A Fathers Day Menu That’ll Keep Him Healthy & Happy

Father and Son vintage

Fathers Day tends to be red meat-heavy – hot dogs in the grill, fillet mignon, ribs – but wouldn’t it be even better to create a feast that helps Dad stay healthy? It’s no secret that dietary needs for men and women are a little different, so here is a party-ready menu full of SuperFoods that specifically support male health needs.

A Drink to Get the Blood Moving: Watermelon Agua Fresca
Watermelon promotes blood flow, helping the circulatory system keep circulating, which is great for heart health (and romantic evenings). To make watermelon agua fresca for four, combine 4 cups water with 4 cups chopped seedless watermelon, Stevia or agave nectar to taste, and the juice of 1 lime. Pour through a strainer to get rid of excess pulp, and serve chilled with ice.

A zinc-packed appetizer: Crabcakes
Crab, oysters, and lobster are high in Zinc, an antioxidant mineral that protects against cell damage that can lead to prostate cancer. However, the health benefits of crabcakes are outweighed by the calorie count if you cook them the traditional way. So, instead, use Panko breadcrumbs and just a little oil to sautee them. CookingLight has a great recipe with a spicy remoulade.

B-Vitamin-Boosting Turkey Burgers (with microgreens a slice of heirloom tomato, sautéed mushrooms and onions, and avocado)
You didn’t think we’d completely ignore the grill on Fathers Day did you? Turkey meat is high in protein, B vitamins and zinc, making it one of the healthiest meats for dad that isn’t seafood. Tomatoes, high in lycopene, help guard against prostate cancer; mushrooms contain selenium and potassium, which fight heart disease; and avocado contains phytosterols which are anti-inflammatory and keep cholesterol levels (and heart disease risk) under control. (If Dad’s a vegetarian, try a veggie burger made with quinoa, another great source of B vitamins.)

Beta-Carotene on the Side: Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
No burger is complete without fries, and grilled sweet potatoes scratch that itch in the healthiest possible way. Beta carotene, found in all orange vegetables, combines with vitamins C and E to protect the body against cell damage.

Flavonoid-Full and Flavorful Dessert: Berry Pie
No, pie isn’t healthy, but you’ve got to give Dad something sweet on his special day – and berries almost make up for the buttery crust. Berries – whether blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or cherries – have powerful antioxidants that can help maintain and enhance strong brain function.

And, if you’re looking for a great Fathers Day gift to keep Dad in good health – why not give him a month’s supply of Intelligent Gourmet juices?

3 Firecracker-Hot 4th of July Appetizers

Hamburgers and hot dogs usually take center stage at Fourth of July barbecues, but these bite-sized healthy Fourth of July appetizers pack enough heat to outshine anything on the grill!

Watermelon bites, fourth of july recipe

Icy-Hot Watermelon Bites

These are easy to make a day ahead of time. You need:

  • Watermelon, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • Mandarin oranges, sliced
  • Sweet Thai chili sauce
  • Skewers

Drizzle sweet Thai chili sauce lightly over the mandarin oranges to give the cool watermelon a delicious kick!

Radish chorizo baguette appetizers, fourth of july recipes

Red, White & Spicy Toasts

Thin slices of chorizo and marmalade combine heat with sweet. You need:

  • A baguette, sliced thin
  • Marmalade
  • Radishes, sliced very thin
  • Cooked chorizo sausage, sliced very thin
  • Fresh pea sprouts or micro-greens for garnish

Fourth of july appetizer recipes, easy

Caprese Salad Skewers

These are one of my favorite party appetizers. Simply skewer mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil drizzled with olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar!

 

Intuitive Eating: The Un-Diet

intuitive eating whole food diet

At Intelligent Gourmet, we don’t jump on diet trends, and we don’t think “skinny” is the ideal. We appreciate good health in all its forms, so if you’re eating clean, staying active, and loving life, we support you! One aspect of health, however, is developing a healthy relationship with food. The “Intuitive Eating” approach aims to do just that by encouraging people to eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? In my opinion, the best things in life always are!

In our social-eating society (and as an Italian, I understand social eating on a deep level), eating only when you’re hungry and stopping when your full can be a real challenge. But, if you can manage it, you might never need to diet again.

The Rules of Intuitive Eating

  • No foods are off-limits.
  • Eat want your body craves, but only when you feel hungry. No guilt allowed!
  • Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry.

Now, I would put a few caveats in place, because I believe this method works best when your body chemistry is balanced with good nutrition. If you eat nothing but brownies all day, or any other sugar and carb-filled processed food, science shows that you will actually feel hungrier than if you ate something more balanced (even a home-made brownie with walnuts is better!). I would also beware of sugary and alcoholic drinks that add calories without filling you up. However, if you pair the Intuitive Eating philosophy with a whole foods diet, I think it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship – and a beautiful body.

Let me know if you try it!

The Superfood That’s Ahead of its Time: Camel Milk

health benefits camel milk

Camel milk is hard to come by, unless you live in an Amish community or are flying to Dubai sometime soon. Yet the demand for it is increasing, especially by parents of autistic children, diabetes sufferers, and those with auto-immune disorders. Why? Well, because it has the potential to substantially improve – if not cure – all three. It’s really amazing stuff.

Camel MilkWith far less fat than cow’s milk, more iron and vitamin C, and antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, camel milk is the healthiest milk out there (next to your own mother’s milk!). Parents (and nutritionists) of autistic children are posting anecdotal evidence all over the internet of how drinking raw camel milk is improving their children’s interactions and engagement. New studies are showing the potential for camel milk to treat auto-immune conditions, diabetes and food allergies. Lactose intolerant? No problem – you can still drink camel milk!

However, these health benefits are from raw milk, which many states don’t allow to be sold. And, there are very few camel dairies around, so don’t expect to see camel milk in stores near you anytime soon. But you can order online (really, what can’t you order online?!). If you’d like to try camel milk for yourself, camel milk experts recommend buying frozen raw milk (not powdered) for the most health benefits. You can find it with a quick search online.

Special thanks to Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, California for their camel models! 

Oasis Camel Dairy camel

 

3 Grocery-Bought Superfoods You Can Grow in Your Garden

Heart-healthy Tomatoes

Did you know that you can take some of the delicious vegetables you buy at the grocery store or farmer’s market and plant them in your own back yard? The trick is knowing which will grow true, and which you should just enjoy eating. If you’ve ever planted an apple seed, you’ll know that the Red Delicious you were expecting turned out to be neither red, nor delicious! In fact, many fruits won’t grow true or won’t grow at all because they’re hybrids. However, if you know where to look, your grocery store or local farmer’s market is a goldmine of viable seeds. Here are 3 superfoods you can buy at the grocery store and grow.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Anything that says “Heirloom” will grow true, and heirloom tomatoes are the most delicious tomatoes you will ever eat! While there are many ways to grow tomatoes from fresh seeds (and many, many different philosophies), I say just scoop the “goop” out of your tomato and plant it in good soil in a sunny location. Keep the seeds moist, and let our warm weather and Florida sun do the rest. Once they sprout, separate them to about 2-3 feet apart. Once they’re growing, don’t over water!

Dried Beans

The dried beans you find in grocery store bins are identical to what you’d find in a seed packet – however, they may have been sitting on the shelf a while, reducing their viability. Plant more seeds than you want plants to increase the likelihood that you’ll have all the beans you want, and thin if necessary. Beans hate to be transplanted, so plant them directly in the soil about 1-inch deep, and 6-inches apart, near a trellis or cage so they can climb.

Quinoa

Yes, the “It” Superfood of the decade is easy to grow in your own backyard! And, it’s an attractive plant too. Plant your seeds in full sun now – before the end of May – for best results. These plants get quite tall, so space them out 10-inches apart and plant 1/4-inch deep. Best part: while you wait for the flowers and seeds to sprout, bloom, and dry, you can harvest some of the leaves. They’re edible!

What won’t grow:

Anything that is a hybrid or requires grafting to grow true (most fruit trees and melons), or foods that have been frozen, roasted, or pre-sprouted (yep, that sprouted wheat won’t grow!).