Tag Archives: Healthy Eating

Let’s all have a healthier New Year! How to start? Cut these ten foods out of your diet. If you can’t cut them out completely at least cut back!a healthier new year

 

Canned Foods: I admit my pantry does contain canned food. It’s convenient and in the winter it is hard to find fresh produce so we sometimes resort to canned foods. However canned foods also contain BPA – a toxic chemical linked to neurological effects, diabetes, heart disease and a increased risk of breast and prostate cancers. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes cause the BPA to leach into your foods. Best alternative is to stick to fresh produce, can your own harvest or switch to frozen foods. Replace your canned broth with home canned broth.soup, broth, prudent pantry

 

Processed Meats: Most deli meats are made with meats treated with sodium nitrate, which your body converts to nitrosamines, which are cancer causing chemicals. If you are going to eat meat avoid processed meats and go for local and sustainable raised meat.

 

Margarine: Healthy fats are essential to your diet. Margarine and other butter imposters are loaded trans fats, free radicals, emulsifiers and preservatives, which can all lead to health problems. Good old-fashioned butter, when made from grass fed cows is a healthy option.

 

Vegetable oils: vegetable oils are made in a factory usually from genetically modified crops, which have been heavily treated with pesticides. Unlike butter or coconut oil, just pressing or separating naturally can’t extract these vegetable oils. They must be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. These are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health. Whenever I cook, I use either butter or coconut oil. Coconut oil is practically 100% saturated, which means it is stable at high temperatures. It also is very beneficial to the health of your body.oil, prudent pantry, coconut oil

 

Microwave Popcorn: Honestly, you shouldn’t eat anything that’s been put in a microwave, but especially microwave popcorn! The bags of microwave popcorn contain chemicals called perfluoroalkyls, which keep the grease from leaking through the wrappers. These ‘gender bending’ chemicals disrupt the endocrine system and are carcinogenic. Opt for the old fashioned route of stovetop or air-popped popcorn.

 

Non-Organic Produce: I’ve read plenty of articles about the ‘safest non-organic’ produce to eat. Sure, the thick skin of the fruit or vegetable may ‘protect’ the edible portion inside, but what about the fact that the chemicals are sprayed on the plants, leach into the groundwater and are absorbed into the plant by the roots? Produce that has been treated with toxic chemicals affects the planet as a whole regardless of the thickness of the skin of the product. Do yourself, and the rest of us a favor, buy local and organic whenever possible.Oranges and lemon

 

Table Salt: Did you know that processed salt is 98% sodium chloride and the remaining 2% consists of dangerous chemicals like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate in addition to fluoride? Natural salt, like sea salt for example, is only 84% sodium chloride with the remaining 16% consisting of trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium. Salt is essential to your health in it’s natural form.

 

Soy Products: Soy is one of the leading genetically modified (GM) foods on the planet today (along with corn). GM soy has been shown to cause damage to the female reproductive system and is toxic to the placenta. Soy can be found in practically everything from protein bars to bottled fruit drinks to soups and sauces to baked goods and even breakfast cereals! It’s important to read labels as soy is hidden in many processed foods. The only soy which can promote health is organic fermented soy products.

 

Artificial Sweeteners: Without going into too much scientific detail, aspartame forms methanol in the body. Methanol is carried into the brain and bone marrow, where it’s converted into formaldehyde, which damages DNA. All animals, except humans, can harmlessly break down methanol into formic acid. This is why animal testing is incorrect in regards to the safety of artificial sweeteners and humans. If you need to sweeten something go for natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or stevia.

 

Sugar: As a continuation of the point above, sugar suppresses the immune system, leads to weight gain and leaches precious minerals from your body. Sugar is actually an anti-nutrient, meaning that it leaches nutrients from your body! Because certain nutrients are removed from sugar in the refining process, your body cannot process it. So, it leaches minerals from your body to attach to the refined sugar molecules in order to move the sugar through your body. Also, because it’s an anti-nutrient, sugar also causes calcium to be lost in the urine, which in turn is replaced by calcium from the bones, leading to osteoporosis Stay away from processed foods and drinks in order to stay away from sugar, and stick to the natural sweeteners.White sugar

 

So let’s all make a few changes to what is found in our pantries and plan to enjoy a healthier new year. Cook from scratch whenever possible, eat whole un-refined and fresh foods and know where your food is coming from.

 

As Michael Pollan stated beautifully: “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.gardening, prudent living

I am always looking for healthy recipes that we can incorporate into our meal plan. This recipe was adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe I found years ago. We’ve bene enjoying it ever since. It is even good as leftovers the next day!

Ingredients:

¼ cup sweet chili sauce
2 tsp grated lime zest

lime, zester

lime zest

1 tsp lime juice
2 tsp olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced

green onions, home cooking

thinly sliced scallions

1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa, rinsed

grains, quinoa

quinoa

2 Tbsp dried currants
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
½ tsp salt

To make the glaze combine the chili sauce, lime zest and line juice in a small bowl.

chicken, prudent living

Sweet-Chili Glaze

To make the pilaf, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the scallions, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add stock, quinoa and currants; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spay and set over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning frequently and basting with glaze, until chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes.

chicken, chili

Sweet Chili Glazed Chicken

Serve immediately with pilaf.

pilaf, chicken

Quinoa Pilaf with Sweet Chili Glazed Chicken

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It won’t be long before I’ll be enjoying our own blueberries. In the meantime I’m enjoying this delightful salad with a delicious blueberry vinaigrette. I love the colors of this salad and the fresh flavors, perfect for an easy supper. Serves 4.

Tip: Enjoy chicken on the grill the night before, grill extra chicken to enjoy on this salad the next day!Blueberry & Chicken Salad

Blueberry and Chicken Salad

Blueberry Vinaigrette:

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup blueberry preserves (preferably homemade)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. ground mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
Dash pepperBlueberry & Chicken Salad

Salad:

Salad greens
1 cup blueberries
4 oz of mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 grilled skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz each), sliced

In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Divide the salad greens among four plates.Blueberry & Chicken Salad Top the greens with sliced chicken, blueberries and oranges. Whisk vinaigrette and drizzle over the salads; sprinkle with the cheese and serve.Blueberry & Chicken Salad

 

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Looking for a delicious healthy dinner? This is a good one. Not only does it come together quickly but it is even delicious the next day for lunch!Five Spice Pork Stir Fry

Five Spice Pork Stir Fry

2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp cornstarch
¾ pound of pork tenderloin, cut into strips
¾ tsp five spice powder
¼ tsp salt
3 tsp olive oil
¼ pound sugar snap peas ( I used one 10z box of frozen snap peas)
1 red pepper cut into 1” pieces
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¾ pound fresh baby spinach
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Combine the soy sauce, honey and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.

Sprinkle the pork with ½ tsp of the five spice powder and the salt. Heat a large skillet and add 1 tsp of the oil. Stir fry the pork until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and add the peas, pepper, ginger, garlic, jalapeno and remaining ¼ tsp of the five-spice powder. Stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp tender. About 2 minutes. Add the pork and the soy sauce mixture and stir fry until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add the spinach and continue to cook until the spinach begins to wilt.Five Spice Pork Stir Fry

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.Five Spice Pork Stir Fry

Excellent served with brown rice. any leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day!Leftovers!Linked to some of my favorite link parties!

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. Spirulina provides all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent complete protein source! It is loaded with antioxidants, iron, and vitamins A through E.

 

English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) powder...

Spirulina (dietary supplement) powder made from cyanobacteria genus Arthrospira. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There are many ways to incorporate spirulina into your diet. You can use it make ice cream. This recipe is made from coconut milk, cacao nibs, agave syrup and a touch of spirulina for a beautiful green vegan dessert! Try it this summer, you could even add some mint extract and make mint cacao chip ice cream.

 

Salad Dressing – use spirulina right in your salad dressing. Green up your salad! Make your favorite vinaigrette dressing and use 1 tsp of spirulina powder for each tablespoon of olive oil. If you don’t make your own salad dressings just add it to ready made dressings for an additional boost.Salad with Blueberry Basil Vinaigrette

Some folks have even added it to their favorite cookie recipe! By adding it to burritos you can give a vegan burritos an extra boost of protein. For more ideas on how to incorporate spirulina into your diet go to Nuts.com! They have a wonderful video and recipes to get you started!

 

My two favorite ways to incorporate spirulina into our diet is by adding it to smoothies and adding it to my favorite homemade salad dressing! By adding Spirulina to my smoothies I am able to enjoy my smoothie knowing I am getting a boost of superpower! Does that make me a superwoman?

 

Here is an awesome salad dressing recipe, give it an extra boost by adding 1 tsp of spirulina.

 

Springtime Salad Dressing

 

1 scallion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp maple syrup
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
½ cup oil
½ tsp salt

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Makes ¾ cup. Might want to double this as it is delicious!Adding Spirulina

 

If you’re in the mood for a smoothie try this amazing green smoothie!

 

Amazing Green Smoothie

 

1 whole banana
½ cup mixed berries
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 Tbsp Almond butter
½- 1 cup almond milk
2 cups fresh spinach
1-1 tsp Spirulina
6 ice cubes

 

Adding SpirulinaBlend everything together until creamy, add more almond milk to make it thinner. Enjoy immediately or freeze for later.Spirulina shake

 

For those of you following the 21 Day Fix this would include 3 purple containers, 3 tsp healthy oil, 2 green containers and depending on how much almond milk you used it would be ½ yellow. I split the shake with my husband!

Be warned, adding Spirulina to anything will give it a rich green color! Still tastes fine.

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