When sitting down to start this post, I figured it would make sense to reference the fact that I’m one of the “newbies” on the Guiding Stars team—and I joined in the summer of 2012 (I just checked). Eight years of working with these smart and talented folks has passed by so quickly! And boy, has the food landscape changed during the past 8 years—not to mention how much has changed since Guiding Stars was created in 2006.
Our ability to transport foods across the country (and the world) is exceptional. As a result, we consumers have grown to expect produce year-round that was once only available seasonally, along with foods that cross cultures, and tremendous access to high quality, fresh foods. Today’s supermarkets are doing such a great job that it’s easy to forget just how much goes into ensuring those foods are on store shelves and filling fresh departments. However, the supply chain that brings food to shelves so that it can eventually make it to your home kitchen is a network of devoted people who are the lifeline of this country. Let’s take a moment to highlight everyone from the farm workers to grocery store stockers and the home cook too, who take on the challenge of maintaining a safe food supply and nourishing our homes and communities.
With social distancing the norm now (not to mention isolation and self-quarantining), my household—and undoubtedly yours, too—has had to readjust in lots of ways. Primary among these are our individual schedules. As someone who has worked from home part-time for the last 20 years, my adjustments have been more minor than my college-aged daughter’s or my husband’s. Yet even for me, the altered patterns of each day’s meals and gym time (or lack of gym time), for example, have caused some ripples in my behavior. While it’s true that every one of us is experiencing this home-bound lifestyle in our own unique way, there are likely some challenges we share, too. Here are a few tips that might help all of us retain, regain or even begin some healthy habits while we remain sheltered at home.
If you’re a chocolate lover, February can be an especially tasty month. Stores are awash in all manner of chocolate treats, and gorgeous photos and recipes for homemade chocolate goodies are plentiful. If you feel you should abstain from chocolate for health reasons, I’m here to say “Go ahead and eat the chocolate!” People have been consuming chocolate in various forms for thousands of years. There absolutely are different ways to enjoy it—from more “responsible” chocolate choices, to all-out indulgence. Eating chocolate is one of life’s pleasures that we needn’t deny ourselves.
Can we agree that there is an app for pretty much everything under the sun now? I thought so. And that includes plenty of apps related to health (hundreds of thousands) and lots incorporate food intake. And of course, some of these are specifically designed to help people with weight loss. Do these apps work? What are the advantages of these types of apps?
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is time-consuming—especially if you are doing most of that cooking yourself. (If you’re not flying solo in the kitchen, consider these ideas for crowdsourcing your dinner.) And, while I love the holiday, the cozy family time and of course, the food, I also love a good kitchen short-cut that doesn’t sacrifice quality and gives me more time to enjoy the day. Here are a few ideas for getting the food prepped faster—and you out of the kitchen quicker…
We recently attended the 2019 annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Known as FNCE, this year’s conference was held in Philly and once again included an extensive expo floor, complete with many food industry companies. There continues to be a trend toward plant-based products, lower-sugar foods, and products made with fewer ingredients to provide consumers with the simplicity their looking for in their foods. As always, we enjoyed trying new foods and having fun on the expo floor.
Between a busy fall season and upcoming holidays, big batch cooking holds appeal for lots of us at this time of year. After all, having plenty of prepped food ingredients around can make it easier to put together a variety of healthful meals quickly and easily. Maybe you’ll be cooking for a crowd in the next month or two and doubling (or tripling) recipes to accommodate your guests. And don’t forget those comforting slow cooker meals that result in multiple portions of food. Whatever your reason, it’s important to realize that recipes that have large yields require special food handling in order for the food to remain safe to eat.