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.
I don’t tell too many people, but both of my parents have dementia, and my mom has had Alzheimer’s disease for several years. It is definitely tough stuff to deal with, and that is why I don’t talk about it publicly. However, when I come across new information on this topic, it always catches my eye. So, I thought I would share…A new study, from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, found that people in their late 80s with higher blood levels of B-complex vitamins, vitamins C, D and E, as well as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, showed less mental impairment and brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s disease.
What you don’t eat matters, too. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that simply limiting food intake to fewer than 2,150 calories a day was linked to better brain health.
Here are 6 foods that are said to help with mental dexterity:
1. Beans– Beans and green peas provide a rich dietary source of B-complex vitamins (plus, they provide plenty of protein and fiber).
2. Citrus– Oranges and orange juice are a convenient and inexpensive source of ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), as are tangerines, limes, lemons and other citrus fruits.
3. Almonds– Vitamin E occurs naturally in almonds, other nuts and avocados, and studies have shown that people with the highest blood levels of Vitamin E have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
4 Fish– Polyunsaturated “healthy fats”, like those found in salmon, herring, and mackerel, reduce inflammation in the body and seem to help the heart function.
5. Spinach– Popeye’s favorite snack is rich in vitamins A and K, folic acid and iron, plus it’s versatile: It can be eaten raw in salads, baked, steamed or stir-fried.
6. Coffee– Amazingly, a study found that caffeinated coffee decreased blood levels of a plaque-forming protein and even reduced Alzheimer’s-like cognitive impairment.
7. Coconut oil– New studies are looking into whether or not coconut oil is helpful for brain aging and to help Alzheimer’s disease. More research is being done on this topic, but so far, so good.
See AARP for more information on this study.
Coffee photo above from Pinterest
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.
I couldn’t be more excited to attend and speak at my 3rd Food Blog Forum, but this time in Disney World in Orlando. It is a great line up produced by White On Rice Couple, Steamy Kitchen, The Little Kitchen and Dawn Viola. The line-up looks amazing with too many incredible people to name. I am thrilled and honored to be speaking on a roundtable with the talented, Angie of Bakerella on “Writing a Cookbook from Two Perspectives.” I am jumping up and down typing this. Have a great weekend!
Photo via Pinterest
Happy Fitness Friday. Since it’s my birthday week, I thought I would offer a fun giveaway for an awesome tank from lululemon athletica. We are so lucky to have a lululemon athletica store in Birmingham so check out their Facebook page. If you live in town, did you know that they offer yoga at their store every sunday night from 6 to 7 p.m? The class is taught by a different local yoga instructor each week. Fun, huh? If you’re in town, be sure to check it out! Back to my giveaway… To enter to win one of their latest tanks (it might not be these exact ones pictured, but it will be one of their latest tank tops), leave a comment telling me what type of yoga you would like to try or how yoga has impacted your life. Also do the following below for extra chances to win and leave me a comment letting me know you did. One lucky winner will be drawn on Tuesday, March 13th at 8 a.m CST. Good Luck!
1. Like Ingredients Inc on Facebook
2. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter
3. Follow Alison lewis on Pinterest
4. Subscribe to Ingredients, Inc. via email
5. Like FoodLife Project on Facebook
6. Sign up for The FoodLife Project first “small group series” for 10 chances to win.
I have been hinting for a few months that I have been working on a very big, exciting new project at Ingredients, Inc. I am ecstatic to announce my new healthy living consulting business, The FoodLife Project: The art of Eating and Living Well for Life. This venture will be done in conjunction with my 11 year old company, Ingredients, Inc, and has come about by so many requests from friends, colleagues, physicians and readers asking me to consult with them individually and in small groups on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I am delighted to be partnering with a large OBGYN Group in Birmingham, Alabama to offer my services, but The FoodLife Project is open to anyone interested in the art to eating and living well for life. My first Small Group Series will start Tuesday, March 27th, and I’m offering a day and night group to fit everyone’s schedules. There will be 4 sessions for 4 weeks. See more information here. One lucky person who signs up for each group series will win a $100 Lululemon Gift Card. I will be giving away a few other prizes to others attending the group as well. Spaces are limited and going fast, so act as soon as possible. Click FoodLife Project for more information.
It was great to have a Leap day last week for Leap year. It was like having an extra day (although I worked), but I was so excited to be a part of the “Delightful Discoveries for Leap Year Campaign” for Quaker. I had the chance to giveaway a $75 Visa gift card to a great blogger, Marnely Rodriguez, who won it from my blog a week ago. For my Leap Day discovery, I used my time to create a new Easy Trail Mix Recipe with the new Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares from Quaker. This is a wonderful Easy Trail Mix to eat for a great afternoon snack for the kids and adults. It also makes a great topping to stir in nonfat Greek yogurt, and it’s perfect to make to take on trips (I think I’ll be making some before spring break). My kids and neighbors went wild over it, and before I could get my hands on it, it was all gone.
Hannah Pate is a 5th grade teacher and spin instructor in Birmingham, Alabama. She is currently training for her first Ironman triathlon. She is a huge fan of any type of exercise, but she says, “I really like to mix things up and try new things, and I have a strong passion for swimming, biking, running and yoga.” She recently sent the following advice to a friend the week before her first marathon. This advice is great for any of you training for your first race, marathon or workout event. Thank you Hannah!
1. This is YOUR week!
4. Get pumped!
5. Go in with the right attitude.
6. Go into it with a plan… a goal without a plan is merely a wish.
7. Be ready to tackle some serious mental hurdles.
8. You will dominate! You have worked so hard. You have put in the training time. Your body can handle it. Your body is ready for it.
Get your mind ready.
9. Prepare to cross a threshold that you have never ever crossed.
10. Be prepared to coach yourself through it. Write down some mantras to say to yourself when you are at a low point. It will help.
11. Think of the people that are praying for you; the people that want to see you succeed.
12. Think about the people that helped you get to this point.
13. Think about all of the effort that you have put in and the time that you have committed getting you there.
14. Think about how strong you are and how this is JUST A DROP IN THE BUCKET.
15. Have no regrets.
16.Think about how you will feel at the finish line. Think about how proud you will be of yourself. It’s A HUGE accomplishment, and you will feel like a million bucks when it’s over.
17. No one ever finishes a marathon easily. It’s hard for everyone– from novices to elites. You will be a stronger person when it’s over. You are about to complete your first marathon!
I am so excited to announce that my post today is by Sam Henderson of Today’s Nest, one of my favorite sites. Please be sure to check out his site and his incredible talent! I am honored to have him share his incredible work with you for National Hot Breakfast Month. Take it away, Sam….
Pancakes are an American staple and go by many names–flapjacks, hot sales, griddle cakes, etc. The breakfast standard has a long history and is even surrounded by a bit of folklore. Perhaps you have read the story of Paul Bunyan and his love for flapjacks. Some say it took nearly 20 men to make enough pancakes to satisfy him. I sometimes feel as though I could use a little help getting enough for my crew. They seem to disappear from the plate faster than I can flip them. We used a box mix for a long time until we discovered we could make better cakes on our own.
There is no magic in box pancake mix. The ingredients are, for the most part, already in your pantry. The only exception here is that many pancake mixes require just water to be ready to go. If you desire the taste of true buttermilk pancakes, you will be required to keep some buttermilk on hand. The good news is you can make some Homemade Butter or purchase some and keep it for other purposes.
Sam’s 10 Pancake Tips:
1. A word about syrup… I believe in saving money where it is sensible and doesn’t compromise good taste (in every sense of the word). REAL Maple syrup is not a meaningless purchase. Buy REAL Maple Syrup.
2. As a nice gift, double the dry ingredients and place them in an airtight jar. Tie a card around the top with the recipe written inside.
3. When you pour in the wet ingredients, mix quickly and just until moistened. That’s all. There may be some lumps, but it won’t be evident when your light and fluffy pancakes are served.
4. If you have the time, allow the batter to rest before using. Even after an hour the results are better.
5. Pancakes should be flipped only once. Pull up the side to see if the bottom is the color you want and then flip it gently. The second side should only take half to three quarters the time it took for the first side.
6. If you are using a non-stick pan or griddle you should not need any additional butter or oil.
7. I find a griddle much easier to manage for pancake making. I don’t have to struggle with the side of the pan and I can cook many more at a time.
8. I use an ice cream scoop to measure out my pancakes. Ours holds exactly 1/4 cup of batter, and I am able to maintain consistent results.
9. Freezing pancakes is simple. Place cooled cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with another sheet of parchment and another layer of pancakes. Continue until all are single layered between parchment sheets. Place in freezer until frozen. Remove frozen pancakes from parchment and store in a sealable freezer bag.
10. Reheat frozen pancakes covered with a damp paper towel in a microwave for 1-2 minutes.
1. “Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it. Andre Agassi
2. “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” Lance Armstrong
3. “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.” Mark Twain
4. “The only side effect of too much training is that you get into better There is nothing wrong with that.” Mark Spitz
5. Just Do it” Nike
6. “I never regret it when I do it. I regret it when I don’t.” Alison Lewis
7. “If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you are the one who comes up on the short end. Dr. J
8. “I’m not out there sweating for 3 hours every day just to find out what it feels to sweat” Michael Jordan
9. “If you train hard, you will not only be hard, but you will be hard to beat” Herschel Walker
10. “I think exercise tests us in so many ways, our skills, our hearts, our ability to bounce back after setbacks. This is the inner beauty of sports and competition, and it can serve us all well as adult athletes.” Peggy Flemming
Photo above from Pinterest