Fruitchick1's Blog

06/03/2010

What’s in the freezer?!

Filed under: food storage, kitchen tips, Peaches — fruitchick1 @ 10:44 am

Awhile ago I saw an episode of the “Good Eats” show with Alton Brown that has stuck with me ever since. It featured an appliance instead of a food group or item. He invited folks to consider the freezer like you would a bank: storing valuable items and making good investments that will pay returns later.

Around our house, the freezer is more like the black hole of last resort: “Quick, throw those leftovers in the freezer or we’ll have to throw them out tomorrow”! Usually thought of late at night, the person who can best function at that point gets tasked with tossing the containers into the freezer.

Now, ideally, the leftovers would be nicely packaged, dated and labeled a la Alton’s carefully detailed instructions on proper freezer prep. Well, considering our usual haphazard method of throwing things in there to avoid tossing them, only to be mystified months (and, sigh, sometimes years later), it’s more like a delayed garbage program than Alton’s equivalent of a bank.

I was reminded of the show tonight as I noticed a couple peaches on their last legs. I am currently battling a bug so fresh peaches are not on the menu. (Jello, anyone?) But with that “Good Eats” episode on my mind, I decided “A-ha! I am not wasting these peaches. I am cutting them up and INVESTING in a future smoothie!”

My long-term goal is to remember to keep labels and a marker near the freezer so that everything gets dated. I’ll keep you posted on how that progresses.  I might even go so far as to post a list on the door of what’s in there. In the meantime, I am trying to plan ahead for incorporating the freezer items into meals/snacks etc. The long tradition of playing “Guess what this is”? may be coming to an end!

Do you have a “freezer program” at your house? Would love to hear about it!

Advertisements

05/20/2010

Breakfast for dinner, once again!

Filed under: dinner ideas, Healthy Breakfast, Healthy Snacks, Peaches, Recipes — fruitchick1 @ 3:01 am

 Dinner Dinner, What’s for Dinner?

Does this sound familar? “I don’t wanna make something, but I don’t wanna eat junk either”. It’s 8 PM so I am way too hungry to make something that will take more than 5 minutes, and due to food allergies there isn’t much in the frozen food category I can have.

So I resorted to breakfast for dinner, once again. Two slices of French toast, with diced first-of-the-season White Peaches and a bit of cream cheese, and in about 5 minutes “dinner” was ready!

Ideal dinner? Doubtful, but it’s got to count as an upgrade from how I used to eat French toast,  with butter and drowned in syrup, or from my usual default dinner of cold cereal when I can’t figure anything else out and I’ve waited so long I’m feeling loopy. (OK peanut gallery, loopier than usual!) Plus it’s definitely an upgrade from the “old days” when the cereal of choice was, you guessed it, Fruit Loops!

Now, even in my hunger-induced fog, I always try to figure out how can I make what I pick healthier than “the usual”. (Hence the white peach for sweetness instead of syrup). When I eat cheerios I add dried cherries or fresh nectarine or peach. With peanut butter crackers I’ll have apple juice instead of soda. And so on.

Strict nutritional guidelines to live by? You won’t get those from me. But for encouragement to keep trying to eat more healthfully, nutritious snack suggestions and a hint that sometimes it doesn’t have to be hard-I’m your gal. Just kick up the nutritional content a bit on at least one item, every time you eat something. It doesn’t feel like work, and I know I feel a lot better by doing this. I hope you will too! And if you want help or ideas, please let me know.

Want to do something for dinner with white peaches but NOT French Toast? Check out this recipe from the California fruit growers! “White Peach Margarita Chicken” http://ow.ly/1NpxQ  

Thanks for reading!

03/17/2010

If you are eating veggies, whatever the time of day-keep it up!

Filed under: Healthy Snacks, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — fruitchick1 @ 11:06 pm

Ooh boy, I didn’t realize LinkedIn would be a report card for this blogger…It’s been 49 days since my last post. Yikes! Don’t worry, I HAVE been eating my vegetables. It’s just that after dinner I never feel like “writing!”. And let me tell you, for some reason dinner=vegetables in my brain. How about you?
I’ve had readers suggest V-8 for breakfast, yet honestly I can hardly even talk myself into veggies at lunch.

One thing I have definitely noticed is that despite trying to add veggies in on their own, I am still only drawn to dishes that incorporate a ton of vegetables all at once, such as salsa, soup, and around here, pizza and pasta. I “know” it would be nice to space them out throughout the day, but for me it’s not realistic.

I recently met with a nutritionist because I was worried about my eating patterns (lots of little “snacks” but no real big meals). She said as long as you eat those mini-meals (apple and peanut butter, cheese and fruit, etc) then why put stress in your life trying to change what is working?” I was so relieved to not walk out of there with a whole new plan I had to follow. So I am adapting that mentality to my preferred vegetable consumption habits!

Consider what works for you. Throw veggies in your omelet, baby peeled carrots in your lunch bag, and have a nice salad any time. Snack on celery sticks, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, broccoli florets, you name it.

Me, I’m off to enjoy my St. Patrick’s Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots, all cooked together. Just call me the one-dish wonder!

*As always, before changing or even continuing an eating plan, always check with your doctor if you have any health issues or concerns.

01/27/2010

The “Fruit Chick” Vows to Eat Her Veggies

Filed under: Uncategorized — fruitchick1 @ 5:04 pm

  Wow. Growing up in a produce family, you’d think I’d have learned to love all kinds of produce. Well, I do! I love to look at tv chefs doing amazing things with it. I love to read about it.

I’ve got my fruit consumption levels where they should be and enjoy occasional servings of salsa, veggies on my pizza, and baked potatoes. So I figured I was probably doing OK, but didn’t give it much thought.

 Then I took Dr. Oz’s “Real Age Quiz” and found out that despite the fact that tomorrow is only my 44th birthday, my “Real Age” is 52.2. My body is almost a decade ahead in aging? What a harsh reality check! And much to my chagrin, one of the most detrimental aging factors revealed is my lack of vegetable consumption. (Don’t tell my family, I might get fired or disinherited! or both!)

 So at age 43 and 364 days, I am committing to myself and my readers that I am going to add more veggies to my diet every week! Stay tuned for the Fruit Chick’s Veggie Diary…and you’re invited to take the veggie challenge along with me! And by all means, feel free to share any neat tricks you’ve discovered that help you get more veggies into your days!

08/11/2009

Boost your Vitamin C intake…with potatoes?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — fruitchick1 @ 2:16 pm

A friend of mine asked today “Most of us know that oranges have Vitamin C. What lesser-known merits of fruit do you have to share?”

That is an intriguing question that will likely inspire many posts to come! The first idea that came to mind is sharing unusual or under-appreciated sources of Vitamin C.

While citrus fruits certainly deserve their rep as a good way to get Vitamin C into your diet, Kiwifruit has 2x more than oranges. So if you’d like to add more Vitamin C to your diet but would like a little variety, try a kiwifruit! Easy eating tip: “Cut and scoop”! Slice a kiwi in half width-wise, and then use a small spoon to “scoop” out the fruit, holding each half as if the skin were a cup.

Speaking of Vitamin C, did you know that potatoes contain 45% of the RDA for this vitamin?! I knew that I liked potatoes anyway, but this gives me a whole new appreciation for them. I’m thinking a baked potato with cheese and broccoli for lunch sounds like a good plan!

While I am known as the “Fruit Lady” and/or “Fruit Chick”, I am also trying to be an equal opportunity proponent for both fruits AND veggies. To that end, here are a few more produce items that might not spring to mind when looking for items high in Vitamin C:  Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts (!), Green Cabbage, Radishes, Strawberries, Honeydew Melons and Cantaloupe.

Those are a few nutritional tidbits off the top of my head (and after brushing up on the Vitamin C specifics via idahopotato.com and fruitsandveggiesmorematters.com) Stay tuned for more blog posts that reveal fruit and veggie benefits you might not have heard of  before.

08/06/2009

“Sweet” Summertime

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — fruitchick1 @ 12:51 am

Mmm…sweet watermelon… juice dripping all over the place-yep, feels like summer! This watermelon (tonight’s dessert) was fabulous!! I was too impatient to completely unwrap the ¼ section we got from Peapod. I opened it just enough to start slicing little pieces off the top. Because the heart of the watermelon is just THE BEST!

For those of you with a little more patience, or an interest in tackling a whole watermelon,  the folks at the National Watermelon Promotion Board offer a helpful video on cutting watermelons. I’ve always lived by the attack-it-any-way-you-can method, which involves trying to hold onto the thing and to slice the melon but not my fingers. So far, so good, but not recommended.

And while I usually try to eat a “balanced” dessert or snack, the joy of eating watermelon all by itself is just too good an experience to mess with. (Of course, diabetics and others with any sugar issues should continue to follow their doctor’s orders).

If you have a sweet tooth and like ice-cold desserts, how about trying watermelon instead of ice cream one evening? You’ll get plenty of water (to combat dehydration) and its sweetness will ensure that you won’t feel “cheated”!

And consider this little tidbit from the watermelon board: “Watermelon Is Practically A Multivitamin Unto Itself: A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C”.  Wow. A dessert you can enjoy AND feel good about!

For the watermelon-cutting video and other helpful hints, visit watermelon.org


08/03/2009

The power of addition while snacking

Filed under: Healthy Snacks — Tags: , , — fruitchick1 @ 4:14 am

I hate math. I really hate math. Yet somehow this blog post keeps ending up with math terms, without me planning it. Read on and see if you can get behind my “fruit math”.

“Snack Time”! Twenty years ago that usually meant an entire bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos or a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch. Or, shudder to think, huge spoonfuls of cookie dough batter!

These days, when I get hungry for a snack, I briefly reminisce about the old days, and then shake it off and think: “What healthy snack can I have right now”?

Tonight the answer was: a Forelle pear and cheddar cheese. Believe it or not, I’ve sold Forelles at wholesale for decades but this is the 1st one I ate! It was pretty good, especially with the cheese to complement it.

For another example of how I snack these days, if I wanted cheese and crackers, I’d add dried cherries or apple juice. I guess I think of “rounding out”  (up?) my snacks, as in, “What can I add to this snack to round it out and make it  healthier”?

It’s a lot easier to add things than subtract, a point you’ll see often in my blogs because it’s so simple yet powerful.

No one wants to deny themselves. So I will again reference my wonderful former personal trainer, Mary Concannon, and share her advice to tell yourself, “I can have the (fill-in-the-blank snack) but I’m going to eat (an apple, plum, pear,etc.) FIRST”.

Many times I am full from the fruit, and skip the chips. Other times, believe me, I still eat the chips. BUT I eat less than I would have if I grabbed the bag while hungry!!

Look for more snacking tips in future posts, and feel free to share yours here. Let me know if the fruit math concepts help. Thanks for reading…and Happy Healthy Snacking!

07/30/2009

Filed under: Healthy Breakfast — Tags: , , , — fruitchick1 @ 2:47 am

Considering that my love of fresh produce stems from my family, I think my inaugural blog post is the ideal place to showcase my grandparents motto: “Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, Stay healthy!”

While they both had very little formal education, they instinctively knew what basic principles were important for a healthy and successful life:  proper rest, lots of deep breathing and plenty of good food!

As a teen, my typical breakfast was a bowl of Cheerios or even Frosted Flakes. One memorable morning at their house, I discovered that my routine meal was not allowed on Grammy’s watch! Half a grapefruit, then an egg, then a slice of melon and then I could eat the cereal if I wanted. What a shock to even contemplate that much food in the morning!

While I admit that her rules for the breakfast club did not stick with me (at least I’ve upgraded to Total Raisin Bran), Grammy was definitely onto something: start with a breakfast like that and you have plenty of fuel for the day (and you’ve already gotten 2 servings of fruit before leaving the house!)

Along those lines, I’d like to share a valuable tip my former trainer gave me. Start your day by asking yourself: “what can I ADD to my day that will be healthy for me”? I highly recommend using breakfast as your starting point, because it is so easy to slide a serving of fruit in there, possibly while you’re still half asleep!

Plan on 6 oz. of OJ, or 1/2 a grapefruit, a handful of grapes–whatever suits your tastes and fits in with any special medical or dietary needs. Then, you can feel great because you’ve already gotten one serving in for the day. Off you go to whatever adventures await you, hopefully with a bit more energy than usual. Have a fruitful day!


Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.