I never got excited over my husband’s weight, primarily because he always came home from his physical examinations with acceptable levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. I attributed his weight problem to an excess of love for my food. Whenever anyone brought up the subject toe me, I would say that he’s just eating too much of the “good stuff.”
I never got excited, that is, until last week, when he brought home a paper with his test on it, accompanied by a broad grin, as though he had done something good. When I saw what he was so proud of, I began shouting. “These triglyceride levels are dangerous,” I said. I felt betrayed, both as a nutritionist and as a chef. “How could you?” I shouted. “I cook healthy. I serve you only the healthiest meals, and now, this?
After my shock and anger subsided, I decided I had better get to the core of the problem. Not only was he endangering his health, but my reputation was at stake. I tried writing down everything I cooked and he ate. I used only good olive oil, a lot of vegetables, and hardly any refined carbohydrates, and good grain and beans.
Like a betrayed wife, I found myself looking through the trash can in his car. The first clue was the discarded wrapper for a Heath Bar. The second clue came to me one day when my daughter and were shopping in the grocery store. We came to the isle where strawberry twizzlers were displayed. My daughter wanted one, and I said, “No junk food for you, young lady,” “But dad has a lot of these in his desk drawer in his office,” She protested. That was it. I decided to invade his office. At first he was happy to see me visit his office, that is, until I started opening his desk drawers. When I located his stash, I screamed, “I found it! He was trying to go around me to escape from the embarrassment of being caught, but I had him trapped.
“But you told me to eat carbohydrates,” he protested.
When a nutritionist tells you to eat carbohydrates, it means brown rice, whole wheat bread, fruit and vegetables. It doesn’t mean strawberry twizzlers, Heath Bars or Crispy Creme Doughnuts.
When a nutritionist tells you to eat good fat, it doesn’t mean double cheeseburgers with bacon slabs on top of the cheese. It mean olive oil, walnuts, almonds and small amount of good cheese.
The most important tip for eating healthy is cooking from scratch, I mean chopping, sauteing and cooking on the stove, not opening a can and warming in microwave.
How about a soup recipe:
Acorn Squash Soup
4 tablespoons olive oil
I medium onion, chopped
1 medium acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 yam, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cube vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
8 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
salt to taste
-Chop the white part of the leek. Heat the olive oil in heavy saucepan and saute the onion and the leek for 5 minutes.
-Add the squash and the yam plus 1/2 cup of water and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Add the vegetable broth, the nutmeg, the clove and the rest of the water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft.
-Remove the cloves, add the ginger, and then puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth.
-Adjust the seasoning and cook over low heat for 5 minutes and serve.