Tag Archives: honeycrisp apple

An Apple a Day CAN Keep the Doctor Away

Cameo. Honeycrisp. Pink Lady. No, these aren’t the names of fancy roses but of fresh, delicious apples. When you think of all the different fruits that contain antioxidants, with most varieties of berries topping the list, apples tend to get overlooked. Antioxidants are nutrients in our food that can prevent or slow down the oxidative damage to our body. When our cells use oxygen, they produce by-products (free radicals) that can cause damage. Antioxidants act as free radical scavengers to repair the damage. Another reason apples pack a punch is the pectin, a soluble fiber that helps with total cholesterol and triglycerides. At 80 calories with 5 grams of fiber, apples fill you up with fewer calories. Although apples go out of season by early winter, they are often stored so they can be sold year round. Apples retain virtually all of their flavonoid content for up to two months in your refrigerator.

One of my favorite snacks is a crisp, semi-tart Pink Lady apple with some fresh ground almond butter. Simple and delicious. Toss them in green and fruit salads with some cinnamon spiced nuts or roast some with vegetables such as sweet potatoes or carrots, add some browned chicken sausage and viola, a feast for your taste buds. However you enjoy your daily apple, just eat it in its whole fruit form. Applesauce, apple juice and other processed apple foods are NOT the same. Apples are number one on the Environmental Working Group’s list of the most pesticide laden fruit so make sure to purchase organic apples if possible. To see their complete list, visit their website at EWG.org.

Grandma may have been right after all, an apple a day CAN keep the doctor away!

20130104-190726.jpg

Be Vibrant!
Tonya

Wow, Really Joe?

Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to look for it. Take this morning for example. While wracking my brain, trying to pick out one, of the too many numerous things I’m passionate about, it hit me. Ok,  it didn’t literally hit me, but I heard him on the phone. His name is Joe and he works for the same company as my husband. They were chatting on speaker phone, so you could hardly call it eavesdropping. Anyway, Joe is like most of us, trying to fill our plates and our bellies, fast and cheap. Joe works on the road a lot. He lives primarily on the fast food dollar menu. I overheard him making a joke, about stopping to get a .79 cent 64 ounce soda, before dining at the restaurant famous for their all-you-can-eat,  white, doughy bread sticks and unlimited iceberg lettuce salad special. Smart shopper right?  Since the restaurant charges three bucks for a soft drink?

People have all kinds of excuses for eating poorly. Most are lacking one or more of three things; time, money or energy.  But doesn’t it make sense that if you use your time wisely, you could have more energy AND save money? The truth is in the cooler. As in the portable, take-me-on-a-picnic, good ‘ol ice chest. There is an endless array of sizes and styles to suit anyone. Of course, the important thing is WHAT you put in it. (Sorry honey, I’m not thinking chocolate milk and mini powdered sugar donuts.) I’m thinking more along the lines of some fresh slices of cucumbers and cashew hummus or maybe some almond butter and a big Honeycrisp apple . Maybe some big chunks of sharp, cheddar cheese and some sort of jerky, I like turkey or venison. Or some tuna salad scooped up with sweet baby bell peppers.  Since we’re headed into cooler weather what about something warm and satisfying like a hot thermos full of homemade soup or stew? Or some stick-to-your-ribs chili? The variety of things to take on the road are limitless.

What’s missing here is the plan. Many of you live from moment to moment and catch something to eat on the run. Like Joe. Like most of us. However, with a little pre-planning you CAN eat healthier. Write down a few menu ideas and make sure you shop for everything to complete those meals. This saves from those last-minute, oh-yeah-I-forgot, trips to the store. Keep in mind meals that work both for dinner and for lunch the next day. Take some time to clean and prep your vegetables. Make some hard-cooked eggs and if your family eats rice, prepare a big pot of whole grain, brown rice to use in meals throughout the week. Use that huge timer saver you have tucked away. You know, your crock pot. Getting up a wee ten minutes earlier in the morning, to put your goodies of the day together, will improve both your health and your wallet!

Hardy man’s lunch box

Raw Cashew Hummus

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for four hours

1/4 C tahini (sesame butter)

1-2 garlic cloves

juice of a fresh lemon

Sea salt and fresh, cracked pepper

Drain water from cashews, saving some water for processing. Place together in food processor or blender with next four ingredients and process until smooth and creamy, adding water as necessary for desired consistency. Season to taste. Enjoy with a medley of fresh veggies!

Be Vibrant!

Tonya