What is the Healthiest Vegetable? (Its not a Potato)

Healthiest Veggie

Seven years ago, when I began changing my lifestyle to one where I consciously decide what I eat, how I eat, and how much I eat, I began looking for places where I could get “More Bang for my Buck.” 

At the time, we were a one income household, had a brand new baby, and cutting costs was a MUST! Knowing that nutrition and health were important and knowing how fabulous I was feeling from my new found choices, I began searching for foods that were tasty AND nutritious.

Having tried the South Beach diet a few times prior, I knew that baked potatoes were not the best answer for me, in fact were a very pour choice for me, so I turned to my new best friend… The SWEET POTATO!

My first thought was “in a crock pot with brown sugar, cinnamon, & marshmallows” then I realized that wasn’t the best way to “improve” my health… sugar and high fructose corn syrup are not the answer, but sweet potatoes and cinnamon were a good choice.

Today, I wish to introduce you to the AMAZING sweet potato and a few recipes that are wonderful with these little power house vegetables. (YES, VEGETABLES)

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, based on percentages of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for six nutrients, SWEET POTATOES are and excellent choice!  To be honest, my husband was a bit leery at first, but now he is a sweet tater fanatic just like me – although he won’t admit it.

Healthiest Veggie w answer

Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes 

These can be served with butter and organic sour cream, with butter and cinnamon, or just eaten plain.  Yummers

Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

– Just  like French Fries but tastier and healthier!

Sweet Potato Brownies

– The jury is still out on this one. I liked them, but they need to be cooked much longer as they are a very gooey brownie.

 

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes-Easy & Nutritious

This is a tough one.  Hope you can handle it. Smile

We LOVE Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and since they are so packed with excellent vitamins & healthy minerals, we include them regularly. In my quest to choose healthy foods, this one ranks right up there AND my family loves them too!

We grill chicken at least twice a week and these are a favorite as we roast them on the grill while cooking up the chicken boobs.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • Coconut or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Organic Seasoning (we use Kirkland’s-bought at COSTCO)
  • Sweet Potatoes (these were from my friend’s family farm in Lousiana)

Directions:

  • Wash potatoes well
  • Chop potatoes into 1/2-1 inch pieces
  • Coat skillet with EVOO or Coconut oil ~2 TBLSP
  • Arrange in a single layer on an iron skillet
  • Sprinkle Seasoning & Garlic Salt over potatoes
  • Roast over low heat on the grill until browned
    • The natural sugars caramelize and taste great
    • My 7 yr old thinks these are the best french fries

Roasted Sweet potatoes cooked

We have made these on the stove over medium heat (when we run out of LP for our grill) and we have made them over an open camp fire, in a bigger skillet. 

We have also been known to mix in some red potatoes with them for a little variation. (We are eating protein with the meal so a carb isn’t as bad)

Super easy, super tasty, super healthy!

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Upcoming Classes Lunch4Health & Walk4Health

As I am wrapping up the Estero Introduction to Temple Maintenance Class at Estero United Methodist Church I am amazed at how quickly 7 weeks has passed.  We covered so much material in a mere 7 classes, WOW!

As April rapidly approaches, I am pleased to be offering some new classes as well.

Lunch4Health

Lunch4Health is a brown-bag lunchtime coaching group to provide community with each other in daily healthy choices and challenges.  This group is meant to support each other through the difficult challenges as well as celebrating the victories-no matter how small. 

This weekly group will provide educational information useful to improve health, increase energy levels, and even in reducing fat!  We will provide a safe environment to share, grow (or shrink), learn, and be accountable for our daily choices.

Bonita Springs – Tuesdays 11:45-12:45 in Bonita Springs at Integrative Mindfulness – 3372 Woods Edge Circle, Suite 102, Bonita Springs (Beginning April 1, 2014)

Fort Myers – Fridays 11:30-12:30 in Fort Myers at Shift and Wake Up! – 8359 Beacon Blvd, Suite 403, Fort Myers (Beginning April 4, 2014)

This class will meet on a weekly basis, cost is $20 per class.

 

Walk4Health Logo

Walk4Health is an opportunity to learn the benefits of healthy walking. Ramp up your energy levels one step at a time.

This program is for beginner to intermediate walkers. Those looking for improved health, but not sure how to begin – this gathering is for you! We will cover the basics and include some techniques for those looking to “step it up a notch” as well.

I am a Certified Personal Trainer and a long distance walker who has walked 5 60-mile walks and logged approximately 3,000 miles training that are so important to be able to, not only finish a 60-mile walk, but also to finish pain free and without any recovery time. She has walking down to a science.

Join us for a quick warm-up, geared to your own level, and an easy walk through the Estero Community Center or Lakes Park. There is a cement walkway around the park, for an even surface and a great place to begin the basics of walking. We will get some walking in as well as learn about what goes into safely ramping up your activity levels.

These classes are offered through Your Life Enrichment Center and available:

Estero – Tuesdays 8:30-9:30 AM at Estero Park, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd. Estero , Fl. 33928 April 1 & 15, 2014.

Fort Myers – Friday 8:30-9:30 AM at Lakes Park, 7330 Gladiolus Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33908 Meet at far left parking lot when you first come into park. April 4 & 18, 2014.

These classes will continue beyond April, however, beginning in May they will switch days.  Cost is $10 per session unless you are a member of Your Life Enrichment Center.

For additional information, feel free to contact me here or call 239-246-9488.

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Where to begin? One step at a time–Exercise

In 1998 I was miserable, I was over 200 pounds, I was depressed, I was on 6+ prescription medications, and I knew I needed to do something.

I began walking with a friend. We would walk up to 6 miles at a time, once we got our bodies acclimated to the movement.  This was the very beginning of my journey to better health and increased energy.

Today, I am much smaller than I was back then, but more importantly – I am off the all prescription meds, I don’t fight with depression any longer, and I know what to do to keep my energy levels up and my health in tip top shape!

I begin by walking.  I have shared my walking stories here before.  How I got started with the 60-mile walks and the amazing things I have learned.

Today, I realized I have walked over 3,300 miles JUST for these 5 events alone. Through training and the actual events, I’ve logged some serious miles.   I am now developing some classes to begin teaching others how to improve their health and increase their energy levels through walking.

Walk4Health Logo

Beginning April 1, 2014, I will be offering training classes to assist those looking to improve their health and increase their energy levels!  (Even drop some inches around the waistline, if you choose!)

For more information on the SGK 3-day 60-mile walks, visit their website: http://the3day.org

For additional information on how I train for a 60-mile you can find those articles here: http://tinyurl.com/n2fs9tz

For information on location & other details of these walks, contact me.

Make it a GREAT day!

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Clean, Protect Your Children, Reduce Asthma, Save Money!

Asthma rates increased 160% in children from 1980-1994 and have continued to increase since.  One culprit is the many, toxic, household cleaners we use in our homes.  In the past 7 years, since I changed to non-toxic cleaners like the one below and began making healthier nutrition choices, I’ve need my asthma medication for a total of 1 week as opposed to daily  prior to that time.

The non-toxic argument is why I began using it… The AMAZING results and myriad of jobs it can do with the tiniest amounts has kept me hooked on this great cleaner!

BasicH_HealthyGreaseMonkey

This product is used in the White House, by Jacque Cousteau on his fleets, by Purdue University in their Dairy Operation, and many others! It is a safe alternative that works while keeping our homes safe from toxins and poisons.

Economical – ½ Gal makes up to 192 gallons of powerful cleaner  see cost comparison below.

  • Window Cleaner – For Only 2/10 of 1 Cent per oz. Mix – Only 1 or 2 drops in 16 oz. spray bottle of water.  If smearing occurs, mixture is too strong – add water to dilute. (Shine with blue microfiber cloth.)
  • General Spray Cleaner – For Only 3 Cents per 22 oz bottle! Mix – 1/4 tsp. in 16 oz spray bottle of water.
  • General Cleaning – 1/2 tsp. in qt. of warm water.  Cleans doors, walls, woodwork, appliances, bathroom fixtures & tile.
  • Floors - 1 Tbs. per gallon of water. Leaves floor shining. May require rinsing.
  • Dusting – 1/8 tsp. in pint of water, squeeze sponge almost dry (or spray on). Wipe off dust, fingerprints, etc. Dry with clean cloth. It leaves the wax finish beautifully bright. Surfaces repel dust, so less dusting is required.
  • Outside Windows – 1/2 tsp. in "Ortho-type" spray applicator full of water. Makes 2 gallons of solution for windows & screens. Squeegee dry.
  • Coffee-makers – Dilute 1/8 tsp. Basic-H² in pot of water. Run through cycle & coffee stains will rinse away.
  • Ironing – 1 drop in steam iron keeps the jets & interior clean.
  • Wallpaper – Excellent for removing wallpaper. 1/2 Tbs. per gal. of water. Soak wallpaper with sponge & peel or scrape.
  • Concrete & Mortar Mix – 1/4 oz. per 1 gallon of water. Makes cement & mortar spread easier & smoother, set harder.
  • Plumbing – Will keep pipes clean & free-running when used regularly to wash hands, pots & pans at sinks. It emulsifies grease & can eliminate cleaning of grease traps.
  • Pressure Washer – 1/2 oz Basic-H² to 20 gallons of water.
  • Heavy Duty – Use 1 oz per gallon of water. Leaves a luster to mobile homes, homes, RVs & etc.
  • Humidifiers – Use 1 or 2 drops in humidifier water to help prevent rust & scum.
  • Knives – 1 or 2 drops on cutting stone for sharpening knives. Keep moist & add Basic-H² as needed. Doesn’t clog stone–very important when sharpening tools. Stone rinses free of residue.
  • Yard Spray to Rid Fleas – Fill hose spray bottle with water, add 1 capful of Basic-H². Attach to hose & spray yard every 10 days for 3 applications. Use twice a year thereafter to control. Rinse all plants thoroughly.
  • Liquid Hand Soap – Mix 1/4 Basic-H² & 3/4 water in pump dispenser by sinks. Will not dry or irritate hands like soaps may. Will help moisten, soften & protect hands!
  • Fine Fabrics – Use 1/2 tsp to a basin of lukewarm water to wash woolens, nylon stockings, and all fine fabrics.
  • Gum – Use full strength to remove gum from skin, hair, or carpeting.
  • Fruits & Vegetables – Use 1/8 tsp. in pint of water, soak up to 7 min, and rinse. Removes insecticide residue, dirt, and waxes.
  • Automotive Uses – Washing vehicle use 1/2 tsp. per gallon of water. Wash small area at a time and hose off. Wipe windshield, windows and chrome with paper towels or microfiber cloth after rinsing. You’ll love the shine!
  • Camping – Coat bottoms and sides of pots and pans with Basic-H² before placing over campfire. Black soot just slides right off when you wash. Basic-H² is all you need to take for dishwashing, bathing, shampooing, and laundry. It even works in cold stream water, and because it’s organic and biodegradable, it won’t harm fish, vegetation, or wildlife!
  • Fish Odors – 1/2 Tbs. per quart of water. Basic-H²
    works wonders on boats, docks.
  • Washing RV, Boat & Camper – 1/2 Tbs. per gallon
    of water.
  • Crayon – To remove from walls, use full strength.
  • Spot Remover – Dampen spotted area with water, and apply full strength. Use a toothbrush or finger to rub basic-H² into area. Wipe with a damp cloth or rinse in basin of water.
  • Upholstery – Mix 1/2 Tbs. to ½ gallon water. Spray
    on & rub clean.
  • Septic Tanks – Keeps crust from forming. For maximum health of septic system use all of Shaklee’s phosphate free cleaning products. This will do much to promote the growth of needed friendly bacteria.

Highly Concentrated Organic Cleaner  -  Environmentally Safe; Biodegradable

NO:  Phosphates, Chlorine, Borates, Nitrates, Fragrance

GetClean Cost Comparison generic
LEGAL STUFF SHAKLEE MUST SAY: Some plastics may be sensitive to the cleaning agents in Basic-H².
Do not use Basic-H² on plastic or fiberglass without contacting the manu-facturer for compatibility with cleaners with linear alcohol ethoxylates.  Although Basic-H² is U.S.D.A. approved for hand
washing, Shaklee does not recommend the product for personal care. An eye irritant, Basic-H² should not be used to clean contact lenses, plastic-forward lenses, or plastic-glass frames. Because of risk of irritation, particularly among young females, Basic-H² should not be used as a bath additive in any amount, even when diluted. Bath additives require special testing, which has not been conducted on Basic-H². For the same reason, Basic-H² should not be used as a general shampoo or dandruff shampoo.
Do not mix Basic-H² with Basic-G Cleaner. The water wetting agents in Basic-H² inactivate the germ-killing agents in Basic-G. In case of eye contact, flush with water, as Basic-H² is highly concentrated.
This Information is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Shaklee U.S., Inc. – This information has been provided by users of the product for 14-30+ years of the product.

Asthma Facts

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###-FREE does NOT == HEALTHY!

SUGAR-FREE, FAT-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, BANANA-FREE…

Banana-Free HealthyGreaseMonkey

Marketing experts have figured out that the typical American will purchase anything with the word “FREE” on it. And as consumers, most of us have proven them right.

Besides the fact that we are already programmed to pick up any package that says “NATURAL” on it and assume it is and it will be healthy… the marketers have turned other word combinations against us as well!

Sugar-Free

This leads us to believe a sweet utopian experience is on the horizon. Yet, our body is about to be assaulted if we consume such toxic poisons!

It is VERY well known, in many circles, that Aspartame, Saccharine, & Splenda can cause serious side effects. They are chemicals with side effects.

In fact, studies are showing that people who consume Diet Soda’s actually WEIGH MORE than those who drink regular sodas. (do NOT imply that I am condoning soda pop!) Smile 

Splenda-Side-Effects-Healthy-Grease-Monkey.jpg

 

In my book it is raw, organic sugar, honey, or fruit to sweeten whatever it is!

Fat-Free

“The problem is that sometimes “fat free” is also, well, taste free. And to make up for that lack of taste, food manufacturers tend to pour other ingredients — especially sugar, flour, thickeners and salt — into the products. That may boost the calorie content.

“Plus, if the foods aren’t that appealing, they may lead to overeating to make up for the lack of satisfaction.”  (WebMD)

INSTEAD: Think GOOD FATS and NOT fat free! Our brains actually NEED good fats to function properly…

Gluten-Free

Manufacturers have figured out that “Gluten-FREE” is the latest buzz word!  Heck, they are even labeling things that NEVER HAD GLUTEN… as gluten free!  Many people are jumping on the gluten free band wagon.  Many people DO have a gluten intolerance and eliminating it can eliminate symptoms and pain. 

Nowhere else in the world is there such a large percentage of people who are gluten intolerant.  Many other places in the world have outlawed the use of it. A study released this past month looks at the question of “Is it gluten or glyphosate?”

My main gripe about the whole gluten-free issue is that so many manufacturers are using the term “gluten-free” as a synonym to “healthy” and people are buying it. Sad smile 

Highly processed food is Highly processed food!  My rule of thumb is whole foods made in the home.  Ideally, foods that come from sources/people I know and use farming practices that match my desires.   We buy local and organic and I make all of our bread.

Banana-Free

Yeah, I just thought it sounded funny and would grab your attention!  Smile  Did it work?

Take it easy, have a GREAT week! Enjoy your life, your family, your food, and take time to INVEST in your health.

 

For more information or to schedule a personal coaching session, contact me!

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Hungry? Nutritious Tip — Try the Apple Test!

When attempting to make healthy choices, many times people feel challenged when they begin to feel hungry.

Apple Test HealthyGreaseMonkey

If you feel hungry:

  1. Drink an 8-16 ounce glass of water and wait 20 minutes.
  2. If you are still hungry after the 20 minutes, grab an apple.
  3. Look at the apple, study the apple… Do you want to eat the apple?
  4. If the answer is YES! GREAT eat the healthy, organic apple.
  5. If the answer is NO! You are not really hungry.  Go back to what you were doing before your subconscious distracted you. Smile 

Many times, we mistake thirst for hunger. 

Step 1 allows us to assess whether we are really hungry or if we were actually thirsty.

Step 2 then addresses the issue of mindless eating, that so many suffer from.  When we take the time to look at the food, think about the food, assess our actual state of hunger…

I may find that I was not hungry at all, just had a rogue thought or a bad habit that was trying to rear its ugly head!

HEALTHY EATING!

For more information or helpful tips & personal coaching, feel free to contact me.

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