Superfood- The Mighty Almond

The mighty almond that could. Almonds are a high nutrient superfood packed with protein, 12 different vitamins & minerals, and fiber. Bet you didn’t know the last one. The 4 grams of fiber per ounce of almonds helps keep bellies feel fuller for longer.

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Why are almonds my nutty superfood? It contains (per oz):

  • Only 129 calories per oz or approx 23 almonds
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 6 grams of Protein

Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, and a good source of calcium, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin. Additionally they are a low GI (glycemic index) food.

  • Promoting: healthy bones, blood sugar, cholesterol, and energy levels.
  • Vitamins & minerals help to promote a glowing complexion and healthy hair

Availability of Almonds:

  1. Raw  – Alone or in a nutty mix. Available as plain, roasted, salted, seasoned, slivered, blanched, & baked
  2. Almond butter — Pure unsweetened, unsalted almond butter.  This stuff is quite addictive!
  3. Almond Milk — As a substitute for milk in oatmeal, smoothies, milkshakes, baking, or to drink. Bottoms up.

My favorite way to eat almonds are plain roasted. I also have many variations of almond butter at home, I spread it on toast and enjoy for breakfast with a smoothie or tea quite often.

Check it out below, be sure to follow me on instagram at Shot of Green for my favorite eats and healthy ideas.

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Avoiding the Sabotage & Food Pushers

It’s been a week since new years, a week into having made a resolution of some type to be healthy. Every body was on board the first few days, now everyone seems to be sabotaging your resolution. Sound about right?

A few ways friends, family, and work can be sabotaging your health:

1) Eating out to socialize

2) Pressure to “try” foods

3) Work snacks & breaks (i.e Donuts, cake, etc.)

4) The spouse/significant other pressure

5) The “its only one” phrase

6) Birthday & holiday celebrations

7) Ordering food at work as a group

say no

There is always something or someone that is going to challenge a healthy lifestyle on a regular basis. One of the things I didn’t list above is the biggest obstacle sometimes: You. Having a strong mindset and the ability to say no to yourself and others is the key. Learning to say no is hard when you really want to say yes.

Few ideas to help keep the healthy lifestyle going past the first week:

1) Suggest potluck dinners – Homemade meals are healthier, cheaper, and you can sample more things!

2) Go out for Tea or Coffee instead of a meal– Skip the desserts & opt for fruits on the side

3) Bring your own snacks to work — fruits, veggies, nuts & other healthy packaged snacks to skip the treats provided by your work or co-workers. Counter offer veggies when they offer you sweets.

4) Bringing meals to work– controls food, portions, cost and saying no when others are ordering in. Saying “I already brought a meal” or “I have these amazing leftovers but thanks”.

4) If you fall off the bandwagon, get back on right away. Don’t let it become a cheat day or week. Being healthy doesn’t have to start on a Monday, its already a hard enough day.

5) Talk to your friends & family — Why your new healthy eating is important to you and how you need their support. Also explain the details of your healthy eating, what you are cutting out and what you do like to eat.

6) When saying no doesn’t work try other phrases such as:

  • “Maybe later” Stalling isn’t saying no and food pushers are soothed to know that you will have it later.
  • “I don’t like […]” Less pressure for something you don’t like instead of something you “can’t” have

Savory Spicy Holiday Popcorn

The holidays are centered around two things : family and food. This time of year delicious decadent recipes for the holidays are being cranked out. However, I’m going to present to you, my healthy holiday snack of homemade popcorn.

Did you know: The chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of a popcorn bag, is part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA.

Homemade popcorn is not only healthier but dirt cheap. At about .36 cents per serving you can’t go wrong! Simply pick-up a bag of regular or organic popcorn kernels.  A plain cup of popcorn is only 30 calories, the perfect way to snack without the guilt or harmful chemicals.

So I present to you my holiday special popcorn to enjoy before during or after the holidays. It’s a weird combination but I promise all those craving a spice kick will love it.

Savory Spicy Holiday Popcorn 

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs popcorn kernels
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch of basil
  • Cooking sprayspicy popcorn

Did you know: Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and fight bacteria.

Directions:

  1. Place popcorn kernels in brown paper bag and microwave on regular popcorn settings  or pop in covered skillet
  2. Spread popcorn on a small tray and spray with olive oil cooking spray
  3. Sprinkle all seasoning on popcorn and mix with hands
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Love cheesy popcorn? Sprinkle with 1-2 tsp parmesan cheese and 1/4 tsp chives.

eating popcorn

Enjoying my popcorn with some tea while watching the blind side with my mommy. ❤

Healthy Packaged Snacks – Part 2

Bag ripping goodness without the guilt. Part two of my healthy packaged snacks post includes a few brands that I love, all of these brands are packaged foods that are minimally processed and close to being home made as it gets.

Cookies:

The total and utter excitement I had when I found “clean” cookies that I didn’t have to make is embarrassing. Completely in love with Go Raw’s Chocolate Super Cookies.. oh so good! Of course they are more like thin crisps then cookies but it satisfies the craving.

Go Raw has few types of cookies, granola, energy bars, and chocolate. All minimally processed and ingredients on the front of the bag.  These make for great snacks, carry alongs, or for toppings.
go raw

Cereal:

One of the unhealthiest “health” foods by the marketing industry. Most cereals are filled with boat loads of sugar, bleached wheat, and added preservatives. Even the organic and healthy brands packed a ingredient list longer that needed. So I stayed away, until now. Food for Life carries a no frills, simple and clean cereal in 3-4 varieties. Don’t expect them to be taste anything like cinnamon toast crunch or other conventional cereals.
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Jelly/Jam:

Peanut butter & Jelly! Crofter’s Organic Just Fruit Spread is sweetened with fruit juice and made with real fruit. Yummy and just 30 calories per serving!
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Chips (Sort-of):

Fruits and Veggies made into crispy chips count right? Bare-Fruit bakes fruit with some spices like cinnamon to satisfy those salty crunchy cravings.
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I love making Kale Chips at home or grabbing a bag from the health store for a guilt-free chip snack.

What are your guilt-free or guilty pleasure snacks that you love?

I buy a lot of my snacks, vitamins, and grains online at http://www.iherb.com/

First time users can use code RIM717 for $10 off order of $40 or more and receive a $5 discount with smaller orders plus free shipping if $20 or more. An extra 5% off for orders over $60.

**Disclaimer: I am not compensated by any of these brands or websites… sadly. This post is my own opinion. **

The Addiction Swap – One Sweet to Another

I have a major sweet tooth. Chocolate, cheesecake, cookies, cakes, pastries, donuts… well you get the idea. I see it and I want it with such a passion, its hard to look away much less walk away.

I’m like Remy from Ratatouille following the smell of food.

remy

I still have treats once in a while and try to control my portions. To satisfy the craving and not jump in my car or head to the closest vending machine I’ve found a sweet substitute. Fruit.

I have a shelf in my fridge and big bowl on my table dedicated to fruit. I have fruit after every meal, as a snack, or as a light meal when working nights.

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See, fruit all the time. I’ve been enjoying berry session and I’m already starting to mourn the loss of summer because these won’t be around.  Fortunately I’ve thought ahead and started freezing them for the hibernation months in Chicago.

I’ve basically switched my obsession/ addiction for processed yummy sweets for healthy clean sweets…. mostly. As I mentioned earlier I still enjoy sweets once in a while, it keeps me happy and I tend to not feel deprived every time I see them.  I’m immensely happy when I’m able to walk away from a box of donuts or cookies at the nurses station. Once in a while I’ll treat myself with something I really want and do it without guilt (mostly). Moderation is key in those instances.

What’s your food addiction or weakness?

Healthy Packaged Snacks

Ever just need a tote em and go snack? No spills, refrigeration, or mashed up bananas kinda snack. I’ve compiled a list of some healthy & minimally processed packaged snacks for busy days.

1) Prepare your own snacks-
Snack size bags of carrots, fruits, granola, trail mix, or other goodies. Prepared and ready to grab.

Try Justin’s almond butter single serve packets  or snack size hummus along with apples, celery or anything else you like to pair it with.

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2) Seaweed Snacks- available in to- go packs of 20 calories. Perfect to throw in a bag, keep in the car, or locker. This popular snack now has more than the original 3 flavors, there’s a cracked pepper and herb one! Health food stores and online retailers carry an array or brands and flavors.
seaweed snack

3) Prepackaged Nuts – Available in 100 calorie packs for ease and portion control.
Steer clear of trail mixes with tons of added sugar and salt. Keep it simple and healthy. Create personal trail mixes or nut                 mixes ready to grab.

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4) Peeled Fruit Snacks- Pure dehydrated fruit, simple and sweet.
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5) Pre-Boiled Eggs – Boil a few eggs any time during the week and keep them handy in fridge in a carton or ziploc bag ready to go. Packed with protein and low on calorie this is a perfect filler-upper.  Now available in pre-boiled and peeled packages.
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6) Unsweetened Applesauce or Go Go squeezable applesauce- Relive some childhood moments with this simple and healthy snack. Look for no sugar added or sweetened with fruit juice varieties in stores.
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Check out part 2 of healthy packaged snacks / brands

Cherries- Superfood of the Week

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This sweet and tart fruit is a superfood in many ways, its provides relief from aching joints or can provide a good night of sleep. Like most fruits and vegetables it helps the body protect itself with high levels of antioxidants (little warriors in the body) and reduce harmful radicals in the body. Cherries boost a high level of fiber, vitamin A, C, & K that protect and heal the body by some of the ways listed below. 

Cherries Aid the body by: 

  • Reducing Hypertension- high levels of potassium reduce blood pressure and balance water levels in the body. (When water in balanced its helps balance sodium levels, where water goes sodium follows). 

  • Inflammation relief – helps reduce pain from inflamed joints (arthritis or otherwise)

  • Cancer Prevention- high levels of beta carotene, vitamin c, anthocyanins and quercetin found in dark sweet cherries prevent cancer and possibly reduce growth of further cancerous cells 

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight- low in calories, high in fiber, and anthocyanins found in tart cherries help burn fat and keep the body fuller longer. 

 

Healthy Ways to Consume Cherries: 

  1. Homemade Quick Oatmeal, Cherries, Almond and Chocolate Cookies (perfect for the sweet tooth) 

  2. Cherry Trail Mix – Homemade mixture nuts and dried cherries

  3. Green Salad with pitted cherries and light vinaigrette 

  4. Oatmeal with dried or fresh pitted cherries 

  5. Cherry sauce for salads or with glazed chicken 

  6. Plain spritzer with cherries and mint for a summer cool down

  7. Homemade granola bars with dried cherries. These no bake recipes are a simple concoction of cereal or oats, with nuts, and dried fruits for a healthy breakfast or snack.

  8. Greek yogurt with cherries 

  9. Raw cherries