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Sunday, November 13, 2011

A fast and healthy meal for diet ready guests!

Do you have some guests this year (or perhaps you) who are on a health kick? Do you need some fast and healthy ideas on meals for diet ready guests? The first thing we want to encourage you to think about is the difference between preparing a meal for a “diet” and a meal that supports and enhances “health”. Diets tend to focus on what your guests “can’t” have or what they are cutting back on, for example calories, fat, sodium, sugar and possibly alcohol.  Focusing on health, on the other hand, involves using whole and real foods rather than boxed or packaged foods so the calories, sodium, sugar, etc. typically takes care of itself.

Here’s an example of what some people may think of for a fast and healthy meal for diet: Low-Sodium Stove Top Stuffing. Because it is advertised as low-sodium, many people would think this would be an ideal meal for diet.  It contains 250 mg of sodium per servings (which is about 10% of your daily value), however check out the ingredient list: Enriched Wheat Flour, High Fructose Corn Syrup (YIKES, THE SECOND INGREDIENT!), Dried Onions, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil (ALSO KNOWN AS TRANS FAT), Cooked Chicken and Chicken Broth, Hydrolyzed Soy and Corn Protein, Celery, Yeast, Soy Flour, Monosodium Glutamate (ALSO KNOWN AS MSG), Whey, Maltodextrin, Dried Parsley, Spice, Sugar (MORE SUGAR?), Caramel Color (ALSO FOUND IN DIET COKE), Turmeric, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Sodium Sulfite, BHA, BHT, Propyl Gallate and Citric Acid (Preservatives). From the standpoint of healthy, these ingredients are VERY far from being healthy! Healthy is far beyond sodium content! What’s the point of being on a diet, losing weight, but not feeling or being healthy?
Oyster Stuffing
Compare the above ingredients to this fast and healthy meal from The Healthy Edge Holiday E-book for Oyster Stuffing. (If you are not a fan of oysters, you can omit them.) Ingredients include sprouted whole grain bread, onions, garlic, celery, sage leaves, organic chicken or vegetable stock, olive oil, oysters and sea salt. THAT’S IT! You can pronounce ALL the words and all of the ingredients are REAL ingredients! 

Another common behavior when preparing a meal for diet ready guests is choosing to use artificial sweeteners to make sugar-free desserts (or buying reduced sugar desserts that already have them in it)! WHOA! Hold on! Again, the term diet and healthy do not equal each other, however people that are “healthy” tend to not have to “diet” because they are fueling their body with real food and avoid overindulgence because they do not experience the uncontrolled eating and binging that goes along with processed food. (If you missed that last sentence, you might want to read it again.) Anyways, back to the artificial sweeteners. Splenda (sucralose) is the most common sweetener used to substitute sugar in recipes and processed foods and Sucralose has been implicated as a possible migraine trigger. Self-reported adverse reactions to Splenda or sucralose collected by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center include skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. No human studies have been done for longer than 6 months to determine the long-term side effects of using this sweetener. Scary!

Raw Apple Pie
In your dash to make a fast and healthy meal for diet ready guests (or yourself), choose whole foods that provide health benefits and are kind to your waistline and find support through recipes that are whole food based. A great dessert with NO ADDED sugar (and no artificial sweeteners) is a Raw Apple Pie Recipe from The Healthy Holiday E-book. This recipe will blow away ALL of your guests whether they are health or diet conscious or not!

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and hope you choose a meal for health and not a meal for diet for your guests!

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