Black Bean Soup

I remember as a kid, my mom making bean soup.  Every time she did, all of us kids complained because what kid likes to eat bean soup?!  We always ate it though, maybe we didn’t love it, but we ate it.  As an adult, I have a new appreciation for foods.  It could possibly be because I learned how to cook.  God rest her soul, I loved my momma and she was great at many things, but cooking was not one of them.  But I’ve figured it out, not that I’m great but I like to learn and try to be good.  I needed a change of pace this week, so I went with a Black Bean Soup, perfect for this weather we’ve been having.  I have to say it was quite delicious, full of flavor!  I hope you enjoy it and it keeps you warm!

Black bean soup

Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans
  • 2 cups water of vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 11/2 Tablespoon Braggs Amino Acids
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot.
  2. Add the garlic and onions, and cook until the onions are translucent
  3. Add the cumin, and saute’ a few more minutes
  4. Add the canned beans, including the liquid, broth and bay leaf.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes
  6. Add the Braggs and lemon juice and simmer 1 more minute

 

5 Foods You Should be Avoiding

One of the biggest questions I get from people is, “what should I be eating?”  With so many contradicting articles on the internet, people just aren’t sure what they should eat or what foods they should be avoiding.  There are always new studies coming out on how certain foods affect our bodies.  Not to mention the fact that we simply do not grow and make food like we did 20 or 30 years ago.  It’s all about mass production and getting as much food grown and packaged as possible.  No wonder so many people are confused.  This is my reasoning for sharing with you, 5 foods that you should be avoiding.

While I’m not necessarily an expert on nutrition, I have dedicated lots of my spare time and energy into learning more about healthy eating.  Losing my mother at such a young age made me really want to be proactive in doing everything I could do live a healthy, long life.  With my daughter’s special needs, it was even more important for me to learn how certain foods may affect her now and in the future.  While researching that I’ve learned quite a bit about the what certain foods can do to our bodies and our minds.

foods to avoid
5 Foods you Should be Avoiding

 

5 Foods you should be avoiding

  1.  Sodas, soft drinks–  I think most people know that they shouldn’t drink sodas.  I mean, there is absolutely no nutritional value in a can of soda.  You’ve heard the phrase, “don’t drink your calories,” right?  Not only does it not have any nutritional value, it is FULL of sugar!  According to Livestrong, one can of soda contains 30 grams of sugar, which is about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar.  WHAT!?  Now, that’s a lot of sugar!  This is more sugar than an adult woman should have in one day!  Try trading your sodas in for flavored water, green tea or one of the healthier sparkling water like La Croix.
  2. Artificial Sweeteners– While we are on the topic of sodas, don’t let the word diet in front of it fool you into thinking it’s a better alternative.  Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that just cause other harmful damage to your body.  Why would we want to put anything “artificial” in our bodies??  That can’t be good for it!  Did you know that your body has to work extra hard to break down the artificial crap they now put in our foods and drinks?  What does this mean?  It means that our bodies are working so hard on breaking down the bad stuff that it struggles to break down the good stuff causing your metabolism to slow down.  What happens when your metabolism slows down?  You start to gain weight or find it even harder to lose weight.  The bad thing is, is that companies are putting this in everything and making it sound like a healthy choice by adding the label “Low fat” or “Sugar Free.”  We are fooled into thinking that it’s good for us but the truth is, it is NOT!
  3. Processed Foods-This is one of the foods you definitely want to avoid especially if you are trying to lose weight!  This is also ties in with the artificial sweeteners as it is processed as well.  But I felt like it needed a number of its own.  😉  Processed foods are foods that contain artificial ingredients like, sugars, corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or other harmful ingredients.  Eating these kinds of foods has been linked to obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, cancer and many other ailments.  Your best bet is to stick with real, natural and fresh foods like, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and seeds.
  4. Refined Flours/white bread– White bread is bread that has been refined and typically contains a lot of sugar.  There is also little to no nutritional value in white bread.  It has been linked to an increased risk of Type II Diabetes as well as an increase in weight gain.  All you need to do is substitute your white bread for a bread made with whole wheat.  Ezekiel bread is a good option.  Keep in mind that even whole wheat contains gluten which has also been linked to other health issues.  So, I suggest if you are going to continue eating bread, do so in moderation.
  5. Trans Fat–  I think most of us know by now that we should avoid foods with Trans fat but it is still definitely one of the top foods you want to avoid!  Trans fat is found in fried and processed foods like chips.  It is said to be one of the worst forms of fat causing weight gain especially in the belly area.  When shopping for food, avoid foods with ingredients that say; hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.

The biggest advice I can give you when it comes to choosing what foods to eat is this, read your labels!  If you do not know and can not pronounce most of the ingredients listed then chances are it is something you should not be eating.  There are so many healthy alternatives out there now, just be proactive when doing your shopping.  Another tip to avoiding bad foods is to do most of your shopping in the outside perimeter of the grocery store.

If you want to learn more about clean eating and portion control, give the 21 Day Fix a try!  It’s the perfect program to teach you what you should be eating and how much each day.  If you’d like to join one of my support groups on fb where I share even more health and fitness tips, email me at tmg3177@gmail.com.