Tag Archives: vitamins

Permission to Bake

I try not to bake. I love to bake, don’t get me wrong. But I also love to eat what I bake, so baking for me is like kryptonite. It doesn’t seem fair that a process and a product so enjoyable should be so dangerous, but it is. Apparently anything with carbs is something my body turns into vein-choking, blood-clotting, body-bulging fat. Not muscle-building, bone-strengthening, brain-enhancing, heart-healthy stuff. So I try not to bake.

However, I do love to bake. So I have decided to make a list of criteria to determine when baking is permissible. If I can answer yes to at least 5 of the following questions, then I can bake with an almost guiltless conscience. Here they are:
1. Did it snow?
2. If it hasn’t snowed all winter and it’s been a long time since it rained, did the chief meteorologist say it is going to rain at least all day and maybe more?
3. Is one of the ingredients in the recipe a vegetable like carrots or zucchini?
4. Can I use whole-wheat flour for at least half of the flour called for in the recipe?
5. Can I substitute a healthier sugar like molasses, Whey-Low, or honey?
6. Can I use a healthier fat like olive oil instead of shortening?
7. Can I add nuts, which we all know are good for you, even if it doesn’t call for them in the recipe and can I increase the amount of nuts if they are listed just to up the good-for-me factor?
8. Are there any spices or other ingredients that add needed vitamins, antioxidants, or minerals to the baked goods?
9. Do I promise to give away at least half to a WWII veteran, sick neighbor or homeless person?
10. Will I walk at least a mile a day until my weight is back to my pre-baking day splurge?

Now today almost all of these are a yes and I have zucchini bread in the oven. Yes, one of the loaves is going to a 92 year-old WWII veteran. If you need to use these questions as criteria for your baking, please feel free. Healthy eating, friends!

You’re welcome.

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Gray Hair and Health Food

Snow Day Health Food Writing Assignment

You’ve been snowed in for several days and are running out of food (you made it to the supermarket too late; milk, eggs, bread, and other traditional snow-jam staples were gone from the shelves). Write about what you create based on what is in your fridge and/or pantry.

 There are some things you could defend a logical debate about that if people were open minded, they would agree to readily instead of making a big fight about them. For example, gray hair. Many people, okay most people, say that gray hair is a sign of old age. People, especially women but more and more men, dye their hair immediately at the sign of the first white hair that pops up on their heads. Some even take a proactive approach and dye their hair before the first white hair reveals itself so they won’t even know if and when they ever get one. Thus they never grow old in their minds because there is no sign of it—never mind that their children grow up, go off to college, graduate, marry and produce young of their own whom these people refuse let call them Grandma. Instead it is Mama Jane or Grumpy Joe. Never Grandma or Grandmother or even Nana. Nor Grandpa, Granddaddy or Gramps.

These people are wrong on so many levels. First of all there is nothing wrong with being called these traditional grandparent names. For goodness sakes, you’ve lived long enough to deserve them! You’ve earned them. Embrace them! But on another level, I maintain that gray hair is a sign of youth. I found my first gray hair at the tender age of 16. Now if you are 16, you think you are a grown up, but if you are 67, you know that 16 is closer to embryo than adult. Sorry, all the teenagers that I know and love, but this is true. And therefore, based on that philosophy, I believe that gray hair is without a doubt a youthful sign and should in no way be looked down upon by our youth-crazed society.

In fact, I once taught a kindergarten class in which was a little girl who backed up my theory. This enlightened child was asked how she liked her new teacher (me). She answered, “Oh, she’s vewy nice and she puts pwetty spwinkles in her hair!” Now, if these many white hairs in my hair were thought of as something I would add in order to enhance my beauty, then certainly I wouldn’t have done so to make myself look older, right?!

By now you are wondering what my gray hair has to do with food scrounged together because of the snow.  Well, I also have a defensible belief when it comes to health food. Some of you would say that cookies are junk food–fattening, unhealthy, perhaps even disease-causing trash. Some of you might say we’d be better off to fast if there was no milk or eggs or bread at the grocery because of the panic-driven run on the markets due to impending ice/snow/sleet. I did have a hard time at the grocery on Monday. There were absolutely no bananas at Publix and I had to make a second stop at Kroger in order to find some. (I bought two bunches because who knows when we’ll be able to get back out on the roads again or when the banana man will be able to get a load around interstate 285, up Georgia 400, and out state HWY 20 to the closest store to my house.) You’ve got to have bananas, I thought, for your potassium, else your legs will cramp. I think all the vitamins and minerals and nutrients should have an immediate bad effect should you not eat them just to remind you, like bananas and leg cramps, that you need to eat healthy. Everyone would be a lot healthier if every time she/he forgot to eat her/his carrots there was a temporary blindness. Or if you neglected your greens or salads, you blood forgot to clot and it started seeping out of your toes. I guess nature just missed those reactions when constructing our genes or maybe we are just beginning to evolve and we started with bananas and potassium.

I am not sure about that, but nonetheless, I do think if you make cookies right (remember the point I was about to make), they can be health food. Also, I propose that snow days call for creative drastic health food measures. And if ice and sleet are added to the weather forecast, I say get out all your healthiest ingredients and BAKE…fast, before the power goes off.

Soooo—That is exactly what I did today. I made oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal in itself is defensibly a healthy ingredient. But when you make them with whole wheat flour, Land o’ Lakes Butter/olive oil, Whey-Low sugar (a sweetener made of fructose and lactose that doesn’t raise your blood sugar and that was invented by a doctor for his wife who is diabetic), eggs (protein!), walnuts (protein again!), pumpkin seeds (guess what—even more protein!), raisins and cranberries (vitamins galore), and dark chocolate chips (God’s gift to the human race in order to sooth the soul)…….Well, when you make them this way, there is no way they are not HEALTH FOOD! And you’ve cleaned out your cupboard.

I rest my case. Happy Healthy Snow Days everyone!Health Food