The power of food

Hello readers!

It has certainly been some time since I have posted! After two summer vacations and a trip to Tennessee, we’ve been so busy! After splurging during the holiday season and eating out almost every day on our trip, my body was craving some healthy food. I don’t know about you, but when I drink booze, I don’t crave a Big Mac in the morning, I crave a smoothie full of nutrients. It’s amazing the power good food has on our body. After watching a documentary called “Food Matters”, it astounded me the attitude doctors and big business have about our health. Sure, being healthy is wonderful, but it doesn’t make money! All the pills, creams, powders and surgeries are doing is reducing the size of our wallets. It doesn’t cure our ailment, but masks it. What did our ancestors do back in the day? The answer: good food. Food is medicine. Bottom line is what you are what you eat. Eat good, healthy food and you lessen your chance of getting sick, becoming obese and being reliant on pills.

Every cell in our body feeds on the food we eat. As I mentioned before, our bodies are starving nutritionally. The abundance of processed foods makes it difficult and expensive to eat raw foods. But, our body needs it. Did you know food can make you not only look better, but feel better? So next time you’re shopping, turn your grocery list into an Rx for what ails you. Check out this list of super foods that heal:

1. Painful heartburn? Try foods with insoluble fiber like fresh veggies as well as replacing refined grains like white rice and pasta with their whole-wheat counterparts. The more fiber your body consumes, the less time food spends in the stomach, which helps keep acid from coming back up.

2. Got the sniffles? Eat foods with selenium like tuna and halibut. Selenium helps build up white blood cells—particularly those responsible for killing bacteria and viruses, even the flu! Head to the nearest fish market and chow down on some fish this winter. If you’re not a fish person, try eating foods with probiotics like kefir, yogurt, kimchi and tempeh to also keep your immune system strong.

3. Muscle or joint pain? The omega-3 fatty acids in fish such as salmon and sardines can help relieve muscle and joint pain. You can also try adding in tart cherries to your diet because they have anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Allergies got you down? Try munching on nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds (and even some vegetables) that are chock-full of vitamin E, which may help reduce the allergic response. Apples, onions and berries are also considered an “allergy drug” as they prevent immune cells from releasing the histamines that cause those symptoms.

5. Battling a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)? Studies suggest drinking parsley tea. It has been shown to be an antibacterial force against the germs that cause urinary tract infections—even some of those that may be resistant to antibiotics. You can also try cranberry juice which is found to keep bacteria from attaching to bladder cells and causing infection.

6. Experiencing moodiness or dementia? Lean meat, beans and broccoli are all dishes that are rich in folic aid as well as vitamin B12. These vitamins help prevent disorders of the central nervous system, mood disorders, and dementia.

7. Reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory disease. Adding kiwis to your diet adds an astonishing amount of vitamin C as well as offers natural blood-thinning properties, reducing the formation of blood clots and lowering LDL cholesterol.

8. Prevent eye disease and vision loss. Spinach is a power food full of nutrients like vitamin K, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and iron. The green leafy vegetable is not only great for improving eye sight, but also good for brain function, guards against colon, prostate, and breast cancers; and lowers risk for heart disease, stroke, and dementia!

9. Kidney and liver disorders.The pesky weed that we all try to rid our lawns of is actually very nutritious. Dandelions provide our bodies with vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A. It’s also one of the best sources of beta-carotene. Dandelion has been used for years to treat hepatitis, kidney stones, jaundice, and cirrhosis. It’s routinely prescribed as a natural treatment for anemia and liver detoxification.

10. Diarrhea, ear infections, coughs and constipation. Carrots contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin C, and an incredible amount of vitamin A. The alpha-carotene in carrots has been shown to cease tumor growth. Carrots also  promote eye health and prevent cataracts. Carrots are also used to treat rheumatism, kidney stones, tumors, indigestion, diarrhea, night blindness, ear infections, earaches, skin lesions, coughs, and constipation.

As you can see, food is the most powerful medicine on this planet. Without these super foods, our body cannot perform to its full potential. And the best part: adding these foods to your diet doesn’t have to be boring or expensive.

As promised, here are a few clean recipes that utilize some of these super foods.

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Pumpkin Oat Cookies:

2 cup oats

1/4 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie puree)

2 Tb. unsweetened coconut

2 tsp. chia seeds

1 medium banana

Add all ingredient together in bowl. Mash up banana and ensure mixture sticks together. Place on baking sheet at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Add cinnamon on top for added flavor.

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Eggplant Mini Pizzas:

1 eggplant

2 pieces of string cheese

1 can tomato sauce (no salt added)

Oregano and basil

Cut eggplant into 1 inch piece. Lay on paper towel to dry (pieces will begin to turn a yellowy color). Add tomato sauce, oregano, basil and sprinkle low-fat cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

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Sweet Potato Sliders:

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 cup spinach

2 pieces of cooked salmon

1 avocado

1 cup Greek yogurt (or kefir)

Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes (until tender). Slice into 1 inch pieces. While potatoes cook, bake salmon in oven on 375 for 15 minutes until pink. Cut into 4 pieces and serve on sweet potato pieces. Add yogurt and avocado in blender until smooth. Add a dollop of avocado “sauce” on slider. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Add Spinach once cooked.

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Buffalo Chicken Wontons:

Low sodium hot sauce

2 cups of cooked chicken (skinless)

1 package of wontons

1 cup of low-fat cheddar cheese

1 package of low-fat cream cheese

This isn’t technically clean, but an easy (and protein-filled) recipe to bring to any party! Add wonton wrappers to muffin tins (I laid two in different directions). Cook chicken and add warm cream cheese. Mix mixture together. Place into the wonton “cups” and sprinkle cheese. Bake in oven on 350 until cheese melts and wontons are crisp (15 minutes).

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Substitutions…and even more recipes!

Hello readers!

I apologize I have neglected to post a new entry for quite some time. With the craziness of the holidays and summer time in general, I am now just finding the time to post.

I have a lot of readers/friends who are ultimately curious how to go about cooking their meals once they have gone shopping. You can buy all the organic, healthy and clean foods as possible, but since many don’t know how to cook them or what kinds of recipes you can make, those foods get pushed to the back of the fridge and spoil.

I’ve decided to make a list of the most popular substitutes in cooking your favorite meals as well as a list of more easy and clean recipes I have made for my family.

The staples ‘most’ people have in their houses include butter, table sugar, white flour and vegetable oil. Bad news, those items are detrimental to your health and slow weight loss. Good news, there is an alternative for every one of these (plus more). Not only are the foods we eat overly processed, but sometimes they’re more expensive than making them yourself! Whether you are concerned about what you’re putting in your body or need a replacement food because of an allergy (like gluten, eggs, soy or dairy), these foods will do the trick to satisfy a craving!

List of my top 20 food substitutions/alternatives:

1. Greek yogurt or avocado spread for butter/sour cream. (adds protein and good fatty omega-3 in your diet instead of processed hydrogenated fat)

2. Stevia or raw honey for table sugar. (We already get too much sugar in a day. Stevia is plant-based sugar replacement and equally sweet and natural!)

3. Rolled oats for breading or bread crumbs. (Add lots of beneficial fiber).

4. Honey or raw syrup for processed syrup. (Less sugar and mystery ingredients)

5. Brown rice or quinoa for white rice/pasta. (closer to rawest form and also has higher protein than processed ‘white’ foods)

6. Almond cheese for shredded cheese/sliced cheese. (Less dairy will be beneficial in the long run)

7. Soy or almond yogurt for high sugar flavored yogurts (always chose plain and add your own fruit or honey for flavoring)

8. Dried fruit for candy. (be sure there is no added sugar!)

9. Whole wheat flour/coconut flour for white flour. (Less white, happier life)

10. Coconut oil for vegetable oil. (Filled with good, beneficial fats)

11. Oven popped popcorn instead of microwave bagged popcorn. (No added salt and faux- butter flavoring)

12. Mug cake (use oats, fruit and egg in mug. Microwave for 1 minute) for cake or pastries.

13. Whole wheat English muffin for bagel. (Bagels are equivalent to 5 pieces of bread).

14. Sweet potatoes for potatoes/french fries. (Less starch and gives a healthy dose of beta-carotene)

15. Chicken/fish for beef/pork. (Although some lean cut grass-fed beef is not too bad on occasion).

16. Water or green tea for Gatorade, flavored waters or soda. (Empty calories add up and your body needs water to maintain its daily functions).

17. Mrs. Dash spices for table salt. (A couple dashes of standard table salt is actually the amount of salt we are supposed to have in one day. Mrs. Dash comes in all flavors and is MSG-free and made with herbs and spices instead of salt).

18. Homemade chips (flaxseed, tortilla, veggie) for potato chips. (Chips in bags are filled with fat, salt, sugar and artificial fillers. To satisfy the crunch without the guilt, make your own Kale, zucchini, or tortilla chips in the oven!)

19. Ranch packet + Greek yogurt for bottled ranch dressing. Or choose natural dressing (oil, vinegar) for creamy or salty condiments like ketchup, Italian dressing or Mayo. (Condiments are the worst contenders for added calories and serving size is only 2 tablespoons! Something many of us forget).

20. Homemade ice cream (peanut butter, whey protein, banana blended and frozen) for ice cream. (Ice cream is basically frozen fat and sugar. Homemade you get protein and a dose of natural sugars).

I hope this gives people an idea of quick fixes for unhealthy choices.

 

I thought I’d also post more recipes of my clean-eating journey. Hope you enjoy 🙂

Rhubarb crisp:

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-Whole wheat oats (2 cups)

-1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

-3 egg whites

-Kashi granola for the topping

-Frozen or fresh rhubarb

-1 Tbsp of honey to drizzle

Mix ingredients together and bake for 15 minutes on 350. Add frozen Greek yogurt on top if preferred.

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups:

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-Whole wheat lasanga noodles

-Plain Greek yogurt

-Frozen or sauteed Spinach

-Low sodium tomato sauce

-Cottage cheese

-Slices of almond cheese or part-skim cheese

Spread Spinach, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt mixture on one cooked lasagna noodle. Roll up. Add piece of cheese and pour tomato sauce over. Cook for 15 minutes on 350. Have 2-3 for a serving size.

Mexican Spaghetti Squash:

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-Cooked spaghetti squash (also called winter squash)

-One can of no sodium black beans

-Frozen corn (1/2 cup)

-One can of low sodium Rotel (canned tomato and chiles)

-2 Tbsp of salsa

-1/4 cup of chopped jalapenos (optional)

-4 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook squash for 45 minutes on 380 until tender. Cut in half and scoop out seeds/’guts’. Scrape sides to make ‘spaghetti’ and add all other ingredients. Place back in oven for another 10 minutes.

Squash Stir-fry Skillet:

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-One can of low-sodium black beans

-1 sliced zcuhinni

-1 sliced yellow squash

-2 cups of brown rice

-1 can of Rotel

Cook rice beforehand (about 30 minutes). Add all other ingredients to skillet and cook for 10 minutes until squash becomes soft.

Oat-Crusted Chicken w/ Brown Rice and Honey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes:

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For ‘breading’: rolled oats (1 cup) and crushed almonds (1/2 cup)

-Honey (1/4 cup)

-3-4 sweet potatoes

-Brown rice

-1 egg

-2-3 pieces of chicken

Mix almonds and oats in blender. Dip chicken in egg and coat chicken with mixture. Cut sweet potatoes into small one-inch pieces and drip honey onto them. Cook brown rice for 30 minutes on stove. Bake chicken for 40 minutes (until coating is browned) and cook potatoes for 30 minutes until tender. Serve on spinach (optional).

I hope these turn out as good as they were for me and my family! Cooking for 1 or 2 doesn’t mean relying on boxed dinners or frozen meals. It also doesn’t mean boring. These are all twists on common favorites loaded with veggies and healthy alternatives. Once you go healthy, you never go back :p

Thanks for reading!

-Kailee

Get in my belly!

Hello readers,

I’ve done a lot of talking about clean eating and how to go about it, but I have neglected to post some of my favorites recipes as well as give you some ideas to make your favorite foods healthier ones. You can make ANY recipe a healthier substitute–that is the good news! Bad news is, if you are not a good cook, you may want to brush up on your skills!

I was strictly a microwave and ‘just add water’ kind of cook for most of my college career. Once I started my new lifestyle, I learned more about ways to cook my food in a more healthy way and how I can make fresh, healthy meals while I’m on the go. Don’t fall in the fast-food trap! Fail to plan, plan to fail!

I started food prepping in January and it’s been a godsend! I no longer have to rush home at 5 o’clock and be a slave to the oven for two hours+. Food prepping saves me time, money AND helps us measure portions. 

I usually use different kinds of lean meat like extra lean ground turkey, chicken breast, salmon and tilapia (cook them by baking or grilling) and I pair them with an assortment of frozen mixed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, corn and carrots and sometimes I add black beans, kidney beans, mushrooms, spinach, quinoa or brown rice. With those ingredients, the possibilities are virtually endless. I prep all my meals on Sunday nights for the week. I measure them and put everything into Tupperware containers, put half in the fridge and mark their dates. The ingredients usually last at least a week and a half, so I try to put some in the freezer if there are extras. 

Buying a huge pack of chicken, fish or veggies saves so much money because 1. things don’t spoil as fast and 2. fewer trips to the store (less gas!) and 3. buying in bulk actually is cheaper!

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Using the list of foods I mentioned in my last post give so you many options for meals. You can put your twist on anything! Here are some of my favorites that I have made:

Quinoa and turkey stuffed peppers:

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I used red/orange peppers for this delicious and filling dinner! I carve out the insides of the peppers and stuff it with cooked quinoa, ground turkey, mushrooms or beans and top it off with slices of string cheese. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes on 380 and voila!

Pineapple and turkey pizza:

pizza

This is so easy and tastes delicious! For the crust, I use rolled oats, greek yogurt and 1 egg. I mix them all together until it is a dough-like consistency. I spread it onto a baking sheet and then pile on the low-sodium tomato sauce, pineapple, slices of organic turkey (or turkey bacon) and I grate some almond cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes on 380 and you have yourself a healthy, low fat pizza!

Protein pancakes:
pancake

Normal pancakes are so carb-filled and unhealthy. These bad boys have 3 ingredients and are just as easy to make!

For 4 pancakes: Mix 2 eggs, 2 egg whites and banana in a blender or Magic Bullet until all chunks are mixed up. You can add peanut butter or protein powder if you would like a different flavor. Pour onto skillet and cook just like normal pancakes. Usually 1-2 minutes per side. Add Walden Farms syrup and you’ve got yourself a healthy, filling breakfast!

As you can tell, I am all about easy and simple. My recipes aren’t fancy and are totally do-able and affordable…and they work (cue Pinterest ‘nailed it’ posts)! I’ll be posting more later this week.

Next week, my husband and I start our juice cleanse so I will be sure to blog about our experiences with that. We will be juicing twice a day and eating homemade veggie soup for our healthy meal. We don’t get nearly as many vegetables as we should, so this will be a great experiment! Super excited!

Have a great week, you all!