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Snelling Holistic Health Newsletter
Volume III, Issue 1 – January/February/March 2009
Victoria Snelling, Executive Editor
Sherry Dour, Copy Editor
In This Issue:
How to Save Money on a Whole Food Diet!
Having Fun with Going Green
Recipe: Homemade Mac-N-Chee
Natural Health Tip
Links We Like
How to Save Money on a Whole Food Diet!
by Dr. Victoria Snelling
“It’s too expensive to buy healthy food!” “I can eat out cheaper than I can cook at home!” “It takes too much time to cook from scratch!” I hear these comments, and more, nearly every day from my patients. In addition to my practice in classical homeopathy, I try to educate my patients in basic good nutrition and to help them elevate the quality of their diet. There’s no doubt about it, people who eat well just heal more quickly! I’ve seen that over the past 20 years of practice. The old expression “garbage in, garbage out” is so true. Healing can be much slower for my patients who are junk food junkies.
We all want to be healthy and to eat more healthfully, but what’s the cost in time and money? We know that scrimping on good nutrition will cost us more in the long run with higher health care bills. And many of us would rather not make the change to a healthier diet if it means even a few more minutes in the kitchen. Yes, we’re so busy these days. There are more and more people, events and bits of data that are vying for our attention. If we could just turn down the volume and choose to focus on what we want to accomplish, it might be easier. And if we choose what’s most important, and make that a priority, we’ll be successful.
So many people have gotten away from cooking meals at home. Whatever happened to real cooking, cooking from “scratch”? Several of my patients tell me that they cook almost every day, but when I read their food diary, it’s evident that their idea of cooking and my idea of cooking are two different things. Microwaving a prepackaged convenience “meal” isn’t really cooking, is it? It might put food on the table in a pinch, but it’s a far cry from a home cooked meal. That convenience comes at a price. We pay dearly for that tiny product to be precooked and pre-seasoned and we pay dearly for the packaging. Ounce for ounce, we pay a great deal more for packaged food items than for items we prepare ourselves. We also pay for the high salt, sugar and chemical content in most of these packaged meals in higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. Our environment pays a huge price for the extra packaging involved, whether it’s cardboard or plastic.
What if we could lower the amount of money we spend on food, while increasing the quality of our nutrition? I think that we can do that very thing. Two issues on many people’s minds these days are the economy and healthcare. We can work on these two issues in our own homes and save money and increase our nutrition at the same time. It can also bring a huge feeling of satisfaction to more intentionally create your body’s nourishment, whether you’re cooking for a big family or just for yourself.
We don’t have to initiate every idea or change all at once. But choose one or two, get comfortable with them and then choose a few more. Remember that your diet doesn’t have to be perfect, but making slow gradual changes will pay big dividends, both in your bank account and with your health. You may be doing many things already to improve your diet and reduce your food bill. Share what you know with others!
Comparison shop. Check not only the health food stores, but also the grocery stores. In our area, most of the conventional grocery stores have health food sections. Check for sale items in those stores. The grocery stores often seem to over-buy staple health food items and then offer them at clearance prices.
Shop with coupons. Remember that the makers of health food items offer coupons too! Check their web sites and check natural health magazines.
Buy in bulk. Larger sizes of brown rice or lentils are cheaper than the smaller sizes and these items store well, especially if transferred into well sealed containers. Health food stores and food co-ops offer great prices on bulk items.
Shop with a list and avoid impulse buying, even at the health food store. Those cute non-food items they sell can really inflate your cash register total.
Try to add a few (or a few more) non-meat entrees to your weekly diet. Combine beans and grains (like red beans and rice or chick peas and pasta) to make complete proteins.
Use whole grains. They are more filling AND more nutritious! Brown rice and whole grains in general have more staying power than the refined versions. They also have more fiber, more nutrients and they satisfy your hunger longer.
Pay attention to portion size. Your waistline will thank you and so will your budget. Are you eating two portions of a recipe instead of one? Try sticking to one portion and save the leftovers for another day. Consider freezing leftovers in individual containers to make your own convenience food!
Balance your meals. If one portion of an entrée doesn’t satisfy your appetite, think of adding more vegetables to your meal. They are filling, inexpensive and nutrient-packed. Add a piece of fresh fruit for a sweet fiber-rich dessert.
Eat breakfast! Besides giving you a better start to your day, breakfast moderates your appetite at lunch time. Try to include some good quality protein and remember that eggs are always a good protein buy.
Pack a lunch! You can always save money by taking lunch to work, to school or while traveling. Put those leftovers to good use!
Eat more nutritionally dense food. Concentrate on proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, a little healthy oil, and skip the junk food and processed snack food items.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry, especially if you’re away from home. If you’re hungry and need a snack in a hurry, think about a quick trip into a health food store or grocery store instead of a drive-through or fast food place. You can get fruit, cut up raw veggies, nuts or seeds to go and save your budget at the same time.
Get real. For a week or two, write down what you spend on food and where you buy your food. You might be shocked, especially by your restaurant expenses!
Make a plan. Write a budget and a menu. These can be flexible, but stick to it as much as you can. Plan for a few restaurant meals if you feel you need to. If you plan your shopping and plan your meals, you’ll be on your way to success.
Just remember that change gets easier as you go along. You’ll incorporate these and other ideas into your food plan and budget and they will quickly become second nature.
And one more idea: check the local health food stores, not only for sales and coupons, but also for cooking classes. Amazing Grace Whole Foods and Nutrition Center has just that very thing coming up. The classes start in January and continue into February. This is a great way to jumpstart your success with healthy and inexpensive meals. Call Amazing Grace in Louisville at 502-485-1122.
We are so lucky to have the number and the quality of health food stores here in our area. Look for local CSA’s (community supported agriculture), food co-ops (Whole Life Food Co-op), farmer’s markets and opportunities to grow your own produce (call the Louisville Metro Call help line at 311 for information on the city/county allotment program.)
Victoria Snelling, DC, DHM
Having Fun with Going Green!
The last several months have been a whirlwind! I experienced my first Kentucky hurricane in September, causing a multi-day power outage at my home and many others across the area; then in January we got hit with an ice storm, causing another 4+ days without power or heat across the entire state; our country elected and swore in a new president who has been so busy I can’t keep up with all he’s doing, but I’m hopeful; the economy has been shaking things up; my husband and I have decided to try to sell our house - despite the wobbly economy - and downsize to a smaller house on more land with less stuff. I’m having some trouble keeping up with it all. But I’m deciding to add yet another goal to my to-do list: live a greener life.
What does any of that other stuff have to do with going green? Well, the less reliance I have on electricity, the less a power-outage will affect me. The better care I take of my environment, the less likely these freakish weather conditions will blow up around me. The more careful I am with what I have, the less stuff I will think I need to buy. For me, “going green” means buying less stuff, making sure the stuff I do buy is sustainably produced, using energy more efficiently, buying locally as often as I can, using natural cleaners in my home and on my body, and recycling/using recycled goods whenever possible. But to make all these changes at the same time can be overwhelming! For me it has been a years-long transition which began way back when I was in high school (okay, so I’m slow). I have plateaued for periods of time and even back stepped sometimes due to laziness or inconvenience, but with times getting stranger I am more committed than ever to make some real changes.
So what is my next step? Well my first thought is always an internet search. Here are some resources I found for ideas and support (and comic relief) while going green. Canadian writer Vanessa Farquharsen had the idea in 2007 to make one change every day for a year and chronicled her experience on her blog. I particularly like her “From the Pantry to the Bathroom” entries. A young eco-conscious couple in Bloomington, IN is blogging about their experiences with sustainable living in the heartland at their blog greencouple.com. The Crunchy Chicken is a fun, irreverent environmental blog about sustainable living. The Chicken releases challenges to readers such as the “Freeze Yer Buns” thermostat lowering challenge, the “Food Waste Reduction Challenge” and the “Buy Nothing Challenge.” So if competition gets you fired up for action, the Crunchy Chicken may be the site for you. All these blogs have lists of more green blogs if you’re feeling especially inspired to sit at your computer reading about sustainability before you put it into action. If information is what motivates you check out the Wasted Food Blog or the Story of Stuff to learn more how our individual actions affect the bigger picture. If you absolutey must purchase something to get excited about change try going to the Earth Aid Kit site for some energy-efficient loot. But going green doesn’t require a huge investment of money, time or energy. It requires a willingness to change one thing at a time at your own pace (three times a day, twice a month, 4 times a year. It can be fun. It can be exciting. It can be amusing. It can be enlightening.
Recipe: Homemade Mac-N-Chee
Traditional macaroni and cheese or macaroni pie recipes call for baking in the oven once you have everything mixed together. I call my recipe Mac-N-Chee because it skips this step and is an easier, more casual dish. It’s much better tasting than the stuff that comes out of a box and requires very little effort and no more time because you make the sauce while the pasta boils. The benefit of this little effort is that you know exactly what you’re eating! You can also substitute whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta.
2 Tsb. butter
2 Tsb. flour (rice flour is a good gluten-free substitute for wheat flour)
1 cup of milk (or more if you want/need it)
1 cup of grated cheese (sharp cheddar is good or experiment with your favorite cheeses)
1 pound of macaroni, rotini, fusili, farfalle, rigatoni or whatever pasta you like.
Salt and Pepper
Follow the package directions for cooking the pasta.
While you wait for the water to boil make the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low to medium heat but do not let it brown.
Add the flour and stir for about a minute or two. This will result in a grainy-looking butter colored paste. Again, do not let it brown.
Slowly add the milk and stir the mixture to smooth out the lumps.
Once all the milk is in and there are no lumps turn the heat up slowly and keep stirring! Your sauce will thicken as it gets hotter. This may take a little time, but keep stirring and don’t turn the heat up too high or too fast.
When the sauce is thickend to your satisfaction, turn the heat down to low and slowly stir in the cheese a little at a time. Keep stirring!
When the sauce is cheezy to your liking, add salt and pepper to taste. Tasting as you go is vital to good cooking – but use a separate spoon and rinse it every time, the saliva on a “double-dipped” spoon can start to break food down while it’s still on the stove. As you become an expert in making cheese sauce you may want to experiment with adding other spices such as coriander, cumin, paprika, red pepper, and anything else that apeals to you.
If the sauce is finished before the pasta is done, turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pan. check it to make sure it’s not burning or sticking.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in. Pour the cheese sauce over it and mix well. Enjoy!
Natural Health Tips – Keeping Yourself Healthy
Get plenty of sunshine over the winter. Research indicates that the winter flu is often a result of vitamin D deficiency. The best source of vitamin D is sunshine! If you cannot get sunshine, take cod liver oil. Raw, unpasteurized milk is another vitamin D abundant food. If it is sunny go outside as much as you possibly can no matter how cold it is. Vitamin D is also produced when you go to a tanning bed, but please do not overdo it. There are disadvantages to tanning beds, so be smart.
Exercise! Yoga provides many benefits and is an excellent way to get fit, relieve stress and boost the immune system. Yoga is also beneficial on an emotional level and help alleviate symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Eat plenty of immune boosting foods such as garlic, vitamin C containing fruits and fresh green juices (broccoli, cabbage, cucumber and celery.) A diet rich in live foods is a sure way to stay healthy all year long.
Cut out sugar. Sugar suppresses the immune system and causes disease. It is also a favorite food of the viruses and bacteria that make us sick. Today there are many wonderful healthy alternatives such as stevia and xylitol. Also watch your foods for High Fructose Corn Syrup – unfortunately it’s everywhere.
Deal with emotional stress. Anger and stress suppress the immune system. Yoga, meditation, counselling, are some options. Also, check out Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s easy to learn and easy to use.
Get plenty of sleep. A lack of sleep suppresses the immune system, but is a reality for millions of people. Homeopathic remedies can help you get to sleep and stay asleep without any side effects. With a little help from homeopathy you can get some real sleep, too. Homeopathy stimulates the body to heal itself, so it’s not a drugged coma like you’d get from a prescription which is neither restorative nor healthy.
Newsletters are always posted at our blog! Check there for class announcements too! Bookmark it at drsnelling.blogspot.com
Links we Like:
When we find information online that we’d like to share with you we’ll put the links here. Send us your ideas and favorite websites and they may appear in future issues!
Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food – Chef Jamie Oliver is known for his simple and delicious cooking style. He recently launched a campaign to get Britain cooking at home. The recipes are just as easy here in America. Check them out at his “Ministry of Food” website.
The Story of Stuff – a little film that shows how our consumption affects the planet. Very interesting and enlightening.
Green as a Thistle – Vanessa Farquharson’s blog. Look in the Archive section to read about her year spent “greenifying” her life in 2007.
Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine Download a .pdf version of this excellent book by Dr. Timothy Dooley. It’s a great starting point for beginners and a wonderful resource for anyone interested in understanding more about homeopathy.
Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome!
Dr. Victoria Snelling
Sherry Dour, BA, Office Manager
Stephen Pollock, R.Ph., CST, One Brain Specialized Trainer
Rachel Gee, Kath Tallichet & Kim Rollins, Massage Therapists
May Moore, Ondamed Technician ~ Allison Singler, Ionic Foot Spa Therapist
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