Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup – Serves: 6, Serving size: 6 oz

4 cups Butternut squash

1 cup leeks

7 fl oz coconut milk

10 fl oz vegetable broth, organic, low sodium

1/8 tsp sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butternut in half, scoop out seeds and stringy insides, then prick flesh with a fork and set halves face down in baking sheet in approximately ½” of water. Bake for 45 minutes until flesh is soft. While butternut is baking, bring all other ingredients to a boil and down to a simmer till leeks are soft. After butternut is finished cooking, scoop flesh out of skin. In a food processor, add butternut and leek stock till creamy and smooth. Serve.

125 calories, 5g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 4g fiber, 124mg sodium

Fall Produce Guide

Fall Produce Guide

Fall is upon us! Leaving summer produce behind always feels bittersweet but we have a whole new crop to look forward to. The fall and winter months are full of food and celebration and many of those flavors come from fall produce. These days you can find an abundance of produce year-round at fairly decent prices, but I’m sharing a quick list of produce that is particularly flavorful and affordable when eaten in the fall/winter months. Foods eaten in their season will always be freshest, healthiest, most affordable and most flavorful!

Apples

These can grow anywhere with a moderate climate so you’ll notice that they are available year-round. However, the largest fruit-bearing season is in the fall so you see more variety and they become more affordable. When buying apples, choose ones with firm flesh and a tight skin, free of bruises, soft spots and holes. Smaller sized apples tend to be juicier and crisper and less mealy than larger apples. To ripen apples, keep them at room temperature. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for long periods of time.

Brussels Sprouts

If you’ve ever wondered, Brussels Sprouts ARE named after the capital of Belgium. They are grown from seeds and take 4 months for the first sprouts to be picked and eaten. They don’t grow well in the cold and only produce sprouts for 6 weeks. Small, compact and fresh sprouts with a bright green color will be the freshest and crispiest. They start to wilt about 5 days into refrigeration but any wilted outer leaves can be removed before preparing. My favorite way to eat Brussels Sprouts is steamed and then topped with a bit of butter and a sprinkle of salt or roasted in olive oil.

Cranberries

Cranberries are not the most popular fruit, unless they are sweetened!  They are a bit tough and tart to eat raw but their flavor and sweetness intensifies when they are cooked or dried. They are typically found at the grocery store in packaged plastic bags or you can get them from farms where they are grown.  Avoid buying those with brown spots. They should be round, red, shiny and firm.

Fennel

All parts of the Fennel plant (seeds, leaves, bulb) are edible and have a mild licorice flavor. It’s a sturdy plant that thrives almost anywhere. Shelf-life is about a week when you choose one with a white, blemish free bulb and sweet-smelling leaves. I personally love to roast fennel with sweet potatoes… both aromatic and sweet, with different textures.

Grapes

There are thousands of different varieties of grapes, which also vary in color, flavor, and usage. Some have seeds while others are seedless but regardless of what type, you’ll want to look for certain characteristics when buying. They should be uniform in color and firm to the touch. Store in the refrigerator for longest shelf life, as grapes can spoil within 3-5 days. They are also fantastic frozen!

Green beans

When buying green beans you will want to avoid those with visible seeds or blemishes or too stiff. They should be bright green and snap easily when bent. Choose those in equal sizes for best cooking.

Pears

Pears, as you probably have experienced, have an ideal window of ripeness. They get sweeter as they ripen, so an unripe pear is very tough, crisp and not overly sweet. But if too ripe, they tend to get mushy and mealy. A perfectly ripe pear is one that has a slightly soft flesh around the stem. Leave them at room temperature to ripen and then refrigerate to keep fresh.

Pomegranate

The Pomegranate gets its name from combining the French terms pome for apple and grenate for many-seeded. The seeds have been a symbol of fertility since biblical times and is one of the traditional lucky foods eaten on January 1st to welcome fertility for the coming year. When buying, the fruit should feel very heavy and plump, almost bursting, with a shiny skin. It can actually be refrigerated for up to 2 months or stored in a cool, dark place for a month.

Winter squash

Squash is available in many varieties, shapes and colors. Winter Squash and Summer Squash are the two main classifications, with winter having a hard shell and a thick rind. Winter squash varieties include acorn squash, banana squash, buttercup squash, butternut squash and spaghetti squash. You’ll want to select one that is heavy for its size with a thick, hard shell. If stored in a cool, dark place, winter squash can last for several months.

Enjoy the benefits of including more fruits and vegetables in your meals with this new crop of produce!

Adapted from a blog post by: Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD

Some produce information taken from the Encylopedia of Foods: A Guide to Healthy Nutrition prepared by medical and nutrition experts from the Mayo Clinic, University of California Los Angeles and Dole Food Company, Inc.

 

Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies  – Serves: 12,  Serving size: 1 Cookie

1 ¼ cups canned garbanzo beans, rinsed

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp peanut butter

½ cup PB2 + ¼ cup water, mix together

¼ cup honey

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup dark chocolate chips 60% cacao powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine everything in a food processor except the

chocolate chips and blend until smooth. Take the dough out of the food processor and

mix in the chocolate chips. Using a ¼ cup scoop, portion out the dough on a sheet tray

covered with parchment. Press down the cookies and bake for about 13-15 minutes.

Calories 138, Protein 5g, Carbohydrates 18g, Fat 6g, Sodium 187mg, Fiber 3

10 Ways to DELETE Negativity

10 Ways to DELETE Negativity

10 Ways to Remove Negative Thoughts From Your Mind

Our minds are always on red alert to speak with negative voices but these 10 go-to strategies will send negative thoughts on their merry way.

1. Read it out

There has been a trend for celebrities to read their negative social media tweets out loud, and when you see that you realize how absurd and ridiculous they truly are. Try it out with the negative voice inside your head. Call up a friend, share your negative thoughts with them, and then laugh at how ridiculous the mind can be.

2. Tell a joke or funny story

Laughter always moves you to a better mindset. Smile, tell a joke, or remember a funny story. Laughing at yourself can never be a bad thing either!

3. Speak back

The negative thought likes to be in charge. When it wants to take over, do what I do – mentally say to it: “Thanks for sharing,” and get on with your day. There is no point fighting with it as it will get louder. Just speak back to it and move on!

4. Breathe

Calm your thoughts by taking three deep breaths. Stop what you are doing, get your feet connected with the ground, and breathe deeply. Don’t rush them, breath in and out, and plan your next move.

5. Set a time-limit

Hanging out with your negative thoughts won’t make them go away. Tell yourself that you will allow those thoughts for no more than one minute and then they are no longer welcome. For added incentive, set a timer on your smartphone. Once it goes off don’t allow any negative thoughts back in.

6. Work out

Exercise will alleviate your mood and the recent surge in group fitness mind/body classes highlights that. Smart workout enthusiasts have been doing this for years by taking the revolutionary mind-body workout, intenSati, where you train your mind to speak positive thoughts and use the intentions from class in your everyday life. One favorite statement used out loud in class goes like this, “All negative thoughts stop right now!”

7. Change your environment

A change of scenery, even walking out of the room you are in, can move the mind to new thought patterns. Stand up and walk away from the situation and find something new to focus on. You may look at folding the laundry in a whole new, and more positive light.

8. Write it down

Get those thoughts out of your head. Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes and write down all your worries. Once you have done this, crumple up the piece of paper, rip it up, and throw out that list. Get it off your chest and move on.

9. Design a go-to statement

Prepare yourself with a positive statement to say to yourself when a negative thought appears. For example, “Yes I can, I can do it, I am in the process of figuring it out.” Find one that speaks to you and have it on hand to ward off the negative voice.

10. Use a go-to mannerism

Have fun with this one. When a negative thought appears, have a reaction with a fun or silly action. Poke your tongue out, slap your wrist, or just smile. Find a bodily response that will get you out of your head and focus back to the present.

There you have it – ten ways to make negative thoughts leave your mind.. The mind might be a powerful thing but it isn’t always worth listening to!

*Source: lifehack.com

The BURPEE

The BURPEE

Burpees have a reputation for a reason. They’re one of the most effective-and crazy-challenging-exercises out there.

The sweat-drenching move turns your body into the best piece of workout equipment ever, training virtually every muscle in your body, including your shoulders, chest, abs, quads, inner thighs, butt, and triceps-and sending your heart rate through the roof for awesome calorie-torching, muscle-building benefits.

But to get the most from every rep, you need to know how to do a burpee with correct form. Here are step-by-step tips on how to do a burpee

How to Do a Burpee the Right Way

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  3. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands.
  4. Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  5. Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  6. Reach your arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air.
  7. Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.

Form tip: Avoid “snaking” the body off the ground by lifting the chest first and leaving the hips on the ground when raising body back up off the floor.

Luckily, this move is super versatile and can be tailored to any fitness level.