Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘healthy food’

Lemon Cookies

Posted by terrepruitt on August 14, 2014

In regards to diet and food these days there is so much information out there it can be overwhelming.  There are so many schools of thought on what is healthy and what is not.  I follow the school of thought that the less man made chemicals IN the food it is healthier than one full of chemicals.  I also think that less processed foods tend to be healthier than heavily processed foods. Some of the processing – even when the original ingredient – is natural is just a wash of chemicals.  I say all of this because I know that some would argue that some of the recipes I have posted are not necessarily “healthy”.  A banana full of marshmallows and chocolate chips?  No, not something I would deem as healthy, but also not something I eat every day.  The following recipe is not anywhere in the realm of health and fitness . . . one could argue that it has to do with “wellness” if you are one that thinks comforting foods help with well-being.  But I am not trying to disguise this as anything but what it is.  It is a recipe that I used to make with my mom.  It is one she passed down to me.  It is one that when I used to bring the cookies places people would ask for the recipe.  I don’t make them that often any longer because I do not like to eat the ingredients that make up a boxed cake mix.  But I do make them every once in a while because they are easy and people enjoy them.  I made them last week in honor of my mom.  I took them to her Celebration of Life.  They were the best ones I have ever made in my life.

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Lemon Cookies

One box of lemon cake mix
1 egg
3/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Mix all together.  Drop dough onto a cookie sheet using a spoon.  Bake for 10 minutes.

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So . . . . here are some tips.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes

If you have any lemons, squeeze some juice into the dough.  And/or some zest.

DON’T USE ALL THE OIL.  Start out with 1/2 of a cup.  Stir.  If the mixture seems like it needs more, then keep adding until it is a wet dough.  The oil depends on the cake mix.  In the “old days” it was 3/4 cup oil.  But with the cake mixes that have “pudding in the mix” it seems like you can use less oil.

The more oil you use the cookies tend to come out flatter.  They will puff up but one knock of the pan and they deflate.  Or when they cool they deflate.

Placing them close together on the cookie sheet makes them bake “fluffier”.  Farther apart makes them flatter and “crispier”.

WATCH THEM.  Ovens vary and 10 minutes might be too long.  What tends to happen for me is the first few pans seem to take longer than the ones after that.  My oven temperature should not be getting HOTTER, but . . . I don’t know.

I know that these last ones I made were the best ever because I didn’t leave the kitchen.  Normally I put a pan in and I set the timer and I leave the kitchen.  And with the variations I usually bake at least one pan that has brown edges.  But this time I wanted them all to be “perfect” . . . “unbrowned” . . . . so I stayed and watched them like a hawk.  I turned the pan in the oven if I thought I saw one tiny tint of color.  They were the most perfect lemon cookies I have ever made.  I know my mom would have been proud.

I have also made these with a chocolate cake mix.  Very yummy.  I have also used a white cake mix and added chocolate chips.  I have also used a white cake mix and added mint chips (well, the mint pieces from Andes).  I think I made orange ones once.  I think I have made spiced ones.  I have never tried the funfetti cake mix because that came onto the market after I kind of stopped making these.  Most boxed cakes mixes have partially hydrogenated oil in them and I avoid that.  They USED to have High Fructose Corn Syrup in them, but I haven’t seen that on the occasion that I have bought cake mix.

A boxed cake mix is just a bunch of chemicals.  I know.  If I were to make a cake I would do it from scratch.  But the point of these cookies is that they are easy.  But, as I said, I don’t make them often.  They are a treat.

In this case they were in honor of my mom.

I believe that there ARE some boxed cake mixed out there that do not have partially hydrogenated oil in them if you are interested in avoiding that.  Otherwise these are really easy to make and people seem to love them.

If you try making another version besides lemon, let me know.  I am a bit curious about the funfetti . . . .

Have you ever made cookies out of cake mix?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

HEALthy Food Needed

Posted by terrepruitt on June 12, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaI mentioned in my Stuff Happens In Life As Do Moments that I had to rearrange my Nia class schedule because of “stuff”.  The stuff that was happening required me to be visiting someone in a hospital.  There was surgery involved in the situation and the situation required a “nutrition plan”.  As with all surgeries and most medical situations the patient should be eating healthy food.  The word HEAL is even in the word HEALthy.  One of the “food stuffs” the patient was given to consume was “Health Shake”.  I was curious as to what kind of health could be delivered in a carton.  Well, after reading the ingredients it was confirmed that there is none – at least not in this carton.

The first ingredient is skim milk.  At this point, I will not comment on that.  Skim milk and dairy in general will probably be a topic of separate post, but for now, I am sticking to this “Health Shake”.  The next ingredient is actually a good one: water.

The next five ingredients and/or additives were what caused me to have a conniption fit in the hospital room.  I could not and cannot believe this carton of disgusting stuff is fed to people who are ill and need to receive nutrients to heal their bodies.

This to me is a huge glaring prime example of why so many people are sick in America.  If this is what is consindered healthy and nutritious we are truly doomed.

CORN SYRUP, CORN OIL (WITH BHA/BHT), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOY PROTEIN ISOLSATE!!!!

There isn’t actually any nutritious food in this carton.  I didn’t even look at the “nutritional value” because to me there is none.  NOT ONE IOTA!  Genetically engineered sugar, with genetically engineered oil — that contain preservatives that most counties have banned, with more genetically engineered and further chemically altered sugar, with some genetically engineered protein.Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia

The ice cream they served later was much healthier than this “Health Shake”.  I really am completely disgusted with this item.  I am disgusted that they are feeding it to a person who needs nutrients.  I am even more disgusted that it is called a “Health Shake”.  If they called it a chemical shake or liquid crap, I don’t think I would be so upset.

I was even more upset when later on I saw a straw in the carton — meaning the patient actually drank it.  Now, let me remind you that I am not a perfect eater.  I eat processed foods.  I work to avoid food with high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup in them, but I do eat processed foods.  But to say that these ingredients are healthy is shameful.  To feed a body that needs healing a carton of chemicals is sad.

I just saw this statement:

“The U.S. does not have a healthcare system. Rather, it is a ‘Sickness System’ where the system thrives on people being sick. Far more profit is generated by sickness than health.”

And with this “Health Shake” being given to people in the hospital I am thinking it could actually be evidence that the statement is true.

Many of us have different ideas of what we think is healthy, but I am guessing that most people could look at this list of ingredients and agree that this is nothing but a cacophony of chemicals that really have no nutritional value.

Would you choose to drink this?  If you were in a hospital and given this to drink would you think to read the ingredients?  What do you think about this?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Banned Foods

Posted by terrepruitt on April 2, 2011

You might have noticed that everything I do is on my way home from teaching Nia.  It is true, I tend to run my errands after my Nia Classes.  I am out, so it is easy to just stop to pick up what we need.  Two issues with going to a store after I teach 1) I usually look akin to a drown rat with my sweaty limp flat hair and 2) I am usually hungry.  I am one of those people who should not go shopping when they are hungry.  I end up walking down the aisles where dinner ideas start popping in my head.  With menus forming into my head as I am shopping sometimes I end up backtracking and going on all over the store.  By the time I get all that I need I am really hungry.  There are a lot of foods that I don’t even bother bringing in the house.  I work hard not to eat the “junk food” but sometimes when I am hungry and it is there, I will eat it.  Therefore some things are “banned” from being in the house like potato chips, ice cream, candy, cookies, and stuff like that.

There is no need for that stuff to be in the house.  But there are other things that aren’t necessarily “junky” foods that become unhealthy when you eat the whole bag or box. Two such foods I should really just keep out of the house are sunflower seeds and cereal.  You know I love sunflower seeds because I have posted about them.  I love them.  I can eat a whole lot of them.  There is a lot of fat in sunflower seeds so eating a lot of them just adds a lot of extra fat.  They have 17 grams of fat in 1/4 of a cup.  Extra nutrients are not good.  Not matter whether it is fat, protein, or carbohydrates.

The cereal is Kashi 7 Whole Grain Honey Puffs.  I think these things are like Super Sugar Crisps.  Remember that cereal.  I love cereal but I know it is not really a healthful food.  For one serving this cereal has 1 gram of fat, 80 grams of potassium, 25 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.  So it is really something that should be considered a treat.  To me it is just like a desert.  (Hanging my head) I eat it like I will not be allowed another meal.  This is a confession here people.

I just need to NOT buy this cereal.  Every time I buy it I do good for a day or two and then–whoosh, it’s gone.  I know this, but when I go shopping after Nia I am really hungry and I think I can eat it as I believe it should be eaten, as a treat, maybe every other day and according to the serving size, but I never manage that.  I need to just not buy it.

What about you?  Is there a food you think you are better off just not having in the house at all?  Is it a snack food?  Is it something that might be considered somewhat healthy when eaten in the proper portion?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light

Posted by terrepruitt on December 16, 2010

I had a friend visiting from Colorado that actually came to one of my Nia classes this week. I am so blessed to have friends that come to my class when they are visiting California. So many of my friends have moved from the Bay Area so when they come visit they often have a list of people to visit so I am always very grateful when they take time out of the schedule to come to a Nia class. After Nia we went out to breakfast in Willow Glen.  My friend was telling me that she had employed a Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light tactic for her children in regards to food. Instead of saying “bad food”, she uses the lights. I love that. I told her I was going to use it for a blog post and she told me who she actually got it from, but I forgot. My mind was already racing—GREEN LIGHT!

She used “Red” as treat food; hot dogs at a summer cookout, cup cakes at a birthday party, food that is served on special occasions. I would imagine that red could be used for foods you don’t eat at all. I think that the method is awesome and it can be tailored to fit the family, individual. I just like it instead of saying the food is “bad” or I was bad. I could say, “Oh, I had some red light food.” The idea for the red light is to stop and think before you proceed.

Yellow is food you eat but with caution. You might have it more often than a red light food, but it is still not the food you eat freely.

After I started typing this I looked up “red light food” and I see that on one site someone mentions Weight Watchers doing the red light food, I see on another site that it has been attributed to a Lola O’Rourke (“of the American Dietetic Association”). I am seeing a lot of different ways to design it and — as with anything — it should be tailored to your own individual needs. But it can be a useful tool in how you think about what you are eating.

Red light foods would be sweets, treats, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, soda, maybe even cheese and dairy (depends on the needs of the individual). Yellow light food could be healthy fats. Even though they are healthy we don’t want to consume too much. Meat could be in this category. Veggies, for most people, would be a green light food. As with fruit and whole grains. But there are people who can’t eat certain vegetables due to medication and then there are those who are gluten sensitive.

So what food are included in your light scheme would be up to you. I just thought it was a cool way to think about it. I really thing it is a great way to teach kids. I’ve mentioned before that I am not a fan of (even though I still say it!) saying food it “bad”, or I’ve been “bad” when referring to eating unhealthy food.

So what do you think?  Might you want to play “Red light, Yellow Light, Green Light”?  🙂

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

With Trans Fat 0g Does Not Equal 0.0g

Posted by terrepruitt on May 12, 2009

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutRemember “0g trans fat per serving” does not equal ZERO trans fat per serving. I know, I know, but it is not me, that is the way it is. “0g trans fat per serving” could be 0.49g of transfat per serving. And if you eat a few servings of “’0g trans fat per serving’-could-be-0.49g-of trans-fat-per-serving’ you would be getting 1.47g of trans fat. FDA guidelines are such that if the item has less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving it can be listed as zero on the label.

If you want to get “0g trans fat per serving” you cannot trust the label that advertises such a thing you have to read the ingredients. You are looking for partially hydrogenated oil—any kind of oil that is partially hydrogenated oil. And if you really want to avoid trans fat you might want to skip hydrogentated oils. Although, hydrogenated oil is NOT transfat, the labeling is not strict so the ingredient could read hydrogenated and actually be partially.

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutThere are quite a few websites that explain the chemical compounds of fat, so I am not going to do that here. I am just going to give a little overview. Fat has a certain chemical compound and a certain way the chains are formed. When a fat it partially hydrogenated the chemical bond is altered, more hydrogen atoms are added straightening the chain. Allowing for the chains to stack together more tightly and therefore remain solid. This altered state allows the fat to last longer which explains why it is in everything, it allows things to sit on the shelf longer, but rumor has it is sits in your body longer too. Not good.

This altered fat not only hangs around longer it has been proven to INCREASE (not just not help lower, but INCREASE) the “bad” cholesterol and decrease (not just leave alone, but DECREASE) our “good” cholesterol. We need to be eating healthy foods. To me, a food that DECREASES my good stuff and INCREASES my bad stuff, is not good.

So if you are interested in getting truly ZERO transfat, read the ingredients not just the hype on the labels.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »