Gallop into ‘Horse-Sense Nutrition’

I am starting to read a book called “Horse-Sense Nutrition” that deals with working toward better health and a weight loss in the bargain.

The preface of the book starts with “The best thing that has come along since sliced bread is the idea of not eating it.”

Easier said than done, especially if the bread is homemade and hot from the oven, with a huge slathering of butter melting into it.

The book explains that weight loss happens miraculously by the body redesigning itself to lean composition as it exchanges fatness for fitness.

We eat to fulfill the body’s primal need for energy and nutrients. All other eating is recreational and enjoyable but potentially detrimental if above the caloric need for the day.

Whether you want to add more life to your years or more years to your life, you can attain superior health and a lean body as one and the same goal, it was noted in the book.

Time is the essence of reality – this must be realized. Lasting results in weight loss take time, and the most important behavior to cultivate in order to achieve permanent fat loss is patience. In a momentary fit of frustration and binge eating, do not erase all the hard work by quitting. Start anew the next day.

It is long realized that before becoming overweight, you bypassed multiple opportunities for weight gain prevention, the book notes.

If this fact has entered your mind, realize that now is the time to get started. And the new year is a good time to do it.

Now for a few rules taken from the “Horse Sense Nutrition” book:

Exercise has the capacity to tranform the body’s efficiency as a natural fat-burning organism. And the best form of exercise is one that you enjoy, perform on a regular basis and will adhere to long term.

Only a handful of nutrients are classified as essential, meaning they must be obtained from dietary sources because the body evolved without the ability to self-manufacture them.

Water and micronutrients are chronically absent in many diets, with thirst often masking as hunger.

Wheat and gluten protein are considered the chief culprits of foods that trigger fat gain, especially when combined with refined sugar and high fat in processed foods. Eliminating many of them is the quickest means for trimming the waistline and elevating health to superlative form.

Your own body and home make for the best fitness center. Your food and kitchen make the best pharmacy.

Discover fountains of youth in sleep and stress reduction. Both are highly underrated and unappreciated contributors to fat loss, requiring nothing to do or undo regarding sleep but the need for some work in lowering stress reduction.

The book tells that one of the best habits that can be developed to combat excess weight is by grabbing a fork and eating a salad. Not the old tired salads with iceberg lettuce and Thousand Island dressing. And guess what? Salads serve equally well for breakfasts and snacks as for main meals.

Homemade dressings are easy and quick to whip up and you save money and will find them far superior to the commercial versions.

Salads can be eaten in almost unlimited quantity. Volume plus variety are high satiety factors for the mouth, stomach and brain.

Here are some recipes for salad dressing with less than 35 calories per tablespoon of dressing. They are from Dawn Hall’s low-fat cookbook, “Busy People’s Low Fat Recipes.”

Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing

1 envelope fat-free Hidden Valley original ranch dip mix, dry

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Serve chilled. This has 27 calories per tablespoon and can be used on salads or as a dip with fresh vegetables. Makes 16 servings of 2 tablespoons.

Sweet and Sour Bacon Salad Dressing

1/2 cup Equal Spoonful

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup skim milk

2/3 cup fat-free sour cream

Half of a 3-ounce jar real bacon bits

With a whisk, stir together all ingredients until well blended. Keep chilled until ready to serve. This is 33 calories per tablespoon and makes 12 servings of 2 tablespoons each.

The book lists different veggies to make into a salad, including dandelion greens and flowers; beets, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, radishes, peppers, fennel, asparagus, peas and squash. Nuts that can be included include almonds, beechnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans and walnuts.

Fruits that blend well with salad greens are apples, Asian pear, avocado, cucumber, olives, raisins and tomatoes. Chickpeas, lentils, rice, wild rice, couscous and pumpkin or sunflower seeds add contrast to a salad. Then there are the cooked meats that include canned tuna, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, beef and shellfish such as crab, lobster, scallops and shrimp.

Anyone could find a pleasing combination from this assortment, even died-in-the-wool salad-haters.

The book has a small section on desserts, and sweet potato pie is one that brings a vegetable into the dessert.

The book does not list the calorie count, and I am assuming that the pie will make eight servings.

I Yam What I Yam Sweet Potato Pie

9-inch pie crust

3 pounds sweet potatoes, the bright orange kind

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, to taste – remember the less sugar, the less calories

1 egg

1/2 cup fat-free evaporated skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon or orange or lemon rind

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake 3 pounds of sweet potatoes or yams for about 25 minutes. Then stab the skins with a fork and continue baking at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender.

Scoop hot flesh from sweet potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add butter, sugar, egg and flavorings, except nutmeg. Beat well with a mixer or by hand for 2 minutes. Add evaporated milk and nutmeg. Stir well. Pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees until pie crust is beautifully brown but not burnt. Serve at room temperature.

What better way to get vegetables into the diet than by combining them into a steaming hot bowl of soup on a cold wintry day.

This is from the “Busy People’s Low Fat Recipes Cookbook.” This makes 16 cups and is only 60 calories per 1 cup serving.

World’s Easiest

Vegetable Soup

46-ounce can V-8 vegetable juice

4 cups fat-free no salt-added beef broth, or made from beef boullion

Four 15.25-ounce cans mixed vegetables, drained

1 teaspoon salad seasoning spices

Bring all ingredients to a boil over high heat in a large, nonstick soup pan. If desired mash soup in the pot for a few minutes by hand with a potato masher to make soup a little thicker.

Cook on the stove for 30 to 45 minutes or put into a crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.

Note: Cutting 2 pounds of eye of round into bite-size pieces and adding at the beginning of recipe in the crockpot will yield 20 cups with 108 calories per cup.

There is no need to pre-cook the meat. It will cook while it is boiling.

This is a recipe that I want to try soon as we love potato soup. It can be made with bacon bits or small squares of ham.

Cream of Potato Soup

1/4 cup flour

1 pint fat-free half and half

2 cups skim milk

1 pound fat-free hash browns

1/2 cup frozen or fresh chopped onion

3-ounce jar real bacon bits or 1/4 pound chopped smoked ham

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 tablespoon Butter Buds Sprinkles, which Dawn Hall said is in the spice or diet section. If not, add a tablespoon of low-fat margarine.

In a large, nonstick Dutch oven or soup pot, with a whisk, briskly stir flour into half and half and skim milk. Once flour is completely dissolved, add remaining ingredients and cook over medium-high, stirring frequently.

Once boiling, continue to cook and stir at full boil for 5 to 6 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. If desired, season with lite salt and pepper. Makes five 1-cup servings with the bacon bit version being 263 calories and the ham being 240 calories.

This chowder is a flavorful combination of both chili and tacos, There are kidney beans, canned corn and refried beans in a ground turkey soup base.

Taco Chowder

1 pound ground turkey breast

1.25-ounce packet taco seasoning

28-ounce can no-salt added diced tomatoes, do not drain

Two 16-ounce cans fat-free refried beans

14.5-ounce can fat-free, no salt added beef broth

15-ounce can light red kidney beans, do not drain

15.25-ounce can whole kernel sweet corn, do not drain.

Spray a nonstick soup pan with non-fat cooking spray. Cook meat and taco seasoning over medium heat until fully cooked.

Add diced tomatoes, refried beans, beef broth, kidney beans and corn. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, it is ready to serve. Makes 13 cups with 172 calories per 1 cup serving.

If desired, lightly sprinkle fat-free cheddar cheese or crushed baked tortilla chips on top of each bowl.

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