5 Super Foods To Add To Your Diet…

With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many people today are concerned and rightly so. There are a lot of individuals buying and eating the wrong foods, which can cause weight gain and illness. This is a problem, but fortunately some individuals have begun to take a greater interest in the foods they eat and are turning to more nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and other whole foods. Others are experimenting with adding more super foods to their diet. If you are wondering what super foods are they are “foods that are nutrient dense and considered especially beneficial to the body.¹ Many fruits and vegetables, as well a number of whole foods are considered super foods, since they contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. In this blog, I wanted to share 5 super foods to add to your diet to promote well-being.

5 Super Foods To Add To Your Diet…

  1. Blueberries—
    blueberries
    Blueberries are a popular sweet treat that are not only a super food, but are super good. Blueberries have a delicious, appealing taste that many people enjoy and are loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants and minerals. Blueberries also help fight inflammation, strengthen the immune system and help fight cancer. They also are useful in managing diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and help protect against heart disease. Blueberries contain a healthy dose of vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity. They also contain vitamin k, vitamin B-6, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, fiber and more. If you aren’t eating blueberries already, you might want to consider including them in your diet. Blueberries can be eaten as a snack, for breakfast or in other delicious recipes. Try adding them to your smoothie, yogurt, cereal or indulge in a tasty blueberry pie.
  2. Spinach—
    spinach
    Spinach is a power-house, when it comes to vegetables. That’s because spinach is packed with numerous vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your body. It is no-wonder Pop-Eye ate spinach for strength and endurance. Spinach is an excellent source of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K1, calcium, folic acid, magnesium and more. Spinach additionally contains non-heme iron, which is found in plant-based foods and is beneficial to those suffering from iron deficiency anemia. In fact, in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how I included spinach in my breakfast and other meals daily. Spinach is truly a super food and works super good to help build iron in your body. Spinach has other benefits, as well. Spinach is useful for cancer prevention, heart disease and eye health, to name a few. Try adding this super food to your morning smoothies, salads, lasagna, stir-fries, spaghetti sauce or chow mein for some added energy and nutrients.
  3. Almonds—
    almonds
    When it comes to nuts, almonds top the favorites list for many people. It’s not surprising they are the most popular nut in the United States. They are also one of the healthiest tree nuts available. Almonds are delicious and nutritious and make a great snack food. Almonds are loaded with a variety of wholesome nutrients including protein, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and copper. Almonds also contain Monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are the good fats that help your body function optimally. Additionally, almonds contain a significant amount of fiber, which helps trigger satiety and makes you feel full and satisfied. Strive for eating a handful or two of almonds, if you want to include more good fats in your diet. You can also add almonds to salads, smoothies, yogurt, stir-fries, bread or muffins to receive their beneficial properties.
  4. Coconut Oil—
    coconut oil
    Coconut oil not only tastes good, but is good for you. Coconut oil also contains monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are good fats that can help contribute to heart health. They also help protect your body from a variety of chronic and debilitating diseases. Coconut oil has other beneficial properties, as well. Coconut oil can help speed your metabolism, help fight and reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. It addition, coconut oil helps prevent wrinkles by plumping up your skin and aides in the digestion process. Make sure you add this super food to your smoothies, coffee, tea, yogurt and muffins to reap its many benefits.
  5. Maca Root—
    maca root
    Maca is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. While it has gained recent popularity, it has been around for thousands of years and is known for its medicinal properties. Maca is a nutrient dense root that is grown in the mountain regions of South America. It is typically harvested and ground down to a powder form, making it easy to use.
    Maca is extremely nutritious and is great source of vitamins and minerals. Some nutrients included in maca are calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium and iron.  A variety of amino acids and fatty acids can found in this root, as well.  Maca is a good source of protein, fat and fiber, which helps your body to sustain energy  and feel full. Maca root has many benefits and is known for its ability to balance hormones. It is also useful in treating PMS, menopausal symptoms, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and fertility issues. Maca helps with memory issues too, plus it helps increase energy and mood. Make sure you give this super food a try to reap its many benefits.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹”10 Antioxidant Super Foods.” Web MD, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2016.

²https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php

³Gunnars, Kris. “Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 3 Oct. 2015, www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/spinach#section1.

4 Axe, Dr. Josh. “Top 5 Maca Root Benefits and Nutrition (No. 4 Is Best).” Dr. Axe, 21 July 2017, draxe.com/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/.

5 Ways To Boost Your Smoothie!

Smoothies have become a popular choice for breakfast these days and why not?Many people are concerned about their well-being and are looking for ways to eat healthier. Smoothies provide a quick, easy way to include a variety of healthy, whole food ingredients in your diet. They also can be fun to make, as there are many options and combinations you can try. While many people use protein powder and fruit, there other selections you can add to your smoothie mix to add more vitamins and boost your nutrient intake to make it better for you. In this blog, I wanted to share 5 ways to boost your smoothie. Let’s take a look…

Learn 5 Ways To Boost Your Smoothie:

Boost Your Smoothie

  1. Greens—Many people naturally add a banana or another type of fruit to their smoothie, but adding vegetables, especially greens, is a great way to boost your nutrient intake. Try adding a handful of spinach, or kale to your smoothie for some added vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin B6, iron and more. When I was dealing with iron deficiency anemia, smoothies became a staple in my diet. Many protein powders contain a healthy dose of iron and when you add greens and other vegetables, it boosts the iron content even more. In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about the importance of eating vegetables at every meal and how adding more greens to my breakfast smoothie helped improve my energy level. As an added bonus, I became less prone to getting sick. Make sure you experiment with adding more greens to you diet to experience a boost in your nutrient intake and health too.
    spinach greens
  2. Super Foods—Why not start your day with an added boost of energy? Super foods are foods that are considered nutrient dense and extremely beneficial to the body. Try adding super foods such as coconut oil, maca powder, cacao nibs, or chia seeds to your morning smoothie to help improve your well-being.  Super foods can help make you feel super good and super energized and who doesn’t like an extra kick-start to get the day going? Try adding one or 2 to super foods to your smoothie to see how they make you feel. As you go along, you can try more or mix them up and see how your energy improves.
    coconuts
  3. Protein—Over the last several years protein powders have become extremely popular and many people like to add them to their smoothies. There are many options when it comes to protein powder including, whey, vegan and bone broth varieties.  Make sure you choose one that works best for you and look for a good, quality brand, (one without a lot of additives and sweeteners).  If you are not a protein powder fan, try adding peanut butter, another nut butter, nuts or seeds to your smoothie to get your morning dose of protein. Play around and see what you like best.
    peanut butter
  4. Healthy Fats—Avocados are another nutritious item you can add to your smoothie. Avocados contain healthy fat and fiber your body needs and craves. Try adding a half of avocado to your mix to not only get some good fat, but some extra vitamin C, E, potassium and more. You can also add cashew butter, peanut butter, almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
    avocados
  5. Spices—You can also add a variety of spices to your smoothie to enhance the nutrient content and flavor. Try adding cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, nutmeg or ginger to your smoothie. Many spices contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help promote good health. Some of them also contain warming properties, which are especially beneficial during the winter months.Try adding some fresh ginger to help fight a cold, the flu, or aid in digestion.
    ginger

Thanks for reading and happy smoothie making!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for more ways to improve your health and live a healthy life-style, 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 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/

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

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.

Get Back To The Basics Of Eating With The Weston A. Price Diet…

When it comes to our food consumption habits, it would do us all good to back to the basics of eating. Over the years, we’ve gone astray from eating local farm-fresh produce, seasonal fruits and vegetables, whole farmed grains and pasture raised animals on a consistent basis. Today many of our fruits and vegetables are imported and available all year long. Our society has also grown accustomed to processed foods containing additives and preservatives and tend to eat more of them than real, wholesome foods. These foods often contain sugar and processed oils that are not good for your body and are a big part of the obesity epidemic and many health problems. That is why is important to get back to the basics of eating.

fruit and vegetables
fruit and vegetables

In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about  the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, (IIN) where I studied to become a certified health coach and learned over 100 different dietary theories. While they are all interesting and have value for different people, one theory in particular called the Weston A. Price dietary theory, focuses solely on the importance of getting back to the basics.

Basic foods
Carrots

This dietary theory incorporates a traditional diet based on what our ancestors ate. The organization was founded by Weston Price, DDS, who was a nutrition research pioneer. “Dr. Price’s research demonstrates that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.”¹ The diet focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods.

Cow
Farm animal

Some foods in the Weston A. Price Diet include the following:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Meat from from pasture-fed animals including beef, lamb, game, and organ meats
  • Pastured Poultry and eggs
  • Wild fish and fish eggs
  • Full-fat milk products
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cod liver oil
  • Traditional oils such as olive oil and sesame oil
  • Fermented fruits and vegetables
  • Home-made stock from bones of pastured animals
  • Traditional sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, etc.

Some other recommendations of this diet include getting plenty of rest and exercise. Practicing forgiveness and having a positive mindset with consistent positive thoughts is also advised.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹”About the Foundation.” The Weston A. Price Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2017.

²”What to Know About the Weston A. Price Diet.” Institute for Integrative Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 July 2017.

 

Fibrous Fruit—Spotlight On Health Benefits Of Apricots

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

Apricots
Apricots

Like the banana, apricots not only are a sweet, tasty fruit, but are loaded with a variety of healthful nutrients. Did you know that the apricot is considered one of the healthiest fruit in the world?¹ That’s Right! The apricot has many health benefits.

Apricots contain vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K. They also contain potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper and are a great source of fiber. In addition, they contain a healthy dose of iron, which helps carry oxygen and blood throughout your body and is vital for muscle and brain health. When I developed iron deficiency anemia a few years ago, dried apricots became a staple in my pantry.

Dried Apricots
Dried Apricots

In fact, in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little bit about how I developed iron deficiency anemia and how it lead me on a path to learning more about nutrition and eating healthier foods, such as apricots. They are a sweet treat and make a healthy snack. They also are an iron-rich food source which helps to sustain your energy.

Apricots not only help with anemia, but are useful for a number of other ailments including indigestion, constipation, and aid in heart health. They are also beneficial for lowering cholesterol, can help with eyesight deterioration and are beneficial for your skin.

Heart Health
Heart Health

Apricots are related to plums, but look more like a small peach. Apricots have a soft, fleshy texture with an outer protective skin and are grown on trees. While it is not clear where apricots originated, they date back to ancient times and were popular in China, Armenia, Greece, Rome and India.

Apricot Tree
Apricot Tree

Make sure you enjoy this tasty fruit and its nutritional benefits while it is in season, or the dried version throughout the year!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Nandy, Priyadarshini. “8 Amazing Apricot Benefits: The Nutritional Heavyweight Among Fruits.” Food.ndtv.com. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 16 May 2017.

²”10 Impressive Apricot Benefits.” Organic Facts. N.p., 01 June 2017. Web. 17 July 2017.

5 Simple Ideas To Plan Meals

With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many people today are interested in eating healthier to help avoid health problems down the road. That is good news. The problem is that not everyone knows what is healthy or where to start. One simple thing you can do to start eating healthier is to plan meals and make more meals at home. I know some of you might think, this is easier said than done, but all it really takes is a little meal prep, organization and a positive attitude.

Easy Meal Planning
Easy Meal Planning

For me, planning meals has always been easy. I was raised in a family of six kids, so we were all expected to help out. I was in the kitchen at a young age and learned to cook, bake and plan ahead. I know this is not the case for everyone and some of you may find cooking challenging. In this blog, I thought I  would share 5 simple ways to help you plan more meals. Remember—cooking does not have to be hard or overly time-consuming. It can be fun, enjoyable and provide a delicious experience.

Easy kitchen cooking
Easy kitchen cooking

Let’s Take A Look at 5 Simple Ways To Help Plan Meals:

  1. Spend A Little Time Each Week Looking For Healthy Recipes—

    recipe book
    recipe book

    When it comes to cooking, a little pre-planning can go a long way and can make your life easier. You can start by making a list of some meals you would like to make. If you are not sure, pull out a cookbook, or a box of recipe cards and start paging through for some ideas. You can also browse recipe blogs and websites, or take a look on Pinterest. They have thousands of ideas and you can search by themes, specific ingredients, or categories and save your favorite ones to a Pin board to easily find them again. It doesn’t really matter where you look, the point is to find some recipes that appeal to you and get you inspired to cook. Look for recipes that contain healthy ingredients such as vegetables, fruit, meat, whole grains and good fats.

  2. Make Your Grocery List—

    Alt grocery bag
    grocery bag

    After selecting your recipes, you will want to make a grocery list. Check your refrigerator and pantry to see which items you already have on hand. Write down the ingredients you need to purchase, or enter them in your phone App if you prefer to organize a list that way. There are many phone Apps available for lists. I use one called Out of Milk for my grocery list, which is easy to use and I like.

  3. Prep Food Ahead Of Time—

    Alt chopped vegetables
    chopped vegetables

    Once you have the groceries you need, you can prepare some items in advance to make things easier for your self during the week, when things are hectic. You can get your family involved and if you have kids, make sure you involve them in the process too. You can have them help chop vegetables to have on hand and ready to go for salads, stir-fries, entrees, etc. It works best to store vegetables in glass containers, so you can easily see them and know what is what. If you want to save yourself more time, you can also pre-cook some meat such as sausage , or hamburger. This way you will have it ready and waiting to just heat up and combine with the seasonings and vegetables, etc. that you need for your specific recipe.

  4. Plan On Having Leftovers—

    chicken breasts
    chicken breasts

    Many people don’t like left overs, but when it comes to meal planning, having left overs is a good idea and actually saves you time. If you are already planning to make a dish with chicken, why not cook a few extra chicken breasts? That way you can have some on-hand for a salad the next day, or some chicken tacos, etc. If one of your meals includes rice, why not make some extra rice to have on hand and ready to go for another meal. You can easily heat the extra rice in a frying pan with olive oil and add in some vegetables, and herbs and spices such as Cajun, Tumeric, Basil, etc.  This can be done with other grains too. You can also incorporate left over quinoa, or another grain for breakfast. You can add fruit, nuts, almond milk and more. Be as creative as you like and don’t be afraid to try new ideas.

  5. Keep Your Pantry Well-Stocked—

    pantry
    pantry

    When you are pressed for time, it is important to have the items on hand that you need to make your meals. It can be very irritating when you find out you are out of a staple item, such as olive oil or coconut oil, and have to stop the cooking process to run to the store to continue cooking. To avoid this hassle, make sure you keep your pantry well-stocked with items that you use every day such as salt and pepper, other seasonings, flour, vinegar, etc. You may also want to keep eggs, lemons, herbs, and other fresh items you use regularly stocked in your refrigerator. Make sure you always check your staple items before going grocery shopping. Believe me, it will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

If you are looking for more information on healthy eating, living and cooking, you might want to check out my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, which is available on Amazon in paperback and a Kindle version.

 

Nutrition: Red Light, Green Light—An Easy Way To Code Food

When it comes to nutrition, many people today are confused, and rightly so. There are literally thousands and thousands of food products to choose from, each with their own packaging claims. While many processed foods are tasty, convenient and easy to prepare, not all of them are healthy and provide the nutrients that your body needs and craves. It is hard to know which ones are good for you. What consumers really need is an easy way to code food, so they can make better choices.

processed foods
processed foods

Recently I posted something on social media asking people to look back at their childhood to find an exercise they might like. As I was thinking about this and my own childhood, a simple game we used to play growing up, called “Red Light, Green Light” popped into my head. It was a fun running game, where one kid was the stop light and called out colors to make you stop or go. Anyway—the name of the game stuck with me and got me thinking this might be an easy way for people to decipher their food purchases. Like the colors of a stoplight, we can divide food into 3 simple color groups.

Stop light
Stop light

Red Light Foods—
Red light foods are those foods that are highly processed and contain a lot of additives and preservatives. If the ingredient list starts out with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, etc., you should take a hard look at it and decide if the product is something you really want to buy. Typically red light foods such as potato chips, have a long list of ingredients, many of which are to hard to pronounce. Most people don’t have an idea of what these hard to pronounce ingredients really are, which is scary when you think about it. It is nice to know what you are ingesting, especially if it could have some negative affect. You should try and avoid red light foods when possible. If you do eat them, try eat them more on occasion, or sparingly.

potato chips
potato chips

Yellow Light Foods—
Yellow light foods are foods that are minimally processed. Think bagged vegetables, salads, nuts, seeds, raisins, etc. Some of these types of foods may have several ingredients, but don’t typically contain a long list of other additives or preservatives, so they are considered safe. You can feel comfortable buying these foods. You should shoot for foods with 5 ingredients or less, when possible. If they have a few more it is ok, just try and avoid foods that have a long list of ingredients.

bagged nuts
bagged nuts

Green Light Foods—
Green light foods are whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, bulk nuts or seeds and meat. These foods come from the earth and provide our bodies with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Think greens, berries, quinoa, cashews, pumpkin seeds and chicken. Our bodies need the nourishment these types of foods provide to function properly and optimally. You should try and base your diet around whole foods. Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, protein and include good fats in your diet.

whole foods
whole foods

If you are interested in finding out more about eating healthy and living a healthy life-style, my new book, Wholey Cow a Simple Guide To Eating And Living,” has more valuable information. It is available on Amazon and I offer a Kindle version too.

Thanks for reading!

Barb