Healthy Eating/Recipes

Help is on the way!

So, our spring semester is well underway and my college students are beginning to analyze their diets; they are using “Super Tracker” software on a government website,

The day I’m grading the first part of their assignment, I get an email stating Super Tracker will no longer be available after July 1st. Bummer. It’s “free” (thank you for your tax dollars), simple and straightforward.

On the same day, I get an email from  Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Maureen Bligh, who says take a look at this meal planner the Dairy Council of California has on line. A solution was handed to me before I even formed the question – what will I have my students use in the future?

YOU absolutely have to click on this link and answer the questions “Assessing My Habits” even if you don’t intend to do anything else on the site. The seven questions tell you everything you need to know about healthy or not-so-healthy lifestyles.

It will take one minute of your time and be SO WORTHWHILE.

As Nike would say Just Do It to be well,


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“No country in the developed world…”

…cooks less than Americans,”  says Donna S. Martin, registered dietitian nutritionist and president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Read that again. Remarkable – a task which most probably can improve our health and life and yet we do it with less frequency than ever before.

As we mentioned in the last Minute, despite all the conveniences and encouragement we get to cook at home, we just don’t do it. The chicken is already plucked, skinned and de-boned. No need to grind and mill your wheat to produce flour so you can make bread; loaves are not only available at the grocery, they are already sliced! Pre-washed vegetables? Oh, you need them chopped, skewered or come already seasoned? OK.

So, obviously convenience is not the problem. “Time” is part of “convenience”, so I think that’s more EXCUSE than explanation as to why we don’t cook at home. Are we lacking basic cooking skills?

We’ve set aside our Betty Crocker basic cookbook and brought out Bobby Flay recipes and we’re stumped. Expensive, hard to find, exotic ingredients utilizing cooking techniques that we’d first have to study?

Televised cooking competitions? Even the kid version intimidates me. It’s discouraging, unrealistic and truly not necessary. Once schools dismissed “home economics” class, though, we were probably doomed. Who taught us to cook? So, it’s not just you. It’s everyone – or at least one generation of Americans seeping into a second generation.

My challenge for non-cooks is to pick one entrée dish you love. Pull a well reviewed version of it or ask your mom, aunt or a cookin’ dad for one basic recipe and give it a go. Read through and see if you could master that. Sure it might take a second or third try, but you’ll be learning with each attempt.

Put aside those celebrity cookbooks, find one easy dish to prepare to be well,


PS Cooking is a creative outlet, good way to wind down, distraction from the day’s  work, a way to bond with your kids and downright FUN!


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