Brunchin’ it Newtritionsavvy Style

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Happy Monday friends! What a great weekend. I recently moved into a new place a couple of weeks ago during my transition from San Jose to New York. The new situation is totally relaxed (unlike the last) and my new roommate loves to entertain. With that said, I have been wanting to have people over for a brunch of some sort. It was very last minute but I managed to put together a pretty delicious menu. The menu included a vegetarian quiche, ham quiche (for my meat lover friends), french toast with fresh berries, fresh whipped cream, breakfast potatoes and plenty of fruit! I don’t normally consume these breakfast foods but sometimes you have to splurge a little. Let’s just say it was a nice treat from the steel cut oats, juices and no sugar items I usually eat. The turnout was perfect, about 10 people and before I knew it the mimosas were in full force along with the food being devoured quickly! I love cooking but more importantly, I love hosting for others and showing them that home made food isn’t that hard, can be organic and enjoyed in moderation and tastes delicious! From what I heard, the food was a success and there will have to be another brunch before I move! Can’t wait!

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Get Your Smoothie On

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I love the idea of smoothies because you can pretty much add anything you want, blend and go. I know sometimes it seems easier to just buy one but if you’re like me and love Whole Foods smoothies, well- they can add up! $7 a day x let’s say 3 a week x 4 weeks is $84 that you could have spent somewhere else! I love to add super foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, powder, raw cacao powder, protein powders (vega one is my favorite/it’s vegan) or even greens like kale and spinach that I might not have time to eat during the day. We are all busy so plan ahead and it will make healthy eating a little bit easier. What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes?

Strawberry Season Is Here!

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I love this time of year. The weather is getting warmer and the variety of fruits and veggies is expanding by the minute. What’s not to love about that?? This means fruit salads, more smoothies, fruit inspired dressings and maybe some sangria when this 60 day challenge is over. Say hello to almost summer! Strawberry season is here. With the month of May approaching two days away, so is the presence of strawberries at the farmers market. I can’t wait to create some recipes for you to try. I often hear some “diets” that call for no fruit but unlimited amounts of meat?? What the heck? If you are working out on the regular and burning this natural sugar off then it should’t cause your blood sugar to spike. Eat real foods, in moderation. Bottom line. And most importantly EAT ORGANIC!

Some of the health benefits include:

1. One cup of sliced strawberries provides 163% of your daily dose of vitamin C (more than an orange) and 12% of your daily amount fiber.

2. Antioxidant rich.

3. Anti-Inflammatory. Strawberries fight against many inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis and asthma.

4. Anti-Cancer. The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents found in strawberries is well known to fight against the onset of many different typed of cancer. Vitamin C, folate create a defense against any potential cancerous cells.

5. Manganese. One cup of strawberries contains 21% of manganese (an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent). Manganese is also great for your bones both with helping bone building and maintaining bone structure.

So, now you know. Get to your local farmers markets where farmers practice sustainable farming practices. Also, If you have any favorite recipes that include strawberries send my way!!

Crazy For Oats.

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TGIF! As the week is winding down I finally have a chance to sit at the computer and devote some effort to my blog. Between classes, working out and work it seems there is just not enough time in the day. Does anyone else feel this way? Thought so. I have been asked a lot in the last couple of weeks about my diet routine and what exactly it is that I eat. I answer, “food?” haha. In all seriousness, I think when people think of healthy they think of getting rid of everything in their diet that they love that is not exactly good for you. Ideally, yes. Reality? No. This isn’t possible, at least the way I see it. I most definitely believe that your body knows when it’s feeling really good and not so great. If you work out, eat real food (non processed/short shelf life) and keep your mind right- chances are you are feeling pretty awesome. If you have the occasional night out, few drinks here and a few drinks there, and resort to unhealthy food as a result of drinking (we have all done this), chances are you are feeling not so awesome. I want you all to know that I eat REAL, unprocessed, organic (when possible) food. This is by choice, not chance. I enjoy it, I feel better because of it, and I have even lost weight in the last year from being healthier than the “healthy” I was before. Eating better doesn’t have to be a dreadful process. For me, it’s a constantly changing. Often, I get stuck on my favorite foods and then have to remember to incorporate the other foods in the pantry/fridge. Find the foods that you love and switch things around so that you enjoy it.

Right now I am hooked on Steel Cut Oats. I used to be a victim of the Quaker Oats oatmeal loaded with sugar and who knows what else, but after discovering these plain oats there is no turning back. They take about 15 minutes to make. You boil a pot of water, throw in the oats, add some cinnamon and stir consitently until the oats become thick. You can add a little fruit, agave, ground flax, chia seeds, and anything else that you love. They are SO good. If you aren’t convinced come to my house and I will make for you. 🙂

Benefits:

Cinnamon: Sedative for smooth muscle, circulatory stimulant, digestant, diuretic, antibiotic and reduces type 2 diabetes.

Steel Cut Oats: A diet that includes oats may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. This is also a great source for fiber.

Back To The Grind

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Back to the grind! I started 3 science classes last week, two of which involve labs. What does that mean? Time is of the essence. I know what it’s like to be busy, but I still will not compromise my healthy habits simply because I am busy. The grocery store is my “BFF” and they pretty much see me everyday! When I don’t have time to prepare, I drop by Whole Foods and pick up a lunch snack of some sort. This is much better than starving or choosing a less healthier option provided at school/ work or not being provided at all. I cant tell you How many times I forget what I do or don’t eat when my days are filled. This is important, you NEED to eat. Your body needs energy. What’s the key to success? Plan ahead! Remember, if you don’t buy it, you are less likely to eat it!

Spira-What?

{Spirulina in it’s powder form}

{Whole Foods has the BEST smoothies!}

SPIRULINA! Pronounced (SPIR-OO-LINA!) is the superfood of the week! Superfood?  These are foods found in our enviornment that do amazing things to the human body. They are  powerful enough to help you lower your cholestorol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. (All with no side effects like the common over the counter medication!)

Spirulina is a microalgea that can be found in powder or tablet form. It is the only food that contains all 12 essential amino acids (Protien)  which means vegans/vegetarians- Here is your power food against all of those who worry about your consumption of  vitamin B12.  Spirulina has been tested with a variety of effects…including lowered cholestorol levels and blood pressure. I usually add to my smoothies when I make at home or buy @ whole foods after a workout because it helps aid in post excersise soreness.

The taste might be a little funky at first but give it a try!

The Whole Foods smoothie in the last picture includes:

  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Blueberry
  • Kale
  • Spirulina
  • Apple Juice

The fruit balances out the right amount of sweetness! Go on…What are you waiting for!?

Applicable in 90% of cases: if a food/beverage is advertised on TV, you’re better off not placing it inside your shopping cart.

Snack Time

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{Greek yogurt w/ granola and Agave (if desired)}

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{Fruit and Granola Medley}

{Fruit Kabobs}

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{Whole wheat bagel – no cream cheese!}

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{Edamame w/ Sea Salt}

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{Raw/Unsalted Almonds are best}

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{Little to no salt is best}

I love incorporating new snacks. Pinterest has been my go-to for all things creative these days! I always hear that people, “just don’t have time to be healthy” but I am here to tell you….you’re wrong! With a little preparation anything is possible. Here are some yummy eats to include throughout the day! Try to pick the least processed and least salted items (if packaged). Be creative and have fun making new goodies apart of daily snack time!

All photos can be found on http://www.pinterest.com

Berrylicious

{Berry Assortment}

{Always think, "The more color the better" (Of real foods!}

{Can eat plain or with a drizzle of Agave Nectar}

While topping the antioxdant list as the highest, there are many health benefits to these rich, dark in color berries!

Blueberry Benefits:

  • Protect the brain from oxidative stress
  • Reduce effects of age related conditions
  • Improving vision
  • Protects against macular degeneration
  • Helpful with both diarrhea and constipation.
  • Good source of vitamin C, soluble fiber, and insoluble fiber(we need fiber to digest)
  • Keep them free from moisture since presence of water will cause berries to decay

Raspberry Benefits

  • Excellent source of fiber, Vitamin C, falvanoids (reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and stroke)
  • Very good source of vitamin B2
  • Low calorie nutritient-dense food.
  • Great source of the cancer-fighting compound ellagic acid.
  • Buy, Rinse, Pat dry. (Should wash right before use so they don’t become soft and mushy)

Reccomendation:

When dealing with fruit, eat it alone or leave it alone.  The best time to eat fruit is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. However, if you would like a piece fruit later in the day, wait 3 hours from your previous meal and then enjoy the fruit of your choice. Pairing fruit with other foods can cause fermentation within intestinal tract.

Buuuut, if the only way you will eat fruit is with yogurt or cereal, then by all means…Eat what you can get!