Ultimate Chunky Peanut Butter

ChunkyNutBotterThis is one of my go-to snacks each day. I love chunky peanut butter, but I want to get more than just peanuts into my daily diet, so I’ve been creating my own chunky nut butter. I make a large batch of this, and then I put a big dollop of it in a jelly mason jar. It is then ready for me to take (along with a spoon) for an easy snack on a busy day. You can use any variety of nuts and seeds and spices.

  • 2 cups of organic peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Method 1:  Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the nuts and seeds are mixed.

Method 2: Place peanut butter into a large glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and add all the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed.

Store the chunky nut butter in a air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Food is Thy Medicine 

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This meal of Wild Alaskan Salmon (3 oz), sauteed mushrooms (2 cups before cooking) and broccoli (1 cup) is one I eat every Monday. Due to a certain medication that I am on to treat an on-going eye condition, I need to follow up with 5 mg of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) 24 hours after the medicine is taken. While I do not like using medicine to treat the body, I know there comes a time when one has to use it to assist the body in healing. So rather than relying on another lab-produced pill (that was prescribed for me), I did my research and found what foods would give me the amount of B5 that I need. I chose the foods I liked from that list and adjusted the serving sizes to make sure I get what I need. In addition to the 100% of the Daily Recommended Value for B5, it also has the DRV for these vitamins:

  • More than 100% of B12

  • More than 100% of Vitamin D

  • More than 100% of Vitamin C

When you eat a diet high in plants with a small side of a nutrient-rich protein, you are building up the respiratory and nervous system, your muscles and bones, your immunity, and all other processes your body does in order to remain healthy. Go for more green and have a happy body!

 

 

 

 

Orange Vs Green

An orange has a very slight lead per gram when it comes to vitamin C versus cauliflower, BUT cauliflower wins over an orange because it also has a good deal of vitamin K and B vitamins. With that said, I have been watching my cauliflower in my garden slowly grow its big, green leaves, and finally it has a head of cauliflower peeking out. The long, dark green leaves are gorgeous, and so how could I let them go to waste? I always do a quick research before I eat anything that is atypical, and tonight my Googling confirmed my suspicions- the greens are edible! So, for dinner, I made myself sauteed cauliflower greens with fresh garlic and mushrooms in coconut oil. That dish is now completely consumed and my immune system has had a little boost!

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Sugar Consumption – Be in the Know

While the American Heart Association recommends that your daily intake of sugar be no more than 10% of your total daily calories, the World Heath Organization actually has recently stated that is should be only 5% of your daily caloric intake. The chart below is a great tool to help you understand how much 10% really is. Shoot for less though (as recommended by WHO) to avoid the negative effects of sugar such as the risk of diabetes and heart disease, weight gain, premature aging, mental fogginess, the feeding of cancer cells, and even arthritis.

The average American adult is consuming over 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, and the average American child is being given an average of 19 teaspoons of sugar each day – that’s 6x what is recommended by the AHA!

Make it a point to stick with natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables and avoid or limit all the added sugars. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

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10 Servings of Veggies and Fruits for Longevity

Eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death

I LOVE this new research. 10 servings of veggies and fruits a day create an amazingly healthy and disease-fighting body. From morning to night, that is what I eat. And with a condition that keeps my white blood cell count low, I should get sick often. My family often comments on the fact that mom is “never” sick. It is indeed a rare occasion that I get a virus or bug of any kind, and I have always comment back with “That’s because of all the vegetables I eat.” So start the day with veggies and end it on a sweet note with fruit!

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A Key to Grocery Shopping 

READ LABELS!

Do NOT be fooled by labels that make a product sound like a healthy choice. Peter Pan’s “Simply Ground” peanut butter is anything but “simply ground”. Hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat) are one of the very top ingredients to avoid. I always read the labels of new products I’m considering buying, so I know what I’m fueling (or inhibiting) my body with.

And true, simply ground peanuts taste much better than Peter Pan’s anyways! 😊

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

 

  

This tower of tastiness was inspired by a dish I had in NYC.  The restaurant where I ordered this served it cold, but I knew that it would be better with warm beets to melt the avocado, making it extra creamy. With that said, here is my twist on their idea. 

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and sliced into circles

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Lay beets on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the oven or until fork tender. 

As the beets become close to being done, slice the avocado. When beets are finished,  begin layering the salad with a beet slice followed by 2-3 avocado slices on top of the beet. Repeat this layering until it’s 5-6 layers high. I sometimes garnish with crunched up kale chips when I have them made. Makes 3-4 servings.

*Beets and avocados are high in Folate (great for women in their child-bearing years!) Beets are also a great liver cleanser and avocados are great for eye and bone health.

Sluggish From Sugar? Challenge Yourself!

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I just read this post from Tosca Reno about finding your trigger “food”, some steps to take to eliminate it from your diet, and the results you will most likely see.  I see it is such a logical progression and a fairly easy challenge as it is just one food at a time. Hope this helps if you’re struggling in trying to clean up your food choices! 

From Tosca Reno’s June 3, 2015 blog post:

What do you eat today that makes you feel brain addled, foggy, irritable, inflamed and just plain sick? What food do you turn to every time to “solve” your problems? How do you ingest sugar and other anti-foods on a daily basis? Is it during breakfast, while watching a movie or driving? Where does the drug sugar live in your life? And what are the consequences? Are you ill? Depressed? Moody? Overweight? Do you drink too much (alcohol is sugar)? What extent would you go to, to reclaim your birthright of optimal health?

Provocative questions. Easy answer.

1. Name that one food, your sugar trigger.
2. Remove it from your diet today.
3. Ride out the tough few days of detoxing, because they will be there but they pass.
4. Eat Clean.
5. Drink more water.
6. Eat more healthy fat.
7. Feel the energy returning.
8. Watch the inflammation, illness, stiffness, foul moods and depression lift.
9. Watch your brain clear up as the Sugar Fog lifts.
10. Re-experience what it feels like to be truly alive.
My prediction is that soon we will see a robust campaign to warn against the evils of sugar. It will penetrate all we do, but consider this writing your early warning.

Grilled Caesar Broccoli Steaks 

When I took my oldest, Aleyah, to Season’s 52 a few weeks ago, I ordered this side dish simply because I saw it on someone else’s plate as we walked by to be seated. They gave be two large “steaks”, and I was kind enough to save one to share with my mom.

I love to try to recreate favorite dishes from the restaurants I visit, so I grilled these up over the weekend, and 2 out of 3 of my kids love them. (The non-lover of the grilled broccoli will eat raw and steamed broccoli so I’m not complaining that she didn’t like this as much. Just leaves more for me!) I also grilled up some onion and tomato slices to accompany this.IMG_2571

  Grilled Caesar Broccoli Steaks 

Slice broccoli lengthwise into 4-5 “steaks”. Spray with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place on a medium high grill. Grill 7-8 minutes on the first side, flip, and grill an additional 7-8 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. Place on a serving platter and brush with dressing. Serve warm.

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Cobb Salad ~ Cinco de Mayo Style

  One week from today, we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo! They say you eat with your eyes first. Perhaps that’s why cobb salads are so delicious and popular. The rows of color and texture are definitely appealing to the eyes. And since Mexican food is always bursting with color, why not recreate the cobb salad and give it a fiesta flare?! I got rave reviews from the husband, the husband’s friend, and all three kids on this one.

Mexican Cobb Salad

  • 1 Head of Romaine

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1-2 tablespoons mexican spices

  • 1/2 cup black beans (boil your own cheaper, easy, and leftovers are stored in the freezer!)

  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup cojita cheese

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • Lime Vinaigrette

Place the cooked, shredded chicken into a sauce pan and add the water and Mexican seasoning. Simmer on low for 5 min. Place washed and chopped romaine into a large serving bowl. Arrange the toppings in rows to create a varying array of colors. Serve with lime vinaigrette on the side.

Love Mexican too? Then try:

Steak Fajitas

Guac on the Cob

Fajita Quinoa