Monday, May 17, 2010

Who's got time to cook? EVERYBODY!

I was at a friend's graduation party yesterday and had an interesting conversation with one of the guests at the party who later I found out is professor of world studies at UNB. The conversation went from discussing the differences between traditional and modern cultures and how those can be merged to produce a modernized traditional culture, and lead to people and decision making.

Then the idea I want to discuss here came to me, for years perhaps decades manufacturers of "easy and fast" have been playing the "who has time to cook?" card, to the point that our modern society truly believes they don't have time, energy and sadly know how to prepare a meal from scratch anymore. It's become very easy to live off things that come out of box and you only need to add water, on your way home from work you just order a pizza and pick it up on the way, or even go to a fast food restaurant and pick something up, because you don't have time.

Who has time in the morning to prepare breakfast and lunch anymore, you'd rather stop on the way to work pick up a coffee and a muffin for breakfast, then go have some fast food for lunch. You don't have the time, no body does, right? WRONG!!

We all have time to prepare meals from scratch, for the sake of your children find the time, instead of picking up the pizza on the way home from work and then spending 4 hours watching TV, maybe you can miss one of the shows tonight and spend 30 minutes in the kitchen preparing a good meal, maybe you don't have to stay up until 4am watching movies and go to bed earlier so you can wake up early and prepare your breakfast and lunch at home, this is not only healthier for you and your family but it will also save you money on the long run!!

Have fun in the kitchen, make it a family thing to cook together, cooking is not hard, with the widespread of the internet, recipes from around the world are a few clicks away, it's easy, go to your favorite search engine and search for a recipe you've always wanted to make and try it, make it an adventure.

Family is the nucleus of society, without it we have nothing, without it we are as John said a society of individuals. Having home cooked meals where the whole family sits around the table for a nice meal can strengthen those family ties, talk about your day, show your children how much you care for them and love them, listen to them and hear their concerns, you'd be surprised  how much it means to children when their parents (who in most cases are their idols) are interested in their lives.

We don't always have time to cook and for legit reasons, but if you try you can find the time. If you love your children, your spouse, your siblings, your parents, your friends and most importantly if you love yourself find the time to lead a healthier life so you're around for much longer.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheese Stuffed Red Peppers

I was looking for a new way to use Cottage Cheese in my supper and came with the idea of stuffing a red pepper with it.

Total time to prepare 40 minutes.

Ingredients (makes 1 serving or 2 if using as a side)
1 average sized sweet Red Pepper
1/2 cup reduced sodium Cottage Cheese
1 medium sized Tomato (diced small)
1 clove Garlic (crushed)
2 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro
Black Pepper to taste

How to:
1- Preheat your oven to 375F
2- Mix the diced tomatoes, crushed garlic, cilantro, cottage cheese and black pepper
3- Cut the red pepper lengthwise, remove seeds and wash
4- Fill the red pepper halves with the cheese stuffing
5- Bake for 30 minutes.


Nutritional Information (assuming 1 serving):
Calories 173
Fat 2.25g
Saturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 290mg
Potassium 650mg
Carbohydrate 23g
Dietery Fiber 5g
Sugars 17g
Protein 18g

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The big weight loss secret nobody wants to share!

Just because I've lost over 100lbs people automatically assume I'm a weight loss expert! Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy helping people who want lose weight and answering any questions they might have, but I can only help people who are willing to help themselves!
I've done a lot of research and experimentation on this and found what works and what doesn't, at least what works for me, the big secret to losing weight is simply cutting the empty carbs out of your diet, that's it, it's really as simple as that, stop eating rice, pasta, bread, ...etc and watch the fat melt away!! The funny thing is that I found this secret in body building forums and not in nutritional forums, that's what professional body builders and figure competitors do, they eat healthy natural carbs like fresh fruits and vegetables instead of the empty carbs!
So I decided to put a little summary together of steps a person can take towards a healthier lifestyle and feeling and looking great. I don't claim to have come up with any of this shit, I simply researched it and tried it and it worked for me, this doesn't mean it will work for everybody.

Step 1: Find the reason you want to lose weight.
Losing weight isn't about getting on a diet for a few months and then life is back to normal afterward, I'm sorry but that's a fucking fairy tale, this is about a life style change, you're going to want to live like this for the rest of your life, because if you don't then guess what? all that weight you worked so hard to lose is coming back and it's coming back worse than before.
This is why it's important to know why you're going to do this and you better have a good reason, doesn't matter what that reason is, it could be because your loved one wants you to and it could be because you want to become a nude model.

Step 2: Set a goal.
Having a set goal will make it easier to gauge your progress as you go, the goal can be losing 10lbs in 10 months or losing 10lbs in 2 months! A reasonable and achievable goal is to lose 2-3lbs every week, any more than that and you'll be losing too much muscle mass. Saying you want to lose 10lbs a week is just stupid, so don't be stupid.

Step 3: Calculate your calorie budget.
There are tons of calorie calculators available online to help you figure out what your daily calorie intake should be. Here's one that I like, freedieting - Calorie Calculator, it gives you the recommended calorie intake for maintenance, fat loss and extreme fat loss. I'd recommend sticking with the fat loss calorie intake.

Step 4: Track your calories and macro-nutrients.
It's important to track your calories and macro-nutrients, since the big secret is to remove the empty carbs from your diet. Removing all those empty carbs will leave you at a great calorie deficit that needs to be filled, you will notice how much more you can eat when you don't eat rice, pasta or bread. You can do this the old fashioned way with a pen and paper or you can use one of the million and one websites available for that purpose, my favorite is MedHelp - Food Diary.

Step 5: de-junk your house!
Get rid of all the junk food from your house, for any non perishable items you can donate those to your local food bank. Having junk food easily and readily available makes it harder to stick to your new life style!

Step 6: Go shopping.
Go buy a pair of pants, a dress, a bikini, ...etc whatever it is that you want to fit in when you reach your goal!

Step 7: Learn to cook.
Since all you're going to be eating is lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, ...etc The frozen dinners aren't going to cut it anymore, learn a new recipe every week, just because you're eating healthy doesn't mean it has to be bland or taste bad.

Step 8: Start looking at the nutritional facts labels.
Pay attention to the amount of calories and carbs in some of the things you eat, just because some label claims it's healthy that doesn't mean it's true, usually if it's low in fat it guaranteed to be high in sodium or sugar to make up for the lost taste and the other way around, if it's low in carbs it's high in fat, and all of this jams a ton of calories into it. Sometimes I think marketing people are worse than serial killers, twisting facts to make their shit sell better than the competition and all they care about is how much money their companies are making, they're not thinking of you!

This is all I can think of for now, I'll edit this post and add more if I think of anything else.

Cheers and good luck!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I was on a bulking cycle for a while so I was eating very unhealthy, very unhealthy for me usually means eating out and bigger portions, but I still maintained my principles of lower carbs and lower sodium in my diet. It gets incredibly hard to eat 4000 calories per day when you're not eating carbs! any lower than 4000 calories and I wasn't gaining weight!

The bulking is over now and I'm in my maintenance cycle which will go on for the next two weeks and then I will start a cutting cycle which mean a lot of healthy cooking.

so stay tuned for some new healthy recipes to come soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Salt, Half Salt or No Salt!

Most people at the grocery store today would've thought I was crazy, I was standing in front of the salt rack for 15 minutes debating and talking to myself about what I wanted to get for salt!

I had three options, regular table salt (sodium chloride), half salt (mix of sodium and potassium chloride) and no salt (potassium chloride). It was a hard decision for me, the cook in me wanted the regular salt and the health fanatic in me wanted the no salt, normally I would've picked the half salt as a balanced mid point but then I remembered my mother telling me my salt isn't salty enough when she was visiting during the summer and she cooked using the half salt!

But before I tell you how I made my decision let's think why is sodium so bad for us?

Well sodium isn't really bad for us, it's too much sodium that's bad for us, here's a quote from Health Canada on the issue of sodium:
Sodium is a nutrient found in table salt and many other foods. While the body needs some sodium to function, too much may lead to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Most Canadians consume more sodium than may be good for their health.

Health Canada recommends that adults do not exceed 2,300 mg of sodium per day!

I haven't used salt in my cooking in nearly 3 months, but I wanted to make a dough and you just need to use salt when making a dough. So I had to make a decision, I was strongly against the regular table salt and figured if the half salt wasn't salty enough then the no salt wouldn't be salty at all, and that's when the decision was made, Half Salt it is!

Everything in moderation is a good thing, but we seem to forget that quickly when it comes to convenience!