Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You Are What You Eat

One of the first things that I learned when I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia was about what not to eat. I went to the local Borders and found two books on nutrition for Fibro sufferers, got home, and then started soaking up the knowledge.

At first, I couldn't believe what I was reading when I opened up the food additive section. It was shocking to see so many things containing things like MSG. I thought MSG was eliminated from food all together in the 80's since all the Chinese restaurants used to advertise that they got rid of the additive in their foods. Of course, I quickly found out how wrong I was when I started to read food labels.

Food shopping is a whole new adventure for me and the family now because I label read and we tend to go to places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods instead of the old stand by food markets because I can find much healthier alternatives to the classic family food additive favorites.

I tend to make a lot of things from scratch now adays because of the amount of junk that's in prepared foods. Prep time for a home cooked meal can be time consuming this way because it's from scratch, and this can be torture for the chronically fatigued. So how do you prepare a fabulously healthy meal without zapping your own health in the process? You cheat.

You heard me right, you can cheat. I found through the years that making something quick can be a life savor when it comes to my fibro and fatigue.

I've cheated by having already cut up veggies and prepacked salads in my fridge and freezer along with some canned foods. Now, you might be wondering how I can get away with canned foods when a lot of them out there are filled with too much junk.

In the organic isles of food stores and in places like Trader Joe's, you can find canned foods that are healthy and contain no preservatives. These canned foods are usually things like pasta sauce and beans and those two ingredients can make a kicking chili with little effort.

Another great thing to have on hand is rice. I tend to go for Jasmine or brown rice so I can use it when I make a stir fry. A stir fry is also another quick and easy meal for me because I buy frozen vegetables for it. I keep frozen fish fillets on hand as well because fish takes about 10 minutes to defrost and 20 minutes to bake.

I also like to use my Crock Pot a lot. Making meals in there is easy for me because it cuts down on the time I have to stand over a stove and I also don't have to constantly get up to look inside the stove to see if the meal is done. Both of which have tired me out on some days. There are plenty of reciepes you can find on the net for the slow cooker, but a general rule of thumb is to add an hour for every 20-30 minutes something needs to be cooked for.

Good food shouldn't have to be complicated, especially when you have Fibromyalgia. I have a few recipes in my first book, The Fibro Hand, and they are pretty good, but I'd love to share my vegitarian chili recipe with all of you today.

What you will need:

*2, 20 oz cans of red kidney beans

*1, 26 oz jar of pasta or marinara sauce

1 and a half tablespoons of light brown sugar

1 teaspoon of sea salt

*1 half cup of frozen mixed peppers (red, yellow, and green)

And then add 2-3 teaspoons (or to taste) of the following spices

Coriander

Paprika

Basil

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Cilantro

Curry

Cumin

*Chili Pepper Sauce

Add ingredients to a medium to large pot. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally until hot (about 15-20 minutes). Serve immediately and enjoy.

*all ingredients named can be found at Trader Joe's, however, you can substitute these products for your own favorites.

Stay fabulous! And don't forget that the contest is still going on so keep commenting!

Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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