Sunday, August 11, 2019

Quick & Light Summer Salad



This salad can be put together in a flash and is very light and refreshing!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter lettuce
1 cup kale/brussels sprouts mix
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds or almond slivers
Seasoned rice vinegar or your favorite dressing

Directions:

Add all ingredients to in a bowl, toss and serve!  

Makes one serving

Serving size about 2 cups  Calories 168 Protein 6 g  Carb 24  g  Fiber 3 g Sugars 16 g Fat 6 g Saturated fat <1 280="" g="" mg="" nbsp="" sodium="" span="">  

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Remembering Recipe ReDux

Seven years ago I was accepted into the Recipe ReDux challenge and I have enjoyed creating healthy recipes for the various themes as a way to branch out my culinary skills and enjoy the other dishes from the group members. This weekend is the 8th birthday of Recipe ReDux and it is coming to an end so we were asked to reflect on some of our favorite recipes.

I will miss this group but will continue to develop healthy and tasty recipes for you to enjoy!
In the meantime,  here is a trip down memory lane. I have created 82 recipes with the group, below are some of my favorites:


My very first recipe- Sesame Seaweed Salad!




Strawberry Brownie Bites




Morning Glory Muffins




Maple Walnut Spaghetti Squash With Walnuts and Goat Cheese



Almond Chocolate Chip Walnut Bars



My last recipe post:  Power Salad





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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Latest Nutrition News Bites


Here is the latest news in the world of nutrition...

Did you know that meals that include fresh avocado as a substitute for refined carbohydrates can significantly suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction in overweight and obese adults according to this new study?!


Beware of ultra processed foods because recent research shows they lead to weight gain!


Check out this review of the potential health benefits of fermented foods!



FYI: A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of cataract development as shown HERE


And for the latest news and recipe from the Cranberry Institute, click HERE! 

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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Brunch Style Cauliflower Fried “Rice”



Ingredients:

1/2 package Trader Joe’s  Cauliflower Fried Rice (or other frozen cauliflowers rice blend)
1/4 cup liquid egg whites 
5 sliced cremini  mushrooms
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
1 teaspoon olive oil to coat the pan 
sprinkle with soy sauce and Tjoes mushroom unami seasoning


Directions:

Combine all in medium sized pan on medium-high heat and sautée for about 5 minutes until golden brown (I added the egg whites about 2 minutes into cooking)

Makes 1 serving

Serving size about 2 cups  Calories 230  Protein 12 g  Carb 18  g  Fiber 6 g Sugars 7 g Fat 14 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium  280  mg (not including soy sauce or seasoning)

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Recipe ReDux Post # 82: Power Salad




The Recipe ReDux for May is "Shower Season," meaning we were challenged to develop healthy recipes that could be served at brunches and showers for this time of year....think graduations, bridal baby showers galore!

Vegetables and salads are often overlooked or ignored at these types of gatherings so I wanted to create a salad that would be enticing enough for guests to choose to put it on their plate for its flavor, not just for obligatory health benefits. I tried a combination of trendy kale salad mix, balanced out with some simple butter lettuce, added some fresh fruit and dried cranberries for sweetness and then topped it with chopped nuts for a salty crunch. This salad is packed full of nutritious power foods like berries, kale and nuts, thus earning its name. The tastes and textures work really well together and you can top it with your favorite vinaigrette dressing.

Ingredients:

6 cups kale slaw type salad mix (with kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli- I used Trader Joes Cruciferous Crunch)
6 cups butter lettuce
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pistachios...almonds or walnuts would work well too)
vinaigrette dressing of choice

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl, add dressing, toss and serve.  Chill in the fridge with dressing on the side if not serving immediately.

Makes 14 cups, about 7 servings

Serving size 2 cups (without dressing) Calories 85  Protein 2 g  Carb 16  g  Fiber 3 g Sugars 11 g Fat 2 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium  27 mg
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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Recipe ReDux Post # 81 Paleo Friendly Apple Almond Energy Bites




April’s Recipe ReDux theme is “Bars and Bites” and the goal is to create healthy energy bars or bites for snacks, lunch boxes and quick pick me ups. I am trying my hand a Paleo diet lately (in order to investigate some food sensitivities) so I found this a great opportunity to try to create some grain free and dairy free bites as a first. These are very simple to make and require very few ingredients, yet are quite tasty and filling. I hope you try them out and take a look at all the other awesome bite-size recipes created by the talented Recipe ReDux bloggers.  

Ingredients:

1 cup of dried apple rings (approximately 15-16 rings)
1/2 cup unsalted almond butter
½ cup unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of salt 
additional coconut to coat (optional)
1 -2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup (optional, if you like them a bit sweeter)

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend for a few minutes until mostly smooth,  Form into 14 balls and roll in coconut to coat.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Makes 14 bites, 14 servings


Serving size: 1 bite  Calories 95  Protein 2 g  Carb 7 g  Fiber  2 g Sugars  4 g Fat  7 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium  50  mg
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Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Latest Nutrition News Bites!




Here's the lastest interesting research in the world of nutrition:

New study shows that consumption of nuts may improve cognitive function in older adults

Having a poor diet can really shorten ones lifespan, with new research showing that unhealthy diets were linked to 11 million deaths in worldwide in 2017, with as many as 1 in 5 deaths attributed.

Find some helpful tips to cut food waste HERE!

New study shows that sugar does not improve mood, it actually worsens it!

Diets rich in colorful fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk cataract development, according to new research.

Read more...

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Recipe Redux Post # 80 Purple Potassium Power Smoothie




March's Recipe ReDux centers around the theme of "Spring Cleaning."  Being that the first day of Spring falls this week, we were asked to create a recipe with at least 3 ingredients that we have currently on hand to "clean" out our pantry/fridge and reduce food waste.

I ended up making a smoothie with exactly 3 ingredients for a couple of reasons:

1.  Over ripe bananas are always hanging my kitchen around that need to be used up or frozen

2.  A bottle of purple carrot juice from Trader Joes was sitting on my counter and I have been wanting to try it out in a smoothie instead of just consuming it via straight shots here and there to get in some extra vitamins/minerals

3. My daughter was under the weather and asked for a smoothie, which I wanted to use an opportunity to give her some extra nutrition

To keep things simple I tried the combo of just banana, strawberries and purple carrot juice and it came out quite tasty. Gabby was a huge fan and drank it down immediately so that deemed it a winner in my book.

This smoothie has a whopping 500 mg pf potassium (15% of daily value),  100% RDA for Vitamin C and is a good source of fiber.  It is great for a post exercise/sport event snack and you can even add your favorite protein power or some almond/peanut butter to make it heartier as well.

Makes 1 serving 


Servings size 1 smoothie Calories 149 Protein 2 g Carb 37 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 23 g Fat 0 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 17 mg
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Friday, February 22, 2019

Recipe Redux Post # 79 Mediterranean Bruschetta Mix



The Recipe ReDux for February is Oscar themed dishes. The challenge is focused on create a dish associated with a famous movie or a viewing party appetizer worthy to celebrate the big night. Parties  tend to have more than their share of indulgent goodies so I thought I'd make a very light and refreshing dish to offset all the heavier foods that tend to be served.  This recipe combines very simple ingredients to create a delicious low calorie appetizer that works great with crackers, pita bread or bruschetta style with toasted bread.  It tastes great on toast spread with hummus or mashed avocado as well. I hope you will give it a try along with all the other Recipe ReDux Oscar recipes!

Ingredients:

1 cup diced Persian Cucumber
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup diced black olives
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
dash of dried oregano (optional)

Directions:

Combine all of the above in a medium sized bowl.  Chill is not serving immediately. Serve with pita wedges, pita chips, toasted bread. 

Makes 3 cups  6 servings


Servings size 1/2 Calories 45 Protein 1 g Carb 4 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 2 g Fat 3 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 44 mg
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Trader Joes Treasures Post # 4

Posting about the latest and greatest Trader Joes products I have discovered recently is LOOOONG overdue.  So here it goes. Below are some items I have been enjoying this winter!


Harvest Chili





This chili is AMAZING! Not too spicy but just enough kick and a ton of flavor.  It is chocked full of healthy veggies like cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin as well as quinoa and.... beans of course. That may sound a bit untraditional but it is quite a delicious combo I swear!
It makes a great quick and easy lunch or dinner.  I love to eat it topped with low fat cheese and/or avocado. I am pretty sure it is seasonal, so I am enjoying it while it lasts!

Pomelos





Finally tried one of these last week after eyeing them in stores. There giants are hard to miss. Pomelos are much larger than a grapefruit and sweeter too! Nice for a breakfast side, healthy dessert or even chopped up to served atop a salad to liven things up.

Umami Seasoning Blend



I have already mentioned my love of Traders Joe's amazing Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, well now they have another blend that will be staple in my pantry. This delicious seasoning combines mushroom power, kosher salt, pepper and other spices to create a unique savory seasoning that is great to add to soups, on cooked vegetables or meats and poultry.

Unsalted Roasted Pistachios




Okay, so I know pistachios are nothing new, but I wanted to share the happy accident that I bought unsalted pistachios a few weeks back instead of salted and they were actually quite tasty.  Without the salt, the nuts actually have a slight sweetness to them which the salted varieties seem to mask.  I have been snacking on them, admittingly almost uncontrollably....






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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Recipe ReDux Post # 78 Banana Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins




January's Recipe ReDux challenge is ringing in the New Year with a theme of cooking with "new to you" ingredients.  We were encouraged to share a healthy recipe using an ingredient that we have never tried before. Since I went gluten-free over 5 years ago I have always missed certain baked goods, namely muffins. I have created many recipes of my own to satisfy the craving and am always scanning the offerings at local coffee shops and bakeries to see if they may have any tasty gluten free options to treat myself from time to time as well. When we were in Tahoe for the holidays I was surprised and delighted to find gluten free oat bran muffins in skiing village coffee shop and have been thinking about trying to experiment with using oat bran at home too.  This challenge seemed to be the perfect opportunity to try making with it so I ordered some of Bob's Red Mill gluten free oat bran and went to work. I decided to keep with one of my favorite bases to use when baking muffins, mashed banana in order to keep the sugar and fat content low. I also added some corn meal to enhance the flavor as well and the recipe came out pretty darn good!   Hopefully you will enjoy it too and l check out all the other "new" culinary creations developed by the talented Recipe ReDux group.  

Ingredients:

2/3 cup oat bran ( use Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1/4 cup oat flour (use a gluten free brand such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1/4 cup corn meal
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large sized over ripe bananas, mashed
6 Tablespoons liquid egg white
¼ cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries 
cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oat bran, oat flour, cornmeal, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, brown sugar, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Add the oats bran/flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the blueberries. Spoon into a 12 space regular size muffin pan coated with cooking spray and bake for about 25 minutes, until top is firm, lightly browned and a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted into the center.

 Makes 12 servings

Serving size 1 muffin Calories 130 Protein 3 g Carb 20 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 9 g Fat 4 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 73 mg


IMPORTANT NOTE: these muffins are very moist so the ones you do not eat on the day you bake them must be stored in the fridge.  
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

My Book is Released Today! Final Health Habit From The 7 Day Countdown!


My book is out today.  Click HERE to learn more about how to buy it!  Here is today's final habit from the 7 day countdown and keep an eye out for more habit and lifestyle posts coming out soon!

Snack Sensibly

Snacks are a great way to keep you energized and to prevent excess hunger as well as overeating at meal times, but don’t get sabotaged by a snack attack gone haywire. Too much snacking can defeat the purpose of staying healthy.  Choosing the right snacks to have between meals can make all the difference in helping you along with your meal plan.Plan ahead to keep healthy snacks readily available in your cupboard or on the go.  That way you won’t just grab or buy whatever is in sight when hunger hits. It can be helpful to consume snacks that are high in fiber, as well as mini combos of protein and fat to help satisfy you and keep your blood sugar more stable until the next mealtime.  Good high fiber choices include a piece of whole fruit, ¾ cup berries, ¼ shelled edemame (soybeans), 3 cups air popped popcorn or raw veggies with low fat ranch dressing. If you are looking for a more hearty snack with carb plus protein, try ½ apple spread with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 6 ounces of Greek yogurt with ¼ cup fresh fruit, 5 whole grain crackers with an ounce or cheese or a rice cake spread with 2 tablespoons hummus. Wanting a low carb alternative?.. A stick of low fat string cheese, a handful of nuts or celery sticks with peanut butter will definitely do!

And, check out some great snack recipes from my blog HERE!!

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Today's Healthy Habit, Countdown to Book Release- 1 day left!



Just one more day until my book comes out! Catch it in stores or online tomorrow!  Here is today's habit for the countdown!

Investigate Ingredients Lists: Less is More

Keep it simple and natural as far as your meal plan is concerned. Steer clear of processed foods as often as you can and a long list of ingredients should be a red flag. Cut down on packaged foods that may have additives like sugar, salt and not to mention tons of stabilizers and chemicals that you may not even be able to pronounce.You can take the guesswork out of food choices by choosing whole and natural foods like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain staples like oatmeal, brown rice and corn tortillas and fresh meats and poultry, as well as nuts and natural nut butters, to name a few examples.Try to eat more fresh food that you can prepare yourself at home. 

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Healthy Habits For The Weekend!

Just a few more days until my book comes out. Here are some healthy habits for the weekend as the countdown continues.

Habit One: Use Your Recipe Resources 




Stumped when trying to think of more ideas to add variety and flavor to your meal plan? Get new healthy recipes to add to your meal plan by using your resources. You would be surprised at how many healthy recipes are out there - if you name it you will find it in terms of locating a healthy version of your favorite food. Take advantage of all the recipe information that is out there on the Internet and at your local library. Make it a goal to try a new recipe every week to mix things up and keep up your meal plan exciting. Swap healthy recipes with family and friends that are in your support network as well. Take a healthy cooking class or subscribe to a magazine that features healthy recipes to motivate you to try new ideas. And a great start is THIS BLOG for plenty of easy and healthy recipes!  


Habit Two: Challenge Yourself By Setting Personal Exercise Goals 




Set small, realistic and positive goals  to keep active and step up your activity levels incrementally. Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals can help you stay on track. Break your goals into small steps to climb the fitness ladder to success. For those of you who have never exercised before and have been given the go ahead by your doctor, a small goal to start with 5-10 minutes/day would be an example of a great start. If you are already in the habit of exercising, try out a goal of adding an additional 5 minutes to your session or adding an extra session into your week. To increase variety, make it a goal to try one new activity per month to enhance your fitness routine

Habit Three:

Try To Stick To A Regular Sleep Schedule





By keeping a habitual bedtime and wake time you can help set your body’s internal clock, referred to as a circadian rhythm, in your favor to so you can get adapted to a good sleep routine. Also, by keeping to a regular bedtime it can help ensure you will get to bed in time to get enough hours of sleep overnight. Make every attempt to go bed around the same time every night, even on the weekends if possible. And try not to sleep in more than 1-2 hours maximum on the weekends or days off. Large shifts in you bedtime or waking hours can disrupt your circadian rhythm and cause problems with sleep as well as your alertness and energy levels during the day. If you are trying to get to an early bedtime, do it gradually by shifting in 15 minute intervals earlier each night until you are adjusted. Have trouble waking up in the morning? Let some morning sunlight in to help your internal body clock work with you to greet the day.

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bonus Healthy Habit Post!


Why stop now? Here's another healthy habit I wanted to share with you!

Shop Smart!

Being prepared makes a big difference when you are shopping for food. Never go to grocery store hungry because this can set you up to give in to the temptation to buy less healthy food and take the time to plan ahead before you grocery shop to stay on track. Go shopping after a meal, or have a small wholesome snack like a piece of fruit, string cheese, handful of nuts before you head out.Make a list of foods that fit your meal plan so you can arrive prepared and maximize your time while in the store. Create a basic list on the computer to print, or have one ready on your smart phone that you can keep and add to throughout the year so you do not have to “recreate the wheel” each time you hit the store aisles. 

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Healthy Habit Series Starts NOW!



Let’s get things started! I am counting down the next 6 days until my book release with one healthy habit suggestion per day and kicking off a new segment on my blog dedicated to discussing healthy habits in future posts. 


Today’s habit: drink more water!! 

Hydrate for energy, great skin, to prevent overeating, aid digestion and then some...Drink a glass upon waking (hot water w/lemon is awesome in the AM ),consume a glass before each meal to prevent overeating, keep a large environmentally-friendly reusable water bottle with you at your desk and on the go, even set reminders on your phone to drink if you have to! Unless you have a medical condition that requires restricting fluids, plenty of water is almost always a key component to good health. Check out my new healthy lifestyle account for more upcoming tips and tricks on Instagram at:  @habits4wholehealth 

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New Year, NEW BOOK!




Happy New Year everyone!  I'm excited to announce that my book will be available in less than one week....release date is 1/15/19 (!) and it is available at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Costco, and likely some other book stores in the future too.

Though this book is geared toward preventing pre-diabetes, it has 100 habits that promote good mental and physical health in general, therefore making its content very applicable to most anyone!

I hope you will check it out and I wish you health and happiness in 2019!!

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