Healthy Foods Q&A

In Lifestyle & Fitness, Q&A by Robert Irvine

With the new year upon us and I figured you may already be needing a little help to keep those resolutions, so I asked for your health and wellness question on my facebook page. These were just a few of the best.

Ronald Mizrahi Asks:
How do you manage to make all the right food choices when you are traveling 345 days in a year without gaining weight?

Answer:
That’s a great question and one I get all of the time. The truth is you can’t always make the best choices.  Sometimes you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no access to fresh and healthy food, and the “golden arches” is your only option.  My solution? Just eat it! The important thing to remember is to make the best choices when you can, and to do your best to burn a few extra calories when you had to make those regretful choices.  The issue with most people these days is that they make poor food choices MOST of the time with healthy stuff thrown in, and poor fitness choices ALL of the time.  This is what needs to change if we are to reverse the catastrophic health and wellness trends in our country.

Grape Seed Oil Explained

Donna DeLuca Gulino Asks:
I always see you using grape seed oil when your cooking, why grape seed vs ex virgin olive oil ? Is it healthier?

Answer:
I use grape seed oil for 3 main reasons.

  1. It has no flavor therefore it allows the natural flavor of your food to come through. Of course, there are times when you want to have the flavor of olive oil such as with: salad dressings, pastas, and Mediterranean cuisine, but if I am pan searing a nice piece of fresh-off-the-boat Salmon, I only want to taste the salmon and not the oil it was seared with.
  2. Speaking of searing!! Grape seed oil has a “smoke point” (the point at which the oil starts to smoke and burn) of almost 100 degrees higher than extra virgin olive oil. This means you get a nice crusty sear on whatever you cook even faster, and that allows you to lock in all of the flavors and juices that you want and need.
  3. Health benefits!! While this is currently being debated, and opinions on what is healthy change with the wind, true “cold-pressed” grape seed oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, Vitamin E, Omega 3&6, amongst other things.

 Healthy On The Fly

Keith Caldwell Asks:
Do you have any suggestions for dinner items that are healthy, kid-satisfying and can be reheated that night? I work the 2-10 shift at a prison, and sometimes I like to pre-cook dinner for my wife and kids. It makes things easier for her when she gets home.

Answer:
Keith, would you be surprised to know that the greater majority of the food that you eat in restaurants is already premade for the most part, and assembled literally minutes before it reached your table?  Sauces, starches, some meats, and a few veggies can be prepared way ahead of time and brought to life in just a few short minutes. The secret to this is preparation!! You have to plan your meals ahead of time and know what is going to be cooked when, what can be repurposed for another meal, and what needs to be cooked the night of to maintain the best quality. The other important aspect of this is to be practiced at the skills of cooking enough to where you are not wasting countless minutes because you cannot pro chop, sauté, or multi-task like a pro chef.  

Here’s a great example for a Cajun Snapper with Cheese Grits and Red Pepper Coulis (click here). The grits and sauce could easily be prepared ahead of time. That means, the day of, all you are doing is reheating the grits with a little water or milk and searing the fish. Dinner is DONE!!

The truth is, you could just as easily open a box, frozen bag, or go to the drive-thru but the time and effort that goes into preparing fresh meals for your family pays dividends to your family’s health. It’s the most important thing that you may ever do for your future!!