Easy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some Easy Chocolate Zucchini Bread that I made over the weekend. I had a few zucchini’s in my refrigerator that a friend gave me from her garden I needed to use. I decided to make a recipe from another friend who made me some Chocolate Zucchini Bread last year for my birthday. I like traditional zucchini bread, but I am a chocolate lover and I have to admit, this chocolate version is delicious. I did substitute honey for some of the sugar the original recipe called for, as well as put in some other substitutions you can use.

This recipe is easy to make and contains some healthful ingredients including fiber, vitamin C and magnesium from the zucchini, plus some good fat from the chocolate, (especially if you use a high cacao version of the chocolate chips). Give it a try if you are craving some chocolate or having a seasonal craving for zucchini.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

chocolate zucchini bread
chocolate zucchini bread

2-1 oz. squares chocolate
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
(You can also use coconut palm sugar for a lower glycemic load.)
1/2 cup honey
(You can substitute 1 cup of honey and omit the sugar.)
1 cup oil
(I used olive oil)
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
(You can substitute rice flour, if you are looking for a gluten free option.)
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
(I used one with a higher cacao content)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two loaf pans. Using a double-boiler, or similar, melt the chocolate squares. Stir until smooth and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, honey, oil, zucchini, vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in the flour. Add the chocolate chips. Pour the batter in the two loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, or until a toothpick in center come out clean.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for more good recipes to try and ways to 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 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.

Recipe: Easy Sausage Spinach Vegetable Lasagna

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some easy sausage spinach vegetable lasagna that I made over the weekend. This recipe is a favorite of my family and I make it quite a bit, especially in the fall and winter months, when your body craves more comfort foods. It combines a healthy dose of vegetables including spinach, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions and olives that not only are good for you, but provide a host of vitamins and nutrients your body needs. I also put in some options if you have a gluten sensitivity, or prefer a vegetarian version. Give it a try if you are looking for a new recipe to try for dinner.

Easy Sausage Spinach Vegetable Lasagna

spinach lasagna

  • 1 small box lasagna noodles (1/2 lb or approximately 9 noodles).
    You can use a gluten-free variety if you have issues with gluten.
  • 1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
    I used a local brand called Anna Lisa Spicy Pasta Sauce I got at Whole Foods that had no sugar or preservatives added. I really like this brand, but you can use any variety you like.
  • 1 container cottage cheese
    You can also use ricotta cheese
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
    I usually shred my own to avoid the added cellulose in cheese and other pre-packaged foods used to prevent caking. It is derived from wood pulp. Yes-wood pulp.
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
    You can also leave this out if you prefer to make a meatless version of lasagna
  • 1/2 bag of fresh spinach
    You can also you kale
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 small green pepper chopped
  • 1 small package fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small can black olives
  • 1/2 jar green olives
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium size tomatoes diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cajun seasoning

Fill a large pot with boiling water and add the lasagna noodles. Turn down heat a bit and boil the noodles for 10 minutes and then strain off the water and set aside.

In a large skillet, brown the Italian sausage. Add the garlic, onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Stir the mixture until the vegetables are slightly browned. Add in the olives and the salt, pepper and cajun seasoning to taste and stir. Add the spaghetti sauce to the meat and vegetable mix and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Add the tomatoes to the top and stir, just so they become warn and then remove from the heat.

Grease a 13″ x 9″ cake pan with olive oil. Place 3 noodles on the bottom of the pan. Then spoon about 1/3 of the meat and vegetable sauce over the noodles. Grab a handful or so of the spinach and place it on top of the sauce. Next scoop about 1/3 of the cottage cheese on top of the spinach and then add a layer of the mozzarella or cheddar cheese.

lasagna layers

Repeat these steps 2 more times to create 3 layers total.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the prepared pan of lasagna in the oven and bake for 30-40, or until slightly crisp on the top. Remove from the oven and let set and cool for another 30-45 minutes. Serve warm with a fresh garden salad.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for more good recipes to try and ways to 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/

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/.

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.

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.

Wake Up To Your Purpose And Live!

“Follow your passion. It will lead to your purpose.”
—Oprah Winfrey

At one time or another, you’ve probably had someone tell you, or maybe you at least heard, that we all have a purpose in life. But what does that really mean and how do you find it if you don’t know what it is? That’s a good question, but can be hard to answer. Some people seem to be born knowing what they want to do, as they have a gift for music, are artistic, love math, or have some other calling. Other people however, have a harder time pin-pointing their purpose, but over time may figure it out by trying different things, or having different life experiences. Still others may keep searching and wondering, while working and living their life.

guitar music
guitar music

Last year, my husband and I sold our granite countertop business of 20 years. I can’t tell you how many people have asked us, “How’s retirement going?” Retirement? This to me is an odd question. What is retirement anyway? I know it means different things to different people, but most people associate it with not working and really living the life.  I don’t know about you, but that seems contradictory to me. Can you have a happy life not doing anything anymore? I know there are plenty of retired people who are happy because they keep busy doing things they enjoy. There are others however, who retire and are miserable because they feel they no longer have a purpose.

happy
happy

Dan Buettner, in his book, The Blue Zones, describes regions around the world where people live to 100 years of age and beyond. These people live a healthy life-style with plenty of activity and incorporate a diet of healthy whole food. “In one such region, located in Okinawa, there is no such thing as retirement. In fact, there isn’t even a word for it. Instead, there is one word Okinawans live their life by: Ikigai, (icky guy) which when translated means the reason for which you wake up in the morning.”¹ You’ll find some of these Centarians fishing, teaching karate cooking for the family, etc. They really are living their life, by living their passions.

So back to the question…

Retirement? We made a conscious choice to sell our business, so we could do other things. I am too young to retire anyway and don’t believe in the concept. I am a Certified Health Coach and recently wrote a book titled, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living.

Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living
Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living

I like to cook, bake muffins, exercise, write and inspire others. I am currently working on offering programs to help others to live a healthy life-style.

What is the reason you wake up in the morning?

If you don’t know, start by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. What do you really enjoy? Do you like music, entertaining, cooking, reading, connecting with others? Think about the things that really make you come alive?
  2. What can you do to live more authentically? Be yourself and don’t be swayed by what others like or do. You are unique and important. Make your own decisions.
  3. What is your intuition telling you. We all have an inner knowing. Trust in that wisdom.
  4. What are you waiting for? Take the first step to move forward by taking action. Whatever it is, just begin.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:
¹”Black Hole Focus.” Optimize. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2017.