Brown Rice Bowl With Turkey

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Very low in sugar—only 1 gram!
• This dish serves up about one-fourth your daily requirement of vitamin B6, which is crucial for a healthy immune system.
• It’s super lean, too, with just 1.2 grams of saturated fat.

1 1/3 cups dry short-grain brown rice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided

1 (2-pound) bone-in turkey breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, divided

4 cups baby spinach

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 cups broth, and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until rice is tender (about 45 minutes).

3. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil. Place turkey on sheet and coat with oil. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce. Roast, turning halfway through, until turkey is cooked and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165° (50-55 minutes). Remove from oven and transfer turkey to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest (about 5 minutes).

4. Stir spinach, scallions, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce into rice with remaining 1 cup warmed broth. Thinly slice turkey. Divide rice and sliced turkey among 4 bowls; drizzle each with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 486
Fat per serving: 9g
Saturated fat per serving: 1.2g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 4g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 42g
Carbohydrates per serving: 57g
Fiber per serving: 5g
Cholesterol per serving: 94mg
Iron per serving: 4mg
Sodium per serving: 528mg
Calcium per serving: 81mg

How To Make Sure Your Energy Bar Is ACTUALLY Healthy

energy-bar

If you’re looking for an energy bar that truly provides energy instead of zapping it, you better plan on spending some time looking at the food labels on these products. Although granola and energy bars are often relied upon as a snack of choice, some bars are surrounded by health halos even when they’re actually full of unhealthy ingredients.

Not all bars are alike. The key is trying to choose a bar that adds value to your diet and contributes a balance of protein, fiber, whole grains, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. The right snacks keep blood-sugar levels and moods stable, and may help you stay alert and focused. In fact, some snacks can even help you lose or maintain weight if they satisfy your mind and mouth and they keep you from otherwise eating high-calorie foods that are devoid of value.

Here’s how to navigate the bar aisle to make a choice that best suits your needs:

1. Look for a bar that contains about 5 grams of protein.

There’s no need to go for bars that contain an overwhelming amount of protein. Excess protein doesn’t go directly to your muscles! Unless you’ve suffered an illness, where you had significant protein (muscle) loss or if you have increased needs for protein, much of the excess protein that is eaten is stored as body fat. Protein taken in greater quantities than needed, over extended periods of time, might result in bone thinning or perhaps impair kidney function.

Be sure to check to see that you’re getting protein from real, whole-food sources, like nuts, as opposed to highly processed ingredients mostly from isolates. A bar that contains around 5 grams of protein should do the trick, especially in the company of other nutrients below.

2. Make sure the main source of sugar comes from fruit.

Avoid sugar sources like added sugars, sweeteners, or sugar alcohols. Check to see how sugar is spelled — sometimes it’s not S-U-G-A-R! Sugar can appear as dextrose, maltose, organic can juice, rice syrup, and so on. Look for sugar in the form of real fruit, not pseudo-fruit-like substances.

3. Choose a bar that has healthy carbohydrates.

Look for whole grains on your ingredient list like oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. Fiber provided by these grains will help move you — look for around 5 grams of fiber.

4. Don’t be fat phobic.

Helpful fats derived from nuts can be deliciously satisfying, and certain fats (like almonds and walnuts) have even been shown to help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood-sugar levels. Your best bet is when the source of fat is derived from nuts.

5. Be mindful of calories.

You want to keep your snack bar between 150 and 200 calories, especially if you’re trying to watch your weight.

6. Aim for transparency.

Pick a product that actually looks like the ingredients contained within. Instead of looking like a piece of pressed wood, your bar should proudly display the nuts, grains, and fruit that appear on its ingredient list.

Raise the bar by choosing one that your body will be happy to reach for when you need it.

Here are some healthy bar recipes  if you’re up for cooking your own:

5-Ingredient-Granola-Bars-MinimalistBaker.com_

No Bake Granola Bars:

Healthy, no bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and honey complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.

1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)*
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave for vegan option)
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter (even better make your own!)
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
optional: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.(I add walnuts &/or pecans and dried cranberries)

5-Ingredient-Granola-Bars1

Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency.
**Optional:Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw (I just prefer mine toasted)
Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.
Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days or refrigerate.

PEANUT BUTTER & HONEY CHEWY GRANOLA BARS

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter* (unsalted)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

*Peanuts are one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides, so make sure to buy organic whenever possible.

peanut-butter-granola

Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the honey to a boil. Set a timer, and allow the honey to continue boiling for 1 minute. In the meantime, place the oats in a large bowl and set aside. Remove from the pan of honey from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and salt. Immediately pour the warm mixture over the oats, and use a spatula to stir well, coating the oats evenly. As the mixture cools, it will become sticky and difficult to mix, so be sure to move quickly!

Transfer the mixture to the lined loaf pan, and press HARD to pack it into the pan. Pressing firmly will ensure that the bars stick together well later. Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to cool, then use a large knife to cut the bars. I like to store these bars in the freezer for best shelf life (up to 6 months) then pull them out as needed– they thaw in about an hour, which makes them perfect for a mid-morning snack. If you’d prefer to store these bars at room temperature, they should last for up to a week.

Health Benifits of Milk Thistle

milk-thistle-flowers

For over 2,000 years people around the world have enjoyed milk thistle in their diet. Just about all parts of the plant have been used as food with no reports of toxicity. Although it can be used as food, milk thistle is better known as having medicinal benefits. It is a great tonic, increases appetite and aids in digestion. It is used by many people, including those who were addicted to alcohol to cleanse the liver. Milk thistle is used internally in the treatment of liver and gall bladder diseases, jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis and poisoning (including mushroom poisoning).

Milk_thistle_flowerhead

Milk thistle has many benefits including:

• It acts as a liver “detox” in addition to having anti-cancer properties.
• Milk thistle seeds help in curing and preventing lung, colon, skin, breast, prostate, and kidney cancer.
• Milk thistle’s antioxidant property is better than many vitamins, efficiently removing toxins and free radicals.

Ways to Add Milk Thistle in Your Diet:

• Tea: Milk thistle is available as packaged tea, or can be used in home-made tea. To do this put crushed milk thistle leaves and seeds in a muslin bag. Steep the bag in hot water for five minutes. Add honey for flavor.
• Diluted Milk Thistle Tincture: Add a few drops to a glass of water.
• Powdered Seeds: Sprinkle this powder on your burgers, smoothies, and salads.
• Milk Thistle as Salad Ingredient: Add milk thistle stalks, leaves, flowers, and roots to your diet as an ingredient in salads and cooked meals.
• As Smoothie ingredient: Milk thistle can be made into a delicious smoothie. Soak ground milk thistle seeds in water overnight. Then add chopped lycium berries and some lemon juice.
• Fruit Juice: Crushed milk thistle seeds can also be added to fruit juice.

The ‘healthy’ snacks that are secretly making us fat and what to eat instead…

It’s common to reach out for a small to stave mid-morning hunger pangs but your snacking choices may be doing you more than good.

Items we consider healthy such as cereal bars, bran-flakes and low fat biscuits, are full of sugar which, while they may provide a temporary energy boost, will end up making you crash.

When preparing snacks, choose low-energy releasing foods and avoid sipping on smoothies or fruit juices.

When preparing snacks, choose low-energy releasing foods,  rather than items which are full of saturated fat and sugar  

When preparing snacks, choose low-energy releasing foods,  rather than items which are full of saturated fat and sugar.

It might be tricky to resist mince pies but hold off for the big day itselfA handful of dried fruit will hit the sweet spot while getting one of your five a day.

It might be tricky to resist mince pies (left) but hold off for the big day itself. Instead try a handful of dried fruit (left) to hit the sweet spot, while getting one of your five a day.

Nutritionist Dr. Sarah Schenker told FEMAIL: ‘So many people are misled by snacks which we’re told are healthy, in reality, people need to be thinking about the nutritional content and how that can help you maintain your energy levels.

‘Snacking still has negative connotations that need to be overcome – which I fully support. Introducing convenient and nutritious foods can overcome the stigma of snacking and help us to become more active and healthier.’

Here she shares ten snacking swaps you can make to ensure you are consuming all the right foods.

SWAP: Low-fat biscuits

FOR: Oatcakes with hummus

Oatcakes have much lower sugar content than many low-fat biscuits on the market and are a great source of fibre. Top this with hummus for a fix of essential vitamins and minerals.

SWAP: Mince pies

FOR: Dried fruit

This time of year can be tricky to resist, however if you’re holding off for the big day itself, then try a handful of dried fruit to hit the sweet spot, while getting one of your five a day.

SWAP: Cereal bars

FOR: Peanut butter on wholemeal toast

Cereal bars are often packed with hidden sugars which can undermine any nutritional value. Peanut butter is a natural source of protein and helps maintain energy levels, perfect if you have a big day ahead.

Cereal bars are often packed with hidden sugars which can undermine any nutritional valuePeanut butter is a natural source of protein and helps maintain energy levels

Cereal bars (left) are often packed with hidden sugars whilst peanut butter (right)  is a natural source of protein and helps maintain energy levels

There is nothing wrong with snacking but make sure you choose foods which are light and healthy  

There is nothing wrong with snacking but make sure you choose foods which are light and healthy

SWAP: Lighter crisps

FOR: Vegetable sticks and avocado dip

Light crisps are often high in salt, as an alternative, swap for vegetables sticks and an avocado dip. Avocados are high in antioxidants and provide you with good, monounsaturated fats that can help keep hair and skin healthy.

SWAP: Processed fruit bars

FOR: Mixed raisins and nuts

Whole fruit has a much higher water content contributing to hydration, helping to prevent dehydration that can be a root cause of the afternoon slump.

SWAP: Smoothies

FOR: A glass of milk

A glass of milk provides essential calcium and minerals and is comparably much better for you than a smoothie, which contains large amounts of sugar.

Light crisps are often high in saltVegetable sticks and avocado dip

Light crisps (left) are often high in salt so swap for vegetables sticks and an avocado dip (right)

SWAP Fruit Juice

FOR Coconut water

There has been some debate as to whether fruit juice should continue to count towards your 5-a-day as the process of juicing releases the sugars, having similar impact to added sugars, particularly on teeth. Coconut water has less sugar than most fruit juices and could be a better choice for adults and kids looking for a beverage that is less sweet. It also provides electrolytes that can help you rehydrate more effectively.

SWAP Strawberry ice cream

FOR Greek yoghurt with frozen berries

Strawberry ice cream is loaded with sugar and light on any actual fruit. You can get the same effect by swirling frozen berries through protein and calcium packed Greek yoghurt with a fraction of the sugar content.

SWAP Bacon on toast or a bacon butter

FOR Poached eggs on toast or a fried egg sandwich

Although both eggs and bacon provide protein, that’s where the nutritional similarities stop. Bacon is high in salt and there is concern over the effect that the preservatives contained can have on the gut. Eggs on the other hand are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health.

SWAP: Bran flakes

FOR: Porridge

Although they contain fiber, bran flakes are still relatively high in sugar, which means they have a higher GI, releasing their energy more quickly. Porridge will give you a slow release of energy to ensure you start your day right.

How to make the perfect fried egg to go with your sandwich

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1232313.html

Bacon is high in salt and there is concern over the effect that the preservatives contained can have on the gutEggs are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health

Bacon (left) is high in salt and there is concern over the effect that the preservatives contained can have on the gut. Eggs (right) on the other hand are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health

The tips are part of Sun-Pat’s Spread the Energy study, which revealed that 24 per cent of teenagers felt they lack the energy needed to take part in after-school activities.

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7 Ways to Eat (& Drink!) Turmeric

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Do you have a jar of turmeric languishing in your spice cupboard? Or perhaps you’re looking for ways to add it to your diet in response to all the recent studies indicating its health-promoting and disease-preventing properties. Turmeric has long been a staple in Indian curries as well as in foods like mustard (it provides that golden yellow color!), but there are lots of other ways to eat and drink this spice. Here are seven easy ideas.

  • 1. Add it to scrambles and frittatas. Use a pinch of turmeric in scrambled eggs, a frittata, or tofu scramble. If you or your family are new to turmeric, this is a great place to start because the color is familiar and the flavor subtle.
  • 2. Toss it with roasted vegetables. Turmeric’s slightly warm and peppery flavor works especially well with cauliflower, potatoes, and root vegetables.
  • 3. Add it to rice. A dash of turmeric brings color and mild flavor to a pot of plain rice or a fancier pilaf.

→ Recipe: Fragrant Yellow Rice

  • 4. Try it with greens. Sprinkle turmeric into sautéed or braised greens like kale, collards, and cabbage.
  • 5. Use it in soups. A bowl of vegetable or chicken soup feels even more warming when it’s tinged with golden turmeric.
  • 6. Blend it into a smoothie. While fresh turmeric root is especially great in juices and smoothies, a pinch of ground spice is good, too. The slightly pungent flavor is usually well masked in smoothies.

→ Recipe: Superpower Morning Smoothie (the recipe doesn’t call for turmeric but you can definitely add it!)

  • 7. Make tea. Simmer turmeric with milk and honey to make an earthy and comforting beverage.

→ Recipe:Turmeric-Ginger Tea

 

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Benefits of Almond Milk You May Not Know About

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Those looking for a dairy-free milk substitute have probably stumbled across almond milk and wondered, “Is almond milk good for you?” Whether you’re a vegan, sensitive to milk or just don’t like the taste, almond milk is a fabulous alternative.

While almond milk is becoming more and more popular, it’s important to note that it doesn’t provide as much protein or calcium to be a complete substitute, so make sure you receive adequate amounts from other sources. One cup only has one gram of protein versus 8 grams in cow’s milk, and 2 milligrams of calcium versus 300 milligrams in cow’s milk.

As with everything you buy, make sure to check the labels and purchase almond milk that contains the least amount of preservatives and other additives.

1. It helps with weight management.

One cup of almond milk contains only 60 calories, as opposed to 146 calories in whole milk, 122 calories in 2 percent, 102 calories in 1 percent, and 86 calories in skim. It makes for a great substitute that will help you lose or maintain your current weight.

2. It keeps your heart healthy.

There’s no cholesterol or saturated fat in almond milk. It’s also low in sodium and high in healthy fats (such as omega fatty acids, typically found in fish), which helps to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.

3. It keeps your bones strong.

While it doesn’t offer as much calcium as cow’s milk, almond milk does offer 30 percent of the recommended daily amount, as well as 25 percent of the recommended amount of vitamin D, reducing your risk for arthritis and osteoporosis and improving your immune function. Plus, these two nutrients work together to provide healthy bones and teeth formation.

4. It keeps your skin glowing.

Almond milk contains 50 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E, which contains antioxidant properties essential to your skin’s health, such as protecting it against sun damage.

5. It barely impacts your blood sugar.

Almond milk (with no additives) is low in carbs, which means it won’t significantly increase your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk for diabetes. Because of its low glycemic index, your body will use the carbs as energy so the sugars aren’t stored as fat (score!).

6. It contributes to muscle strength and healing.

Although almond milk only contains 1 gram of protein per serving, it contains plenty of B vitamins such as iron and riboflavin, both important for muscle growth and healing.

7. It keeps your digestion in check.

Almond milk contains almost one gram of fiber per serving, which is important for healthy digestion.

8. It doesn’t contain lactose.

Lactose intolerance impacts about 25% of the US population, which means they have difficulty digesting the sugar in cow’s milk. This makes almond milk a suitable, lactose-free substitute.

9. It tastes better than cow’s milk.

Almond milk doesn’t taste like cow’s milk, perfect for those who are turned off by the taste. It has its own unique flavor many describe as being light and crisp. Bonus: it’s versatile, meaning you can use it instead of cow’s milk in recipes that require it. It won’t have the same taste, but it will have the same consistency.

10. It doesn’t require refrigeration.

Knowing that you don’t have to refrigerate almond milk means you’ll be more likely to take it with you to work, or on a camping trip. It’s perfectly fine at room temperature which makes it a convenient, nutritious staple to pack, automatically upping your daily intake of all the fabulous nutrients above.

11. It’s easy to make.

Being that it’s a tad inconvenient to have a cow grazing in your backyard, almond milk is the convenient alternative to make at home. It’s made by finely grinding almonds and placing them in a blender with water, then filtering the pulp with a strainer to separate it from the liquid. Want to give it a try? Below is a delicious almond milk recipe.

Have you ever tried almond milk? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Stocking & Maintaining a Wholefood Kitchen Pantry

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The key to changing everything is simply awareness. If we don’t know that something exists, we will never know what we’re missing.  With the ever changing pace of our busy lives and our efforts to try and balance what is quick & easy with what is good for us, we can take a practical approach to our weight and health goals, by changing what we keep in the house, and therefore what we put in our bodies.

Keep your commitment to yourself by implementing what you learn in this article to slowly and steadily re-stock your kitchen with new, healthy items you may not have heard of before. By purchasing 3-5 new products each time you shop at a health food store, and making a commitment to experiment with them, you can have access to more vibrant health than you ever thought possible. Nothing in here involves a sacrifice, it’s simply either an upgrade to a product you might be using or an addition to your diet.

Tempeh, nuts, beans

PROTEIN

      • Aduzi Beans- buy them canned to start out. Eden Organic is a good brand. This bean strengthens the adrenal glands and supports kidney function
      • Garbanzo Beans (chick peas)- for those eating less meat this bean packs more iron than any other. Have it in hummus form to cut back on dairy or in salads to double as a complex carb and a protein.
      • Tempeh- a natural fermented soy that makes a great veggie burger patty. Full of protein, dietary fiber and b vitamins; a healthier choice than tofu and easy to cook.
      • Fresh Fish- Look for “wild caught” to protect yourself from heavy metals and to maintain the nutrient content. Fish is the fastest protein to cook so if you are intimidated by it, start out with the flaky white fish like red snapper and tilapia and look up some recipes to bake them. Then move on to salmon, tuna, and any others
      • Nuts and seeds- raw almonds and walnuts are a great daily source of protein and healthy fat; bound to sustain you for hours. Have a handful of these with an apple for a snack and enjoy the feelings of satiety.

produce

PRODUCE

      • Leeks, red radishes, daikon radishes, and green onions- great fat emulsifiers for those trying to detox, loose weight or lower their cholesterol. Daikon radishes mirror the shape of carrots but they are white and translucent. Grate them into a salad just like they do at Japanese restaurants.
      • Broccoli Sprouts- 10x more cancer-fighting ability than regular broccoli. Keep your fridge stocked with these to put in salads, wraps and sandwiches. Great detox and weight loss vegetable as well.
      • Sweet Vegetables- beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips and yams are a great way to stave off sweet cravings during this time of year as well as to stay grounded. Cut up your favorites, coat them in olive oil and bake them for 45 minutes at 375. Good for breakfast, over a salad for lunch or as a side dish with dinner.
      • Boxed/bagged mixed field greens- easy, convenient way to eat your greens and to get more than one variety in your salads. Store with a paper towel to ward off excess moisture that wilts the greens.
      • Kale- most powerful source of well-absorbed calcium than any other food. You will be doing yourself a huge favor if you incorporate this food in your diet on a daily basis. Use in sandwiches and wraps in place of lettuce, mix in with a salad or sauté it with garlic and olive oil (or coconut oil). Make sure to de-stem it.
      • Lemons- powerful cleanser. This fruit is highly alkaline and helps wash excess acids from the stomach into the intestines so our bodies can eliminate them. Try the juice of ½ a lemon in water first thing in the morning. This is a great way to kick start your metabolism for the day.

grains

WHOLE GRAINS

      • Bread- try wheat alternatives like brown rice bread, ezekial sprouted grain, manna bread, or many others avoid allergies, mental fog and weight gain.
      • Pasta- pick up brown rice pasta for a low-glycemic choice. You will never taste the difference, but your body will process it much better.
      • Quinoa- a south American grain packing more protein than any other grain. Delicious, full of fiber and b vitamins and one of the least allergenic foods. Cooks in 20 minutes!
      • Millet- this light, fluffy grain is good to use as a breakfast porridge when mixed with almond milk, trail mix and a touch of agave and cinnamon. It is a complex carbohydrate easily processed by any body type.

ghee-coconut oil
FATS AND OILS

      • Flax Oil- great source of desperately needed Omega 3 fatty acids. Never heat it – best on steamed veggies and used in salad dressings or in smoothies. The good fats lower cholesterol, balance our moods, reduce inflammation and promote weight loss!
      • Coconut Oil- use to bake and stir-fry. Helpful with weight loss and stable under high heat.
      • Ghee- alternative to butter because it’s clarified which means the milk solids have been taken out.
      • Avocado- more vitamin E than any other food and provides monounsaturated fat 80% of which is digested immediately.

dairy alternatives

DAIRY AND ALTERNATIVES

      • Goat’s milk yogurt- considered dairy-free for those who cannot process lactose, casein or whey.
      • Feta Cheese/Goat cheese- dairy-free, low fat, and the healthiest cheese.
      • Almond Milk- nut milk found in a box in the cereal isle. Great source of magnesium and protein. Tastes good too!
      • Rice Milk- healthy alternative to milk and much easier to digest.

condiments
CONDIMENTS

      • Tamari- wheat-free soy sauce.
      • Apple cider vinegar- healthiest vinegar to alkalize the body. Can alleviate indigestion and acid reflux with regular use of 1T/day. Make it be your mainstay in the vinegar category.
      • Cayenne Pepper- boosts metabolism and warms us from the inside.
      • Herbs and Spices (a variety of fresh or dried)
      • Cinnamon- will balance your blood sugar for 24 and stave off sweet cravings
      • Coconut Milk- use for asian dishes and to replace milk and crème on deserts. Nice topper to your breakfast cereal.
      • Agave Nectar- honey-like natural sweetener that is completely safe for diabetics, low in calorie and 1/4x sweeter than sugar. My personal favorite!
      • Xylitol- This natural sweetener comes from plants and can be used cup for cup in place of sugar in any recipe for a healthy “sugar free” treat.
      • Celtic Sea salt- matches the exact mineral profile of our blood; supports healthy skin and digestion.
      • Raw Almond butter- healthier than peanut butter and more satisfying.

Now that your pantry is all stocked up here’s a few recipes for you to try:

Quinoa with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

quinoa

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 pear , peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 garlic clove , halved
2 pounds portobello mushrooms , stemmed and gills scraped out
1 cup red or white quinoa
3 cups tightly packed fresh spinach , chopped
4 green onions , thinly sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds , toasted
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Put vinegar, mustard, pear and garlic in a blender with 1/3 cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute, to make the dressing. Cut mushrooms into chunks and combine in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Spread mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

While mushrooms roast, prepare quinoa. In a medium pot, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, 10 minutes more. Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Combine mushrooms, quinoa, spinach, green onions, almonds, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup more dressing in a large, wide serving bowl. Stir to mix well. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving: Serving size: , 280 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 43g carbohydrates, (7 g dietary fiber, .9g sugar), 12g protein.

Creamy Sesame Greens

creamy

6 cups chopped kale, Swiss chard or collard greens , tough stems removed
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice
1 clove garlic , finely chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons water in a large skillet over medium heat. Add greens and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

In a large bowl, whisk together tahini, orange juice, 2 additional tablespoons water and garlic. Add hot greens, toss to combine and serve immediately.

Nutritional Info:
Per Serving: Serving size: , 200 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 95mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, (5 g dietary fiber, .0g sugar), 9g protein.

Why avocados are the most awesome fruit, according to science

avacado-01

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind). According to Medical News Today, avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

It’s hard to go past a perfectly ripe avocado. And lucky for us, these things are so packed with nutrients, it hurts. Not only are they high in fibre, monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, B6, vitamin E, and a bunch of healthy fats, they’re also packed with twice the amount of potassium as bananas. And all of these work in conjunction with the nutrients we get from other fruits and vegetables – throw some avocado in a salad and you’ll absorb nutrients from the rest of the ingredients more easily, says this episode of Reactions from the American Chemical Society.

Oh and that ugly, tough skin? Well, that’s one of the avocado’s best qualities – it’s so dense, it keeps out pesticides, making it one of the safest fruits to eat (which is why you should think twice before forking out that extra cash for organic avocados).

Cut through that skin and you’ll get access to 11 different carotenoids, which are naturally occurring pigments found in plants, fungi, and some bacteria that have been found to impart many health benefits, including decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease. Beta-Carotene, for example, is thought to have added benefits because of its ability to be converted to vitamin A, and lutein and zeaxanthin might protect our eyes from disease because they absorb the damaging blue light that enters the eye.

If you want to take advantage of all that, you’re going to want to make the most of the dark green portion of the fruit directly under the skin, and the video above shows you the best technique to maximise how much of this velvety goodness you get. (Plus it doesn’t involve stabbing a knife into the seed, which could save you a trip to the hospital.)

But alas, avocados aren’t perfect – they contain compounds called phenols, and these guys are responsible for the ridiculously fast browning that takes place as soon as you cut into one. When exposed to oxygen, the phenols will convert into an entirely different class of compounds called quinones, and over time, these link together to form a pigment called melanin. Yep, the same compounds that give our skin its colour.

On top of that, avocados are packed with an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which acts to speed up this whole browning process even further. Why, nature, why?

Any avocado fan will know a temporary counter to this is lemon or lime juice, because the acid it carries can slow down the activity of the enzymes. But did you also know that if you douse your guacamole in cold water and store it in the fridge overnight, it will help stop the browning? Just tip the excess water out the next day and stir your guac and it’ll be (almost) as good as new, the American Chemical Society recommends.

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10 Superfoods Healthier Than Kale

In the food world, the biggest celebrity of all might be kale—the Shakira of salads, the Lady Gaga of leafy greens. It’s universally recognized that kale anything—kale chips, kale pesto, kale face cream—instantly implants a health halo not seen since the days of C. Everett Koop. Even 7-Eleven is making over its image by offering kale smoothies to help with your weight loss efforts. And yes, kale has plenty of benefits—including high levels of folate and more calcium, gram for gram, than a cup of milk.

But kale’s actually not the healthiest green on the block. In fact, in a recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control that ranked 47 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables,” kale only placed 15th (with 49.07 points out of 100 for nutrient density)! Here’s a roundup of the 10 leafy green cousins that researchers say pack a greater nutritional wallop. Read em, eat em, and reap the benefits.

10 – Collard Greens

Nutrition Score: 62.49

A staple vegetable of Southern U.S. cuisine, collard greens also boast incredible cholesterol-lowering benefits — especially when steamed. A recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research compared the effectiveness of the prescription drug Cholestyramine to steamed collards. Incredibly, the collards improved the body’s cholesterol-blocking process by 13 percent more than the drug! Of course, that won’t do you any good if you insist on serving them with ham hocks….

9 – Romaine Lettuce

Nutrition Score: 63.48

Even more so than its cousin kale, the humble Romaine lettuce packs high levels of folic acid, a water-soluble form of Vitamin B that’s proven to boost male fertility. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found supplemental folic acid to significantly increase sperm counts. Get the man in your life to start craving Caesar salads, and you may soon have a baby Julius on board. (Ladies, this green packs health benefits for you, too! Folate also plays a role in battling depression, so change out your kale for Romaine.

8 – Parsley

Nutrition Score: 65.59

Yes, that leafy garnish that sits on the side of your plate—the one they throw away after you eat the rest of your meal—is a quiet super food, so packed with nutrients that even that one sprig can go a long way toward meeting your daily requirement for vitamin K. Moreover, research suggests the summer-y aroma and flavor of chopped parsley may help control your appetite. A study in the journal Flavour found participants ate significantly less of a dish that smelled strongly of spice than a mildly scented version of the same food. Adding herbs, like parsley, creates the sensory illusion that you’re indulging in something rich—without adding any fat or calories to your plate.

7 – Leaf Lettuce

Nutrition Score: 70.73

The nutritional Clark Kent of the salad bar, this common and unsuspecting leafy green is ready to take its place among the super foods. Two generous cups of lettuce provides 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement for strong, healthy bones. A report from the Nurses’ Health Study suggests that women who eat a serving of lettuce every day cut the risk of hip fracture by 30 percent than when compared with eating just one serving a week.

6 – Chicory

Nutrition Score: 73.36

Chicory is a family of bitter greens, but its most well-known member is radicchio, the small red or purple leaf that comes in a head about the size of a softball. It’s one of the best dietary sources of polyphenols—powerful micronutrients that serve a role in preventing disease. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consume 650 mg a day of polyphenols have a 30 percent chance at living longer than those who consume less than that. A cup of chicory leaves clocks in at about 235 mg (double that of spinach!), so consider adding a little leafy red into your leafy greens.

5 – Spinach

Nutrition Score: 86.43

Spinach is to kale what Michael Jordan is to LeBron James—the once unrivaled king now overshadowed by the hot new thing. But like MJ, spinach has a few more championship rings than its more current rival—primarily its position as a top source of biceps-building iron. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 180 gram serving of boiled spinach provides 6.43 mg of the muscle mineral—that’s more than a 6 oz hamburger patty! Recent research also suggest compounds in the leaf membranes called thylakoids may serve as a powerful appetite suppressant. A recently published long-term study at Lund University in Sweden found that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast could significantly reduce cravings and promote weight loss. On average, the women who took the spinach extract lost 5.5 pounds more than the placebo group over the course of three months.

4 – Beet Greens

Nutrition Score: 87.08

Yes, the stuff they cut off and throw in the garbage before charging you an arm and a leg for “beet salad.” A scant cup of the bitter green serves up nearly 5 grams of fiber—that’s more than you’ll find in a bowl of Quaker oats! Researchers at the University of Leeds found that risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower for every 7 grams of fiber consumed. Try them in stir frys and eat to your heart’s content!

3 – Chard

Nutrition Score: 89.27

Chard. Sounds like “burnt.” It’s not as fun a name to drop as, say, “broccolini,” but it might be your best defense against diabetes. Recent research has shown that these powerhouse leaves contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins–anti-inflammatory compounds that could offer protection from type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the University of East Anglia analyzed questionnaires and blood samples of about 2,000 people and found that those with the highest dietary intakes of anthocyanins had lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation.

2 – Chinese Cabbage

Nutrition Score: 91.99

Taking the silver medal in the power food Olympics is Chinese cabbage, also called Napa or celery cabbage. Rich sources of highly-available calcium and iron, cruciferous vegetables like the cabbage have the powerful ability to “turn off” inflammation markers thought to promote heart disease. In a study of more than 1,000 Chinese women, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables (about 1.5 cups per day) had 13 percent less inflammation than those who ate the least.

1 – Watercress

Nutrition Score: 100

The top dog, the unrivaled champion, the chairman of the cutting board, watercress may also be the closest thing yet to a true anti-aging food. Gram for gram this mild-tasting and flowery-looking green contains four times more beta carotene than an apple, and a whopping 238 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K per 100 grams—two compounds that keep skin dewy and youthful. The beauty food is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), which research suggests can fight cancer. Results from an eight-week trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest daily supplementation of 85 grams of raw watercress (that’s about two cups) could reduce DMA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. Exposure to heat may inactivate PEITC, so it’s best to enjoy watercress raw in salads, cold-pressed juices, and sandwiches.

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Almond Coconut Date Bars

Want a quick breakfast bar that is no only yummy & easy to make but also cholesterol & dairy free? Try these. Almond Coconut Date Bars

gluten-free-coconut-almond-date-bars

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raw almonds
1  cup raw cashews
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tbs maple syrup
2-3 tbs water

For Topping
2/3 cup organic dates, pitted
1/4 cup of water

Line a 9x 5 inch loaf baking pan with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.

In a food processor place all the ingredients except the water. Pulse. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time pulsing the food processor in between until the mixture comes together.

Place the mixture in the prepared baking pan and with a spatula press until it is uniform on all sides. In food processor, blend dates with water until thick paste forms. Press the date mixture on top of the crust and evenly spread.Place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Cut into squares. For storage keep covered in the refrigerator.