A Welcome From Dor
If all that gets in your way of making the healthier choice is convenience, take a look at Joni‘s grab and go list of essential items to have on hand.
For Joni, education was not enough. She knew exactly what she was supposed to eat. But the crazy busy schedule of a full-time working mom meant that she raced to make everything happen except meeting her own needs for nourishing food.
Even fear of the cancer that ran in her family didn’t translate into good self-care. It took the community of Suppers to make sure that her fast food was the healthy food.
Joni’s Story: Dor Is in My Fridge
When I first arrived at Suppers it was fear that drove me. There is way too much breast cancer in my family, and I’m at an age where I’d be foolish not to pay attention to my diet and lifestyle.
I am no newcomer to eating healthy whole foods. I’ve known what to eat for years.
My problem was not lack of good information but lack of the wherewithal to do what I know is best for me. Even fear hasn’t been enough to make me stay on the right path consistently.
When I got to Suppers, I wasn’t so much looking for information as for support. The Suppers form of sponsorship is called therapeutic friendship. It means we step in and help each other with whatever kind of support is needed: phone calls, walking partners, cooking dates, etc. I needed help staying on track to buy only good food and keep it on hand and ready to grab. To reinforce how important it is not to let ourselves get too hungry, we often cook extra food at meetings and bring jars so we can take some home.
Stress is a familiar companion for me. I have a busy practice. I’m also on the run keeping up with the schedule of an active teenage son. And I have problems with blood sugar and am already pre-diabetic. So I can rely on crashes happening if I’m not right on top of eating regularly and making good choices. But good choices are hard to make when inconvenience, time pressures, and carbohydrate cravings combine to sabotage my best intentions. One day, sensing a crash would come over me if I didn’t eat, I yanked open the fridge door looking for a fast solution. And there, facing me, was Dor in my fridge.
Dor is the leader of my Suppers group – the Suppers founder, in fact – and she offered her therapeutic friendship to help me establish new habits. She’d sent me home with a few jars of chili and soup from the last meeting. Well, wouldn’t you know, sometimes things work exactly as they’re supposed to work.
When I opened the fridge, there was a delicious, protein-rich chili in a jar from Dor’s kitchen. My “fast food” was healthy food. There would be no automatic choices today. I was sticking to the plan. I said a five-second prayer of gratitude and downed the chili before dashing off to the next appointment.
There are far too many social pressures, too many soccer games to race to, too many clients in need of my services, a husband who deserves my time, and too many internal impulses for me to get this right without lots of support. Obviously, slowing down has to be part of the long-term plan. But for now I need regular meetings, like-minded friends, and the right food in the fridge to manage this busy life without crashing.
When I reported to my Suppers friends how their support was helping me lead a healthier life, they asked me to make a list of “must haves.” Here is my list of things I must always have on hand because Dor won’t always be in my fridge:
Joni’s Grab & Go List of Essentials
2 kinds of unsalted nuts: Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts
Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower Seeds
2 kinds of easy-to-grab fruit: Apples, Pears, Sliced Melon, and Berries
Sliced Raw Veggies (can be kept in a jar of ice water, tupperware, or ziploc)
Hummus or Vegetable Dip
Broiled Chicken and/or Sliced Turkey
1-cup servings of whatever chili or soup I make on the weekend
Pitcher of filtered water: NO Soft Drinks!!!
Flourless Tortillas, Frozen or Chilled
Whole Grain Crackers
Cubes or Slices of Cheese
Almond Butter and/or Peanut Butter
Small, wrapped servings of dark chocolate for special occasions
Booster Bars For Joni, By Allie
I was at Target the other day getting some new gummy vitamins, a.k.a. fortified candy, and as I browsed the vitamin aisle I noticed something on the other side: like a zillion different brands of bars. It seems nowadays that with every fad diet comes a fad “bar”. A processed, mushed together set of ingredients, which, when combined with the literature and merchandised processed foods sold through one fad diet or another, will help you to lose X number of pounds. While researching for this week I wondered a few things about these bars:
- How costly are they in comparison to similar mushed together ingredients (granola bars)?
- How popular are they? Do they really sell?
- What ingredients in these make them different from other bars?
- Can I make them at home?
Then I wondered – why doesn’t everybody do this? Making protein bars for my family is something that I have done for fun for years. Now that I have the opportunity, I want to tell you this first: you too can make your own bars. It takes about 10 minutes and they last about two weeks. Want to know more? Keep reading.
Step One: Choose your things.
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews, etc.
Seeds: Sunflowers, Pumpkin
Grains: None, oats, cooked quinoa (needs to be refrigerated), other cooked, needing to be refrigerated grains. (Hint, grains are unnecessary)
Dried Fruit: Dates, cranberries, apricots, golden raisins, figs, mangoes, apples, etc. (basically any dried fruit you can find)
Powders/Boosters: Chia, Flax, cacao powder, cinnamon, spirulina (needs to be refrigerated) orange zest, lemon zest (uhh, did you know that lemon zest has more vitamin c than orange juice?), cardamom (any spice you want really)
Sweeteners (optional): Honey, Maple Syrup, Alcohol Free Vanilla
Flavor Boosters: Sea Salt, Lemon Juice, Fresh Herbs (needs to be refrigerated)
Step Two: Blend your things into a mush. Basically, put all of your things into a food processor and pulse, pulse, pulse, until you feel as though all of the things have made friends with each other and then turn your food processor off. The “dough” should “relax” at this point – or, in other words – pull away from the sides of the bowl. At this point, you are ready to turn that “dough” onto a parchment lined baking sheet and start to press it all into a squarish/rectangularish shape and begin to mold the “dough” into a cuttable thing.
Step Three: Eat your things
It’s that easy. Protein bars are inexpensive when made at home, contain more boosters when made at home, and are more delicious, grab-able, and impressive when made at home. Best part – you can avoid all inflammatory-you foods when you make your own bars. Just like your smoothies, these You Bars can contain ingredients that are you-friendly and don’t cost so much when shopping at Target.
Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t shop at Target cause….well, Target has great clothes sometimes. And the sunglasses. So good.
1 cup nuts and seeds of choice: almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pumpkins, sunflowers, etc.
1 cup dried fruit of choice: dates, cranberries, figs, raisins, apricots, mango, etc.
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon spice blend of choice (cardamom, coriander, etc.)
1 teaspoon booster of choice (spirulina, chia, flax, etc.)
1 orange or lemon, zested
pinch sea salt
dash honey *optional
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Turn on and pulse several times to incorporate. Turn on and process until dough “relaxes” against sides of bowl when processor has been turned off.
- Turn onto a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into a rectangle. Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove and slice into 2X2 inch squares. Store in proper tupperware or freeze and enjoy one bar each day when hunger bares its teeth.
As always always, head to Suppers for all of your recipe needs, support, and to look for new meetings to visit! Suppers offers educational support for you to transition towards a healthier lifestyle. We would love for you to join us today! Check out our calendar now!