I’m sure you’ve heard of turmeric by now. It’s been all the rage the last couple years with people saying that you MUST get it into your diet. But, is it REALLY all that it’s hyped up to be? The short answer is YES!! [Read more…]
Well, let me tell you!! If you are not eating veggies for breakfast, you are missing OUT!! There is an entire world of food out there that can help you start your day on the right foot! And if you are not exploring them, are you REALLY LIVING??
Conventional Breakfast is BORING!
Grits, eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, pancakes, blah blah blah!! Although these options may be exTREMELY delicious, let’s face it. It’s actually kind of boring. Yes, you can put different fruit in your pancakes. You can get the fancy ham. You might even try your eggs sunny side up instead of scrambled, but when you look at it it’s still just the same thing. And what does that get you? It get’s you falling asleep at your desk somewhere around 12:30pm or so. That afternoon energy slump. YES, it is usually caused by your breakfast choices. Did you know that? What usually happens is that your body processes the high sugar and carbohydrate content of your breakfast, and a few hours later, your blood sugar crashes. This makes you not only sleepy, but very hungry. Which makes you want to go to the vending machine for your between-meal snack.
I don’t know about you, but I like variety. I also like to have energy throughout the day! So, one way you can spice up your breakfast meal is to add different veggies to it.
Think about it… if you can eat pancakes and waffles for dinner time, why can’t you eat veggies for breakfast? Who set the rules and why can’t they be broken?
Try something different
The next time you are cooking breakfast, try something different. Steam some broccoli to go with your oatmeal. Sauté some stir-fry to have with your eggs. My favorite go-to breakfast at one time was baked salmon with sautéd chard and kale. It was the BOMB!!! I absolutely loved that meal and it was super easy to make! I’d season my salmon (always a different blend of seasonings and oils each time) and bake it while I got dressed. When it was just about ready, I’d chop my chard and kale and put it in a large wok-type pan (use what you have, of course) with a little bit of Bragg’s Amino Acids (you can also use soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or just salt and seasonings) and a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Put the top on it so that it cooked down a bit, then once it cooked down, I’d sauté it. SOOO simple and delicious! And quick too!
Another favorite of mine is to just have a very large salad with ALL the fixin’s. Just pile things on top of the salad and go. What helps me do this is to purchase the pre-cut veggies blends and have a variety of those on hand. Depending on the store you go to, you can usually find things like zucchini, jicama, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, corn, onions, etc all chopped up for you. Just grab a few varieties of those and go. You can also consider having bags of seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia, shelled sunflower, etc) or nuts (slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc) and fruit on hand to sprinkle on top. Really, the only thing limiting you is your imagination!
When I was at TrueNorth, they would always have at least one steamed veggie for breakfast. It was usually a squash (butternut, spaghetti, acorn, etc) or Plantains and something like broccolini or asparagus. It taught me to think outside-er of my box. LOL!! I tried something that I’d never had and LOVED it. It really opened my mind even further to the possibilities.
My rule is to have half your plate filled with veggies. And not just a few sprigs here and there. It needs to be piled on. Go CRAZY with the amount of veggies that you eat!! Remember that veggies go through you differently than other foods, so you want to make sure you are getting your fill.
So What’s Stopping You?
Are you ready to try to have some veggies as your first meal of the day? Or are you still pretty hesitant about it? Let’s talk! What’s holding you back? Let me know!
Pineapple – March’s Fruit of the Month
It’s the end of the first week of spring and like you, I’m really looking forward to the warmer weather!! With that, I’m also looking forward to all of the luscious fruit and veggies that are about to be in-season. Fruit that are sweeter. Veggies that are tastier and fresher. [Read more…]
According to the CDC, it is now safe to eat Romaine Lettuce again.
If you recall, there have been a string of illnesses relating to people trying to do what is right and healthy by eating more leafy green veggies, namely by eating more salads. Unfortunately, because the romaine lettuce that came out of Yuma, AZ was contaminated with e Coli, over 170 got very ill, and one person passed away. These illnesses happened all over the U.S. After some investigation, it was found that all of the contaminated lettuce came from a farm in Yuma, a tiny town in Arizona.
How do we know it’s safe?
One thing to keep in mind when considering if you want to risk eating romaine lettuce again is this: ALL fresh produce has a shelf-life. It can only be on the shelf for so long before it starts to whither and go bad. For romaine lettuce that is 21 days. In just 3 short weeks, all the lettuce in your fridge is no good if you have not yet eaten it (so eat up!) The reason why we can start to trust this 21 day rule for this particular batch of lettuce is that the growing season in Yuma is officially over and the last batch of lettuce is well over 21 days old.
What to do if you are still worried
If you are still worried about eating romaine lettuce, here are 3 tips that can help you ease your fears and know that the fresh greens that you are eating are safe.
- Buy from local farmers: by getting your produce from a local grower, you are likely to have food that was grown with more care. This is also usually more tasty because it is picked at the peak of ripeness.
- Buy from smaller farms: by purchasing your food from smaller farms and gardeners, you are less likely to have the conditions that can lead to contamination of e Coli.
- Eat a variety: I heard someone once say that they couldn’t eat a salad because they didn’t want to eat romaine lettuce. PLEASE remember that there are more salad greens that just romaine! Broaden your salad experience by opening your eyes and your pallet to experiencing different salad greens on your next plate. Here are just a few examples of leafy salad greens that you should try:
- Red Leaf
- Green Leaf
- Butter Lettuce
- Baby Chard
- Baby Spinach
- Bok choy
You should also consider trying different pre-made salad mixes like Spring Mix or one of the blends with Arugula or Dandelion.
There’s no limit
There’s really no limit to how you can vary up your salad experience. You don’t have to fear eating Romaine lettuce and you don’t have to stop eating salads. Just start eating a greater variety and know that you are doing good for your body!
Want delicious and easy salad dressings?
If you’d like to make your salads even better, read THIS and THIS about making your own salad dressings! And if you’d like over 100 easy-to-make salad dressing recipes, get my new book Get Dressed Up! You can purchase your copy HERE!!
To Organic or Not To Organic
When people decide to get healthy and eat clean the very first thing that most people usually do is give up meat. Mostly red meat, but sometimes also pork, chicken, and seafood. After the meat goes, it’s usually the desire to eat organic. The question is always, “to organic, or not to organic?” One big reason why people choose to go organic is because they believe that organic is the ULTIMATE version of ‘healthy’. The reason most people don’t actually go organic is because it can be more costly, unfortunately. But other people will weigh the risks vs the benefits and decide to go organic. So, what should you do? Let’s explore.
But What is Organic?
First, let’s talk about what organic is NOT! Organic does not mean the same as “Healthy”. There is no guarantee that something that is organic is going to be healthier than something that is not. This is where the controversy lies with regard to whether or not we should eat organic or not. The reality is that understanding whether or not something is healthier for you is more nuanced. It is much more than putting a word or a label on it.
The official USDA definition of organic is this:
- Produce: fruits and veggies are labeled organic when they have been proven to be grown in soil that had no “prohibited substances” for at least 3 years prior to harvest. This means that in general, no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides were used to grow the food.
- Meats: organic meats were “raised in living conditions that accommodating their natural behaviors”, were allowed to forage for some portion of their food, was given organic feed, and is free from antibiotics and hormones. This means that the cow, for example, was allowed to graze on some grass, and was given organic food while not being injected with antibiotics or any kind of hormones.
Is Organic Healthier?
Organic is definitely a healthier option. In my opinion, it is food the way it was intended. When food is not grown with extra chemicals or tampering (genetically modifying it) then it’s easier for your body to recognize it and process it to get the nutrients out.
Organic foods MAY have more nutrients, but how much nutrition that is in a food depends on the soil that it was grown in (healthier soil makes healthier foods) as well as when it was harvested (vine-ripened foods generally have more foods and better flavor than those that were picked un-ripe and ripened on the shelf).
Isn’t it more expensive?
Many times organic foods are more expensive, but there are many factors that contribute to this.
- Organic certification is a costly process. The farmers that do it have to pay a LOT of money to get that designation, so it is passed down to the consumer, YOU.
- A big reason your conventionally grown food is usually less expensive is because it has been subsidized by the government. Meaning that the government pays the farmer for part of your food. This doesn’t happen with organic foods so you have to pay ALL the costs. Not just the remaining cost after subsidization.
- Food is supposed to have an expiration date. Since it does, that means that your food that it grown without certain chemicals will likely go bad before the other type (and that’s not a bad thing!)
- Food is often eaten out of season. If the season for a food is not now, then it will be more expensive because it has to be shipped from further away. You are basically paying shipping and handling for that fresh fruit in December that only grows in the Summer.
These are just a few reasons why organic food seems to be so much more expensive than other. There are ways that you can begin incorporating more Organic foods into your diet without breaking the bank. Stay tuned for the “Dirty Dozen, Clean 15” blog post coming soon!
Do you incorporate organic foods into your diet on a regular basis? Why or why not?