Quality Food, Quality Life

photo source
I had the privilege of contributing a food-related article to the Dallas Morning News. It is featured in today's issue, and I have copied below for your reading pleasure.

Quality food, life go well together

By Catherine Jagers

It's that time of year when we all vow to eat better, but we're not quite sure how.

We need food. It keeps us going, and it tastes good.

But doughnuts taste good, and therein lies the problem. Junk food isn’t good for you.

Here are a few simple tips to help you enjoy quality food in 2009, which in turn will help you enjoy a quality life. Focus on freshness

Pretend the frozen section of your grocery store doesn't exist and ignore the canned vegetables.

Also, please don't feed yourself ready-made, processed, microwavable meals. Most of these meals are chock-full of chemicals, and they lack the nutrition and taste of food in its original form.

I know you are trying to be good by picking up a can of green beans, but turn in to the produce aisle instead.

Grab a handful of fresh green beans. Break off the ends, place on a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil for seven minutes and, voila, fresh veggies that taste great.

Fresh food provides the nutrition your body needs so that you feel the urge to eat less often. Get creative

I love chocolate. But instead of eating a Snickers every time I want one, I rely on my stock of organic dark chocolate. A few bites after dinner, and my craving is quenched.

If you dream about pizza, don't deny yourself.

Start with a piece of pita bread, and spread fresh Italian mozzarella on top. Place some fresh tomato slices on the cheese, as well as some Italian sausage. Bake for 20 minutes and serve with fresh basil on top. Enjoy every bite

We live in a fast-paced world where people scarf down meals at their desk … when they’re not skipping meals.

Even worse, we mindlessly inhale a sandwich in about four bites. Next time you eat a meal, try putting your fork down between every bite. Taste the food that is in your mouth. Do you like the flavors? Do you like the texture?

Our serving sizes are often triple what they need to be, mainly because we eat so fast that we have no idea when we are full. We scarf down a trough-full of food and suffer the post-lunch coma.

By enjoying each bite, we actually derive pleasure from food, and eating slowly is an added bonus for your digestive system.

May this New Year hold many long meals full of quality food, friends and family for you.