summer blueberries

Blueberries-In-PackBe sure to eat of plenty of blueberries this summer!   Blueberries are packed with fiber, manganese, copper, vitamin C & vitamin K, along with the amazing anti-oxidant anthocyanin.  Anthocyanin has been shown to boost brain health and may reduce risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Support your local farmer and purchase blueberries at a farm stand which is easy to do since Hammonton, N.J. is considered the blueberry capital of the world. For the ultimate tasty experience go straight to the farm and pick fresh blueberries.  Blueberry picking season begins in June and typically ends late July.

Ideas for adding blueberries during the day:

  • Bring to work as a snack
  • Smother morning steel-cut oatmeal
  • Add to homemade whole wheat pancakes 
  • Create a fruit salad such as blueberries, strawberries & white nectarines)
  • Toss in a frozen smoothie with a banana 
Blueberry Bush

Blueberry Bush ast B & B Farms, Galloway, NJ

favorite whole grain flatbread 

favorite whole grain flatbread 

I recently came across this delicious Middle Eastern flatbread from Bonterra Market, located in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.  I have used it for wraps, as a base for homemade pizza and also just toasted plain on the side of a salad or for dipping with hummus.

What I like about it:

  • Whole wheat ingredients
  • Minimal number of ingredients 
  • Can pronounce all of the ingredients
  • The taste
  • Variety of uses
  • Can be frozen 
  • The price ($2.79 for 4 large flatbreads)
  • Passed the 3 kids tastebuds taste 

    Flatbreads and tortilla wraps are great for sandwiches, soups and salads, but so many have lots of unhealthy ingredients. Give this one a try. When choosing a flatbread or tortilla wrap look for one with whole wheat or whole grain as main ingredient and just a few other ingredients that  you can pronounce. 

    may tip: skip the fish oils & swap in flaxseed 

    may tip: skip the fish oils & swap in flaxseed 

    With all of the hype about the benefits of salmon, many people take fish oil capsules to  reap the benefits.  Yes, salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids BUT an awesome plant- based source is flaxseed meal. 1-2 tablespoons per day provides enough omega 3’s PLUS fiber and lignans.  Lignans are an amazing phytohemical that fight inflammation in the body.  Chronic inflammation is linked to diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and certain cancers. 

    Skip the fish oil supplement which is a processed source of omega 3’s and swap in  flaxseed meal, a natural source. Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed meal is my favorite. If use flax seeds, be sure to ground  before consumption for digestive purposes and refrigerate. 

    Ideas to add flaxseed meal to food:

    1. Add to a Smoothie
    2. Sprinkle on a mixed  green salad
    3. Top Oatmeal
    4. Sprinkle on Cereal
    5. Mix in with a stir-fry
    6. Top steamed veggies
    7. Mix in with brown rice and beans  
    8. Add to baked goods

    favorite tea infuser

    favorite tea infuser

    I have been thinking about brewing fresh tea with loose leaves for some time but never got around to it.  I  recently came upon this cool Uendure glass tea infuser bottle and gave it a try and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!  In just a few minutes, I am able to prepare fresh hot tea to go.  I just add boiling water and fresh tea leaves. How simple is that!

    I purchased  an organic green tea sampler from Heavenly Teas that included: gunpowder green, sencha, green paradise heavenly teaand chun mee green teas.  Each tea flavor had a distinctive taste and were quite delicious.

    What I like about the tea infuser:  It is made from glass, dishwasher safe, may be used as a water bottle and also is not too hot to the touch after adding very hot water. If you are considering experimenting with steeping loose tea leaves and would like to drink hot tea on the go, consider the Uendure glass tea infuser, my new favorite nutrition gadget.

    Check out the video to learn more on how to use the glass tea infuser bottle.

    april tip: try something new 

    april tip: try something new 

    This April venture out of your food routine and try a new food and/or recipe.   Many of us, myself included,  will eat the same foods day in and day out. There are so many foods out there so why do we stick to the same ones?  It’s familiar, safe and comfortable. Trying something new is unfamiliar and unknown so we hesitate. 

    Perks of trying something new:

    1.  It prevents boredom. Boredom is dangerous when it comes to food. It elevates the risk of reaching for chips and cookies to spice things up. 
    2. It opens up the possibility that you may actually enjoy it. 
    3. It feels good to try something new.   

     

     Suggest adding a new food or recipe every 1-2 weeks. 

    Some ideas:

    • a new grain such as quinoa, bulgar wheat, couscous
    • a new vegetable such as spaghetti squash, eggplant or kale.
    • expeirment  with tofu 
    • a new soup or side dish recipe
    • new spice such as cumin, tumeric, sage, rosemary 
    • new version of something old like a different kind of apple: Fuji, pink lady, stayman, Winesap, etc. 
    • try a new store like a health food store 

    There are so many options, take a step this week and see how exciting trying something different feels. 

    simple food storage 

    simple food storage 

    When I sold my house and was transitioning to a new home, I stayed at a  friends house and noticed she had an awesome set of glass food storage containers.  The containers were easy to use, had a tight seal and were dishwasher safe.  They were great for storing food and for packing  lunch.   After I was settled into my new home, I bought myself a set and use them just about every day. Recycled my old plastic set and  never looked back.   Haha.

    Ideas for storage containers:

    1. Store leftover foods such as rice, beans, salads, etc.

    2. Store Coffee beans, homemade granola

    3. Use to store freshly cut fruit and veggies, cooked rice and oatmeal

    2. Use for lunch/snacks on the go

    Purchased my set on Amazon, but they are available at many stores such as

    Bed, Bath & Beyond and Walmart. 

       

      

     

    march tip: add ruby red grapefruit to water

    march tip:  add ruby red grapefruit to water

    My latest beverage fad is adding ruby red grapefruit to my water to give it some zest.  Adding fresh fruit to water adds a refreshing look and pizazz to a beverage that sometimes can get a bit monotonous.

    Typically, I bring slices of pink grapefruit to work along with one of my favorite beverage glasses, such as a mason jar.  I squeeze the juice from a few slices into the water and then add the slices. Over time, it becomes sweeter.  It feels like I am treating myself and looks pleasing to the eye at the same time.

      
     For  the month of March, which happens to be National Nutrition Month, work on drinking water as your main beverage during the day and be creative with adding a variety of fruits.

    By the way, B.F. Mazzeos has had the most delicious ruby red grapefruit the past few weeks. I stopped by there today and  the ruby red grapefruits were only 20 cents each!  I will be bringing one tomorrow to work for sure!