WritersButt Wednesday – Let’s Chew the Fat
Hello my friends! How are you doing? How are you feeling?
I’m always really excited this time of year when we ‘spring shead’ with our clocks and the season of spring is literally in the air, with birds twittering about, warmer sunshine slanting through the trees and the smell of our Texas wildflowers being carried along with the breeze. For me, it means more outside time and that summer, my favorite season, is right around the corner.
Pretty soon, we’ll be breaking out our grill and let me tell you, we grill everything. Food cooked on a grill just tastes better for some reason. In the meantime, for today’s post, I’ll share some recipes with you that I’ve made lately.
Before we get to the food though, let’s chew the fat a bit about, well, FAT.
The vast majority of people I meet, who are trying to ‘get into shape’ or ‘lose weight’, are essentially trying to reduce their fat. In other words, they are trying to be smaller and be more toned or rather, less flabby. That same majority is usually going about this by reducing their caloric intake (trying to eat less) and eating a low-fat or non-fat diet. Now, I know this will be hard to believe but this is typically the opposite of what they need to be doing. They are taking the wrong approach.
I tell them, “If you want to lose fat, you need to eat fat and get enough food so that your body doesn’t think it’s starving and hang on to your fat like Jack in the Titanic with a literal death-grip on that raft thingy.” They look back at me with undisguised skepticism.
You guys, our bodies are made for survival. Assuming you’re not legitimately over-eating, if you deprive your body of calories, it will go into survival mode and hang on to everything to keep you alive. And do you know what it hangs onto? Fat! And yet, this does not mean you can deprive your body of fat either, since you’re probably thinking you have enough, thank you very much. 🙂 You NEED fat in your diet. It’s vital to your brain, your moods and yes, you need it to lose fat, as in be smaller and leaner. Trust me on this. In fact, don’t just trust me, check out this article, in which it says:
Studies show that keeping your mind sharp and your moods in balance may be largely related to the type of fat you eat. Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat, and they’re arguably the closest you can get to a miracle food for the mind. Over the past decade, studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids to brain benefits ranging from better blood flow to improved mood and memory function.
Or this article, which has a great list of healthy fats and says:
EFAs also increase your bodies ability to absorb fat soluable vitamins, increase the metabolic rate and help burn fat. Yes, you can eat fat to burn fat! But there is a catch – you must eat it in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
Here’s another thing that many people don’t realize. Fat is a fantastic energy source. It’s slower burning than sugar (think simple carbohydrates) that many people consume for an ‘energy boost’. Well, that sugar-laden boost will not last long. But some good, healthy fat will not only keep your engine running well, but it will be able to sustain you for longer.
Please don’t be afraid to consume fat … the healthy kinds. Some great sources of healthy fats are, nuts and seeds, avocados, olives, oils (especially coconut!), egg-yolks (yes, quit throwing them away!), nut-butters like almond butter and sun butter.
If you see a product labeled ‘low-fat’ or ‘non-fat’ … that is codeword for processed! AVOID! Listen, they remove some or all of the fat but then they add in a bunch of crap that is bad for you. Check the labels if you don’t believe me. 🙂
Please, ask me any questions about this if you have them. I’m not telling you to go crazy and eat a gallon nuts a day. That really would be too many calories and you’d likely have a very noxious case of gas. No good!
Bottom line, you need healthy fat for a myriad of things but don’t go off the deep end and dive into a pool of coconut oil. Although, laps through that might be a great workout! Ha!
Ok, moving right along to some recipes for you.
Spaghetti with zucchini ‘pasta’
Many of you know that I don’t eat grains, or very rarely, so I’m always trying fun ways to enjoy some of my favorite meals without grains. Spaghetti is a favorite in our house. It’s what my daughter requests every single birthday. I make my own spaghetti sauce–recipe below. For the pasta, I will often either make a regular whole wheat pasta for the kids, or I’ve recently found quinoa pasta noodles which I LOVE. It has such a great texture and a rich, nutty flavor. But if I’m going grain-free, I’ll also have a pasta substitute such as spaghetti squash (delish!!) or what I did last time which was to make my noodles be thin zucchini strips.
Note: First I sliced the zucchini very thin and liberally salted it with kosher salt. This will pull out the moisture from the veggie. Then you rinse off the salt and pat it dry. This is so it won’t end up soggy/mushy. Then you can slice it up into thin strips like picture above.
Sauté zucchini in coconut or olive oil, seasoning to taste. Don’t cook too long. You don’t want it too soft.
Finished product. It was so good!
Ginger’s Spaghetti sauce:
This is the base recipe that you can multiply (I do!) and adjust. Oh, and I don’t measure anything but:
Sauté onion and garlic
Add pound of ground meat — brown
season with kosher salt, pepper, chili powder, italian seasonings
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I like fire-roasted flavor, but whatever you like. If you want some tomato chucks, throw in a can of diced toms.)
Taste and season accordingly — best done with a lovely glass of wine.
*I sometimes add in mushrooms, which I would have sautéed first (no salt) and set aside.
This is what was for dinner that last couple nights. I always try to make a huge meal that will last at least 2 nights. I plan this so that the second night falls on a busy ‘kid’ night so that I don’t have to cook. Make cooking healthy for your family work for you!
I washed and trimmed about 3 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts, cut them in half and threw them in the crockpot. I seasoned it with some salt, pepper, chili powder, minced garlic and cumin. Let it cook all day.
At dinner time: served with whatever taco fixins you like. We had spring greens, sliced annaheim peppers, shredded cheese, salsa and sour cream. The picture above is my helping with a sliced jicama for my ‘shell’. The kids all had mini-flour tortillas.
Ok, this last recipes was a huge hit. We went to friends for dinner the other night and I wanted to try this appetizer. There are Olive Meatballs. It’s a recipe from one of my new paleo cookbooks. Basically, pound of ground meat, recipe called for lamb or pork I believe, I used turkey. Add your seasonings to taste. Then flatten a ball in your hand and wrap it around a green olive, sealing the opening. Sauté meatballs in coconut oil. Display with leftover olives, serve warm with fun toothpicks!
For workouts this week I want you to continue what you’re doing with your water and incorporating potty-squats, or push-ups or lunges into your DAILY ROUTINE!
Also, here are 2 workouts you can play around with and let me know how it goes.
Since it’s spring, let’s take your workouts outside.
Run 2 blocks
10 x Burpees
Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how many rounds you can finish of:
10 Push Ups
10 Squat jumps (do a squat just like your ‘potty squat’ and then jump out of it with hands reaching to sky)
That’s it! Have a great week and enjoy some healthy fat this week. You’ll LOVE it!
Posted on March 21, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged blogging, fitness, Ginger Calem, health, healthy fat, lifestyle, recipes, WritersButt, WritersButt Wednesday. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.