More on eating healthy and smart shopping at Costco

One of the most popular posts on this blog is a piece I wrote about how to make a Costco food court salad healthier by not using the dressing and eliminating even more salt by taking off the cheese as well. I’ve also written about how to shop smarter at warehouse club stores like Costco.

Smart shopping means buying items low in fat, salt and sugar. Know how to fill your shopping cart while avoiding this evil trio of additives.

Smart shopping means buying items low in fat, salt and sugar. Know how to fill your shopping cart while avoiding this evil trio of additives.

So I enjoyed coming across this story recently headlined Get the Skinny: The ‘Costco Diet.’  the piece really isn’t about a diet plan, as the headline might suggest. Rather, it lists products available at Costco that are relatively healthy, such as fresh produce and salmon, which I regularly buy there. Continue reading

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Why my new way of eating means an all-or-nothing approach

I really tire of people telling me I can “cheat” on my low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet once in a while without any consequences. Doing that last year caused me to gain back 15 pounds I’d lost over the past three years. I know how my body works. If I have one donut, I want more and I usually get them.

And the result is tasty chips with no salt and no fat.

My home-made salt-free potato chips are better than store-bought, but likely jsut make me hungrier.

Eating a little of something only causes me to get hungrier. Thankfully, a recent report explains why that is for me and for all of us, really. Time recently ran  9 Foods That Make You Hungrier.  Continue reading

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A funky summer take on a cucumber salad

Cucumber salads are a favorite of mine, I’ve written about cucumber with tomatoes and fennel, among other combos. But recently I saw a new take on a cucumber salad from Bon Apettit, a cucumber and peach salad.

My grilled artichoke, along with corn, cucumber salad and tomato salad.

My cucumber salad, maybe next time I’ll add some peaches.

Fresh peaches are a wonderful summer treat, why not combine them with cucumbers for something different? “The combination of sweet, fragrant peaches and crunchy, hydrating cucumbers works weirdly well,” writes Andy Baraghani in Bon Apettit.  The recipe is inspired by street vendor offerings he saw in Mexico, he explains. So his recipe involves hot sauce and chiles. Continue reading

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Eating less doesn’t always mean doing more for yourself

Dieting is not primarily what this site is about. But in the course of eating less fat, salt and sugar, it seems you inevitably will eat less and lose weight. I know I did. Cutting out processed foods and restaurant foods with too much salt, fat and sugar meant I was eating less since there aren’t many substitutes for such offerings.

I loved this sign

I eat a lot of lettuce these days but that doesn’t mean I’m trying to lose weight.

But does eating less help you? In the long run, it can impact your metabolism and actually make it harder to drop pounds when you want to. Former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels makes that point in a recent posting on her website.

“It is absolutely 100 percent essential to eat enough calories! If you don’t, it will destroy your metabolism. It’s like telling your body that you’re starving. If your body thinks it’s starving, your metabolism will shut down,” she writes. Continue reading

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Taco Nano, a different sort of taco place

Charity auctions are a favorite activity of mine. In fact our theater company, the 2nd Act Players, is planning our first-ever charity auction this September. Check our website for more details as we get closer to the Sept. 10 date. But getting back to food, I recently won a gift card to Taco Nano, which bills itself as a fresh Mexican-style place in the Chicago northern suburb of Northfield.TacoNanoLogo

Going there for dinner on a Friday night, my wife and I were surprised by the crowds. It’s obviously a popular place but is it healthy? As a small place, it isn’t required to post nutrition information on its offerings and doesn’t. So eating there was a shot-in-the-dark nutrition-wise. Continue reading

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Hospital food is inhospitable to healthy eating

As I write this today I unfortunately find myself in a hospital. A routine surgery I had last week has produced a massive infection in my ear (where the surgery wad done). The infection got so bad, I came to the emergency room at roughly 5 a.m. and am now being kept overnight here in Evanston Hospital.

My Evanston Hospital lunch, stripped of all salty dressings and sauces.

My Evanston Hospital lunch, stripped of all salty dressings and sauces.

After spending about four hours getting some excruciating treatments done in the ER, I was moved to a room and hoped to be able to eat since I’ve been up since 4 a.m. I quickly learned words mean something different here, unfortunately. I spoke to the only nurse who has visited me for the last five hours and she said she ordered me food. Continue reading

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Salt is everywhere, learn where it’s hiding

Helping you get the salt out of your diet is a major reason this blog exists. Americans eat at least twice as much salt daily as they should. And if you eat a lot of processed or restaurant foods, your salt totals are likely even higher. So remember where salt is hiding in your daily diet.

Salt can lead to stomach cancer, one more reason to get it out of your diet.

Too much salt will be in processed ad restaurant foods for years to come.

The Huffington Post last month had a good checklist of things to avoid because they’re loaded with salt.

The main culprits — soups, bread, cheese, cold cuts, prepared chicken and breakfast foods. I haven’t eaten much soup in recent years because all prepared soups and restaurant soups are high in sodium too high for my post-angioplasty diet. even so-called low-sodium broths can have high levels of sodium. Continue reading

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Grilled artichokes — where have you been all my life?

Artichokes were always a  treat when I was a kid growing up in my Italian-American corner of Brooklyn. But I never imagined WASPs and others eating them. Today, though, they seem to be everywhere, on one restaurant menu after another.

My grilled artichoke, along with corn, cucumber salad and tomato salad.

My grilled artichoke, along with corn, cucumber salad and tomato salad.

I’ve enjoyed grilled artichokes at several places but never tried making them that way myself until this past July 4th. What took me so long? I loved, loved loved them, thanks t this recipe I found at AllRecipes.com Continue reading

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Tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions…gotta love it

July 4th was a cookout day for us, as it was for many, many Americans. In addition to grilling salmon and extra-lean beef burgers, we made a variety of cold salads that I thought I’d blog about so you can enjoy them too. The first involved tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions along with cheese. Here’s a link to the the original recipe my wife found.

A fun salad for July 4th, or any meal where you want fresh ingredients.

A fun salad for July 4th, or any meal where you want fresh ingredients.

I write often here about my love of tomatoes, so how could I not love this salad? We did make one major modification however to cut the fat in it. Continue reading

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No salt, no sugar, 4th of July recipes

Happy July 4th everyone, time to heat up the grills and celebrate. And don’t be discouraged that traditional July 4th food is filled with salt, fat and sugar, the devil’s triangle of food additives in our country. I’ve written about how someone trying to avoid them can starve on July 4th at someone else’s house.

In another sheet of aluminum foil, place your four pieces of salmon and separate with aluminum foil. Then rub in marinades for each.

Grilling salmon is a luscious experience. Click the links here to see two grilled salmon recipes form Costco.

So take charge of your diet and look to our recipe page for a variety of dishes you can make today, like:

You don’t have to fast on the 4th when you’re trying to eat healthy. We have recipes for you. Enjoy the day!

John

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