Aug 10, 2012

Plum Jam And Other Things To Be Happy About

One of the things I love about our new house is that it came with a plum tree in the backyard. And right now, it's booming. The taste of a fresh plum really doesn't compare to what you find at the grocery store. The skin is super-tender and the meat of the fruit is perfectly sweet and tart. Having a tree is great, but you get a lot of plums RIGHT NOW. So, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to make fresh jam.

When I was a kid, my grandma made peach jam from her peach tree. It was the most amazing thing I had tasted and so after that, and I was forever ruined for store-bought jam. This recipe is ridiculously easy. I just followed the instructions on the package of pectin. Fruit, pectin, sugar....done.

I had big plans to can my plum jam, but it didn't happen. I went the low-effort route so I could spend minimal time in front of the stove and maximum time kicking my feet up (I can do that...I'm very pregnant). 

When I finally DO can something, this Canning 101 guide will definitely come in handy. PS: the website is kind of addictive. 

While I was making my sweet spread, I glanced over a new book my friend recently gave me: 1400 Things To Be Happy About. I haven't read the whole book yet, but I'm sure "breakfast of fresh jam on toast and a rich cup of coffee" is in there somewhere. Until I find it, here's a glimpse at the first page. So far, I like.  

Plum Jam

  • 1 quart fresh chopped plums
  • 1 package pectin
  • 3 1/2 cups of sugar

Bring chopped fruit and pectin to a boil. Add sugar, stir well. Bring to a boil again, stirring continually. Let cool for about an hour. Serve and enjoy.

Now, have some friends over, make brunch and serve your tasty homemade jam. Or just spend the morning in your PJs, sipping coffee, enjoying your delicious plum jam with toast....or a scone...or a biscuit. Up to you. I think I'm going with option B.

Aug 1, 2012

Do You Have a Healthy Relationship with Food?

The relationship between the brain and the body is pretty interesting, especially when it comes to food. Have you ever found yourself wanting to eat something unhealthy and doing everything within your power to overcome temptation? I can certainly relate. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to make cinnamon rolls last week. (Editors note: I'm 40 weeks pregnant and therefore cannot be held responsible for my decision making). So I made them, ate one, gave half of them away to friends and put the rest in the freezer. Thus far, it has taken every last shred of self-control not to break into my stash. Sound familiar?

So what's your solution to temptation? Pantry purge? Get rid of all "unhealthy" foods in the house? Give in and eat what you want or have a small bite, then walk away? Your reaction not only reveals what you would do, but also how you relate to food, which is just as important as what we ultimately put into our mouths.

Working in nutrition, I've seen a lot of disordered eating. These are not just clients with anorexia or bulimia, but oftentimes people I meet day to day. Between the media, unhealthy body images, the latest diet trend, social pressures and more, it can be very difficult to maintain a healthy perspective on what we eat. From what I've observed and studied, I've come to believe it's not just about telling people what to eat, but helping them think about food in a new, healthy way. In order to change how you think, it's important to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy thoughts and behaviors when it comes to food. 

Here's the Tiffany the Dietitian version of some of the "signs" of a healthy vs. unhealthy relationship with food. Ask yourself which way you feel most of the time.

This list could go on. What are some healthy vs. unhealthy perspectives you've observed?