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Monday, November 28, 2011

Simple and Healthy Meals for The Holiday Season

Red Lentil and Coconut Crusted Halibut
Simple and healthy meals for you and your family should also be DELICIOUS!  Healthy should not mean you have to sacrifice taste!  The key is to keep ingredients simple, real and use a variety of natural seasons to enhance flavors and tantalize taste buds.

Chef Brian Thiel of The Healthy Edge is a master at putting together menus healthy enough to keep your metabolism revved and delicious enough to satisfy even the pickiest eater. When the holidays come around you can still provide simple and healthy meals without losing the feeling of the holidays.

Baby Spinach with Orange Slices and Pecans
The Healthy Edge Holiday e-book provides over 25 simple and healthy meal ideas (also all gluten-free) including ideas for stuffing, gravy, desserts, soups, appetizers and main dishes. For this week only, this $5.95 Holiday E-book will come with an additional five recipes such as this Red Lentil and Coconut Crusted Halibut drizzled with Curry Oil served over Butternut Squash Puree. This will WOW your guests for the holidays and throughout the entire winter season!

Cranberry and Blackberry Sauce
Serve this main dish with a starter of Baby Spinach Salad with Orange Slices and Candied Pecans drizzled with EZ Red Wine Vinaigrette and a side of Cranberry and Blackberry Sauce. This is also great as a dessert. This simple and healthy meal will leave your guests speechless. Be sure to make enough for leftovers.  Menus healthy like this, also provide color, variety and incredible flavor.

EZ Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing

         ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
         3 tbsp red wine vinegar
     1 garlic clove, minced
         1/8 tsp sea salt
         Pinch of ground black pepper
         1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (optional)


The Healthy Edge Holiday Cookbook in pdf Format

1.      Using the flat side of a large chef’s knife, mash garlic and sea salt into a paste.
2.      In a small screw-top glass jar, combine garlic paste, red wine vinegar, black pepper, olive oil, and basil (if using). Cover jar and shake until oil and vinegar emulsify.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A fast and healthy meal for diet ready guests!

Do you have some guests this year (or perhaps you) who are on a health kick? Do you need some fast and healthy ideas on meals for diet ready guests? The first thing we want to encourage you to think about is the difference between preparing a meal for a “diet” and a meal that supports and enhances “health”. Diets tend to focus on what your guests “can’t” have or what they are cutting back on, for example calories, fat, sodium, sugar and possibly alcohol.  Focusing on health, on the other hand, involves using whole and real foods rather than boxed or packaged foods so the calories, sodium, sugar, etc. typically takes care of itself.

Here’s an example of what some people may think of for a fast and healthy meal for diet: Low-Sodium Stove Top Stuffing. Because it is advertised as low-sodium, many people would think this would be an ideal meal for diet.  It contains 250 mg of sodium per servings (which is about 10% of your daily value), however check out the ingredient list: Enriched Wheat Flour, High Fructose Corn Syrup (YIKES, THE SECOND INGREDIENT!), Dried Onions, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil (ALSO KNOWN AS TRANS FAT), Cooked Chicken and Chicken Broth, Hydrolyzed Soy and Corn Protein, Celery, Yeast, Soy Flour, Monosodium Glutamate (ALSO KNOWN AS MSG), Whey, Maltodextrin, Dried Parsley, Spice, Sugar (MORE SUGAR?), Caramel Color (ALSO FOUND IN DIET COKE), Turmeric, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Sodium Sulfite, BHA, BHT, Propyl Gallate and Citric Acid (Preservatives). From the standpoint of healthy, these ingredients are VERY far from being healthy! Healthy is far beyond sodium content! What’s the point of being on a diet, losing weight, but not feeling or being healthy?
Oyster Stuffing
Compare the above ingredients to this fast and healthy meal from The Healthy Edge Holiday E-book for Oyster Stuffing. (If you are not a fan of oysters, you can omit them.) Ingredients include sprouted whole grain bread, onions, garlic, celery, sage leaves, organic chicken or vegetable stock, olive oil, oysters and sea salt. THAT’S IT! You can pronounce ALL the words and all of the ingredients are REAL ingredients! 

Another common behavior when preparing a meal for diet ready guests is choosing to use artificial sweeteners to make sugar-free desserts (or buying reduced sugar desserts that already have them in it)! WHOA! Hold on! Again, the term diet and healthy do not equal each other, however people that are “healthy” tend to not have to “diet” because they are fueling their body with real food and avoid overindulgence because they do not experience the uncontrolled eating and binging that goes along with processed food. (If you missed that last sentence, you might want to read it again.) Anyways, back to the artificial sweeteners. Splenda (sucralose) is the most common sweetener used to substitute sugar in recipes and processed foods and Sucralose has been implicated as a possible migraine trigger. Self-reported adverse reactions to Splenda or sucralose collected by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center include skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. No human studies have been done for longer than 6 months to determine the long-term side effects of using this sweetener. Scary!

Raw Apple Pie
In your dash to make a fast and healthy meal for diet ready guests (or yourself), choose whole foods that provide health benefits and are kind to your waistline and find support through recipes that are whole food based. A great dessert with NO ADDED sugar (and no artificial sweeteners) is a Raw Apple Pie Recipe from The Healthy Holiday E-book. This recipe will blow away ALL of your guests whether they are health or diet conscious or not!

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and hope you choose a meal for health and not a meal for diet for your guests!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dinner ideas easy enough to do tonight!

So what’s for dinner?  The agonizing question that often fills the mind of busy moms as they work, clean take care of the kids and then just when they think they have it all under control...  It is dinner time again and the self condemning thoughts start coming to arise…
1.       I should have planned better…
2.       I should have written down my grocery list for the week…
3.       I should have picked some new recipes to prepare…
4.       I don’t have time to do anything healthy I just have to get through the day…
If you suffer from this self condemning thought process about dinner… no need to worry!  I have some dinner ideas easy enough to do tonight.  You can do fast and healthy dinners at the last minute.  I have to admit that I often still find myself whipping up easy dinner ideas so I can keep on schedule.  Here are a few tips for the future to keep you on track and prepared to create an easy dinner. 
1.       Create an environment at your home that is easy and simple.  Dinner can be enjoyable without it being a big production.  Always have freshly frozen organic vegetables in your freezer.  A variety of peas, green beans, edamame, sweet corn and mixed vegetables, give you a nice base to make dinner ideas easy enough to whip up in ten minutes.  
2.       Always keep grass fed beef, venison, turkey breast, chicken breasts or meats of choice easily packed in 1 lb increments.  If you are in a bind it is easy to defrost a small amount of meat and incorporate it into an easy dinner.   
3.       Crockpot a full chicken once a week.  Finding a local farm that can supply your chicken can make your poultry safer and much more economical.   By doing a nice sized chicken once a week it is easy at dinner time to make shredded BBQ chicken one day (A great healthy BBQ Sauce recipe found in The Healthy Edge Cookbook) and then make healthy chicken salad two different ways for the rest of the week. 
4.       The Sauce of Champions.  My favorite stir fry sauce is Olive Oil, minced garlic, cumin and lemon juice.  M ix together to taste and enjoy a healthy and easy dinner.
Having chicken delicious chicken cooked in your refrigerator allows you to put together a nice stir fry with your frozen vegetables or create amazing chicken salads as found in The Healthy Edge Cookbook.  Having small increments of meat allows you to easily defrost and also whip up a stir fry that is healthy for your family.  No matter how busy we are it is important to create dinner ideas that are easy but also full of nutrients.  We only have one life to live here on earth and by taking care of our health we will be able to have the motivation and energy to accomplish great things!  Live abundantly!

Are your dinner recipes simple yet healthy?

I woke up in my bed snuggled deep in the covers.  I was so warm and comfortable all I could think was five more minutes please.  I slid my leg over to see if my husband had left for work yet… he had.  That meant it was getting close to the time I would have to get up.  I was afraid to open my eyes in case my daughter was already in the room just waiting to see if I was awake.  I slowly opened one eye to see if I could gage the situation.  As the room came into focus all I could see was a smiling toothless face staring back at me. When she saw my one eyeball she said, “Mommy!  I’m hungry!” I laughed… hugged her with all I had and got up to start the day. 

Now, she is really cute and if that was the only time I was going to hear, “Mommy I’m hungry,” It would be all good but I will hear that over and over again all day long. Now add in a few more kids some that talk and some that don’t and it is very easy to get overwhelmed before 10am in the morning and be reaching for anything simple to just get them to shhhhhh for a moment.  By the time dinner rolls around it is important to have your intentions very clear for the health of your family. Are your dinner recipes simple so you can do them and healthy so you can take care of yourself and your family?

I was a teenager when my mom and dad sat myself and my two sisters down and shared something that would change our lives forever.  They explained that my mom who was also my best friend loving me do matter what I did… had breast cancer.  We spent the next 8 years fighting a disease that has no mercy.  We won some battles and then lost others.  She went to be with Jesus at the young age of 45.  Through that experience our family learned about the healing properties of food and how drastically it affects the quality of life.  All of your strife to search for and create a simple way to cook dinner recipes in a healthy way will pay off I promise.  Dinner recipes can be simple and healthy and I want to show you how.  Enjoy a few of my favorite dinner recipes simple and healthy and receive some delicious and easy dinner recipes and a free download of more recipes if you desire. I am all about simple!  I believe that creating an environment in your home that allows you to live life and spend your time on the things that are most important is crucial.  Together we can prepare simple healthy dinner recipes that allow time for us to reconnect with our families.  Join me in living the abundant live!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Diabetic Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving can be intimidating and scary if you are a diabetic and committed to eating to maintain your blood sugar and health. It is so tempting with all the breads and desserts to just “go for it”, but you know that you will be suffering in the hours and days ahead.  Here is an opportunity for you to discover some great diabetic Thanksgiving side dishes that will allow you to enjoy the holiday without sacrificing taste and your health!

The biggest detriment to diabetics is the overuse of artificial sweeteners and the lies told to diabetics about eating fruits and grains. The truth is that artificial sweeteners in high amounts (or small amounts over a long period of time) have adverse effects on the body that NO person should subject themselves to. This is NOT the “saving grace” for diabetics, so be VERY aware of desserts that claim to be diabetic friendly, but have artificial sweeteners such as Splenda. Most fruits and grains (that can be used to prepare diabetic Thanksgiving side dishes) are low-glycemic on their own, or become low-glycemic when properly combined with healthy fats and proteins. Grains and fruits are part of a very common misconception that leaves diabetics fearful of eating these types of foods.

What to look for in diabetic Thanksgiving side dishes.

Green Bean with Candied Pecans
·         Vegetable based. Green beans are a very common Thanksgiving side dish. Instead of the traditional canned mushroom soup and dried onions on top, try a dish that incorporates more whole foods and natural ingredients such as green beans, pecans, orange zest and chicken stock as found in this Green Beans with CandiedPecan recipe in The Healthy Edge Holiday E-book. The blend of whole green beans, nuts and seasonings make this dish not only delicious, but absolutely great for a diabetic Thanksgiving side dish.

·         Meat! The great thing about any type of meat (chicken, turkey, tenderloin, fish, etc.) is that is it ALWAYS low-glycemic. Protein is zero on the glycemic index which ranges from 0 – 100. Anytime you eat protein combined with other foods, you will lower the overall glycemic index and therefore lessen the effect on your blood sugar.

Quinoa and Pecan Stuffing
·         Stuffing and Bread. Would Thanksgiving NOT be Thanksgiving without stuffing and bread? What about a stuffing composed of quinoa (check out Quinoa and PecanStuffing) instead of high glycemic flour? What about only cooking enough rolls for everyone to have one instead of 4 or 5? Or eliminating the rolls all together? It is possible to have a completely enjoyable Thanksgiving without filling up on bread!  

·         Crackers. If you CANNOT live without crackers during the holiday, choose crackers that are made from whole grains (such as Mary’s Gone Crackers) or those made from stone ground flour or sprouted grain flour. I also love to use sprouted whole grain tortillas and cut them up into the shape of chips and either bake or just eat plain with my favorite dip! Any type of enriched flour has had all of the fiber and nutrients removed leaving it VERY high glycemic and should be avoided if you are diabetic. 

·         Dips. Dips are prevalent during the holiday season and some dips are healthier than others. Many holiday dips are made from ingredients such as cream cheese, sour cream and Velveeta. These may be low-glycemic but it does nothing for your health, weight and cholesterol levels! Try finding dips such as hummus that have a foundation of garbanzo beans and tahini. Guacamole and bean based dips (preferable not refried beans, but rather black beans) are also a low-glycemic alternative.

Almond-Berry Cobbler
·         Fruit based desserts. Most traditional desserts are sugar, sugar, sugar, butter and more sugar. What if you could eat desserts that had naturally occurring sugar such as a “Raw” Apple Pie that contains NO added sugars AND incorporates nuts and dates as the crust! AMAZING! Or a Almond-Berry Cobbler that only contains added honey, but also includes real raspberries and blackberries, oatmeal and almonds! These are GREAT desserts that won’t lead you to feeling deprived during the holiday season!

We hope you have enjoyed these tips to prepare diabetic thanksgiving side dishes. It is possible to have flavor and health during the holidays and leave absolutely satisfied! Happy Holidays!
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