Friday, February 19, 2010

Eating Healthy With Soup Makes for A Warm Heart and Hearth

As we move into another wintry weekend it is good to continue to keep the home warm and healthy. Cleaning is best when stepped up to super disinfecting everything. With cold and flu germs spreading rapidly, at least our home can be set up as a barrier. And if already invaded we can still prevent recurring episodes. Keeping a disinfectant in the bathroom is a must.

While the cleaning is happening it is a good time to get out the crock pot. Just this week I made my friend Linda's Crock Pot Potato Soup and it was a hit. It was easy to prepare and I did not have to constantly tend the crock pot. It is chock full of healthy ingredients, fortifying our never ending need for iron and all other good vitamins and minerals. 

As I was looking over my bookmarks in Google I found this one for Healthy Eating Made Easy I think it came from my friend Wendy's blog Gluten Free Greenie. Whether or not you eat gluten-free this blog has great reviews for products personally tested by Wendy. She also shares healthy recipes. 

This would not be complete without a mention of my sister's recipes pulled from the archives of her hearth. She makes the most wonderful soups and keeps me well stocked with her own cheese soup. She also makes these "Buckets of Love" soups for people who are sick or needing help with feeding extra guests. 

This cookbook Enlightened Soups comes with rave reviews. Putting on my wish list. ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rosemary Bread Goes Well With Crock Pot Potato Soup MMM Good

I made this delicious Crock Pot Potato Soup (click here) from my friend Linda's recipes and it came out really well. We sprinkled cheddar cheese on top. I used rosemary and garlic instead of dill and parsley. Thanks Linda! 

To go with the soup my daughter made a delicious rosemary bread. It was her first yeast bread recipe. It wasn't heavy on fat and very hearty with the soup. I would add some sunflower nuts in the future. Click here for the recipe for Rosemary Bread. We used pretty good restraint on eating too much. It wasn't easy as this meal was very tasty.

I am contemplating trying Mama Leone's Rosemary Basil Bread mix. Will let you know if I do.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Firsts...Chicken Chili - Soup Good for The Soul and Easy on the Tummy

Chicken Chili  I posted my first recipe to SparkPeople. It is a wonderful resource website which is truly free! It was started in 2001 and here is a little SparkPeople History. I have been a member for a long time and it is a great support and very informative site. There are SparkPeople teams for everybody. I am a regular visitor and occasional commenter. I read a lot. So thought I would share that I made a big step by posting my own recipe. Hope you enjoy it! It is healthy and of course Soup is Good for The Soul!

Chicken Chili

  • Ingredients

    2 Chicken breasts, diced with bone and skin removed - or - canned, diced chicken  

    4 Cups Swanson, Natural Goodness Chicken Broth 1 Cup Chopped, sweet onion or dried onion flakes to equal

    1 15 oz. Can Pregresso Cannellini (white kidney) beans  

    1 16 oz. Can Bush Garbanzo or Chick peas  

    1 10 oz. Can Mild Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilis  

    2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin  

    2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder 

Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook for three hours.

Makes about 8 servings

Great with a little grated cheddar and jack cheese and tortilla chips.

This is a lightly spiced soup which can be enhanced to tastes.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 243.8
  • Total Fat: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 34.2 mg
  • Sodium: 924.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 32.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8.6 g
  • Protein: 25.5 g 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Type II Diabetes - Arm Yourself for The Battle and Go for The Win

Winning a war which has been around for centuries seems pretty overwhelming. This is how many of us who have been diagnosed with diabetes feel. Overwhelmed. If you let it overwhelm you, it is going to happen. For me, that is how I have felt ever since I was diagnosed about two years ago. Fortunately, I have not felt overwhelmed as much on the forefront, mostly in the underlying current.

Underlying currents are deep and can pull you down. When we see others who have been pulled down and suffered greatly, this takes a toll on our nerves. I know that whenever I get a burning, sore right foot I am fearful of amputation. Then there is the number game with blood sugar readings going up and down. Sometimes it feels like you are playing one of those mole whacking games in an arcade. Only thing is...this arcade is our life.

So what are choices? Play mole whacker? Give up? Take action? I'll take "take action" for $1 million Alex. That is correct! Although you can't put a price on health, it is definitely worth more than a cool million to beat diabetes.

Define "beat" diabetes...Well, now that just means to get it under control. Wars all have fronts. I think that the best front for diabetes is one equipped with heavy artillery.

Ways to meet this challenge:

    * Check blood sugar daily, follow guidelines from your doctor. I use an Accu-Chek Aviva meter and love it. I am pleased with the customer service. They aren't paying me to say this. I just like to say what I like. It does not require cleaning, other than wiping it off, because the metallic sensors are in contact with the meter, instead of blood.

    * Keep all medical appointments and contact the doctor if there are abnormal readings on a consistent basis. Write down all medications, records of readings and take to the doctor. I keep a list of all medications, the strengths, dosages and what they are for. This stays in my purse. If am emergency, it is all there. I also have on the same paper all diagnoses.

    * Medication must be taken as prescribed. Otherwise, well you know, you will become very sick. Taking meds is not a sign of weakness. It is a way of taking a stronghold on diabetes.

    * Eat all meals as recommended. I have started a special Type II diabetes plan, and am in week one. I am keeping track of recipes which I favor. Also I'm trying to create new dishes. I will let you know when I have a good one.

    * Exercise as tolerated. Not everybody is going to be an Olympic champion. I have other medical issues which keep me off my feet. This is not a problem. I just chair exercise and do lots of stretches. Water exercise is also great, as you can use those foam supports.

    * Stimulate the brain. The internet can be great for social networking but getting out and socializing helps. Playing board games with family and friends, cards, puzzles, and other brain stimulators keep the cognitive juices cooking. Reading, writing, working with numbers, mentoring others all help. Let creativity flow. Artists and craft enthusiasts benefit from the release which comes with creation.

    * Emotional support is vital for proper diabetes care. When the emotions are elevated to a negative stress level, blood sugar reacts. Counseling, stress management, healthy outlets such as watching funny or sad movies, all help. 

    * Spiritual supports such as prayer, meditation, worship, inspirational reading-all help to refresh our minds and touch our souls.

So there you have it. Record, Refresh, Release, Regroup, all play a part in managing diabetes.

Be good to yourself.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Soup is Good for The Soul and The Waistline

Several years ago we used to have a huge garden. We canned all sorts of things, especially since we found a great deal on a pressure canner. Home canning benefits are that you can take vegetables in their raw form and preserve their nutritional value. 
One year was an especially tough year, financially. We decided to take what we had in food storage and make it work. As we tended to put on winter weight, we decided to try eating soup on a regular basis. The crock put became our best friend. Rather than boiling vegetables too hard, we put them all in the crock pot and let them cook slowly. Little did I know that this was the healthy way to make soup. Stock was made from whatever meat was on hand. Many times we just counted on the vegetables for stock.  
Aroma from the simmering soup would catch our noses and stomachs. By the time soup was ready, so were we. I learned how to make homemade croutons. They were wonderful to sprinkle on top. Made with whole wheat bread, stored in the freezer, garlic and other tasty sprinkles such as cheese, the croutons were a success. Much to our palates delight, we were well fed with tasty and healthy soup. 
Weight control was phenomenal that winter. While he stayed the same as his before winter weight, I actually lost. Both of us benefited from this experience. Until weather turned to full spring, we stayed on the soup regimen. Creativity blossomed, as different recipe experiments were tried. Nothing was recorded, regrettably so.  
What I learned was that by getting to the base of nature by using food to the fullest extent, there was the enrichment of the soul. My mind was clearer I was able to focus on more spiritual aspects of my life. I also was a more productive person. My body was healthier than it had been, as I have had to battle the bulge since my teen aged life. And I was able to share with neighbors who could not get out as easily. Soup became the way of touching the innermost goodness in me. And that always feels good. 

Today, I do not have a garden but I still love fresh vegetables. After years of learning and experiencing the benefits, my vote is for freshness. Even picky eaters will sometimes eat vegetables in soup form. In vegetable stock, it is almost impossible to detect which vegetables are in there. As we are all feeling the abundance of holiday goodies, soup is going to start entering the menu more often. Time to get the crock pot out and fill it with plenty of natures bounty, to delight the soul. Aah soup, wonderful soup!

Type II Diabetes - Time to Take it On!

As a person who has Type II Diabetes I have to face the facts. When I checked my blood sugar this morning it was 163, which is 23 points above the high normal of 140. Most doctors are now placing the high number at 130. Reality is that I can no longer manage this simply. It must be managed head on. Otherwise, I am going to have other health problems which are irreversible. This is not going to happen. Although there are those who have diabetes and follow their plan and still have long term health problems, I know that by addressing the problem I can be part of the solution.

In some ways, I am blessed to have diabetes. It has helped me to take a look at my over-all health. I have made some small changes, but they do add up. I have a couple of links here from Dr. Weil and from the American Diabetes Association. Everybody is different and not everything here is going to fit completely.

If you or a loved one have diabetes, I invite you to take a look at the links. I am always here if you ever need a comrade in this battle. 

Peace, Lisa

Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-Care for Optimum HealthAmerican Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes