Posts tagged ‘vegetables’

February 28, 2013

Superman’s Magic (Sugar-Sprayed) Carrots

My friend, Jayne, rightly called me out, sending an email demanding that I write a blog post (which I believe she called “nice little blurbs”) for every single class meeting that I have. While this is not something (clearly!–finding time to make my bed is proving challenging this semester!) that I am able to do, I took her email as saying, “Sarah, you don’t have to make your bed today — write a little bit,”  which is much more fun. So let’s see what pours out of my fingers…!

So here we are. Starting a blog post without a topic in mind but encouraged to write something about school. Hmm. My classes this semester are stats, econ, nutrition in the lifecycle, and communication strategies for health promotion. While I could craft some regression equations, draw some supply/demand curves, or write quite a well-sized blurb about the benefits of breastfeeding (and post some pictures of new breastfeeding contraptions), I think what you would all find most interesting is a quick explanation of a project that we’re doing this semester for the communication strategies class.

My biggest project this semester is to develop a communications campaign encouraging kids, ages 5-12, to pick healthier foods when they’re eating out at fast food or casual dining (think applebees) restaurants. My group has been reading through some research that explains how kids want superpowers, and that convincing them that vegetables will give them superpowers (think “X-Ray Vision Carrots”) will encourage vegetable consumption. We’re also thinking of copying some other research that was done by encouraging kids to order their food as if they were a superhero. There was a study done showing that kids associate healthier foods with their heroes — they believe that superman would eat salad over ice cream. It makes sense, right? Grownups eat healthy food because they know it is better for them. If we highlight why (without outright lying to the kids) the kids should eat the healthier foods, they’re likely to. Kids want superpowers. Or badassery. Remember that “extreme  baby carrots” marketing campaign?

The organization we’re working for has ties to the restaurant industry and many confirmations that if kids demand a different kind of food, restaurants will work harder to meet those new demands. And it really is happening — McDonalds, etc, is transitioning to “healthy defaults,” or including milk and apple slices in happy meals unless soda and french fries are requested.

Later on this semester we’ll be conducting a focus group with some kids (anyone have ties to any groups of 5-12 year olds in boston we can use?!) and incorporate their ideas on restaurant eating and their understanding of healthy foods into our proposal.

We read about another study that shows that kids are more likely to eat more vegetables if they are sprayed with sugar water. No shit. I find it irritating that adding sugar to vegetables is a real solution that people are considering to increase vegetable consumption. Yes, the kids are getting the nutrients, but still. C’mon — there’s gotta be a better solution than sugar water.

All right, hopefully this little blurb pleases Jayne. I have to get my day underway! Be good, everyone.

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September 4, 2011

How To Cook Just About Everything

I work with a lot of (excellent) college students, and right now is the time of the year where they are all settling into their new living quarters, and realizing that they need to depend on their own kitchen, rather than a dining hall, for sustenance.

So far, only one sorry kitchen tale has been brought to me (it was the story of a sweet potato that refused to cook fast enough), but as I eagerly await more, “Sarah, how do you cook?” questions, I figured I’d throw a post out there, dedicated new these new Kitchen Crusaders, in hopes that their kitchens soon produce delicacies finer than cup-a-soups, toast, and frozen vegetables.

Okay, before we get started…

Please make sure that your meals generally consist of vegetables/fruits, a grain or starch, and a form of protein. You know how to cook cereal, pasta, minute rice, salads, and sandwiches. You can probably do tacos, stir fry, pizza, and scrambled eggs really well. That’s all awesome. I’m going to walk you through some different (easy) preparations of foods that are healthy, inexpensive, and easy to find. Honestly, I googled most of these things when I first found myself in my own kitchen!

This is a very long post with a lot of information in it.  I’m hoping that this is everything you need to know to start really cooking for yourself all of the time! I’m trying to include the basic foods that don’t come with “this is how you cook this food” directions written on it, but let me know if I’m missing anything.

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July 27, 2011

Spinach Chips, Gratuitous Photos, and No, I’m not Dead

One of the first rules of blogging (that’s right, I read those rules back when I started this thing) is to never apologize for the infrequency of your posts. So instead of breaking rules, I will simply say that I know you all understand that when it’s summery, busy, sunny, and busy, I easily get distracted from the blog. I’m sure that you actually want me to be outside when it’s nice out, rather than guiltily sitting at my computer writing. Things have been busy. The few spare moments I’ve had in the last month were spent trying to escape to the beach (2 days so far…that needs improvement), fixing a never ending line of flat bike tubes (I think I just need a new tire & that this one is glass-ridden), starting another round of half-marathon training on a new pair of minimalist running shoes, continuing to learn how to make cultural vegan food, redoing workout playlists, and reapplying sunblock. I’m having an excellent summer, and while I wish that I had been a better blog-keeper, I don’t wish that at anytime in the past month I was sitting at a computer instead of doing other stuff.

That said, I was just cleaning out my camera, and remembered that I made & photographed the Spinach-Chip-Making process a while back, knowing that there would be a time eventually when I wanted to put a post up, but didn’t really have the brainwaves to contribute to one. So I’ll share the Spinach-Chip process, and then give you some gratuitous summer pictures.

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April 3, 2011

Another Episode of Week Prep

So another rather busy week is coming up, which means it’s vital that I organize my brain around what I will eat and how I will move now, so that when everything is happening this week, I can focus on the things that are happening, instead of focusing on or being conflicted about what I will eat and how I will exercise.

When food and exercise are scheduled as part of a busy week, they happen. When I am eating well and exercising, I have more energy to attack the busy weeks. So it’s in my best interest to plan those things out now. Plus, if I don’t do this now, chances are that 90% of my meals (okay, more like 66.66% of my meals–the apple pumpkin oatmeal is a daily standard) will consist of either $15 salads from Whole Foods or bagels. And cereal and ice cream. And chocolate covered pretzels.

Week Prep is vital.

First up, exercise. Let’s check the weather, as that will very much dictate the exercise plans.

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March 4, 2011

How To Roast Vegetables and Why You Should

All right. I’m aware this is a straight forward “how to cook this food” post, but this is, in my opinion, the most delicious way to prepare vegetables, and I want to make sure that everyone knows about it.

In addition to my belief that eggs go on everything and oatmeal is a magical food, I truly believe that lightly coating a vegetable in olive oil (I just rub it on with my hands), salt, and pepper, and then sticking it in a 425 degree oven yields awesome food.

Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables, makes your house smell delicious, and is really really hard to mess up. I highly encourage mixing numerous vegetables & roasting them together. I also highly encourage sticking in a few un-peeled cloves of garlic with whatever you’re roasting, because, well, that’s just delicious.

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