New Year! New You!

For many people, the beginning of a New Year typically signifies change and a chance to make a fresh start. That is why some people make resolutions for themselves and figure, “New Year, New You” and new goals. Having goals gives us the opportunity to strive forward and accomplish things we deem important. For many of us, better health and diet often top the list.
goals

The New Year is a great time to take charge of your health and make changes to your diet. It is also a good opportunity to change up your routine and allow yourself the time to exercise more. Many people today are frustrated with their weight or have health problems related to their diets and are looking for help. In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living,” I talk about how society today consumes more processed food containing artificial ingredients than real, wholesome foods. Many people don’t know the difference and think “food is just food” and that is a big problem. Many of us are eating the wrong foods, which can cause weight gain and make you sick.
weight gain

Why not start out the year with a life-style change incorporating healthy eating habits? Remember—eating healthy is a choice, which requires a commitment. Following are some things you can do daily to commit to your health.

Ways To Commit To Your Health

  1. Eat Breakfast
    According to many nutrition experts, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, many people, including children and adults, skip breakfast and jump right in to their day, which is not good for you. After a long night’s sleep, your body requires nutrients to get you going. Eating breakfast helps gives you energy for the day ahead and will help you perform and feel better. While you may feel rushed, there are plenty of foods you can grab quickly to take with you out the door, or make in a minimal amount of time. Breakfast doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated. If you are in a hurry, grab a banana or some other piece of fruit. You can also grab a yogurt, nuts or perhaps a protein bar. If you have some time to spare, why not mix some healthful ingredients together to make a smoothie? You can add protein powder, a handful of spinach or kale, fruit, coconut oil and more. You can also make yourself some eggs, a breakfast sandwich or a breakfast burrito. There are many options to make a healthy breakfast.
    Eat Breakfast
  2. Eat More Fruit And Vegetables
    Eating a healthy diet is the best way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Some of the best sources of these nutrients come from fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, many people do not include enough of them in their diet, especially vegetables. Do yourself a favor and try to include them at every meal. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips to go along with your sandwich, why not grab an apple or banana. If you bring your lunch to work, why not include some healthy vegetables such as carrots, peppers or broccoli to go with your meal? You can also choose to have a side of vegetables with your dinner, instead of fries or bread. Try including fruit and vegetables in your morning meals, as well. Oh—and don’t forget to incorporate fruit and vegetables for a morning, afternoon or evening snack. Try having some carrots, cauliflower and celery with hummus or your favorite dip, or snack on them alone. Apricots, raisins, cherries and grapes also make great healthy snacks. Find your favorites and enjoy their sweet flavor.
    fruit and vegetables
  3. Stay Active
    The morning is a great time to exercise. If you have the time, why not go for a walk, get on your treadmill (if you have one), do some stretches or yoga? You can also jump rope for 10 minutes. There are many possibilities. If you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, make sure you schedule some time in your day for it. Your body was meant to move. Make sure you find ways to stay active. You can go to a gym, lift weights or do kick boxing. You can also get on a stationary bike or get outside to run or go a long walk. If those things don’t interest you, find some other activity that does. There are  many options.
    yoga
  4. Plan Meals
    Many people these days opt for processed foods, go out to eat and eat unhealthy foods on the run. To help avoid these tendencies, try and make more home-cooked meals. The best way to do this is to pre-plan your meals. You can start by making a list of several meals you would like to make for the week. You can write down some of your favorites, or look for some new recipes to try. Why not pull out  your favorite cookbook, or search Pinterest or some other food site. Next you can make a grocery list of any ingredients you don’t already have on hand and then plan a trip to the grocery store. Once you have your groceries, you can prepare some items ahead to make things easier. For example, you can chop vegetables in advance for salads, stir-fries, or snacking. If you are making several recipes with chicken, why not cook them together? You can also cook a few extra chicken breasts to have on hand for salads, a quick stir-fry or some other dish. By planning ahead, you can save yourself time, eat healthier and avoid that usual visit to that local restaurant when you don’t necessarily have items on hand.
    cookbook
  5. Add More Good Fats To Your Diet—
    Fat plays a big part in how a food tastes. Unfortunately, many people are still hooked on low-fat foods, which aren’t all that healthy. Low fat foods tend to have added sugar, chemicals and preservative added to them to make them taste better. It is better to choose foods that contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are good fats. You can find them in a variety of whole foods including: avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and certain varieties of fish. Make sure you start adding more good fats to your diet to reap their health benefits.
    avocados
  6. Take Time For Yourself—
    Make sure you take some time daily to practice a little self care. We all lead busy lives and can get stressed out from work, running our children around or attending meetings all day. It is easy to get caught up in our daily lives and the needs of others. That is why it is important to take a little time out of your day, just for you. There is nothing wrong with tending to some needs of your own. Make sure you allow yourself time to do a little reading, go shopping, work out, have a pedicure or something else you enjoy.

    reading

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Easy Baked Brie With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Garlic And Parsley

If you are looking for an appetizer to make for the upcoming holidays, I’ve got a great one to share. This recipe for Easy Baked Brie With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Garlic And Parsley, is not only easy to make, but includes some delightful combinations of melted brie cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and parsley. I’ve already made it twice already for a couple of parties and it was a big hit. Give it a try if you are a person that likes cheese are looking for a simple, delicious recipe.

Easy Baked Brie With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Garlic And Parsley

Easy baked brie with sun dried tomatoes and parsley

4 oz sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (13.2 oz) wheel brie cheese
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a small bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic with some of the oil from the tomatoes. Place the wheel of brie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic on top of the cheese. If you like red pepper flakes and would like to add a little zip, sprinkle a few pepper flakes over the top of the mix. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and a little gooey on the sides. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle on the chopped parsley on the top. Serve with garlic bread or crackers.
Easy baked brie with sun dried tomatoes and parsley
Enjoy!
Barb
P.S. If you are looking for other healthy recipes and nutrition tips, you might want to check out my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. It is available on Amazon. You can download a FREE Chapter here.

Make Conscious Choices To Eat Healthy During The Holidays

With the holidays upon us, it is hard not to think about eating food and more of it. After all—There’s often more treats at work or the office that are hard to walk by and resist.

Christmas cookies

Holiday parties are popular too, and typically include tempting entrees, appetizers and sweets. There’s also Christmas dinner, with those heavy comfort foods. You know—the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pie and more that make you feel beyond full. Many people end the year celebrating with food, as well. And what’s a New Year’s Eve party without the plates of hors d’oeuvres and sweet drinks? It is no wonder many people find it a challenge to eat well this time of year. The good news is there are ways you can eat healthy by making conscious choices.

Following are a few ideas you can try…

  1. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”
    If you are finding it hard to walk past those Christmas cookies someone brought in to work, without grabbing one, stop for a minute and take a breath. Next, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” If you do feel hungry mid-morning or afternoon, try bringing a healthy snack to work you can eat instead. If you are craving something sweet, try eating an apple, banana or some other type of fruit. Better yet— snack on some sweet vegetables, like carrots or bell peppers. If it close to lunch-time, remind yourself you will be taking lunch shortly and don’t need the empty calories from a sugar-coated cookie.
  2. Fill your plate with rainbow colored foods—
    Many parties have a variety of foods and appetizers to choose from. Why not reach for the vegetable plate first? Our eyes are naturally drawn to bright colors, so make sure you grab some bright veggies like carrots, peppers or celery, before trying some other snacks. Vegetables provide many vital nutrients your body needs and craves. Fruit is another healthful option and a good way to increase your daily intake of vitamins. Many fruits also contain fiber, which helps trigger satiety and help you feel full, so go ahead and grab a strawberry or two or some other fibrous fruit that appeals to you.
  3. Make a healthy recipe to share—
    If you need to bring an appetizer to a party, why not search for some healthy recipe you like? There are many appetizers that are easy to make and contain healthful ingredients. By making your own healthy recipe, you can rest assured there will be at least one item you will feel comfortable eating at the party. You also will be doing others a favor, by providing a healthier choice, as well.
  4. Choose healthier sweets—
    If you don’t want to deprive yourself of a few tasty treats during the holidays—don’t. It is OK to indulge from time to time. You might want to try some healthier choices for baking, however. There are many recipes these days, that use healthier ingredients. Try searching Pinterest for some recipes that use coconut flour or almond flour. You can also substitute coconut oil for other unhealthy oils, or substitute coconut palm sugar for regular sugar. Honey is another sweetener that can be a substitute for sugar. You can also look for recipes that use a smaller amount of sugar, or other alternate sweeteners, such as stevia.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. If you want to learn more about making conscious choices about eating and eating healthy, you may want to check out my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. You can download a FREE Chapter here.

Fibrous Fruit—Spotlight Health Benefits Of Clementines

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

clementines

Clementines are abundant this time of year and are a popular fruit of the season. It is no wonder grocery stores tend to stock up on these tasty gems. Many stores carry clementines in bulk quantities, especially during the holiday season, which makes them an affordable fruit. A lot of consumers like clementines because they have many health benefits, are sweet to eat and are a low calorie food. Like bananas, clementines are easy to peel, making them an easy option for an on the go snack. Clementines are loaded with a variety of vital nutrients your body needs for health, which is extremely important this time of year, when colds and flu are prevalent. In addition, clementines contain fiber, which aids in digestion and helps promote healthy gut flora (gut microbiome).

grocery store produce section

Some nutrients found in clementines include:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Clementines have other health benefits too. Since clementines have a significant amount of vitamin C, they help strengthen our immune system, as well as protect our skin from UV radiation. They also help build collagen and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Clementines also have antioxidant properties that help prevent cancer and other disease. Folate found in clementines helps promote brain functioning and may help to reduce depression. Additionally, clementines contribute to muscle and bone health.

vitamin C

In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk about how eating a healthy diet is the best way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs and some of the best sources of these powerful nutrients come from fruit and vegetables. In this season of giving, make sure you gift yourself by eating right. Make sure you reach for clementines and other rainbow colored food to help increase your daily intake of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

clementines

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/clementines.html

The Great Grain Debate…

Whole grains have been a central part of the human diet since early
civilization. That’s not surprising, given the fact that they provide a host of beneficial nutrients for your body including, iron, fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B and a number of essential enzymes. Grains also have other benefits that contribute to health as well, including helping to reduce heart disease, stroke, obesity and more. But with all their known benefits, why has there been a great grain debate about them lately?

question

It is true that grains have been around for thousands of years, but today’s grains are much different than grains of the past. In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how today’s grains are different and how some people can tolerate them and others can’t in the chapter titled, Know Thyself. Most grains today bear little resemblance to the grains found in the diet thousands of years ago.¹ Many grains today are genetically modified and are treated with chemicals to help preserve them give them and give them a longer shelf live. It is no small wonder that many people have developed food allergies, sensitivities and problems tolerating gluten as a result of the modifications. Packaged food items, which have become a staple in the diets of many consumers, contain heavily processed grains. Unfortunately, they  don’t have the same benefits for your body, as eating whole grains.

genetically modified

What Are Whole grains?

Whole grains contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions.²

grains

About Grains

Grains are easy to make and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Grains have a distinct texture and mild flavor. If you want to enhance the flavor, you can easily add herbs, spices, vegetables or fruit to a recipe. Many people enjoy grains as a side dish at lunch or dinner. Others may include grains as part of a healthy breakfast. Try adding fruit, nuts, seeds, greens or avocados to your morning rice, oats or quinoa to make it even healthier for you.

grains

Common Grains

If you are a person who enjoys grains, there are many to choose from.

  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Wheat

Other Grains Available

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Couscous
  • Kamut
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Spelt
  • Teff

There are a number of grains that have gained  popularity recently, such as quinoa and millet, yet they date back to biblical times. If you tolerate grains, why not experiment with other varieties and enjoy their healthful properties? Grains are abundant in supply and can be a healthy addition to the diet for some individuals.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Sources:
¹Permutter, David. Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 62. Print.

²“Definition of a Whole Grain.” Definition of a Whole Grain | The Whole Grains Council, wholegrainscouncil.org/definition-whole-grain.

 

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.