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Change From Within (Plus a review & giveaway of Joy Bauer’s new cookbook!)

Posted Oct 19 2010 5:00am
I have a friend who works in a field that to me, sitting on the outside looking in, seems oppressive to a number of minority groups. She believes in gender and economic equality, so her work seems in contrast to her belief system. However, when I asked her why she chose her career, she said that by working on the inside, she creates real change and believes through her efforts that one day, the institution in which she is affiliated will be transformed.

Seems everywhere you look these days there’s someone saying or writing something about the obesity epidemic. “We have to do something about obesity!” cry politicians, school administrators, and even military officials. But like my friend said, change is best made from the inside out; made by the folks in the trenches.

In the six years since I made the decision to take back my body and health, and especially in the two years I’ve known nutritionist Joy Bauer, I’ve caught the fever for creating dietary changes within our culture. As I wrote in my interview with Joy at the beginning of this year (See “ My New Year’s Interview with ‘Today Show’ Nutritionist Joy Bauer ”), “I believe in Joy’s message. Her commitment to and passion for teaching and supporting healthy food choices and good nutrition is – in a word – infectious. The minute I met her, I knew I’d met a kindred spirit.”

I’d thought about going back to school to study nutrition, but thinking is all I did until I had surgery in June and spent three days in the hospital eating wretched, wretched (I’m not kidding, it was wretched) food. That’s when I decided I needed to be on the inside formulating change rather than on the outside dictating change. I found a 2-year dietetic technician program at Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh to which I applied, was accepted, and will begin in January. (The program is mostly online. For more information, go to CCAC’s information page .) 

Expanding my knowledge of nutrition in this way will put me in a position to suggest and hopefully implement changes from inside institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes. (A bit of Lynn Trivia: My first “real” job when I turned 16 was as a dietary aid in a nursing home. I loved it, although I doubt I’ll be engaging in mashed potato food fights anymore.)

While Joy Bauer is a big name in the “industry,” her education and expansive knowledge of nutrition puts her squarely on the inside where she implements change within her practice, online , and on Today. In my own transformation from the inside out, learning about food and learning to cook in a more healthy way was imperative. That’s why I recommend Joy’s new cookbook, “ Slim & Scrumptious .” It not only includes healthy recipes, but solid (and non-intimidating) information about food selection, spices and cooking in general.

I picked up my copy in April and have made several recipes, including the Banana Pecan Bread, which I include at the end of this blog. So far, every one I’ve tried I’ve loved. “Slim & Scrumptious” includes breakfast recipes, stews and soups, an awesome lentil burger and a quinoa salad that made me fall in love with quinoa. Next up, I’m making the Roasted Cumin Cauliflower and Carrots.

Joy includes several meat-based recipes as well, and nutrition information is listed for each recipe.

I have a copy of Joy’s cookbook to give away! All you have to do to throw your name in the hat is leave a comment or send an email to . I’ll draw a winner on Friday, Oct. 22.

As promised, Joy’s Banana Pecan Bread recipe (with a few notes from me because I didn’t have all the ingredients when I made it Sunday).

½ C pecans (I used walnuts that I toasted in a dry fry pan on the stove)
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground nutmeg
1 ½ C mashed ripe banana (2 large or 3 to 4 small bananas)
2 T reduced-fat trans-fat-free tub margarine spread, at room temperature (I used 2 T Land O’ Lakes light butter)
½ C packed light brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1 t grated orange zest (I omitted this)
Juice of 1 small orange (I used ¼ C bottled orange juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with oil spray and set aside.

Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast the pecans in the oven until they are lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Allow them to cool slightly. Finely chop and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the mashed bananas, margarine, brown sugar, egg whites, and orange zest and juice.

Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet mixture and fold together until the ingredients are just combines. Take care not to overmix; the batter will be slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool completely before removing the bread from the loaf pan.

Serves 20

Nutrition info: 104 calories; 2g protein; 19g carbohydrates; 3g total fat; 0g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 2g fiber; 40mg sodium.
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