Sunday, January 29, 2012

What is healthy?

Today I want to define what I mean when I use the term "healthy" in my posts.  The dictionary defines health as: 

1. the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor: good health; poor health.
2. soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment: to have one's health; to lose one's health.

Well, for a definition, it doesn't seem, definitive.  I feel it is very open for interpretation.  People in our society have varied views of healthy.  There are vegans who believe health is obtained from omitting any and all animals products and by-products from their diet.  A vegetarian does not eat any animals, but may still consume animal by-products (such and eggs or cheese).  Some people now believe gluten to be extremely detrimental to a person's health.  Others have specific ailments, like diabetes or hypertension, which require dieting changes or restrictions in order to attain better health.  Clearly, there is not one way to be healthy.
When I think of wanting to be healthy, I think of wanting my body to function properly and at it's highest efficiency.  My personal belief is that God has given us everything we need to sustain optimal body performance.  Did God give us the Twinkie?  Well, in a very round-about way, I guess we could say that he created everything on this planet, including all the ingredients of the Twinkie, and that he gave people the knowledge to put those things together into a tasty treat.  I do not think this is the same as saying that God created the Twinkie.  I can not go out to the unattended wilderness and pick a ripe Twinkie off the vine.  I can, however, go pick a ripe grape off the vine and eat it right there on the spot.  So, I guess I think of healthy foods as those that are commonly known as "whole foods."  These are foods with little or no refining or processing and containing no artificial additives or preservatives.  These will be the primary ingredients in the recipes I try.  Oh, for clarification, frozen or canned fruits and veggies are still good in my book.  And there may be some processed ingredients included on occasion.  That's alright!  I'll just try to make sure those ingredients remain the minority.

So, on that note, I'd like to present my first recipe.   It is very simple and something I created on my own.  My family really enjoyed it, so I hope yours will, too!

Turkey Salsa

1 lb. ground turkey
24 oz. salsa (I prefer mild, but whatever your family likes will work)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
 Rigatoni pasta, cooked
(Optional: 1 medium zucchini, diced)

In a large pan, brown the ground turkey.  Drain and return to pan.  Add in salsa, diced tomatoes, and frozen corn.  Heat, covered, until corn is warmed.  Stir occasionally.  Meanwhile, cook rigatoni pasta as directed on package. (I used this because it's what I had in the cupboard, but you may choose any shape pasta you'd like.)   

To serve, place one cup cooked pasta on plate.  Spoon 1 cup of turkey salsa over the pasta.  Viola!

Makes: 7 servings (a serving is one cup pasta and one cup turkey salsa)
365 calories per serving (Calorie count may vary depending on the brand of product used.)
One medium zucchini adds 5 calories per serving.

I suggest serving with a side salad and a small piece of garlic bread.


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