Donna Maurillo, Foodstuff for Believed

Roses are purple. Violets are blue. Valentine’s Day is coming up. Do one thing good for your heart.

Alright, so it does not rhyme. But it does make a good deal of feeling. This complete quarantine has extra kilos to most of our waistlines, and that ain’t a excellent factor. We all can joke about The COVID-19 Pounds, but here’s a simple fact. If we really don’t get rid of it instead swiftly, our bodies will settle into accepting it as normal. Then we’re in issues.

I’m not just preaching to my viewers. I’m also preaching to myself. In some way, 10 extra pounds have discovered me, and I do not want to learn how to dwell with it. Absolutely sure, I do aerobics courses on Zoom, I wander when the weather is very good, and I do my personal home and yard maintenance. But apparently that isn’t very good enough.

The reality remains that we’re operating at dwelling, which presents us an justification not to shift all-around. And while we probably aren’t indulging at places to eat, someway the lbs have uncovered us. So, let’s see what we can do about it.

1st, check out your food stuff offer. What’s in it? Benefit food items? Snacks? Loads of starch? Brief dishes that you can pop into the microwave? Or are you seeing veggies, lower-body fat protein, and loads of fiber?

Second, request by yourself why you’re producing these choices. Certain, extra fat carries taste, which is why we really like fried meals, pastries, and a good, marbled steak. But we can include flavor with spices, herbs, and other enhancements. We can fill up and keep pleased for a longer period with significant-fiber meals like carrots, apples and oats.

Third, make a dedication to improve your ingesting for just one particular working day. Then for another day. And a different. If we get it one day at a time, it’s simpler than committing for weeks or months. On the days that we fall off the wagon, get again on. One particular slip-up is not failure. Providing up is failure.

Feed your coronary heart

So, what do our hearts want? They want higher-fiber meals that assist us consume less. Imagine of raisin bran cereal, or outdated-fashioned oatmeal, or rye bread. My gym coach utilized to say, “Skip everything white, like white bread, white rice, and white sugar.” When foodstuff are in excess of-processed, you eliminate nutrition, flavor, and fill-you-up fiber.

Our hearts also want refreshing food stuff. Certainly, I know. You hate vegetables. It’s most likely mainly because you really do not know how to cook dinner them. It is not usually important to consume them uncooked just never over-cook dinner. Steaming for a couple minutes is high-quality, but personally, I want roasted or grilled greens.

Carrots, onions, bell peppers, squash, broccoli, cauliflower—they all flavor far better that way. It delivers out the normal sugars and caramelizes them. Even salads can be addictive if you go beyond the uninteresting iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. Go for a combine of romaine, arugula, spinach, or radicchio. Increase chopped pears or apples, raisins, nuts, sunflower seeds, shaved carrot, chopped tough-boiled egg, edamame, chopped cauliflower or broccoli, cheese cubes, or whichever else you like. Just go simple on the dressing, or research on the web for a lot more healthful options.

Our hearts also want lean proteins. Skip the bacon, salami, and other processed meats. Critically. Get into poultry, fish (there should be a style you like), and plant proteins like edamame, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and quinoa. You do not have to give up pork chops and burgers. Just broaden your choices.

Enable me know what takes place in a month.

Soup for you!

After my last column, in which I prompt performing a soup trade, I read from Julie Ennis of Plymouth, Massachusetts . She cooked up a major pot of soup and ladled it into containers. Then she and her spouse John handed it out to their neighbors.

Not only that, but when they built also a great deal for supper, they packaged the leftovers and shared them, much too. Kudos for these functions of kindness!

Tip OF THE Week

Instead of taking up counter space with a dish drainer, set your hand-washed products in the dishwasher to dry. This is especially helpful when you want each individual inch!


This recipe was tailored from a few I discovered online. The lemon adds a bit of sparkle to the chicken and the asparagus.

Heart-Nutritious Lemon Chicken and Asparagus

Serves 4


1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed

12 sprigs fresh new thyme, divided use

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan, divided use

14-ounce can water-pack artichoke hearts, halved and patted very dry

4 boneless, skinless rooster breast halves

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1/2 cup slivered raw almonds


1.     Heat oven to 425F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus and 6 sprigs of thyme with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon every salt and pepper. Then toss with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan.

2.     Nestle artichokes on to the pan, slash sides down. Roast on the base rack in oven until golden brown and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Get rid of from the oven when accomplished.

3.     Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a significant oven-protected skillet (this kind of as cast iron) on medium heat right up until it shimmers. Pat rooster breasts with a paper towel to dry them. Period chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each individual salt and pepper.

4.     Place rooster in the skillet and cook dinner right up until golden brown on the base, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, change hen over and prepare dinner 2 minutes additional on the other facet.

5.     Add lemon juice and remaining 6 thyme sprigs to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Sprinkle the almonds and lemon zest more than the asparagus and artichokes, and return them to the oven. Roast right up until the rooster is cooked by, 9 to 10 minutes far more.

6.     Remove rooster and vegetables from the oven. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on the artichokes and asparagus. Serve greens with the hen. A crisp white wine, these as chardonnay, goes perfectly with this dish.