Happy New Year: with no and low salt treats

New Year’s Eve parties were legendary in my family for a vast array of foods I can no longer eat — ham, roast beef, fried calamari, fried eggplant, cookies and cakes of all descriptions. I even wrote a play about it all that includes a food parade!

So how can you celebrate the New Year without salt, fat or sugar?

My low-salt, low-fat Super Bowl treats. Try them for New Year's Eve too.
My low-salt, low-fat Super Bowl treats. Try them for New Year’s Eve too.
Continue reading “Happy New Year: with no and low salt treats”

“Dear God, feed me with Ratatouille, please. Amen.” Your belly

This looks amazing, I’d leave out the butter and the salt, although Andrea had a comment on the type of salt she uses when I asked her about it, scroll through the comments to read it.

Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork


“If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff.” I am sure that most of you remember these wise words of one of my most favourite Disney characters – Remy, from the movie Ratatouille. Christmas time is slowly passing by and our bellies start calling for “menu revolution.” After too much of sugar, wheat and milk we consumed during Christmas feast, there is nothing better than vegetables to cleanse our body system, mainly liver and colon. This time, I inspired by the traditional French recipe, that made us all drooling in front of our TVs while watching little rat Remy cooking it, and I decided to share with you the recipe of this delicious and healthy meal.

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No salt, no fat foods: we’re here to write about them

No salt, no fat foods became must-haves for me in 2012 after having an angioplasty. The operation changed what’s left of my life from what I thought it would be.

I could no longer revel in wondrous high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt foods. If I wanted to continue living, I had to completely change everything I ate.

Cooking, and eating, trays of Italian favorites like this are out for me now but I've found ways to cope.
Cooking, and eating, trays of Italian favorites like this are out for me now but I’ve found ways to cope.

I’ve done that and I created this blog in December 2012 to help all of you who face similar challenges. The progress of this blog in being discovered has been heartening for me. Daily average visits have increased tenfold since I started it. Traffic has improved monthly. There’s still a long way to go in building this, but I’m starting to get good traction in searches for no salt, no fat foods and hope to build on that in 2014. Continue reading “No salt, no fat foods: we’re here to write about them”

No salt, no sugar, no fat: read our Top 5 posts of 2013

Top five lists always seem to get people’s attention, so here’s the first Top 5 list of posts from the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal. While we launched this blog in late 2012, 2013 was our first full year and hence our first list. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

Top 5 Posts of 2013

The driest chicken ever. At Universal studios.
The driest chicken ever. At Universal studios.

1. What Can You Eat on a No Salt, No Sugar, No Fat Diet?

This post has become the gateway to our blog, really, with more people clicking on it than any other. We’ve added updates to it throughout the year because of that, so it’s worth another read.

2. Can you eat healthy at Universal Studios? Not even Harry Potter could help

Everyone wants to know if they can eat healthy at Universal. My answer: no, at least not at the Florida location I was dragged to late last year. I lost four pounds in four days because of the lack of healthy alternatives.

3. INdustri Café – a Milwaukee gem for restricted eaters, and others

This Milwaukee eatery was such a pleasant surprise, the only restaurant I knew of at the time where the chef would make special dishes for people who asked for no salt, no fat and no sugar. I recently found another in Chicago and will be blogging about it shortly.

4. Salt-free teriyaki sauce — a taste test of three varieties

Teriyaki without salt sounds impossible, but it’s not, check this piece to find what’s out there.

5. What’s life like six months after angioplasty?

A look at the massive upheaval I’ve experienced in my food life since my heart surgery.

Our individual pages also got heavy viewership, the most popular being:

Eating Away from Home

Blackberry: expect to be seeing the flavor more places in 2014

Flavors come and go in the food and beverage world and we either respond to them as consumers or let them die out quietly. I’m old enough to remember when kiwi strawberry was a hot flavor combination and more recently when mango started invading everything imaginable.

Blackberry will be the hot flavor next year, predicts flavor company Firmenich.blackberries-noxubee-refuge-116

Blackberry will be hot because of its “abundance of antioxidants as well as its ‘delicate nuances’ and ability to ‘surprise the palate with every bite,’’ reports Advertising Age. Continue reading “Blackberry: expect to be seeing the flavor more places in 2014”

Sugar or Fat? Which turns you on more?

Sugar, we all crave it and at some level we all know we crave it. Our bodies were conditioned to thousands of years ago when that compulsion helped us survive. Christmas brings out the Christmas candy in every stocking, Christmas cakes, a festival of sugar, in other words.

So when a new study comes out telling us the sugar’s the thing, should we be surprised? Apparently some researchers were, reports the New York Times and others recently.

The study gave 100 high school students milk shakes that were either high in sugar and low in fat or low in sugar and high in fat. Each type had the same calorie content. The sugar-laden shakes lit up pleasure centers in the brain more effectively than the fat ones. Sugar was a more powerful stimulus than fat, they found.

We all crave sugar, like I did during this pie-eating contest a few years ago. No pie for me today, thanks to my angioplasty.
We all crave sugar, like I did during this pie-eating contest a few years ago. No pie for me today, thanks to my angioplasty.
Continue reading “Sugar or Fat? Which turns you on more?”

Christmas dinner dressing: here’s a low fat, low sodium variety

Christmas dinner brings out almost as much food as Thanksgiving. I’ve written about some of my favorite Christmas dinner dishes here. If you plan to make another turkey for yours, here’s a low-fat, low-sodium stuffing/dressing you can make to go with it.

This recipe comes from the Food Network site but I’ve modified it to cut the salt even further. The original recipe has 206 mgs of sodium per serving, a cup of it. Continue reading “Christmas dinner dressing: here’s a low fat, low sodium variety”

Glenview House: a long-time favorite offers a low-salt treat

Glenview House is a long-time fixture on the dining scene for Chicago’s North Shore suburbs. It’s been in the same building for generations and used to be one of many tavern/hamburger joints that dotted the North Shore. In recent years, it’s been redone as a full-service restaurant, complete with video screens in almost every booth now.

The transformation from the old bar to the new restaurant really is amazing. So when we were in Glenview for a play recently with my in-laws, we picked the Glenview House for dinner with them. I can no longer eat the burgers I once loved there, so looked over the menu for a fish choice, the path I find myself following at most restaurants these days – i.e. order fish with as little on it as possible.

But rather than the usual tuna or salmon, Glenview House presented me with a fun third option, scallops on a bed of beet orgasmic rice risotto. This was a bit of a splurge for me since I’m not supposed to eat white rice, only brown. I also was a bit worried about salt in the risotto, so asked the waiter that it be cooked without any added salt, which he gladly said was possible. I was also worried about how much fat might be in a risotto, but found it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated, at least according to SparksPeople.com.

My Glenview House beet risotto and scallops.
My Glenview House beet risotto and scallops.
Continue reading “Glenview House: a long-time favorite offers a low-salt treat”

PortionMate: be your own lord of the portion rings

Portion size is one of those terms you hear constantly when you’re on a restricted diet and it means nothing, really. Who can tell what a portion/serving is supposed to be? Some refer to packs of playing cards or your fist. Please.

I am notoriously bad at estimating volumes. Just ask my wife about how I always pick a too large container to store any left-overs.

So being volume-determinant challenged, as I think most people are, really, when it comes to judging what are proper food servings for various foods, I was intrigued to see a new product offering help, the PortionMate.

I asked for and received a review version of it, basically a set of BPA-free plastic rings sized to be portions of various foods such as fruits, meat and cereals.

The PortionMate rings and meal planning booklet.
The PortionMate rings and meal planning booklet.
The PortionMate in action, measuring a serving of green beans
The PortionMate in action, measuring a serving of green beans

I tried out the PortionMate and think it could help some people to measure out their portions more precisely. It is a bit messy to use since it leaves you with these food-touched rings, which measure from one to eight ounces. Depending on what the food is, washing could be a little challenging, although I suppose you could put them in a dishwasher. Continue reading “PortionMate: be your own lord of the portion rings”

Holiday Treats Give-away: enter now and enjoy

The Ghost Guest is a Chicago food and restaurant blog done by a colleague of mine, Amanda Topper. Amanda writes fun and informative reviews of Chicago restaurants and the Chicago food scene and she has a holiday give-away going on her site right now that’s free to enter. Hurry though, you only have two more days to enter.

Here's a chance to win a pound of toffee.
Here’s a chance to win a pound of toffee.

Amanda, in a recent post, discussed five of her favorite holiday treats from Chicago area shops that range from cookies to chocolates to toffee. And she’s giving away a one pound holiday mix from Terry’s Toffee. Continue reading “Holiday Treats Give-away: enter now and enjoy”

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