10 Great Ways to Use Up Fresh Basil

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, July 13, 2013

basil
Pick up a bunch (or two!) of this fragrant herb while it’s in season. And don’t worry about how you’ll manage to use it all—there are just so many delicious ways.

Pesto
Go the traditional route and whip up a mean pesto sauce. Use as a condiment or as a sauce for fish or pasta dishes.

Ina’s Pesto

Infused Oil
Infuse your favorite olive oil with basil. It only takes a few minutes!

Basil Oil

Appetizers
Having a few guests over? Whip up simple finger foods using fresh basil leaves.

Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta
Black Pepper Basil Farmers Cheese Bruschetta
Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers

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20 Kid-Friendly (and Healthy!) Summer Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, July 13, 2013

peach smoothie
Although it’s easy to give into kids’ pleas for the same old not-so-healthy foods, parents and caregivers should provide a variety of dishes that will help kids grow and develop. Happily, summer offers a great opportunity to break away from the same old chicken nugget and mac-and-cheese routine. The season’s bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables make for deliciously healthy dishes kids will love. Here’s a sampling.
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Omega-3-Rich Recipes (Guess What? They’re Not All Fish)

by in Healthy Recipes, July 12, 2013

spinach salad with pomegranate
Just about everyone could benefit from eating more of omega-3s, an essential fatty acid. Here are some delicious ways to up your intake.

The Guidelines
Omega-3 fats are found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines. You can also find them in plant foods like flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil and soy. So there are lots of options when it comes to getting more of these healthy fats! That’s good news, since omega-3s are beneficial to the brain and cardiovascular system and promote skin and eye health. Omega-3s also have anti-inflammatory properties.

The current recommendations for omega-3 intake may vary depending on the type. The ALA form (mostly from plant based foods) ranges from 1.1 to 1.6 grams per day for men. The other types EPA and DHA (more plentiful in fish and other animal products) the daily range is 0.3-0.5 grams and 0.8-1.1 grams, respectively.

The Recipes

#1 Green Tea Poached Salmon with Ginger Lime Sauce
Fresh salmon is one of the best sources out there; this low mercury fish has more than 650 milligrams of omega-3 per ounce.

Percent daily recommended amount of omega-3 = 281% (men), 409% (women)

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Veggie Burger: Is It Healthy?

by in Is It Healthy?, July 12, 2013

veggie burger
When ordering a veggie burger at a restaurant, are you really making the healthier choice? It depends. The ingredients vary so widely, it pays to take a close look at what those burgers are made of.

YES?
Many veggie burgers are made from vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (like beans or lentils). These are good-for-you ingredients that provide fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Packaged veggie burgers (like Morning Star Farms or Boca) can also be a part of a healthy eating plan. They’re a quick and convenient way to enjoy a meatless meal and typically run from 70 to 130 calories per patty. Pair with a whole-grain bun and pile the fresh veggies high for a well-balanced meal.

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How to Reward Kids (The Healthy Way!)

by in Healthy Tips, July 11, 2013

gold star
My youngest goes gaga for store-bought donuts–but I steer clear of my temptation to reward her with sweets. Food should never be used as a reward (or punishment). Children need to appreciate food as a means of nourishment and enjoyment.

If you think rewarding kids with food isn’t a big deal, think again. It can lead to all types of unhealthy actions and behaviors:

Encourage unhealthy eats: Using sweets or non-nutritious foods as rewards sends the message that these types of foods are more valuable than other foods.

Empty calories: Foods served to your kids should contribute to their growth and development. But oftentimes foods used to reward kids aren’t carrots, watermelon and broccoli but fat- and sugar-laden processed foods.

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16 More Reasons to Heart Greek Yogurt

by in Robin's Healthy Take, July 11, 2013

Greek yogurt
Yes, Greek yogurt makes an awesome breakfast, a fabulous snack and a protein-packed dessert. But don’t relegate it to just those uses: This yogurt is capable of so much more!

First, the nutritional stats: When compared to most regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has 2 times the amount of protein. In fact, 1 cup has as much protein as 3 ounces of chicken. It’s also rich in calcium (important for strong bones and teeth and a healthy heart and nervous system). Lastly, Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which improve digestive health by maintaining levels of “good” bacteria in the gut (make sure the label says “active cultures”).

Because 1 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt has just 120 calories and 0 grams of fat, it offers an excellent way to slim down recipes while adding tang. Even whole-milk Greek yogurt has just 190 calories and 9 grams of fat per cup (compare that to 1 cup of regular sour cream with 492 calories and 48 grams of fat).

Here are 16 healthy ways to make the most of it.

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5 Smart Ways to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

by in Diets & Weight Loss, July 10, 2013

yo-yo
Are you a self-imposed victim of the on-again, off-again diet? If you’re ready to get real about losing weight, read on.

# 1 Think Long Haul
Your state of mind plays a huge role in weight loss success. Instead of crash dieting by starving yourself, commit to making long-term diet and exercise changes that you can actually stand to stick to from here on out. The weight loss might be a little slower but that means you’ll have a better chance of keeping it off.

#2 Include, Don’t Exclude
Instead of cutting out major food groups, a move that can lead to nutrient deficiencies, allow yourself to eat all of the foods you enjoy, even if that means splurging sensibly from time to time. Allowing yourself a little freedom will keep you on the right path.

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The Benefits of Berries

by in Healthy Tips, July 10, 2013

mixed berries
Fresh berries are now in season, and I couldn’t be happier. Not only are these babies unbelievably delicious, they’re also brimming with health benefits. Here’s the lowdown on four favorites: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Strawberries
One cup of strawberries (about 8 berries) has 50 calories, 3 grams of fiber and more vitamin C than a medium orange. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, folate and potassium. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ranked strawberries third out of more than 1,000 antioxidant-rich foods. Strawberries also contain anthocyanins, which may help protect the nervous system and blood vessels.

Studies have shown that strawberries can help protect against several types of cancer, including breast, colon and leukemia. Research has also found that strawberries help decrease inflammation and control type 2 diabetes. In addition, one study found that eating 8 strawberries a day for 8 weeks helped lower homocysteine levels, a leading risk factor for heart disease.

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Vegetarians: Myths vs. Facts

by in Healthy Tips, July 9, 2013

carrots
Vegetarians are often seriously misunderstood. It’s time to debunk some of the most common vegetarian myths!

Myth: Vegetarians don’t get enough protein
Fact: It’s actually pretty easy for vegetarians to meet their needs for protein, even if they choose not to eat eggs and dairy products. Thanks to plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, lentils and what’s found in whole-grains breads and cereals, getting enough protein can be deliciously simple.

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6 Healthy Pantry Must-Haves

by in Grocery Shopping, Healthy Tips, July 9, 2013

sambal oelek

Could your pantry use a healthy makeover? Use these six ingredients to infuse recipes with flavor.

1. Sambal Oelek
Quite possibly one of my favorite ingredients of all time, this blend of fresh ground chiles, salt and vinegar adds a flavorful heat to sauces, stir-fries and marinades. Mix with mayo, nonfat Greek yogurt and lemon juice for a sauce that tastes good on just about anything.

Recipe: Spicy Turkey and Green Bean Stir Fry

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