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.

Gluten Free: Grain-Free Granola

One of my food weaknesses is definitely granola so I thought I would develop a recipe for a Grain-Free Granola for all of those who can’t have grains, are gluten-free, are following the Paleo Diet or are watching their carbohydrate intake. This recipe for Grain-Free Granola is super easy to make, and it’s full of my favorite seeds and nuts. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand as all of the nuts and seeds are easily interchangeable. This granola makes a great breakfast idea stirred into nonfat Greek Yogurt or with almond milk. It also makes a great afternoon snack, a healthy sweet to put in your children’s lunch, or a wonderful dinnertime dessert served with fruit.

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!

Chicken Couscous Salad

If you’re looking for a light, healthy and delicious salad, this Chicken Couscous Salad is the answer. Start with a rotisserie or leftover grilled chicken and combine with cooked couscous, cherry tomatoes, basil and either sherry or balsamic vinegar. Top it off with goat cheese or even feta, and you have a super wholesome main dish salad. I loved serving this over arugula leaves, but my kids just ate it straight out of this bowl. This makes a great lunch recipe or easy dinnertime entree.

Fitness Friday: To Stretch or Not To Stretch

So, I am a runner, spinner, tennis player, and I do strength training, but I never know what the true rule is on “to stretch or not to stretch”. I decide to take this question to a pro. I had a talk with Kirk Kaps, a Certified Athletic Trainer at Champion Sports Medicine, who works daily with professional athletes (and small unknown athletes like me.) He told me this, “In the past, we have always heard that is important for us to make sure we stretch our muscles very well before physical activity. Before this could occur, it was told that we must get a good warm-up in order to get a good stretch for the muscle groups when they are considered “cold” muscles. One recent study, performed in 2011, concluded that if you normally stretch and warm up before running, then by all means, continue that. But, if you’re a runner who doesn’t stretch at all, and still gets in a good warm-up, then continue your routine. In essence, each athlete should continue their own routine, but they should continue to get a 3 to 5 minute warm-up before they start their activity.” I hope this helps when you are stumped with this same question.

You can find this study at: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20110217/stretch-before-running-new-twist-on-old-debate

Photo via 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.

Healthy Soup Recipes & 6th Annual Acoustic Soup Event

I have been on a soup kick this month, and I am so excited to judge this year’s Acoustic Soup in Birmingham, Alabama at Workplay on January 26th. This event will feature soup from talented Birmingham chef’s and restaurants benefitting VSA Alabama, which serves children and adults with chronic disabilities through the arts. Please come and bring your families for great food and a wonderful cause. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes such as my Chipotle Vegetarian Chili (pictured above) and others from my favorite magazines and blogs such as this Tortilla Soup from Sunset Magazine and My Recipes (pictured below).

Beef and Barley Soup from Better Homes and Gardens 

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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup from A Spicy Perspective

Healthy Warm Lentil Soup from Ingredients, Inc

 Rustic Roasted Tomato Soup from Family Fresh Cooking

Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup from Skinny Taste

BCS Football Championship Recipe: Spinach Dip with Greek Yogurt

Roll Tide! I can’t believe an Alabama team is (once again) in the BCS National Championship. You have no idea what it’s like to live in this crazy, passion-filled football state (Alabama and Auburn) where red jeans and houndstooth are at a premium. I have had many, many requests, phone calls and emails for appetizer recipes. Since everyone is trying to get their new years off right, I thought I would share this Spinach Dip with Greek Yogurt recipe which I recently made this on television for NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama”. It’s so easy, and it’s always a hit. It is perfect for any party, Superbowl, or weekend starter with the family. Here are a few other favorites appetizers ideas including  Chicken Chipotle Dip

 Rosemary-Chipotle Spiced Nuts

Lightened Up Mexican Layer Dip

Dunkin’ Doughnuts Coffee Giveaway

For years, my sister, Julie, always served the best coffee at her house. The funny thing is that she wouldn’t tell us where it came from. Finally, she spilled the beans (pun intended) that she purchased it from Dunkin Doughnuts Coffee in Atlanta (it wasn’t sold in Birmingham at the time). Now, I am so excited that almost any local grocery store in town carries “Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Coffee”. It’s one of my top picks for coffee brewed at home. This unique mix of 100% Arabica beans has a smooth, delicious flavor with soft, subtle flavors, making it very easy to drink. It’s ideal for that first cup in the morning or paired later in the day with dessert. For more information, visit Dunkin’ Donuts and for coffee promotions, coupons, special offers and more. One lucky winner will receive the Dunkin’ Donuts Prize pack containing one bag of Original Blend, one bag of Decaf, and two Dunkin’ Donuts Mugs. Winner will be chosen, Monday, January 9th at 8 a.m. CST. To enter, do the following:

1. Leave a comment telling my why you want to win this. For more chances to win, do the following:

2. Like Ingredients Inc. on Facebook

3. Follow Alison Lewis on twitter

3. Tweet this link: I entered to win the Dunkin’ Doughnuts Prize pack from @alisonlewis http://www.ingredientsinc.net/2012/01/dunkin-doughnuts-coffee-giveaway/

Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee at Grocery compensated me for participation in this campaign. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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