Fibrous Fruit—Spotlight On The Health Benefits Of The Pear

In this blog, I wanted to spotlight the health benefits of the pear.

Pear

Pears are a popular choice for many consumers, especially in the fall when they are abundant. Like the banana and apple, pears are convenient to eat and are quite tasty. They are sweet and have a soft, appealing texture. Pears are loaded with many nutrients that help your body function optimally too.

Some nutrients in pears include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • And more

Pears grow on trees that produce a high energy, nutrient dense fruit. While pears do contain some natural sugar, they are one of the lowest calorie fruits available. Pears contain right around 100 calories, making them a popular choice for many people, especially those looking to lose weight. Pears contain a healthy amount of fiber, which is beneficial for the digestion process. The high fiber content, which helps make you feel full, coupled with an assortment of vitamins and minerals, makes the pear a perfect food choice and delicious snack.

pear tree

There are other health benefits of the pear too. Pears are an anti-inflammatory food and can help boost your immune system, which is great, especially for those suffering from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Pears also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and are beneficial in the prevention of a number of different forms of cancers. In addition, pears help improve blood circulation and may help build your red blood cell count, making them a good choice for many, especially those dealing with iron deficiency anemia.

Pears come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. In fact, there are approximately 3000 different species of pears available world-wide.  Wow—that’s quite an assortment. Some varieties look similar to the apple, where others have more of an elongated look and still others have several color tones, making them unique.

pear varieties

Pears can eaten for breakfast, enjoyed as a snack, or mixed in your favorite smoothie or bowl with other healthy ingredients. There are many possibilities.  Some people enjoy baking with pears too. Pears make a tasty pie, cobbler, crisp, muffins and more.

Make sure you reach for this nutrient dense fruit, while it is in season to enjoy its many health benefits.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pears.html

Jolly, Rajan Singh. “The Nutritional And Health Benefits Of Pears.” HubPages, HubPages, 3 Jan. 2016, hubpages.com/health/The-Nutritional-And-Health-Benefits-Of-Pears.

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

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.

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.

Make Smarter Choices By Using The New Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce!

With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many consumers today are concerned and are wondering what they can do to improve their health. Over the years, a lot of people have got in the habit of eating out several times a week or more. Thankfully, some people are discovering that a healthier choice is to make more home cooked meals. Eating at home allows you to choose healthier ingredients, as well as serve more properly proportioned meals. Meal-prep doesn’t have to be complicated either and starts with a list of wholesome ingredients that you can easily have on hand.

In my upcoming book, I talk a little about making smarter choices when out grocery shopping. If you stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthful, whole foods, the more apt you are to eat better. Look for plenty of whole foods when you are out shopping, especially good quality fruits and vegetables, if possible. Organic produce is always your best bet, as it grown without pesticides and harsh chemicals. If you are price conscious, conventional produce is fine and a much better option than filling your grocery cart with chips, crackers, soda pop and other junk foods.

If you are concerned about pesticides in produce, you might want visit the website for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They offer a Pesticides in Produce list, which you can download for free. The guide provides information on which types of produce are the most heavily sprayed with chemicals.

They also offer another list, which outlines 15 different types of produce that are considered “clean” and safe, as they aren’t heavily sprayed.

The EWG just recently updated their lists, so I wanted to pass them along.

Here is the new 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce from the EWG:

Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6.  Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11.  Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

Clean 15

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage Asparagus
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/