Back to Fresh

10 Ways to Indulge This Holiday Without Overdoing It

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This season is a time to celebrate. But, you can enjoy the holidays in a healthy balance. Here are 10 tips for indulging without overdoing it, and finding time for some wellness-driven self care. 

1. Start each day with a nutrient rich breakfast.

This important meal can set you up for all day energy, and leave you less prone to oversnacking in the evening. It can be as quick and simple as a piece of fresh fruit paired with a few hard boiled eggs and cut veggies dipped in guacamole. Or, check out the breakfast recipes on our site for options like make-ahead frittata, savory egg muffins, and overnight oats. 

2. Drink plenty of H2O.

It can be easy to forget to drink during this busy time of year. But staying well hydrated helps to regulate appetite and support overall energy and good digestive health. Keep a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day. 

3. Rate your splurge options.

There are numerous opportunities to indulge throughout the season, but some are more special than others. Before reaching for a treat, rank it on a 0-5 scale with 5 being can’t-live-without and 0 being meh. If something doesn’t rate at least a 4, chances are you won’t regret forgoing it or feel deprived.

4. Fit in veggies.

In addition to being chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and low in calories, eating more veggies is tied to better mental wellness. That’s key during what can be a stressful season. Stock veggies with hummus for snacking, and rely on easy breezy choices at mealtimes, like: ready to eat greens dressed with balsamic vinaigrette topped with quick protein, like canned beans or salmon; fresh or frozen veggies quickly sautéed in low sodium veggie broth with minced garlic and Italian herb seasoning; fresh or frozen veggies steamed and tossed with jarred pesto. 

5. Find a little ‘you time’ each day, even if it’s just five minutes.

Go for a brisk walk, listen to a guided meditation, stretch, turn on some music, or dance! Taking a break to briefly focus on yourself can reinvigorate your spirit, and help you make intuitively healthier choices throughout the day.    

6. Imbibe strategically.

Pair every cocktail with a full glass of water. This will keep you better hydrated and slow your drinking pace. It may also help curb your calorie intake, and avert the alcohol-induced munchies.     

7. Bring some nutritious dishes to holiday parties

A veggie tray with healthy dips is always a good bet, or try our recipe for light but flavorful veggie stuffed mushroom caps. Filling up your plate with options like these can help balance out traditional, more indulgent fare.   

8. Stash better-for-you snacks in your bag for shopping excursions.

Opt for nuts, or a clean ingredient protein bar. Apart from keeping you fueled, a healthy snack can help prevent becoming overly hungry, which can lead to rebound overeating, and allow you to avoid less healthy fast food options.          

9. Slow your eating pace, especially at big holiday meals.

Try to put your utensil down between bites, take breaths, and remain mindful of both your food and your fullness level.

10. Practice gratitude.

Research shows that spending 15 minutes before bed writing down grateful sentiments improves sleep length and quality, another key wellness component this time of year. If you don’t have the chance to jot down your thoughts, simply run through them in your mind. Any time spent focused on gratitude is valuable now, and all year long. 

How do you stay balanced during the holidays? Please share your thoughts, tips, and favorite healthy recipes.  

What Does "Clean Eating" Mean?

Shutterstock #631739033

Shutterstock #631739033

The first time I heard the word ‘clean’ in relation to food was back in the mid 1990’s. Supermarkets noticed that customers were beginning to look beyond info like calories, and towards ingredient lists. Health conscious shoppers were starting to pay attention to how foods were made, and exactly what they were made from. As a result, health food stores—which stocked fresh foods and simple ingredient products—were attracting more and more consumers, and traditional grocers took note.

Fast forward to today, and clean eating has gone mainstream, fostered by people from all walks of life, who want to feel good about what they’re putting in their bodies. This includes moms, who want the healthiest, most nourishing food for their children; millennials, who value natural living; and older adults who are motivated to maintain wellness and support longevity.  

The basic principle of clean eating is to let ingredients guide you. While it’s not realistic to never eat anything that comes out of a jar, box, or bag, it’s important to choose packaged foods with all natural, recognizable ingredients. For example, chickpeas from a can would be considered ‘clean’ if the only ingredients are chickpeas, water, and sea salt. The same is true for bagged greens with the only ingredient being kale, or frozen blueberries with no additional ingredients.

The idea is to slash your exposure to artificial additives and chemicals used in highly processed foods, as fillers, preservatives, flavor enhancers, colors, and the like. Recent research has shown that exposure to these man-made ingredients can harm health, from taxing immunity, to fueling inflammation, and possibly even contributing to obesity.     

But clean eating is also about how the foods we buy impact the health of the planet, and our ability to support an eco-friendly and sustainable food supply.  All of these vital issues are why clean eating is not a trend, but rather an important consumer movement.  

In addition to seeking out foods with ingredients you easily recognize, clean eating involves putting them together to make nutrient-packed meals and snacks. Some simple swaps to trade processed fare for fresh, clean food include: eating oats or a smoothie made with fruits and veggies for breakfast instead of a muffin or danish; snacking on nuts and fruit or veggies and hummus rather than chips; or whipping up a veggie-packed stir fry instead of microwaving a frozen entrée.

There are dozens of tasty recipes on www.rawl.net to guide you, and you’ll notice that many use simple, all natural ingredients—like extra virgin olive oil instead of margarine, and whole quinoa or beans in place of refined starches. That’s a big part of our Back to Fresh philosophy.

Tell us about the clean eating changes you’ve made and your favorite whole food-based recipes and meals in the comments or on social media @naturesgreens!

Gardening in the Fall: Thoughts From an Organic Farmer in South Carolina

Mark Spicer Organics July-3.jpg

by Mark Spicer, Assistant Organic Farm Manager

Based on our experience at WP Rawl, we believe large farmers and small gardeners alike are presented with an ideal growing environment during the fall here in the Midlands of South Carolina. When most growers in the country are starting to think about winding down and preparing for winter, we Southern growers can start thinking about all the bountiful homegrown meals we can make for our friends and family. Ultimately, that’s why we at WP Rawl do what we do. Knowing that our family, friends, and neighbors are choosing our product when they go to the grocery store makes all our hard work worthwhile.

First steps

So what can you do to turn your plot of land or corner in your backyard into a bountiful harvest? Well, first of all you’ll need to prepare the ground by turning the soil over with either a tiller or a shovel. The goal is to break up the large chunks of sod or dirt so that you’re left with a smooth, weed-free plot of ground.  Turning the soil helps break up large clots of dirt, get rid of weeds, and creates a nice smooth seedbed ready for planting.

Next, you’ll want to take a look at your soil and think about how your vegetables will get the nutrients they need to grow. If you have sandy soil, you’ll need to fertilize and water your plants more often since sandy soils don’t hold nutrients or moisture well. If the soil is harder to break up and sticks together in clumps, then you’ll have to work a little harder to prepare your plot, but it also means that most likely you have better conditions to grow vegetables.

Compost

Compost is the greatest material asset we have to improve our soils here on the organic farm at Rawl. After just three years of mixing compost into our soil before planting, we have seen a massive increase in productivity and plant health. In my opinion, adding as much well-made compost to your garden as possible is the best thing you can do for the crops you plan to grow. There are local companies that sell or give away compost, and it is also sold in 1 to 3.8 cubic foot bags at most large hardware stores. The minimum I would suggest to add is 3” of compost on top of your garden. There are many gardening sites that do calculations for you, but an example would be: 2 cubic feet of compost covers an 8 foot by 8 foot garden plot with 3 inches of compost.

Fall Veggies

Now we get to the fun part: planting! Here in the Midlands, we have few limitations as to what can grow well in the fall. If your plot is ready mid-July to early August, you’ll have the largest selection of vegetables to choose from. We at WP Rawl primarily grow “leafy greens”: kale, collards, and mustard greens, along with cilantro, parsley, green onions, and leeks. They are incredibly popular, especially during the holidays, and this time of year is well suited for their growth. Along with leafy greens, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, beets, carrots, turnips, and radishes are perfect candidates for fall gardening; they all thrive in cool weather and even improve in flavor with a little frost. It’s even possible for backyard gardeners in this area to start late-season tomatoes in July and August if they’re ambitious. They require more care and knowledge than most vegetables, but there isn’t anything quite like eating a homegrown tomato fresh off the vine.

Checking recently planted seeds.

Checking recently planted seeds.

Root vegetables, such as beets and carrots, should be started from seed in relatively weed-free soil any time from August 1st to mid-September. Spinach and lettuce can also be grown easily from seed, but planting them as transplants will also work. Vegetable transplants are generally 4 to 6-week-old plants grown in multi-cell trays or small pots started in a climate-controlled greenhouse. Most nurseries and hardware stores will probably be running sales on their transplants in the fall because they don’t want to keep these plants through the winter. Leafy greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, etc.) will grow better if you plant them as transplants.

Making It Grow

After you’ve prepared your soil, spread your compost, and planted your seeds and transplants, the most important thing you’ll want to do is keep the soil moist and weed-free. Hoeing or pulling weeds once or twice a week is ideal, and also a great family activity that gets everyone outside and involved with the bounty to come. Watering twice per day while it’s still hot should be enough to get your seeds to pop up and your transplants to take root. You want to keep the ground moist, but not so wet that you leave puddles.  As your garden matures and fall really sets in, cooler weather and more frequent rain means you won’t have to water as much.

If you see that your plants are slowing down in their growth, a tablespoon of organic garden fertilizer per plant is plenty to get them going again. If you’d like to fertilize your entire garden on a regular basis to ensure consistent growth, you have a couple options. The first: add about an inch of compost to your garden every 2 to 3 weeks; rake it into the soil around the plants gently and be careful not to get it on the leaves of the plant because the concentrated nutrient levels may burn the pllant if it sticks. The second option: every 2 to 3 weeks sprinkle your organic fertilizer of choice at the suggested amount (there are many options at the hardware store or nursery to choose from, but a standard organic vegetable garden fertilizer will work just fine).

Depending on what you grow and the conditions of your soil, you should be able to start harvesting the spinach and leafy greens after about 30 to 40 days. Picking individual leaves, instead of cutting down the whole plant, will allow you to harvest for several months or until a hard freeze sets in. For the root vegetables, radishes will be ready in 20 to 30 days, about 45 days for baby beets and carrots, and 60 to 70 days for them to fully mature.

Summer/Fall Leek.

Summer/Fall Leek.

It is a big responsibility to care for a garden, but it doesn’t need to be seen as a hardship. I've discovered that all work is better and usually more enjoyable when shared with others. Everything from land preparation to planting to watering to pulling weeds offers the whole family an opportunity to get involved in an incredibly rewarding outdoors activity. Some of the best experiences I had as a child came from helping my mom cut lettuce for that night’s dinner. Here in the Midlands, nature has given us the gift of beautiful and often bountiful fall seasons. I would encourage families and individuals alike, to try a fall garden in the South at least once. I sincerely believe you’ll be amazed at what a little hard work and commitment can produce.  I encourage anyone with questions about gardening, or wanting to share their experience, to please reach out to me (mark.spicer@rawl.net). I would love to hear from you!

Happy growing!

-- Mark

PS: Are you growing a fall garden and posting about it on social media? Tag us in your photos so we can cheer you on! @WPRawl and @naturesgreens

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How to Mix and Match Foods for Better Meal Prepping

Why Meal Prep?

Meal prepping is a trending behavior, and there are so many reasons why. Devoting time to prepping meals is a smart way to eat healthier, saving both time and money, and gaining control over what and how much you eat.

There is no silver bullet to meal prepping, so if you’re just getting started, sample different ideas to find an approach that feels right for you. Meal prepping can involve making multi-serving meals to portion and store so they’re ready to re-heat and eat. But meal prepping can also mean pre-cooking, or even just pre-preparing ingredients, so you don’t have to start cooking from scratch. 

Prep on the Weekend

One savvy strategy that works for many people is to prep on the weekend for the coming week. This can be as simple as washing and chopping vegetables so they’re ready to cook, or pre-cooking a number of foods that can later be mixed and matched to create various meals.  

3 Core Meal Component Groups

Veggies

If you’re going to pre-cook several meal components, divide them into three key groups: vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy starches. Veggie prep can be as simple as purchasing ready-to-eat greens to stash in your fridge. You can also dress chilled vegetables or greens in herbed balsamic vinaigrette, pre-make healthy salad dressing so it’s ready to use, or sauté, grill, or oven roast a variety of vegetables to be re-heated when needed.

Lean Proteins

Prepping lean proteins can be as easy as stashing canned beans or wild salmon in the fridge, so they’re chilled and ready to add to salads. You can also cook and store hard boiled eggs, chicken breast, extra lean ground turkey, or seafood. Toss beans, chopped hard boiled eggs or canned salmon with jarred pesto, hummus, or seasoned tahini to pre-make quick protein salads. Or purchase a cooked rotisserie chicken for a meal prep super shortcut.

Healthy Starches

For starches, store pre-cooked whole grains, like brown or wild rice and quinoa, as well as starchy vegetables, including baked sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, and oven roasted butternut or spaghetti squash.

Mixing and Matching

When you have these components at the ready, all you need to do is decide how to put them together. For complete meals don’t forget to add a healthy fat, like extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or EVOO-based pesto, olive tapenade, avocado, nuts, or seeds. For example, toss a generous portion of roasted or sautéed veggies with spaghetti squash and diced chicken breast, served over a bed of greens. Make a grain bowl by topping a small scoop of quinoa with greens, roasted or sautéed veggies, lentils, and drizzle with a spoonful of pesto. Pair a generous portion of grilled veggies with black beans, brown rice, and a side of avocado. Stir fry pre-cut veggies in vegetable broth, seasoned with ginger, garlic, and chili pepper, paired with steamed shrimp over wild rice, topped with sliced almonds.

Another way to meal prep is to make a second meal at dinner time and pack it for lunch the next day. These simple and practical meal prepping solutions can help you avoid poor eating pitfalls and give you the tools to eat healthfully for the long haul.

How do you Meal Prep?

Please share your own tips and tricks--as well as the meals from our website you like to make ahead--as part of your meal prep routine. Show us by tagging us on Instagram @naturesgreens and use #backtofresh. Your tip could be selected and featured on our account!

Here Come the Holidays!

The holiday season is great for togetherness and spending time with family and friends. For many, it can be the start of weight gain and unhealthy eating habits. Do not worry! The holidays don’t have to be a constant struggle with your health. We are here to give you tips to help you balance your food and fun while staying healthy and happy this holiday season.

1. Incorporate more greens

Add your favorite leafy greens to your mealtime selections. Use chopped greens in your morning yogurt or smoothie, add them to a lunchtime batch of soup or chili, or cut your dinner side of rice or pasta in half and fill the rest of your plate with sautéed greens.

2. Portion control

Dish your own plate and place small portions of your favorite holiday foods on it. Controlling your portion size should eliminate overeating.

3. Stay hydrated

Drinking water will keep you hydrated and curb your cravings.

4. Don't Skip Meals

Do not avoid food all day to save room for a great holiday dinner.  Starving yourself all day may cause you to overeat! Eat a good breakfast and lunch before hitting your holiday dinner party. Be sure to include protein with each meal to help balance your blood sugar and help you get through the day.

5. Be a realist

The holiday season is not the time to lose weight. Rather than try to lose weight, work on maintaining your current weight and set up healthy eating habits. The New Year is right around the corner! January will have less temptation – a great time to start setting those weight loss goals.

Let the time of togetherness be your focus this holiday season. If you overeat at one meal, do not beat yourself up. You will not gain weight from that one piece of pie –healthy eating is a process and we are here to help guide you in your Back to Fresh journey!

 

 

Make This Fall Even Tastier with Help from the Crock-Pot®

Life is simpler when not having to spend a long time in the kitchen putting together meals for you, your family, and friends. With the kids back in school and time being stretched even more, cooking with a slow cooker or Crock-Pot® may be your new favorite way to save time and eat great starting this September!

Check out these tips on how to take advantage of the slow cooker, and all of its wonderful benefits!

Source: WP Rawl

Source: WP Rawl

WAYS TO SAVE TIME AND MAKE BETTER MEALS

  • Easy, Balanced, and Wholesome Meals

The best part of cooking with a slow cooker is that you can make a full meal with very little effort.

Registered Dietitian Cynthia Sass says, “With a slow cooker you can make healthy, balanced meals with very little prep time.” Ingredients can be prepped ahead of time, then frozen or refrigerated until you’re ready to cook them. During busy weeks when you miss your grocery trip, you can still have a home-cooked meal for your family.

  • Plan Ahead

At night, jump start your meal prepping for the next day to save time. Before heating up your slow cooker meal in the morning, prepare any ingredients you will be using the previous evening.

This could entail pre-cutting veggies, trimming and thawing meats, or even measuring out simple spices that you will be adding to the pot.

  • Maximize the Flavor

Seasoning, browning, or caramelizing your meats in a skillet beforehand is a great way to make sure your get the most out of your slow cooker dishes. Sure, it may take a little more prep work, but why settle for an average tasting meal when you can make it better!

  • Keep A Lid on It

Remember your mom telling you not to open the oven door because you would let the heat out? Well, with a slow cooker this is most certainly true. Since the point of a Crock-Pot® is to cook foods slowly, continuously taking the lid off will affect the cooking time of your meal. Also, mind your temperature. Realize how long you will be gone while cooking and make sure that the temperature you are using aligns with your schedule, and know that a little temp goes along way. 

  • Don’t Over Fill

Filling your slow cooker to the brim can cause hiccups when you are ready to eat. Some of the items may not be cooked, while others may be overcooked. Filling the cooker to only half or two-thirds full is best. Also, placing veggies close to the bottom of will help with making sure they are fully cooked.

  • Save Money

Using dried beans instead of canned ones in your slow cooker is a great way to save money and cut down on the preservatives that come in canned goods. Soak the beans overnight and they will be ready to throw in the Crock-Pot® before you leave for work!

  • Less Energy

Did you know that a slow cooker use less energy that both stove tops and ovens? Using your slow cooker can save you money on your energy bill.

  • Open Up Your Pantry

A great thing about a slow cooker is that you can throw just about anything into it. Now, we don’t suggest opening up a can of something that is two years expired from the fridge or pantry and using it. However, using canned veggies, beans, and other ingredients that you have been meaning to use will help you clean a spot for new (healthy and unprocessed) items you haven’t had a place for.

Now that we have given you some information about making the slow cooker your new best friend this fall and winter, go out and create some great dishes! Check out our website for delicious slow cooker recipes and always follow our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more great tips!

source: WP Rawl

source: WP Rawl

Oh, Sweet Kale Of Mine!

This July, we are focusing on sweets. Sweets can be healthy and nutritious too, right?  Of course!

Try to incorporate a healthy and delicious leafy green, such as kale, in your favorite sweet treat. Here are 4 ways that will help you keep your favorite desserts “Back to Fresh”.

Photo Credit: Buzz Feed

Photo Credit: Buzz Feed

1.       Use neutral tasting ingredients to cut out unwanted calories!

Sugars and sweeteners in desserts help mask the taste of other ingredients. Researchers from Idaho State University found that 8 in 10 people enjoyed fudge made with tofu just as much as they did with butter. Replacing butter with a healthier alternative is a great way to cut calories and carbs. Livestrong.com averages that one brownie of 35 grams, can have at least 20 grams of carbohydrates in it.

Kale is a great ingredient to add in desserts. The sweetness of the dessert tends to cut out the bitterness associated with the leafy green. Also, if your kids aren’t a fan of kale, try our recipe for our delicious Brownie Points, they won’t even know it’s in there.  Cutting these ingredients in half or eliminating them can go a long way in helping you cut calories while enjoying sweet treats!

 

Photo Credit: WP Rawl

Photo Credit: WP Rawl

2.       Use a puree instead of the butter, oil or shortening!

Making a puree and cutting out half of the butter, oil or shortening in your favorite sweets can go a long way and help you stay on track with your weight loss and diet goals. Using kale, beets, and plant proteins like beans and lentils are great options for the “filler puree”.  

Using a puree also allows for you be sneaky with adding greens. These purees help hide the taste and texture of bitter veggies that people sometimes do not enjoy.

 3.       Mix leafy greens directly into the batter!

Make sure you get your daily 5 to 13 servings of fruits and veggies recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by adding kale or other leafy greens into your batter.

Finely chop kale and incorporate it into your dessert batters. This is a simple way to add some veggies into your baked goods, and make sure you get your daily 5 to 13 servings of fruits and veggies. Doing this makes the texture and flavor of the greens less noticeable in your sweet treats!

 4.       Use dessert recipes that accent kale aesthetically!

 We’ve talked about mixing greens into your dessert so that you cannot see them or taste them, but sometimes embracing the fact that you have added kale is not a bad thing!

Why not impress friends and family with their favorite sweets that have kale, but taste great? A great example of this is our Kale Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie has a strong flavor in general, so adding kale to this very tart dessert is easy and as simple as adding to the wiped filling.

Photo Credit: WP Rawl

Photo Credit: WP Rawl

Tips like these do not take a lot of time, baking skill, or effort. Making these simple changes will help you find ways to embrace starting a “Back to Fresh” journey.

Make sure to check out our website for hundreds of more great leafy green recipes. Follow along on our “Back to Fresh” journey on social media, and share your tips on dieting, weight loss, and healthy eating using the #BackToFresh hashtag!

 

 

 

 

 

15 Minute Meals

One of the biggest obstacles to healthy eating my clients encounter is time, and the struggle is real. One report found that working women spend, on average, less than one hour a day preparing, serving, eating, and cleaning up after meals. And to clarify, that’s not less than an hour for each meal – it’s less than one hour per day, for all meals combined. If you experience the same type of time crunch, one of the best tools for successfully eating well is to find a handful of 15 minute go-to recipes. With quick meals at your fingertips, and the ingredients at the ready, you can whip up balanced, satisfying, and tasty dishes, and still have time for everything else on your plate. To gear up, rely on some healthy shortcuts.

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/clear-glass-with-red-sand-grainer-39396/

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/clear-glass-with-red-sand-grainer-39396/

When you’re pressed for time, completely from-scratch meals just aren’t practical. Fortunately, there are a number of good-for-you convenience foods you can rely on to significantly slash your prep and cooking time. Some items I frequently recommend include: eggs; canned wild salmon; canned pulses (beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas); frozen vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and pre-cooked shrimp; bagged ready-to-eat greens; jarred pestos and olive tapenade; nuts, and seeds.

For example, mix canned wild salmon with stone ground mustard, balsamic vinegar, and Italian seasoning, served over bagged greens, topped with avocado and a scoop of canned chickpeas. Or for a quick grain bowl, toss thawed pre-cooked frozen shrimp and frozen steamed veggies with jarred pesto, served over a bed of bagged kale, topped with thawed frozen pre-cooked brown or wild rice, and sprinkle of nuts. Eggs are another easy breezy meal option, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sauté frozen veggies and bagged greens in extra virgin olive oil with turmeric, black pepper, and Italian seasoning, add eggs to scramble, and serve with a side of frozen, thawed berries. Or hard boil some eggs to keep in the fridge, then peel, chop, and toss with bagged greens, olive tapenade, and canned white beans. 

Source: WPRawl

Source: WPRawl

Once you have a few fast meals down pat, they’ll be even easier to rely on as healthy back-ups when you’re in a time crunch. And for the nights you simply don’t have time to make anything, consider combining some items in your fridge with healthy-ish take out. For example, serve a Thai or Chinese order of shrimp and veggies over a bowl of bagged greens, with a small scoop of brown rice, instead of a larger portion or rice or noodles.

For more options check out our recipe collection for 15 minute Back to Fresh dishes, and tell us about the quick recipes you’d like to see added. We’re all about making healthy and delicious totally doable!     

BBQ Time!

The birds are chirping, the grass is green... time to break out the bar-b-que grill!  When hosting friends and family this spring, don't feel limited on the dishes that compliment your meal.  Here are great ways to keep your guests eating fresh and clean this grilling season. 

#1 Kale Slaw is a MUST!

This light and refreshing treat is a great twist to your normal coleslaw. Why not ditch the unhealthy slaw and substitute with a superfood packed with health benefits?  Find the recipe for our Gingery Kale and Purple Cabbage Slaw here.

Source: WP Rawl

Source: WP Rawl

#2 Leafy Greens... on the grill!?

Grilling leafy greens such as kale not only gives it a delicious smoky flavor, but it also removes some of the natural bitterness. Massage both sides of the leaves, place them on a piece of aluminum foil and grill them whole. Grilling makes the leaves crispy, almost like chips.

Source:  Bon Appetit

Source: Bon Appetit

#3 Chips are meant to be dipped

Add a fun and unique dip to your table with our Zesty Mustard Greens Watermelon Salsa! Mustard greens are high in antioxidants, a great source of immune-boosting Vitamin C, and help lower cholesterol.  Watermelon is high in water content and delivers many other important nutrients, including lycopene and vitamin C.  

Source: WP Rawl

Source: WP Rawl

#4 Breakfast Me!

Ever thought about  breakfast on the grill?  Whether camping or relaxing in your backyard, the grill can be a nice change of pace to your normal routine. Try things like, breakfast burgers, roasted eggs or pancakes on the grill.  

Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/G25MV730AV

Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/G25MV730AV

Fooled by Greens!

When most people think of greens, salads and sautés probably spring to mind. But with a little out-of-the-box thinking you can incorporate greens into nearly any recipe, from savory to sweet, any time of the day.

At breakfast, greens can be whipped into fruit smoothies, added to omelets, egg scrambles, and frittatas, blended into pancake batter, and folded into oatmeal. If you’re scratching your head, thinking, “Really, pancakes and oatmeal?” give my recipes a try. When combined with fruit, and ingredients like coconut oil, maple syrup, ginger, and cinnamon, greens are incredibly palatable, and add color, texture, nutrients, and volume to your meals, all for very few calories. 

Another way to work more greens into your diet is to toss them to meals that don’t normally include them. For example, stir chopped greens into a yogurt, fruit and nut parfait, hummus, potato salad, homemade burger patties, a bowl of mac and cheese, or a batch of soup or chili. Crisp, chilled fresh greens also add a layer of crunch and nutrition on top of piping hot pizza.

Greens also make a perfect bed for lean protein, including chicken breast, seafood, lentils, or beans. To incorporate greens into a side dish cut your usual portion of rice or pasta in half and fill the space with a handful of chopped greens. 

And while you may not think of greens for dessert, there are delicious ways to work them in, from adding baked kale chips to dark chocolate bark, to folding pureeing greens into brownie or cupcake batter.

All you need to do is keep greens handy, and get creative. Feeling inspired? Please share the various ways you’ve incorporated more greens into your recipes and eating regime. We can’t wait to learn about your green-infused meals, snacks, and treats!  

Fool your friends and family with some hidden greens recipes! http://www.rawl.net/recipes.aspx

 

Breakfast ME!

We have all heard it for years - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  Eating a nutritious breakfast with fruits and vegetables helps maintain blood sugar levels, prevents binge eating and sets the tone for a healthy day of eating.

Short on time in the morning? Don't let that stop you from starting your day off the right way!

Here are some great quick tips:

1. Get a head start! Getting up 10 minutes earlier or planning out your breakfast the night before can help you get a nutritious "on-the-go" breakfast

https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-bear-child-childhood-4604/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-bear-child-childhood-4604/

2. Add fruits and veggies! Cut up fruits and veggies you can toss into an omelet, oatmeal, or whole grain cereal the next morning. 

Maple-Spiced-Kale-Oats_1050.jpg

3. Make a smoothie! Blend some fruit, yogurt, almond milk and kale for a green power smoothie to-go!

4. The key to a healthy lifestyle is PLANNING! Try to plan out your meals throughout the day starting with breakfast. This may help you control your calorie intake. (Kale Brownie Points if you are able to plan a whole week's menu on Sunday!)

https://www.pexels.com/photo/iphone-notebook-pen-working-34578/

https://www.pexels.com/photo/iphone-notebook-pen-working-34578/

In 2017, we are continuing our Back to Fresh mission with fresh, new and healthy recipes from our friend and registered dietitian Cynthia Sass.  So join us in our #BacktoFreshChallenge by eating fresh, wholesome ingredients and less of the processed stuff.

We hope that this new year, brings a new YOU! Start your journey now by making these small changes for a healthier lifestyle.  

 

Source: Fruits and Veggies More Matters