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Peach-Banana Smoothie

Written by Sheila Emery Murphy on .

Peaches are in peak season so enjoy this sweet, summer stone fruit smoothie. But please use organic peaches. Peaches are #2 on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen” which means conventionally grown peaches have one of the highest pesticide loads. According to EWG, a single peach sample showed over 13 different pesticide residues! So choose organic peaches, avoid the pesticides. Click here to learn more about the “Dirty Dozen” http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php

What you need…

1 frozen banana
1 peach, pitted (organic)
3 dates, pitted
1C unsweetened almond milk
cinnamon, to taste
vanilla, to taste
4 ice cubes

What to do…

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy.  Serves ~2. Also makes great popsicles.

Orange-Mango Popsicles: Sweet Summer Treat With a Veggie Twist

Written by Sheila Emery Murphy on .

Popsicles are the quintessential summer treat. However, many major brands sweeten their pops with high fructose corn syrup and mix in artificial colors & flavors – no need for that! Delicious mangoes, oranges, carrots and ginger naturally sweeten these flavorful pops and provide a vibrant color courtesy of Mother Nature herself. These pops – with a hidden veggie twist – are made with real food. A treat moms and kids both love.

 

What you need…

1 mango, peeled & chopped

Juice of one orange

1 cup carrots, shredded *

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & chopped *

12oz water

6 ice cubes

 

What to do…

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Enjoy!

*If using a standard blender -- in lieu of a high power blender -- it is helpful to chop ginger and use shredded carrots to allow for a smoother blend.

Gotta Try Socca: Naturally Gluten-Free Chickpea Flatbread

Written by Sheila Emery Murphy on .

Socca is a simple and delicious chickpea flatbread native to Provence. Its versatility will quickly make it a part of your regular kitchen repertoire. It can be served with a garden salad for a light summer lunch or as a side dish with any entrée. Bon appetit!

What you need...

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, savory, thyme or oregano (optional)

What to do...

  1. Heat the oven to 450. Put a cast-iron skillet in oven.
  2. Put the chickpea flour in a bowl; add the salt and pepper. Slowly add 1 cup water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover and let sit while the oven heats, or for at least ½ hour and as long as 2 hours so flour can absorb the water.
  3. Remove the pan, pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into it and swirl. Add the onions return the pan to the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the herbs. Add the onions and herbs into the batter, then immediately pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pancake is firm and the edges set.
  4. Heat the broiler and brush the top of the pancake with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil. Set the pancake a few inches away from the broiler, and cook just long enough to brown it in spots. Cut it into wedges & serve.

Recipe adapted and inspired by Mark Bittman / http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014757-socca-farinata

Carrot-Ginger Sunshine Smoothie

Written by Sheila Emery Murphy on .

Enjoy a serving of carrots paired with spicy ginger, sweet strawberries and a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice to kick-start your day. This superstar smoothie provides an anti-inflammatory boost with body loving beta carotene and vitamin C. This smoothie is a great way to add more goodness to your morning breakfast.

What you need…

8-10 strawberries

Juice of one orange

1 cup carrots, shredded *

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & chopped *

12oz water

4 ice cubes

 

What to do…

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Makes ~2 servings. Enjoy!

*If using a standard blender -- in lieu of a high power blender -- it is helpful to chop ginger and use shredded carrots to allow for a smoother drink.

Top 10 Tips for Healthy Living

Written by Sheila Emery Murphy on .

By Sheila Emery Murphy and Karen Rigney

Simple adjustments to how we live, eat, move and think can help bring us closer to feeling energized and balanced. Here are some easy tips to get started…

1. Your First Choice Counts

Small, simple changes add up to a bright-eyed start to the morning. Take a drink.  You are the most dehydrated after a night's sleep. So replenish yourself with a glass of water first thing in the morning. For an extra detox boost add a wedge of lemon. Staying hydrated is a simple way to stay healthy and feel great all day long. Break the fast. Eating a nutritious breakfast daily is proven to help people have more energy, improve focus, and maintain a healthy weight. Some easy breakfast options to get you nourished and out the door include oatmeal topped with berries and walnuts or hardboiled egg and a piece of fresh fruit. Shift perspective. Starting the day with healthful choices shifts perspective making it more likely for better choices all day long.

2. Be Food Smart

Know what is in your food! Read ingredient labels. If the ingredients read more like a science project rather than a recipe, make a different choice. Best to avoid products containing high fructose corn syrup, trans fat (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils) as well as artificial colors and flavors – all these additives improve the product’s shelf life, but doesn’t benefit your life.

3. Eat Real Food

Yes, it is that simple. Seasonal, whole foods – made by nature – nourish our bodies. Enjoy a variety of colorful foods. Wild Alaskan salmon, salads, smoothies, soups and spices pack a powerful punch of goodness. Opt for organic produce when possible to avoid exposure to pesticides and chemicals.

4. Power-Up with Plants

Besides providing micronutrient strength and protection, plant protein from grains, legumes, nuts and seeds give us all the necessary amino acids (building blocks of protein). Try to use your animal protein more for “flavoring” in your meals and be wowed by the results. Research has shown that good genes are awakened and disease genes are suppressed with much less meat and dairy than the standard American diet. In addition, greens and colorful vegetables and fruits contain the key to radiant health. Try to have servings of cooked and raw vegetables in as many meals as possible.

5. Kitchen Confidence - Simplify Whole Food Cooking

Prepare grains and legumes to be mixed in with different vegetables though out the week. Porridge bowls with nuts and fruit for breakfast using all sorts of grains such as quinoa, millet and amaranth can work for breakfast and savory grain bowls for lunch and dinner with easy sauces and spices. With a little practice, you can cook one day and eat for three.

6. Add More “Good” Bacteria

Replenishing our gut flora with healthy bacteria insures that nutrients reach us on a cellular level where they are needed. There are many delicious cultured foods that enhance every meal. Yogurt is a good place to start, but also try sauerkraut, pickles, pickled carrots and kimchi in the refrigerator section of the health food store or find easy make at home recipes online.

7. Think Outside The Box

Eating with the season can impact your energy. Root vegetables can be grounding and give focus. Greens and grains can provide light energy and serve as wonderful detoxifiers.   Add spices to all dishes to create powerful synergies of micronutrients. For example, cacao with berries can triple the berry antioxidant power. Pepper unleashes the magic of turmeric and a little oxygen on cut onions preserves their immune boosters even after cooking.

8. Move More

Make a commitment to move more every day. Be creative, exercise doesn’t mean just getting a gym membership. Taking the stairs, parking a little further away or making plans with a friend to walk briskly regularly all add more movement to your day. Staying active helps your body release chemical messengers that tell arteries and organs to behave in healthful ways. So what is the best exercise? The one you will do!

9. Listen to Your Body

Practice mindful eating by slowing down and chewing. Savoring every bite can give you clues about how food affects you. You may notice certain physical and emotional states connected with a food or meal. When you incorporate a variety of tastes and textures into your meal, you will feel balanced and energized.

10. Be Grateful

Say thanks. Think of one thing you are grateful for before you get out of bed every day. Starting your day with gratitude can recalibrate your mind to focus on the good things that happen during your day and lighten your mood. Chronic stress can impact the immune system, not to mention ruin your day.  More gratitude means more happiness, less stress and better health.

Note: Content is for information only. Please do your own research and speak with your physician about any health concerns.

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