Fresh produce isn’t the only place to find fresh and healthy choices!
Fresh Produce is a Good Starting Point!
Just about every grocery store that I know puts the fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables in view where customers enter the store. It makes sense to get us starting our grocery basket with seasonal choices as well as nutritious ones.
Tip: Pick up 1-2 fruits and 1-2 vegetables here, as a rule.
Fresh Bakery Comes Next!
The smell of yeast bread towers over the fresh bakery and everywhere close to it. Did you know there are fans that blow the bread-baking odors all around to entice customers to buy more?
Tip: Pick up a bread with ‘whole wheat’ or other whole grain as the #1 ingredient. Then, ask the bakery clerk to slice it – unless it’s already in nice, neat slices.
Moving On toSeafood!
Fish and shellfish are smart choices if you are looking for extra lean protein. Try something different like scallops or mahi mahi instead of your usual purchase. If you’re buying fresh seafood, ask to smell it first to check the freshness. It should smell mild and fresh like the ocean.
Tip: Put a package of fresh frozen seafood in your grocery basket, for later. You can store it in your freezer for a few days, a few weeks or a few months.
A Good Nutrition Grocery Basket!
Remember to think about variety when you write your shopping list. It takes a little of everything — protein, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dairy — every day for balanced and satisfying meals. The US government makes quite a few easy-to-understand resources available for good nutrition. So, click here to check them out. If you need help putting together tasty menus then click here.
What new food will you try in this week’s grocery basket?
This colorful wreath is for sale at a Vienna, Austria market in December!
My Favorite December Foods!
You probably have favorite December foods and so do I. Here are a few of mine, from a seasoned registered dietitian (RD) who loves to eat: spiced nuts, dried figs, roast turkey, cranberry bread, pumpkin pancakes, spiced apple cider, warm mulled red wine and candy canes! Really, December holidays are not so much about over-indulging, but they are about taking a sensible approach to flavor and good nutrition.
3 Steps to Making Tasty & Healthy Choices in December!
Ask yourself these 3 questions as a way to choose this month:
1. Is this food/beverage made with healthy ingredients?
2. Is this food/beverage over-the-top with calories, sugar, fat or salt?
3. Is this food/beverage helping me achieve my health goals?
Whether you answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, be sure to take a moderate serving, eat slowly for the best enjoyment of flavors and take a fresh-air walk after your meal. These are all smart ways to feel good and stay healthy! If you need a guide for your kitchen then check out my e-books . They make a heart-felt, holiday gift for you or someone special on your list!
What is a favorite, healthy December food for you?
Can you imagine a more colorful, summery meal than veggie pizza with mixed heirloom tomatoes?
Pizza is a Teen-Pleaser!
If you have teens, then I bet pizza is high on your list of family-pleasing meals. My teen loves it and so my approach is to offer healthier pizza and side options. When we met friends at the swimming pool last week for supper, 4 adults and 3 teens enjoyed a colorful & healthy meal. In addition to what’s pictured at the left, there was cheese pizza, juice-packed fruits and a drink.
Ordering Healthier Pizza!
On a long work day, my perfect meal solution was to drop by the local Italian restaurant and order take-out pizza. I asked for ‘light on the cheese’ and ‘double cut’ for smaller slices. The veggie pizza had broccoli, mushrooms and spinach on top and it was dee-lish. When you order pizza for take-out, be sure to make the special requests you need. Good nutrition is always worth the trouble.
Take Action Now!
When you want to feel great and stay healthy, there’s no better solution than nutritious eating, every day. To nourish your teen the best you possibly can, and to become your entire family’s healthy eater role model, you need resources. LIKE my facebook page to join a fun and lively discussion, READ my blog every week for more know-how in your kitchen and BUY a trusted bundle of my menu & recipe e-books to make easy meals with awesome results!
How do you build a tasty and healthy meal with pizza?
A festive ice sculpture brightened this fun holiday party!
So Many Resolutions…
You might be surprised to find out that about 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions are about food, nutrition and dieting to lose weight. Though it’s easy to make a resolution, it’s really hard to stick with it.
So Simple to Make…
Do you typically keep your New Year’s Resolutions? Adopting proven strategies to help you stick with a resolution include websites for tracking food intake and physical activity, buddying-up with friends and family and credible group programs. These behaviors are proven to work so, for your own good health, now is a great time to take the first step.
3 Realistic Resolution Options…
1. Zero-in your full energy on breakfast – For ex, egg+toast; yogurt+high fiber cereal; or natural cheese toast+piece of fruit.
2. Switch to a piece of fruit at snack time – For ex, banana; apple; orange; pear; grapes; melon; kiwi; mango
3. Lighten-up dinner – For ex, broil instead of fry; stop after one serving; eat a sweet fruit for dessert.
Make Your Resolutions Sustainable in 2012!
It’s smart to stay focused, keep moving forward and enjoy learning about and tasting new and healthful foods in the New Year. How? Read my weekly blog and LIKE my facebook page. Come join me for a healthier kitchen and yummier life!
Note: Special thanks to Chef Al Romano for his awesome ice sculpture and Chef Don, Giselle & Andrew McMillan for a friendly and fun party!
Believe it or not, the pomegranate’s history began 4,000 years ago. In North America, it’s hard to imagine that a fruit growing currently in southern California began in various countries of the Middle East, then the Mediterranean Basin, then Asia and Europe.
The pomegranate’s popularity over more than 4 centuries is likely based on its tangy-sweet flavor as well as its health benefits. A powerful antioxidant, pomegranates are also felt to be anti-inflammatory and, as such, may help protect all organs and systems of the body.
The pomegranate’s seed/fruit sacs are called arils. Half of one cup of these tasty bits contain 70 calories, 15 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 15% Daily Value for vitamin C.
Pomegranates in the Kitchen
At holiday time, the pomegranate adds a festive flavor and look to green salads, fruit salads and desserts. Or, try experimenting with them in your favorite savory recipes using chicken, lean pork, veggies or fish. For some help learning how to open the pomegranate, enjoy this very entertaining video.
Have you every tried black beans? If not, I recommend you do. You can eat black beans as part of breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can combine them with rice, couscous or quinoa, 3 healthy and tasty grains. The nutrition of black beans is excellent and, due to their very high fiber and protein contents, they keep you feeling full for hours.
Easy Black Bean & Sweet Pepper Salad Recipe
Ingredients to gather: 1 can black beans (15-16 oz); 2 cloves garlic; 1/2 sweet Bell pepper or other sweet pepper (red or green); 1/2 onion; 1 stalk celery; 2 Tbsp parsley or cilantro; 1/2 lemon or lime; 1/2 tsp ground cumin; pinch salt and pepper; 2 tsp vinegar; 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Directions to make salad:
Drain black beans, rinse off with cool water and put into a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients to the beans after preparing like this:
Peel and crush or mince garlic.
Wash, chop or thinly slice sweet pepper.
Peel and chop onion.
Wash and chop celery.
Wash and chop parsley/cilantro.
Squeeze juice from lemon/lime.
Measure cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar, oil.
Mix it all together and serve right away. Or, cover and chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours and then serve.
To Learn More
For more affordable and easy ways to add flavor to yours and your family’s meals, LIKE my facebook page and sign up for my monthly, informative E-Newsletter…today!
There are awesome advantages to cooking from simple and nutritious ingredients in your own kitchen. For example, the flavors are tasty, the nutrition reflects your ingredients and everyone appreciates a meal together. Here’s an easy recipe for you!
Peppers & Lean Beef Recipe
Ingredients: 1-1/2 lb round steak (beef or venison); 2 T. oil; 1 green pepper; 1 large can diced tomatoes; 1/4 cup soy sauce; 1/2 t. garlic powder; 1/2 t. black pepper; 1/2 t. ground ginger; 1 cup beef broth or water; 2 T. cornstarch
Directions: Trim fat from steak. Slice into thin, 2-3 inch strips. Wash green pepper, remove core and seeds, slice into thin, 2-3 inch strips. Add oil to a large, heated skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and cook, stirring, for 5-7 min. until medium-rare. Add green pepper and cook 3-4 min. longer, stirring. Reduce heat and add all remaining ingredients except broth (or water) and cornstarch. Simmer with a lid for 10 min. With a whisk, mix together broth (or water) and cornstarch well. Add to pepper & beef mixture, stirring to make a smooth sauce. Simmer 10 more minutes to thicken, stirring a few times.
A Balanced Meal: Serve Peppers & Lean Beef over cooked brown rice with a leafy green salad on the side and cut-up fruit for dessert.
For family-friendly recipes and quick nutrition tips for a healthier kitchen, be sure to LIKE my facebook page!
Power-up with good nutrition for a successful year!
Good Nutrition Essentials for Back-to-School
Kids’ bodies run best on nutritious foods – as do adult’s. Kids feel better when they are pleasantly full – as do adults. Kids like to eat with family and friends – as do adults. Get the point? We all thrive on good nutrition in moderate portions eaten with those we care about.
2. Get the family together for meals at home – Put a quick breakfast and home-cooked dinner on the meal table as often as you can. Simple combinations of basic foods will nourish everyone best and keep cleanup reasonable.
3. Be a healthy-eater role model – Lead by example, every day and every meal. It’s as easy as sharing an apple while helping your child with homework or pouring a glass of 1% low fat milk for everyone at the dinner table.
Please LIKE my facebook page for everyday handy tips,ideas and recipes for your healthy kitchen!
The legend of Johnny Appleseed is fun to read about while munching on a favorite late-summer or early-fall season apple. Apples are full of flavor, fiber and crunch and they’re versatile in meals and snacks. Take a look at this handy Apple Buyer’s Guide to learn more about apple varieties and how to use them. Then, wander over to your kitchen and make an easy and tasty apple recipe!
Fresh Apple Salad – A sweet and crunchy side dish for any meal or serve it for dessert!
Ingredients: 3 medium apples; 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice; 3/4 cup lemon or lime yogurt; 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt; 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
How to Make: Wash apples. Remove core and seeds. Cut apples into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over apples. Stir. Add both yogurts to apples. Stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 80 calories; 0 gm fat; 0 gm saturated fat; 0 trans fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 40 mg sodium; 19 gm carbohydrates; 3 gm fiber; 3 gm protein
Easy menus and recipes are healthy and do-able! Check out my affordable e-books for homemade flavors you and your family will love!
Can you believe that 1/3 of all Americans skip breakfast? Are you one of them? Are your kids? If breakfast is a hard meal to ‘muster’ in your household then listen up for some nutritious and delicious options. Because…breakfast is a most important meal of the day!
Thinking out of the (cereal) box is a good starting point for breakfast. There are many, many options and no rules about what to put on your plate. Maybe traditional morning foods don’t excite your taste buds and that’s OK. Choose what’s appealing with good nutrition to power you, and yours, every morning.
Breakfast Combinations to Try
1. Black beans with ready-to-serve brown rice + sliced tomato and/or avocado + fresh peach + 1% milk
2. Ready-to-serve brown rice + scrambled or fried egg + fresh apple + 1% milk
3. Walnuts and diced peach or nectarine + low fat yogurt + ‘light’ or homemade granola + tea/coffee
4. Hard boiled egg + black beans + cabbage-tomato salad + 1% milk
5. Cottage cheese + pineapple tidbits + crunchy granola bar + 1% milk or yogurt
Please LIKE my facebook page for everyday handy tips,ideas and recipes for your healthy kitchen!
Tomatoes hit the spot in July! There are more than 100 varieties to learn about, and to grow yourself. No matter which variety you try, you’ll notice a rich flavor plus a nutritional prize of vitamins A and C along with fiber and very few calories. Just for fun, play the guessing game below and Name That Tomato!
Name the 5 tomato varieties.
Think of 3 ways to add tomatoes to a meal or snack.
Here are the 5 tomato variety names, out of order: Celebrity/Early Girl; Green Zebra; Sunkist; Curly Red; Sungold Cherry
Time to Name That Tomato (front to back):
1. Curly Red 2. Green Zebra, right 3. Sungold Cherry, left 4. Sunkist 5. Celebrity/Early Girl
Tomatoes in Meals & Snacks:
1. Add sliced tomatoes to your breakfast omelet or lunch wrap sandwich.
2. Nibble on sweet cherry tomatoes for a morning or afternoon snack.
3. Stuff a whole, cored tomato with tuna or chicken salad for dinner.
Please LIKE my facebook page for everyday handy tips, ideas and recipes for your healthy kitchen!
It is an awesome time of year to go shopping for local, seasonal fruits and veggies. You can find them at your local farm market, roadside stand or supermarket. Stock up now while the summer harvest is ‘rolling in’ and you’ll be glad you did.
What to Do with Summer’s Bounty!
Shopping for healthy summer produce is one thing and figuring out what to do with it once you get home is another. Buy too much? Lacking inspiration to get into the kitchen and cook? Confused how to use it all up? Here’s some help.
Summer Ideas for Your Healthy Kitchen!
Corn on the cob – Rip off the husk and silk first. Option 1: Wrap in aluminum foil and roast on the grill for 7-10 min. turning twice. Option 2: Wrap in waxed paper and cook in microwave. Option 3: Carefully cut raw kernels off the cob using a sharp knife and cutting board. Cook in microwave with 1/2 inch water, a pinch of sugar and ground cumin.
Eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash – Wash and remove ends. Slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and Italian herbs of choice. Grill about 6-8 min, turning twice.
Tomatoes – Wash, remove core and discard it. Option 1: Slice into 1/4 inch thickness. Layer with chickpea hummus and top with chopped fresh parsley. Option 2: Chop into bite-size pieces. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Option 3: Chop and add lots of them to your favorite pasta salad.
Fresh peaches – Wash, remove seed and discard it. Option 1: Slice into small wedges, sprinkle with ground cinnamon and a pinch of sugar. Option 2: Chop and mix into your chicken or turkey salad. Option 3: Chop and mix with vanilla yogurt.
Ongoing Ideas for Your Healthy Kitchen!
Looking for more help? LIKE me on Facebook for everyday meal and snack solutions for a healthier kitchen!
Local Farmer's Markets deliver fresh and affordable!
Fresh Food Supports Your Community’s Farmers & Stocks Your Healthy Pantry
If you are looking for a fun way to spend 30-60 minutes and come away with some very tasty fare, try your local Farmer’s Market. Summer is here and locally grown fruits and veggies don’t get any better. They’re tasty, cheap and smart choices for good health.
What’s in Season Now?
In North Carolina, there are awesome varieties of fresh fruits and veggies coming into local Farmer’s Markets this month. To name a few, we have broccoli, lots of greens, yellow squash, onions, basil, parsley, peaches and blueberries. Tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are coming soon. I can’t wait!
Thank you to my good friend, Natalie, for her beautiful display at the Dixie Classic Farmer’s Market yesterday. My photo shows Natalie’s table with a variety of Savoy cabbage, broccoli florets, sweet basil and nasturtium flowers which are edible.
Do you set expectations for meals and snacks that are too high? Does your grocery cart overflow with foods that are perishable and/or require a lot of fancy preparation? Too often, do you end up throwing away half your perishables and not making that special recipe, wasting food and money?
Get Simple. Eat Well. Save Money.
1. Focus your menu. Build a week’s menu around 5 simple foods like cantaloupe, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, skinless chicken thighs and instant brown rice. Remember, grocery shopping can be fun!
2. Plan to eat well. Make whole chicken thighs on the grill with a pinch of mixed dried herbs and garlic powder. Or, stir them in a skillet with the fresh peas, a splash of soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil. Get the rice cooking so that it will be done on time. Cut up the cuke and drizzle it with oil and vinegar.
3. Save money. Plan very carefully before buying perishables like meat, chicken, fish, milk, fruits and vegetables. Write down when and how you will use them up – before they spoil. Thin out other foods you keep in the kitchen. Buy simple foods and store brands every shopping trip.
Just last week, America was introduced to a new concept of nutritious eating. The Choose My Plate concept replaces My Pyramid and the Food Guide Pyramid. The picture is new, yes, though the importance of putting together a simple plate for good health is not.
Three Simple Tips to Eat Well with Choose My Plate
1. Strive for balance in your meal. This means to include a variety of protein, whole grain carbohydrates and healthful fats.
2. Cover half your meal plate with fruits and vegetables with a goal of staying out of a rut. Be courageous and try everything.
3. Think carefully about your drink. Go for water, 1% milk or a decaffeinated choice.
Olive oil is at the core of the Mediterranean Diet.
What is Mediterranean Month?
Mediterranean Month is celebrated throughout May. The Mediterranean Diet, though, has powerful nutrition and awesome flavors that deserve attention all year long. Just as important to good health in the Mediterranean is a unique lifestyle that emphasizes an appreciation for food, its enjoyment and fresh air.
Foods Central to the Mediterranean Diet
Olive oil, zucchini, tomatoes, fresh basil and rosemary, artichokes, crusty bread, fish, shellfish, red wine, pasta, feta cheese, garlic, olives and more.
Lifestyle Behaviors Central to the Mediterranean
Walking, playing with children, soccer, enjoying fresh meals slowly with family and friends, appreciating nature and all that it offers.
In NC, strawberry season arrives in May. Just think of all the opportunities to include a sweet treat like fresh, local strawberries in your meals and snacks – it is definitely a long list. Adding strawberries is truly a smart idea, for flavor and great nutrition.
Nutrition Features of Strawberries
The simple truth is that strawberries ‘rock’ for good nutrition. One cup of berries cut into halves provides 3 times the daily requirement for vitamin C + 3 grams of fiber + health-enhancing antioxidants + only 50 calories. By anyone’s standards, this is one very healthy choice.
Meal Planning Opportunities with Strawberries
If you think that including fruits such as strawberries into your weekly meal plan is wise, then you are absolutely correct! In fact, never overlook the opportunity to add fruits and veggies into breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is the simplest way to build a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. Go ahead … start today with strawberries!
Get this — Our bodies are about 75% water. Our brains are about 75% water. And, we lose a significant amount of water every day under normal circumstances and good health. How can we replace these liquids? – by choosing hydrating drinks. How can we maintain our well-being? — by choosing hydrating drinks.
What drinks are hydrating?
Water is a top choice as a hydrating drink. Beyond the water faucet or fountain, consider these from the grocery store: 1% or fat free milk, decaffeinated tea or coffee, 100% fruit juice and water – bottled with or without bubbles of carbonation.
What drinks are not hydrating?
Typically, drinks with caffeine or alcohol are considered dehydrating, rather than hydrating. These include regular coffee and tea, hot chocolate, chocolate milk, beer, wine and hard liquor.
How many hydrating drinks are needed?
Most of us think it’s a good idea to drink 8 cups, 64 fluid ounces, of liquids every day. To benefit your body’s hydration, this amount is a good start. If you are very physically active or live in a warm climate, though, you need even more. Try this hydration calculator to figure out your personal needs.
Here’s a hydrating drink recipe!
Cindy’s Healthy Softdrink is made by mixing together 1/2 cup of 100% purple grape juice + 1/2 cup plain seltzer water or club soda + a twist of lemon or lime. Refreshing, tasty and hydrating!
Good nutrition is all about enjoyment and variety. Fruit is a crowd pleaser as it offers variety, healthy carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. A big bonus in fruit is the natural sweetness as well as an abundance of antioxidants. These natural plant elements can strengthen all your health and help guard against heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and inflammation– a sweet deal!
Grocery Store Tips
1. Enter the store with a list of at least 3-5 fruits for your shopping cart. Choose 2 fruits that are in-season and then add 1-3 more colors to the mix. Remember, fresh, canned and frozen fruits all count so store them properly at home.
2. Try a new fruit often. Perhaps you will explore tropical mangoes or papaya, or an appealing apple variety like Cameo or Honeycrisp. Being adventurous means enjoying fruit every day.
3. Learn what’s local and ask for a taste at the store. Flavors are superior when fruits are in season. Check with your local agricultural experts, too.
An easy and tasty way to jazz-up your simple, home recipes may be as close as your own backyard, or a sunny window sill. These are ideal places to start an herb garden either from seed or from inexpensive plants you buy at the local garden center. With a little care and a half-day or more dose of sunshine, everyone can grow herbs.
3 Ways to Use Herbs (see photo)
Thyme, front left, adds flavor to soup, lean meat or a cold bean salad. Pull its tiny leaves off the stem and mince them.
Dill, rear left, adds freshness to cold shrimp salad, an omelet or vinaigrette-dressed potato salad. Chop the feathery herb.
Sage, middle right, goes well with poultry or a quiche. Add it in a small amount because of the strong flavor.
Fields of vegetables are growing strong in Monterey County’s Salinas Valley of California right now. It is a sight to see — spinach, lettuces, fennel, artichokes, carrots and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower stretch for miles on end.
Why is seasonal a smart choice?
Seasonal produce is a great choice for satisfying flavors and top-notch nutrition. Shop for the abundance from California as well as the local region of North Carolina. It’s a wonderful way to appreciate what America’s agricultural areas are doing for us every single day.
It is a challenge for most of us to choose nutritious foods day-after-day. Time gets in the way ~ planning, or lack of it, gets in the way ~ life gets in the way.
There are excellent reasons to make nutrition a top priority for you and your busy family. Good health depends on it ~ feeling great depends on it ~ enjoying life depends on it.
A Call to Action…
It’s Nutrition Month and everyone can benefit from making healthy choices in the grocery store and on their meal plate. Make it a family project to write a menu plan, organize that shopping list, create a tasty recipe and put a colorful meal on the family table. You’ll be so glad you did!
It’s time to get it together and eat meals with the family. Think of the fun…the homemade flavors…the time for relaxing. Not only that, but there is solid evidence that families who eat together are eating more nutritiously. And, kids in these families are learning all kinds of positive behaviors — everything from getting better grades in school to respecting the cook and the Earth in their daily lives.
Cookbooks Give You a Plan
Don’t be without a trusted cookbook when you are making your family dinner plan. Two favorite cookbooks of mine are written by my friend, Aviva Goldfarb, and are pictured at the right. I recommend both.
Tips for Successful Family Dinners
A few of Aviva’s tips are these:
1. Take the time to plan dinners for the week before you go to the supermarket.
2. Keep a grocery list somewhere in the kitchen where everyone can reach it so anytime a family member finishes an item they can add it to the list.
3. Keep meals simple and healthy, especially for weeknights when time is very tight. Save more complicated recipes for the weekend or when the kids are grown!
4. Make family dinners a habit and make sure all family members contribute by helping to cook, set the table, plan the menu and/or clean up.
Now, please leave a comment with a tip or two from your experiences at the family meal table!
Thomas Jefferson once said, “The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven…” I couldn’t agree with him more. There are some very basic foods that can help you create a healthier kitchen, one of which is olive oil. Its superior flavor and health benefits make olive oil a vital part of my every day kitchen and, perhaps, it belongs in your healthy kitchen, too.
The Flavor of Olive Oil
The process of making virgin olive oil is fascinating. The flavor of olive oil invigorates cooked veggies when you add a drizzle just before serving . The flavor of olive oil finishes a soup or stew when you add a drizzle just before serving. The flavor of olive oil boosts a savory grain, such as rice, barley or quinoa when you add a drizzle just before serving.
The Health Benefits of Olive Oil
The Mediterranean Diet places olive oil at the center of a healthful life and using it every day in place of solid fat is a smart habit. Scientific research shows us that olive oil contributes to a healthier heart, blood pressure, blood fats, joint health, and it slows the aging process. So, what are you waiting for? Get on-board and make olive oil part of your healthy kitchen. You’ll be glad you did!
There are quite a few good reasons to grow an early spring garden, among them fresh air, exercise and pride. But, perhaps an even more important reason is the inspiration a garden of edibles will provide to fuel your healthier lifestyle.
Plant Simple Greens, Garlic and Herbs
If you have a small area of soil in your yard, or a couple of planters, then you can grow simple, inspiring, spring crops. Here in NC, it felt like spring today and I couldn’t stop myself from getting out my gardening gloves and a small shovel to enjoy it. After clearing leaves and mixing composted soil into my garden, I planted seeds for kale and tri-colored Swiss chard. I even poked a dozen or so cloves of sprouting garlic from the supermarket into my garden.
There are plenty of resources about gardening at the library, on the internet and at your local agriculture center. Take a look at these easy-to-understand tips for vegetable gardening. It’s so satisfying to grow something yourself and eating ‘green’ is a nutritious way to lead your life.
Please leave a comment about what you grow in your spring garden.
Last Monday, the USDA revealed new advice for all healthy Americans over the age of 2 ~ the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines. This sort of advice comes to us every 5 years after a large investment in human and financial resources by the government. In the most positive sense, it serves as a challenge for us to make healthier choices at the supermarket and on our meal plates, all with the aim of better health and quality of life. This time, there is a slew of advice directed at reducing obesity since it underlies so many chronic and serious health conditions. Also, there is a strong message about up-ing the fruits and veggies on your plate since this leads to healthier habits and health-enhancing nutrition every day.
Easy Ways to ‘Up’ Your Green Veggies
If you’re like me, there is always one green veggie on your meal plate. It may be steamed broccoli or zucchini, or a crisp salad made from Romaine lettuce or spinach. While this is a great start, the new US Dietary Guidelines nudge us to add one more green veggie. So, make that extra effort to eat 2 green veggies, cooked or raw, with every lunch and dinner. Consider my affordable ebook of family recipes that will move you, along with the green veggies, toward a healthier life.
Supermarket shopping list for green veggies: spinach, broccoli, kale, green beans, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, Bell peppers, broccoflower, cabbage, Romaine lettuce, parsley, green leaf lettuce, cucumber, fennel, collard greens
What are your favorite green veggies? Please leave a comment.
On January 1, New Year’s Resolutions are easy to make and easy to keep. As the month moves on, it’s not always the case. If you’re looking for a way to keep the momentum going for a healthier lifestyle, then get to know dried fruit. Not only is it highly nutritious, but it tastes great and is affordable.
Dried Fruit is Versatile and Flavorful
How do you enjoy dried fruit? What are your favorites? I like raisins and dried cranberries (aka craisins) on cooked oatmeal for breakfast, mixed up with walnuts as a munching snack and added to muffin batter before baking. My favorite dried fruits are raisins, craisins and apricots. One great thing about them is their intense, natural sweetness. They actually make a satisfying dessert!
Shopping List for Dried Fruit – Look in the canned fruit aisle of your grocery store
A taste of home includes making and enjoying recipes that came from mother, grandmother or a good friend. But, do they fit your healthy kitchen? Do you feel good about putting them on the family meal table?
Ingredients make the difference
Choosing ingredients carefully is the answer. In baked goods, use unsweetened applesauce – up to 1/2 cup – instead of margarine. Use 2/3 cup sugar instead of 1 cup. Use whole wheat flour for half the amount called for. You’ll be surprised how good it tastes and feel better about the nutrition. Another ingredient trick is to use half nonfat plain yogurt and half light mayo when making tuna, chicken or egg salad. Flavors are great and the nutrition is a notch above!
Getting Nutrition Facts for your recipes the easy way
Sometimes you need precise Nutrition Facts for your homemade recipes such as a special project or special diet. If you do, then please check an easy way to get the facts. The recipe form helps you get organized and the Nutrition Facts are accurate and affordable.
Oranges, tangelos, grapefruit, Clementines, tangerines, navels…the list goes on and on. Learn your favorites by tasting everything and also learn how to select & store citrus. Then, never be without them this winter. Why? Here’s why…
Cheap, plentiful, flavorful are 3 top reasons to go for citrus fruits this winter. The 4th reason is vitamin C, (aka ascorbic acid) for which citrus is a nutritional hero. Vitamin C can help you recover quicker from a cold or the flu, strengthen your immune system, help reduce inflammation, contribute to healthy weight loss and keep your skin looking younger — really!
I just enjoyed 2 of the sweetest, juiciest Florida tangelos that I’ve eaten in years. They were part of a bulk, mesh bag of 13, average size tangelos and I paid $3.99 for the bag. That’s about 30 cents a piece. Seeds? None. I was surprised about that, too. If a few seeds pop up as I work my way through the bag – the price, flavor and nutrition will be well worth it!
What’s your passion for citrus fruits? Please share a comment!