Life’s a Peach

Life’s a Peach

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PEACHES // the zen fruit

Peaches are often referred to as the “Fruit of Calmness” in Hungary.

Peaches are a healthy stress-reliever that help reduce anxiety. Who new something so tasty could be so beneficial?


There are two things that I love so much…summer salads and peach season! Today’s salad basically encompasses both of my loves and it’s also a crowd -pleaser.

Who doesn’t love something cool and refreshing during the Houston melt-fest that is our summer?

This past weekend, I got to spend sometime with my family at the beach which was so nice but we all couldn’t help to notice that even the nice coastal breeze was hot! When we were planning dinner, all we were craving was light and refreshing. I knew it was a great time to whip out this salad recipe.

I am a big fan of simple recipes and quick to whip up –this salad is definitely those things. If you’re in the market for a new summer salad, see below!

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PEACH SUMMER SALAD

2-3 peaches

2 heirloom tomatoes

1 ball of mozzarella di bufala

1 small bundle of basil

6-8 slices of proscuitto

 2 heads of greens of your choosing (I now have used kale, arugula and spinach)

1/4 cup EVOO

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Rinse and dry the lettuce and rip larger leaves in shreds
  2. Slice the peaches and tomatoes into wedges
  3. Assemble the salad by laying the lettuce down on the bottom, scatter the peaches and tomatoes over the lettuce
  4. Tear the mozzarella over the salad
  5. Spread the basil over the salad
  6. Lay slices of prosciutto throughout the salad
  7. To make the dressing, whisk together the EVOO and balsamic vinegar
  8. Drizzle desired amount on top of the salad
  9. Enjoy!

169 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

-C

 

Guac-Amoré

Guac-Amoré

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AVOCADOS // contain more potassium than a banana

Potassium is a nutrient that most people are not getting enough of. This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.

Avocados are actually very high in potassium…with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the recommended daily amount (RDA), compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food.

Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.


Today’s meal share is not just one recipe but THREE! I normally only share one but this pic shows the entire meal, so why not share the whole thing? They all can be whipped up in no time, so sharing them all is no big thang.

On the Menu:

-White fish tacos topped with guacamole and pomegranate seeds

-Black beans topped with goat cheese

-Chopped kale salad with mangoes and toasted pumpkin seeds, lightly tossed in grapeseed oil

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It all may sound complex but it was one of the quickest meals to make and for this night’s case, it was for a lot of hungry mouths!

What makes these dishes so nice is that they each have that one ingredient that really makes the flavors pop. For the salad, it’s the mangoes, for the tacos, it’s the pom seeds and for the beans it’s the goat cheese. You don’t need to focus on much seasoning since its all right there in the ingredients.

So, the next time you’re wanting to cook for a large group or just don’t have the energy to put some time into dinner, try out this meal.

CHOPPED KALE SALAD

1 bunch of kale (feeds 2-3 people per bunch)

1 thawed bag of frozen mangoes (highly recommend the Trader Joe’s version)

Half a bag of toasted pumpkin seeds

2 tbs of grapeseed oil

  1. Remove kale from stems and pulse briefly in a blender/food processor until the entire bunch has been blended. Add to salad bowl.
  2. Lightly toss the salad with 1-2 tbs of grapeseed oil, massaging it into the kale (this helps you get more nutrients from the kale)
  3. Pour the entire bag (juice, too) of mangoes on top of the salad
  4. Lightly toast pumpkin seeds in a saute pan on the stove. Make sure you keep your eye on these bad boys, if they sit too long they will burn…take my word for it. Stir occasionally and then once lightly toasted, pour on top of the salad
  5. Place in the fridge until the rest of your meal is cooked and plated.

BLACK BEANS

1 can organic black beans

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

  1. Heat beans on stove and when ready, serve in a bowl and top with goat cheese

WHITE FISH TACOS

fresh Halibut filets (or any other white fish of your choosing)

pre-made guacamole

packaged pomegranate seeds

corn tortillas

salt and pepper

red pepper flakes

paprika

Side Note:  I meant it when I said this was a quick recipe. The guacamole was pre-made from Whole Foods and the pom seeds had been removed from the pom itself for me and placed into a plastic container…expensively contained but worth every penny. Have you ever tried to remove pom arils yourself? It might be worse than cutting up a mango. Just buy them pre-packaged from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Place your fish on a large metal tray lined in foil or parchment paper and season with your S, PP, paprika and sprinkle lightly with your red pepper flakes.
  3. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes (or until flaky)
  4. When you have a few minutes remaining, wrap your tortillas in a damp paper towel and place in the oven until warm.
  5. Once the tortillas are ready, top them with the fish, guac and then the pom seeds.
  6. Enjoy!

 

163 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

 

-C

What’s Up, Doc?

What’s Up, Doc?

carrots

CARROTS // stop memory loss

Middle-aged people who ate the lowest amount of root vegetables showed more than three times as much cognitive decline as those who ate the most, according to a Netherlands study.

Researchers concluded that the beta-carotene in the vegetables – ESPECIALLY IN CARROTS–protected the central nervous system against aging.

An 18-year Harvard study determined that when men consumed 50mg supplements of beta-carotene every other day, cognitive decay was delayed for the equivalent of 1 to 1.5 years compared to those who took a placebo.


Today’s recipe is another gem I stumbled upon while stuck in an airport for hours on end; I have never been so thankful for crappy weather and a delayed flight.

Since this is Miss Martha Stewart’s recipe and not mine I feel I can toot it’s horn a little bit. I must say this is one of the most simple and easy recipes I have made to date but not only that, the presentation is outstanding. I felt like something so easy to make looked like a lot of thought and effort was taken. Not only that but the flavors are such a great match. This side dish will be a great hit at a dinner party where you’re definitely looking to impress.

On a random side note: Barbles and I were laughing earlier about, what if you were the person in the 18 -year study that was getting the placebo… for 18-years!! What a mind f*ck! ha. I would love to hear yalls take on that! Anywho, here is the recipe!

 

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CARROTS + SESAME

INGREDIENTS

2 large carrots

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1-2 tsp of lemon juice

sesame seeds sprinkled

  1. Using a potato peeler, peel carrots into ribbons. For added support while peeling, I used a knife pinning the top of the carrot in place on the cutting board (literally stab the knife thru the top on the carrot, pinning it in place.)
  2. Place the ribbons of carrot in a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.
  3. Optional: chill in the fridge before serving.
  4. Enjoy!

143 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

 

-C

Pomegranate Performance Plus

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POMEGRANATES // may improve exercise performance

Pomegranates are rich in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to improve exercise performance. In a study of 19 athletes running on a treadmill, 1 gram of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before exercise significantly enhanced blood flow.

This led to a delay in the onset of fatigue and an increase in exercise efficiency. More studies are needed but it seems like pomegranates may be beneficial for physical performance, similar to beetroot juice.


For as long as I can remember, whenever I got a good workout routine going, a few weeks into it I would get sick or injured. This would repeat continuously…workout, get sick/injured, recoup and resume. This was just “my normal.” At this point I had so many “normals” I did little research as to the “why”.

Fast forward to age 27 when I finally learned that Celiac Disease had wrecked my immune system. No matter how slight the transition, my body always came down with something. As for the injuries, that is just something I now need to be more careful with due to my EDS (Ehlers Danlos Syndome).

When I signed up for the MS150 in November, I had been digesting my newest and very life altering diagnoses of EDS for only a few months. I was told I was no longer allowed to run anymore which eliminated me from doing a sport I enjoyed: Triathlons.

I do much better when I have something to work towards, so I obviously needed to sign up for a race post diagnosIs to prevent me for feeling sorry for myself…I hate restrictions and I was just given a big one from my Geneticist. Many friends of mine have done the MS150 in the past so I figured why not? The only zinger was, how was I going to keep myself healthy long enough to train properly so that I don’t worsen my EDS and sanity.

8 weeks into light cycling training I got probably the worst cold to date…102 fever for 3 days, no sign of flu…just my body hating itself and punishing me in the process. The weekend before I had gone cycling 20 miles which was my furthest ride to date. Assuming this was my body’s way of telling me I was doing too much, I got extremely bummed out. Luckily I didn’t pout too long and decided to let my body rest up and get back into cycling and just take it slow…long rides on the weekend and 1-2 weekly yoga sessions max.

I am happy to say that was the last time I have been sick and i’m so proud of it. I know it down to the day…141 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY and I assure you I let people know often.

The point of my very dramatic story that is my health, is that I would not have become well if it wasn’t for what I was ingesting. I eliminated gluten which was destroying my body and focused on a very clean “diet” (lifestyle).

During my MS150 training I ingested a lot of pom seeds and beets due to their performance enhancing attributes. Proper fueling was so important for me because I was terrified of getting sick or injured. I was determined to crush the MS150 and say F YOU, EDS!!! I GOT THIS!

The rain got in the way of day 2 of the MS150 but I am A-okay with that. I was having some heart issues the week before and my cardiologist told me day 2 wasn’t going to happen anyway. I ended up riding a little over 100 miles that Saturday and was able to say F YOU, EDS! I GOT THIS!

Post MS150, a few of my favorite snacks found their way into my daily meals. One of my current faves is a super summery salad and it’s extremely refreshing. It’s filled with peaches, poms and lemon juice, the perfect mix to make it seem less hot outside! Enjoy!

PEACH + POM ARUGULA SALAD

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INGREDIENTS

Arugula

1-2 peaches sliced

pomegranate arils

goat cheese crumbles

1 lemon, juiced

1 tbs grapeseed oil

S + PP to taste

  1. Add all above ingredients to a bowl and toss
  2. Enjoy!

    141 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

-C

Everyday I’m Brusslin’

Everyday I’m Brusslin’

Bacon jalapeño brussel sprouts gratin_DSC9297BRUSSELS SPROUTS // vitamin c packed

Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. The nutrient keeps your immune system strong and helps maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums.

Vitamin C protects your cells from damage as well, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

A 1/2 cup serving of brussels sprouts contains 48.4 milligrams of vitamin c, which is about 50% of what men need each day and about 65% of what women need on a daily basis.


I am so happy to post the recipe for one of my most favorite side dishes. It is always a crowd-pleaser and my most favorite part — when someone asks for the recipe.

I am always looking to find ways to boost my immune system (since mine sucks!) instead of trying to repair it.

I am sure we all have our rituals to what we do when we feel a cold coming along. Mine used to be just simply pounding vitamin C chewables, orange juice and lots of water. But instead of pounding that vitamin C when it’s already too late, why not boost the immune system when you’re feeling fab? Why only help the body out when it’s under the weather?

Ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease I made it a passion to boost my immune system; I am extremely driven to never get sick again! The more research I have done, the more foods I am finding that have vitamin c in them!

A FEW TO NAME:

Bell peppers

Kale/Spinach

Broccoli

Kiwi Fruit

Berries

Tomatoes

Peas

When I am sick, I guarantee you I won’t be craving a bowl of brussels sprouts so that is why it is key to ingest these immune boosters when you’re feeling tip top!

The goal is to maintain my health, not repair it!

For those of you who want to stay on top of your immune system or just want a delicious recipe, here you go!

LEMON-Y BRUSSELS SPROUTS

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INGREDIENTS

brussels sprouts cut in halves

candied pecans

1 lemon

3 tbs grapeseed oil

3 cloves garlic

S + PP to taste

  1. Cut the bottoms off of the brussies and then cut in halves, place into saute pan
  2. Once all brussies are cut up, add oil and turn to medium heat
  3. Add your salt, pepper and garlic
  4. Once the brussies start turning to a light green and softening, turn the heat to low, add the juice of one lemon (zest, too if you’re feeling fancy) and the candied pecans. If you can’t find candied pecans, use regular pecans and add 1-2 tbs of brown sugar.
  5. Cook on low until you are ready to serve dinner
  6. Enjoy!

131 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY!

 

-C

If Looks Could Kale

If Looks Could Kale

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KALE // packed with vitamin c

Vitamin C is an important nutrient. It is a water-soluble antioxidant that serves many vital functions in the body’s cells. For example, it is necessary to synthesize collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body.

Kale is much higher in vitamin c than most other vegetables, containing about 4.5 times much as spinach. The truth is kale is actually among the world’s best sources of vitamin c.

A cup of raw kale even contains MORE vitamin c than a whole orange!


The one time I will ever be grateful for a long delayed flight is because of this recipe right here!

I had purchased only so many magazines and had scored a sweet spot to sit and charge my work iPad, so obviously I was not getting up until my flight came…or extreme restlessness ensued. So, there I was reading my Martha Stewart Living Mag for the third time and my eye caught this very small blurb about an easy kale pesto recipe.

Kale is a staple in our house for 2 very simple reasons–Ryan is obsessed with Morgan’s Kale Salad and I love it in my smoothies, ergo, we keep it in the fridge on the reg. So, when this recipe came into my life after skimming over it time and time again, I knew it had to be made for the upcoming Meatless Monday.

There is nothing more exciting than reading a new recipe and realizing that all of it’s ingredients are staples in the house.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Above it discusses how vitamin c is crucial to the body’s cells, it is necessary to synthesize collagen. Something that I am curious about when it comes to my own (genetically mutated) collagen, is mine being synthesized? Is the vitamin c intake truly benefiting towards the protection of my collagen? I ask this to myself often when healing my body with food because since my collagen is genetically mutated (Ehlers’s Danlos Syndrome) it cannot be altered back into a “normal” state. So, the question is, Am I eternally doomed and I will just deal with the natural degradation of my collagen or can I maintain it with diet? Time shall tell, won’t it?

Until then, let’s stuff our face with some really great food that will keep us alive and happy forever 😉

KALE PESTO PASTA

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INGREDIENTS

(feeds 2)

1-2 gloves of garlic

1/2 cup almonds toasted

1/4 cup Parmesan finely grated

10 oz kale (or any leafy green)

1/2 cup EVOO (I use grapeseed oil)

sprinkle of coarse salt (I use Celtic sea salt)

1 box of linguine pasta

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

cherry tomatoes

  1. In a food processor, pulse garlic and almonds until finely chopped.
  2. Add cheese and half of greens, pulse until combined.
  3. Add remaining greens, pulse to a paste.
  4. With the motor running, pour in the oil.
  5. Season with salt
  6. Top with goat cheese and tomatoes
  7. Enjoy!

119 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

 

-C

Berry Awesome

Berry Awesome

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RASPBERRIES // work like magic on your wrinkles

Raspberries can actually be used as a natural face mask. They also protect the skin against the sun’s rays. The antioxidant powers of vitamin C effectively reduce the age spots and discoloration.

By filling in minor wrinkles, raspberries can help you restore your youthful appearance.

Raspberries can be made into great facial masks for glowing skin, you just need to mix 1 cup of plain yogurt and 2 cups of fresh raspberries, then blend the mixture until it becomes completely smooth. Apply to mixture to your entire face and keep it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with tepid water.


Today’s snack is something I ate so much during MS150 training. There is no part (in my mind) about bread that is good for you but I feel the rest of this snack is! It’s quick, easy and packed with great nutrients to get you thru till your next meal.

Since I don’t absorb as well, I get hungry VERY frequently. With my job, I am popping from building to building all day long AKA working on the go and spending a lot of time in my car. My car truly has turned into a sample closet (I slang pharma drugs) and a pantry full of protein filled snacks to get me from meal to meal. Some would say it smells of rich cardboard boxes and almond butter…just kidding (or am I?)

I digress, this snack has been a frequent visitor in my car. It it the perfect mix of savory but tart and gives me the energy I need to survive until my next snack attack.

If you need a snack for the couch or on the go, try this messy and delicious Raspberry + Almond Butter Sandwich.

RASPBERRY + ALMOND BUTTER SANDWICH

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INGREDIENTS

2 slices of bread

fresh almond butter

raspberries

OPTIONAL

local honey

  1. Spread the fresh almond butter on both slices of bread
  2. Cut the raspberries in half or with your hands open up the raspberries so that they lie flat on top of the almond butter smothered bread
  3. Place the slices together making a sandwich and smash it together really mashing those raspberries
  4. Enjoy!

116 DAYS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY

-C