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30 Days to a Cleaner Diet: Day 16

fried chicken wingsDay 16 Rule: No More Fried Foods

Do I have to explain this one? Frying food in oil instantly adds piles of fat and calories. That’s where all the flavor comes from. If you want the numbers on the scale to start going down, you’ve got to find some other way to prepare your food. Try braising, steaming, and baking. Grilling is also a great, flavorful cooking method. I use my Foreman Grill when I don’t have time to light my charcoal grill.

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30 Days to a Cleaner Diet

I can’t stick to diets. I’ve tried. If I approach anything with the mentality of “this is a diet”, I will ultimately lose willpower and fail. So I did some soul-searching. I need to think in terms of changing my eating habits. I need to work slowly and gradually to make the changes permanent. I need to  focus on one goal at a time to improve my diet to a point where I will start to see results. I decided to write my own 30 Day Challenge.

30 Days to a Cleaner DietI came up with a list of 30 goals and rules, and I will follow a new one every day for the entire month of June. I planned it so that Rules will stack. Every new rule goes into effect that day and remains in effect until the end of the month. Goals apply only to the day that they are scheduled. Many of them could easily be turned into rules if you want to give yourself an added challenge, but I’m trying to be flexible.

This is not an attempt to subscribe to any established diet plan. It’s not 30 days to Atkins, or South Beach diet, or vegetarianism. It’s just taking you today and improving your eating habits. Everybody has to start somewhere, and this is where I’m going to start. If we can make these minor changes, it will be a great start to reaching our fitness goals.

So who’s in? I’ll be posting each new rule/goal daily, so follow on facebook or twitter to be sure you see them if you can’t visit the site. Or, you can download the PDF chart here for printing.

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10 Basic Rules of Cooking for Beginners

gas stove cooking

There are some basic rules that every cook should know before you get started. These apply to every cooking adventure unless otherwise stated:

1. Heat the pan before you put food in it.
2. When baking, eggs always go in last.
3. Chop your vegetables to the same size so they all cook at the same speed.
4. Clean as you go. (It’s just easier.)
5. Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start.
6. Prep in advance if you can.
7. Never cut meat and veggies on the same cutting board. (Cross contamination is gross and extremely unsafe.)
8. Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible. (Before unsafe bacteria start to grow.)
9. Wash your hands often. (another cross contamination hazard)
10. Always assume that less is more. (You can always add later if you didn’t put enough, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.)
Learn these and heed them well and you will avoid 90% of kitchen blunders.