Category Archives: Food

Top Foods to Help Beat the Cold/Flu Season

The time has come my friends.  Cold weather, runny noses, the flu epidemic. With busy schedules and the holidays, this is by far the worst time to get sick.  Lucky for you, there are a wide array of foods you can eat to help keep you healthy and happy during this time of year. Studies show that infection-fighting vitamins and nutrients work best before symptoms start, so load up on these immune-boosting foods now to help keep you and your family strong during this cold/flu season.

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  • GARLIC.  Garlic has been known as a powerful infection fighter since the beginning of time.  Garlic contains a compound, allicin, which has been proven to stave off drug-resistant strains of bacteria and viruses.   You can add fresh garlic to almost anything! I love throwing some garlic in with sautéed veggies, soups, sandwiches, etc.  Add some garlic to your favorite recipes and you will keep those nasty infections away…as well as some vampires 😉
  • FERMENTED FOODS.  These have also been eaten by cultures for thousands of years and for good reason. Fermented foods help restore healthy bacteria in your gut which is a necessity for a healthy immune system.  Some of the best fermented foods include kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, pickles, non-dairy yogurt, etc.  My favorite is Cultured Coconut Milk and kombucha which you can find at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
  • BRAZIL NUTS.  Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of Selenium.  Selenium forms selenoproteins which act as powerful antioxidants and increase your amount of T cells which fight infections.  Selenium has also been found to help regulate intestinal flora, boosting your overall immunity.
  • MUSHROOMS.  These contain high amounts of Vitamin D as well as beta-glucans.  Beta-glucans have the innate ability to activate macrophages and white blood cells within your immune system which fight off infection.  Mushrooms are also a great meat replacer so it’s a win-win if you can include these in your diet.
  • COCONUTS/COCONUT OIL.  Coconuts and coconut oil are rich in lauric acid, a compound proven to boost immunity. Lauric acid is actually known to disrupt the membranes of invading pathogens.  Try substituting your cooking oil with coconut oil or try adding coconut oil to your oatmeal, smoothies, etc. When buying coconut oil, always be sure to buy the organic unrefined kind. Eventually, you’ll be going kookoo for coconut oil 🙂
  • BLUEBERRIES.  These are packed with antioxidants.  They contain potent phytochemicals, such as anthocyanins, which keep your immune system strong. Berries also contain lower amounts of sugar in comparison to other fruits which is an added bonus.
  • CHLORELLA/SPIRULINA.  I’ve mentioned these super foods many times before but I cannot reiterate their health value enough! These are freshwater algae which bind to harmful toxins and transport them out of your body. They contain high amounts of chlorophyll which promotes tissue repair, cleanses your blood, and helps you process oxygen. You can buy these in powder or supplement form. Try adding a teaspoon of the powder to your smoothies for a mega boost of nutrients.
  • SWEET POTATOES.  Beta-carotene increases the number of infection fighting cells (natural killer and T cells)  within your immune system. Sweet potatoes actually pack more beta carotene than carrots.  Baked sweet potato fries are a yummy treat everyone will love.  Also, sweet potato-orange-pineapple juice tastes like an orange creamsicle…who would’ve thought!
  • LOCAL ORGANIC VEGETABLES.  For your immune system to work optimally, you need a wide array of nutrients.  Choosing vibrant, diverse vegetables will ensure you are receiving a wide array of nutrients which help protect you from that nasty cold and flu. Fresh green juices and smoothies are a quick and easy way to boost your nutrient intake.
  • GREEN TEA.  Green teas are rich in  polyphenols, most specifically catechins. The most  potent catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin (EGCG), which is found to be 25-100 times more powerful than vitamins C and E. Matcha green tea is one of the most beneficial types to incorporate into your daily routine.
  • VITAMIN C. We all know Vitamin C keeps colds away. Foods highest in vitamin C include papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, pineapple, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, oranges, and dark leafy greens such as kale (kale is by far one of the top foods you can eat). Vitamin C supplements also work wonders.  Add Vitamin C to your routine and say “C ya” to that cold….If you’re at a point of no return and already have a cold, try taking 1000 mg of vitamin C every few hours and your cold will be gone within a day or 2.
  • SPICES.  Powerful Immune boosting spices include cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, black pepper, and cloves. All of these have high antioxidant values as well as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties.

By adding these immune boosting foods you will not only keep that cold away, you will improve your overall health and well-being!

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100 Calories- Vegetable Edition!

100 Calorie packs are everywhere, but have you ever wondered how many vegetables would equal the same amount? You might be surprised by how much more you could be eating if you choose these options instead.  Check out my findings below…

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*20 Baby Bella Mushrooms = 100 Calories

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*30 Baby Carrots = 100 Calories

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*4 Medium Green Peppers = 100 Calories

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* 3 1/2- 5 oz. packages of Baby Spinach = 100 Calories

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*2 Medium Onions = 100 Calories

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* 14 Brussels Sprouts = 100 Calories

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*3 Medium Summer Squash = 100 Calories

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*3- 5 oz. containers of Baby Kale = 100 Calories

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*45 Grape Tomatoes = 100 Calories

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*30 Asparagus Spears = 100 Calories

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*2 Medium Cucumbers = 100 Calories

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Coconut-Basil Sweet Potato Fries

Hey guys! Sorry I have been MIA but here is an amazing recipe you should try!

All you have to do is cut a few sweet potatoes into fry-shaped pieces. Throw them in a  large plastic bag with about 1/4 cup organic coconut oil and a handful of chopped basil.  Shake the bag to disperse ingredients.  Spread fries out onto baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes on 400.  I also like to broil  mine for a few minutes at the end to make them crispy!

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Healthy Corn on the Cob

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Grilling out is a must during the summer months and corn on the cob is a typical go-to. Unfortunately, most people cover it with butter and salt. This is a healthy alternative everyone will love, without all of the fat and salt! It has a nice zing with a little bit of spice and lime juice.

  • All you have to do is wash your corn and place it in some aluminum foil.
  • Next, squeeze juice from 2 limes over the corn. (I used 2 limes for 4 ears of corn)
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper over each ear of corn.
  • I also rubbed some minced garlic on each piece.
  • Wrap aluminum foil tightly around corn and grill for about 25 minutes.
  • I added fresh ground black pepper to mine after it was cooked.

This recipe tastes amazing and is great for a summer side dish. Hope you love it!

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Fresh Cherries

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One of my favorite things about summer is FRESH CHERRIES! They are such a delicious and nutritious snack!

Here are some fun facts about cherries:

  • A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that tart cherries ranked 14 in the top 50 foods for highest antioxidant content per serving size—surpassing red wine, prunes, dark chocolate and orange juice. Thus cherry consumption can help fight cancers and chronic diseases.
  • Cherries have 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries.
  • They are also high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They also contain potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and fiber.
  • Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cyclooxygenase-1, and 2 enzymes. Thus, eating cherries has potential health benefits against chronic painful episodes such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia, and sports injuries.
  • Cherries are very rich in melatonin. Melatonin can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and triggers soothing effects on the brain, calming down nervous system irritability, which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions.
  • Cherries were brought to America by settlers in the 1600s

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Your Diet Necessity

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Mine is definitely GREEN SMOOTHIES! What is yours?

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The One Thing We Haven’t Tried

Thought I’d give this one a re-post today as it can never be said too much….

A wise man once said:

“Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

Hippocrates is commonly known as the FATHER OF MEDICINE. He believed that the human body had an innate ability to heal itself. I cannot help but ponder why it is we have ventured so far away from this ideal of Hippocrates…Let FOOD be thy MEDICINE!  What a concept right!? Using the terms FOOD and MEDICINE interchangeably (Who would’ve thought)?!  As a society, we have veered so far off this path that it has become almost impossible to remind ourselves of the importance of food.

I think back to my old (pre-nutrition enriched) self and am reminded of some of my old thoughts. I use to think  eating healthy was just a way to lose weight.  I never really believed “You are what you eat.” I would go from one extreme diet to another. I even remember back to a time when I would eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, an apple for lunch, and a Lean Cuisine for dinner. At that time, I considered this menu to be a healthy one! After a few weeks of eating like that and obsessively exercising I was sick for a solid week or two. Yet still, it never fully registered with me that what I was doing was bad for me. ” I’m appalled by my “old self” ways, but really I was just IGNORANT!

Nutrition has been put on the back burner in today’s society; we are not taught the importance of nutrition.  We go from hearing about one fad diet to the next, or about the next quick fix for weight loss which never seems to work long term.   A lifestyle change of eating right and exercising has the power to prevent degenerative diseases, cancer, obesity, aging, autoimmune diseases, psychosis, colds, flus…the list is endless!

Today, our society tends to laugh at holistic/natural medicine and write it off as quackery.  A “Pill for every Ill” has been the adopted motto of today. Headache, stomach ache, depression, can’t focus…No worries, there’s a drug for that! Does anyone ever stop to think, “What is in this drug that I’m taking?” or “WOW, this drug has over 20 dangerous side effects?” Each year, there are an average of 106,000 deaths due to adverse drug reactions. 106,000 deaths! And by no means am I hating on doctors, because they work wonders and save lives each and every day! But what I am saying is, first and foremost, you control what you are putting into your body.  Less than 6% of today’s graduating physicians receive any training in nutrition.  We need nutrition education instead of all of this medication. We have to be the change we wish to see in the world!

HEALTH IS A CHOICE!! Only you can take responsibility for your health which is why it can be a struggle sometimes. You have to make the choice to change your life!

Fruits and vegetables have crazy amounts of vitamins and minerals which equal healing power! YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Think about it, if you were to plant a tree tomorrow and never gave it water or nutrient rich soil, it would NOT live for 100 years like you would hope and the same thing goes with our bodies! We have to start putting nutrients in and it is up to you to do just that!

I was amazed once I started researching fruits, vegetables, herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc when I found that for almost every pharmaceutical drug, there is a product of nature that has the exact same healing benefits, without the chemicals and those 20 odd side effects! Vitamins and nutrients enable our bodies to heal itself.

Since I’ve adopted eating healthy as a LIFESTYLE and not as a “quick fix,” I have felt better than ever! In the past year alone, I have not been sick one time. I have not taken one pharmaceutical drug or over the counter drug (Yep, no Tylenol! Who would’ve thought that was possible?! haha)

Imagine the money you can save just by eating right and getting yourself healthy. No more/minimal doctor bills and paying for drug prescriptions.

We are living amidst a SICK nation where annually there are:

650,000 Heart disease deaths

550,000 Cancer deaths

106,000 adverse drug deaths

Cancer and disease statistics have not drastically changed over the past five decades, therefore we need to try something NEW!  The statistics for the healing powers of nutrition are out there, they have just been chosen to be ignored. While good health has been proven to work, it does not make a lot of money for the corporate world.

I’m going to leave you with this thought by Orthomolecular expert Andrew Saul,

“We need a new paradigm..a whole new way of looking at things. We need to BOOST health with NUTRITION. It’s really the one thing we haven’t tried.”

*Like if you agree! 🙂

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