Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Healthy Eating Habits for 2009

I'm going to make a confession. Our family has two (well probably more than two but two that I'm going to confess) major dependencies on processed foods. The first is probably a big one with a lot of you also - cold cereal! We don't buy the sugary kind - just corn chex, cheerios, and multi-grain flakes. Some would argue that those are good for you, but while they are better than some options I still don't think they are the best option. I'd like to try to eliminate this dependency on processed cereals as much as possible in our family. Especially me and the kids. My husband is very consistent about eating oatmeal almost every morning. He just cooks quick oats in milk. Sometimes he'll put some fruit or cinnamon or something in it, but he doesn't put sugar or any other sweetener in - I don't know how he does that, but he does and he enjoys it.

The second dependency our family has is on tortillas. A few years ago I made my own tortillas, but I've fallen back into the habit of buying them, partly due to a busier schedule and partly due to not liking the kind I made.

So there you have it: our two less-healthy eating habits that I'd like to work on this year. I'd like to help my kids (and myself) learn to enjoy hot cereal for breakfast. And I'd like to find a tortilla recipe to make that is do-able with my schedule and healthy.

Have you thought about your eating habits lately? What would you like to improve for 2009?


Glenda said...

Well, those aren't the worst eating problems I've ever heard of, LOL! But I do understand your concern. I like to make my own tortillas. They are thicker than the store bought ones, but I have control over the ingredients. Cold cereal is sometimes a necessary evil. I have vowed not to buy any, unless I can get it for less than 50 cents a box with a coupon. I am an oatmeal eater, too. This morning I had mine with sliced banana and 1 tsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips...yummy!

Heather said...

Yum that does sound good. My favorite is oatmeal with fresh peaches during peach season. During that time, even I can eat it with no sugar!

That's great you can find cold cereal so cheap. I agree it is necessary at times...I've just found that our kids are getting dependent on it and that worries me a little. I'd rather them get accustomed to hot cereal and use the cold cereal as a "treat."

Cherylyn said...

Healthy cereal doesn't have to be hot. My friend is a raw vegan chef, and she gave me a recipe for Oat, Fruit and Nut Cereal, and here it is:

Oat, fruit and Nut Cereal

10 C rolled oats (long cooking)
1 C dried cranberries (fruit juice sweetened, not sugar sweetened, 
available at any health food store)
1 C pumpkin seeds
1 C sunflower seeds
1-2 C shredded coconut (unsweetened, available at any health food store)
½ C flax seeds
1-2 C almonds, pecans, or macadamia nuts

Use oats as a base and add any or all of the rest of the ingredients 
or pick your own favorite dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Mix together 
and store in an airtight container. Soak about 2/3 C cereal with 
frozen berries, water or nut milk and honey, agave or maple syrup for 
at least 5 minutes. You may also soak the cereal overnight in the 

You can use any kind of milk you want, but if you want to try nut milk, here's the recipe for that:

Fast Nut Milk

1 C of almonds cashews or brazil nuts (brazil nuts make it a lot richer)
3-4 C water (depending on how rich you want it)
1-2 T sweetener such as agave, maple syrup or honey
pinch salt (this is a trick to bring out the flavors of sweet things)
1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract (optional)

Mix all together in a blender, strain for a smooth milk-like texture, 
or leave nut grounds in the milk. For a faster, less flavorful milk, 
try just using the nuts and water. It takes about 19 seconds! :)

Alena said...

I'm very impressed that those are your only 2 dependencies on processed foods. If you find a tortilla recipe, please let me know. I don't have a great one either and I'm addicted to them :)

Heather said...

Thanks Cherylyn, you're right about the other options for breakfast cereals. Thanks for the recipe. My Uncle served us warm brown rice sweetened with agave nectar and milk over the Christmas holidays for breakfast. It was amazing. He also said he makes red quinoa (another grain) and serves it cold with milk and a little sweetener. Anyway, there are lots of different options out there...I plan on exploring a lot of these in the next little while.

Alena, I'm sure those are not the only 2 dependencies we have, but those are the main ones that we're going to work right now. I plan to post about a pretty good tortilla recipe that I tried so check back soon. I'm addicted to tortillas too! :)

Cherylyn said...

Quinoa is really good and really healthy. I've never made it myself, but I've had it before. I imagine you could sweeten it with some agave or honey and it would make a nice breakfast.

K P said...

Have you tried this recipe?

4 cups flour
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup lukewarm water plus 2 teaspoons more (maybe)

Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Add shortening and mix until well distributed. Add lukewarm water and blend well. Turn out on a lightly floured board; knead about 30 strokes. Divide dough into 12 equal size pieces and form each into a ball. Cover with a cloth and let stand for 15 minutes. Roll each ball into a round tortilla, 8 inches in diameter. Cook on a moderately hot ungreased skillet until golden brown in spots, turning once and being careful not to break air bubbles. Makes 12 tortillas.

My family loves these!

NoSurfGirl said...

Yup... my husband has made a resolution to avoid refined sugars until he meets a weight goal that he has made. And I'm going completely meatless until march the 17th... and then hopefully thereafter. It's hard. Sigh.

Yeah... tortillas are a problem for us, too. You can buy the delicious uncooked kind, but they're still processed. ;) If you find a really good recipe for whole wheat flour tortillas, please let me know! And if I find one I'll let you know!

Heather said...

Thanks for the recipe K P. I'll have to try them - do you know if they work with a whole grain flour?

Good luck with your goals NoSurfGirl. I'll let you know about the tortillas. I found a pretty good one that I made the other day. I'll probably post it here as soon as I can. But I'm still not 100% satisfied with it. I'm going to work to improve it a bit. I'm also looking into buying a tortilla press because I think it might pay off in the long run. The rolling the dough out is the hardest part for me. So if a tortilla press encourages me to make my own tortillas, then it might be worth it. I don't know - I've got to find out their limitations still - does anyone have one? Is it the kind that cooks the tortilla or just the press? How do you like it?

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