Friday, April 27, 2012

Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

banana_ice_cream_01.jpgBanana ice cream is my new healthy indulgence! Okay so you are thinking how any kind of ice cream can be healthy, well this one is. I am an ice cream lover it is one of my favorite comfort foods. When I decided to make better food choices, I thought I would have to give up ice cream. The average supermarket brands, even the low fat and sugar free varieties, have ingredients I am not happy with including corn syrup and MSG. They also have more fat and calories than I would like. Even the more healthy varieties, organic, soy, non-dairy, can still have a good amount of fat and calories. Then there is the debate over dairy, non-dairy and soy. It was becoming too much work to find ice cream that worked for me.
I was home one Saturday afternoon watching Food Network looking for some new healthy recipes and Claire Robinson from 5-Ingredient Fix solved my ice cream dilemma. This ice cream comes out smooth, creamy and custard like, just like I like it. The best part is that you get all of this with just one ingredient…BANANAS!
Before I give you the recipe let me give you a little information on bananas. Bananas, natures wonder food, is low in calories and fat yet high in fiber and vitamins. Here are some of the highlights – Bananas are high in iron good for anemia, potassium essential for lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke; vitamin B6 for your blood; tryptophan a mood stabilizer (makes you happy); is a natural antacid; and has a low glycemic index slowly releasing the carbs into the body. What other ice cream can do all of this for you.
As promised, here is the recipe:
2-3 ripe bananas
Optional ingredients: (will explain further)
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
Cut the bananas into approximately ½ -inch pieces and freeze at least 1-2 hours. Put the frozen bananas in a food processor (I use my Ninja blender) and puree, scraping down the sides periodically, until smooth. That’s it! For the optional ingredients, I sometimes use a little milk to help the bananas along. This is not a necessity this recipe works fine without it. You can also add peanut butter for an extra protein boost and honey for sweetness and flavor. I have also added frozen mangos, simply delicious. Play with this recipe, let me know what you come up with.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Obesity in the pews...

We go to church to draw closer to God and to be spiritually fed.  Looking around the church today, I realize that the church is feeding more than our spirits!

I have been attending church faithfully for more than 18 years.  In those 18 years I have participated in more than my share of pot luck Sundays, bake sales, dinner sales, fried fish and chicken sandwiches, luncheons, catered dinners and the weekly fellowships after Sunday service over every comfort food known to man.  In our society most celebrations and holidays occur around an abundance of food.  So when we are celebrating Jesus food will be a natural part of the celebration.  Some churches use the promise of a big Sunday meal to entice new membership.  While the idea of fellowshipping and “breaking bread” with church family is great, the problem is amount of calories and fat we are consuming  while at these events.

I have battled my weight issue for most of my life.  Recent health concerns have now prompted me to change my lifestyle.  I not only want to drop the excess weight for good, but I also want to stop taking all the medications I am currently on.  I want to stop hurting my body with food and begin to nourish it.   I have begun to change my eating habits and exercise regularly.  I have also decided to go to school to study nutrition and learn how food affects our bodies.

In my lifestyle change I have started preparing more healthy foods at home.  Packing my lunches, making sure I include fresh fruits and vegetables.  I also purchase organic foods to eliminate some of the unnecessary hormones.  I really feel good about my changes.  However, I was recently at a women’s conference, at church, that of course included a luncheon.  This church is full of fantastic cooks and the food is always delicious.  I sat in anguish over how I was going to avoid the temptation of the fried chicken and potato salad. 

Why have these foods become the accepted norm?  Is it possible to have the same fellowship without all of the fat and calorie laden food?  It is time for us to take responsibility and promote more healthy eating habits.  Losing control of our eating does not glorify Him, we have to take care of the temple He has given us. We can change our church functions and events to offer healthy alternatives.  Don’t get me wrong we cannot blame the church entirely for our eating habits.  However, the church is a major influence in how we live our lives. 

We all have to deal with life circumstances.  Christians go to church to be encouraged and gain strength to face our problems.  Church is a time to leave your problems outside and enjoy the presence of God.  It makes us feel good!  Studies have shown that eating certain foods also make us feel good.  So maybe eating these foods after services prolongs your good mood a little longer.  Why can’t we feel great without all of the extra calories.

Let’s put our minds together and see how we can change our view of food as well as the churches.  I would like us to share our journeys.  Share your thoughts and comments with me. Whether you're overweight or dieting, or was overweight and lost the weight. Diet suggestions and thoughts are always welcome!

What are some of your experiences with those infamous church meals?