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Delicious & Healthy Summer Desserts

Summer is a great time to entertain and take advantage of the delicious fruits available.  Here are four yummy, healthy and simple desserts to make for your family and friends.  Enjoy!

Grilled Peaches with Yogurt and Honeygrilled-peaches

Ingredients: 

  • 4 medium ripe peaches, cut in half (pit removed)
  • 1/2 cup honey flavored fat free Greek yogurt
  • 4 tbsps honey
  • cinnamon (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Grill peaches cut side down on low or indirect heat until soft (about 2-4 minutes on each side).
  2. Combine yogurt and cinnamon.
  3. Pour 1 tbsp yogurt over each peach half.
  4. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Banana Ice CreamGuiltless-Banana-Ice-Cream

Ingredients: 

  • 4 ripe bananas frozen
  • Optional toppings: nuts, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, strawberries or blusberries

Directions:

  • Place 4 frozen bananas into the food processor and mix until creamy.
  • Scoop into individual bowls.
  • Top with whatever you love best.  My favorites include nuts, chocolate syrup, blueberries, strawberries or sprinkles.

Peach and Blueberry Cobblerimages

Ingredients: 

  • 4-5 cups sliced and peeled peaches (Tip – Lightly score the bottom of peach with an X and then blanch peaches for about a minute in boiling water.   Run cold water on peaches as you gently pull skin right off).
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss berries, fruit, lemon juice & 3 tbsps maple syrup in a shallow baking dish.
  3. Mix almond meal, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tbsps of maple syrup and 4 tbsps coconut oil and mix until just combined. More coconut oil can be added to get desired consistency.
  5. Crumble the mixture over the top of the fruit and then bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is browned and fruit is bubbling.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Homemade Popsicles44bc3bf9fe4b21dae270ae6193b81df5

 Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups fresh ripe strawberries, cored and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons agave syrup (maple syrup can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup plain yogurt

Directions:

  1. In medium sauce pan, simmer the strawberries and agave until very soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Pour into blender or food processor, add lemon juice and pulse until fruit is pureed but not liquefied.  You should have about a cup.
  3. Chill and refrigerate until cool.
  4. Stir in yogurt into chilled mixture and combine.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 8 hours.
  6. When ready to eat, run warm water over the outside of mold and gently pull popsicle out.

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Drinking Your Greens

The explosion of green smoothies and juices is everywhere.  Within the last couple months, 3 new juice places have opened within one mile of my house and grocery stores and Starbucks are now selling pre-packaged juices.  Are they as good for you as they seem and what are the differences?  My friend, Elizabeth Girouard, a Certified Holistic Health Coach, wrote an excellent article that answers many of these questions and explains why we all should give green drinks a try.  We have posted a portion of her article below.  Read on to learn more.

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I am often asked:  What’s the rage with Green Smoothies? 

This is a great question.  Many of my Healthy Eating Challengers still start off their days with a Green Smoothie – and here are a few reasons why!

Green Smoothies are:

1)  an easy way to get in more than 3 servings of vegetables

2)  easier to digest since the blender starts the digestion process for you by breaking  down the veggies’ cell walls.  This means your body can quickly assimilate the nutrients.

3)  a great vitamin, mineral, phytonutrient and anti-oxidant infusion to start the day.

4)  a nutrient dense powerhouse that can improve your immunity to colds, flus and other potential bugs.

5)  able to help alkalize our bodies which reduces our susceptibility to disease

6)  filled with dark leafy greens that have a lot of chlorophyll which delivers oxygen to our bodies that can increase our energy levels.

7)  able to help diminish cravings and reduce hunger as it is providing nourishment to your body.

8)  able to help you lose weight as you are adding in more vegetables and crowding out the less beneficial foods for your body!

Other related questions that I often receive are:

What’s the difference between juicing and blending (smoothies)?  And, is one better than the other?  And, does juicing increase my blood sugar?

Read the rest of the article at: http://tinyurl.com/pwr8w5h

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Seven Dieting Myths

Every year there are new trends and updated suggestions for healthy eating and weight loss.  Some are simply useless and others can be counterproductive.   After reading about many of these trends, we came across an excellent article from Refinery29  that was re-posted on The Huffington Post . It embraces the Heels to Laces way of life: avoid fad diets and instead live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  We have posted a portion of the the article below:

As a culture, we go through phases with our diet preferences — low-fat gave way to low-carb, dairy-free begat gluten-free, and eggs (poor eggs) are either omega-rich wunderkinds or insidious cholesterol bombs depending on the current political climate and whether or not Mercury’s in retrograde. Yet, there are some out-there diet myths that we simply can’t seem to shake.

Myth #1 You shouldn’t eat dinner (or anything else) after 7 p.m.

“There is no universal time that everyone should stop eating,” says Kinsella. “People get up at different times, go to sleep at different times, and eat at different times. Many countries eat dinner later than Americans but their populations weigh less than Americans do. Unless someone has an eating disorder and needs to eat at regular intervals to establish normalized hunger cues, or someone has a self-care reason for eating (like they’ll soon be stuck in a meeting without access to food), it is more important for people to be connected to their internal hunger cues than to be eating based on an external influence, like the clock.”

What’s even more curious is how this diet myth originated. Kinsella wonders if the don’t-eat-at-night rule may have more to do with how we regulate our earlier meals while dieting. “Some people get in bad cycles of skipping breakfast and then overeating at night,” she says. Furthermore, it’s often not about the time we eat but how we’re eating. “Sometimes, people find themselves late-night snacking out of habit while they’re watching TV. Both these patterns should be addressed simply because they aren’t self-care behaviors. But, non-hunger mindless snacking at 9 a.m. would be just as much of an issue as [it is at] 9 p.m.”

Myth #2 Your body doesn’t need carbohydrates. Carbs make you fat.

This line of thinking is central to quite a few diet programs, but Kinsella puts it right to bed. “With the exception of specialized diets for medical necessity, if someone isn’t eating carbohydrates, they aren’t functioning at their optimal level,” she says. “The brain alone uses 130 grams of carbohydrates per day. Carbohydrates are also necessary for serotonin production.”She adds that the maligned molecules are even more important if you engage in even moderate exercise. “Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for exercise and many people do not feel good when exercising without them. Since exercise is an essential component of self-care and health, eliminating carbohydrates can be detrimental to overall health.”Again, no one’s arguing that you need more Wonder Bread in your life, but “whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables all contain carbohydrates and are excellent sources of fiber. For this reason, many people on low-carb diets experience an unwanted side effect: constipation.” We’ve all been there. Let’s not go there again.


Myth #3 Paleo is the ideal diet, because we were all once Paleolithic people.

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This one particularly irks me. It’s at once so attractive to the dieter (“Of course! Ancient man didn’t have spaghetti, so I shouldn’t, either!”) and so ridiculous (Ancient man didn’t have lentils, and therefore lentils are bad for you?). We also need to acknowledge that we don’t live like ancient man. Consider, for example, that modern produce bears little resemblance to its Paleolithic ancestors. And, hunter-getherer diets varied drastically depending upon where the population lived. Lastly, when is the last time you actively pursued your steak before eating it?

No matter how healthy we aim to be, most of us will not continue an eating program if it doesn’t satisfy us. And, Kinsella warns, “the Paleo Diet certainly doesn’t emphasize enjoying your food. When people don’t enjoy their food, it’s difficult to eat mindfully and it is very difficult to sustain… If we look at the research on losing excess weight, it’s clear that people that include highly enjoyable food are actually more likely to maintain their loss.” In other words, we can put in painstaking dedication and effort to supplement the nutrients that paleo lacks, but the call of the bread or cheese — or even lentils —almost always wins out.“The Paleo Diet is based on eating food that can be hunted, fished, or gathered, such as meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, veggies, roots, and fruit, like berries. It does not include grains, dairy, beans, salt, and sugar. Whole grains, dairy, and beans are nutrient-rich foods. By eliminating them, you could be setting yourself up for a deficiency or eliminating nutrients that help prevent disease.”

Myth #4: There is such a thing as eating right for your blood type.

“No. There is no scientific evidence to support special diets based on blood type.”

Myth #5: Juicing is healthy and cleansing is necessary.

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I think we all know where this is going, but just in case:

 “The liver and kidneys are the body’s own detoxification system. They do a fantastic job of continuously removing waste products and toxins without the help of juice. Furthermore, there are some obvious drawbacks of juicing; juices are inadequate in protein, fat, essential fatty acids, and fiber. These nutrients are crucial for satiety and vital components for a balanced meal. The protein factor is particularly crucial here. When protein intake is inadequate, the body catabolizes protein from muscles and organs. Hence, someone on a juice cleanse ends up losing muscle mass — a major contributor to metabolism. They’ll likely end up with a worse body composition in the end.”

Read the rest of the article at http://bit.ly/1u0LYME

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