APF is happy to announce that JB Meal Prep and Catering is offering healthy, affordable meals for our clients. Jason has more than a decade of experience in the restaurant industry. JB Meal Prep & Catering provides simple, healthy meals for all diets, with the goal of helping you and your family get started with a better, healthier lifestyle. We now also offer Grab & Go available fresh each week while supplies last.
Did you know there is sugar in almost every product you buy? I’m not talking about the naturally occurring fructose in fruits. I’m referring to the added sugar in our foods. Next time you go shopping, grab an item of the shelf and read the food label. You might be surprised how much sugar you’re consuming on a regular basis.
Whether you are aware of your sugar intake or not, there are millions of Americans who are not. Sugar is found in almost everything and too much sugar can lead to metabolic diseases, weight gain, and obesity. Food companies are loading foods with sugar and people are consuming it in large quantities, whether they are aware or not.
According to Judy Corliss at Harvard Health, “Over the course of the 15-year study on added sugar and heart disease, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. Overall, the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index (a measure of weight)”. In short, the odds of dying from heart disease increase based on the percentage of sugar in your diet and this was true regardless of sex, age, activity level, and body-mass. Sugar is empty calories with no nutritional value, but evidently lethal as well.
Americans have been overconsuming sugar from some of their favorite food sources for years with no understanding of the impact on their bodies. Sources like sodas, energy drinks, and sport drinks are the biggest culprits, but according to the ChooseMyPlate.gov website, you can add candy, cakes, cookies, cereals, pies and cobblers, bakery items (sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts), fruit drinks, and desserts to the list.
The biggest hidden issue is the added sugar in foods like ketchup, cottage cheese, yogurt, protein bars and granola! Sugar is added to the foods to make it pleasing to our taste buds, but that means getting more sugar than you realize. Also be very aware of the “no sugar” or “sugar free” items on the shelves. There are often artificial or other sweeteners added to make that "low sugar" food even more palatable to us. These sweeteners may not show up in the calorie or carbohydrate section, but they are on the ingredient list. Know that in terms of added sugars, while the FDA does recognize sugar in its many forms (brown, white granulated, raw, and invert), as well as honey, lactose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose it DOES NOT recognize cane juice, evaporated corn sweetener, crystal dextrose, glucose, liquid fructose, sugar cane juice, and fruit nectar.
The next time you read a food label and you’re considering what you are putting into your body, read the ingredient section carefully. According to the ChooseMyPlate.gov, these are ingredients found in many processed foods that we should be aware of:
- anhydrous dextrose
- brown sugar
- confectioner's powdered sugar
- corn syrup
- corn syrup solids
- high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- malt syrup
- maple syrup
- nectars (e.g., peach nectar, pear nectar)
- pancake syrup
The American Heart Association suggests that women take in no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) of added sugar, while men should take in no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories). To put that in perspective, a 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar, so drinking even one a day would put all women and most men over the daily limit. Please note that FRUCTOSE in fruit is NOT on this list and fruit has many health benefits.
If you attended our January Wellness nights, you will know that reading labels is important. Awareness is key. Choose those labels with the fewest ingredients and eat as much from the outside of the grocery store as possible!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound red potatoes, 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 pound purple potatoes, peeled, 1/2 dice
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled, 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- (up to) 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook and stir occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the onions are softened. [Side note: If you feel like the vegetables are sticking to the Dutch oven, add a little water or vegetable broth and deglaze with a flat wooden spoon].
Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, and cloves, and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze by gradually adding in the water and scraping the bottom of the dish. Add the bay leaves, mustard seeds, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the potatoes are tender, roughly 15 minutes.
Lastly, add the tomatoes and vinegar, and simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened slightly, roughly 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves, stir in the fresh cilantro, and season to taste.
Serve with rice and top with additional fresh cilantro if desired.
Adapted from the Washington Post
4 servings; makes about 7 cups
1 cup dried brown lentils
6 cups water, or more as needed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces dried whole wheat pasta (we used rotini)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
I can diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 cups greens (We used baby Swiss chard)
Pour the lentils into a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven and add the water (to cover); bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Uncover; stir in the garlic, red chili flakes and oil, then cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the pasta, cover and cook until al dente, stirring regularly to keep the pasta from sticking and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a minimum of bubbling. Depending on the pasta variety, the cooking time may take about 5 minutes longer than indicated on the package, so begin tasting the pasta once the suggested cooking time has elapsed. Continue tasting every minute or two until it is cooked through but still firm. The resulting dish should resemble a thick soup; if the mixture seems too dry, add a little water to reach the desired texture, keeping in mind the pasta will continue to absorb liquid as it cools.
Once the pasta is done, add thyme and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are hot. Add greens, stir until mixed in, cover and let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then uncover and serve!
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 lb carrots
- ¾ cup farro
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups curly kale
- 2 Tbsp sweet white miso
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tsp mixed sesame seeds
- 2 cups white beans, drained and rinsed
- olive oil, coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
- Roast vegetables: Preheat oven to 425°F. Halve onion and thinly slice half. (I use my mandolin to slice thinly) Peel carrots, cut in half lengthwise and slice in quarters. Toss carrots and sliced onion with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2teaspoon salt, and some pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until vegetables are golden and almost tender, 20–25 minutes.
Cook farro Meanwhile, combine farro, remaining half onion, 2½ cups water and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until farro is tender, 15–20 minutes; drain if necessary and discard onion.
Prep kale Remove stems from kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Toss kale with white beans and 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Add kale and beans to sheet with carrots and onions and continue to roast until kale is slightly wilted and crispy in spots, about 5 minutes more.
Make dressing Whisk miso, honey, remaining tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dressing is thin enough to drizzle.
Toast nuts & seeds Place pine nuts and sesame seeds on a separate rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden, about 4 minutes.
Finish Transfer farro to a platter and top with vegetables. Drizzle everything with dressing and top with pine nuts and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Adapted from Vegan for Everybody
This makes a great breakfast, lunch or snack! Paulo likes to eat just the mash with a side of brown rice.
4 oz cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups black beans (rinse and drain if using canned beans)
Pinch of pepper
1/2-1 tsp chili powder, (I prefer Penzey's Chili 3000!)
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp lime zest, plus 1 tbl lime juice
1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Place beans, boiling water, lime zest and juice, pinch of pepper, chili powder and cilantro in a bowl. Mash with potato masher until coarse puree, leaving some whole beans intact.
- Toast bread and spread mashed bean mixture evenly on toast. Top with tomatoes and avocado !
- 1 package buckwheat Udon Noodles
- 1 thumb ginger, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 scallions, white and green, diced
- 1 cup broccoli, cut in to bite size pieces
- 1 cup each carrot and red peppers, cut into match stick size pieces
- ½ cup frozen edamame
- 1 cup sliced shitaki mushrooms
- 1 TBL sesame oil
- ¼ cup Tamari sauce
- 1 TBL thai chili sauce (or to taste)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- Place a large saucepan on a medium heat and add sesame oil. When hot, throw in the garlic, ginger, scallions, carrots, red peppers, edamame and broccoli and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add in the mushrooms and saute for about another 2 minutes, not allowing mushrooms to lose their texture.
- Next, add Tamari sauce, chili garlic sauce and vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook udon noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
- Add the noodles to your soup and serve up with a handful of chopped cilantro in each bowl!
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen "Vegan for Everybody"
- 2 pounds Cremini mushrooms, trimmed & quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 (28 oz) can organic whole peeled tomatoes
- 3 TBL extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 dried Porcini mushrooms, rinsed & minced
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBL organic tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 TBL soy sauce or Tamari
- 3 TBL soy unsweetened creamer
- 1 lb whole wheat linguini (also works well with spaghetti squash!)
- Working in batches, pulse Cremini mushrooms, carrots, & onion in food processor until finely chopped, about 5-7 pulses. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse tomatoes and their juices until finely chopped, 6-8 pulses. Set aside separately.
- Heat oil in dutch over over medium heat until shimmering. Add processed vegetables and Porcini mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook until vegetable begin to brown, about 10-12 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in wine & simmer, stirring occasionally until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in processed tomatoes, broth, soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened but is still moist. Stir in soy creamer. Continue to stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return to pot. Add sauce and toss to combine. Adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste & serve.
Adapted from The Minimalist Baker
- 3 cups butternut squash, chopped into small, bite-size cubes
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or avocado oil, divided
- 3⁄4 cup quinoa
- 1 ⁄2 cup vegetable broth
- 1⁄2 medium red onion sliced in thin rings
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cremini, button, or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
- 3 cups loosely packed kale, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Penzey's Mural of Flavor
- Sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add cubed butternut squash and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper.
3. Toss to coat and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until just fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In the meantime, thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Add to small saucepan with vegetable broth and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until liquid is fully absorbed and quinoa is fork tender—about 15 minutes. Set aside, covered.
5. Heat a large oven proof large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and garlic. Season with a pinch of pepper.
6. Cook until onion is soft and translucent ( 4 to 5 minutes) stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are lightly browned.
7. Add kale to the pan. Season with Mural of Flavor, red pepper flakes and pepper. Stir to coat. Cook until kale is just tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
8. Once quinoa is finished cooking, reduce oven temperature to 375°F Add cooked quinoa to skillet. Top with vegetable-walnut mixture and roasted butternut squash. Lightly stir/toss to combine.
10. Bake uncovered for 5 to 7 minutes to warm through. Serve immediately.
Adapted from http://whattheheckdoieatnow.com/2015/09/16/portobello-steak-fajitas/
- 6 large portobello mushrooms
- Marinade (this will be divided)
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 large red peppers thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow pepper thinly sliced
- 1 large orange pepper thinly sliced
- 1 large green pepper thinly sliced
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 6-8 whole wheat flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Sliced avocado or guacamole (optional)
- Prepare the portobellos. Scrape out gills and remove stems with a small spoon. Wash gently or alternatively wipe with a damp cloth. Slice into long ½ inch wide strips.
- Thinly slice peppers and onions
- Prepare the marinade by whisking together the grapeseed oil, lime juice, dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder, salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste).
- Add cut mushrooms to one large flat baking dish and peppers/ onion to the other.
- Set the pepper/ onion mix in the fridge until later.
- Toss the mushrooms well with about ¾ of the marinade. Set the remaining ¼ of the marinade aside for later. Leave the mushrooms marinating for at least half an hour (preferably longer) tossing every 30 minutes as able. Cover and refrigerate.
- When you're ready to eat, toss the pepper mix with the remaining marinade. Preheat a large skillet and pour in contents of the bowl containing peppers/onions/ marinade. Saute over medium for about 10 minutes or until veggies are softened.
- Meanwhile preheat a grill pan over med or high heat. Lay the marinated mushrooms on the pan and grill 3-5 minutes per side until they have nice char lines.
- Warm tortillas in a separate skillet.
- To assemble:
- Place tortilla on a plate and layer with mushrooms, pepper/onion mix, or avocado if using, cilantro and any other desired toppings. Roll and enjoy!
A Healthier You in 2018
A 4 Part Lecture/Activity Series presented by Paulo & Stephanie
Monday at 6:45 beginning January 8th
Includes Healthy Snacks!
Register for all 4 for $100 and bring a spouse, partner or housemate for FREE!
Lectures can be purchased individually for $30
· Lecture 1: 10 Steps to a Healthier You
Learn the small steps you can make daily to lead you to a healthier life, including nutritional changes as well as plans of behavioral change
· Lecture 2: Food & More
Includes information on: Eat this, not that, Grocery Shopping Tips & Kitchen Hygiene
· Lecture 3: Incorporating Movement & Mindfulness Daily
Learn the basics of Mindfulness & Meditation and 10 easy ways to get more movement in your day
· Lecture 4: Let’s Have Dinner
Everyone gets to prepare and share a healthy recipe they have enjoyed!
Space is limited; register today!
Finely chop the following:
2 stalks celery
2 large carrots
1 seeded red pepper
1 seeded green pepper
1 small broccoli crown
1 sweet onion
1 cup mushrooms
2 small seeded jalapenos
2 tsp garlic
2 large tomatoes (or 1 can no salt organic can tomatoes)
3 cups of your favorite beans, rinsed & soaked (or 2 cans of your favorite beans, rinse thoroughly
3 Tbl Chili Powder (I prefer Penzey’s Original and I only use Penzey's spices)
2 Tbl Cumin
2 Tsp Oregano
1/2-1 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Chipotle chili powder
1 tsp Smoked paprika
Layer the veggies in the slow cooker and cook on low all day. Stir frequently as it starts to cook.
Adjust the spices to suit your taste and serve with brown rice or oven baked sweet potato and top with fresh cilantro if desired
Adapted from NYT Cooking: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1845-tuscan-farro-soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup farro, spelt or barley
- 1 cup dried white beans, soaked for several hours or overnight
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; do not drain)
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water, more as necessary
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, optional
· Put oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat; a minute later add onion, celery, carrots, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until vegetables are glossy and onion is softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, and stir; add farro, beans, tomatoes and stock, and stir.
· Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until farro and beans are tender, at least an hour, adding stock or water as necessary if mixture becomes too thick. Stir in spinach, parsley and basil (if using), then cook another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning
- 1 medium-large cauliflower (about 1 3/4 pounds/800g), trimmed
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 3 onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- A large pinch of dried chile flakes
- 1 (14-ounce/400g) can plum tomatoes, chopped, any stalky ends and skin removed
- 1 (14-ounce/400g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz organic light coconut milk
- Organic low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (I prefer Penzey’s Sweet Curry)
- 8 oz spinach or other greens
- A good handful of cilantro, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the cauliflower into medium florets. Put into a large pan, cover with cold water, add some salt, and bring up to a rolling boil. This will partly cook the cauliflower. Take off the heat right away, drain well, and keep warm in the pan.
- Heat the oil in a second large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the ground coriander, cumin, chile flake, and some salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes with their juice and the chickpeas. Stir well, then add the parcooked cauliflower. Pour in coconut milk and enough vegetable broth to almost but not quite cover everything (1/3 to 3/4 cup/100 to 200ml) and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the cauliflower is tender.
- Stir in the garam masala, curry powder, greens and half of the chopped cilantro, then check the seasoning. Serve scattered with the remaining cilantro and accompanied by brown rice.
Oh my gosh! September 9th was such a transformative day for me. I partook in Mindy & Bruce Mylrea’s One Day to Wellness workshop because I have been trying to “Raise my Healthfulness Game” in 2017. This year I started with the goal of practicing meditation and mindfulness daily, while increasing my knowledge of nutrition and healthy eating. When I read about the workshop, I thought it might be just what I needed. I had no idea it was going to be as educational and motivational as it turned out to be. It raised my awareness game and seriously began our personal experiment into vegetarianism and vegan eating.
Bruce & Mindy spoke about their experience in what they called their “transition” to plant based eating, but they also presented significant amounts of the current research behind plant based eating. More and more research is linking animal protein consumption to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. There is a significant amount of research that support a relationship between high protein diets and kidney disease. (Even Arnold Schwarzenegger is turning VEGAN!) And it is difficult to ignore the impact of animal food production on the environment, not to mention concerns regarding the ethical treatment of animals.
So, Paulo & I decided it was time to listen to science and see how our bodies responded to a change in eating style. Right now we are 3 weeks in to our MOSTLY VEGANISM. Admittedly, learning to eat this way is taking some practice. There is a lot of volume of food required and we are rethinking our meals and meal planning. But, we feel good. Maybe a few pounds lost and body fat is down. We are committing to our plant based eating style for the next month and checking the results of our experiment at our next checkups! For the next chapter, stay tuned!