Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spice things up!!

Has your sex life gone stale?  JUST KIDDING!!!  I'm not talking about spicing things up in the bedroom - I'm talking about in the kitchen!

When Marc and I moved in together, neither of us had any real experience in cooking.  I went from eating in Mommy's house to for the most part eating in the dining halls at college.  Marc took charge of cooking our dinners when we moved in together but it was throw this in the oven and see what happens.  And - pretty much - we ate everything plain.  

I am convinced that this is part of the reason we both over-ate.  When you eat bland foods not only do you not feel as full as fast, but that's one of the reasons that strongly sugar flavored processed foods taste so good!  Because you are craving FLAVOR.

So during this journey I have learned to cook.  I'm still not a great cook, and I don't love cooking.  But I have become more adventurous and try our recipes.  I've noticed that many recipes still call for sauces on your foods.  That's great, except most sauces contain an OUTRAGEOUS amount of calories.  It definitely improves the taste, but it is also empty calories that don't do anything positive for your body and hunger.

So I have become a spicing queen.  We have DOZENS of spices in our house and I have learned what goes with what and what spices I like.  With spices, you can add massive flavor your foods for ZERO calories.

Not only that, but I didn't realize how many health benefits spices have!  Like garlic is known to raise your good cholesterol levels, and cinnamon regulates blood sugar!  Some of the best spices you can use are the HOT spices, like chili powder.  There is some evidence that spices like ginger, tumeric and cayenne can boost you metabolism and help burn fat.  I can't do the really hot spices, but I try to add a small amount in recipes here and there.

Check out this article about the benefits of spices and how they can aid weight loss:

In addition to these natural spices, I have fallen IN LOVE with the McCormick line of meat spices.  Now, I will warn you that many of these have salt as a main ingredient, so if you have salt issues, you need to be aware of this.  They DO make salt free options.  Since I don't I use them almost every night.  Not always only on my meat, either!  I like them on my veggies and starches like potatoes, too!

One of my favorites is the Molasses Bacon flavor.  It has a slightly sweet taste and is fantastic on beef!
Last night I cooked up some onion, mushrooms, garlic and kale.  I threw in some of the Perfect Pinch spice of Tuscan Rosemaryand Sun-dried tomato and WOW!  It just added that little OOMPH to the veggies.

So use your spices!  Use them in recipes, rub them into meat, sprinkle on your dinner instead of high fat sauces!!

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