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Jim Uran

Healthy cooking and eating

33 posts in this topic

Let's share some recipes and some ways to improve our health and wellness through excersizing and eating a well balanced diet. Share your success stories, as well as some plans that haven't worked for you!!!

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I would be especially interested in ways that people have come up with ways to prepare fish with out frying.

If you have recipes do you use them regardless of spieces? For example do you use it for both walleyes and panfish?

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I put my favorite spices on Walleye and put in the microwave for about 5 minutes. It is very good and no grease.

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I should also mention that the recipes don't have to be game and fish recipes although they would be appreciated. We should also share diet plans and other ways we can better ourselves.

Like myself for example, I really need to lose 20 pounds or so to get my blood pressure down. I quit drinking pop, and try to stay away from greasy fried foods but it's so hard to do!!! There are days that I don't pack a lunch to work, it's so easy to run up to the convenience store and grab a pizza or something like that. It's little things like that that are contributing to my love handles!! lol!!

How about the before bedtime snacks? I hear that is totally the wrong thing to do, I'm definitely guilty of this. Heck half the time it's more than a snack. I need a way to kill those cravings.

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I lost twenty pounds earlier this year very easily, took me seven weeks. Cut out all white breads and pastas, only whole wheat stuff. This was the biggest difference I think. For dinner I lived off grilled meat with no sauce, just seasoning, green beans and sweet potatoes. All my snacking was done with fruits or dry cereal. For breakfast, cut out some egg yolks for your morning eggs. No pop or gatorade(just as much sugar as pop).

I was very strict all week except Saturday I would eat whatever I wanted. A diet is not as hard if you throw in one day to cheat on it. I also worked out maybe three hours a day because I'm on a college sports team, but I ate quite a but more than normal people to help get through the workouts.

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Have any idea on what meats to stay away from? Or are they all equal, I like grilling chicken breasts seasoned with a squeeze of lemon and fresh cracked pepper!!

Grilled asparagus is awesome, I soak some wooden skewers or chopsticks in water for a while and thread as many asparagus as I can on them. Drizzle some olive oil and pepper on them and grill them over fairly high heat for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until they get tender. Man is that good.

I agree with the one day a week eat whatever deal, it seems that a person can get burnt out on maintaining a diet.

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I just stand next to some one that a whole lot bigger then me. best cheating diet so far. But realy, Now is the time for fresh veggies. I do not eat much veggies during the winter unless it is froze, not canned. I use them for snacks. Fresh garden veggies have so much flavor they are almost good!.

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There are alot of ways to make our everyday diets healthier without it seeming like a chore.

One thing to keep in mind is portion control. If you eat the right amount of each item you don't really need to cut very much from your diet. For instance a single portion of meat is roughly equal to the size of a deck of cards. Now most of us will probably sit down with a 10 oz steak and think nothing of it, well thats almost 2 full portions.

Another thing that can help guys lose weight quickly is simply getting rid of the empty carbs. White bread, pastas, potatos, white rice etc are just empty carbs that don't do alot of good for you. If you are a runner they are great for energy but you need to work to burn them off. Instead go with the complex carbs, whole grains and sweet potatos are good alternatives. A good alternative to rice is Cous Cous, its a pretty girly sounding word but whole grain cous cous is much better for you and it can be seasoned almost any way imagineable. Its really very good.

Another thing all us meat and potato guys need to eat more of is fresh veggies. This time of year its easy as the gardens start producing. We grew lettuce for the first time this year and the lettuce fresh from the garden is 100 times better then the store bought stuff. If you don't have a garden consider farmers markets. If you are in the Metro area the St. Paul or Minneapolis farmers markets are great. I prefer St. Paul becuase everything there has to be certified that it was grown in MN and much of it is organic. Did I mention it can be a ton cheaper then the grocery store. If you go toward the end of the day they will give you great deals, sometimes you buy 1 pound and they'll force you to take an extra pound or two for free just so they don't have to take it home with them.

For the person wondering about how to prepare fish without the grease I would suggest grilling it. I prefer that way over all the grease. Search for the fish taco thread from a month or two ago and you'll find a good recipe I added to that thread for some healthier fish.

The last 3 things are a little harder to do and involve a little motivation.

The first is cutting out some bad stuff. Pop, juice, gatorade, and...Beer frown can really make a difference. Switch to just water and you'll probably see a big difference very quickly. To lose weight you need water and lots of it.

The next thing is to stop eating out for lunch while at work. What I do is I just make sure when I cook dinner I make enough for lunch the next day. If I make a healthy dinner it ensures I also have a healthy lunch the next day and doesn't take any extra time.

The last thing is of course excersize. Depending on your current level of conditioning start slow and build up from there. A mix of cardio and weights is a great way to mix up the workout and it will give you the total body effect. I also recommend maybe picking up a sport again once you are in good enough shape to handle it. It is good exercise, its more fun then just riding a bike or sitting on a tread mill and you can usually meet some new people.

Even if you are at an ideal body weight doing alot of the things I mentioned can still be beneficial. I try to eat healthy and work out but I get lazy sometimes like everyone else and when I do I notice a huge difference in energy levels. I am so much more energetic when I am taking care of myself which usually means I get more done and have more time for fishing.

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I also have been cooking veggies on the grill. It's my opinion that it's the tastiest way to eat veggies. My kids have been gobbling them up and I now have left over meat. Asparagus is great like you say. I coat with olive oil and use garlic salt. I have also been cooking long carrots sliced in half the long way, mature bell peppers (not green), thick sliced sweet onions. The onions blacken on the edges and taste just like onion rings without all the bad fats.

We have been eating like this for some time now and after 6 months I broke down and ate some fast food. I had the worst gut ache and bloating. It's not as hard to keep eating healthy foods with reminders like that.

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After my last post I thought I would add some recipe options that the wife and i use.

Here is last nights.

Grilled Chicken Skewers over brown rice and steamed pea pods

Wife made a yogurt marinade with some fresh lemon and curry seasonings. Cut the chicken into cubes and skewered it and grilled it. Place it over a bed of brown rice with steamed pea pods on the side.

It wasn't the absolutely healthiest meal it could be as the pea pods were steamed with a little butter but its those little things that make it not feel like a diet.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza crust using whole wheat flower.

Toppings include:

fresh tomatos instead of regular sauce

fresh basil

sliced ham (also used a lean venison sausage in the past)

small amount of fresh mozzeralla (the kind in a ball not the Land O' Lakes shredded kind)

Can be cooked in the oven but I do mine on the grill. Thats another thread to discuss technique.

Fish Taco

Since I mentioned it in a previous thread.

Take any kind of flaky fish fillet.

Marinade it in a citrus marinade. I use lemon juice, lime juice and little orange juice some cilantro and some garlic but you can play around with it.

Grill up the fillet, it will be nice and light and non greasy.

Take a tortilla (healthier options are available) fill it with fish, maybe a little lime rice (its a splurge) lettuce, tomato, a little cheese and enjoy.

Again its not a perfectly healthy meal but its a realistic meal that is pretty good for you.

Those are just three that we've made in the past week or so. I'm a big advocate for making realisticlly healthy meals. All of these meals can be made much healthier if you want but the perfectly healthy meals usually take more time, fancy ingredients or will cause you to burn out after a little while. A realistic meal is a good balance between fresh ingredients, and cutting some of the bad stuff but making something you can stick with for the long haul. Think about all the meals you can eat on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is super bad for you and a 10 is super healthy. 1 would be a Big Mac and a 10 would be a fresh garden salad. I say its better to eat regular meals that are in the 6-7 spectrum that you can do for the longer term versus going on a diet and eating only meals that would score 9's and 10's and then burning out and going back to the 1's, 2's and 3's just to go back on a diet again a few months later.

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Those are some great tips nofish!

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I underwent a lifestyle change three months ago and have lost 40 pounds, with 30 more to go.

This is what I do under the advice of a doctor specializing in diet.

Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up, no matter what. A snack the size of the palm of your hand at mid morning, one sandwich for lunch, same snack in afternoon, supper in a portion that'll fit in a soup bowl, mid evening snack. Drink all the water you want, moderate exercise (45 minute walk daily).

All the small meals are because your body goes into shutdown mode if you don't keep it fed, and when it's in shutdown mode it's conserving, not metabolizing calories. So you keep the motor running at half speed all day and do a bit of exercise and you may be good to go.

The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. The doc calculated mine and said I'd burn 2200 calories a day just sitting in the chair, so if I could keep caloric intake to about 1,900 to 2,000 and exercise moderately, I'd lose weight.

And I did, and continue to do so.

Breakfast might be a bowl of Grape Nuts with skim milk and fruit sliced in it, or it might be an egg/cheese on English muffin. Snacks can be cut up fruit/veggies or chips, but portion size is important. Lunch can be salad or a sandwich. S'wich can be meat/cheese/lettuce/mustard on whole grain bread. Supper can be most anything, just not too much of it, and not high on the fats. I avoid all processed sugars (I don't have a sweet tooth anyway), and when it comes to breads/potatoes/rice, brown is good, white is bad, because your body has to work harder to digest the whole grains. For potatoes, we now eat sweet potatoes.

If you go out to eat, eat half the portion and take home the other half in a doggie bag for tomorrow's lunch. Or split a single entree with your companion. Many of us eat smart types of food but our portions in America are amazingly large.

Cut down on beer. Way down. If you also do a light workout on top of walking during the day, one or two beers afterward are fine. Six or eight are not. I don't drink beer much anymore, but will have two glasses of red wine with/after dinner. Red wine being more healthy in the first place than beer. Also, the moment you drink some alcohol, your body abandons burning calories from other foods already eaten and starts to metabolize the alcohol immediately (it is a poison, after all). That encourages the calories already taken in as food to be stored (fat) rather than burned.

And you have to eat slowly. You don't have enough food in a snack to make it last, but with breakfast, lunch and supper, take small bites, chew slowly and pause between bites. Why? Your stomach produces an enzyme that tells the brain it is full once you start eating, but it takes about 20 minutes for that to happen. If you wolf your food as many do, you can eat a HUGE portion in the time it takes your stomach to tell your brain it's full. Your body doesn't actually need all that food to function healthily, and by taking at least 20 minutes to eat a small portion of a meal you feel full even though you haven't eaten much.

All these are pieces of the same plan, and to do most but not all of them will render the diet either ineffective or not nearly as effective. Now when I'm heading for the woods or the boat all day I make sure I've eaten breakfast first, not matter how early I have to get up to do it, and that I bring along a cooler with the right lunch/snacks/supper to last until I get home. Often that means a lot of planning ahead. That's why they call it a lifestyle change.

I knew all the nutritional stuff the doc told me because I was a bodybuilder for four years in my 20s, and at 5-9 weighed 205 with almost no body fat after that time. Over the years I gained weight, and seven years ago was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Before starting the diet, I weighed about 270 and took two oral diabetes meds/day, as well as daily meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol. Within one week of starting the diet/lifestyle, my blood sugar was bottoming out so much that I had to eliminate one of the diabetes meds, and now I've eliminated the blood pressure and cholesterol meds. When I've lost the last 30, I'll effectively not have the disease and will be med-free, because in Type 2, your pancreas produces plenty of insulin, but your obesity blocks your body's ability to use it. No obesity, no blocker.

I immediately started averaging 1.5 pounds lost/day when I started the diet but that felt like too much to fast for me, at 47 years old, and I'm now losing just under 15 pounds per month. The doc's goal for me was at least 8 pounds/month lost, and he cautioned me not to get depressed if I wasn't able to meet it. There also is a local support group for others here on the same diet plan with the same doctor, as well as periodic consultations with a diet expert, but I haven't bothered with any of that. I was just ready to make the change.

The diet alone was responsible for getting me off one of the diabetes meds and the cholesterol/triglycerides med, and after losing the first 20 pounds my blood pressure normalized. Cutting down on drinking also helps lower blood pressure, as does regular exercise.

A note on cost. I was paying $130/month out of pocket for those meds. Now it's down to $25, soon to be 0. We also worried that our food bills would get higher because it costs more money to buy healthy food than junky food, but that didn't happen because our portions got smaller. That meant, while we were paying more per item for the healthy stuff, it took us so long to consume those items that the cost more then evened out, and we're coming out a bit ahead of how it used to be.

So while I'll never again be that bodybuilding stud I was in 1990, things are looking PRETTY GOOD from where I'm sitting healthwise.

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Nice job Steve.

Thats the kind of eating that I was talking about. Sensable portions and realistic meal options. I think many people could stick with a program like that since its more portion control versus having a long list of off limits foods.

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WOW Steve that is a very inspiring story! I recently cut out the pop/sugar juices. Haven't had one in almost a month!

I also have a great recipe for grilled fish. Very easy, healthy, and great tasting. Place a filet of any type of fish you like (I've done crappies, perch, walleyes, and northerns) on a square of aluminum foil. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice, your favorite seasoned salt, lemon pepper, fresh black pepper, and a little parsley. I usually add a 1/2 table spoon of butter to keep it from sticking to the aluminum foil, but i'm sure olive oil or just cooking spray would do the trick. Then fold over the sides to totally enclose the filet and not allow the juices to escape when flipping. Grill on both sides until the fish becomes flaky and enjoy! This is my favorite way to make fish. It also works great in the oven in the winter.

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I like grilling chicken, fish, or shrimp to put on tacos. Sprinkle on your favorite spice.

Another idea with chicken is putting it on salads. I always grill up extra chicken breasts and then put it on a salad at work. One thing on salads is to buy a lettuce "spinner". You can clean your lettuce and spin the water off of it and it will last much longer in the fridge. It's then easier to prep for a meal or your lunch at work. Watch the amount of salad dressing!!!

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Great story Steve! Mine is fairly similar. About 5 years ago - type 2 diabetes and I had to start takeing oral meds. I dieted the same way - smaller meals and ate every few hours, plus rode my bike about 5 miles, 5-6 days a week. The weight flew off and I was down 70 lbs.

We'll a few upheavals in life and I fell of the wagon, gained about 50 of it back. But im on my way in the right direction again... cool

As for the evening snacking or as I call it "grazeing" - what I do is sip on water all evening. Usually about 24 oz's total. Plus a small snack no later than 8:30ish. The tough days are when im at work or fishing till 11 at night and get home and there is a fridge full of leftovers... eek

Portion control is the tough one. Slowing down and drinking a glass or two of water at dinner helps me alot...

Regular soda or as most of you guys call it "pop" is terible for ya. Wasted calories and nothing nutritional about it...

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My wife and I are doing an "HCG" diet. HCG is a synthetically produced hormone, found in pregnant women...

The HCG diet limits your caloric intake for the first 30 days. For those that are well within the category of being overweight, the HCG burns through the "non-essential" fat, i.e. stomach fat. After the first 30 days, you double your caloric intake and go to a modified Atkins diet.

No beer, pop, sugar (sweets). No starches. That stinks!! But, after a week, I have lost 10 pounds and my wife has lost 14. This is a non workout diet, FYI. Doctors offices/clinics are endorsing this diet for 600 a month. We are doing ours for 70 a month. If you want to lose weight quickly and can suffer through the no pop/beer thing, it is a great diet. It re-teaches your body to eat smaller portions as Steve mentioned. It also teaches you to eat slowly and enjoy your food.

Do a search for HCG to learn more. I will endorse it. I believe the best diet is controlling your intake and exercise, but with my lack of time to have consistent exercise, this is a great diet. I will do the diet for 30 days and go to working out without the fat to burn.

You can order the HCG through the net, it comes from India via Canada, so it takes up to 3 weeks to get it in.

As far as our meals, we are eating steak, chicken, fish, and shrimp. Green veggies and fresh fruit at each meal. Less portions and cut out the [PoorWordUsage] as far as food is concerned. You can drink all the coffee, water, and tea you like. There are no salt restrictions. Any other ??'s, feel free.

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While you can't get much better than scaled sunnies fried in oil and butter, i decided that we couldn't cook like that all the time. I gcook a lot of fish in a tin foil "pan" with just enough olive oil on the fish to keep them from not sticking on the tin foil. Put a couple onion slices in with the fish and then squeeze a half a lemon on them along with some lemon pepper when cooked.

As far as veggies, I bought a veggie grilling tray. You can cut up whatever veggies you like and put it on the top rack while grilling the fish. Our favorites are asparagus or green and yellow squash. Just brush some olive oil and season with garlic powder.

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I too have dropped weight and exercise is the key. That being said one of the ways I enjoy fish is very simple. If you like fried fish but know you shouldn't be eating it all the time try this. I take a breading mix, more corn meal based than flour(Andy's Red)and just cube up the fish and shake over the fish. No need to coat with egg, milk or anything. Bake in the oven at 425 for 5 to 10 minutes and it tastes very close to deep fried without the guilt and the calories.

I like food and I like to eat and I have made this many times for other people and it is simple and people enjoy it.

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Fish Boil.

Water in pot with some salt.

Add potatoes, carrots, onions and a package of crab boil spices (zatarains is good an available) you can use the liquid stuff too.

When potatoes and carrots are done, add a bunch of fish. Cover and let cook a few minutes until fish is done.

reasonably healthy, easy, and good.

We made this twice on the week canoe trip I was just on.

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I have lost 70 lbs since Feb. I think most of the important facts have already been mentioned, so I am not going to repeat them all. Portion control is huge! Being active (I walked 3-5 miles per day)along with cutting back on the beer, pop, and all the other [PoorWordUsage] that is not so good for you. We try to grill our fish and Veggies in a grill basket that my wife got from Pampered Chef. I was amazed by how much easier it was than I thought it would be! If you need help with a little motivation, make a small bet with someone you know, that way there is something there to keep you from straying back to old habits. Set your personal goals, and stick to them!

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Fish Boil.

Water in pot with some salt.

Add potatoes, carrots, onions and a package of crab boil spices (zatarains is good an available) you can use the liquid stuff too.

When potatoes and carrots are done, add a bunch of fish. Cover and let cook a few minutes until fish is done.

reasonably healthy, easy, and good.

We made this twice on the week canoe trip I was just on.

You forgot the stick of butter on top after you've drained all the water off!!! smile

Just kidding. I also like a good fish boil, and adding the potatoes and carrots stretches the fish farther. Standing time will do a lot of the cooking for you after you've drained the water off, it helps keep the fish together. Get your vegies close to done, have the water boiling, throw in the fish - when it comes to a boil again, drain the water off, and let sit with a cover on for five minutes - Excellent!! And have the butter dish off to the side for the people that have to have butter on their potatoes.

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The south beach diet is a great plan and the food is really good. It has outlined food plans in the book which helps you stick with it. The first two weeks are pretty strict...the second stage isnt all that bad and the third stage is suppose to be your lifestyle change way of eating. I think the recipes and food is great, but since its all fresh ingredients etc. it can tend to cost a little more and take more time to prepare meals. I lost 40 lbs on it though and it wasn't all that hard to stick with. Once you get to stage three you can cheat quite a bit more as long as most days you don't eat the greasy stuff.

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Steve has it right. To eat slower I used a smal "toddler" fork. Make sure you take the time to chew your food down. Another thing that helps is don't drink anything 1/2 hour before or after your meal and don't drink anything while eating. This fills you up faster and will make you hungry later on. I had a GB four years ago so was forced to eat small portions. But that is the key. Three good meals (basically what will fit in the palm of your hand or soup bowl) and a couple of light snacks. Nuts are decent to snack on. Also, water, water and more water.

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