In my ongoing quest to stay healthy, my trainer suggested I read the book, How Not to Die, by Dr. Michael Greger. I know I am going to die but I want to go out as healthy as possible with strong joints and an active lifestyle until the very end. My takeaway from the book, to improve my current diet, is to keep up the fruits and veggies, limit meat and incorporate more beans like garbanzo, lentils, and black beans, and get in my fiber with whole grains plus add daily a tablespoon of ground flax seeds and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. There is a very easy app to use to track your daily progress of following a more healthy eating plan. Notice I didn’t use the word “diet”. You can find the app at Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. You just click the radio button every time you eat one of the recommended daily dozen and the app helps you keep track. Plus I like checking off items on a list. I am weird that way.
In anticipation of a busy week, I have sorted various fruits and veggies into small portions in little bags ready to grab in the morning from the refrigerator as I head out the door to work.
I made a big batch of Italian lentil soup and stored it in individual containers to take to heat up for a warm and healthy lunch. I also whipped up two loaves of Maple Oat, Millet and Buckwheat bread to get in the fiber recommended by Dr. Greger and provide for a special treat for breakfast, toasted with almond butter or avocado spread.
Italian Lentil Soup:
2 T olive oil — heat in dutch oven and add 1 diced yellow onion, 2 large diced carrots and 2 stalks, diced, celery. Add lots of garlic and saute until soft, add 2 boxes of vegetable or chicken broth. Dump in a can of fire-roasted, diced, tomatoes and 1 cup of dried red lentils. Season with bay leaves, thyme, oregano and turmeric. Stir and allow to simmer for an hour or so. Add salt, black pepper and 2 cups of chopped spinach, or collard greens or kale (whatever you have on hand). Cook for another 15 minutes and you are ready to eat.
I had a bowl for lunch today and added 1/4 tsp of turmeric to my portion and sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top. Really tasty. If you like it spicy add hot sauce or your favorite condiment.
Oatmeal and Flaxseed Maple-Honey Bread
I took a tested recipe from King Arthur Flour and modified to add more fiber.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 T honey
- 8 T butter – you could probably get away with a little less. Next time I am going to try to half it and see what happens.
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 T salt
- 2.5 tsp dried yeast
- 1/2 cup of millet flour
- 1/3 cup of buckwheat
- 1 T flax seeds
- 5 cups of AP flour – you may need to add more but start with this amount first. I had to add about a cup.
Take 1/4 cup of water and heat water to 105 degrees. Use an instant thermometer to check it. Add 2 1/2 tsp. of yeast and a pinch of sugar and let it activate the yeast for 10 minutes.
Take the boiling water, oats, maple syrup, honey, butter, cinnamon and salt and combine in a mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Then add the yeast and flours and seeds. Knead in mixer to start and add 1/4 cup of flour until you get the correct consistency of not to sticky but not too dry. This is something you learn with practice. Knead by hand for 5-10 minutes. Get in a little lower arm exercise in the process.
Place in greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap and allow to double. Takes about an hour or so. Looks like it is growing before your eyes!
Punch down and divide into two loaf pans — make sure you grease them first. Repeat the steps for the plastic wrap and let rise until 1 inch over the rim of the pan. Another hour or so for this step.While I waited for the dough to raise, I went outside to work in the garden and nearly died from the heat. No breeze, high humidity and heat is a killer. Be careful out there fellow Texans. Maybe we will see a little shower tonight?
I sprinkled my two loaves with maple syrup flakes that I bought when we were in Vermont for a little special sweet crunch on top.