Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week I am inspired by my need to have quick and healthy meals available for myself and my daughter.  I am like most working moms…by the end of a long day the last thing I want to do is make an elaborate nutritious meal for dinner!  Sooo, in my attempt to continue to eat healthy while working full time, being a single mom, and rehabbing a house…here’s what I have been doing and I thought I would share!

FIRST though, I want to talk about something that I personally have avoided for several years now…SODIUM NITRATES.  Ohhhh you thought I was just going to throw out a quick and easy recipe, didn’t you! Ha! You know me better than that by now!  

Sodium Nitrate is a food additive used mainly in cured meats. You can look on a package of bacon, deli meats, salami, hot dogs, corned beef…most of these all contain sodium nitrates. Now, in the old days, before refrigerators, we preserved foods with salt, or drying, canning or fermentation. Preserving food is necessary for us because it stops deadly bacteria from forming. Ever heard of botulism? Well, sodium nitrate inhibits this thing called clostridium botulinum from producing a toxin that causes that. Ok, well that sounds good right? But wait…this sodium nitrate stuff can also form cancer causing things called nitrosamines. Those nasty things have been linked to bladder, colon, and esophageal cancers! Studies show in countries where people eat a lot of foods containing sodium nitrates, the rate of esophagus and stomach cancers are higher. 

There are numerous studies and debates as to whether nitrates and nitrites are safe or unsafe and you can decide for yourself. I guess one thing that helped ME make my decision to avoid these was the fact that pregnant women are supposed to avoid ALL processed deli meats, cured meats, and hot dogs.   Apparently consuming high quantities  during pregnancy can put your unborn child at 3 times the risk of developing brain tumors! Think about all those sandwiches you have eaten in your life… made with overly processed sodium nitrate filled deli meat….oh my!

So, if you want to avoid these sodium nitrates it’s easy to do. I have done it for almost 4 yrs now! I buy nitrate free bacon(you can find it at your local grocery stores, you just have to read labels!)and yes, I am the annoying customer at the deli counter asking the worker to let me see a nutritional guide for all of the meats that are in the case! I can always find at least 1 or 2 brands/kinds in the case. Obviously, like I always say, everything in moderation…you shouldn’t eat a ton of meats like salami, bacon, and hot dogs anyway..they are high in fat!

Alright, so here’s my quick and healthy fun recipe for you!

GLADIATOR ROLL-UPS (hey, I had to think of an exciting name to get my 3 ½ year old to try them!)
I love these because you can choose a variety of colorful, healthy ingredients!

Lay out a slice of deli meat and put your choice of ingredients in the middle then roll it up like a tiny burrito. Great for kids because they can easily help you make these and may even come up with a creative combo!

*your choice of nitrate free deli meat: we prefer turkey or roast beef
*Ingredient combos
-avocado/cherry tomatoes
-lettuce of any kind drizzled with olive oil and balsamic
-apple/red onion
-cucumber/bell pepper
-artichoke hearts/fresh basil leaves
-kalamata olives/sliced carrots
-cheese of your choice/fresh asparagus
-the possibilities are endless!

Have a Healthy Week!

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