Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato And Feta Salad…

In this blog, I wanted to share my recipe for some warm quinoa, spinach, tomato and feta salad. It is easy to make and a favorite of mine. This recipe includes some healthy vegetables and spices, which promote vitality and contain some anti-inflammatory properties. It also includes avocados, which have feel good-fats your body needs to move and function properly. In addition, it includes the ancient grain, quinoa, which is considered a super-food. Quinoa not only has a number of healthful vitamins, but includes a healthy dose of fiber and is rich in protein, which helps sustain energy. If you are looking to plan a meal, you might want to give this recipe a try. It is easy to prepare, wholesome and delicious.

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato & Feta Salad

Warm quinoa spinach tomato and feta salad

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 or 2  large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 handful feta cheese crumbles (1/8 cup feta cheese, approximately)
  • 1/2 avocado cut in to pieces
  • cajun seasoning
  • tumeric
  • soy sauce or coconut aminos

Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil.

olive oil

Add the spinach, onion, and garlic. Stir on medium heat, until the onion begins to brown and the spinach is slightly wilted. Sprinkle the top with the turmeric and Cajun seasoning. Stir in the quinoa with the warm with the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and stir, until they are just warm. Spoon the salad on a plate. Add the feta cheese and avocado pieces on the top of the salad. Sprinkle with a little coconut aminos or soy sauce, if desired and serve warm.

Note: You may also add black beans, chick peas, or another vegetable to the mix to make it your own.

Enjoy!

Barb

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

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.

6 Metabolism Boosting Foods…

When it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, metabolism plays an important role. Anytime you eat anything, your body goes to work to process the food and nutrients that you’ve ingested. Our metabolism converts the food we eat into fuel for energy, which is needed for everything we do, from walking to running to thinking to working. That is why it is so important to eat the right foods. In this blog, I thought I would share some foods that will help you boost your metabolism.

Let’s take a look at…

  1. Spinach—Spinach and other dark leafy greens are loaded with nutrients, that help fuel your body. Spinach is high calcium, which helps your body maintain a high metabolism. In fact, eating calcium-rich foods such as spinach has been shown to double your fat-burning potential when consuming up to 1300 mg. of the mineral a day. It is no wonder Pop Eye looked slim and trim and muscular. Spinach is not only nutrient dense, but tastes great and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
  2. Grapefruit—Grapefruit and other citrus fruits contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps regulate your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is stable, you are more likely to feel good, have more energy and feel alive. When your blood sugar fluctuates too much with spikes of high and low, you may feel tired, worn out or sluggish. To avoid insulin spikes, make sure you include grapefruit and other citrus fruits in your diet for a healthy dose of vitamin C.
  3. Broccoli—Broccoli is another vegetable loaded with vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is high in the vitamins C, A and K. In fact, broccoli contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange and is also high in calcium. It also contains selenium, folate and a healthy dose of fiber, all of which help your body to maintain a healthy metabolism.
  4. Almonds—Almonds contain both fatty acids and plenty of fiber, both of which will help your metabolism. Almonds and other nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids, MUFAS, which are good fats that your body needs to move and uses for fuel to function properly. The natural good fats in almonds help spark your metabolism. Grab a handful or 2 of almonds for a snack to aide your and fat-burning.
  5. Apples—Apples are loaded with fiber and help your body feel full. They also help prevent your body from absorbing fat. Apples contain other vitamins including B and K. They also contain magnesium and potassium. Reach for an apple as part of healthful breakfast, or snack.
  6. Green Tea—Green tea is one of the best things you can consume to speed up your metabolism. Green tea is rich in phytochemicals, especially flavonoids and EGCG, which help protect your body from disease. They also contain other antioxidants that help with metabolism.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

“Top 10 Foods That Boost Metabolism.” Health Ambition. N.p., 29 Mar. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

“Metabolism.” KidsHealth. Ed. Steven Dowshen. The Nemours Foundation, June 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Busch, Sandi. “Does an Apple in the Morning Speed Up Your Metabolism?”LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 23 Aug. 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Danielle Braff, Linda Melone, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and REDBOOK Editors. “15 Surprising Tricks for Boosting Your Metabolism.” Woman’s Day. N.p., 13 Oct. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

 

 

Finally—A Movement In Our Country To Be Proud Of!

While I am not really a football fan, I did watch a little of last nights Super Bowl in between making food in the kitchen.

I  caught the half time show and some of the commercials, as well. I have to say, I was impressed. Not so much with the game or the show, but with some of the content of commercials. I don’t ever remember seeing a Super Bowl commercial for avocados, pistachios and water.

Super Bowl ads typically run the gamut for promoting junk food, fast food, soda pop and more.

Thankfully times are changing and I am happy to be part of the food movement.

Health coaches work hard to promote healthy eating and well-being and are helping drive consumers to make better food choices. In fact, it is part of the mission of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN) to create a ripple effect of health to transform the world. There’s an obesity epidemic in this country and countless people that have health issues related to their diets, so seeing commercials for healthy food at one of the largest television venues is a real win.

Let’s take a look at some of the commercials:

Avocados From MexicoThis commercial focused on the point that everyone loves guacamole! I loved that fact that they were promoting a healthy fruit and healthy fat. Avocados are rich in a variety of vitamins, potassium, healthy fat and are loaded with fiber.

Wonderful PistachiosThis commercial focused on the fact that pistachio’s are a good source of protein. Eating a handful  or 2 of nuts is hands-down a better choice over a handful of potato chips.

Fiji WaterThis commercial focused on promoting “life’s gift” and refreshing over the seeing so many ads for soda pop over the years.

BaiThis commercial was promoting a new drink made from the coffee-fruit, which surrounds the coffee bean. It is loaded with Vitamin C and also includes white tea and other polyphenals. The beverage is sweetened with stevia and erythritol. I don’t know much about this drink, since it is new, but is sounds like it has some healthful ingredients and probably worth trying.

Life WaterThis commercial was promoting Pepsi’s new life water. Again—it was refreshing to see water being promoted over sugar-sweetened soda pop or other diet versions that contain chemicals.

Wendy’s This commercial was promoting Wendy’s fresh over frozen beef. I am not promoting fast-food here, but liked the idea of promoting fresh. Fresh, whole food is always better than processed.

There still were a few commercials shown for some junk food, but we are moving in the right direction. Promoting whole foods and fitness on a large scale is good for us all.

Here’s to your health!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

6 Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Your Diet

Coconut oil is a great option when it comes to adding more good fat into your diet. Coconut oil not only tastes good, but is good for you.  It contains monounsaturated fatty acids, (MUFAS), which help with heart health and protect your body from many chronic and debilitating diseases.  Coconut oil has plenty of other healthy properties, as well. It helps boost your immune system, helps speed up your metabolism, helps reduce inflammation, helps prevent wrinkles, aides in digestion and more.

Add More Coconut Oil To Your Diet

Many of you may be familiar with coconut oil, but may not be sure how to add it into your diet. Following are a few options for you to try:

  1. Cooking With Coconut Oil
    You can use coconut when cook. Many people use vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil and other types of oil when cooking. You can easily replace these, especially the unhealthy ones with coconut oil. Choose a good quality, expeller, pressed coconut oil. You can use coconut oil in stir frys, cooking vegetables, browning meat, cooking eggs, etc.
  2. Baking With Coconut Oil
    You can use coconut oil when you bake. Many recipes call for butter, margerine, or some type of oil. You can easily replace them with coconut oil in the same measurement. Use coconut oil for muffins, breads, bars and more.
  3. Add Coconut Oil To Your Smoothies
    Give your smoothie a boost with some coconut oil. Smoothies can be fun to make and can be good for you when you use healthy ingredients. You can add vegetables, greens, fruit, nuts and seeds to your smoothies. You can also experiment with adding coconut oil, which is a super food. Adding coconut oil to your smoothie provides a healthy dose of fat, that is good for the body and joints. Try adding 1 tablespoon to your mix.  You can also add other super foods to your smoothies including maca powder, cacao nibs and chia seeds.
  4. Add Coconut Oil To Your Coffee or Tea
    If you drink coffee, or tea, why not add a little coconut oil for a quick pick me up? Coconut oil melts fast, yet provides slow, sustained energy for your body. Why not start your day out in a good way? Add 1 tablespoon to your hot drink. Most people don’t notice the taste.
  5. Add Coconut Oil To Your Yogurt
    If you eat yogurt, you may already be adding healthful ingredients such as fruit, nuts and seeds. Why not add coconut oil? Just add a teaspoon and stir it in your mix. You will be adding both healthful nutrients and good fat into your morning meal, or afternoon snack.
  6. Add Coconut Oil To Bone Broth Or Soup
    Bone broth and soup are staples in many diets and cultures around the world. That’s because they are rich in nutrients including calcium, magnesium and more. Soup is known to help promote well-being and boost healing in your body. Why not add a little coconut oil and make your soup or broth even healthier? Most soup contains some fat from added meat. By adding coconut oil to your recipe you will also be consuming more healthy fat.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

5 Reasons to Add Avocados To Your Diet…

Ah avocados! They are one of nature’s finest fruits. I’ve always thought of them as a vegetable, but they actually are considered a large berry and are bursting with healthy nutrients that our bodies love. Some nutrition experts actually rank them as one of the top five healthiest foods on the planet.

avacados

Often times when people think of avocados, they think of guacamole, which is a tasty dip made from mashed avocados.  Avocados however, not only make a tasty appetizer, but make other tasty dishes great! You can find them combined with a variety of Mexican entrees and other side dishes, as well as in sandwiches, wraps and salads. You can also add them to your smoothies for an additional burst of nutrients, as well as add them in baked goods and more.

av

Following Are 5 Reasons To Add Avocados To Your Diet:

  1. Rich in vitamins—Avocados are rich in a variety of vitamins including vitamin A and potassium. They are also rich in B  vitamins that help us fight infections and disease and vitamins C and E that help fight cancer.
  2. Contains Healthy Fat—Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, which is considered a healthy fat and can help lower bad cholesterol.
  3. Loaded With Fiber—Avocados are loaded with fiber and help give us a full feeling. The fiber also helps to support a healthy digestive tract, as well helps guard against cancer, kidney stones and other diseases.
  4. Rich in Potassium— Avocados are rich in potassium, which helps to support blood pressure in the body.  Many people reach for a banana when they want to add more potassium to their diet, but reaching for an avocado is actually better, as it contains more potassium. Combining them both together in a smoothie is a smart decision.
  5. May Help With Weight Loss—Avocados are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, which some studies show helps to promote weight loss. Dr. Mark Hyman, in his book, “Eat Fat Get Thin,” promotes eating avocados for their healthy fat, as well as their nutrient-dense properties.

The important thing to remember is that avocados are healthy and good for you. So the the next time you are out grocery shopping, go ahead and reach for an avocado or two. Your body will be glad you did.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/all-about-avocados

https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-mark-hyman-author-of-eat-fat-get-thin-eats-every-day-2016-3/#instead-of-steak-or-ribs-fatty-fish-4