Re-Vamp Your Breakfast Recipes, try a Quinoa Bowl

Why try a quinoa bowl for breakfast? Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all 10 essential amino acids, and a high fiber content. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of satiating fiber, having it for breakfast will help to arm your body with the tools it needs to get through the day and stay fuller longer. As an added bonus, quinoa is packed with health boosters like zinc, calcium, iron, riboflavin, heart healthy fats and antioxidants that have been found to reduce inflammation.quinoa bowl

Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 15
Yield: 2 bowls

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup canned lite coconut mylk + more for drizzling
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of dried unsweetened dark cherries
1 tablespoon of toasted pecans
1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds

Preparation:
Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
Divide quinoa into two bowls then cover with dried fruits, pecans, + pumpkin seeds and a few extra drizzles of coconut milk.

Chef Notes:  You can use a shelf stable organic Coconut mylk available at Aldi’s Markets. Or you can make your own Almond mylk but that’s for another blog.  Option to add  sweetener of choice,  we find it sweet enough with the coconut milk and fruit.

#Kidfriendly #addtoppingsofyourchoice #mixandmatchfruitsnutsandseeds #yearroundmeal

Nutrition: 302 calories, 10.3 g fat (4.9 g saturated fat), 99 mg sodium, 34.6 g carbs, 5.3 g fiber, 7.9 g sugar, 8.2 g protein

IS YOUR GUT MAKING YOU CRAZY?

We Welcome Guest Blogger and Friend Sarah Bingham founder of Fast Food Healing.

Sarah is a licensed nutrition consultant with a master’s degree and more than thirty-five years experience counseling and lecturing on all aspects of nutrition throughout the country. Her current focus is in family nutrition, helping parents recover their children from conditions like autism, ADD, ADHD, asthma and other learning/behavior issues. She is also a dynamic and passionate speaker who communicates with clarity, humor and inspiration the simplicity of achieving wellness.

Sarah works as the Director of Nutritional Programs for Valle Counseling in Tampa, FL. She is a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome) practitioner (see www.gaps.me). Sarah is the founder of Fast Food Healing LLC, a personalized in-home nutrition counseling business. Sarah always addresses body, mind and spirit as they are all critical to a healthy body.

Following is an article Sarah shared with us.  Did you know that 80-90% of your neurotransmitters (chemicals that effect your mood and brain function) are created in your gut? Also, the seat of your immune system is in your gut. Hence, that old saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling” is quite accurate. Hence, what research is beginning to put together is if your mood, mind or behavior are off, you have a very good chance of having a gut that is off and a poor immune system.

What do I mean by “off”? Your gut is loaded (about 4 pounds) with good guy bacteria. This good guy bacteria keeps in check the potentially bad guy bacteria that is also present. All of these microbes have important functions, like creating B vitamins, neurotransmitters, and anti-cancer substances. When the good guys are winning, your mood and ability to think are in great shape. Your immune system is also in good shape. But, when the bad guys are winning, you could be suffering from any one of these conditions: Irritable bowel, reflux, ADD, ADHD, asthma, autism, bipolar disease, food allergies and intolerance, depression, dyslexia, autoimmune disease and more.

What causes your gut to become out of balance? Antibiotics, stress, the birth control pill, most prescription drugs and a diet high in processed foods. So, take a mother to be who has eaten a processed diet her whole life, has had a few courses of antibiotics and is now pregnant. Her gut “flora” or bacteria are more than likely out of balance. A baby’s gut is sterile until going through the birth canal. At this point, the baby swallows some of the mother’s vaginal fluid, which is reflective of her gut balance or imbalance. Thus, the baby’s gut is inoculated with either good guy bacteria or bad guy bacteria. And the cycle begins again.

Sometimes it’s easy to bring your gut back into balance using probiotics, lactic acid fermented foods and good whole foods and sometimes it takes a major effort to accomplish a rebalancing of the gut. When I look out at our society with lots of depression, rage, anxiety, immune dysfunction and irritable bowel, I think we all need a major revamping of our gut flora. As Hippocrates said back in 400 BC, “All disease begins in the gut.”

love your gut

Beat the Bloat with Juice!

Juice for bloating

No one really wants to talk about bloating – that horrible feeling of being filled with air, or retained water – but I bet you’d like to know how to stop it. Nothing is more maddening when you’ve achieved a beach-ready body than experiencing bloating, right ladies? So here’s the skinny on getting rid of bloating for good.

1. Find the source

Bloating happens when there is excess gas in your intestines, or when you’re retaining water. Sometimes these can result from hormonal shifts that are out of your control, but usually, the instigators are well within your power to stop. Diets high in salt and processed foods tend to cause water retention, since the salt dehydrates your body’s tissues (causing cells to soak up fluid like little sponges until the salt is flushed out). And, drinking too much alcohol or soft drinks can fill you up with air. Cut out processed foods and drink less, and you’ll not only beat the bloat, you’ll look and feel better too!

2. Juice it out

Lemon: When drinking water doesn’t work quite fast enough to flush out the bloating culprits, try adding lemon. It’s a natural laxative and diuretic that helps remove excess salt from your body.

Cucumber: Cucumber is another great juice for beating bloat since it already contains a lot of water and is a natural diuretic.

Dandelion greens: Dandelion is wonderful for detoxing your body and is an anti-inflammatory. So if toxins or inflammation are irritating your digestive tract, juice some greens along with your lemon and cucumber. Hey, this is starting to sound like a great recipe!

3. Exercise

Stay moving throughout the day, and excess air won’t have a chance to sit in your stomach! It’s all part of a healthy lifestyle.

You know what else is part of a healthy lifestyle? Intelligent Gourmet! When was the last time you dropped by?

Five Superfoods In Your Kitchen Right Now

cherry tomatoesDon’t have time to stock up on SuperFoods? That’s okay, because you probably already have them on-hand. So this week, instead of telling you about foods you should eat and vegetables you should hunt down at the farmer’s market, let’s spend a little time shopping your kitchen.

Beans

Whether you have bags of dried beans or stacks of the canned kind, beans are incredibly rich in fiber, protein, iron, and folic acid. That fiber helps keep your digestive tract healthy, but it also can cause…how to put this delicately…well, you know.

Romaine Lettuce

If you have Iceberg lettuce instead of Romaine, you might want to make the switch on your next grocery run. Romaine lettuce has twice the protein and calcium of it’s globe-shaped relative, three times the vitamin K, four times the iron, and eight times the vitamin C. It’s also packed with vitamin A!

Tomato

Tomatoes are heart-healthy, bone-healthy and cancer fighting since even the less-red ones are packed with lycopene! In fact, if you like the more orange colored heirloom tomatoes (I do!), there’s good news: a recent study showed that lycopene from orange tomatoes was absorbed better than lycopene in bright red tomatoes.

Almonds

If you add just one superfood to your daily diet, you might consider almonds or pistachios. Almonds contain vitamin E and magnesium, as well as a host of disease-fighting antioxidants, and are a healthy fat. They make an energizing snack between meals too.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal may not be the most exciting breakfast, but it is one of the healthiest – especially when topped with Fall-friendly apples, cinnamon, and walnuts. Oats are high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, and help to lower your cholesterol. One bowl of oatmeal with all the fixings is a SuperFood-powered way to start your day!

Out with the Pyramid, In with the Pie Chart

Remember that food pyramid they taught you in school? Since 1980, the U.S. government has issued new Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years, off of which the food pyramid is based. In the 1980’s, when Carbs were King, you had grains and cereals at the bottom, but the pyramid has changed a lot with developing research over the past thirty years. In fact, the pyramid has disappeared in favor of a pie-chart. No, actual pie is nowhere on their chart.

The new Guidelines make an interesting read. They’re more individualized than ever before, with a brochure that includes headings like “Eat the right amount of calories for you” and “Be physically active your way.” As for the dietary suggestions themselves, you can sum them up with:

  • Eat less meat
  • Eat more seafood and beans
  • Stay away from sugar and added salt
  • Drink more water and less soda
  • Choose whole-grain cereals, breads, rice and pasta
  • Ensure fruits and vegetables take up half of your plate

However, the Guidelines still throw Coconut oil under the bus as a bad “solid fat” like palm kernel oil (ignoring recent studies on the many health benefits of coconut oil), and they treat all sugars – whether High Fructose Corn Syrup or Maple Syrup – as equally undesirable. The guidelines make no mention of artificial sweeteners, or alternative sweeteners like stevia or agave nectar, which is a shame.

Just for fun, here’s my idea of a food pyramid – Intelligent Gourmet Style!

Vegetables First Food Pyramid

What is your idea of a healthy plate, pie chart, or pyramid?

 

Top 5 Health Trends for 2014 – Predictions!

Rainbow chard organic produceFood trends come and go – hey, remember when we were all chugging wheatgrass? But while these trends usually have real merit, it’s the ones that we can incorporate into our everyday lifestyles that really have the power to make a difference in our health. With that in mind, let’s look at some health food predictions for 2014 from Innova Market Insights.

  1. More heirloom vegetables! Who doesn’t love heirloom tomatoes. The big, richly flavored, colorful tomatoes have created a permanent home for themselves in my kitchen. But they’re not the only heirloom vegetables out there, and we’ll probably be seeing more parsnips, artichokes and kale varieties in the coming year.
  2. “New” ancient grains. Quinoa has become a significant part of our diets over the past few years, and other grains are waiting in the wings to be the next big thing. You might start seeing chia and freekeh on store shelves soon.
  3. More gluten-free foods. With gluten free flours coming out in force, expect to see more GF offerings everywhere.
  4. Holistic diets. This is a trend we’ve all been waiting for. A more holistic approach to nutrition that doesn’t demonize entire cross-sections of the food pyramid, but instead respects that each type of nutrition has its place in a healthy, balanced diet. Even our juice cleanses are embracing this trend, since we aim for a more balanced approach than just straight fruit and vegetables (yay for nut milk and hemp protein!).
  5. More alternatives. Remember when soy was the only “other” milk? Not so anymore, and this trend towards nut milks and coconut milk will continue to grow.

What trends would you like to see happen in 2014?

Six Good Mood Foods to Chase Away Everyday Crankiness

Good Mood Foods!

When we were little, we were cranky when we were tired, or hungry. And extra cranky if we were tired AND hungry! As adults, we may be better at masking our crankiness, but it’s still there. But, until workplaces add adult naptime into their policies, most of us will have to regulate our mood with food.

  • Eat every 4 to 5 hours to keep your blood sugar level, unless you have hypoglycemia. If you eat every 2 hours, you end up with too many calories from  grazing all day.
  • Limit foods that spike your blood sugar, like refined sugars, corn syrup, white flour, white rice & white pasta. In other words, walk past the snack machine and eat an apple! What you need to know is that the white stuff (white rice, bagels, many breakfast cereals, english muffins, etc) is that even though it doesn’t say it contains sugar, your body treats it just like sugar because it is metabolized very very quickly. Look for 100% whole grains, and if you see the words “enriched” or “bleached,” stay away! Better yet, eat whole foods. Fruit has sugar too, but in the form of complex carbs that metabolize slowly – you’ll feel satisfied longer and have an even flow of energy to burn.
  • Exercise does more than improve your mood by increasing endorphins – it’s been shown put people in a positive healthy mindset. Most people will follow through with good food choices after having exercised.
  • Combining high quality protein with a high quality carbohydrate will slow the absorption of the carb in your blood stream, keeping your blood sugar from spiking. Spiked blood sugar makes you hungrier, and causes energy-crash, but by eating carbs and protein (the best choice in your vending machine is the Snickers bar), you’ll maintain your energy and your sense of humor.

Best Choices for Feel-Good Food

  • Omelet and fresh fruit – This has that protein and carb balance for even energy.
  • Grilled chicken salad or salad with nuts – A power-packed lunch to keep you awake during afternoon meetings.
  • Beans and lentils – these are high in protein and good carbs, with the added benefit of fiber which slows carb absorption and controls blood sugar.
  • Non-fat Greek Yogurt – has twice the amount of protein as any other yogurt. Mix it with your favorite extracts – try cinnamon and honey, or fresh blueberries.
  • Oranges – are rich in folic acid, and filled with fiber and pectin. These help lower homocysteine levels which support mood and brain health.
  • Dark Chocolate or Cacao (70% or more) is sure to improve the mood of chocoholics!