Celebrating Changes In Eating - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 323823

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Changes in Eating 
Mar. 17, 2014 11:07 am 
Updated: Mar. 19, 2014 8:46 am

I'm from the South. Southern cooking used to always include bacon fat and/or frying! When I was a kid, every meal included frying something - bacon and eggs, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, chicken, floured hamburger steak, and fish! And if it wasn't fried, then it was seasoned with bacon grease. I remember my mother keeping bacon grease in a small canister beside the stove. She would use it to season corn, green beans, cabbage, peas, squash, and any other vegetable she happened to cook. Then years later, we found out about the connection between grease and heart disease.

In order not to clog our arteries, we went the opposite direction. We learned to bake our chicken coated with corn flakes or baking mix or a mix of parmesan and bread crumbs instead of frying it. We used cooking spray to coat our dishes to make for easy clean-up instead of using butter or shortening. We also used chicken broth instead of bacon grease to season the vegetables. 

But it seems things are always changing. We're always making new discoveries about the connection between what we eat and what our bodies need. When I joined Weight Watchers just a few years ago in 2012, I found out that we actually need "good fats." They recommended we get 2 teaspoons per day of healthy oils like olive oil, sunflower, safflower, or flaxseed so that we get vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Until then, I thought I needed to eliminate ALL oils.

As I said, thing are always changing. What we thought to be right all of a sudden is challenged. For instance, Mazola is now saying their corn oil is a heart-healthy cooking oil and has more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils - 4x more than olive oil and 40% more than canola oil. To be perfectly honest, I'm confused by everything I can read now on the Internet. One thing most sites do have in common, though, is they say to avoid high levels of saturated and trans fats. 

So, what do I eat to have a heart-healthy lifestyle? I avoid a diet where everything is fried. I no longer season using bacon grease. Often in baking, I substitute apple sauce for high amounts of oil. And when I do use oil, I use as little as possible. Two recipes I've made lately are perfect for my diet and follow the guidelines I just listed. PORK CARNITAS WITH CILANTRO TOMATILLO SAUCE and SWEET AND SPICY SALMON WITH GRAPEFRUIT SALSA both use 1/2 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon of oil per serving, respectively, which falls within the daily guidelines. 

PHOTO OF PORK DISH (may have to click on ? to see photo)

PHOTO OF SALMON (may have to click on ? to see photo)

For more Mazola recipes, click HERE.

To learn more about the healthy benefits of cooking with Mazola, click HERE.

I'm sure more information will come out next week which will make me have to read up again and decide for myself which foods to eat and which ones to avoid. But I'm glad I live in an age where I have access to that information and can decide for myself what is best for my family, my finances, and my lifestyle. 

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I'm not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mazola®. I received a sample to facilitate my review in Celebrating Life with Paula as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Paula.


Mar. 17, 2014 3:09 pm
Exactly, Paula, make an informed decision for your family and for yourself! Nice job.
Mar. 18, 2014 11:37 am
Oh, how I remember the bacon grease or Crisco added to EVERY vegetable my Mom/Grandmother made. What's funny is that I now have that canister of bacon grease - but I only use it to clean up after making bacon! Nothing ever comes out unless I'm just emptying the canister, lol!
Mar. 18, 2014 12:57 pm
Me too, Staci! But I just put it in an empty jar :)
Mar. 18, 2014 3:54 pm
great post, Paula! gives great insight into the choices you're making, and why! it's so important for us to be our own health advocates, and it always helps to have sound research. :)
Mar. 19, 2014 8:46 am
Yes! We must be our own health advocates! In taking care of my mother, I've discovered doctors aren't crazy about you being a health advocate, whether for yourself or someone else less capable. But it is a must!
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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