Testimony of the Day
“I started yo-yo dieting and exercising when I was 8 years old even though I was a slim child with no genetic tendency towards being even slightly overweight!
I had started baby ballet a few months prior and was so gifted a dancer that in just a month I was moved to the advanced ballet class with the older girls and was (apparently) even better than all of them.
My ballet teacher who was once a prima ballerina was so impressed by my ability that she pulled my mom aside and I had the ill luck to have overheard this conversation. She told my mom that if I continued to dance that I would someday be a prima ballerina assoluta. (I had to look up this definition when I got much older but at 8 years old I had no idea what kind of compliment I was being given). But THIS I remember…she said that for me to be a ballerina I would have to go on a strict diet because I was not a ‘skinny’ girl. That actually my (slim) frame was not ideal for ballerinas and it would hold me back. The ballet world would think I was too ‘fat’ and my body was not ideal.
There. My life was changed at that moment. I started a lifelong struggle with body image at that moment that I heard I was too fat. And even though I stopped dancing only 2 years later, the dieting and exercise continued. I would do 45 minutes of aerobics and toning in my room with my door closed and I was only 8 years old.
I never had an eating disorder but I was definitely obsessed with my weight. My eating was either feast or famine because I could never stick to a real diet. I had no concept for what was healthy and what was right. I went about ‘dieting very blindly. And because I could never stick to an actual ‘diet’ i actually started gaining weight. All the feasting was catching up to me which made me try more starvation diets only to feast later on. Because i never lost weight and I would hide my binge eating, my mom never knew how obsessed I was with my weight and my body. No one knew. It was my own secret.
To make a long story short, everyone in my family was thin except for me…which made me even more obsessed.
I have been on every diet I can think of and have been to countless nutritionists with little success. I was really at the end of the line and I always felt trapped in my body. I’m an emotional eater and have a major sweet tooth. Once I start I can’t stop. I once went on a sugar binge that lasted almost a year. I felt like crap every single day!
Then one day, I had the good fortune to meet Maria who really understood me and my background! She showed me a lot of compassion and I knew she really cared about helping me.
She mapped out a great eating plan, but more importantly recommended supplements to curb my moods and emotions–which was at the crux of my emotional eating.
Since then, I have bought every one of her cookbooks. I feel very educated about health and eating and can consciously make the right choices.
By the way, I have made almost every one of her desserts and ate it guilt free!! But I slowly stopped craving sweets altogether. When you don’t deprive your body of something, it stops craving it.
Now, I am healthy at 5’6″ and 117lbs and am no longer dieting or going crazy about my weight and body which had consumed the better part of my life. I can live and enjoy life the way I was meant to…something I haven’t felt since baby ballet.
Thank you Maria. You are a superstar and life changer….and forever my go-to gal. I love you!!!!” Romy J.
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Many people are starting to realize that the traditional food of our ancestors, real food, is much better for us than the chemical-drenched industrial stuff turned out by the big food industry. Food smoking is an ancient method of preserving food using wood smoke. It is believed to be almost as old as the use of fire itself. When prehistoric people hung the surplus meat or fish they had caught after a successful hunting or fishing trip from the ceiling of their cave to protect it from vermin and contamination, they would have noticed that the meat exposed to the smoke of the fire stayed edible for longer. If washed with sea water prior to drying and smoking, it would have lasted even longer because of the preserving properties of the salt.
Smoked meat not only is a method of preserving meat, it is also a great method for infusing flavor and for enhancing the appearance of meat.There are many products on the market that have been treated with smoke flavors to make them resemble genuinely smoked foods, that can be sold for higher prices. This practice has nothing to do with real food smoking and is banned in some countries, although it is common in the UK, the US and Australia.
Smoking meats involves three processes. The first process is the drying process and it does not involve smoke. The second process really begins the slow cooking process and incorporates smoke as a means of sealing the meat. Smoke helps to reduce bacteria and fungus from colonizing on meat. It is actually the nitrate that is found in the smoke that helps to keep meat safe from spoiling. The third phase of smoking meat is a finishing process that cooks the meat all the way through. The smoking process for a ham is only about 24 hours but brining a ham can take significantly longer.
BENEFITS OF SMOKED MEATS:
1. Awesome flavor! I never liked chicken before my husband purchased a smoker…it was always too dry, but now I LOVE IT!
2. Unlike a grill, no gas is used
3. Unlike a grill, the meat doesn’t get chard, found to increase cancer risk. The problem with grilling any kind of protein – red meat, poultry, fish – is that the process causes formation of two cancer-causing agents: HCAs, or heterocyclic amines, and PAHs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, said Karen Collins, nutrition adviser to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Laboratory data show these substances trigger the cancer process, and while data in humans are limited, there is suggestive evidence that they can also trigger cancer in people.
4. Very economical… all you need is fire!
5. Meat is preserved without the need for refrigeration. We’ve only recently discovered that wood smoke contains compounds such as phenols that inhibit the growth of microbes that cause food to spoil. Also, the salt, which is used to cure or brine the produce prior to smoking, draws the water out of the cells of the bacteria and kills them.
6. No additives used! The trend in eating is towards high-quality, ‘slow food’, with local, natural ingredients free from chemical additives.
There are different methods for smoking meats that come from different types of animals. The breast of a turkey is quite a bit different from the pork ham. Many of the commercial or home smokers will come with instructions as well. Local resources such as a health-food store or co-op may also have information about people willing to teach techniques used in smoked meat preservation. Learning to smoking meats can benefit your family or lifestyle and is a worthy endeavour. The benefits can be quite positive. Not only can meat be preserved, but the consumer then has control over what kind of additives go into the food they will consume. This is very much an organic type philosophy and as such brings with it a lot of the organic benefits to health and food consumption.
We have experimented with smoking, poultry, meat, sausages, fish, cheese, eggplant but can also include smoked eggs, other vegetables and nuts. The smoked eggplant was SUPER good!
Click HERE to find the smoker I love on sale for $75 off!
4 cups cubed, smoked chicken meat
1 cup homemade baconnaise OR organic mayonnaise
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: Sliced hard boiled eggs, 1 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup minced green pepper
8 Protein Buns
Clean and breakdown chicken into thighs, breasts, wings. Place soaked wood chips in the bottom of your smoker, and place the chicken on the racks. Smoke (outside) for 3-4 hours depending on the manufaturer’s directions. At this point you still want to finish cooking it in a pre heated oven at 250 degrees F for 30 minutes or until deep golden.
In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise with paprika and salt. Blend in onion (and other additions that you prefer: celery, or green pepper). Add chopped poultry, and mix well. Season with black pepper to taste. Add sliced hard boiled eggs if desired. Chill 1 hour. Use PROTEIN BUNS for sandwiches. Makes 8 servings.
NUTRITIONAL INFO (per serving)
Traditional Sandwich = 445 calories, 23g fat, 27g protein, 30.5g carbs, 2.4g protein
“Healthified” Sandwich = 299 calories, 12.9g fat, 24g protein, 3g carbs, 1.5g fiber
Wow! That looks SO good.
Thanks for all your great info!
Thank you! 🙂
I second Anonymous 🙂
I also have a question ~ I poked around over the weekend, looking at various bread recipes that you’ve posted. I settled on using the recipe in the chili bowl post, but just cooking them on a baking sheet which worked well. Everyone was so happy to be having a bread product that didn’t taste like almonds or coconut! 🙂 Thank-you so much!!!! What I’m wondering is if egg protein powder & whey protein powder are interchangeable in your recipes? and also just how much of the whey or egg protein is really necessary for proper texture? Some recipes called for 3 egg whites & 1/4 cup, some for 3 egg whites with 1/2 c – but it seems that they can all be used essentially the same (as ‘bowls’, pizza crust, buns, bread, etc) Or maybe I am confused from looking at so many recipes at once… 😉 I have a large family, so I could blow through that expensive product in no time ~ so I guess I’d really like to know how little I can get away with using 😉
thank-you so much!
Yes, egg white and whey protein are interchangeable. Happy baking! 🙂
Oh ~ that makes it easy; thank-you!!
I find the idea of smoke flavoring to be quite humorous. Amazing what we do to the things we eat.
I like Maria, am not a fan of plain chicken! However, we have a smoker and I love smoked chicken! This salad is delicious and easy to whip up! The pecans are great in it! I highly suggest taking the time to make your own mayo too!
Thanks again Maria!!
I made this for my lunches this week.. YUMMY…. easy to make and so so good!! Thanks!!
I am curious of the health effects of the smoking since many use charcoal which I thought was bad and articles like this as well: http://www.livestrong.com/article/496172-smoked-meat-and-health/ And how is this for a cheaper smoker? http://www.walmart.com/catalog/allReviews.do?product_id=876295 Anything else you can add? Grapes, apples, etc. usually in chicken salad or the one place I like them with ranch and pesto on top. And can use just chicken breast to make this too? Man I’m hungry now lol
I think they are lumping smoking meats in with grilling meats. The Char from grilling has shown to have some link to cancer, but when smoking you aren’t adding smoke to the meat, not heating to get that char so I think it is different.
I stay away from fruit and the added sugars in them. You could use just the breast yes. 🙂
I see I only have a grill now and guess along with the 20 other appliances I now need (thanks btw) LOL can I grill it to try it for now? What about adding pesto or ranch to it? I’m quite the sauce person lol
You could give it a try. 🙂
I am liking your idea to start smoking meat and salmon. I wondered, do you dry or wet smoke your meat and fish? Also, most of the brine recipes call for so much sugar…do you use sugar or use a substitute, or leave it out all together? Thanks for all your great research and info 🙂
Thanks! I just do a dry spice rub. My smoker has a tray in the middle that holds water to keep the meet moist, but I smoke them try and add any sauce after when I eat it. 🙂