Summer & Salads

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Get on your salad game…

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Salads are for summer as summer are for salads. Do you hear me! You can enjoy a nice fresh salad and not get board if you change your mindset. Uncooked salads are live foods that the body needs to stay healthy. Undisturbed nutrients is what I like to call them. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, sweet peppers, etc. You can even make a healthy homemade dressing with a dash of salt and pepper for flavor.

Best times to prepare salads…

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Anytime of course…breakfast, lunch, or dinner. How about all three! I eat fruit salad for breakfast then maybe avacado salad for lunch then dinner it may be a steak salad. Yes sometimes I just have to add some meat…lol I used to love my fries in my salad but the way my body gains weight I had to give it up.

Including the kids to create their own healthy salad with their veggies of choice is a parental accomplishment. The kids are healthy which in turn makes the parents happy it’s a win win situation.

7 Great benefits of adding salads to your daily regimen…

 

1. Salads give us the fiber our bodies need…

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Your leafy greens and raw veggies are a superb source of natural fiber, if you consume enough fiber each day there are several health advantages:

  • Fiber helps to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
  • It helps to control blood sugar.
  • Adequate fiber intake helps with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.
  • It normalizes bowel movements, and aids in the prevention of bowel disease.
  • Proper fiber intake has been shown to reduce the recurrence and prevention of a number of cancers including colorectal, breast, mouth, throat and esophagus.

2. Nutrition goes a long way…

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Diets rich in fruits and veggies can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems & have a positive effect on your blood sugar which can help keep your appetite controllable.

It’s important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, in as many different colors as possible. Combining them in a salad is both easy and delicious! Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eating a salad a day will also increase the level of powerful antioxidants in your blood.

The basis of any salad, leafy greens, offer a huge nutritional benefit. Among the best of the super greens group are your kale, spinach, beet greens, watercress and Romaine lettuce.

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the “red” family are of a particular nutrition benefit. This includes produce with orange, purple, red and burgundy flesh. Examples would be tomatoes, red and orange peppers, carrots,strawberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, blueberries, blackberries,cranberries, and pomegranates.

Carotenoids are a class of compounds synthesized from the yellow, orange and red pigments of plants. This includes vitamin A and all its varied compound forms such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of which has substantiated positive effects, plus antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits within the body.

3. Salads will help you incorporate healthy fat into your diet…

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Mix some raw or roasted seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame, sunflower and ground flax or chia to boost your daily intake of good fats. Experimenting with various oils in your homemade dressings will help with this, as well.

Slicing a quarter of an avocado and adding it to your greens will also give you a boost. These foods also help the body to absorb all of the protective compounds, phytochemicals, and lutein.

Adding a healthy fat to your salad via the dressing, or by adding  an avocado will also make it more filling, as fats are among the most satisfying to the body.

4. Build strong bones…

Low vitamin K levels have been linked with low bone mineral density in women. For healthy bone growth, a recommended full daily serving can be found in just 1 cup of watercress (100%), radicchio (120%) or spinach (170%).

5. Protect your eyes…

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The carotenoids found in the green leafies like spinach, Romaine and Red Lettuce help the eyes to adjust from bright to dark, and to filter out high intensity light levels, protecting them from the formation of damaging free radicals.

6. Protect your precious heart…

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Romaine lettuce contains two key nutrients in significant levels that help to protect the heart muscle: folate and fiber. High levels of folate have been shown to assist in the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular disease. You only get one heart so protect it with the foods you consume. Love helps the heart to function but healthy foods keeps it pumping!

7. Improves your overall skin tone…

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The high levels of water found in salad veggies improves hydration in our bodies, which is necessary for youthful wrinkle free skin.

Add herbs for a nutritional boost. This healthy salad includes roast beef, basil, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, onions, & sunflower seeds.

Adding fresh herbs goes a long way toward improving your nutrition, as many are densely packed with vitamins and various phytonutrients. Because these vitamins and phytonutrients are produced so intensely, they’re especially nutritionally dense – meaning they’re thermogenic, and may help to naturally increase your metabolism.

 

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Succulent French Lemon yogurt cake

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Daily Strugglies lemon+yogurt cake

This French lemon yogurt cake is so easy to make, and has a wonderful flavor and texture. Definitely one to add to your regular baking list!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: French yogurt cake, lemon yogurt cake, yogurt cake
Servings: 12 (approx – makes 1 loaf)
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Daily Strugglies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 210g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar 200g
  • 1 lemon zest (ie from 1 lemon)
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt 180ml
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 60ml, or other plain oil eg safflower, canola
  • 1/4 cup lemon olive oil 60ml, or additional veg oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Lightly oil and line a standard loaf pan (8 1/2″ x 4 1/4″).
  • Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk together.
  • In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest in to the sugar in to help it release the oils. You should get patches that become slightly moist.
  • Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla to the lemony sugar and whisk until blended.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture as well and mix in.
  • Pour in the oil(s) and blend until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan and smooth off the top.
  • Bake for approx 50-55 minutes until the loaf is golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool around 5 minutes before loosening from the pan and carefully taking the loaf out. Continue to cool in a cooling rack.

Notes

I used whole milk yogurt, but lower fat would also work. Greek-style is also fine.

The cake will keep a few days, covered at room temperature (I put in tupperware) – it will gradually dry a little so if more than around 3-4 days, you may want to toast or grill and top with berries/jam at that point but it will still be delicious as ever! Enjoy xoxo

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated  Fat: ⁴5g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 141mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 63mg |

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“Lustful Passions” Ground Turkey Enchilada mix

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You are going to really enjoy this healthy version of an Enchilada!

For my people who want to loose weight they just aren’t eating the right weightloss combinations to kick your metabolism into fat burning mode! Enjoy…xoxo

Level: Easy

Total: 40 min

Prep: 10 min

Inactive: 5 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat couscous

1 pound lean ground turkey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

1 cup broccoli florets

One 15-ounce can no-sodium-added black beans

One 10-ounce can enchilada sauce

1/2 cup salsa

Suggested toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheese, lime juice

Directions

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the couscous into the saucepan and stir well. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or wok, cook the ground turkey over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Drain the excess fat and wipe the pan clean. Heat the oil in the same pan over high heat, then add the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the turkey, beans, enchilada sauce and salsa and stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Serve with the couscous and top with suggested toppings as desired.
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Corona can’t defeat a strong immune system…

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All masked up & feeling helpless about it?

 

Let’s start with boosting the immune system & relaxation will follow…

If you have belly fat your immune system is under attack…simple as that! Excess belly fat weakens your body’s defense system so when something like “The Coronavirus” comes around we can’t fight it off no matter how hard we try. Meat is a huge immune system destroyer food, it can sit & fester in the colon for days causing your body to produce excess amounts of inflammation which leads to cancer.

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The red meat truth will set you free…

A new study has revealed a potential reason behind red meat’s cancer-causing effects — excess amounts of a special sugar called Neu5Gc. When scientists studied the presence of Neu5Gc in different types of food, they discovered that beef, pork, lamb, and bison had substantially higher levels than poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables.

Neu5Gc is naturally produced by carnivorous animals, allowing them to sustain high red-meat diets without negative health effects. Because humans do not produce this sugar, however, the body treats it as a foreign substance, setting off a toxic immune reaction. This reaction can cause chronic inflammation that may contribute to cancer. Research it for yourself don’t just take my word.

 

You have to think smarter not harder when dealing with a already compromised immune system…

If you catch cold quick and know your immune system is weak, you should certainly stay away from bacteria and other organisms that could make you worst!

For important steps you can take when buying and preparing food, visit the page on Food Production and Safety.

Getting adequate protein is important to boosting your immune system. Here are some good sources of protein for people with weakened immune systems:

  • lean meat, fish, eggs, or pasteurized tofu, all well cooked; check the internal temperature of the food with a thermometer to make sure it’s at the proper temperature to kill any bacteria. For a complete list of proper cooking temperatures for foods, see the United States Department of Agriculture’s food safety fact sheet.
  • Almond milk
  • low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat pasteurized yogurt
  • canned or dehydrated soup
  • a multivitamin. “Capsule” take out the powder and put it into a smoothie but talk to your doctor first as so e prescriptions are harmful when taken with natural supplements.

Foods you should avoid as if they will cause you to burn in hell…“yes it’s that serious”

This is serious stuff because certain foods can have high levels of bacteria. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems avoid the following foods:

  • raw vegetable sprouts (alfalfa, radish, broccoli, mung bean, etc.), because of a high risk of Salmonella and E. coli contamination
  • raw eggs, including unpasteurized eggnog, uncooked Caesar salad dressing, and unbaked meringues, because of possible Salmonella contamination
  • unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juice, including cider, unless you prepare it at home with thoroughly washed produce
  • raw or undercooked ground meat and poultry
  • tofu packed in water

I personally recommend avoiding the following foods during chemotherapy because they can have levels of bacteria high enough to make a person with a weakened immune system sick:

  • foods that are raw or undercooked, which can include meat, fish, shellfish, lox, sushi, sashimi, poultry, eggs, hot dogs, deli meats, tofu, sausage, and bacon
  • foods containing raw eggs, such as hollandaise sauce, raw cookie dough, or homemade mayonnaise
  • unpasteurized (raw) milk and dairy products made from unpasteurized milk
  • soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined (Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, and blue) and Mexican-style cheeses, such as those used to make queso sauce
  • unwashed raw fruits and vegetables and those with mold on them
  • raw honey
  • sun tea
  • unpasteurized beer
  • uncooked brewer’s yeast

Also please, please avoid salad bars, delis, buffets, sidewalk vendors, and potluck gatherings. All have a higher risk of improperly stored or refrigerated food and of poor hygiene by the people handling and cooking the food.

Our favorite “sugary foods” are destroying our immune systems daily!

Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks or eating something containing a lot of sugar.

Body fat is incredibly inflammatory, and it’s that high level of inflammation that leads to infections like a cold or the flu as well as conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.   Being overweight or obese can lead to a weakened immune system.

Having too much fat on your body negatively impacts your body’s ability to fight disease because body fat can inhibit the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and prevent inflammation.

A study conducted by “New University of North Carolina” at Chapel Hill School of Medicine shows that obesity reduces the body’s ability to turn on elements of its immune systems needed for controlling influenza infection so how could it fight a flu on steroids like “Corona Virus”?

Now’s a great time to start a plant based diet don’t you think?

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Eating a low-fat, plant-based diet may help give the immune system a boost. The immune system relies on white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and other invaders. Vegetarians have been shown to have more effective white blood cells when compared to nonvegetarians, due to a high intake of vitamins and low intake of fat.

Maintaining a healthy weight can also benefit the immune system. Obesity has been linked to increased risk for influenza and other infections such as pneumonia.3 Plant-based diets are effective for weightloss, because they are rich in fiber, which helps fill you up, without adding extra calories. Fiber can also lower BMI, which is linked to improved immunity so don’t be afraid to increase it in your diet. A plant-based diet has also been shown to reduce inflammatory biomarkers.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants

As we know fruits and vegetables provide nutrients—like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E—that can boost immune function. Because many vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods are also rich in antioxidants, and they help reduce oxidative stress.

Beta-Carotene: Beta-carotene is a powerful & great antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body. Excellent sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamins C and E: Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help to destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response so increase them! Sources of vitamin C include red peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons, and other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E sources include nuts, seeds, spinach, and broccoli.

Vitamin D: Research shows vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk for viral infections, including respiratory tract infections, by reducing production of proinflammatory compounds in the body. Increased vitamin D in the blood has been linked to prevention of other chronic diseases including tuberculosis, hepatitis, and cardiovascular disease. Food sources of vitamin D include fortified cereals and plant-based milks along with supplements.

Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that can help boost white blood cells, which defend against invaders. Sources include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, beans, and lentils.

Sleep

Our bodies need sleep to rest and recharge. Without a sufficient amount of sleep, we increase our risk for developing serious health problems—like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. Inadequate sleep has also been linked to suppressed immune function which is the last thing you need right now!

I have added some of my favorite vegan recipes for your enjoyment pleasure…have fun with them while on quarantine…xoxo

Protected: I laugh in the face of Corona…my body will not fall victim!

 

 

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