9 Ways To Sneak Produce Into Your Day

Get strategic — and a little tricky — to eat more fruits and veggies
Are you getting your fruit-and-veggie quota? You want to eat a variety of these nutritious and delicious foods. Why? Because it’s simply one of the best things you can do for your health. Each heading also provides a link to recipes or additional information!

1. Top off breakfast
Use mixed berries, sliced peaches or chopped apples to dress up oatmeal, whole-grain pancakes and low-fat yogurt. Mix diced peppers, tomatoes and olives into scrambled eggs. Add sliced or mashed avocado to whole-wheat toast.

2. Whip up a smoothie
Blend bananas, berries or peaches with low-fat milk or yogurt for a cool and creamy breakfast or snack. Use frozen fruit to make it a frosty treat.

3. Take a dip
Raw or lightly steamed vegetables offer the same satisfying crunch as crackers. Dunk them in salsa, hummus, garlicky low-fat yogurt or low-sodium marinara sauce.

4. Snazz up your sandwich
Go beyond the typical tomato and lettuce. How about tucking in some baby spinach, sliced peppers, avocado or cucumbers — or even sliced apple?

5. Make a Sunday roast
Of veggies, that is! In a hot oven, roast a colorful assortment of cut-up veggies, such as broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Use these flavorful jewels for dinners or quick snacks all week long.

6. Go for grate-ness
Grated vegetables add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition to your favorite recipes. Try any number of veggies — carrots, beets, squash, cauliflower, etc. — in sauces, mashed potatoes, meatloaf and casseroles.

7. Be a puree pro
Blend steamed butternut squash to make soup or for mixing into mac and cheese. Do you like to bake? Try fruit purees, such as mashed banana and unsweetened applesauce, to replace about half the fat in recipes for muffins, breads and other baked goods.

8. Grill to perfection
Veggie kebabs can add color and flavor to your plate. Grilling makes fresh corn even sweeter. And for a super-fast dessert, you can even grill watermelon slices for 30 seconds on each side.

9. Order up
When dining out, select a light salad, steamed vegetables or fresh fruit as your side dish. And ask for extra veggies to enhance your omelet, tacos, pizza or pasta.

 *Source: United Health Care newsletter September 2016

10 steps to lower your cholesterol

When I discover information that I feel may benefit you, I’m eager to share. This month I discovered 10 simple steps to lower your cholesterol without prescription drugs. This information can be found in the book Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN. If you are hoping to discover natural remedies that can lower your cholesterol, this book may prove beneficial.

These are the 10 steps discussed in the book:

  1. Walk 30 minutes every day (preferably at a fast pace).
  2. Eat 1 – 1-½ ounces of almonds or walnuts every day or 2-3 tablespoons for almond butter.
  3. Eat a half cup of some type of beans, peas, or lentils every day.
  4. Eat one apple every day.
  5. Eat 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds every day.
  6. Eat 3-10 grams psylliym (either 6-8 capsules or 1-2 tablespoons powder) per day.
  7. Eat 1 clove of fresh garlic and take 1 Kyolic garlic capsule per day.
  8. Eat 20-25 grams per day of soy protein; aim for at least two servings of soy products every day.
  9. Eat plant sterols/stanols. Consume 2-3 grams a day at two meals.
  10. Eat 1 cup of oatmeal or barley per day.
Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill

Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill

*Thank you to my client and friend, Maryann, for sharing this valuable resource.









Independence Day: Tips to prevent overindulging at this year’s get-together

With Independence Day right around the corner, I wanted to share a few ways you can prevent overindulging. With so many tasty foods on hand at these gatherings it is easy to lose control. Instead, try:

1) Eating a small, healthy meal before you go, so you won’t be extremely hungry and lose your focus.

2) Bringing your own, healthy, properly proportioned items. For example, bring your own pretzels, so you don’t eat the chips.

3) Eliminating one of the picnic/barbecue items all together. For example, allow yourself the hotdog, but forgo the potato salad.

4) Eating the hot dog or hamburger without the bun. This alone will save you around 200 calories.

5) Limiting your portions, but eating what you’d like. For example: Split a burger with a friend; when it comes to baked beans, potato salad, etc., try a serving size of 3 tablespoons; put half the serving size of sweets on your plate; limit your juice/soda/alcohol consumption to half your normal amount.

6) Drinking water only.

Arriving later and leaving earlier. If this is an all-day event, limit your time surrounded by food.

8) Waiting 15 minutes before you fill your plate again. Don’t immediately return for more food. Instead, let the mind make the connection with the stomach.
 Chances are you’ll recognize that you are satisfied from one plate.

9) Moving. The kids are playing, why don’t you? Walk. Hop. Skip. Jump. Run. Just move!

10) Staying home. Simply put, if you will be tempted to overindulge in poor choices, don’t go.

Do you have a tip that has worked well for you in situations like this? If so, please let me know!

Create a healthy summer salad for 298 calories a serving!

In less than 30 minutes and for only 298 calories per serving you can prepare a healthy summer salad! What a tasty way to use that summer produce. In the video below, my friend, Jennifer Murray, recent graduate of the Oregon Culinary Institute and former Pampered Chef consultant, shows how to prepare a Green Bean & Red Potato Salad. Simple ingredients and little prep time make this low-calorie salad a summer hit!

Do you have a refreshing summer salad recipe? Please share!

Chef Jen Murray can be reached at chefjenniferm@yahoo.com. 


—Green Bean & Red Potato Salad—

Salad Mix:

½ lb. green beans, trimmed and cut diagonally

Organic salad greens of your choice

1 lb. red potatoes, cooked and cut into quarters

1 lb. cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast


⅓ cup parsley

3 TB. red wine vinegar

1 TB. Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

1 TB. lemon juice

1 TB. Oil Olive

Print the recipe here: Green Bean & Red Potato Salad.