Woohoo for Watermelon!

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Here in CNY, it may hit close to 100 degrees the next few days. What does that mean? Beat the heat by loading up on the watermelon. Here are five reasons I love watermelon and you should too.

Watermelon is hydrating

The heat increases your risk of becoming dehydrated and if you are like me, I can only drink so much water so I like to eat foods with a high content of water. Watermelon is comprised of 92 percent water, which makes it an ideal food to help prevent dehydration.

Watermelon can decease your risk of heart disease

Watermelon has a lot of lycopene, an amazing antioxidant that can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, two risk factors for heart disease. Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid, which increases nitric oxide in your blood and nitric oxide helps your blood vessels expand, lowering blood pressure.

Watermelon is good for your eyes

Lycopene is the star again! Several studies have found that lycopene can help prevent macular degeneration, which is a common eye problem in older adults that at times can cause blindness.

Watermelon is good for your skin and hair

Obviously in the heat, sunscreen is important! You can also help counteract the damage the sun does to your skin and hair by eating watermelon! Watermelon is high in vitamin C and A. Vitamin C increases collagen, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and your hair strong. Vitamin A repairs skin cells, preventing dry, flaky skin.

Watermelon is a win with the kids

I have never met a kid who doesn’t love watermelon. This is one of the healthiest summer treats to bring to your next cookout or picnic and it will be a hit with all of the kiddos!

Woohoo for watermelon! Oh so sweet—oh so delicious—and oh so healthy!

 

 

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Strawberry Bliss

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It’s strawberry season in Central New York! I love strawberries-they’re one of the best sources of vitamin C around! And I have good news for diabetics…these incredibly sweet treats are low in sugar! Strawberries are a great choice if you have a sweet tooth, but are trying to control your sugar intake. In addition to vitamin C, strawberries are loaded with an antioxidant mineral called manganese and dozens of phytonutrients that have proven to help your cardiovascular system.

Looking for some ways to enjoy strawberries now that they are available in your backyard and are the freshest they will be all year? In addition to eating them by themselves, here are ways I enjoy them:

  • Freeze a handful or two of them (de-stemmed) and toss them into your morning smoothie!
  • Strawberries and arugula make quite the pair. Slice strawberries and add to a bed of arugula along with crumbled feta. Dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. So yummy!
  • Breakfast just got better! Add strawberries to Greek yogurt and granola and you have a fantastic, nourishing, protein and fiber-rich breakfast that is oh so tasty!
  • Make a healthy rendition of strawberry lemonade. Blend a pint of strawberries until juice consistency. Add to a quart of water, squeeze in juice from 4 lemons. Stir in 4 Tablespoons of stevia. Add ice for a most refreshing summer drink!
  • Combine strawberries with rhubarb and you have a dynamic duo. Both are harvested in June. Take the antioxidants of strawberries combined with those in rhubarb and you will get a spark of energy, some pep in your step. Eating Well has put together amazing strawberry rhubarb recipes like Strawberry Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding, Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Bars, and even Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup. Click here to check them out!

Celebrate Eat your Vegetables Day Deliciously

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Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there! Today is not only Father’s Day, but also, National Eat Your Vegetables Day. Eat Your Vegetables Day is dedicated to encouraging people to eat their veggies, and in spreading awareness of the diversity of veggies and how necessary they are as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. There’s an easy way to celebrate Father’s Day and Eat Your Vegetables Day simultaneously and yes, it involves the grill! Here are my top five favorite grilled veggies!

Corn!                                                                                                                                        

Okay so here’s the $50,000 question! Do you grill your corn with or without the husk?! I vote for without the husk! There’s no need to overcomplicate it. Simply shuck your corn. Then, put the cobs directly on the grill grate over high heat turning frequently for 10 minutes or until grill mark are achieved. Pull the corn off the grill and coat with a thin layer of salted butter. Instead of butter, you can get creative with toppings (basil and parmesan or Greek yogurt, dill and crumbled feta)

Peppers

There is no better way to eat peppers than grilling them! Add tons of sliced grilled peppers to your sausage sandwiches. I also grill pepper halves and stuff them with a rice and bean mixture. Grill small sweet pepper halves and stuff them with your favorite cheese immediately after you pull them off the grill—I particularly love stuffing them with chevre. Typically, I grill pepper strips wrapped in aluminum foil and half peppers directly on the grill.

Zucchini

Slice zucchini strips the long way and soak in a dish of ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and sea salt for a couple of hours and then grill directly on the grate over medium-high heat. This makes an excellent side and is also delicious as a sandwich with crumbled feta on whole-grain bread.

Potatoes

Some people reading this have probably banned potatoes from their diet because it’s not paleo or not keto, but they are fat free and contain more potassium than bananas, not to mention if you keep the skin on, they are an excellent source of fiber! A medium sized potato has 5 grams of fiber. I love taking baby potatoes, halving them and brushing them with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Then I place them on skewers and grill them over medium-high heat until tender and lightly charred.

Mushrooms

I can barely imagine any grilled red meat without grilled mushrooms. I usually use portabella mushrooms. I take about five caps and place them on a platter and brush with olive oil, drizzle balsamic vinegar over them, sprinkle with minced garlic and salt and pepper and let sit for an hour. Then, I grill them gill side up over medium heat until tender. They are great as burger replacements or work well sliced on top of a burger or steak!

There you have it—go crazy with veggies on the grill! You need some way to get your recommended 2-3 cups of veggies a day!

 

Boost your health with meal plans

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Meal plans

What if you didn’t have to put so much effort into your food choices? What if someone chose delicious easy-to-prepare meals for you that left you feeling satiated and fantastic!? We’ve got awesome news for you!

Introducing, Kelly’s Choice Meal Plans! There are four meal plans to choose from: anti-inflammatory, plant-based vegan, 5-day lowFODMAP, and 28-day refresh. Here’s a brief overview of each plan:

Anti-inflammatory:

The anti-inflammatory plan contains low-glycemic recipes aimed at stabilizing blood sugar, maintaining healthy weight, normalizing hormones, promoting healthy digestion, and reducing inflammation associated with many chronic diseases.

You will receive a weekly anti-inflammatory meal plan that emphasizes the preparation of whole, plant-based foods. Research suggests that these life-giving foods should make up at least 75% of your plate. The other 25%? That’s easy… We’ll suggest high-quality proteins that can be simply prepared.

Plant-based vegan

These plans contain 100% plant-based recipes that are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients known to be anti-inflammatory. Recipes are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant proteins making them nutritious as well as delicious. This is a great plan to choose for detoxification!

You will receive a weekly meal plan that emphasizes the preparation of whole, plant-based foods. Research suggests that a diet rich in plants may decrease inflammation and risk of certain chronic diseases – we’ll make sure it tastes great too! If you are traditionally a meat eater, you won’t miss it a bit!

5-day low-FODMAP

Do you struggle with IBS or other bowel issues? This is the plan for you! I’m ready to talk about some big words so bear with me. These low-FODMAP plans contain ingredients considered to be low in Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These molecules are poorly absorbed by some people and avoiding them may provide relief for certain digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD.) It is important to seek a diagnosis and recommendation from your healthcare professional before following a low-FODMAP diet.

You will receive a weekly low-FODMAP meal plan that emphasizes the preparation of whole foods. The low-FODMAP diet was created by researchers at Monash University and all ingredients are selected utilizing their guidelines.

28-day refresh

The 28-Day Refresh is a great way to get your metabolism humming and jump-start your health. Like the anti-inflammatory plan, this plan contains selected low-glycemic recipes aimed at stabilizing blood sugar, maintaining healthy weight, normalizing hormones, promoting healthy digestion, and reducing inflammation associated with many chronic diseases.

You will have access to recipes for three meals per day (75% antioxidant-rich foods and 25% high-quality protein) plus snacks.

Each of these plans are complete with easy-to-prepare delicious recipes! You can check them out for free (no credit card is required for a 3-day trial). After that it’s $9 monthly, and you can cancel at any time. We know you’ll love it! Go to kellyschoice.org to try these out and bring your health to the next level!