D's Dish On Healthy Eating

Nutritious Should be Delicious!


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REAL MEALS: Fruit and Greek Yogurt

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One of my favorite summer breakfasts to eat on the patio. 1 1/2 cup fresh fruit with 3/4 cup greek yogurt.  Fage 2% greek yogurt is my go to because it has twice the protein of other yogurts, all natural ingredients and tons of live probiotic cultures which are great for our digestive system. Most greek yogurts have twice the protein of regular yogurt, but check the labels. All this protein will keep you full longer. The flavor of the yogurt is a bit plain because there isn’t any extra junk added. For this reason I drizzle honey overtop.  After eating this for a while flavored and low fat yogurts taste very artificial.

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More on probiotics:

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that naturally inhabit out gastrointestinal tract and assist in digestive processes.  Probiotics help to keep a balance of “good bacteria” in our guts to prevent “bad bacteria” from dominating leading to bacterial infection. This can happen after antibiotic therapy.  Probiotics may especially be helpful for individuals with diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome )IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), yeast infections, urinary tract infections.  Our gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in immunity and therefore it is thought that probiotics may also reduce incidence or severity of cold, flu, allergies and certain immune related skin conditions including eczema.

Good sources of probiotics can be found in foods like yogurt, kefir, unpasteurized sauerkraut, miso soup, tempeh, sour dough bread, naturally fermented pickles (without vinegar), kombucha tea and are regulated for safety by the FDA.  Probiotic supplements are not regulated, but are generally thought to be safe.  As always, I recommend food sources rather than supplements. If considering probiotic supplements you should speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian. Those with weakened immune systems due to cancers, chronic disease; the elderly and young children should avoid probiotics as they may do more harm than good.


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REAL MEALS: Garlic Citrus Grilled Chicken and Broccoli

IMG_0308Lunch today.  I LOVE days when I work at 3pm and can grill for lunch!  This would make an excellent dinner, as well.  There was twice as much broccoli, but I ate it prior to deciding to take this picture and make a post 🙂  Notice only 4 ingredients!!!

Ingredients:

Fresh chicken breast

Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce/Marinade (from Lunds)

Frozen broccoli (or fresh) drizzled in olive oil and wrapped in tin foil

fresh peach

Directions:

Preheat grill for 5 minutes on med-high

Coat both sides of chicken with sauce.

Place chicken and broccoli on grill. Flip in 7 minutess. Place peaches on grill at this time as desired.

Remove from grill and enjoy.

Notes:

I always keep chicken breasts in the fridge for a quick lunch or dinner.  If I don’t use them in a few days I cook them to put on salads.

This marinade/dipping sauce is amazing on chicken and likely on fish, as well.  It contains mostly all natural ingredients.  I tried to make it myself, but it wasn’t the same…

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Frozen broccoli is great on the grill.  It gets a really nice soft texture and takes on the flavor of the olive oil very nicely. Sprinkle with lemon juice as desired.


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REAL MEALS: Salmon burger with grilled veggies and lemon pepper dill aioli

Just a little blerp on what real meals look like on the fly. Real wholesome and nourishing ingredients, real simple, and really delicious. Many recipes take a lot of time and effort to shop, prep and complete numerous steps.  Obviously that is not conducive to most of our busy lifestyles. What does good nutrition look like on a daily basis? What types of healthy meals can be thrown together quickly with staples you have stocked in your fridge, freezer and pantry; or a quick trip to the store? Lunch the other day:

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Prep time: 3 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes!

Ingredients:

Trader joes salmon burger (frozen)

Red pepper cut in 1″ chunks

Zuchini sliced and cut in halves

Baby asparagus

Olive oil for pan

Crumbled gorgonzola and fresh ground pepper to taste

For the aioli (per serving): 1Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp lemon juice, dash of ground pepper, one sprig of dill chopped

Directions:

Heat two pans with olive oil.  Add salmon burgers to one and veggies to the other.  Cook burgers about 3 minutes on each side while stir frying veggies. Mix aloe.  Plate burgers and veggies. Top burgers with aioli.  Enjoy!

Notes: I love stocking frozen protein sources for a quick meal. Other good options are crab cakes, veggie burgers, chicken breasts, turkey burgers, bison burgers, falafel. Herb gardens are a quick way to flavor up most meals.  See Grow Your Health: Planting a Summer Herb Garden for tips on how.


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Fall Fitness

What a beautiful time of year to get outside and enjoy the weather!  Quick, before it gets too cold, and snows, then melts, and freezes, and finally gets super icy…!!!!

Run, walk, rollerblade, bike! Take it to the trails, around the lakes, along the rivers and over the streams…

Bring a friend…

Who knows what wonders you will find…

Wherever your fitness takes you, don’t miss out on this weather. Let the changing colors of the leaves inspire great movement, great passion and great motivation.

Namaste!


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Seasons Best: Heirloom Tomatoes

I have been wanting to start a seasonal blerp where I talk about the seasons best produce and how to incorporate it into your meals.  Some of these little jems are only around for a month out of the year at their freshest and many of us miss out on them. You know, like the Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s, the Peppermint Blizzard at DQ or my favorite Mexican Chocolate Tort that is only around in May! Same concept, but much healthier 🙂

Anyways, about the heirloom tomatoes…

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Every time I have bought these at the grocery store this season the person at the register has asked “what are heirloom tomatoes?” as they were ringing them up.  As I shared my knowledge, I thought this would be a great blog post and the perfect opportunity to share one of my unique and lesser known seasonal faves.

What are heirloom tomatoes? They are seriously OLD tomatoes which seeds have been passed down for generations due to their valued characteristics. Their parent plants are cross bread to bring out the best characteristics of beautiful colors and delicious taste.  Their colors range from green, yellow, orange, purple, red of course and any combination of these colors with stripes or beautiful variegated patterns. There taste is said to be of old world tomatoes; like nothing you can find in the grocery store these days and to that I can attest.  The taste is so pure because unlike tomatoes of today they are bread for flavor and color rather than durability.

Season? Heirloom tomatoes are harvested all summer, but I usually see them in the grocery store in the late summer early fall. Here is a site where you can buy seeds according to season and check out the vast array of varieties (http://www.tomatofest.com/heirloom_tomato_seed_home.html).

Where are they found?  They are best found at farmers markets, in grocery stores like Lunds & Byerly’s that sell produce from local farms and in some restaurants.  Because they are not bread for their hardiness, they are delicate, more easily perish and do not travel well from afar. This means that they are recently harvested when you get them and will not have long shelf life. They are also more expensive than regular tomatoes, but totally worth it!

What to make with them? They are beautiful and delicious on sandwiches,  in salads and as appetizers.  Use them in any way you can showcase their beauty and share their unique flavors with others (http://myhomemdelife.blogspot.com/2011/06/summer-is-here-roasted-heirloom.html). One of my favorite appetizers below can be made with heirloom tomatoes by stacking thinly sliced toasted baguette, toping with slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and a thick slice of heirloom tomato. Finally, top with large basil leaves and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.

Cheers, to old tomatoes!

 

 

 

 


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Take Your Fitness on a Trip

For those of you maintaining a moderate to high level of activity and looking for a little something more there are many options to heighten your fitness routine and keep from getting in a rut.  The more commonly sought after may include 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, triathlon, color run, mud run, warrior dash, full marathon!  I’m sure there are many more and most of these events also donate entrance fee money to a variety of charitable causes!  There are a huge variety of training plans to choose from for most of these runs depending on your starting level of activity and many nutritional products to supplement your nutrition when burning so much energy on a regular basis.  I do emphasize real, whole food sources rather than processed, packaged, powdered foods when possible, but busy schedules sometimes require us to get some of our calories and protein from supplements while training hard.

I myself have only sought after the full marathon which was an absolute once in a lifetime, however, it will only be happening once in my lifetime!!!  It was very enjoyable to train for and rewarding to finish, but very hard on my joints after spending 10 years as a competitive gymnast.  I trained my senior year in college and ran the Madison City Marathon in 2006.

Years before my marathon I had caught the long distance biking bug and have been getting my fix that way ever since.  It all started at the end of my freshman year in college.  I remember getting a call from my best friend Sarah asking if I would like to do a bike trip to our friend Kay~tee’s house in Madison, WI.  I had just finished a season of college gymnastics and hadn’t started my summer job yet so I agreed.  Sarah mapped out our route which would begin in River Falls,WI where I had gone to school that year and would follow the lesser traveled country backroads with wide shoulders until we would get on 100 miles of limestone trails that had once been old rail road lines.  These trails consisted of two tunnels carved out of the limestone which would require head lamps because it was pitch black most of the time. Walking your bike was also required due to the dark, the bats and the natural spring water falling in the tunnels to avoid complete disaster!

We planned to camp each night along the way and bring only the bare minimum of clothing and toiletries.  I remember weighing our bikes to make sure we were as light weight as possible and sleeping together in a one man tent! The entire trip was about 350 miles with plenty of hills throughout Wisconsin.

The people we met along the way, those we have convinced to join us over the years, the charming little restaurants, the dive bars and the natural wonders we found will never be forgotten.  This trip has remained our favorite and has motivated us to take it to the streets and trails all over the state of MN!  We have come a long way from the first year with no extra inner tubes or way to fix a flat.  Here are some of our secrets and tips to taking a fitness trip of your own…

Always bring a headlight…aka flashlight that straps onto your head to wear while biking at night.

Always have a good map of the area and a phone with map ap.

Have plenty of bike racks, water holders and baskets to hold necessities and to keep things handy. Consider saddle bags if you plan on multiple trips.  Bungie cords work well to secure a back pack to a bike rack.

Pack plenty of snacks and water in case there are not many places to stop.

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Bring a few extra inner tubes and an air pump if you are biking.

Map out campgrounds along your route and use them as a goal end point to each day. Consider sleeping in friends or families yard along the way if possible.

Bring a small tent, lightweight blanket and consider using bag or sweatshirt as a pillow to avoid extra luggage. Tinfoil emergency blankets provide  a ton of heat if temps dip down during the night, but are also noisy.  Bring earplugs.

Bring mace in case you need to protect yourself and always keep it handy.

On that note, have friends and family track you via GPS on your phone.  Just in case.

Bring phone chargers and charge phone at every moment possible. Consider extra batteries for your phone.

Music helps with morale.

Keep a positive attitude.

Plan your daily miles and to end the day in a place you know will have a motel or campground and plenty of places to eat.

Be flexible as there may be flat tires, injuries…

Wear plenty of sunscreen during sunny conditions and take advantage of bodies of water in high temps.

2006 WI Trip

2006 WI Trip

Always have a destination like a friends house, cabin or event that you are trying to get to for motivation.

Dont forget to have fun on the journey and take advantage of the things you find along the way.

 


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Grow Your Health: Isn’t it fun to watch things grow?!

Here is the growth of my gardens…

Here is the growth of my herb garden…

My unfenced garden was repeatedly trampled by a furry ninja and has been then since fenced and replanted.  The fenced garden gets less than desired amounts of sunlight due to a large shade tree, but seems to be doing fairly well.  I’m no gardening expert as this is my first year planting, but it is fun to watch things grow!  To be continued…

How does your garden grow?