Monthly Archives: May 2012

Got the Munchies?

Seems some of you liked the looks of that superfood oatmeal from yesterday’s post. Thanks for the great feedback – I hope you got to give it a go today!

So now that I’ve established that I’ve got some hungry readers, I wanted to give you some snack ideas. I should tell you that back in the day, I was known for my “afterschool munchies.” I must admit, this sounds like a recreational drug, but it was actually a bag full of snacks that I would dive into at the end of the school day. Seems I’ve been a lifelong snacker!

Okay, folks, here we go. My top 5 quick, easy, super healthy snacks:

1. An apple with peanut butter.

A perfect pairing. Make sure to buy organic apples, as conventional apples top the list for highest pesticide residue. I’m loving gala these days. Also make sure to choose a high quality peanut butter without added sugar or preservatives, and preferably one that’s organic. I personally recommend Maranatha Creamy with Sea Salt. You can even sprinkle some cinnamon on for extra flavor. (Cinnamon is great for you – I promise that post is coming soon!)

2. Avocado on whole wheat bread.

Get a good dose of fiber, heart healthy fats, and protein here. Sprinkle on spices like cayenne pepper, turmeric, and coriander for an extra boost of flavor and health benefits. Add some romaine or cucumber slices on top for  crunch. Choose a bread that is low in sugar and doesn’t have too many ingredients. My choice is Trader Joe’s Sprouted Whole Wheat Fiber Bread.

3. Seaweed with avocado, cucumber, and cheese.

Fill a sheet of nori with avocado, cucumber, and your choice of cheese – preferably organic cheese! For those who don’t eat dairy, it tastes just as good without the cheese. Or sub in dairy-free cheese. Either way you’re getting the heart healthy fats from the avocado and lots of vitamins and nutrients from the seaweed. And a good, refreshing crunch from the cucumbers.

4. Steamed asparagus.

Ready in 5 minutes, steamed asparagus is a delicious snack all on it’s own or with a squeeze of lemon and/or olive oil drizzled on top. As far as veggies go, asparagus has a good amount of protein – 1 cup has only 30 calories but 4 grams of protein! Additionally, it is not a vegetable you have to buy organic, although you can if you want. Cook it al dente and you get a nice little crunch. Easy to make and easy to eat.

5. Bell pepper.

It seems people either love ’em or hate ’em, but this time of year a red or orange bell pepper couldn’t be sweeter, crunchier, or more delicious. Cut one up  or just bite right in. Great when you’re on the go. Make sure to buy these organic, though, as they are on the list of dirtiest produce, which means they have the highest pesticide residue.

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Filed under Organic, Raw, Snacks, Spices, Vegetables

Get In Me Belly!

Ah, breakfast. Most important meal of the day. Ever feel like a monster in the morning? So hungry you could devour everything in your kitchen? In a matter of seconds? Get in me belly, you grumble!

I know I have those days. But even when it’s just a normal day and hunger isn’t off the charts, I like my breakfast to be easy because it’s best to eat within the first hour of waking.

Why is that, you ask?

Pretty simple. Because you haven’t eaten for about 10 hours, give or take. And your body needs fuel to take on the day.

While there are several components to this, there is no cooking required, so it’s just a matter of how quickly you can get it all into the bowl (but take your time getting it into your belly)!

Banana Raspberry Oatmeal

1/2 cup of organic quick oats
1 cup of organic almond milk
1/2 banana
25 frozen organic raspberries
1/2 tbsp of chia seeds
1.5 tbsp of hemp seeds
1 tbsp of chopped walnuts
1 tsp of raw cacao nibs
liberal shakes of cinnamon*

1. Get a bowl.

2. Put everything in the bowl.

3. Mix it all up and mash up the bananas and the raspberries.

4. Eat slowly and chew.

5. Be grateful for every bite.

*There’s a post on the benefits of cinnamon coming your way soon!

Now, you can absolutely play with the proportions. Use 1/4 cup of oats, increase chia to 1 tbsp, increase walnuts, leave out the banana, etc. Make it tasty for you. But here are the nutrition facts as is. With a good dose of healthy fats, omegas, protein, carbs and calories, this puppy will take you right through the morning.

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Filed under One Pot Dish, Organic, Recipe, Superfoods

More Victories!

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I want to start the week off with some more victories. I also want to encourage you wonderful readers to look for victories in your life. Be proud! You’re amazing!

___

The hubby got in the car with his dinner and said, “Don’t put this in your blog.”

“What?” I said.

“What I’m about to say.”

“Which is?”

“Which is that in the past I would have gotten two slices of pizza but tonight I got one slice and a salad. I know you’re definitely going to put that in your blog.”

“Yes.”

___

A friend saw my blog and sent me a very excited email. This was my favorite part:

“I just learned a few things — I am throwing out my agave nectar right now!!”

I love when I can spread the word on agave.

___

And this gem came from a classmate of mine:

“Thanks to Jillian’s blog the other day I bought hemp seed. I mixed it into my yogurt this morning and I am really enjoying it! Thanks for expanding my world a little Jillian!!”

You’re welcome, Mo! Hemp seeds are such an easy, healthy, and yummy addition to cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, salads, and more. Be like Mo and Jillian. Get some hemp seeds.

____

Thank you all for your support. There’s so much to learn from one another.

Now that I’ve celebrated the sharing of knowledge, here’s…

The Question of the Day:
When was the last time you tried something new?

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Filed under Agave, Superfoods, Victories

What About Water

Here’s something we hear all the time:

“Drink More Water!”

But how much? 8 glasses a day? More?

Well, here’s my answer. Everyone is different and your water requirements vary daily. It depends on:
*the weather (hot vs. cold, humid vs. dry, altitude)
*how much you exercise, how hard, and how much you sweat
*what you eat (salty foods vs. foods with high water content)
*how you feel

There really is no set amount for how much every person should drink. And if there was, we’d know what it is by now.

The best rule of thumb is to check your pee.

Great. Thanks, Health Coach Jillian.

You’re Welcome!

But seriously, when your pee is bright yellow, that’s the best indicator that you need to drink more water. Once your pee is clear, you’re in the clear.

Now, it’s important to stay hydrated for a number of reasons:

  • Your body needs water to function properly
  • Water keeps you from getting sick or feeling lousy (when you’re dehydrated you can suffer from headaches, fatigue, and dizziness)
  • Water aids in weight loss because it keeps you full and because what feels like hunger or a craving might actually be your body telling you it’s dehydrated
  • It helps your skin look glowy (who doesn’t love glowy skin?!?)

Cue the whines (not the wines, because alcohol dehydrates you)…
“What if I don’t like water? Does anything else count?”

Here’s the deal. Listen to your body. Some people find that caffeine-free tea or sparkling water quenches their thirst. For me, only plain water really does the trick and anything else makes me even thirstier. That’s just me. It’s up to you to know what works best for you. If your pee is clear and you’re feeling hydrated, then I think that sparkling water you just drank worked great. (Read the label and make sure there’s no sodium in it, though.)

And if you don’t like plain water, I have some good news for you. Lemon in your water can have a lot of great benefits. It promotes digestion, works as a detoxifier, and can help stabilize blood sugar. Click here to learn more about the benefits of drinking lemon water.

And as you saw in my previous post about the evils of soda, any version of water is better than soda. So add in fruit, mint, or cucumbers.

Now, I am an anti-bpa crusader. You’ll hear more about that soon. But in the context of water, the bpa issue means that I avoid plastic bottles whenever possible because of the chemicals that leach from the plastic into the water. I know sometimes it’s unavoidable, but for the home, instead of stocking up on plastic bottles, which are bad for you AND the environment, invest in a purifier or filtration system like Brita, Everpure, reverse osmosis, or an alkalizing system like Kangen. I’m not going to get into the ph of water right now but that’s a hot topic at the moment and I’m sure I’ll revisit that in another post. 😉

Glass bottles are great – think Voss and Perrier. And you can purchase this fave of mine, fill it, and take it to go (it’ll also give you a little workout because it’s a tad bit heavy!)

So, in summary, find what works best for you. We’re all different and that means we all have different needs.

Question of the Day:
What do you need today? A massage, a nap, a vacation, a big belly laugh, a piping hot mug of Barefoot Coffee? Something else? Let’s hear it!

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Filed under BPA, Water

Victory

The hubby announced this morning:

“My weight is down again. It keeps dropping! It just feels better to eat real food. It just does. You can put that in your blog.”

Well, hon, I will. Because it’s a victory for the hubby! And a victory for Health Coach Jillian!

Here’s a little background for you followers who don’t know the hubby. He is from Ohio. Land of meat and potatoes. (No offense, Ohio ;). ) When I met him, he had cabinets full of Pop Tarts and a fridge full of diet soda. Vegetables were not in abundance.

Now he puts chia seeds in his cereal. He eats organic meat and organic lettuce on whole wheat bread. He eats salads with organic, gmo-free dressing. He eats organic peanut butter and organic jelly. He had an 18 Rabbits granola bar for the first time today. And liked it. And that was on the heels of celery and pistachios. For breakfast. He now eats most of his meals at home. He has come a long way. But I want to stress that this was no overnight change – he is where he is now after making many small changes over time. And that is the best way to do it. Remember the baby steps?

These days, if he goes off the wagon and eats something not so healthy, he deals with the aftermath. He tastes those cheap ingredients and artificial flavors for the rest of the day. I helped to lay the groundwork and now he’s devoted to being healthier because he sees how much better it feels. It’s not like he’ll never eat Chinese food again because that’s his favorite. But he’ll think twice before he eats it. It’s a rare occurrence. And that’s the key.

I am proud of him and for anyone who makes positive changes. If you do it, you reap the rewards. If you don’t, you will suffer the consequences, which may look a bit like fatigue or acid reflux, bloating or a bad taste in your mouth, stomach problems or something much worse. This isn’t meant to scare you. This is meant to show you that taking control of your health can have such a positive impact on your daily living. And when your wife is also happy with what you’ve done…well, you can’t put a price on that! 😉

Question of the Day:
What great news did you get this week?

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Filed under Artificial Flavors, Baby Steps, GMO-free, Organic