Grilled Ambrosia

One of my kids favorite things to eat is grilled pineapple. Recently, I made this Grilled Fruit Salad, and it was devoured before I could turn around. This is an ideal healthy dessert option for Memorial Day, Father’s Day, baby or wedding showers, brunches or a light snack or dessert. Adding the coconut gives it a new twist similar to ambrosia, an old Southern favorite. Tune in as I’ll be on WMJJ Magic 96.5 FM Radio on Thursday at 5:40 a.m and 8:50 a.m and Monday at 5:20 a.m and 8:10 a.m talking about how to make this Memorial day healthier so tune in.

Three Berry Antioxidant Juice

My 3 kids absolutely love homemade juice, and I mean “love”. Lately I have been getting so many questions daily about a “juice cleanse”, and my thoughts on that… I like to tell people I believe everything in “moderation”. Regardless, this Triple Berry Antioxidant juice is antioxidant-packed and made with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. It is a homemade juice that is great for hydration, boosting your metabolism, cancer prevention, your skin and more. This recipe makes a great morning pick-you-up or kid’s afternoon snack. I was trying to save some I made this afternoon, and my daughter finished it before I could turn around.

Blackberry Glazed Turkey Tenderloin Salad

I have been getting so many questions at all of my recent health/wellness speaking engagements about lean proteins. Since people tend to forget about turkey (except during Thanksgiving), how about cooking turkey tenderloins? This recipe for Blackberry Glazed Turkey Tenderloin Salad is a 30 minute, simple recipe that is fresh, fast and pretty. The most difficult part is turning on the grill. The barbecue sauce, paprika and blackberry preserves add great flavor to the turkey. Enjoy the turkey sliced over a salad (such as above) or paired with grilled asparagus and a quinoa side dish for a healthy dinner.

Boosting Your Metabolism: Speaking Event Saturday

How can you boost your metabolism? I’ll be speaking this weekend at Bikram Yoga Birmingham on Saturday at 11:15 (immediately after the 9:30 class) on this important topic. I’ll be talking about the top foods, drinks, tips and types of workouts that will maximize your metabolism to its fullest potential. If you can’t attend, check out my “small group coaching series online” this month being held online for The FoodLife Project.

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.

No-Bake Paleo and Gluten-Free Cookies

These No-Bake Paleo Cookies were introduced to me by my friend, Tanya, who has been having success with the Paleo Diet. What I love about these cookies is that they are gluten free, high in omega 3 fatty acids, and best of all, taste great. This recipe is great if you’re on a gluten-free diet, trying to eat low carbohydrates or following the the Paleo Diet, which is based around eating quality sources of protein, fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafoods, fats high in omega-3 and low-glycemic carbohydrates. This is a low-carb diet which omits refined sugars and grains, dairy, trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods. For more information see The Paleo Diet. Best of all, these cookies are no bake!

Top 10 Heart Healthy Tips

February is heart health month, so I thought I would share some of my healthy heart tips. A few of my favorite heart healthy foods are salmon, nuts, oatmeal, dark chocolate, tomatoes, berries and even red wine (in moderation). Read on for some easy tips to better heart health.

1. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol-If you reduce trans and saturated fats, you can reduce your cholesterol.

Choose: canola oil and olive oil

Avoid: butter, lard, bacon, fat

2. Choose Low Fat Protein Sources-Choose lean meats, eat less red meat and choose heart healthy fish (such as wild salmon and mackerel). These are filled with omega 3-fatty acids. Other good options include lean meats and poultry, low-fat daily products and egg whites. Avoid full fat milk and dairy products, egg yolks, bacon and fried foods.

3. Eat more vegetables and fruits-Eat raw fruits and veggies, and if you cook your vegetables, steam, grill or sauté them.

Avoid: frying vegetables, vegetables in cream sauces and fruit in heavy syrup.

4. Eat Whole Grains and Seeds-Choose whole grains and add seeds such as ground flaxseed and chia seeds to your diet. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.

Avoid: white bread, cakes, and pies

5. Reduce sodium intake-Sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Choose fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.

Avoid: table salt, full sodium canned soup, soy sauce, and tomato juice

6. Control portions-Watch your portions. A serving of pasta is ½ cup and the size of a hockey puck. 3 to 4 ounces of lean meat is the size of deck of cards.

7. Plan your daily meals ahead of time – Eat out less and cook healthy meals more.

8. Eat more Power-Foods-Power foods are those foods packed with antioxidants such as cherries, strawberries, berries, chia and flaxseeds, lentils, pomegranates, quinoa and more.

9. Exercise that heart-Try to exercise 5 to 6 times a week. Walk, run, dance, bike, swim or do what you love to get that heart pumping.

10. Replace junk food with fruits and vegetables– Start by replacing one junk food a week, and increase this every week  until you have a cleaner diet.

Photo above via pinterest  

photo above from Pinterest

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

 

 

 

 

Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint

Quinoa is one of my favorite Super Foods of 2012. I talked a great deal about quinoa this weekend at my nutrition/healthy eating seminar including how to pronounce it, purchase it and cook it. I had a lot of wonderful questions regarding this gluten-free grain. One serving of quinoa provides all 8 essential amino acids, and it is high in protein and fiber. It’s also a wonderful grain for those on a gluten-free diet, and it works wonderful for breakfast, a side, in soups and salads. I recommend buying the rinsed version to make your life even easier. I developed this recipe for Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint for Thanksgiving for Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms Turkey. It makes a great side dish or salad, and my kids absolutely loved it. Add grilled chicken or shrimp if you wish for a main dish salad.