Sweet Orange Smoked Ham

Happy New Year!

Here’s to another 365 days of food, fitness and fun.

If you are like most people, you made a resolution to eat better, work out more, drink less…etc.  That’s great.  Now the hard part.  Making that change.

I know it isn’t easy.  I started and stopped quite a few times because “something” always got in the way.  As you know, my “aha” moment came at the doctor’s office when the scale read something that took my breath away.  If you don’t know the story, you can read it, here.

Your “aha” moment may not be dramatic.  It might be a gradual yet mindful shift in your attitude towards your own health and well-being.

It is not important to go hell-bent-on-never-eating-chocolate-or-chips-or-anything-with-sugar-again.  No one can maintain that…at least not honestly.   I am talking changes that involve making better choices most of the time.  Exercise at a gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday?  Great!  What’s wrong with Tuesday or Saturday?  Or add a yoga/stretching class instead!  Any movement is good movement.  We want to be mobile at 20, 30, 40…90!  There should be no stopping us!  So keep moving now so you will be agile later!  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my last years to be whiling my time away in a care centre.

How about food?  Let’s not make food hard.  Food is FUN!  Food is to be enjoyed!  Instead, we have made food the enemy.  I overheard a lady at the grocery store yesterday exclaiming to the cashier about the cashew milk she had found.  “It only has 25 calories!  That’s what it’s all about.”

She’s sort of right…  Calories are important but they are not the end-all-be-all we’ve been led to believe.  I personally don’t count calories (I count macros but that’s another story), I also look for the best quality nutrition to fuel my body.  That means lots of vegetables, quality meats, fruit, nuts and seeds.  Sure I fall off the wagon and eat my mom’s applesauce cookies and butter tarts at Christmas, but I do not let it bother me.  I am enjoying what my mom bakes (and she’s sooooooo good at it) and that’s what counts.

I have talked to a few people over the last couple of weeks who are frustrated by their attempts at eating better and they just can’t find the magic formula to make everything work.  That is because there is no magic formula.  You have to try different things to find what works for you.  Paleo (and Paleo Zone) really works for me.  Keto works for others, the Blood Type diet works for others.

There are so many things to try.

My suggestion to everyone is to keep things simple at first.  Eat a good breakfast with items from the carbs, protein, and fat triangle.  Fruit, eggs, and nuts/seeds can work well here.  Don’t like eggs?  How about chia pudding with that aforementioned cashew (25 calories!) milk?  Make sure you have a good amount of protein to keep you full and get you to lunch.

Every meal requires items from that food triangle.  Lots of veggies…and I mean lots.  They should be filling you up mainly and then the protein and fats come along for the tasty party.  Proteins like fish and turkey are full of good fats.  Avocado counts as a fat…and who doesn’t ask for extra guac?  🙂

Still need a snack?  Boil a dozen hard boiled eggs and keep them in the fridge for the week.  Easy protein snack when you might reach for that 4pm chocolate bar.   Carrots, cucumbers and celery sticks can imitate the crunch of potato chips and satisfy a craving.  Get creative.  Get an insulated lunch bag and USE IT.  Drink lots of water and tea.  The first thing I tell people to stop drinking immediately is any of the dark colas.  If you can literally clean your toilet rust off with the stuff, why on earth would you drink it?

So…now that I have taken up most of your data with this post, let’s talk about cooking meals at home.  Restaurant meals are tasty, convenient, provide jobs…and affect your waistline with all the extra salt, butter, and creamy sauces.

I love my slow cooker.  I know everyone is on the InstaPot bandwagon right now, and I love the idea of them.  I just don’t have room on the counter for one right now (and I really wanted, and got, a dehydrator instead).

I usually don’t have a recipe for anything I put in my slow cooker which is why I love it.  Throw stuff in, add a bit of moisture and seasonings, and 6 to 8 hours later, I have a tasty dinner.  They are great for busy people who have five minutes to burn while they are waiting for the morning coffee to brew.

Here’s a simple recipe with not too many ingredients.  You can find the coconut seasoning sauce (also called coconut aminos) in a lot of grocery stores and Bulk Barn these days.

This will also create leftovers which means one meal for the next day is already taken care of!  Win-Win!

Sweet Orange Smoked Ham

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours

1 smoked ham (4-5 lbs thawed)
1 orange, sliced with the rind
1/4 cup coconut seasoning sauce
1 tsp coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon pink or sea salt

Place ham in slow cooker.  Place orange slices on and round ham.  Sprinkle coconut sugar and salt over the oranges and ham.  Pour in the coconut seasoning sauce over the ham and oranges.
Cook on low 6-8 hours (mine took about 7).
Serve with oranges slices removed from rind or squeeze oranges over the ham.