eat, drink and shrink with healthy substitutions!

baking-sub

These lovely substitutions are courtesy of Picklee.com!  Check out her website, you’ll love all her inspirations!

sick and tired of being sick and tired?

tired1

Most of the foods we eat are obviously not good for you……no matter how good they taste.  Especially all these fun treats we have around the holidays!  These foods include sugar, trans fats, dairy products, fried foods, junk foods, carbonated drinks….oh the list goes on and on.

Turns out, when we eat these foods, we can’t stop – and that’s when we overeat and just never feel fully satisfied.

Why?

The reason  we feel tired, sluggish and bloated (but not satisfied) is because we are not getting enough nutrients from the foods we are eating!  We are filling ourselves with low-nutrient food and lots of chemicals.  Our digestive system is working overtime to process these foods and in the meantime, they have decided to stick around….for days…..undigested.  Ick.

Sugar, put down the sugar!!!

sugar-addiction

Says Dr. Oz, in his book, You on a Diet, “Simple sugars create a rebounding effect.  You’re feeling blah, so you eat a 3 Musketeers.  That sugar surge works like an electrical jolt, and you instantly feel more energy.  But less than two hours later, that energy surge (in the form of elevated blood sugar levels ) plummets, and then you feel blah again.  Your conclusion?  You must need another Musketeer!  That rebound effect can put your body in biological turmoil, where you eat to feel better, though what you’re eating is actually making you feel sluggish, so you swirl and swirl around, always feeling like you need to eat.”

What’s a person to do???

  • Eat a little fat 20 minutes before your meal (70 calories or so like 6 walnuts, or 12 almonds)
  • Fill up on fiber in the A.M. (think oatmeal, cereal, whole grains and fruit)
  • Change your plate (try using a smaller or kid’s version of a plate for smaller portions)
  • Slow down, turbo (take your time, put down your fork and chew, chew, chew)
  • Get spicy (add a little hot pepper or salsa to your food to increase your metabolism)

Start simple by eating a large salad.  Nix the croutons, heavy dressing and cheese.  Have fruit for a pick-me-up snack.  Add more veggies to your dinner, drink lots of water and YOU, my friend, are on your way to a healthier, happier YOU!

VegetableMyths_Spinach

gorgeous gogi berries….

goji-berries-vine

Pretty, huh?  The Tibetan School of Medicine has been growing this superfood for 2500 years!

But you don’t have to go to Tibet to try this little gem.  American gogi berries are grown mostly in the southwest deserts (AZ, CA, CO, UT, NM, TX) with a few grown in Mexico and South America.

These little beauts can really pack a punch!  They are known to:

  • boost immune function
  • increase alkalinity and vitality
  • protect your liver
  • improve your eyesight
  • improve your blood quality…..and more!

If you want to live for a loooong time, and actually feel good, then this superfood is for you.  It’s even been nicknamed “the longevity fruit” or even better, “little red diamonds“.    Enough said.  I’m in.

goji_berries430x300

The gogi berry tastes kind of like a cherry and a cranberry got married and had wrinkled baby berries.  Be sure and look for organic berries that haven’t been sprayed with the pesticides that those of us in the ’60’s played in…..(if you are from the south you will remember the ‘mosquito’ trucks that drove around while we ran and played in the “mist”….sigh).

Gogi berries can be soaked and rehydrated in water that you can use for your base in your smoothie!  It’s easy!  Take about 1/2 cup of berries and soak in 3 cups of pure water.  Soak for about 2-4 hours.  Strain and add handful of berries and 1 cup of remaining gogi water, a tablespoon of agave syrup or honey and 1/4 – 1/2 tsp vanilla.  BLEND and dance.  You might want to add some cacao powder to the mix.  Feel free to mess around with the ingredients until you find the flavor you like best!

Gogi berries can also be added to cacao nibs, dried fruits, nuts and seeds to make a SUPER trail mix!  Have fun…but not just any fun….have a gogi day!

Spirulina, the Protein Queen…..a crowning achievement…

green_spirulina1

Spirulina….a lovely algae, no?  The Aztecs knew what was up, back in the 16th century and were known to mix it with chocolate.  Chocolate, people.  I’m already on board.

This is one bad (as in good) protein and here is why:

  • It contains the highest concentration of protein (by weight) of any food known.
  • Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food
  • It is the highest source of B12
  • A disease fighter
  • A blood builder
  • An immune system booster

Unlike animal foods, (which day by day I am talking myself out of) Spirulina is a pure, raw source of protein.  It does not have to be cooked and in fact, never should be cooked.  Yay!  Less cooking!

It is readily absorbed and can be easily blended into your favorite beverage, such as a smoothie, or juice.

Spirulina-Powder

According to herb wisdom, “every 10 grams of spirulina can supply up to 70% of the minimum daily requirements for iron, and about three to four times of minimum daily requirements for vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), B complex, D,and K. By itself, it does not contain vitamin C, but it helps maintain this vitamin’s potency.

Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a compound found in breast milk that helps develop healthier babies. Moreover, with its high digestibility, spirulina has been proven to fight malnutrition in impoverished communities by helping the body absorb nutrients when it has lost its ability to absorb normal forms of food.

Another health benefit of spirulina is that it stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in your digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and proper bowel function. It acts as a natural cleanser by eliminating mercury and other deadly toxins commonly ingested by the body.”

Ok, so let’s get down to taste.  It is a deep green, slightly blue dry algae powder.  Have you ever been in a bait store?  You know, with your grandpa to go fishing…..well, it sorta smells like that.  Fish. In a wet sock. 

You want to be sure that it has a ‘fresh’ smell.  I’ve heard that bad spirulina smells sour or rancid.  Now that, my friends will be hard to tell.  You should speak to a qualified person at your health-food store….and not the temporary Christmas help….you are going to want good quality spirulina.  Or a better option is to check out David Wolfe and read about his incredible knowledge when it comes to superfoods and nutrition.  You will be ASSURED to get the best quality, organic superfoods!  The website will tell you where you can purchase his products or you can go straight to http://www.longevitywarehouse.com/

Look for it to be sold like this:

  • powder (dried)
  • powder (with lecithin)
  • tablets (what I take…with orange juice to get ’em down)
  • protein powder products
  • blue pigment extracts
  • raw spirulina chocolate bars and spirulina energy bars

I usually add spirulina to my smoothies to mask the taste, when I am using the powder.   I am throwing spinach, kale, blueberries, acai berries, raspberries, banana, and cacao nibs in my blender.  A little spirulina tossed in cannot be tasted….just don’t obsess over it and think of the fabulous benefits!

images

So…. what do you put this Grey Poupon?

 Well, yum!!  Remember the commercials?  Ok, if you are in an age bracket that rhymes with schmifty or above….(not necessarily my age…ahem…)…then you remember the two limousine’s pulling up next to each other and asking for some Grey Poupon….but of course! If you are not schmifty or above, then nevermind.

Hey, some fan-freaking-tastic recipes can be made with this magical mustard!

Herb Roasted Potatoes (via)

  • 1/3 cup Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 6 medium red skin potatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into chunks

directions

Mix all ingredients except potatoes in small bowl. Place potatoes in lightly greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan or on shallow baking sheet; toss with mustard mixture. Bake at 425° for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally.

********************************************************

Delish Mustard Dressing

2 Tablespoons stone ground Dijon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar

Mix all ingredients in small mason jar.  Shake like your life depends on it.  Pour over your favorite salad.

********************************************************

 Chicken Dijon (via)

2 Tbsp.  GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp.  water
1/2 tsp.  garlic powder
1/4 tsp.  Italian seasoning
4 small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
HEAT oven to 375°F.  Mix mustard, water and seasonings.PLACE chicken in shallow pan; brush with mustard mixture.BAKE 20 min. or until chicken is done

put on your cape and try these superfoods!

Want vitality?  Need a little weight loss here and there?  Well,  climb aboard the Superfoods train!

Some foods can be described as healthy, then there are those that are super healthy Salmon can safegaurd the heart.  Avocados can lower cholesterol.  And berries?  They are loaded with antioxidants that fight cancer!  Now, that’s super!!

Superfoods can strengthen our immune systems and also prevent and combat disease, and the best part is that they are tasty!!

Check out these super recipes (turn your cape around and use as an apron)

OATS AND RASPBERRIES PANCAKES (via Ehren Litzenberger of BLD Restaurant)

Makes 12 servings

8 eggs

4 cups buttermilk

2 cups plain yogurt

2 sticks butter (melted)

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbls. baking powder

2 Tbls. baking soda

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups rolled oats

1 pint fresh raspberries

Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, yogurt and butter.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and oats.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Fold in raspberries.  Cook pancakes on a large, non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat until done.

SIMPLE BROILED SALMON  (via Super FoodsRx Diet)

Makes 2 servings

2 (3-4 ounce raw) fresh salmon fillets, skinned

1 Tbls. low-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 Tbls. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. black pepper

2 lemon wedges

Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish.  Combine the soy sauce, oil, lemon juice, chives and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the salmon and allow it to marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes of marinating, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Place the baking dish in the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes or until the salmon is golden.  When done, the salmon should flake with slight pressure from a fork.  Garnish each fillet with a lemon wedge.  Serve immediately.

RAW SUPER FUEL (via Richelle Melde of Naked Truth Nutrition)

Makes 1 serving

1 cup coconut milk

1/4 organic avocado

1/2 organic banana, frozen

1/4 cup organic frozen blueberries

1 Tbls. organic raw almond butter

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency.  Yummmmm.

it’s time for more FALL FAVORITES…

Yummy fall drinks and comfort foods…….sound good?  How about….the “not so fattening” favorites???

That’s what I’m talking about……..

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE

1 cup coffee

1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 packet Stevia

2 Tbs. Pumpkin Puree

1 tsp. Pumpkin Spice

Blend together milk, puree and spices, then add to coffee.

(optional: whip almond milk until frothy and sppon on top of drink…sprinkle with add’l pumpkin spice!)

PUMPKIN PIE PROTEIN PANCAKES

1/4 cup egg whites

1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

1 Tbs. Ground Flaxseed

1 tsp. Cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of Pumpkin Spice

Mix together and pour onto griddle.  These are perfect with a little maple syrup or sliced bananas.

BAKED APPLES WITH CINNAMON AND WALNUTS (via)

2 Baking Apples, cored (like McIntosh)

1 cup Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice

1 tsp. Cinnamon

16 Walnut Halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the apples in a baking dish. Pour the pomegranate juice over the apples. This will become a syrup as the apples cook. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes, basting with the syrup, or until the apples are soft, but still hold their shape. Serve each apple topped with walnuts and syrup.

VEGETARIAN FOUR CHEESE LASAGNA  (via)

2 cups peeled and diced pumpkin

1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

5 tomatoes

1 pint ricotta cheese

9 ounces crumbled feta cheese

2/3 cup pesto

2 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 pkg  pasta sheets (lasagne noodles)

1 1/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast in oven until browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grill eggplant on a charcoal grill or fry in a skillet, turning once, until charred and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Halve tomatoes and place on baking sheet in oven for last 15 minutes of pumpkin time; cook until tender and wrinkly.

In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, feta, pesto, eggs, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Fold roasted pumpkin into ricotta mixture.

Spoon half of the tomato sauce into a 9×13 baking dish. Lay two pasta sheets over the sauce. Arrange a single layer of eggplant slices over pasta and top with half the ricotta mixture. Cover with two more pasta sheets. Arrange the roasted tomatoes evenly over the sheets and spoon the remaining half the ricotta mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Top with remaining two sheets of pasta. Pour remaining tomato sauce over all and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake in preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

kooky cucumbers…

Aaahhh….who doesn’t love the crisp cucumber?  Ok, maybe you are out there somewhere, but there are some interesting benefits of this delish vegetable fruit!  (scientifically it’s a fruit, but it really doesn’t matter now, does it?  Can’t we all just get along?)

Here are a few benefits! (via)

1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns just like aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.  Though don’t expect a wig overnight…

4. Fight cancers – Cucumbers are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol.  (Aren’t those big words?) These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up.  Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache…or just don’t drink too much the night before and have them in a salad.

8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain –Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

When buying cucumbers, choose the ones that are firm to touch and dark green in color. Do not buy overly matured or yellow colored as they are prone to contain more insoluble fiber and mature seeds. Go for organically grown cucumbers to get a rich taste and nutritients content.

How about a facial cleanser that is great for delicate or sensitive skin?  (adapted from Natural Beauty for All Seasons)

 Refreshing Cucumber and Chamomile Cleanser

2 Tbls. fresh cucumber juice (see note below)

1 cup chamomile tea

1 Tbls. glycerine

1 Tbls. aloe vera gel

Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea using distilled water.  Let cool.  Once cool, mix together the cucumber juice, chamomile tea, glycerin and aloe vera gel.

TO USE:  Saturate clean cotton ball with the cleanser and smooth over your skin.  Repeat if necessary.  You may rinse with cool water and use a light moisturizer.  Store in the fridge because the cucumber juice will spoil easily.

NOTE:  To make fresh cucumber juice, puree a fresh cucumber in a blender or food processor and strain the green juice.

See??  They’re not just for salads anymore!!

even more tips to make your head explode..

Yesterdays tips were pretty cool, right?  Well, hold onto your face, because there are more ideas coming…

1.  Use a small paint roller to put lotion on your back! 

That’s just freakin’ brilliant…

2.  Can’t reach that item on the top shelf?  No worries!

Ok, my husband makes fun of me because I actually have been doing this!

3.  Unclog a drain

1) Pour 3/4-1 cup of baking soda in the drain. 2) Pour 1/2 cup vinegar in the drain and immediately cover the drain with a plate. 3) Wait 30 minutes, then uncover and run hot water for 2-3 mins. 4) Repeat for really tough clogs.

4.  Unclog a toilet

1) Pour 3/4-1 cup of baking soda in the drain. 2) Pour 1/2 cup vinegar in the drain and immediately cover the drain with a plate. 3) Wait 30 minutes, then uncover and run hot water for 2-3 mins. 4) Repeat for really tough clogs.

5.  Get rid of roaches

Place bay leaves in all nooks and crannies to keep the roaches away!

6.  Overly sensitive EMO smoke alarm?

Secure with a rubber band. Now you’ll never have to get on a ladder to turn it off every time you cook or take a shower.  DON’T FORGET TO TAKE IT OFF AFTER COOKING….otherwise you will be on the news, because of the fire, and look silly…

You are now officially informed! 

Now…….go do something.