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Family Matters: Compromise, Not Sacrifice!


My kids are much older now, but when they were little, I was a real fanatic about serving only the most-healthy foods possible. Compromise was out of the question. In the years since then, I’ve softened my position, and while my family still eats healthier than most, sometimes you have to give a little here and there. And it’s compromise, not sacrifice. We stay true to the most important aspects of our food plan, but there are some areas where a little splurge now and then can be a good thing!

For instance, in their lunch boxes, or in the snack bag when we went to visit friends, I used to insist on ultra-healthy, ultra-natural foods. And I’m still not going to put cookies and chips in the bag, but I have decided that some of the pre-packaged items I’d always boycotted weren’t really that bad! Crust-less sandwiches, frozen yogurt tubes and juice boxes were still a lot cheaper than buying fast food, and they weren’t as pure as foods I prepared myself, but you know what? They’ll still work just fine. Kids do like to fit in with their friends, and the convenience of ready-to-use items is really handy. At home, they’re happy to eat what they’ve always eaten, but when it’s a special time, the food can be special, too.

We saved these items for play dates and lunch boxes, and it turned out to be a compromise that worked.



Healthy Living: Low-Fat & Gluten-Free


If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? If you use dairy products, you may be using low-fat varieties to help keep your weight in check. But guess what? Many low-fat ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese and buttermilk products contain modified food starch—and modified food starch contains gluten.

What’s a person to do? In this case, the best bet is to buy the full-fat dairy products and watch your calories elsewhere. But take heart: gluten-free eaters often avoid many of the typical “junk” foods that are high in calories, so you’re already ahead of the game in this respect.



Shop The Sale: It’s Soup Time!


Who doesn’t love a big bowl of chicken soup on a chilly fall evening? Chicken noodle, chicken and rice, chicken and vegetable, chicken tortilla, chicken and dumplings….there’s a soup for every day of the week. If you remember soup like grandma used to make, there’s one secret for making it happen without stress and fuss. The secret? Use a slow cooker!

They’re inexpensive appliances, and if you don’t have one in the back of your pantry, do run out and get one—it’ll be worth its weight in chicken soup!

On sale this week at Brookshire’s is Pilgrim’s Pride Whole Chicken—the key ingredient to great chicken soup. And with your slow cooker, making it is a snap!

Rinse the chicken, and check inside to be sure there aren’t any giblets (innards) in there. Place the chicken in your slow cooker. Throw in whatever vegetables seem nice and soup-worthy:  an onion, garlic, celery, a potato or two…..this isn’t for the final soup yet, but to create a really flavorful broth. If you like, season with salt, pepper, bay leaf and poultry seasoning.  Add water to fill the cooker about halfway and turn on the slow cooker and let it cook all day (or all night, depending on your schedule).

After 8 hours or so, pull out the cooked chicken and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Strain the incredibly delicious-smelling broth. Skim off the fat for a healthier soup.

You can chill the broth to make soup later, or proceed: Put the broth in a kettle and add the vegetables you love to see in soup: a bag of frozen mixed veggies, maybe, or corn, green beans….it’s your call. Pull the chicken meat off the bones (it practically shreds by itself) and add. Adjust the seasonings: add salt, pepper or poultry seasoning to your personal tastes. Simmer until veggies are done. Add cooked rice, or uncooked noodles (or whatever other ingredients your recipe calls for), simmer a few more minutes, and your soup is ready to serve.

Wasn’t that easy? And it all started with whole chickens on sale!

Note: omit pasta for a great gluten-free meal!



Healthy Living: Five Foods


I was looking through my folder of interesting articles and ran across an old one from Woman’s Day Magazine (July 2007, to be exact) called “The Five Most Underrated Foods.”  These are foods that don’t get the credit they deserve for being healthy.

So what are those 5 underrated foods?

 

  1. Strawberries: one cup has more vitamin C than an orange, plus fiber to help maintain blood sugar levels.
  2. Eggs: Eggs are great sources of choline (good for brain health) and protein, and the dietary cholesterol in eggs has been shown to not damage blood cholesterol levels significantly.
  3. Salmon: All fish are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids but salmon has one of the highest levels.
  4. Avocados: They’re loaded with fat, but it’s the good-for-you monosaturated fat that can actually help reduce your bad cholesterol numbers.
  5. Kiwi: Two or three kiwi a day can help reduce blood clotting, which is a factor in heart attacks. Kiwi is also rich in fiber, which is important to protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

I’m happy to say that I love all five of the five underrated foods. How about you?



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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