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.

Healthy Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

After our big Fourth of July gathering at the lake, I was left with a lot of extra food, including a big bag of kale that I wanted to use before it spoiled. Since Pinterest is a great resource for recipes, I decided to look there for a healthy kale recipe to try. Of course, I like to change things up and added some chicken and a few other vegetables to make the recipe healthier and came up with my own recipe for some Healthy Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta instead. It was easy to make, contains some healthy nutrients and was pretty tasty. Give it a try if you like.

Healthy Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

chicken parmesan kale pasta_close up
Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta
  • 2 medium size chicken breasts (grilled and sliced)
  • 1 bunch (about ½ lb.) kale
  • ½ lb. angel hair pasta (You can also use a gluten free option)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 package mushrooms sliced (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Cherry tomatoes (handful or 2 sliced in half)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and other favorite seasoning. Place the chicken on a heated grill and cook until done, flipping the meat as needed. When the chicken is done, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Slice the chicken in thin strips and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break the pasta in half, add it to the boiling water, and cook until soft (about 10 minutes). Drain the pasta in a colander.

While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil, butter, minced garlic and sliced mushrooms in a large skillet pan. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and mushrooms slightly browned. Add the washed kale and continue to sauté until the kale has slightly wilted. Add the sliced chicken.

Add the drained pasta to the kale mix. Toss the pasta and kale together. Season the pasta and kale with salt and pepper to taste and then add the red pepper flakes. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes and stir to warm. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.

chicken parmesan kale pasta
Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

Serve warm with another vegetable side or slice of garlic bread.

chicken parmesan kale pasta
Chicken Parmesan Kale Pasta

Enjoy!

Barb

Red White And Blue Spiked Berries

With The Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought I would share a recipe for some Red White And Blue Spiked Berries I made the other weekend. Although this dessert is spiked with a little wine, it does include some healthy berries and slivered almonds, which contain protein, good fat and other healthful vitamins and antioxidants. Before I share the recipe however, I thought would share a little story.

Fourth of July
4th of July

I know I just wrote a blog on 5 Simple Ideas To Plan Meals, but I wanted to share an experience I recently had with meal planning. The other weekend, I had my sister and a friend up to the lake. As I was thinking about what we should have for our meals, I thought it might be fun to try some new recipes from a cookbook that my daughter gave me the other year. Although I like to try new recipes from time to time, when I cook I typically wing it and make meals with the food I have on hand, or change recipes up a bit to make them healthier. I thought this particular weekend however, it would be good to practice a little meal planning of my own. Anyway—we picked out 4 recipes from my cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, to make including the Wine Spiked Berries With Ricotta. We then made a grocery list of the things we needed to buy that I didn’t have on hand and made our way to the store for the rest of the ingredients.

berries
berries

The one day we made 3 recipes from the book and for breakfast the next morning we used the Turkey Arugula Frittata recipe, but we decided to change it up a bit and create a Healthy Breakfast Spinach Tomato Sausage Frittata version instead. It turned out to be delicious. Maybe you saw my blog on that one?

ALT Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata
Healthy Breakfast—Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Anyway—I have to say the weekend, the meal planning and the food, all turned out great. We all helped out with the food prep and had a good time doing it. Oh— and the Wine Spiked Berries, which we added strawberries and almonds to were delightful. Here is the recipe for my version.

Red White And Blue Spiked Berries

Spiked Berries
Spiked Berries
  • 1 large orange
  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup plus sugar, plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 cups mixed strawberries, blueberries and blackberries (You can also use raspberries or another type of berry.)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds

Using a sharp paring knife, cut two 2- to 3-inch strips of zest from the orange. Using  a grater, remove 1 tsp. finely grated zest from another section of the orange. Reserve the orange for another use.

In a small saucepan, combine the wine, the 1/2 cup sugar and the orange zest strips and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about one-third, (simmer about 10 to 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.

Put the berries in a bowl. Remove the zest strips from the syrup and pour over the berries.

In a food processor or mixer, combine the ricotta, Grand Marnier, vanilla, grated orange zest and the 2 Tbs. sugar and mix until smooth. Spoon the berries with some syrup into glasses or small bowls and layer with the ricotta mixture. Top with slivered almonds and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy and Happy 4th!

Barb

Source:

{“isAjaxComplete_B004SOPF1I”:”0″,”isAjaxInProgress_B004SOPF1I”:”0″} Karen Ansel (Author) › Visit Amazon’s Karen Ansel Page Find All the Books, Read about T. “Healthy in a Hurry (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day Hardcover – April 3, 2012.” Healthy in a Hurry (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day: Karen Ansel, Charity Ferreira: 9781616282134: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 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.

 

Healthy Breakfast—Spinach, Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Did you know that breakfast is thought to be the most important meal of the day, according to some nutrition experts? That’s why it is important to eat a healthy breakfast. After a long night’s sleep, your body needs nutrients to give you energy to get you going, whether you are heading out the door to work, to the gym, on a walk, or something else. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little bit about how you can take charge of how you eat and make conscious choices about what you eat and when you eat. Eating a good, healthy breakfast is a simple way to get started.

In this blog, I wanted to share a healthy breakfast recipe I made over the weekend. I had some friends up at the lake and we decided to try something new. This particular recipe was great and easy to prepare. It included some wholesome, healthy ingredients too, including spinach, tomatoes and fresh chives, which I got out of my garden. It is always good to get a dose of morning greens and a few veggies to kick-start your day! If you are looking for something tasty and easy to prepare for breakfast, you might want to give this recipe a try.

Healthy Breakfast—Spinach, Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata
Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata

10 large eggs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 package Italian sausage or turkey sausage
4 cups spinach (You can also use kale, or arugula)
Handful cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, or 1 small red onion

Directions:
In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, cheese, milk salt and pepper. Set the mixture aside.

In a frying pan, brown the the Italian sausage over medium heat. Stir to break up the meat and cook until slightly crisp. Add the spinach and chives and stir until the spinach is slightly wilted. Remove from heat. Drain off any excess fat from the meat mixture. Set the pan aside.

Spray the bottom of a 9″ pie plate with cooking spray. I used an olive oil spray. Pour the meat mixture in the pie plate. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the meat. Top with the cut cherry tomatoes. Place the pie plate in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes or so and then run a paring knife around the inside edges to release the frittata. Cut into wedges and serve warm. You can serve it alone, or with some avocado slices or fresh fruit.

Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata
Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Enjoy!

Barb

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