Eat Vegetables, Don’t Be one!
If you sometimes fall short on eating enough fruits and vegetables, you’re not alone. But adding color to your healthy diet can be easier with a few simple and delicious swaps. Wrap. Instead of tacos or burritos, try a wrap with lettuce or other greens. Shred. You may have had shredded zucchini or carrots in cake, but have you tried these tasty, vitamin-packed slivers in spaghetti sauce? Summer squash is a great alternative to pasta noodles and can substitute for potatoes in many recipes. Mash. Use avocado’s creamy flesh to boost a recipe’s health factor with good fats, fiber, and phytonutrients. Mash 1/4 avocado with a little low-fat plain yogurt to replace mayo in a chicken or tuna salad. Try this rich, vegan chocolate pudding: Instant Chocolate Pudding 2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted 1 cup unsweetened almond milk ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ cup honey, plus additional as needed 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon cinnamon Flaky sea salt Scoop the avocado flesh into your blender container and then add the almond milk, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. Puree on high speed for one minute, or until a creamy consistency. Stop to scrape down the sides, as needed. Taste and add additional honey if needed – the goal is subtle sweetness to balance the richness of the cocoa and avocado. Spoon (or pipe, using a zipper storage bag with the corner cut off) the pudding into tea cups or small ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Prior to serving, sprinkle a little flaky sea salt on...Read More
Start Your Day Right – Ricotta Pancakes
Easy Ricotta Pancake Serving size: 1 pancake Cook time: Approx. 5 minutes Ingredients ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese 1 egg 2 tbsp whole wheat flour or 2 tbsp of gluten-free flour ½ tsp baking powder In a small bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and egg. When blended, mix in flour and baking powder. Mixture should be wet, like pancake batter. Heat a medium nonstick pan on the stove (can add a light spray of canola oil). Add batter to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side or until bubbles begin to form and the edges begin to look dry. Flip the pancake and cook an additional 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, put onto a plate and top with your favorite topping! TIP: You can add chia seeds, flax seeds, half of a mashed ripe banana, blueberries, lemon zest, strawberries, or even dark chocolate chips to the batter! Nutrition: Calories: 215, Fat: 10 g, Carbs: 15, Protein 15 g, Fiber: 2...Read More
Smoothies are Popular Right Now – But are They Healthy and Should You be Drinking Them?
Fruit/vegetable smoothies can be a big boost to your health if you use the right ingredients. Below is an overview of the scientific literature that sheds light on this tasty topic and also provides tips on how to make smoothies that maximize the benefits. Drinking fruit/vegetable smoothies helps you increase your fruit and vegetable intake each day. People who drink fruit/vegetable smoothies average 2 to 3 more servings a day than those who don’t drink smoothies. Smoothies provide more vitamins and phyto-nutrients than if you consumed the same foods eaten whole. While not true for every vitamin or mineral, in general blending fruits and vegetables (particularly vegetables) increases significantly the bio-availability of vitamins (especially the B vitamins) and phyto-nutrients (colorful pigments in foods that boost immune function and health). You absorb more nutrients from fruits/vegetables when they are blended in a smoothie. Not only does blending make more nutrients available to you , but it also increases your ability to absorb those precious nutrients. In fact absorption of nutrients in blended fruits and vegetables can be 2-4 times greater than the amount absorbed from eating the foods whole for certain vitamins and nutrients. Fruits/vegetables smoothies help create healthy gut bacteria that greatly enhances your immune system. Research tells us that the vital nutrients from fruits and vegtables, even when blended, are not destroyed by stomach acids and do make it to the large intestine where they play a major role in creating healthy gut bacteria. Which is where 85% of your immune cells are located. By adding parts of fruits/vegetables to a blended smoothie that are not usually eaten (like the seeds and peel of citrus), it makes available to you nutrients that have significant cancer fighting properties. The lignin and other phyto-nutrients found in the peels and seeds of various fruits and vegetables contain powerful cancer fighting properties. Using berries in a smoothie does not raise blood sugar levels and provides great phyto-nutrient availability. Berries are naturally low in sugar, high in taste, and high in phyto-nutrients that have healing abilities. Since berries do not cause blood sugars to rise, those with blood sugar problems can get all the health benefits without jeopardizing blood sugar levels. Over time some fruit/vegetable smoothies can...Read More
Make a Healthy Smoothie – A Great Way to Start Your Day!
Did you know that the Positive Choice Integrative Center runs a program to keep the sheriffs of San Diego healthy and strong? The program is called the Sheriff’s Wellness Academy. The video below shows Weight Management Program Coordinator, Chris Heslin, MS, demonstrating one of the power smoothie breakfasts used by our local law enforcement to stay energized. It works for them, why not let it work for you,...Read More