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Are You Ready for the Super Bowl?

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Have you ever tasted a dish that made you moan because it was so good? Well if you haven’t then you are missing out! I went on an adventure/fitness retreat to Costa Rica with Sonja Franzmann who is an awesome retreat leader and basically one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. We literally moaned our way through meals for a week and basically existed in food and fitness bliss. One of our best meals was a salad made of quinoa, avocado, lettuce, tomato, carrots, celery and broccoli. Every bite was a different blend of veggies and quinoa so you always had a slightly different taste with every bite. It was totally moan-worthy!! When I came back from Costa I was obsessed with this salad so I decided to try my hand.

 

You may be wondering what this has to do with the Super Bowl? Well this bowl is full of SuperFoods. You may recall from a previous blog that there are some incredibly powerful foods out there that can help fight infection, cancer, cardiovascular disease, aging and many other ailments. SuperBowl Sunday gave me a reason to pile all of my favorite SuperFoods together into one blissful, moan-worthy bowl. So here’s to my own SuperFood Bowl!!

 

The NanBowl (Makes enough for 2 but you can always use more and invite friends over to make their own bowls)

1 cup Brussel sprouts halved

½ sweet potato cubed

1 beet cubed

2 cups quinoa cooked

½ onion diced

Small bunch of spinach or kale (any leafy green will do)

½ cup cherry tomatoes halved

½ avocado sliced

 

Mix all of these ingredients together and toss with your favorite dressing. I like a simple balsamic vinegar/extra virgin olive oil drizzle. Or you can make this phenomenal Avocado Lime dressing.

 

Avocado Lime Dressing

½ to 1 avocado mashed

2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or 1 whole squeezed lime)

½ tbsp honey

¼ tsp cumin

1 tbsp white or red vinegar

1tbsp evoo

1 tsp minced garlic

¼ cup water

 

Whisk all ingredients together and toss on top of your own superfood bowl and have your own ‘moan’-ingful moment!! You may not even care who wins or loses while you are enjoying this bowl of bliss!!

Super Foods to the Rescue!

Monday, January 19, 2015

There’s a lot of contradicting information out there in regards to foods and nutrition. There are, however, some really great ways to keep your body operating at its best. One easy way to do this is by incorporating as many SuperFoods into your diet as possible. It may sound complicated but these foods are likely already a part of your diet and you don’t even know it. Check out my SuperFoods recipe blog for some tasty recipe ideas too.

 

Beans

Eating beans may help reduce cholesterol levels and reduce certain cancers like colon, breast & prostate. They contain a highly concentrated amount of a certain phytonutrient called polyphenol which acts as an antioxidant and is also anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic. Fava beans, pinto/black beans and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are a few of my favorites.

Blueberries

If I could pick one SuperFood that I had to eat everyday it would be blueberries. I’ve spent some time in upstate NY in the summer and the local farmers market has the best fresh berries. Some of the sidekick berries include cranberries, boysenberries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries. Eating a cup daily can prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, senility and degenerative eye diseases. This is THE most powerful disease-fighting antioxidant than any other fruit or veggie. You can add these to yogurt for a great boost to your breakfast; to an afternoon smoothie; or even eat a handful on the go.

Broccoli

Many people I’ve talked with still have a negative stigma about broccoli. It might be because that was the one food that our parents made us eat even though we hated it so we still revolt against it today. Hopefully you’ve outgrown your dislike of this vegetable because just ½ cup to 1 cup daily provides a natural protection against cancer. They contain powerful antioxidants that help to fight cancer. There’s also a study that found that eating broccoli more than 2 times/week provided a 23% lower risk of cataracts. If you aren’t a huge fan of broccoli, you can try Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale or cauliflower.

Wild Salmon

There’s been a great debate about eating fats and one of the ‘good’ fats known as polyunsaturated fat helps to increase the good cholesterol, control hypertension, prevent cancer, mitigate auto-immune disease and relieve depression. These polyunsaturated fats known as Omega3 and Omega6 are greatly concentrated in wild salmon. Eating this fish 2-4 times/week will give you the needed Omega fats and help maintain good health. One important note is to beware of farm raised salmon due to environmental concerns over the toxicity levels of raising these farmed fish. ( http://draxe.com/the-dangers-of-farmed-fish/ ) Although many improvements have been made over the years to raise clean farmed fish, the known benefits are directly related to wild salmon. Some other sidekicks include Alaskan halibut, canned albacore tuna, sea bass, oysters or clams.

 

By adding these foods into your diet on a daily/weekly basis you are well on your way to ensuring that your body is well-defended from many diseases.

SuperFood Recipes

Monday, January 19, 2015

Here are a few easy ways to prepare some of the most nutritious super foods for you and your family.

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 cup dried garbanzo beans (or 2 cans drained and rinsed) *You’ll need to cook the dried beans according to the package

6 cups vegetable stock

½ tsp ground cumin

1 medium red bell pepper

½ cup nonfat plain yogurt (1/4 cup soft silken tofu)

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon olive oil

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp sea salt to taste

Add cooked (canned) beans, stock, cumin into large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer gently for about an hour. Drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bell pepper in half. Remove the stem & seeds and lay cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake until pepper is tender and skin begins to wrinkle. Remove from oven and use paring knife to remove the skin. Cut the pepper into chunks and add all ingredients to a food processor.

Pulse until smooth. You may need to add a bit more tahini and/or yogurt to taste. (Some people prefer chunkier hummus but I prefer a creamier one so I tend to use a bit more yogurt.)

Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend together.

Add to serving bowl and serve with sliced raw vegetables and pita crisps.

 

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

1 sliced banana

1 cup fresh blueberries (Can also use frozen)

1 cup plain fat free yogurt (Can also use any type of milk or water)

1 tsp almond butter (or peanut butter)

1 tsp ground flax seeds

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Great energy boost and keeps me full all morning.

 

Roasted Broccoli/Cauliflower

1 head of broccoli

1 head of cauliflower

1-2 tsps olive oil

1-2 garlic cloves minced

¼ cup red pepper flakes

Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place broccoli and cauliflower to baking sheet with oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.

Roast for 12-15 minutes or until slight browning on top.

Remove from oven.

**Cauliflower can also then be pureed in a food processor with a bit of milk or cream and served as mashed cauli. This is a great way to ‘trick’ the kids into eating a vegetable that they may not normally touch.

 

Teriyaki Salmon

2 filets of wild salmon (Can be found at most major grocery chains incl Publix, Harris Teeter, EarthFare, WholeFoods, FreshMarket, etc)

1 cup soy sauce

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp ginger minced

1 tsp agave syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place salmon in baking dish skin side down.

Mix last four ingredients together and spread over fish. (Leave about ¼ cup to spread over fish at the end of baking)

Bake for ~15 minutes until fish is flaky. Be careful not to overcook as it will become dry.

Remove from oven and drizzle remaining sauce over fish.


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