There is so much information out there about groceries — what’s on sale — what you should eat — what you should buy. I am frankly tired of my customers being so confused about what they should buy and their general feeling of inferiority that they don’t know the “right” answer. So my guidance to them, and to you, is to not listen to anyone about what to buy, except your family. Take a close look at your family’s eating habits and learn what are your family’s Smart Ingredients. What oil to use is a great example. I can’t tell you how many times I get the questions “Does it have to be extra virgin? Should I only use olive oil? Someone told me I should only buy grapeseed oil, what do you think?” I often answer all these questions with “Use butter.” Not because I don’t love oils and think they have a superior health value, because I do. I just want to make the point that in most applications, like searing or basting foods, fat is fat and whatever you have, use or prefer will work just fine. Listening to the information overload will never get you to the “right” answers. Playing the Smart cooking game, getting in the kitchen and working hard to win at dinner will.
My youngest child is a preschooler. So if the tv is on during the day, it’s typically Sprout or the Disney channel. If I listened to the food influences from those channel’s commercials, I would be feeding my young child noodles with processed dehydrated cheeses and sauces, bottled dressings, pop tarts and frozen dinners and feeling great about doing it. I don’t feed her those things, and I am not influenced to do so by what I hear and see. Because knowledge is power, and I already know what to feed her that is healthy and she likes. I encourage you to take control over what you need and what you should buy at the grocery store.
Then, your approach at the grocery store will become what I call “shooting straight” versus “casting a net”. Casting a net means buying some of this and some of that… many things that don’t always add up to feeding your family. Shooting straight means buying more Smart Ingredients (stock up!) and less clutter. If your family is eating a lot of processed foods and you want to move into more healthful options, start by buying the same one or two things you know your family will eat and prepare them in different ways. The chance that you’ll end up using them is much greater than if you decide to try an entirely new healthy food regime with foods you aren’t sure the family will eat. Don’t try to change the world (your family’s entire dinner process) in a day. Take it one day at a time and if you are using Smart Ingredients and building off of the 3 or so favorite “types” of meals your family likes, you will have 20-30 “go to” recipes in no time.
My Mom has jumped on the green smoothie craze, encouraged to do so by her chiropractor. She loves them and feels great about what she eats for breakfast, has even got the rest of us joining in, and I’m proud of her for her dedication. Then her hairdresser — the end of all information sources — told her that by blending her produce she’s losing all the nutrition value and it’s a waste of her time. Now my Mom is doubting her efforts. I told her to hold it right there, tell the hairdresser to stick to dye jobs and highlights, and to keep drinking her smoothies. I tried to find any scientific evidence that blending changes the health value of vegetables, and I couldn’t. The safest bet is that the food is still raw, and it’s still more greens than she would have been eating otherwise. But the more important thing is that the green smoothies are working for my Mom, and they are much healthier than the scones she used to eat for breakfast. No one should be derailed by what someone else tells you you should or shouldn’t eat or buy.
Ratio 60% fruit to 40% greens
- Fresh Pineapple
Combine all ingredients with water and ice. Blend.