Friday, September 16, 2011

UnDiet...Week 34

I think it is time for another measure up post, don't you? Let's talk protein. The stuff of nutrition myth and legend, every health professional has an opinion on protein. We eat too much, we don't eat enough. No animal protein...nothing is better for you than animal protein! 

Let's set the record straight on just one meaty issue: portion size. Rummage through your junk drawer to find a deck of cards. Got 'em? Good. Take a good hard look at that deck and imagine it is a piece of chicken. There is your serving size. If the deck starts clucking at you, put it down. Walk away. Consult a physician.

Before you pale at the thought of starving on such scarce flesh, remember this: whether you are a vegetarian or a meatatarian, veggies and grains should be the centrepiece of your dish. They provide the fibre, the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Protein is a compliment to these nutrients. Getting enough protein helps support stable blood sugars and a strong immune system. Even the average North American vegetarian gets more protein than they need (us poor vegetarians...where could we possibly be getting all that protein?).

So this week, instead of slapping a huge hunk of meat on your plate, serve yourself a smaller portion. Or "extend" meat the old fashioned way: add slivers of chicken to your stirfry, combine grass fed beef with lentils, veggies and breadcrumbs into a meatloaf or add some lentils to a soup or stew. Be sure to get a good source of protein at every meal...just don't gorge yourself on it!

And while you're at it...try and eat more veggie protein too. It comes loaded with fibre and we all need more roughage. Go hug a lentil, already.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Eat, Drink and Be Happy! Feast of Fields

Beyond this geek heaven.

This Sunday, my husband and I went to our first Feast of Fields. Where on earth have we been, you ask? Out of town! Literally every year for the last four on the weekend FoF has taken place. So this year, we were so excited to finally be around to bask in the sun and eat and drink the best that BC has to offer. And yes, it made me happy. Very happy. 

The lovely Antonio Cerullo dishing out organic tomato and natural pastures bocconcini skewers.
Feast of fields is literally just that; volunteers hand you a wine glass and a napkin and you stroll through the field, stopping at tents, sampling gorgeous food and drink. You could spot the FoF veterans as they came bearing their own cocktail plates with the handy wine glass hanger so they could eat and drink without juggling the spoils. The sun was blazingly hot on Sunday so I have to admit I did not sample as much drink as I might have liked lest I disintegrate into a bumbling, dehydrated mess. FoF was full of people I work with; not a great idea to start slurring your words in such company!

Smart people with their sun hats. I was not smart.
Feast of Fields is the signature fundraiser for Farm Folk City Folk, a wonderful organization that promotes local agriculture and strives to bring together farm folk and city folk to get people talking, collaborating and working towards a more sustainable food system. 

This really says it best.
Some of my favourites at the Feast included Summerhill Organic Wines....

And the delicious caramel apple tarts from Cocolico. The tomato chips with creme fraiche from Bishops were divine as was the ceviche from my husband tells me!

A little bit of food...a little bit of drink...and keep on walking....

T Tea Company...LOVED the iced teas!

The lovely ladies from Krause Berry Farms, today's host, were grilling up fresh corn. In a land of little nibbles, the corn, drug through a large dish of butter was about as perfect as you could get.

The Vancouver Club brought these delicious ginger snap ice cream sandwiches....

Victoria spirits was there with their delightful gin, straight and in a refreshing muddled cucumber cocktail. And Terra Breads had some gorgeous local food pizzas.

More, please!

But for me, the hands down winner of the day was The Pointe at the Wickininnish Inn from Tofino...

Because THIS is what they brought with them....

 It was so delicious, that I had to have seconds....They managed to make a sweet thing savoury and complex. I was hooked. So now I will just sit back and dream of next year's feast. I might have to try and make it to two. My friend Lori was there filming her Good For You, Good For the Earth show. Be sure to tune in to see more from FoF.

Go Be Happy,

Friday, September 2, 2011

UnDiet...Week 32

Stressed? Just gaze at this sunset and take a deep breath.

Hello UnDieters!

I hope you all enjoy this last blissful weekend of summer. Get outside and hike, bike, walk, swim and run. Pack a picnic and lounge at the park or grab a book and sit on your deck and ponder life. Next week, it is back to traffic, busy schedules and (perhaps) stress. 

Do you know what is the perfect antidote for a stressful life? Good clean living! When we get stressed out, the first thing many of us do is to stop exercising, start eating "comfort" food and then we end up even more lethargic and energy deprived. However tough it is to keep up with our self care, it is even more vital the crazier life gets because eating well and exercising builds our body's resilience and helps us cope with a stressful stretch. 

This week, we should all help make sticking to our eating plans easier. Take a lazy morning to plan out a couple of go-to healthy meals. Then saunter over to the grocery store, grab your supplies and after the sun goes down, have a glass of wine and make a few big batches of food to carry you through the week. This way, when life is crazy, trying to eat well doesn't have to be. 

Some great ideas for big batch cooking to make the week easier:

- Make and freeze some whole grain muffins, with lots of fruit, nuts and seeds for breakfast on the go.
-Make a batch of steel cut oats Monday night and portion out for the week with some dried fruit and hemp seeds. Just a splash of milk in the morning and heat!
- If the days are already cooling off where you are, make some delicious corn soup, a zesty chili or a roasted tomato stew. Fill lunch sized containers for the week and freeze a couple of portions for your emergency food stash. Serve with whole grain crackers and cheese.
- Cook a big batch of barley or brown rice to have for evening dinners as that is usually the meal component that takes the longest.

Check me out on The Fresh Sheet this month as Heather and I will be sharing our favourite lunch ideas to make brown baggin' it easy and fresh.

Enjoy the sun,