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5 Reasons You Have Food Cravings

We all experience cravings from time to time, but what is it that causes them and why do some people experience more cravings than others? Maybe you’re not a sweets person, but all of a sudden a big piece of chocolate cake sounds good. Perhaps you crave something salty and crunchy at a certain time of day or can’t wait to get home and eat a big slice of greasy pizza? Whatever it is, we all can relate. Many people try and resist their cravings and others beat themselves up when they give in, but did you know that your body is actually trying to tell you something? That’s right! Your body is trying to let you know you are missing something, whether it is a vitamin, some nutrient, or maybe just some tender loving care. There are a variety of reasons we all have cravings. In this blog, I wanted to share 5 reasons you have food cravings. Let’s take a look…

5 Reasons you have food cravings:

  1. Seasonal Cravings—
    Seasonal cravings are natural and common for many people. That’s because your body is trying to adapt to the changing temperatures. In the winter months, you naturally crave warming foods like stews, soups and hearty casseroles, whereas in the summer months you tend to crave cooling foods, such as watermelon, cucumbers and salads. Many seasonal cravings also stem from the growing seasons. Instinctively we know when it’s time for certain varieties of food. For example, in the fall, we tend to crave foods that were just harvested such as zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, apples and pumpkins. I don’t know about you, but I love pumpkin! Last week I had a serious craving for something pumpkin—like muffins or pumpkin bread. I actually broke down the other day and made myself some paleo pumpkin coffee cake after searching for pumpkin recipes on Pinterest. I don’t eat a whole lot of sweets anymore, but having a piece was just enough to satisfy my craving and made me feel content. Seasonal cravings are not a bad thing and can be quite comforting. In fact, it is important to eat the foods that are prevalent during certain times of the year, as they help your body perform and function better.

    pumpkins
    pumpkins
  2. Vitamin Deficiencies—
    Many people crave certain types of food because they are lacking some vitamin. In our fast-paced society, many people eat on the run and opt for quick, easy to prepare food. Often times this includes fast food or processed food, which may taste good, but many times it lacks the nutrients our bodies need and crave. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk about how food is fuel, and how many people don’t feed their body the information and nutrients it needs to function properly. Your body needs a variety of nutrients to produce skin, muscle, hair, finger nails, bone and more. When you don’t feed your body the right foods with the right nutrients, vitamin deficiencies can develop, such as an iron deficiency and more. Many people crave chocolate, especially women, at certain times of the month. While this is a common craving, it is not always the fact that you love chocolate, but rather that your body is most likely craving the mineral magnesium. When you feed your body more foods rich in magnesium such as kale, bananas, almonds, avocados, pumpkin seeds, or black beans, you most likely won’t notice the craving for chocolate as much.

    chocolate
    chocolate
  3. Hormonal Imbalances—
    Many people crave certain foods because they have a hormonal imbalance. Again—women can have hormonal imbalances that may cause cravings for chocolate or sweets. When your hormones are in-flux they can also wreak havoc on your body and sleep patterns. When this happens, you are often left tired and run down and many people turn to sweets for a quick pick-me-up. Unfortunately, the pick-me-up is usually short-lived and may leave you reaching for more sweets or more caffeine. People who have hormonal imbalances may also crave cheese or other comfort type foods. Cheese contains  l-tryptophan, which improves mood and promotes relaxation. This is one reason you might be craving a big slice of cheesy pizza, macaroni and cheese or some cheesy lasagna.

    lasagna
    lasagna
  4. Emotional Triggers—
    Many people turn to food when they want to turn away from the daily stresses of life. Food can be comforting and may temporarily give you a good feeling. Unfortunately, eating a box of cookies, or a bag of Doritos is not the best way to deal with a problem you are having with your spouse or significant other, a problem with another family member, or a situation at work. We need to face these problems and work through them instead of turning to food. The next time you find yourself going to your pantry for some junk food, take a minute to ask yourself, “What do I really need?” You need to be curious about what you are eating and why you want a certain item. Maybe you really want to talk to somebody who understands your situation, so call up a good friend instead of reaching for those chips. If you just want to feel better about yourself and change your mood, why not go for a walk, or treat yourself to a little self-care? Go have a pedicure, do some shopping, take a warm bath, or go to a movie. This way you will be taking care of yourself in a way that makes you feel good, instead of beating yourself up after eating some bad food.

    pedicure
    pedicure
  5. Yin & Yang Imbalances— Sometimes people tend to eat the same types of foods and get stuck in a pattern. When you do this, you can actually cause an imbalance. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that idea of Yin and Yang in the body; that heat and cold exist in the body. There are both warming and cooling foods, which can be both expansive (Yin) and contractive (Yang). When there is an imbalance in the two, it can cause problems or discomfort. For example, if you are eating too many raw foods, over time, you may crave extremely cooked foods. If you are eating a diet filled with sugar-laden foods, you may start craving meat. Your body is naturally trying to balance itself out.
    pork
    pork

    Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. Grab a FREE Chapter of Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living here.

Source:
¹https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9531/5-reasons-why-we-have-cravings.html

²https://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/cravings-meaning/

Box of Dreams…

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Have you ever wished for something or had a dream about doing something and wondered if it would ever happen or come true? Everyone has dreams and aspirations, but unfortunately not everyone puts forth the effort to make them happen. What most people don’t realize is that in order for any dream to come true, you must take action. You can hope all you want, but unless you take the necessary steps to move forward, you most likely won’t get anywhere and will probably be left feeling drained and unfulfilled.

Maybe one of your dreams is to get a new job, but have you taken the time to update your resume and send it out? If not, what are you waiting for? If one of your dreams is to change careers, you can take action by going back to school to learn something else that interests you. It may take some time, but the end result will move you in a new direction. How about your health? Are you interested in losing weight and becoming healthier? Instead of talking about it, you need to make a plan and commit to it. One place to start is to ditch the junk food and sugar-filled drinks and start buying more wholesome foods. You can also look for healthy recipes to make and find some sort of exercise you like, whether it is walking, swimming, basketball or tennis. Whatever it is, just do it and do it frequently.

walking
walking

Many people are in the same boat and get stuck in those rapids of life, instead of taking action to move themselves forward. In the book, Spiritual Economics, author Eric Butterworth, mentions the Quaker says, “When you pray, move your feet.”¹ In other words, you can hope and pray, but you also need to take steps to get you moving on the path to your goals and dreams. If you don’t, most likely you will feel frustrated and disappointed. David J. Schwartz, in his book, The Magic of Thinking Big,” tells us, “A good idea if not acted upon, produces terrible psychological pain. But a good idea acted upon brings enormous mental satisfaction. Actions feed and strengthen confidence; inaction in all forms feed fear.”² Now those are some words of wisdom we can all use.

A few years ago, I was invited to a friends home for a dinner party along with a few other ladies. After we ate, my friend who is a life coach, gave each of us a box that looked like a book that opened, along with a few pieces of paper and a pen.

box of dreams

She asked us to take a few minutes to write down a few dreams we would like to see happen in our lives along with the date of the get together and place them in the box. While she didn’t really say why, I believe the idea was for us to examine where we were in our life with where we wanted to go. Anyway— It took me a little time to ponder what I wanted to record, but finally I came up with a few ideas.

When I got home, I took my box and put it on a book shelf in my office, where it blended in with the other books and I forgot about it.

box of dreams on shelf
box of dreams on shelf

Fast forward 3-1/2 years later…

I recently was decluttering my office space and low and behold, there was the box on the shelf just where I had placed it. As I opened the box and read one of the notes, I smiled and felt a warm feeling come over me.

box of dreams with note
box of dreams with note

I had been thinking of taking some nutrition classes and after the dinner party, I decided to take action and enrolled the next week at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®, (IIN) to become a certified health coach. At that time, I had no idea that IIN also offered a Launch Your Dream Book program, which I enrolled in after I graduated as a certified health coach.  While this may all sound easy and straight-forward, let me assure you the process was not easy. Writing a book can be scary and over-whelming, which is one of the reasons it took me some time to complete it. I had to keep pushing myself forward to push through the fear of it all.

I am happy to say that with some strong determination and many action steps, I completed the task and made my dream true.

Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living

The final result is a simple guide that anyone can follow for healthy eating and living. You can find my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, on Amazon. If you would like to take a quick preview, you can grab a FREE Chapter here.

How are you doing with your goals and dreams? Make sure you take that first step and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Butterworth, Eric. Spiritual Economics. Unity Books, 2001. Page 21. Print

²Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Magic of Thinking Big. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Magic Of Thinking Big. pg. 6

 

 

Recipe: Ginger Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry Delight

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some Ginger Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry Delight, I recently made. I had some chicken, broccoli and mushrooms and a few other fresh vegetables on hand and decided to turn them into a delicious, delightful meal. All it takes is a little meal planning, some healthy ingredients and a little time. It is not hard to eat healthy. Cooking can also be fun, if you give it a chance and play around a bit. I found this recipe on Pinterest, but changed it up a bit, by adding some additional vegetables, including some fresh cherry tomatoes and zucchini slices for some added vitamin C, iron and fiber. I also gave some options to if you wanted to make a few of the ingredients a little healthier. Give it a try if you like.

Ginger Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry Delight

ginger chicken broccoli stir fry delight
ginger chicken broccoli stir fry delight
  • 2 chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cups (12 -14 oz) fresh broccoli, florets
  • 1 small onion, cubed or sliced
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 small zucchini sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine the chicken broth, water, soy sauce or coconut aminos, sugar, grated ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a medium size glass bowl. Mix together until the cornstarch dissolves and then set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for several minutes, until crisp. When fully browned, remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and add the broccoli, mushrooms, onions and zucchini. Saute the vegetable mix until the broccoli turns bright green and the mushrooms are tender. This will take several minutes. Add the prepared sauce to the vegetables. Top with sliced tomatoes. Stir to coat the vegetables and warm tomatoes. Add the chicken back into the frying pan and stir to coat everything. Serve warm alone or with rice, or use quinoa.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for ways to live a healthy life-style and also want to find more good recipes, you might want to check out my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. You can grab a FREE chapter here to preview.

5 Protein Breakfast Ideas For Sustained Energy…

Did you know that breakfast is thought to be the most important meal of the day?

breakfast
breakfast

That’s right and is why you should eat breakfast for sustained energy every day! Many nutrition experts agree that after a long night’s sleep your body needs nutrients to fuel your body and help you get your day going. Unfortunately, many people skip breakfast, or opt for something sweet and sugary, such as a donut or breakfast cereal. While eating cereal may be better than eating nothing at all for breakfast, it is a carbohydrate, which your body tends to burn fast and may leave you feeling hungry in a few hours. Many cereals also contain sugar, which causes inflammation in your body. To avoid hunger pains and help keep your energy up, it is important to add protein to your breakfast. Protein stays with you longer and helps give you lasting energy. In fact, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity, participants who ate a protein-packed breakfast ate 26 percent fewer calories at lunch than those who ate a calorically identical meal with less protein.¹ That’s a good reason to start adding protein to your breakfast. Why not give your body the sustained energy it needs and help prevent over-eating at lunch-time? That sounds like some “Win Win” advise. Following are some breakfast ideas for you.

5 Protein Breakfast Ideas For Sustained Energy:

  1. Breakfast Egg Burrrito
    breakfast burrito
    breakfast burrito

    Eggs are great source of protein and are not only tasty, but good for you. You can add some other healthy ingredients to your eggs too, including black beans to bring your protein intake up even more. You can also add in other vegetables such as peppers, onions or tomatoes to give your body a boost of vitamins and other nutrients to help fuel your body. You can eat your eggs alone, or wrap them up in a corn or flour tortilla for a quick, easy meal.

  2. Peanut butter toast
    peanut butter toast
    peanut butter toast

    Nut butters such as peanut butter and almond butter are a great source of protein. Spread a little of this tasty butter on some whole wheat or sour dough toast. You can also find a gluten-free bread option if you have gluten sensitivities, or spread your peanut butter on apple for another option. Look for healthier versions of peanut butter and other nut butters, as some brands may contain a lot of sugar, or other additives. Make sure you read the food label to know what you are buying.

  3. Yogurt
    yogurt breakfast
    yogurt breakfast

    Many people are a fan of yogurt and enjoy eating it for breakfast. Yogurt typically contains a healthy dose of protein, but may contain sugar and other added ingredients. Look for a Greek version, as a healthier option. Keep in mind that plain yogurt is also better for you than one with added fruit or other flavors. You can add in your own fruit, nuts and seeds to make it healthier and provide more protein, good fat and nutrients.

  4. Breakfast Smoothie
    breakfast smoothie
    breakfast smoothie

    Breakfast smoothies are a popular choice for many people. They are easy to make, good for you and quite tasty. You can use a variety of ingredients including protein powder, nuts, fruit and vegetables. You can also add in a variety of super foods including coconut oil, chia seeds, maca, cacao chips and more. For a simple smoothie, you can try a scoop of vanilla protein powder, banana, handful of spinach, 1 tsp. of coconut oil and some almond or coconut milk. There are many options, so play around and see what appeals to you.

  5. Oatmeal
    oatmeal
    oatmeal

    Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to start your day and will give you a burst of energy and protein. Feel free to add other items to enhance the taste and protein content. You can add apples, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, coconut and more. Play around to find that perfect taste you enjoy.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. If you would like other breakfast recipes to try and learn more about living a healthy life-style, check out my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. Grab a FREE chapter here.

Source:

¹Kelly, Diana. “High-Protein Breakfast Ideas: 8 Easy Options.” Reader’s Digest, www.rd.com/health/wellness/high-protein-breakfast-ideas/.

Less Is More When It Comes To Your Health…

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Less is More,” but how many of you really believe in this concept or practice it?

Less Is More!
Less Is More!

Sadly, many people don’t and may not understand the benefits. It is easy to see why. We live in a fast-paced society that promotes working hard, gaining wealth and buying, buying, buying. While there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things and working hard for them, over time all of these things tend to accumulate and can actually block your energy. As a matter of fact, having too many things can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information, as it competes for your attention. It can also promote stress and cause anxiety. That is why it is important to practice the concept of less is more from time to time.

One way to practice a little of the less is more concept is to declutter your work space and home periodically. Some people do this now and again, but others tend to let stuff build up. I have always been more of a neat freak then a person who collects or hoards things, but over the years, we’ve definitely collected way more than we need. Last week, however, it was time to get a little decluttering on and open my mind to some new possibilities.

Open your mind
Open your mind

We are in the process of down-sizing and will be moving sometime this fall and this was the week to list our house.  I knew I would have to get rid of some things for the move, but after meeting with the staging person our realtor sent over, it was time to get to work. I started boxing up pictures, personal items and lots of books to make the house look less personal. By the end of the week, I made at least 5 trips to the Goodwill and I have to admit, it felt good. Who knew letting go of some stuff could produce such good feelings?

packing
packing

In reality, practicing the less is more concept can be freeing and can help contribute to living a healthy life-style. What’s more, the less is more concept can be applied in other areas of your life besides decluttering. You can also apply it towards making conscious choices in your diet.

Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables

In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how less is more in regards to eating. These days, sugar is included in almost everything processed. We all could stand to eat less foods filled with sugar, eat less processed foods and sip less sugar-filled drinks to stay healthy. Instead of choosing that sugary donut for breakfast, why not choose something a little more wholesome, like an omelette with fresh vegetables? Instead of choosing a sugar-filled coffee drink from your local coffee shop, why not opt for a black coffee with a little cream and then add your own sweetener? You can make healthy choices with your snacks too. Why not grab a handful of nuts for an afternoon snack versus a bag of Doritos? Nuts contain protein, fiber and good fats your body needs and are way better for you than a bag of chips, which typically contains a lot of ingredients, that aren’t good for you. The bottom line is we can all make better choices in our daily living to create a healthier life-style.

Following are a few ways you can practice the less is more concept in your life.

  1. Downsize your wardrobe:
    Take an inventory of your closet. How many of your clothes have you actually worn over the last year. Get rid of any items you haven’t worn in that time-frame.
  2. Get rid of some shoes:
    Many people have way more shoes than they really need. Again—get rid of any shoes you haven’t worn in the last year, just like your clothes.
  3. Clean up the garage:
    The garage is another place that quickly accumulates stuff. Organize the stuff you use on a regular basis and get rid of the stuff that is sitting in the corner, or on that bench that you haven’t used in years, such as an old tent, or camping gear.
  4. Get rid of old paint:
    Many people save paint cans thinking they may need that left-over paint again. Old paint is great for touching up nail holes, or knicks in a wall, but if you’re never going to use it again, get rid of it!
  5. Down-grade your kitchen items:
    It is funny how kitchen items, such as lids for containers can accumulate. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to end up with extra lids that don’t match up to any bowl. Go through your lid drawer or cupboard from time to time and get rid of any unmatched lids. The same holds true to other kitchen items. If you have something that doesn’t match, or you haven’t used the item in forever, get rid of it.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Tomato Avocado And Cucumber Salad

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some summertime Tomato Avocado And Cucumber Salad I made over the weekend.

tomato-avocado-cucmber-salad
tomato-avocado-cucumber-salad

I had some garden fresh vegetables on hand including tomatoes, onions and cucumbers, so I thought I would add an avocado to the mix and make a healthy summertime salad. The mix proved not only be tasty, but included some healthful vitamins, including vitamin C and K, as well as some other healthful nutrients. It also included some good fat from the avocados, which our body needs.

garden fresh vegetables
garden fresh vegetables

If you have some vegetables available from your garden, or have some on hand from your local farmers market, you might want to give this recipe a try.

Tomato Avocado And Cucumber Salad

1-2 medium avocados, diced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
salt to taste
fresh black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables.

tomato-avocado-cucumber-chopped vegetables
tomato-avocado-cucumber-chopped vegetables

Add the sunflower oil and salt & pepper to taste. Serve alone, or as a side salad with other items.

Enjoy!

P.S. You can find other healthy recipes in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. Grab a FREE chapter here.

Unplug And Unwind For A Healthy Lifestyle…

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take a camping trip near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) to unplug and unwind and enjoy some beautiful, pristine country with my family. With our pop-up camper in tow, vehicle stuffed with camping gear and the dogs, we left to meet our daughter and her family for a long weekend of fun and relaxation.

It had been years, since I was up this way and I somehow forgot how breath-taking and peaceful this area in Northern Minnesota really is. If you’ve never visited and enjoy the great outdoors, I would highly recommend it. It is a great place to get back to nature, unplug from technology and the media, get away from the busyness of daily life and feed your spirit to create balance.

Speaking of unplugging from technology and the media, did you know that “we are exposed to more stimuli in one week than our ancient ancestors were exposed to in their entire lifetime?”¹ That’s a little scary. Many people today have a hard time breaking away from all of the news and media, which is unfortunate and unhealthy. In fact, “one of the most powerful things you can do as a human being in our hyper-connected, 24/7 media world is say: ‘I don’t know, or I don’t care in regards to what’s happening all over the world all of the time.'”² If you missed a little more news you would probably feel less anxious, sleep better and over-all feel a whole lot better.

That was one good thing about this camping trip, we were all forced to unplug and be more present with each other, which is something we all can work on.  In this area, even if you bring your cell phone, you can’t really use it a whole lot. It is hard to get service, so forget about catching up on the latest social media posts. I brought my cell phone along on the hiking trails and down by the lake, but only to capture some of the gorgeous scenery.

We all need time away from technology to unplug and unwind and reconnect with ourselves to rejuvenate our mind and body. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self care and how renewing your energy is a necessity. We all need time to get away from our daily routines and work life. Even if you can’t get away from work, or don’t have the time built-up for a vacation, there are plenty of other ways you can unplug and unwind in your daily life. After a long day at work, why not get outside and enjoy a nice, long walk? You can also take in a yoga class or get a massage to relax your mind and body. If you live by a lake, why not go for a boat ride, take out your paddle board, go for a bike ride around it, or just sit quietly and take in the calming affects of the water? There are many options. The important thing is to get away and out of your regular routine. Oh—and make sure you leave your cell phone behind, or at least turn it on silent!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 4

²¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 3

Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

In this post, I wanted to share a recipe for some Chocolate Zucchini Cake I made over the weekend.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I had some home grown, garden fresh zucchini from a neighbor and another one from my daughter’s garden, so I figured I needed to do a little cooking and baking to enjoy their goodness. If you caught my last post, you may remember I spotlighted the health benefits of the zucchini. Zucchini’s are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, fiber and more. They also contain other vital nutrients your body needs and craves, which help prevent disease and boost your immune system. I always look forward to the zucchini season, as they not only are good for you, they are great for grilling, frying and baking.

garden fresh zucchini
garden fresh zucchini

Last week, I enjoyed some sauteed zucchini, as well as made some zucchini bread. Over the weekend, I remembered I had a good recipe for chocolate zucchini cake, so I decided to get a little more baking on. I don’t bake as much as I used to, but I do like sweets from time to time. Remember—there is nothing wrong with eating sweets now and then. Michael Pollan, in his book Food Rules an Eater’s Manual, tells us “Eat all of the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself.”¹ Chances are you won’t eat it every day then. Anyway—his recipe is easy to make, contains some healthful ingredients and gets an “A” for satisfying those chocolate cravings. Give it a try if you like.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1-3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup high quality cocoa
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
2-1/2 cups flour (You can use rice flour if you want it gluten free)
2 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (You can also use pecans or almonds)
12 oz. bag good quality chocolate chips (I used one with one with a high cacao content for its good fat content)

In a mixer, mix the first 6 ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients, then add the zucchini. Mix well. Spread the mixture in a greased & floured, 13” x 9”. Top with nuts and chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool and frost with chocolate frosting if desired. Serve warm, or cold.

Optional Frosting Glaze

1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp coconut oil

Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in double boiler or similar, stirring until the chips are melted and a smooth texture. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.

Pour and spread over the cake. Allow to set for at a bit and serve.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. You can find other healthy recipes in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, available on Amazon.

Source:

¹Pollan, Michael. Food Rules and Eaters Manual.

Vegetables For Vitality—Spotlight On Zucchini

In this blog, I wanted to spotlight the zucchini.

spotlight on zucchini
zucchini

Zucchini’s are quite popular, especially this time of year when they are in season, as many people grow them in their garden, buy them at their local farmers market, or neighborhood grocery store. In the culinary world, the zucchini is considered a vegetable for cooking, as it is often served alone or with an entree, but technically they are a fruit because they come from a flower.¹ It doesn’t really matter, how they are classified. The bottom line is they are good for you and contain vital nutrients your body needs. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how vegetables contain vital nutrients you can’t get from other sources, or just vitamins. That is why it is important to add more bright colored foods to your diet and chose to spotlight the zucchini. Make sure you eat your vegetables for vitality and sustained energy.

vital nutrients
vital nutrients

Zucchini’s are part of the squash family and are rich in vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system. The vitamin C also helps reduce colds, helps you maintain healthy skin, and helps prevent disease.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C

Like kale, zucchini’s are also rich in vitamin A, which helps with eye health.  In addition, they contain protein, potassium, calcium, and a number of B vitamins.

healthy eyes
healthy eyes

Zucchini’s have numerous other health benefits too. One benefit of eating zucchini you may not be aware of is that it can aid in weight loss. That’s right! Like the banana, zucchini’s are loaded with fiber, so they make you feel full even though they are low in calories. They also have a high water content, so they also help you stay hydrated. They also help prevent cancer and have been proven beneficial to those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and various other diseases.

weight loss
weight loss

Zucchini’s can be prepared in a number of ways. You can slice them up and saute them in olive oil with a little garlic, salt, pepper and lemon. You can also add them to salads, or entrees, including spaghetti, stir fries and more.

sliced zucchini
sliced zucchini

Zucchini’s can be  sliced in half and put on the grill with a little seasoning or pizza sauce and cheese.

zucchini halves
zucchini halves

They can be shredded for zucchini bread, or one of my favorites, chocolate zucchini cake (look for that recipe blog soon), there are many possibilities.

shredded zucchini
shredded zucchini

Make sure you enjoy this summertime vegetable/fruit this season and reap it’s many healthful benefits.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹“Zucchini.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini.

²“5 Amazing Zucchini Benefits.” Organic Facts, 12 June 2017, www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-zucchini.html.

5 Summertime Slimming Foods

Awe summertime!

There’s so much to enjoy! One of the things I look forward to in the summer is the fresh produce and what better way to enjoy a beautiful day than eating some summertime slimming food like watermelon! It’s juicy, delicious and refreshing and who doesn’t like a little watermelon juice running down their face in the summer?

eating watermelon

Watermelon is not the only refreshing food plentiful in the summer either, which is a good thing. Garden fresh vegetables are always plentiful, whether you grow your own, find them at a farmers market, or buy some locally grown produce at the grocery store. Some people get fresh vegetables weekly from a Community Supported Agriculture group (CSA). If you’re not familiar with CSAs, they are groups made up of farmers in a particular area who work directly with consumers to buy their crops. These farmers typically offer a number of “crop shares” to people in their local community. I talk a little about CSA memberships and how they work in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. If you are interested, you can find it on Amazon.

In this blog, I thought I would share a few summertime slimming foods with you. Let’s take a look…

5 Summertime Slimming Foods:

  1. Watermelon—
    watermelon
    Watermelon is not only refreshing, it is high in vitamins, including vitamin A and C. Watermelons are also rich in antioxidants including lypocene, which helps your body fight free radicals. As their name implies, watermelons contain a lot of water which can help detoxify your body and help you to stay hydrated. Watermelons have some other healthful benefits, as well. They are known to help lower blood pressure, help reduce insulin resistance and help with sore muscles. Watermelons are plentiful and easy to grow. Some people grow their own in their gardens, but most people like to grab one from the grocery store or farmers market to take with to a BBQ, family picnic, or enjoy at the lake. Make sure you grab one of your own to indulge in some of the health benefits it provides.
  2. Cucumbers—
    cucumbers
    Cucumbers are another summertime slimming food and are loaded with water. In fact, they are made up of 90% water, yet they also offer some valuable healthful properties. Cucumbers are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that benefit the body. Cucumbers contain vitamins, C, K and B5, which helps provide energy for your body. They also contain manganese, which helps build healthy bones, as well as potassium and magnesium, which are good for your heart health. Many people enjoy cucumbers in salads, or like to eat them alone. Gardeners often like to can them to enjoy pickles in the fall and winter months. Cucumbers can also be added to water to help hydrate and detoxify your body. They can also be added to green juice, or smoothies for an added boost of nutrients.
  3. Carrots—
    carrots
    Carrots are not only sweet and crunchy, they are another slimming vegetable that packs some powerful nutrients. Carrots are loaded with vitamin A, which is good for you eye health. They are rich in beta carotene and helps protect you from macular degeneration and cataracts. They also have other health benefits including helping to prevent cancer, especially lung and breast cancer. They also help slow down the aging process and promote healthy skin. Make sure you eat plenty of this vegetable for vitality and both eye and skin health. Who doesn’t want healthy eyes and less wrinkles? Carrots also help detoxify the body and contain fiber that helps with your digestive process. Make sure you snack on plenty of this crunchy vegetable.
  4. Tomatoes—
    tomatoes
    Tomatoes are another slimming food that are bountiful in the summer. Many people grow their own tomato plants in the garden, or have a potted plant for the patio or deck and why not? They are easy to grow, tasty and have many nutritional benefits. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. They also contain vitamin A, E, B6 and K. They are also a good source of potassium and fiber and can help boost your metabolism. Tomatoes are also good for eye sight and skin health. They also help detoxify the body and help reduce inflammation. Tomatoes help reduce cholesterol and improve heart health. Whether you grow your own, or purchase tomatoes at the grocery store, make sure you add this vegetable to your diet for its many healthful properties. Tomatoes can be eaten alone, sliced on salads or sandwiches, or added to pasta. They can also be added to stir fries, rice and more.
  5. Peppers—
    peppers

Peppers are another summertime slimming food that packs a punch when it comes to your health. Peppers contain a host of vitamins and help your immune system. Peppers contain plenty of vitamin C, E and B6. They also contain phytochemcials and antioxidants, which help protect your body. Peppers have a number of health benefits including helping with eye health and anemia. If you have an iron deficiency, make sure you add some peppers to your diet. They contain a decent amount of iron, which can help keep your energy up.  Peppers are low in calories and are great for dipping. You can add them to salads, rice, spaghetti, and more. Peppers come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and are part of the chili pepper family. Although some peppers are hot, you can find varieties that are medium to mild in flavor. Make sure you add this sweet vegetable to your diet for its many healthful properties.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:
¹Gary. “25 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Watermelon (#11 Is Impressive).” Well-Being Secrets, 24 Jan. 2017, www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-watermelon/.
²“What Are Cucumbers Good For?” Mercola.com, foodfacts.mercola.com/cucumber.html.

³“10 Benefits of Carrots: The Crunchy Powerfood.” 10 Benefits Of Carrots | Care2 Healthy Living, www.care2.com/greenliving/10-benefits-of-carrots.html.