Losing Weight with Me

In my college years, I had a bout of colitis. I was in the hospital for three days, receiving an IV drip as my potassium level was dangerously low. One of the doctors told me to eat only whole-grain breads from then on, or I could die from colon cancer. Maybe he was too blunt, but the advice was sound. I rarely eat white bread products, and I’ve rarely suffered from constipation, abdominal cramps, or digestive problems. I almost never feel the need to take antacids.

Recently I underwent a routine colonoscopy, and was told that my colon was in perfect health. Of course, too much of anything is not good for your diet, and thus my weight problem. I need to cut down on the quantity of whole-grain products I consume. If you don’t already eat whole grain products, consider switching now.

Switch to whole wheat flour

Wheat berries have three parts: the fiber-rich bran (outer part), the nutrient-rich germ (inner part) and the endosperm (the starchy part in between). White flour throws away the bran and germ and refines only the endosperm. White flour discards all the fiber, essential fatty acids, and most of the vitamins and minerals. Then “enriched” white flour adds back in five nutrients. That’s about like a schoolteacher throwing away all the textbooks, library books, science journals and encyclopedias, then adding a few comic books and calling it educational.

A Diet Rich in Fiber Can Lower Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

In a 10-year Harvard study, women who ate high-fiber breads were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease. There isn’t some magic ingredient in whole grains. It’s the whole package that works this miracle. The soluble fiber lowers bad cholesterol. The insoluble fiber moves waste through the digestive track. The fiber helps prevent the formation of blood clots – the cause of heart attacks and stroke. The many essential minerals in whole grains further lowers your risk of heart attack and diabetes.

How to Cook with Whole Grain Flour

White flour wasn’t just created to make us sick. It keeps better. By removing the oily germ, flour has a longer shelf-life. Whole grain flours should be refrigerated, as they will turn rancid and develop an off-flavor. If you’ve never cooked with whole wheat flour, then it is commonly advised that you switch over gradually. Start substituting half of the white flour called for in your favorite recipes with whole wheat flour. Gradually increase the amount of whole wheat flour until you no longer buy the refined white product.

Whole wheat flour is heavier. Foods made with whole wheat flour will be heavier. Slice your breads smaller. Add an extra egg or a bit more liquid (milk, water, wine – what ever is called for in your recipe) when using all whole-wheat flour.

If you don’t bake much, then switching from white to whole wheat is as simple as buying whole wheat bread. Just be sure that the bread you buy is really whole-wheat, and not just white bread with caramel coloring added. Look for the words “whole wheat” or “whole grain”… not just “wheat bread”. Even white bread is wheat bread.

Remember, moderation! Too much of even healthy whole-wheat bread is not good for your diet. Try to eat it without butter or added fats. Raw almond butter is a tasty, nutritious spread.

Today’s Menu:

  1. whole grain nut bread – a holiday gift. Probably not low-calorie, but I allowed myself two slices, with a banana and a glass of water.
  2. apple slices
  3. lentil salad (See recipe on Day 19)
  4. clementines
  5. vegetable soup, celery, carrots, cucumber slices, and whole grain crackers

Today’s Exercise Plan:

A stiff walk through crowded stores to finish up shopping! I learned from approaching fitness that it is vital to keep moving to keep my muscle lose weight plus keep it off, so I have made it apart of my routine. I’ll walk the dogs, too. I need to do some Pilates work with the DVD, as I haven’t done that in a while.

Good luck with your own diet progress! Drop a comment to share your successes, or any new recipes you might have discovered.


Reduced Fat Italian-Seasoned Pasta Meat Sauce

A tomato-based and garlic-seasoned meat sauce with herbs is a great base for many recipes. It can be mixed with pasta and vegetables and baked as a casserole, or used as a topping for a simple pasta dish for a quick dinner.

To make it a little leaner without changing much of the flavor, use lean ground beef, and a low-fat Italian sausage, such as Italian sausage made with turkey rather than pork. An average serving of Italian pork sausage contains about 390 calories and 35 grams of fat, while the same serving size (about 100 grams) of turkey-based Italian sausage has only 160 calories and 10 grams of fat.

This recipe uses four cloves of garlic. If a less garlicky meat sauce is desired, use only one or two cloves. This recipe makes about six cups of finished meat sauce. Make sure the pasta sauce is chilled properly before being frozen for use later.


Italian-Seasoned Pasta Meat Sauce


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 8 oz. bulk sweet or mild turkey Italian sausage (or 2 links, casings removed)
  • 3/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (or use a garlic press)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp dried savory


  1. In a large Dutch oven or rondeau, place the lean ground beef, Italian sausage and diced onions together, and stir to break up any large portions of meat. Cook over medium heat until the beef and sausage is cooked through and the onions are softened. Strain out any fat from the bottom of the pan (tilt and remove accumulated fat from the bottom of the pan with a spoon).
  2. Add the chopped garlic, and stir for about a minute until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.
  3. Stir in the beef broth, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in the dried herbs. Stir until all the ingredients are combined. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour and a half. Stir occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat when done.
  5. Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese, or use in recipes calling for meat sauce.

For a pasta sauce using no meat, try the tomato pasta sauce in Family Style Spaghetti and Meatballs, using crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic.

Nutrition Information for Italian-Style Sausages:

Pork Italian Sausage calories and fat grams provided by the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Turkey Italian Sausage calories and fat grams provided by Jennio-O Turkey Sweet Lean Italian Turkey Sausage product information sheet.

Low-Fat Barley Sauerkraut “Sausage” Dinner Recipe Can Be Meatless

If you’ve made your own sauerkraut, you’re probably looking for recipes that do it justice. And even if you’ve never dreamed of making sauerkraut, you may have its taste on the tip of your tongue in mid-winter. It’s essential to several traditional holiday dishes. In Slovak homes, the meatless Christmas Eve dinner features a soup of sauerkraut and dried mushrooms. Pennsylvania Dutch families celebrate the New Year with a good-luck combination of pork and sauerkraut which may also feature onions and applesauce. Here’s an easy and inexpensive casserole recipe which takes its inspiration from dishes like these.

About Barley

According to Wikipedia, Barley is a grain that looks similar to rice, and can be used like rice in soups and casseroles. However, it has a nuttier flavor and a heartier, stick-to-your-ribs texture. Preparing barley takes more liquid and more time than preparing rice. As barley cooks it releases some of its starch into the liquid, so it is wonderful for thickening soups. For casseroles, cook it until all the water is absorbed. The starch and flavorings will be reabsorbed as well.


Look for barley where you find dry rice and beans. The hull (called bran or malt) adheres very tightly to the barley grain and is removed by an abrasive polishing process called pearling. Unpolished grains are sold as whole barley. Scotch barley has been pearled three times. Pearl (also called pearled or light) barley has been polished six times, removing most, but not all of the malt.

This recipe calls for pearl barley because it is the type most widely available. And, although pearling does remove a percentage of the nutrients, a cup of raw pearl barley still contains about the same amount of protein as a cup of raw brown rice or whole wheat flour. If you want to substitute another type of barley, use the same amount of stock, but allow some extra time; it may take longer to cook.

Barley and Sauerkraut Casserole with “Sausage”

  • 1 cup (250 ml) pearl barley
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sliced onions
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced, including leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups (500 ml) drained sauerkraut
  • 1quart ( 1 L) stock, beef OR vegetarian
  • 4 sausage patties, cooked and drained, OR meatless breakfast patties

Layer the first four ingredients into a 2 1/2-quart (2.5 L) casserole dish with a cover, starting with the barley and ending with sauerkraut. Place the sausage patties on top and stick the bay leaf in at the edge where it will be easy to see. Gently pour in the stock. Cover and bake at 400 F (200 C) degrees for about 2 1/4 hours, until all the liquid is absorbed. Before serving, remove the bay leaf, break the sausage into small pieces, and stir to mix the layers. Serve hot.

Serves 4-to-6 as a hearty main dish

Try This Tasty Low-fat Taco Filling Recipe

For years I used packaged mixes to prepare taco filling carefully following the printed directions on the packets. The fillings always seemed good enough but never quite met the standard of our favorite sit down Mexican restaurant. Experimentation ensued and many good and bad combinations of spices and techniques were discovered.

Making your taco fillings healthier without sacrifice in taste is easy.

Most taco filling recipes call for 80/20 ground beef relying on the fat to add flavor and make the filling more savory. I wanted to get away from this and make the filling healthier. The use of ground beef with a lower fat content helps and rinsing the cooked meat with hot water lowers the fat content even further. The problem with lowering the fat content is that it reduces the savory texture of the filling. Enter stewing.

Recipe ingredients

  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 3 cups water

Dry spice mix


  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp corn starch


  • 1 1/2 medium vine ripened tomato, diced (3/8”)
  • ½ medium, yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 smoked jalapeno, skin, seeds and placenta (inner membrane surrounding the seeds)

For a spicier filling with lots of heat add in a finely minced serrano or jalapeno pepper.

Brown the lean ground beef in a large skillet. Break the meat while cooking making sure all large lumps are broken down to a fine consistency. Transfer the browned meat to a colander and drain off all the fat. Rinse the meat very well with hot tap water to remove as much fat as possible. Rinse the skillet clean of fat and add the water.

Stir in the well blended dry spice mix before adding in the browned, rinsed ground beef. Stir in the vegetables and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the skillet and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or until the vegetables begin to break down. Remove the cover and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a thick, creamy consistency, approximately 20-30 minutes.

Aging develops the flavors.

Because of the long simmering time I prefer to make large batches of the filling, which is why the recipe is based on 2 pounds of ground beef. An unintended benefit of preparing extra portions is that the flavors develop with storage. Any leftover quantity can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in a suitable container indefinitely.

To reheat the filling add ¼ cup of water per half pound of filling and simmer over a low heat until the desired consistency is achieved. Be careful not to over simmer the filling. Reheating is easy but not recommended in a microwave likewise frozen portions don’t defrost well in a microwave.

For entertaining the filling can be prepared 1-3 days ahead. Simmer the filling for 30 minutes covered and omit the final reduction step. Let the filling cool, place it in a sealed container and refrigerate. To heat for serving place the filling in a large skillet, heat and simmer as described earlier in the final reduction step.

Use your favorite shells and other fillings to create and serve a tasty, crunchy taco that’s sure to please your family and friends. If you prefer soft tacos add 2 tablespoons of meat filling, one heaping teaspoon of Pico de Gallo and a squeeze of lime to a pair of steamed corn tortillas.

Why you should eat healthy Diet

Diet is the amount of food intake by a person. A healthy diet is the cause of a healthy living. One must consume adequate amounts of nutrients, for the prevention of diseases and building immunity. A normal diet must include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and fibers. Excess intake of food leads to many lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia which results in serious heart conditions, stroke etc. Therefore, diet has a major role in the morbidity and healthy living conditions of an individual.

Disadvantages Of An Inappropriate Diet

An adequate amount of food in required time interval will lead to proper digestion and assimilation. The increase in the amount or frequency will result in accumulation of fat which leads to obesity. The body has a natural rhythm, hence by the time of food intake, stomach acids will be ready for digestion. If the person does not take food in time, the acid inside stomach will affect the inner lining and causes gastritis. Another cause of gastritis is the excessive intake of spicy food. A diet should be according to a person needs. For inquiries, consultation of a dietician will be beneficial.

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is having food in adequate quantity and proportion in order to achieve a healthy body constitution. A balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, starchy foods, and carbohydrates, low-fat varieties of milk and dairy food and proteins. Fish contains omega3 fatty acids which have a great role in the reduction of heart disease. For proper benefits of balanced diet, one should reduce alcohol, saturated fat, Trans fat, excess salt, sugar and spicy food.

A balanced diet is more important to children age group since they are in the developmental stage of their life. Deprivation of nutrition will lead to developmental problems, deficiency disorders and hence poor academic performance. Moreover, rigorous eating is prone to various lifestyle disorders.

Diet Timing

Time of food intake has a great influence in performance and health.ne must consume food, in a regular time and interval every day. There is an internal clock, known as a circadian rhythm which functional inside our body. It is responsible for regulation of sleep-wake cycle. so the wrong timing of food intake can also affect metabolic activities and sleep cycle.


Importance Of Breakfast

In a daily meal, the most important one is the breakfast. It is so called because it breaks the fast of the previous night. Breakfast gives energy and enthusiasm to begin a new day. Lack of breakfast will lead to hypoglycemia and other deficiencies.


Adequate Hydration

Drinking water is as important as eating food. Especially in summer seasons, the body loses lots of water by sweating. This will lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, weight loss of appetite, headache and concentrated urine. This is lead to many other diseases. Hence an average human should consume around 1to 2 liters of water every day.

Maintaining a healthy diet is a necessity. This diminishes the risk of morbidity. It is difficult, but it will lead to a healthy and decent lifestyle.