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Friday, August 19, 2011

Kale Smoothies.....

......I know I probably just lost a few of you with the title. Hang tight, they are so much better than they sound! Greens are the number one most missing item from the American diet. They have so many health benefits! They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. As if that isn't enough, they are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Any way you can sneak them in is a bonus!
Kale smoothie:

1 cup milk (I use almond milk, but you could use any kind)
3-4 frozen strawberries
1/2 banana
1 handful kale (trim the curly part off of the tough stem)
1 TBS ground flax seed
1/2 c ice

Place everything in the blender and blend until smooth.
I promise it doesn't taste like grass 3 year old son asks for these daily!

*You can add kale to any fruit smoothie of choice!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Because I have not been eating a lot of meat lately, I am always searching for good vegetarian options. I found this recipe on a blog that one of my clients told me about. I love the blog and the enchiladas are delicious! I have to warn you-the pepper jack makes them pretty spicy. You could use monterey jack if you don't like the spice. 
(it is pure coincidence that they are called "Beth's Enchiladas")

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp cumin, ground
¼ cup flour
¼ cup tomato paste
14.5 oz. vegetable broth
Salt and pepper       

3 cups (12 oz.) pepper-jack cheese, grated
12 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 carton (10 oz.) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
11 oz. can corn kernels, drained
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin, ground
16 corn tortillas (6” size)
1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and add cumin, flour, and tomato paste.  Cook 1 minute, whisking.
2. Whisk in broth and ¾ cup water.  Bring to boil and then simmer until slightly thickened (5-8 min.).  Salt and pepper, then set aside.
3. For filling, combine in a large bowl 2 cups cheese (saving 1 cup for topping), beans, thawed spinach, corn, half of green onions, cumin, plus salt and pepper.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish.
6. Stack tortillas in a damp paper towel and warm 1 min. in microwave.
7. One-by-one, fill tortillas with about 1/3 cup filling, roll tightly, and arrange in baking dish, seam down.
8. Cover enchiladas with the sauce and top with remaining cheese.
9. Bake 15-20 minutes, until sauce is bubbly.
10. Remove and let cool five minutes.  Top with remaining green onions and serve.
I served the enchiladas with a green salad topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and orange bell peppers. A simple vinaigrette over the top and you are set!

Friday, August 5, 2011

August Newsletter

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Relaxation and Exercise

Summer is often a time for serious play, time off and deep relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation.

The body loves to move. Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word “exercise”. Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or rollerblading. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices – it’s simply up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you’ll sleep better at night.

Summer is a unique time of year when we can do both our relaxation and our movement out in nature. Take a nap in a hammock and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. Go to the park and meditate or read under a favorite tree. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something magical and restorative in water, and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a lake or a kiddy pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating.

Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most. So while summer is with us, strap on your sandals and enjoy the rich elements of sun, wind and water and the nourishment that they bring.

Food Focus: Water
Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily dose of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily. In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue.  

To start your day right, set a large glass of water by your bed each night and drink it when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning pulls out toxins from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. Having a bottle of water close by will remind you to take a sip when thirsty. The first sip will usually let you know how much more water you need. A sip or two may be enough, or you may need a big glass. If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night’s sleep.

What about quality? Some people like bottled water, while others prefer filtered water. The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make water more tempting, or to jazz up your routine. Also, drinking tea or juice and eating raw fruits and vegetables contribute to the hydration process. So, splash in the waves, swim in the sun, drink plenty of water and enjoy the summer fun!

Recipes of the Month:

Sun Tea
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 24 hours
Yield: 2 liters

3-4 tea bags of your choice

1.   Fill an extra-large mason jar with water, add 3 or 4 of your favorite tea bags and cover with lid.
2.   Place in sun for one full day and let the shining rays pour in heat and energy, bringing out the wonderful tea flavors.
3.   Sweeten if so desired with natural sweetener and serve at room temperature or cold over ice.
Note: Garnish with mint leaves or lemon wedge.

Ginger Drink
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 24 hours
Yield: 6-8 servings

1 pound fresh ginger root
2 quarts water
juice of 2 limes
maple syrup or agave nectar to taste

1.   Thinly peel the fresh ginger, grate and mix with water in a large saucepan.
2.   Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Cover the pan and turn off the heat; leave
      for 24 hours.
3.   Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve.
4.   Add the lime juice and maple syrup or agave. Stir until dissolved. Serve chilled.

Forward to a Friend
It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

I love to start my day with a bowl of steel cut oats. The problem is, it takes 20 minutes to cook them-more time than most of us have to wait for breakfast when we are trying to get lunches made and kids out the door. Oatmeal is such a perfect breakfast. It is full of soluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol and slows digestion, which means you won't get a spike in blood sugar (too much of the up and down of the blood sugar over the years = diabetes). It is a good source of protein and provides many vitamins and nutrients. These include, vitamin e, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Here is your tip for the day: start your oats the night before. I measure 1/3 cup each of steel cut oats, almond milk and water (you can use all water if you prefer, but I like the extra calcium from the almond milk). Place them all in a bowl. At this step, you can add 1/2 t vanilla and any dried fruit you choose. Cover the bowl with a plate and set it in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, dump the bowl into a pot and heat on medium for 5-7 minutes. At this point, I mash half of a banana with a fork and stir it in while the oats heat up. I also give it a sprinkle of cinnamon.
When the oats are warm, dump them back in the bowl and top with your favorite fruit. Today I had fresh organic mango and strawberries. I also like to add blueberries or peaches. I always top in off with almond butter with roasted flax seeds in it for some added protein and Omega 3's.
This is one breakfast that fills me up and gets me through the morning!

Newsletter countdown! In 2 days, check back here for my first newsletter! Please pass it along to any friends or family you think might be interested in some tips on healthy living.