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

Healthy Mediterranean Chicken & Vegetable Salad

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some healthy Mediterranean Chicken & Vegetable Salad that I made over the weekend. It is easy to make and includes some greens, nutrient dense vegetables and protein that your body needs and craves. It is also quite tasty. Give it a try if you like.

Recipe: Healthy Mediterranean Chicken And Vegetable Salad

Healthy Mediterranean chicken and vegetable salad_2
Healthy Mediterranean chicken and vegetable salad
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in small pieces
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 package bagged spinach
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped black olives
  • 3/4 cup feta crumbles or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Pita bread, wrap, or corn chips for serving

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Coat the bottom of a  frying pan with olive oil. Add the cut up chicken. Season with Cajun seasoning, or another favorite seasoning to taste. Saute the chicken breast in the oil, until browned and slightly crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the vegetable and dill. Mix together and then add in the chicken. In separate smaller bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Stir until well blended and then pour over the vegetable and chicken mix, stirring until the vegetables are coated.

Healthy Mediterranean chicken and vegetable salad
Healthy Mediterranean chicken and vegetable salad

Serve alone, or in a wrap, pita bread, or with Tostito chips. Top with the feta, or Parmesan cheese.

Healthy Mediterranean chicken and vegetable salad
Healthy Mediterranean chicken and vegetable salad

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are interested in other healthy recipes, as well as finding out more about living a healthy life-style, you might want to check out my new book, Wholey Cow a Simple Guide To Eating And Living,” which is available on Amazon.

6 Metabolism Boosting Foods…

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

Let’s take a look at…

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

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Oh Nuts!

Although nuts and seeds have been around since biblical times, nuts are gaining more popularity among consumers again and that’s good news. Many people today are concerned about their health and are starting to take a harder look at their diet and what they eat in between meals. Nuts are a great snack food and are not only delicious, but nutritious.

Nuts are loaded with many healthful nutrients too including protein, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and copper. They also contain Monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are the good fats that help your body function optimally. While fat has got a bad rap over the years, consumers are starting to realize that all fat is not bad for you. Strive for a handful or two of nuts to include more good fats in your diet.

Nuts have other benefits, as well. They are loaded with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that can cause cell damage. Nuts also have anti-inflammatory properties, which help fight disease. In addition, nuts contain a significant amount of fiber that helps trigger satiety and makes you feel full and satisfied.

Some of the most commonly consumed nuts include:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Pine Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts

Nuts make a great go to snack. They are not only easy to grab at home, but are convenient to grab when on the run, to work, sporting events, or traveling. They can be enjoyed alone, as a nut butter, in smoothies, or sprinkled on top of yogurt, Gelato, a favorite dessert and more.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

“8 Compelling Reasons to Eat Nuts (a High-fat Superfood).” Authority Nutrition. N.p., 07 Nov. 2016. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.

 

Recipe: Spiral Meatloaf

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some spiral meatloaf. It is pretty easy to make and includes some healthy vegetables. Give it a try if you like.

Spiral Meatloaf

1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper (You can also use another variety such as yellow, red)
1 can 2.25 oz. black olives
1/2 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. oil
1/3 cup spaghetti sauce or BBQ sauce
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 pd lean ground beef
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese or other variety
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onion, pepper, garlic and black olives in oil over medium heat. Set aside. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, egg, 2 tbsp. spaghetti sauce, salt, and blend together. Add the beef and mix with your hands. On waxed paper, shape the meat into a 12″ x 8″ rectangle. Sprinkle the cooked veggies over the meat.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Roll up  tightly in a jelly-roll fashion. Pinch the ends together and seal. Place in a baking dish.

Bake for 1 hour. Spread the remaining sauce over the top and bake another 10 minutes.

Note: Feel free to add in other vegetables including a handful or two of spinach or kale, jalapeno peppers, mushrooms, etc.

Enjoy!

Barb

6 Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Your Diet

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

Add More Coconut Oil To Your Diet

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Barb