Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Banned Ingredient: White Sugar

Posted by: EatFree

March 4th, 2012 >> Uncategorized

A lot of ingredients get bad press these days, but in my opinion, none should be looked upon as more treacherous than white sugar and its derivatives.  I find it questionable that some, for example,  may extol the virtues of a vegan (or any “healthy”) diet and espouse recipes and products thereof, but still be including white sugar and its derivatives in diets, foods, and recipes.  It’s seems to me that it would it would make more sense to “demonize” white sugar and its derivatives (and need I say high fructose corn syrup), which have no semblance to their original source whatsoever, as opposed to butter, for example, which is a food close to its natural source.

White sugar and its derivatives include commerical brown sugar (which is simply white sugar with some molasses added back in) and all forms of powdered sugar.  White sugar has been so highly processed from its original source that it lacks any nutritive vitality whatsoever.  When the body intakes foods of this nature, it “asks back” for these  nutritive deficiencies in the form of what we experience as “cravings”.  Eliminate white sugar and its derivatives from your diet with no exception and you will see that your cravings are highly reduced (and you’ll be closer to being able to EatFree!).  If you’re looking for ways to replace white sugar and its derivatives in baking applications, check out my recipe page for ideas.   In the EatFree style of cooking, it is a banned ingredient.  You’ll see no traces of it!

How Much Salt?

Posted by: EatFree

February 9th, 2012 >> Uncategorized

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Often times many recipes indicate “salt to taste” rather than providing an exact measurement.  While the amounts of salt needed do vary across palates, there are some ways to gauge about how much is needed.  In my book, five principles apply:

  • Always taste any unfamiliar ingredient you are adding to a dish so you know how much salt to add during the cooking process.  For example, parmesan cheese is a naturally salty ingredient so tasting your parmesan before cooking can help you gauge how much, if any, salt is needed during cooking.
  • Salt in stages during cooking.  For example, add a small pinch while caramelizing onions, then a little when adding garlic, and then as needed towards the end of the cooking time.
  • Taste your dish frequently throughout the cooking time, especially during the latter stages.  Sometimes salty flavors concentrate during cooking.
  • In general, barring other salty ingredients, I usually factor in about a minimum of 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt per serving size for a dish.  So for a dish serving four, 1/2 teaspoon minimum total (fine sea) salt usually suffices.  Beyond that, amounts will vary according to taste.
  • Salty flavors intensify during refrigeration so if you are making a cold potato salad, for example, go shy on the salt before serving.

And as always, I vouch for using fine sea salt (Himalayan Pink, Celtic Grey, Hawaiian Red for example), both for its mineral content (making it closer to its whole form) and ease of integration into baked goods as well (as opposed to coarse sea salt.)

Shake-It Up Every Morning!

Posted by: EatFree

February 2nd, 2012 >> Uncategorized

One of the essential ways to EatFree (what do I mean by this? click here) is to increase your micronutrient intake by consuming more fruits and vegetables of different colors.  When your body’s micronutrient needs are met, you’re much less likely to crave processed foods, leading you to be able to EatFree.  While I’m no raw-foodist, I think it’s best to consume some of these goodies in their raw form as a certain percentage of your daily intake.  I usually consume half of my daily servings (7 to 10 is ideal) in a raw form through a morning shake and the rest in cooked form.  My favorite shake starts out as this:

And then when I blend away, ends up like this:

What’s all that in there, you ask?  One cup of soymilk, 1 scoop of 100% protein powder ( I love the one from NOW foods), 2 teaspoons of spirulina, 1 ripe banana, 1 to 2 cups of soft fruit in season (anything that blends well), and 4 cups of greens in season (here you see kale and baby spinach).  So in this shake alone, you’re getting anywhere from 7 to 10 servings of fruits and veg.!  My other quick go to shake consists of 1 cup soymilk, 2 tablespoons cacao nibs, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, ¼ cup goji berries, and 1 tablespoon dark agave nectar. No matter what your particular combo is, I hope you too “shake-it up” every morning!

5 Steps to Overcoming “Guilt” w/ Food so you can EatFree!

Posted by: EatFree

January 27th, 2012 >> Uncategorized

  1. Take the word “guilt” out of your mental dialogue around eating.  Think of it this way: would you put guilt-trips on your children or loved ones when they make the wrong choice? Then don’t do it to yourself! Nature did not mean for us to have such a guilt-ridden relationship with food in the first place.  Nature mean for us to be free.
  2. After you’ve made that promise to yourself, monitor the other ways you “emotionally negotiate” with eating (examples: giving yourself “cheat” days, “rewarding” yourself for being “good”, etc.).  Nature did not intend for eating to be such an emotional headache.
  3. Monitor the re-occurrence of any of these mental and emotional patterns.  If you find yourself slipping into them, don’t berate yourself.  Just observe them and lovingly nudge them away.  Over time as you re-engineer your palate to desire only foods close to their natural state, new patterns will permanently embed themselves in your consciousness and you will reach a place of lack of desire altogether for processed foods (so eating that sugar-laden chocolate cake won’t be a matter of “indulging” but rather a matter of just not wanting it).
  4. Understand what “real” food is.  “Real” food is what nature has given us.  Yes, most of us can’t grow all of our food in our backyards, but be mindful of only eating those foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.  For example, instead of rolled oats, opt for the steel-cut variety.
  5. Introduce yourself to the wondrous world of spices and fresh herbs.  Spices and fresh herbs are usually dried bark (ex: cinnamon), seeds (ex: cumin) , leaves (ex: rosemary), and other plant parts that work wonders in enhancing the natural flavor profiles of almost any food.

Stay tuned for more!