Five fun nutrition resolutions

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2018 has come to an end! Looking at the year ahead, why not try to boost your health through nutrition? Below, I will make five suggestions for 2019 nutrition-related resolutions that will help cultivate a healthy lifestyle that will be easy for you to hang on to for the rest of your life.

  • Commit to eating breakfast

Breakfast sets the platform for your entire day. And toast doesn’t cut it! Try to get as much protein as possible during breakfast and the odds are that you will feel more energized, be less likely to overeat later in the day, and feel sharper mentally as well. I suggest eggs (add low-fat cheese for an added protein boost), Greek yogurt, nut butter on whole grain toast, nuts tossed into your oatmeal…anything you can think of to add protein to your breakfast.

The bonus? Several studies have proven that people who eat a hearty breakfast are more likely to lose weight.

  • Swap your favorite junk food(s) for a healthier alternative(s)

Research alternatives to your favorite junk food. Are you a chip lover? Switch to popcorn—it’s a fiber-full, whole-grain, low-calorie snack if you leave out the butter! Do you have a sweet tooth? Swap candy for fruit! You can get very creative with fruit. Try frozen grapes or blueberries! If you love chocolate, try dark chocolate—it’s loaded with antioxidants!

  • Ditch fast food

Are you on the go a lot and resort to fast food out of convenience? Carry along healthy snacks with you to help deter your fast food stops. Plan easy meals like grilled cheese on whole grain bread with tomato soup so that you don’t have to rely on fast food!

  • Eat more meals at home

Eating meals at home is an easy way to cut calories, save money, and reduce salt intake (which will improve your heart health). I recognize that implementing home-cooked meals is not easy. Try to make it fun. Look up 15-minute meals and create a grocery list and a schedule for the week. It’ll take some getting use, but the benefits you will reap are worth it!

  • Eat more meatless meals

I’m not telling you to become a vegetarian, but to increase your vegetable intake! Explore vegetarian meals and try to have at least one vegetarian meal a week. Vegetarian meals tend to be lower in calories and fat, and higher in nutrients and fiber. Consider joining the Meatless Monday movement!

I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Here’s to your health!

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Chevre Stuffed Dates

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Earlier this month, I explained in a blog entry why I am obsessed with dates. Click here to read that entry–in a nutshell, they’re loaded with fiber and amazing nutrients. In that initial entry, I shared a sweet smoothie recipe using dates. The following week, I shared a recipe for rice crispy treats using dates. Click here to check that recipe out.

But what about a savory date recipe?! You can easily find bacon-wrapped date recipes with a simple Google search, but I wanted something healthier (even though I admit that I do love bacon every now and then). This is a healthy savory date recipe I came up with and it seriously only took me 10 minutes to make! This is the perfect appetizer to bring to a party!

Chevre Stuffed Dates

Ingredients:

  • 15  pitted dates sliced in half length-wise
  • 4 ounces plain chevre goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Spread goat cheese into the crevice of each slice of date.
  2. Top with slivered almonds.

Yes, it’s that easy! Enjoy!

Wishing you and yours happy holidays! I’ll be catching up with you with all types of fun recipes and health tips in the New Year!

 

Healthy Rice Crispy Treats?

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Yes! You read that title right. In my last blog entry, I wrote about how healthy dates are.  And this week in my kitchen I was experimenting and found a way to use them to make healthy rice crispy treats! These tasty little treats are free of refined sugar (yep, no marshmallows-dates instead!).and they’re loaded with fiber–thanks to the dates and almond butter! This recipe requires only five ingredients and you can make them in just 15 minutes. The best part about them is they are kid-approved!

Here’s the recipe! Give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of packed pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups of rice crispies

Directions:

  1. Process the first four ingredients in a food processor until it forms a paste (don’t worry-it’s not too sticky)
  2. Move the paste into a bowl and pour 2 cups of rice crispies into the bowl and knead with your hands until well combined.
  3. Add the other two cups and do the same thing.
  4. Mold the mixture into an 8 by 8 pan lined with parchment and pat down.
  5. Cut into squares and your’re done!
  6. You can store these at room temperature in an air-tight container for one week.

 

Why I’m Bananas over Dates

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Yes, dating your loved one is healthy for your health, but I am talking about the wrinkly little dried fruit that is oh so sweet! We’re right smack in the middle of the holiday season and this is the time of year that people are hooked on sugar and it’s so hard to get off it once you’re on it! I use dates to satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthy way.

Dates come from the date palm plant. In our country, they are primarily grown in California and Florida. There is also a destination in Arizona where they are grown, appropriately named Dateland!

Here are some of the amazing health benefits of dates:

Phenomenal Fiber

Do you know that you are supposed to get at least 30 grams of fiber today?! It’s likely that you do not consume enough because the latest research shows that only 10 percent of American get enough fiber! Dates are one way that you can up your fiber intake! One serving of dates has a whopping 7 grams of fiber!

Fiber can help your digestion and helps prevent your blood sugar from spiking!

Packed with Phenolic Acid

Phenolic acid is an antioxidant that has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect you against almost any disease, including heart disease and cancer!

High in Minerals

Dates are high in potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and even have a decent amount of iron. These minerals help promote bone health. Potassium is excellent for heart health as well. And iron is important for carrying oxygen to your muscles and your brain!

Are you going to join me in eating dates this month?! Here’s a recipe to start you off! And because I want to help you defeat the sugar temptation this month, I promise to post a new date recipe each week in December!

Bananas over Dates Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas chopped
  • ½ cup dates
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground gloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.