50 Healthiest Foods for Women. The 31 Healthiest Foods of all Time. 5 Foods You Should be Eating for Your Best Body. These are just a few links to articles you can find in magazines, on the web and on tv shows. The lists almost always contain the same foods and talk about the health benefits of eating these items. The problem I have with all this information is they never tell you how you are supposed to incorporate all the foods into your daily diet. Or if you are even supposed to eat these foods every day to gain the benefits. Or they do not talk about the amount you need of each food to glean the nutrients and vitamins from them. It is enough to make me scratch my head and stare at the screen with a look of confusion.
A few weeks ago I was watching an early morning news show and they were talking about the bad effects of drinking too much coffee. They went through the whole story and not once mentioned exactly how much is too much. When he said 4+ cups I yelled at the screen because I didn’t know if he meant an actual cup (8 oz) or he was using the term like I would say “have a cup of coffee” and then serve you a mug (more than 8 ounces). Thanks for the confusion!
I feel the same when I see the studies about healthy foods. Eat blueberries for the antioxidants! Eat more broccoli to decrease your risk of cancer! Eat whole grains to help your heart! Sounds great! Now, should I be having broccoli with blueberry sauce served over brown rice every day? If I only eat the broccoli once a week will I get cancer anyway?
I guess the take away on all this is to use common sense. There is so much information at our finger tips that I find it can be overwhelming! The same goes for exercises. Try cross fit! Do intervals! Take Zumba classes! Pilates is the best way to work out! The upshot is you have to listen to your body and use your best judgment. We all know when we are eating good-for-you foods and when we are indulging in treats. We know when we have gotten a work out in and when we have been a bit lazy. So I read the lists of the best foods and pat myself on the back when I realize I have most of them in my pantry. Then I continue to eat them as I go through my week. They are part of my diet and that is what I feel is important. I also get my workouts in and try to stay active.
And if anyone has a good blueberry broccoli recipe, let me know!
I had a request from someone for a recipe that uses beans but in a way that you do not “see” the beans. She wants to get her children to eat more beans and they don’t want to eat beans! I remembered this recipe that I have made often and love. Cannellini (or Great Northern) beans are pureed to create a yummy, cream-like pasta sauce. I will give you the recipe exactly as it is written, but remember you can use whatever kind of pasta you like (I think short styles work best with this) and use whatever vegetables you like (broccoli would be great!). The recipe makes four servings and can be on the table in 20 minutes!
Cheese Tortellini with Cannellini Bean Sauce
9 ounce package of refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
15 ounce can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup milk (soy works fine)
1 cup red, yellow, and/or sweet green pepper cut into slivers
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and return to pan and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, put beans and milk in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a large skillet. Stir in peppers, parmesan, oregano, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.
Arrange pasta on a serving platter or on individual plates. Spoon sauce over. You can top with more parmesan or a sprinkle of more oregano.