Superiority at the Supermarket

In terms of the items I choose, I am waaaaay better at the supermarket than most and I KNOW that others are jealous of me! How can they not be?? While they have frozen pizza, donuts, cookies, chips, and alfredo sauce in a jar….I, simply, do not. Sometimes I look at other people’s carts in amazement and wonder if they can’t make their own potato salad or I search in vain for some sign of a non-canned, non-frozen fruit or vegetable. I cannot comprehend such things siiiiigh.

Alas, we all have our faults, but at the supermarket, I have none. I should be the poster child of healthy supermarket shopping; matter of fact, I need a giant billboard. Ladies and gentlemen, please witness the perfection that is grocery shopping below (besides the toilet paper and sandwich bags not pictured, I swear that the items below are all I purchased):

Fruit and Veggies: grapefruits, bananas, raspberries, kiwis, baby spinach, beets, avocado, purple onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and tomatoes.

Dairy: eggs from vegetarian fed hens, 1%milk, 2% evaporated milk (I was born and raised in a former British colony…its how we drink tea!!), and multigrain Thomas’ English Muffins.

Proteins: canned butter beans (OK, maybe the canned option isn’t that great), reduced fat peanut butter (you should have seen this coming), Muscle Milk Light, hummus, raw walnuts, fish, and sliced ham.

Random: Women’s Health mag (I like some of their healthy recipes), black tea (again, the whole British thing), and goat cheese (I forgot to add this to the dairy section…ooops).

Now, I suppose I must admit that my perfection is limited to the supermarket in my neighbourHOOD. Should you compare my cart to someone from Whole Foods, that person will win because every-friggin-thing in Whole Foods is sustainable, organic, cage-free, grass-fed, free-range, non-polluting, green certified….and I can keep going.

However, I still maintain my supermarket superiority. Please e-mail me for your own personalized course on “How to Shop at the Supermarket So You Can Be a Champion and Amazing Like Dani”.

Breakfast (along with a Muscle Milk Light)

Forced to Eat From a Vending Machine?

Heaven forbid that you must from a vending machine but, should this unfortunate circumstance arise, here are 10 of smartest choices you can make (see the article in Fitness Magazine for specific caloric information):

  • Planters Sunflower Kernels
  • Baked! Lays Original
  • Sun Chips Original
  • Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels
  • Smartfood Reduced-Fat Popcorn
  • Peanut M&M’s
  • Fig Newtons
  • Nature Valley Granola Bar, Oats & Honey
  • Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts
  • Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk

When Stressed, Pig Out or Starve?

I feel like I see a ton of articles about people pigging out when they’re stressed . But when I’m stressed or sad, I want nothing to do with food…which is insane considering that I’m always hungry. What is it about people that lead them to divert from their normal eating patterns when under emotional/mental duress?

I came across this great article on Psychology Today that explains why many people overeat or eat junk foods when stressed out. In a nutshell this is why:

  • stressful situation —>body releases the hormone cortisol —>body becomes super alert, attentive, and ready for danger—when the danger has passed, cortisol system shuts down —>body returns to normal

The above is what happens during short-term stressful situations; long-term, or chronic stress is where the friggin’ problem lies:

  • long-term stress = cortisol system does not shut down.
  • your body continues to need extra energy reserves—>craves fatty, sugary foods to build up these reserves—> fatty sugary foods stored in abdomen for quick use by the body.
  • when the body receives these foods + no more stress = signal to shut down cortisol release (hence the name ‘comfort foods’)

BUT, our lives today have evolved such that we are almost always under some form of stress —>we keep releasing cortisol—>we keep craving fatty, sugary foods—>it gets stored in our abdomen but doesn’t get used up like it should because we keep feeding our bodies these comfort foods. Its a blasted sick cycle if you ask me.

So how do we calm our bodies down without out eating pure sh!t? Exercise, yoga, meditation, and sex. In general, anything that calms you down and relaxes you.

Super Healthy Lunch: Baked Talapia with Eggplant Steaks and Butternut Squash

I made an amazing lunch yesterday; it was yummy, filling, and healthy! When I cook fish, I love to bake it with some sort of lime/lemon mixture…the flavours are amazing. Also, most people think eggplant is pure mush, but I bake my eggplant until its just barely cooked…that way it retains its shape and texture. And anyone that knows me, knows I love butternut squash…even steamed, its good.

1 – Rinse talapia with water and lime juice then season with salt and pepper (and whatever else you want).

2 – Dice onion, garlic, tomato. Put in a bowl and squeeze lime and add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and mix (the longer you let this sit, the better).

3 – Put fish in a baking dish (I usually line mine with foil) and spoon mixture over the fish (btw, your oven should have been pre-heated to 350 degrees)

4 – Take a whole eggplant and cut length-wise into quarters. In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic and spoon mixture over the eggplant then sprinkle with seasalt and ground pepper.

5 – Put the talapia into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (the flesh will flake easily when done) and shove the eggplant under the broiler. Bake the eggplant for about 20ish minutes. It’ll look like it cooked but it won’t be super-soft.

6 – I simply steamed the butternut squash. No salt, oil, nothing.

7 – Yuuuum!

I’m Not That Different From a Cow

This is purely regarding my eating habits. When I was employed, I had fairly structured daily eating habits: 7am breakfast (eggs, cereal, or oatmeal), 10am snack (fruit or yogurt), 12pm proper lunch (protein, good carbs, veggies), 3:30pm snack (chick pea salad or some light protein), and supper (edamame, some kinda of broccoli thingie, scrambled egg whites, or some kind of super-light food).

But now I eat little things all day; I don’t think I’ve had a proper meal in a while…or at least, not as often as I used to. Today I had about 1 cup of Special K Protein Plus cereal with skim milk (1% to be exact), after the gym I had a Muscle Milk Light, about an hour later I had some more cereal (only about a 1 cup again), two hours later I had a small whole wheat pita bread with peanut butter and four crackers with cheese. My nutrition for the day has not been that great; I need to cook more.

Hello. My name is Dani. I am a food grazer.

Homemade Super-Healthy ‘Triple-Berry Smoothie’

I love, love, love smoothies. Here are the ingredients for a Triple-Berry Smoothie:

  • plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (low-cal with tons of protein)
  • a bit of water (to thin out the yogurt)
  • strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (or whatever combo of berries you like; frozen is OK!)
  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • optional: squirt or about 1 tablespoon of honey (not necessary because the fruit is already sweet)
  • blend!

Lunch!

Soup is on the menu. It is low-fat and super-healthy: I made it with skinless chicken, acorn squash, red peppers, hot peppers, onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms, stewed tomatoes, and whole-wheat dumplings…so freakin’ good!