Friday, October 1, 2010

Meatloaf

I made my first meat loaf of my life today. I have three children: 14, 11 and 8 years and that was my first meatloaf. Weird? Maybe to some people but very normal for me. You see I became a vegetarian when I was 18. I am no longer a vegetarian having given that up when my kids were born but I still don't eat pork or beef (I know some people would come up with a name for a vegetarian that eats chicken and fish but really, let's be serious, that is not a vegetarian). My kids are unbelievable meat lovers. Good for them. Meat is very nutritious and I serve small portions with lots of veg and that is how we should be eating meat- in moderation. But back to my meatloaf. Why is that my first meatloaf? Not only would I not eat meat for quite a number of years but when I met my carnivore husband, I didn't cook meat for him either. 18 years of marriage and 3 kids later, I cook meat for them on a regular basis but I had just not gotten around to 'meatloaf' until now. I considered 'meatloaf' very much my mother's era and I shunned it. The meatloaf 'recipe' came from a dog eared cookbook that my husband brought to our marriage. I don't even know what the cookbook is called anymore because the front and back cover have come off but it is one of those basic cookbooks from the 70's that has all the old traditional recipes in it (and a lot of helpful cooking tips for ex-vegetarians on how to cook meat). I made fun of this recipe book when my husband first showed it to me. Laughable! Me, the vegetarian, cook from that old grandma book? No way! Well, as I said, it has turned out to be useful after 14 years of cooking for a family, I don't mind a few traditional meals to throw some variety into the mix. My poor mother (yes she is still around and lives in Ontario but she knows nothing about the internet so I don't think she will ever find out about me saying this) was a victim of the 70's. When all that convenience and packaged food came out, she was in there like a dirty shirt. I grew up on Kraft dinner, bologna, instant rice, frozen buttersauce corn, frozen chicken and chips, and anything made by Betty, Aunt Jemima, Duncan, or Uncle Ben. To my mother's defence (after defaming her here), that was a different time. Those convenience foods were paired with fresh fruits that we fought over (mom doled out a weeks supply of fruit with our names on it in the fridge so we didn't' fight over it) and we weren't sitting in front of a screen for numerous hours a day (there wasn't a screen to sit in front of except mostly Saturday morning cartoons). That is the difference from today: it was a different time. Times have changed and we have to parent our kids in a different way than previous generations because now, things are working against us. We live in an obesogenic environment and we need to be purposeful in parenting around food and activity. Don't misunderstand me; eating food and being active should be enjoyable and positive but to raise kids today, you need to be informed and pro active when it comes to feeding your children. Check out my workshops on feeding children: www.thefoodmentor.ca (and don't tell my mother about this conversation).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let them eat cake…

First Blog


I am just ending two years of having a stall at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market. Along with a friend we have been baking and selling bread and cheesecake and donating all our earnings to charities that help children in developing countries. The thing that might surprise people is that I am a dietitian selling…. Horrors!…. bread made with white flour AND cheesecake! If you know me and my philosophy about food and eating, that would not surprise you but for those of you that don't, I will explain! I do absolutely believe in healthy eating and healthy whole grain foods and I eat that way most of the time and I feed my family that way. But, there is always room for foods that have less nutritional value like cheesecake! Would I recommend eating cheesecake every day? No. It is a treat and a special indulgence and should be enjoyed in moderation. But we should not feel guilty about enjoying delicious food that happens to be full of fat and sugar occasionally! And how about that bread we made? We made a delicious foccacia bread with all kinds of toppings that included fresh veggies, and premium cheeses and our home made pesto. That too, is a bread that I would not recommend eating every day. It was mostly white flour (organic Saskatchewan flour, mind you) and the toppings boosted the fat content of the bread significantly. Why didn't we use all whole wheat flour? Because this bread tastes better with mostly white flour. We found that the more whole wheat flour we used, the more pronounced and strong the bread tasted and the less you could taste all the delicious toppings we added. So, for this bread, we felt that white flour was best.

So, as far as eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight, I don't promote 'diets' or a dieting attitude where you have lists of foods you can eat and can't eat. A piece of cheesecake or focaccia bread occasionally is not the cause of overweight. It matters more what you are eating over the long haul and most importantly, what matters is your relationship with food and eating. Check out my group classes and workshops at www.thefoodmentor.ca

If you make it to the Farmer' Market and are craving some foccacia bread, you can find my bread now carried by another vendor: Michelle from Wild Serendipity Foods (www.wildserendipity.com). Bon app├ętit!