Fall has arrived and with fall comes all my favorite food. One of my favorites is fresh salads and I have got a couple that I want to share with you. When I think of fresh salads for the fall I think of cranberries and any kind of dried fruit along with a variety of nuts. I love trying in new recipes along with all of falls bountiful harvests. Continue reading “Quick and Easy Fall Salads”
Fall is just around the corner, so when the weather gets colder meals get cozier! One of my favorite cozy night-in soups is my own take on Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana! Loaded with garlic and potatoes, you can’t go wrong with this delicious recipe.
The most effective ways to avoid your own energy crisis are to get plenty of sleep, drink enough water, eat a wholesome, balanced diet, exercise and try your best to avoid stress.
Now, with that being said and in an attempt to be realistic in this overworked, under-hydrated, time-crunched and stressed out culture we are all trying to live in, let’s look at some easy ways to try to achieve the balance that will help us fight fatigue.
The guidelines set by the National Sleep Foundation suggest 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults ages 18-64. Following a regular sleep cycle—same bedtime, same wake time is the best way to get in good sleep.
Avoid stressors in the hour before you go to bed, such as the news, the internet or serious discussions. Light producing electronics, even most alarm clocks emit enough light to interrupt peaceful sleep. A bath, book and quiet time to just “be” are nice ways to unwind. Keep a pad and pen by your bed to jot down the OMG thoughts like “I forgot to pay that bill” or “Remember to get a gift for Sue” will help to put your mind at ease.
We all know that we need to drink plenty of water, but truth be told, knowing and doing are two separate things. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and cause a sense of fatigue.
Putting lemon in your water will not only make it more palatable but has an uplifting effect. It produces a clean energy that caffeinated beverages do not. NaturalHealth365.com and Livestrong.com are great websites to learn more about the cleansing and energy producing effects of lemon water.
Eat a Wholesome and Balanced Diet
Eating well usually won’t happen from a bag, box or a drive through. Eat the apple rather than the apple flavored toaster pastry. Become a label reader and be aware of the ingredients in your food choices.
Choose whole grains, real whole fruits and vegetables—again, eat the potato rather than the chip—healthy fats and lean proteins. The best sources of healthy fats are vegetable oils (olive oil!) nuts, seeds and fish. Whole energy producing foods are kale, blueberries, oatmeal, and salmon just name a few.
Move that body! My motto has always been “any movement is better than no movement”. Walk to your mailbox instead of driving to it. Even that can help create a lift. The American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day, five days a week. You can even break up that thirty minutes into two or three 15 or 10 minute sessions.
Find what works for you. I have found I seem to like exercises that have a “K” in them…walking, hiking, biking and kayaking are my favorites. Even running around the backyard with the kids helps. And remember to seek your doctor’s advice before beginning any exercise program.
Now that’s a stressful statement. Right?! Life is full of unavoidable stress; work, bad drivers, death of a loved one, just to name a few. So wherever you can, choose your commitments carefully and wisely.
Schedule times to de-stress because often if it’s not on the calendar, something stressful will be. I met with my good friend, Michelle, to brainstorm ideas for this blog and in the process we talked and laughed—relaxation at its best! Meditation, prayer, listening to birds, being still and thankful are great ways to de-stress.
Now I know all these suggestions are probably things most of you already knew and many of you already try to do but always can’t achieve. So when time is tight and sleep and good food are eluding you, try this great energy boosting smoothie. Michelle found it on the internet for me at sallysbakingaddiction.com. The TropiKale Green Smoothie is only four ingredients, quick and easy to make, tastes amazing and will give a quick, proper energy boost.
TropiKale Green Smoothie
- ¾ Cup Almond Milk
- 2 Medium Frozen Bananas, peeled & sliced
- 2 Cups Fresh Pineapple Chunks
- 2 Heaping Cups Kale
- Blend all the ingredients on high for 3 minutes or until smooth, adding more milk if it’s too thick.
- Serve and enjoy.
Because I have just completed the most stressful and energy zapping move of my life and have no idea where my blender is, my friend Mel and her daughter Chloe tested this recipe for me. Chloe is six and will be using it for her 4H demo because she says it’s a winner!
I would like to thank Michelle, Natural Foods Manager at the Coborn’s on Cooper Avenue in St. Cloud, MN for helping me figure out this subject in a sensible way. As well as Melanie and Chloe, kitchen enthusiasts, who knew where their blender was.
Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager
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Edgy Veggie with Andrew
Kale gets a bad wrap. Unless you really love veggies, you’ve probably never tried it. I honestly hadn’t until very recently, and I’m part rabbit. Kale’s mature leaves are squeaky and the stems are as hard as oak branches. If you eat it raw, there’s a not-too-subtle bitterness that can throw a salad way off, not to mention the “you’ve got something in your teeth” quality of leafy greens. All that aside, this recipe turns Kale into an epic late-night snack, I swear!
If you’re willing to try one of the simplest recipes on the planet, you can kick your chip bags to the curb and switch to a healthy alternative. This green super-duper-food is chocked full of fiber and antioxidants, plus a big dose of Vitamins A, C, K and Potassium. Compared to potato chips, these cut out the carbohydrates, ditch the bad fats and contain less than 1/3 of the calories. Take that, greasy spud flakes! Now, let’s get cooking.
- One Bunch of Kale (washed)
- 1 Taco Seasoning packet
- 1-2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Zipper Bag – 1 Gallon Plastic Zipper Bag
- Cookie Sheet – Sprayed lightly with oil or covered in parchment
- Oven – Preheated to 350 F
Step 1: Rip it up! Remove the stems and tear the kale leaves into 1-2″ pieces.
Step 2: Toss it! Fill your plastic bag with Kale, then drizzle or spray in the oil. Add your seasonings, zip it up and shake the bag until everything is evenly coated.
Step 3: Bake it! On your cookie sheet, make a single layer of your coated kale pieces. Distribute them evenly so they don’t overlap. Bake 10-15 minutes, until the edges are brown but not burnt. Cool and enjoy.
Step 4 (optional): Brag! Take a photo of your masterpiece, post it on Facebook to make your friends jealous. Extra credit: tag Coborn’s in your photo and I’ll give you a shout-out in my next blog.
BONUS ROUND: For a little spice of life, try these flavor alternatives
• French Onion Dip Packet
• Ranch Dip Packet
• Sugar & Cinnamon
• Buttered Popcorn Salt
• Curry Powder
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