Tag Archives: healthy eating plan

Quinoa

6 Sep

Quinoa has the most protein of any grain, and the highest fat content. It’s a great source of vitamins & minerals.  Quinoa is higher in lysine than wheat, and is considered a complete protein. Quinoa is not really a grain; it is a seed belonging to the Goosefoot family. We cook and eat it like a grain, so that’s why it’s known as a grain.
Red or White? White quinoa is most common, red is less common and more expensive. Red quinoa is harder and holds its shape better, and it has a stronger more earthy taste. Some people think it is more nutritious, but as far as I can tell that’s not necessarily so.

Nutrition Data  1 cup cooked quinoa: 185g: 222 cal; 39g carb; 4g fat; 8g protein; 5g fiber; iron 15% DV; Good source of: Vit E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese; estimated glycemic load 18

**Because of its high fat content, quinoa should be stored in the fridge or freezer so it doesn’t go rancid.

To Soak or Not to Soak Quinoa: Quinoa naturally comes with a bitter coating called saponin which must be rinsed off. Most quinoa that you buy in the U.S. has been pre-rinsed and dried, but I usually soak it 5 minutes just in case, to loosen up any residue of saponin, or dust or chaff that remains. Skip soaking if you like, but always rinse quinoa.

Quinoa Cooking Directions:

1. You’ll need a 2 quart pot with a tight fitting lid, and a fine mesh strainer

2. Double the recipe if you want to have leftover quinoa for another meal or two

3. Optional: Soak the quinoa for 5 min in the cooking pot. Soaking helps quinoa to cook evenly, and loosens up any residue of saponin (usually removed in processing), which can give a bitter taste

4. To Rinse: Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water, using a fine mesh strainer at the last.

5. Drain quinoa well in the strainer, transfer to the cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cups water & 1/4 tsp salt if desired. No salt will make quinoa softer and fluffier, a little salt will make it firmer and it may take a couple extra minutes to cook.

6. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer.

7. Cook for 15 minutes.

8. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on.

9. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve 🙂

quinoa2

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Pressure Cooker Directions:

1 cup quinoa to 1 1/4 cups water

1. Rinse quinoa, add to pressure cooker with water and 1/4 tsp salt if desired.

2. Lock lid on high pressure setting. Bring up to pressure, reduce heat to simmer, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.

3. Use natural pressure release

What To Do With Cooked Quinoa:

When I cook quinoa I always make a double batch so I have some left over in the fridge or freezer toquinoa-bb2-150x150 use in other quinoa recipes.

Use the basic quinoa recipe above as a starting point, and substitute quinoa for pasta or rice in almost any meal.

See my favorite Quinoa Recipe, Quinoa & Black Beans HERE

Nutrition 101

5 Sep

What we NOURISH and FUEL our bodies with will not only affect HOW WE LOOK – but HOW WE FEEL, THINK and ACT. It is important and it is WORTH your time to study and learn all you can about nutrition so you know how and what you need to be eat.

BUT conflicting health and nutrition information can be confusing. How do we know which ‘expert’ is right? How do we know which foods and habits are the best for our particular lifestyle, and health status? Honestly, sometimes even when we KNOW what we should eat, it is hard making healthy choices happen in everyday life.

There IS a lot of conflicting, confusing information surrounding what exactly is a healthy eating plan.  A few statements to establish where I stand or don’t stand.

  •  Crash dieting is never the way to go. You need to figure out what is best for your body, within certain healthy boundaries, and make the choice to develop habits that lead to a lifestyle of eating in a way that nourishes your body.

  •  I don’t believe there is one healthy eating plan (Paleo, Vegan, etc) that is the ONLY way and ‘right’ for all people at all times. God created us different and there is no one size fits all eating plan; However, there are some basic guidelines everyone should follow.

  • In our pursuit of health and wellness we need to be careful we don’t get caught up in perfectionism. We know we need to eat as much unprocessed, whole, live foods as possible to be healthy; and we know most of them should be fruits and vegetables; and they should be organic if possible; and they need to be as fresh as possible- shopping everyday or two is best, and ideally they need to be raw or sprouted, or was that fermented… and all of a sudden we are stressed and confused and we are so overwhelmed we are thinking ‘I can never do this I might as well go have a Big Mack’ 😦 DON’T DO THAT!!! It is OK to make small changes where you can, as you can. Canned vegetables are not ideal- but they beat Pop-tarts every time!! Do the best you can for where YOU are, and grow and improve as time goes on.

The BIG magic eating secret to be healthy is:

EAT REAL FOOD– There are specific foods that our bodies actually need, and then there are other foods that are not only ‘not needed’ by the body, they are quit harmful to it. In general, our bodies need foods that come from plants and animals.

Eat mostly Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, &  some whole grains: Now remember what I said about perfectionism- but ideally you want as much raw organic food as possible. WHY RAW? Raw foods have enzymes. Cooked foods do not.

Enzymes are extremely important. Every system, every process, every chemical reaction in our bodies is initiated and carried out by enzymatic activity. There are thousands and thousands of different types of enzymes that function in our bodies.

Alkalize or Die. A second important reason for eating a diet of mainly raw fruits and vegetables has to do with the bodies need for alkalinity. The human body functions best when our blood is slightly alkaline. All foods burn down after digestion into acid or alkaline ash.  Most cooked foods burn to acid in the body and most raw fruits and vegetables burn to alkaline. Acidic conditions are the forerunner of degenerative diseases & leave the body highly susceptible to parasitic activity (reason enough to eat your veggies don’t you think??)

Fiber & Nutrients are another great reason to eat raw.  Fiber: plants have it, animals do not. Fiber is essential for keeping waste products from getting congested in our intestinal track and eventually our livers. This congestion has been considered a leading cause of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Eat lean meats and healthy fats. I believe lean meats and healthy fats have value in most of our diets too. Proteins are made up of amino acids that are absolutely essential to every cell function within our bodies. Complete proteins are high-quality proteins that contain the essential amino acids we need for basic body function. These proteins are more easily absorbed by the body and are found in meats, eggs, fish, and poultry. Quality and quantity are huge when considering protein. It is best to only eat meat that has been raised naturally and humanly, such as free range chickens, grass fed beef & non farm raised fish.

I want to be honest and say: I do personally still eat some processed foods BUT I am working to eliminate them. They definitely make up a very small percentage of my total diet.

There is so much more to consider concerning nutrition. Look for posts coming soon about what fats are good fats, different types of fiber and how our bodies use it, is a grain-free diet the way to go for you? , and many more.

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