It's still March, and that means it's still National Nutrition Month. Yes there is such a thing! Now is the time for those of you who have slacked off on those new years resolutions to start fresh, NOW! Honestly, we can start fresh whenever we want to and that includes right now, in this very moment. Don't wait until Monday to start exercising, start now! Don't hold off on the ice cream until the weekend, treat yourself right now! Don't give up on that last rep, finish it right now! We have so many opportunities in this life to create a new beginning for ourselves. This moment is an opportunity to start again.
It's easy to get discouraged when we create barriers and time limits on ourselves. Especially when it comes to taking care of our bodies. Setting goals is great but setting unrealistic ones usually end with us quitting or giving up.
According to a study done by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 39% of people in their twenties achieved their resolution each year. These resolutions range from self improvement to fall in love. More than half had a hard time keeping their resolution because they got discouraged or didn’t have enough time anymore. NOW, is the time to revisit that goal and try again.Try to set reasonable goals but don't be afraid to push yourself past your limits, because incredible things happen when you do.
Go celebrate National Nutrition month by revisiting some goals and pushing yourself just a little bit further.
On a basic level, these are Mediterranean chicken tacos. The only crucial ingredients here are shredded chicken and pita bread. Sounds boring right? Think of it like you’re going to Pita Pit. The toppings are what make this meal stand out.
(For the chicken)
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast
1 16 oz can chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, or ½ tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon corn starch
(For the pita)
3 Pocket pitas or flatbreads, heated at 350 for 5 min
(For the toppings)
Hummus, Tzatziki, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onion, Bell pepper, Jalapeños, Pepperoncini, Feta or another cheese, Lettuce, Cabbage, Corn, Black beans, etc.
A skillet and a small sauce pot
4 out of 10 spatulas
1) Heat the skillet to medium high (6 or 7) and add two tablespoons of olive oil.
2) Cut the chicken breast in half and place both pieces in the skillet. Brown on both sides for about 5 minutes.
3) Remove the chicken from the skillet and place the halves in the saucepot, along with the can of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, and set a timer for 15 minutes.
4) During this time, go ahead and preheat the oven. Now would also be a good time to prepare toppings.
5) Cut up whatever veggies you like, get out some hummus, whatever. My personal favorite combo is hummus, cucumbers, onion, lettuce, tomato, and feta with a few squirts of sriracha sauce.
6) When the chicken is done, move the pieces into a large mixing bowl to cool. Once they are cool use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces.
7) Add the shredded chicken back to the skillet, along with ½ cup of the broth from the pot, the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, and vinegar. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
8) Heat the pitas in the oven for about five minutes, or until warm.
9) When the chicken and pitas are done, move everything to the table.
10) ASSEMBLE PITAS!!
Put some chicken in your bread, and add whatever you want. It’s like you’re in Pita Pit, but it’s not 3 am and nobody is sneaking in just to use the bathroom.
Someone showed me a website with this recipe which, I decided to try. However, I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients, so I just kinda made do. It’s way better than I would’ve ever expected. It’s super easy, you only dirty a few pans and it keeps all week.
1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey, pork, chorizo sausage, your choice.)
1 sixteen oz can of black beans
1 sixteen oz can of tomatoes
1 eight oz can of corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 red, orange, yellow, or green bell pepper
1 cup Spanish or white rice
A pinch or two of cumin, chili powder, and oregano
Salt and pepper
A casserole dish, a large frying pan, and a small sauce pot.
3 out of 10 spatulas
1) On medium heat, brown the meat until mostly cooked through.
2) In a small pot, bring the rice to a boil along with 2 cups of water and put a lid on it.
3) Add the vegetables (and fruit, whatever, we get it peppers and tomatoes are fruit) and seasonings, and stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
4) When all the water has boiled out of the pot/into the rice, take it off the heat but keep the lid on.
5) Preheat the oven to 350.
6) Take out a casserole pan, and pour all of the meat, veggies, and rice into it.
7) Bake for 20 minutes.
8) Remove from the oven, stir your casserole, and top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes.
9) Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
This stuff is really good with some salsa and some sour cream. It’s also great with guacamole. Do you know how to make that? It’s pretty crucial for this dish actually. Here, let’s make that real quick.
1 half of a small tomato, diced
1 half of a small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1) Scoop the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork.
2) Add the tomato, onion, and garlic. Stir.
3) Squeeze some lime juice, and add the salt and pepper. Stir.
Scoop out a big spoonful of the enchilada stuff onto a plate, top it with some guacamole and some salsa, stir it up and eat it. It’s also good to dip some corn chips into this mix. Happy Spring Break.
Do you guys like hummus? You probably do. Americans LOVE hummus. It’s getting so popular that some tobacco farmers are switching to chickpeas to meet the demand. But do you know how to make hummus? It’s like, embarrassingly easy. And it’s so much cheaper to make than to buy those little packages of Sabra from The Creamery or whatever. So let’s save some money.
Time: ~ 10 minutes
Difficulty: 1 out of 10 spatulas
1 can chickpeas (reserve the liquid, you’ll use it later)
1 clove garlic, chopped
The juice of ¼ of a lemon
1 tablespoon peanut butter (or tahini)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (or olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
A blender or a food processer.
1) Drain the liquid from the can of chickpeas into a container of some kind and dump the peas themselves into the blender.
2) Add the peanut butter, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and oil into the blender along with a small splash of the liquid.
3) Blend it all up until smooth. If the consistency is too dry to properly blend, add more liquid.
4) This is the only difficult part: adjusting proportions. Taste your hummus. Is it too chunky? Blend it more. Too thick? Add more liquid. Do you like your hummus silky smooth? Add some more oil. Want your hummus tangier? Add more lemon juice. Want it nuttier? Add more peanut butter. Adjust your hummus, tasting as you go, until it’s perfect for you.
Once you’ve got it how you want it, put it in an airtight container and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. There. Hummus. Dip some pita into it. Or vegetables. Whatever. The main point is that you not only made hummus, but that you made it how you like it. Speaking of, the Sabra Company makes different varieties of hummus, and so can you! You like roasted red peppers? Cut a red pepper in half and put it in an oven set to broil at 500 degrees for 12 minutes, then cut it into cubes and fold it into your hummus. Pine nuts are good in hummus too, if you can find them/want to buy them. Add a handful to a frying pan with a wee bit of oil on medium high heat, and stir them around until they turn golden brown, maybe five minutes. Add them into the hummus. The possibilities are limitless…in theory. After all, this is ground chickpeas we’re talking about.
Why should we even care about GMO’s? According to the Non-Gmo Project GMO’s are living organisms whose genetic material has been manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. The process that happens because of GMO’s creates unwanted bacteria that does not occur through nature. GMO’s pop up a lot in the processed foods we eat everyday. More importantly, a lot of food that we buy doesn’t say that it contains GMO’s. So what can we do to look out for foods that contain GMO’s?
1. Buy Organic: When I suggest people to “buy organic” they tend to freak out and assume that they’re going to have to spend a fortune on groceries. That’s not the case! I’m only suggesting to buy foods such as fruits and veggies that would not normally contain GMO’s. And foods that are organic are generally free from modified organisms and additives.
2. Price Look-Up code (PLU): The price look-up code is the sticker you see on most produce foods. This 4-5 digit number informs you where the food came from and if it has been genetically modified or not. The sticker on produce is something to look out for when choosing a GMO free food. Numbers that start with an 8 are foods that have been in some way genetically modified. Codes that start with a 9 mean that the food is organic and/or is not genetically modified.
3. Dairy products: Watch out for dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese. Many of these dairy products do not have a GMO label on it. Not only that, but they are filled with high fructose corn syrup, which is used a sweetener in many high name brands such as Blue Bunny.
If your interested in finding out more about genetically modified foods or want to see which foods contain GMO, visit the website www.nongmoproject.org. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products.
Before I start, this is NOT barbecue pork. That involves 4-6 hours of smoking, which is great but it’s cold out and nobody wants to be outside for half of a day. This is PULLED pork, which is similar. It may not be as smoky or traditional as a barbecued pork shoulder, but it’s easier, faster, cleaner and (as we’ll see later) more versatile.
1 Boston Butt (bone-in pork shoulder), around 3-5 pounds
Dried spices (salt, pepper, cumin, thyme)
1 six oz can tomato paste
1 small to medium yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Lots of cheap beer (at least 6 tallboys)
Big stock pot
Oversized spatula/tongs/giant fork
1) Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large frying pan on HIGH heat. Liberally season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper on all sides, really cake it on. This hunk of pork is enormous and it’s hard to over season it.
2) Sear the meat on all sides for AT LEAST 4 minutes a side. It will look super burned but this is good, it adds flavor.
3) After searing the meat, transfer the pork to the large stockpot. Add a tablespoon each of cumin and thyme, the tomato paste, and the chopped garlic, onion, and jalapeño. Fill the pot with beer until the pork is covered.
4) Turn the heat under the pot to medium low, stir the pot well, and put a lid on it. Set a timer for 5 hours. Walk away. Come back every 20 minutes or so, just to make sure it hasn’t boiled over.
5) After the five hours, use tongs and transfer the pork into a large mixing bowl. It should be falling apart. Get a fork in each hand and just shred it all up.
This stuff is one of the most versatile meat-stuffs on earth. You can put it in a hamburger bun, cover it in bbq sauce, add pickle chips, and have a sandwich. You can put it in a flour tortilla with cabbage, avocado, and pico de gallo/hot sauce and it’s like a Mexican carnitas. A flour tortilla, a handful of cabbage, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha makes something like a Korean bbq taco. A big white hoagie roll, ham, swiss cheese, dill pickles, yellow onion, and mustard makes a Cuban sandwich. There are so many more options, but I’m running short on space.
Valentine’s Day. If there is one holiday that really rewards a young person’s ability to cook, it’s February 14. There is nothing that earns brownie points quite like cooking someone a romantic dinner. So what should we make this week? Coq au vin? Risotto? Both of those are great ideas.
Or, we could do what I’m doing: celebrating UGA baseball’s opening weekend with tailgate food! So with that in mind, let’s make some Chicago style sausage sandwiches.
1 lb. bratwurst (5-6 sausages)
1 package fresh hoagie rolls (Kroger sells them for $2 a pack)
1 yellow onion
1 red and 1 green bell pepper
Cheese slices (I prefer Muenster or Swiss)
Mustard, for serving. Spicy brown or regular yellow.
1) If you have a grill, which hopefully you do because Spring is coming, grill the sausages until they are cooked through. If you don’t, get out a large frying pan, put a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil in it, and turn the heat to medium. Toss in the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, then lower the heat and cook for 5-10 minutes until fully cooked.
2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When it’s preheated, peel open the rolls and put them in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly toasted. You can do this on a grill by placing the open rolls inside the grill, but as far away from the actual fire as possible.
3) Thinly slice the onion, tomatoes, and peppers into strips and sauté them in a separate pan in a bit of oil. Cook the vegetables until they’re soft and slightly browned. If you have a grill, you can cook these veggies on a cast iron skillet over the fire.
4) When the sausages are done (however you cooked them) slice them in quarters (lengthwise then laterally.) Put two to three on each roll, and lay a slice of cheese over them. Smother in vegetables. Smother that in mustard. Close the roll. If you made this entire recipe at the grill, give yourself a pat on the back.
For maximum Valentine’s Day effect, you should cook these before the game (starts at 4) and bring them to the game wrapped in foil like a ballpark dog. You should also eat this while seated at your tailgate in Foley Field’s parking lot and drinking a beer…because of Valentine’s Day.
There is no universal diet out there that is perfect for all of us. I think that we get hung up on this “one-size-fits-all” view of how we are supposed to take care of ourselves. Sometimes we are told that certain diets such as the Paleo Diet or the Gluten-Free Diet will help us look our best, and that we need to limit certain foods (that we typically enjoy) to make ourselves look healthier. Although those diets do have some benefits, they may not work well for everyone.
We all have different body types that react differently to certain things. And that’s okay!! You just need to figure out what YOUR body needs in order for it to function and perform its best.
Healthy starts from the inside and we need variety in our diet to get the different nutrients required. When I say variety, I don’t mean a variety of one food group. Eating a variety of different carbs like crackers, chips, pretzels, and popcorn throughout the day wouldn’t be the best choice. But consuming them in moderation is acceptable. I try eating 5 small meals throughout the day that have all the different food groups.
I usually carry fruit and nuts such as raspberries and unsalted cashews. I have a huge sweet tooth and snaking on a bag of berries throughout the day satisfies that craving. Also celery and peanut butter is one of my favorite things to eat because celery contains a lot of fiber with helps with digestion and makes you feel fuller longer, which helps with weight loss. Even whole grain pretzels and cheese is better choice than a bag of Cheetos.
Spending money and time preparing the food you eat is gonna be worth it in the long run. When you choose to eat healthy your investing in yourself. We’ve been given these bodies to carry us through life, so why not fill it with foods that will only nourish it?
You drank too much again, just admit it. It’s the weekend and you’re in college, it’s cool. But now you have class and you feel like you may die. You need water, medicine and FOOD. But hey, don’t go to Chick-fil-A like every other sheep-person in town! You should make migas! It’s good, easy, cheap and filled with enough grease and protein to get your day started after a night of boozin’. This recipe makes 2 servings.
A Frying Pan
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 Mexican chorizo sausage. Avoid Spanish chorizo here, which is similar to salami
1 large handful of crumbled corn chips, tortilla or fritos are best. Migas, by the way, is (I’m told) Spanish for “crumbs. The original recipe called for stale tortillas. So any old, stale, crushed up chips you may have laying around will do.
1 pinch cumin, salt, oregano, and black pepper
Michelada (surprise second recipe!)
Rim one pint glass in a mix of kosher salt and cayenne pepper, and pour one chilled beer into it. Mexican beer is good in this, but so is Coors or whatever else you have. Add the juice from one half lime, as well as a few dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco. Just…trust me. It’s good, and will help take the edge off the worst of your “symptoms.” Happy Friday.
We put a lot of pressure on what it means to be healthy. We fight about the numbers on a scale and get hung up on our own body images. Being healthy does not mean obsessing about everything you eat. It does not mean feeling guilty about the cookie or piece of bread you ate today. It does not mean starving yourself so you can fit into a pair of size 2 jeans. Some people put this idea in their head that being healthy means you have to change everything about yourself. People begin to tell you things like, “you need to eat less!” or “you can’t eat that!” Of course we all want to be healthy! Yes!
But healthy simply means being happy and truly appreciating who you are. Being healthy means taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Anything and everything that goes into our bodies is shown on the outside. However, it goes far beyond what our skin looks like or how fit we look. It relates to how we treat others that come into our lives. Once we focus our attention on loving and accepting who we are, it will show through our actions.
To continue living a healthy lifestyle we have to try not to dwell on the past or worry about the future. We all have a tendency to focus on what will happen next. Will I past this exam? Am I going to get that job? I hope I loose 10 pounds before spring break. Then we begin feel stressed and angry, and judge ourselves against other people. Take advantage of what you have in front you! Do the best you can with what you have and everything will fall into place.