High Antioxidant Superfoods Salad

Since I have been doing a lot of nutrition seminars and speaking engagements lately on superfoods and healthy eating habits, it has been so fun to experiment with various combinations of super healthy ingredients. Last week, I thew together this with this High Antioxidant Superfoods Salad. My newest favorite ingredient is broccoli sprouts, and my kids and I are infatuated with them. They are so healthy and are said to help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and even help protect against ulcers. This salad is also filled with some of my other super food favorites including berries, pumpkin seeds and colorful greens. If you want a refresher on the health benefits of blackberries, read my post on “Top 10 Health Benefits of Blackberries.”  Feel free to add grilled chicken or shrimp along with your favorite salad dressing, or just simply use balsamic vinegar and oil.

No-Bake Date Nut Energy Bars

I am always looking for new, healthy snack ideas for the kids, and if I can come up with a no-bake recipe idea, then even better. My two boys love dried dates, so I thought this combination of dates, nuts and flaxseed would make a great healthy snack, dessert or breakfast idea. You’ll love these too. No-Bake Date Energy Bars are not only “no-bake”, they are also gluten-free and perfect for all of my friends following the Paleo Diet. They also make a great pre or post workout snack so enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from “The Dramatic Pancake”.

Kale Slaw

I am such a huge fan of kale. It’s truly so versatile and filled with so many health benefits. Check out my recent article on MindBodyGreen on the “Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Kale”. Spicy Kale Slaw was on the menu last week at Award Winning Chef, Frank Stitt’s, Highland Bar and Grill restaurant in Birmingham. It was so fabulous that it inspired me to come up with my own. I use a Dijon vinaigrette to flavor mine and added shredded carrots, broccoli and toasted walnuts.

Gluten-Free Main Dish: Balsamic Chicken with Pine Nuts

I am so excited about sharing this simple, healthy main dish. In under 30 minutes, this recipe for Balsamic Chicken Cutlets makes a great healthy weeknight or weekend entree. This recipe is perfect if you’re following a gluten-free, Paleo or low carb diet. Pine nuts are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, magnesium and iron, and they add great flavor and crunch to this easy recipe.

Healthy Valentine’s Recipe: Strawberry Kefir Smoothie

I have been doing a lot of research, writing and speaking on super-foods, and Kefir is definitely on my list. I am so excited about Frozen Kefir by Lifeway because it has is only 90 calories per 1/2 cup serving, 18 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber. It is also 99% lactose free, all natural and gluten-free. In addition, it is packed with 10 probiotics which rev up your immunity and are great for digestion. My kids absolutely went wild over the strawberry, especially in this Strawberry Kefir Smoothie. With only 3 ingredients, you will have a refreshing and healthy smoothie perfect for breakfast, afternoon snack or light dessert.

I get a lot of questions about probiotics. What are they? Probiotics, which literally mean “beneficial to life,” are live cultures that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Most probiotics include the live active cultures often added to foods like yogurt. Researchers have studied bacteria extensively and considerable evidence indicates that there are several strains of essential good-for-you bacteria that have an ability to promote healthy gastrointestinal functions. Lifeway Kefir contains seven to ten billion CFU’s of 10 strains of bacteria, plus ProBoost, an exclusive pair of clinically proven probiotics to balance your body’s ecosystem, support digestive health and immunity. That’s 12 live and active cultures per cup to produce a wide array of health benefits. You can find Lifeway frozen Kefir at Whole Foods.

Chia Seed Banana-Nut Muffins

Have you heard of Chia Seeds? If you haven’t, read on. These wonderful seeds are on my list of top super foods of 2012. Chia seeds have more calcium and fiber than flaxseed, and they are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. They are also said to boost energy levels. They have a nutlike flavor, and they add flavor and crunch to baked goods, oatmeal, cereal, salads and in yogurt. Try them in this recipe for Chia Banana-Nut Muffins. It’s so easy, with no mixer needed. I made these on sunday, and before I could turn around, all of them were gone. My kids went wild over these. Feel free to use mini muffin pans for variety. If you use mini pans, bake them at 350F for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy, and check out this powerful seed.

Chia picture from Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Start the Day Off Healthy: Oatmeal with Egg Whites

It’s a busy week ahead for me including with radio show on Magic 96.5 this Wednesday as well as a nutrition seminar this weekend at Bikram Yoga Birmingham. For both events I’ll be talking about “Healthy Eating Tips” to get your new year off to the right start. One of my top tips is to never skip breakfast. If you like oatmeal for breakfast, you’ll love this recipe for Oatmeal with Egg Whites. This simple combination is something my friend, Kelly, of Hulsey Gardens, told me she eats daily. I made mine with a touch of brown sugar and blueberries. Kelly normally adds 1 tablespoon of pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon vanilla to hers. Adding sliced strawberries and ground cinnamon is also delicious. Regardless, this is one healthy breakfast recipe that has the perfect mix of protein, fiber and carbohydrates, and it is a great way to start your day and new year on the right foot.

Start the New Year Right: Green Smoothie Recipe

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to drink more Green Smoothies.  I am having so much fun with my Blendtec blender, and I loved this recipe for Green Smoothie. Even my son, Zachary, who is 10 years old, drank an entire glass. If you’re skeptical, just try it. It’s my newest favorite recipe for breakfast or afternoon pick me up.

Check out 10 awesome health benefits of drinking Green Smoothies below:

1. It boosts your energy level

2. Adds fiber to your diet which aids in digestion and eliminates toxins.

3. Reduces mood swings

4. Promotes weight loss

5. Stabilizes blood sugar levels

6. Increased antioxidant intake which helps protect against diseases

7. Helps with healthy, radiant skin

8. Increased intake of fruits and vegetables

9. Reduces unhealthy food cravings

10. Enhances the immune system

Almond Butter-Flaxseed Pancakes

Since I have been obsessed with almond butter for quite some time, I thought I would try my hand at making these Almond Butter Flaxseed Pancakes. You combine almond butter with your favorite homemade or store-bought pancake mix, flaxseed meal (which can be found at most local groceries), banana and even nonfat Greek yogurt. My kids went nuts over these, and I felt great serving them such an incredibly healthy breakfast. They called them, “Banana-Nut Pancakes” which was a great name. These pancakes taste great reheated, and they make a great healthy afternoon snack. Enjoy anytime of the year, but they are perfect for a healthy Christmas break, New Year’s or weekend breakfast.

Chipotle Vegetarian Chili Recipe

It’s the time of year when I like to make a lot of soups, and chili, of course. This Chipotle Vegetarian Chili recipe is one of my newest favorites filled with black beans, corn, fresh vegetables, and chipotle peppers. I used the canned chipotle peppers, and they are great. Just don’t go overboard and add too many. You can always add more, so start with one or two and a little bit of the sauce. The peppers and a little beer add a wonderful spicy and smokiness to this chili, but this recipe is still very healthy and low in fat. It’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or for casual entertaining.