if you are eating pre-sliced strawberries, the fat-burning vitamin content of these sweet treats can be compromised due to prolonged exposure to oxygen. Instead, when eating strawberries, it’s best to eat them whole (who doesn’t love biting into a juicy strawberry?), or at least wait until you are ready to eat to slice and dice them up. One thing you DON’T want to do is slice them and then store them, consuming them over time, as this will surely reduce the fat-burning power of the great strawberry.”
Did you know that Cilantro is packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants? According to Issue #22 of Inspire Health, “it is a great source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium and manganese. Cilantro is rich in antioxidants that are effective at fighting free radicals. ”
Parsley: “high in Vitamin C and A”
Oregano and Thyme: “Fiber dense”
Basil: “Vitamin A”
Chives: “Folic Acid”
When deciding on fresh or dried herbs: “using fresh spring herbs rather than dried or processed seasonings is a simple way to add nutrient density to daily meals.” “Consumption of fresh spring herbs has health benefits far beyond simply adding flavor to food.”
The first time I cooked venison I swore I would never cook it again. It smelled bad and tasted bad. But, living with a family of hunters I decided to investigate how to better prepare the meat before cooking. Now, venison is my preferred meat.
First, in order to remove the wild game taste the meat should be drained of blood. How do you do that? I have found 2 effective ways:
For a quick turn around: cover defrosted meat with milk and set in refrigerator overnight. Drain milk that will now look pink, rinse with water and cook as desired.
Let covered meat sit in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Drain blood, rinse with water and cook. (If meat is frozen it can sit in fridge up to 5 days. If meat is not frozen reduce sit time to 2 or 3 days.)
Food cooks more evenly at room temperature. You will find that more blood will come out when you let it get to room temperature (Up to 30 minutes). Drain the blood and cook. Always take precautions when letting meat get to room temperature.
Never refrigerate room temperature meat without cooking it first. Once it is out and at room temperature it should be cooked.
Always keep meat covered.
Clean any cookware and/or cooking utensils with hot soapy water after using on raw meat.
Never use the same utensils from meat to other food before washing.
Always wipe counter tops down with antibacterial cleaners if raw meat or blood touches it.
One of my favorite venison recipes from Tony Chachere’s Cajun Country Cookbook. Venison Parmesan Copy & paste web address into your browser to view recipe.
According to Mark Ettinger, M.D., of BioTrust Nutrition:
“Avocados are one of the best flab-fighting fats, but it’s unlikely that you’ll eat an entire avocado in one sitting. So how do you keep that leftover avocado from turning brown?”
“Well, first let’s talk about why avocados turn brown. Like apples or potatoes, they oxidize when exposed to air. Once you cut into an avocado, you’ll never be able to completely stop the oxidation process, but you can dramatically slow it with a few quick tips and tricks:”
1. “Cut the avocado with a ceramic or plastic knife. Metal actually accelerates the oxidation process.”
2. “Try lemon or lime juice. Citric acid is a powerful antioxidant; rub a little juice around the exposed flesh and you’ll significantly delay the browning effect.”
3. “No lemon or lime? Use oil. Oil is another great buffer to oxygen. Use in place of lemon or lime juice when you don’t have any handy.”
4. “Store as air-tight as possible. Again, avocados turn brown due to oxidation and exposure to air, so storing in an air-tight container only makes sense.”
5. “Water. Huh? That’s right! This one works exceptionally well for guacamole. Place your leftover guac in a plastic container and press down to remove any air pockets. Add a half inch of water on top and seal with an air-tight lid. The water creates a barrier between the avocado and the air, keeping your guacamole fresh and 100% green for 24 hours or more! When ready to eat some more, just drain the excess water and enjoy. Works like a charm!”
If you ever find yourself in Sault St. Marie, Michigan you should stop in at a local restaurant grill and bar called “Wicked Sister”. The name caught my attention but after 2 people recommended this establishment for their food I decided to give it a try.
To my delight, the food lived up to its local reputation so I visited their website for their story. Much to my surprise, they offer daily kitchen tours. Wow, they are confident! What a concept? My biggest concerns with eating out:
How clean is the kitchen
How fresh is the food?
Do they have healthy options?
How clean are the bathrooms?
Their story, straight from the website:
Located at 716 Ashmun St., The Wicked Sister opened January 6, 2015, and is a family owned business proudly serving quality ingredients and made-from-scratch items. John Graham bid on the former Gin Mill at auction in early 2014, and desiring to leave a legacy to his family, helped his three daughters, Jeanne McCulligh, Nancy Rose, and Laurie Jarvie, purchase the bar.
The building was extensively renovated, including the addition of a full kitchen. New lighting, tables, and custom-built bar top are probably the most noticeable changes when a customer walks into The Wicked Sister. Many have asked where the family came up with the name. “It was a random thought tossed out there in the beginning months, but since it was a joke at [the ladies] expense, it wasn’t too well received. But it must have grown on them over a few months because, by August, we had our name,” says Cathy Howell, general manager of The Wicked Sister and daughter/niece to the owners. The question that always follows is, “So who is the ‘wicked sister’?” The husbands are quick to reply that the answer to that question changes daily.
The food that comes out of the kitchen
The Wicked Sister’s menu is dominated by homemade and specialty items. “I’m really proud of the food that comes out of the kitchen. We were really choosy about the ingredients and sought out the best we could get while still keeping our food affordable. For example, our chicken breast comes in fresh, and is hormone and antibiotic free.” The bar-restaurant is also taking steps to minimize its impact on the environment by recycling, and later this spring will work with a local gardener to test out a composting program. And the current menu is just the beginning according to Cathy. “We had to keep it simple to start. I wanted to make sure that what we served, we did very well, even if that was only a handful of items. As our staff becomes more comfortable with the menu, we are definitely going to expand and bring in new ideas.”
The food coming out of the kitchen is not the only reason to check out The Wicked Sister. The bar menu has over 40 beers, many of which are craft beers brewed in Michigan. Custom cocktails have been big business for The Wicked Sister, too. With a drink list featuring a bacon Bloody Mary and cocktails rimmed in sprinkles, patrons are able to get drinks that match the quality and uniqueness of the food. “This has been an amazing experience and working so closely with my family is something I didn’t think I’d ever had the opportunity to do. The positive feedback from customers has been outstanding and rewarding. But, perhaps my favorite part of this entire process was being able to take a building that was essentially a blight on the community and turn it into a spot where everyone wants to come to hang out. As someone who is raising a family in the Sault, and has deep ties to the community that is huge for me,” says Cathy.