So, the cookies are all gone, the Champagne is drunk—and you’ve made resolutions to make the coming year better. Based on what we buy, January is the month for organizing, exercising and changing what we eat, usually in an effort to lose those pounds we gained from Thanksgiving to New Years. And, January is National Diet Resolution Month.
We will be focusing on different approaches to losing weight, improving health, and reducing our impact on our planet through what we choose to eat. We will continue to indicate which recipes we publish are suitable for the more common dietary choices.
In general, fad diets that depend on very low calorie intake, like the “Grapefruit Diet,” have been shown to be ineffective for long term weight loss. In addition, unless under medical supervision these starvation diets can be harmful to a person’s health.
First, some basics on nutrition. All living things must have a source of energy. For animals this comes from eating either plants, other animals, or both. Everything eaten provides energy in only three forms, fats, protein and carbohydrates. Each gram of fat provides 9 Calories, Protein 4 Calories and Carbs 4 Calories. The body uses all these to provide energy to keep alive and to move. If you regularly consume more Calories than you use, you will gain weight. Your body stores the excess in the form of fat, which it can use for energy if there are times when other sources are not available.
It used to be said that if you ate 500 Calories less per day, you would lose one pound a week. Many of us have demonstrated that this is only partly true. As usual, things are a lot more complicated. For one thing your body wants your weight to stay the same all the time (unless you are a growing child.) It is willing to let you eat more for a little while without storing that extra fat. But on the other hand, if you try to lose weight just by calorie restriction your body will change its metabolism to prevent too much weight loss. This was no doubt useful when our food supply was highly variable, but now it makes losing weight more difficult.
The other part of weight loss and health is to keep up a fairly high level of physical activity. This helps prevent the body from shutting down. It can be useful to vary the timing and intensity of exercise sessions. Or to vary the intensity during one session (intervals.)
One of the more popular diets for the last few decades has been the Ketogenic or Keto diet. Popularized in the early ‘70s by Dr Atkins, this diet restricts carbohydrates while allowing relatively high amounts of fats and proteins. The goal is to put the body in “ketosis,” a state in which it must burn body fat to produce energy. At the beginning it is recommended that a person eat no more than 20 grams of “effective” carbohydrates a day. One may need to test their urine (with test strips for ketones) to see if the state of ketosis has been reached. The Internet is full of directions and information about this very popular diet.
Pros—You can lose substantial amounts of weight in a relatively short time.
Cons—Many have trouble sticking to the diet due to side effects such fatigue. Most people gain back weight when they go off the diet. This is true of all diets that don’t include long term sustainable permanent lifestyle and eating changes. Also, the long term effects can include gall bladder issues and others. People with chronic diseases should be sure to consult their medical advisors before starting this diet. Due to its emphasis on fats and proteins it would not be a good choice for those trying to reduce their carbon footprint. (it is almost impossible to follow a Ketp diet and be a vegetarian.)
Whatever you are eating, you should drink plenty of liquids. Water is the best. Sugary drinks, alcoholic drinks and tea and coffee will actually dehydrate you.
Some good sources of information include:
Here are some Keto recipes from “Tasty”
This Week’s Sales
Fry’s—A Buy 5 or more, Save $1 on each including 1 lb bag mini peppers for only $2.99, Kroger Storage Bags for $1.49/box and Ballpark Franks $.99/pkg. There are also some special digital deals good only on Friday and Saturday, Hillshire Farm lunchmeat only $1.99/pkg and Kellogg’s Cereals $1.49/box (select varieties). There is a whole page of special digital deals on Natural and Organic products like 2 lb bag Organic Apples $3.49/each and Organic Broth $1.49/each.
Safeway—Digital Super Coupon Saralee Bread, select varieties $.74/loaf, first 2.Lots of clip or CLICK! coupons: Yoplait Yogurt $.29/6 oz, first 12; Hunt’s tomatoes, Rotel or Sparkling Ice drink only $.88/each.
Sprouts—This week Sprouts begins a new Shelf Tag system designed to give you information instantly on which products are compatible with which diets. Look for tags with a leaf for Plant Based, KETO for Keto diets, GF for Gluten Free, Paleo for Paleo Diets, and O for organic. In addition, Sprouts is featuring a page of specially priced Organic items: Bone Broth, #3.99/32 oz, Lundberg rice and rice products 30% off and Organic canned beans $.99/can.
January is National Soup Month, National Oatmeal Month and National Hot Tea Month
Suggestions for a Cool January Week’s Meals
Turkey Chili (Just use your usual recipe, only sub ground turkey or chopped leftover turkey for beef.)
Turkey Meat Loaf
Composed Salad with Cooked Shrimp or Salmon
Cauliflower Pepperoni Casserole
Spaghetti with Meat Balls
Sides and Salads
Steamed, Flavored Cauliflower
Orange Glazed Rainbow Carrots
Steamed Brown Rice
Assorted Citrus Salad
Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad
Chocolate Silk Pie (Keto, but not low cal.)
Cheese Plate (Keto if containing only cheese and nuts.)
Snacks and Breakfast
Egg and Sausage Casserole
Recipes and Videos
Healthier alternative to ground beef.
Cauliflower Pepperoni Casserole (Keto)
Tastes kind of like Pepperoni Pizza.
Steamed Flavored Cauliflower
Break a head of cauliflower into large florets, steam, place in a bowl. Meanwhile, place 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl or cup. Add your favorite spices and/or herbs (about 1 t total for dried or 2 T for fresh.) microwave for 20 seconds (may need to adjust for your oven.) let sit until cauliflower is done. Pour over florets in bowl and stir to coat. There are endless variations, from spicy to herbal.
Orange Glazed Baby Carrots
Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad
Assorted Citrus Salad
Keto Chocolate Silk Pie
Keto desserts tend to be very rich, lots of cream butter and eggs, not much sugar.
Egg Sausage Breakfast Casserole (Keto)
Cheese Crisps (Keto, Vegetarian)
Tired of paying big bucks for a few Parm Crisps? Make your own.
On Sale This Week
Beef, roasts, boneless—$2.99/lb @Fry’s, Chuck Roast. $3.99/lb @Safeway, Chuck and others.
Beef Steaks—$4.77/lb @Safeway, T-bone
Pork, chops—$1.47/lb @Safeway, assorted. $3.49/kb @Sprouts, various, bone in or boneless
Chicken—$.97/lb @Safeway, parts or whole. BOGO @Sprouts, all natural, select varieties. BOG2 @Fry’s, Breast, thin sliced breast, tenders or thighs, BOGO @Fry’s, Simple Truth, Full Line Sale.
Turkey, ground—$2.99/lb pkg @Safeway. $3.50/lb. pkg @Fry’s. $8.99/1 lb pkg @ Sprouts (O)
Shrimp—$4.99/lb @Sprouts, med, raw. $13.98/2 lb bag @Fry’s. $7.99/lb @Safeway, raw.
Salmon—$9.99/lb @Sprouts, wild Sockeye, Alaskan.
Fruits & Vegetables
Pineapples—$2/each @Fry’s. $2.50/each @Sprouts,.
Strawberries—$2/1 lb box @Fry’s
Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries—$1.67/box @Sprouts, $3/box @Sprouts (O)
Blueberries—$3.99/18 oz box @Fry’s
Apples—$.77/lb @Fry’s, Fuji. $.88/lb @Sprouts, Ambrosia, Gala, Fuji. $.98/lb @Safeway, Honeycrisp,
Pears—$.77/lb !Fry’s, Bartlett
Oranges—$.77/lb @Fry’s, navel. $2.00/4 lb bag @Safeway. navel. $2.98/2 lb bag @Sprouts, cuties
Red Mangos—$.98/each @Sprouts.
Avocados—$1/3 @Sprouts, $.77/each @Fry’s, Lg
Greens—$.99/bunch @Safeway, Kale or Spinach, $5/1 lb box @Safeway, (O). $2.50/5 oz pkg @Fry’s, (O), $1.29/bunch, kale (O) $3.00/5 oz @Sprouts, (O)
Tomatoes—$1.49/lb @Sprouts, hothouse (O) $2.50/each @Fry’s 10 oz snacking tomatoes
Brussels Sprouts—$1.50/lb @Sprouts
Baby Peeled Carrots—$.98/1 lb bag @Sprouts. $1.50/12 oz. @Fry’s, (O) rainbow
Other Good Deals
Eggs—$1.49/dz @Safeway, Lucerne, clip or CLICK!, $3.99/dz @Sprouts, (O)
Lunch Meat—$1.99/pkg @Fry’s, Hillshire Farms, Friday and Saturday only Digital Deal
Vinegar—$4.99/32 oz. Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider
Soup—$.99/can @Safeway. Progresso. $1.25/each Campbell’s Chunky