Healthfully Ever After

5 Food Philosophies I Live By

Bits of Nutrition, Healthy Hostess, Nutrition News, Beauty FoodsCarlene ThomasComment

Happy National Food Day! Across the country, the food and health worlds have lots of events happening with the purpose of inspiring you to reconsider what you eat and our policies surrounding food. Let's face it: there are lots of questions. Every day, there's a study or a movement or a crazy documentary and it usually involves food. And food is like, my job...so....I thought a lot about what I wanted to share with you on such a 'big' food holiday, but I realized what I should be sharing instead are my own food policies for living a happy and healthfully ever after! 

5 Food Philosophies for Food Day

  1. Tis' the reason for the season: Never touch a tomato with a ten foot pole in December. I can't even look at a butternut squash during May. Although technology and shipping has made it easy to access very seasonal foods during all times of the year, it doesn't mean you should. Fresh foods (not frozen or canned) harvested and sold during their natural peak of ripeness are less expensive, taste better and usually look a heck of a lot better than their out of season-$12 a carton of strawberries in December-counterparts. Eating seasonally is a big pillar of what I believe in for both environmental and enjoyment reasons.
  2. If it's a food not for health, treat it like a luxury purchase. I've talked about this before, but this is one I've only started to be able to put my finger on. Yes, I eat pizza. Yes, I eat ice cream (cookies and cream, extra cookies). But most importantly, I make those non-health foods the best experience they can possibly be. Eating that food does not help your body, so it needs to help your mind and emotions to the max. How can you get it to that level? You need great surroundings. Time to enjoy it. Investing in the best product with the best date to share it with you. Which plays into....
  3. If it's not the best, why eat it? But really? Why are we eating mediocre food if we have a choice? If I'm at a party and the appetizers suck, I'm not eating them. A soggy fried crab spring roll that I'm mentally rating 4 out of 10 should not be going in my body if it's not good for me in the first place. Yes, admittedly, this seems a picky and even food snobish, but health and food are two of my main priorities in life. This is exactly why I'm going to say no to a croissant at Starbucks when I know what real, hand made ones taste like. And it's also why I spent money to take a croissant class so I could make them at home.
  4. A salad a day: A huge dish of leafy greens helps me feel and look my best. This is a tried and true pillar and I'm sticking to it. It forces one meal to be a nutrition A+ in terms of calorie control and high nutrient levels. Especially the beauty booster ones!
  5. There are no bad foods...just confetti: Remember that pizza I mentioned? There are no bad foods. There are just foods for confetti purposes. Confetti is what I call the sprinkle of impact that goes over healthy options. Pizza? I'm cutting it up and putting it over greens. French fries? Boom, kale salad topping. Chocolate? Sprinkle, sprinkle it's going over greek yogurt and fruit. 

What are your food philosophies? 

Top 12 Fall Apple Recipes

CookingCarlene ThomasComment

Apples are one of my absolute favorite fruits. From fall to early spring when the last of the cold stored apples are available, they're my go to. Perfect in sandwiches. Perfect in salads. Perfect as a to-go snack. To get you inspired to use those beauties at the market, I collected 12 of the most visually appetizing and delicious sounding recipes for you to whip up this season. 

Disclosure: Foodie by Mode sponsored this post which is awesome because I get to share BEAUTIFUL produce recipes with you. Legit. 

Cinnamon Sea Salt Energy Date Bars

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

You know what's scary sometimes? The back of your kitchen pantry or cupboard. Because we are still working on restoring the big, beautiful new kitchen in the house, I'm still cooking out of the smaller upstairs kitchen. (Side note: if you are complaining about your current kitchen that it's not big enough, bright enough,  or whatever-you can feel free to nip that in the bud any time. If I can make croissants from scratch or soufflé out of this tiny, outdated pink and brown kitchen sans dishwasher, you're fine.). Long story short: the cabinets are not organized the way I want them. They're super deep and that means I totally lose things in the back. Things like spices. 

What lies beneath in the clutter of your spice area is what this entire Recipe Redux challenge is about. I'm sure we all have spices we just don't know what to do with. But now you have dozens of recipes to peruse and see if your 'what the heck?' spice is in any of our recipes. Which is why today I'm working with saigon cinnamon to make a delicious, on the go energy bar you'll love. And may even make you buy more potent, sweet but hot ground saigon cinnamon. 

Cinnamon Sea Salt Energy Date Bars 
Cinnamon Sea Salt Energy Date Bars 

Cinnamon Date Energy Bars

Makes 1 small pan

/// Ingredients ///

  • 2 cups pitted mejool dates
  • 1 cup almonds 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground saigon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 T water

/// Directions /// In a food processor, add dates and almonds and water. Holding the lid down and pressing to stabilize on the counter, pulse the date mix. Keep pulsing until the ingredients become chopped and start to ball together. They should look large and grainy as they come together. Add spices and pulse again. Using a rubber spatula, turn mix out onto a pan with a Silpat or parchment paper. Pat into a square and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store in a container in the freezer. 

Cinnamon Sea Salt Energy Date Bars 

I always keep a batch of these in the freezer for a quick, energy packed snack or for breakfast on the run! I've also experimented by adding powdered peanut butter and they are delicious.... and they're also awesome with my favorite coffee ice cream. 

© Healthfully Ever After & Carlene Thomas 2011-2014