5 Interesting facts about kiwifruit (+ a delicious recipe for kiwi dressing)

August 17th, 2014 | no comments

 

 

How many times have you walked right by this poor little forgotten fruit as you zipped through the produce section? With its dull, unimpressive exterior color and itty-bitty size, it’s certainly easy to do. Kiwifruit are practically camouflage!

Lately I’ve been longing to add some variety to my almost exclusively plant-based diet and I remembered this cute little furry fruit. Here are five random facts that I discovered about kiwifruit, plus a delicious recipe for homemade kiwi dressing that you’ll just love!

 

  1. You can eat the skin of kiwifruit
    Whew! What a pain in the rear it is to peel these little stinkers. Even more of a reason to eat them now! Plus you get an extra dose of fiber. Just slice them crosswise like the photo above and you’ve got yourself a healthy, 60-calorie snack!
  2. Kiwifruit contains a natural meat-tenderizing enzyme!
    It’s called actinidin. Simply rub a sliced kiwi half over meat or mash it and spread it on top! Who knew?!
  3. One medium kiwi offers 100% of your daily vitamin C needs + more potassium than half a banana
    Can you say killer immune system?
  4. Research has found that eating one kiwifruit daily may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by helping to increase HDL cholesterol
    Do you really need another reason to eat kiwifruit? Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer! Are you on your way to the grocery store yet? 
  5. If you have a latex allergy or sensitivity, eating kiwifruit may result in a serious reaction leading to anaphylaxis (a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction)

Reference: Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Food & Nutrition Magazine; March/April 2013


Kiwi & Citrus Dressing
(Recipe from: wholefoodsmarket.com)
Yields: 1 3/4 cups
Serving size: 2 Tbsp.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 kiwifruit, peeled and halved
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 clementine oranges, halved and juiced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan over moderate heat and cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Add the kiwi pulp and purée until smooth. With the processor running, gradually add the extra virgin olive oil to form a smooth and creamy emulsion. Add the juice, balsamic vinegar and salt. Pulse to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

Great as a salad dressing or dip for grilled shrimp!

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 100; Saturated fat: 1.5 grams; Sodium: 85 mg; Carbohydrate: 4 grams; Fiber: 1 gram; Sugar: 3 grams (no added sugar); Protein: 0 grams

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How much should you weigh?

August 7th, 2014 | 1 comment
  • How much do you think you should weigh?
  • Do those height and weight charts mean anything?
  • Where should you turn to find your perfect weight? And more importantly, how can you achieve it?

Tune in below to find out! 

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Healthier comfort foods

August 1st, 2014 | no comments

Even the most connected and mindful eaters succumb to Head-Hunger eating (eating to soothe your emotions) once in awhile. So if you must indulge, reach for a healthier comfort food that won’t drag you down and make you feel worse! Any of the following will do:

If—despite your best efforts—you find yourself digging into a bag of potato chips instead, take the advice of Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab at the University of Illinois. According to Brian “The key is moderation, not elimination.” He suggests dividing comfort foods into smaller portions. So if you have a large bag of chips, divide it into smaller baggies and you will be less tempted to eat more than one serving.

As for comfort foods that aren’t always healthy, like fattening desserts, Wansink says: “Your memory of a food peaks after about four bites, so if you only have those bites, a week later you’ll recall it as just a good experience than if you polished off the whole thing.” So have a few bites of cheesecake, then call it quits, and you’ll get equal the pleasure with lower cost.

Make it happen! Before reaching for food, ask yourself if you are physically hungry. If the answer is no, peel away the layers and get to the bottom of the REAL reason you are about to eat. Stress? Anger? Happiness? Boredom? Awareness is the first step. The best way to cope with your emotions is to not “put a bandaid” on them with food, but rather have a suitable outlet to really feel and deal with them. For example: going for a walk when stressed or calling a friend when bored. It’s not always easy, but worth it in the end. After all, a baby doesn’t snack on chocolate chip cookies when he needs a diaper change…does he?

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Embrace your bumpy path to wellness

July 27th, 2014 | no comments

It’s never a straight line. NEVER. I’m talking about the path to a healthier and more fit YOU. And you know what? Thank goodness it’s not straight. Because when your path looks like a bowl of boiled spaghetti noodles…that’s when the real magic happens.

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A peak inside of Melanie’s refrigerator

July 20th, 2014 | no comments

You asked for it…a little glimpse inside of my kitchen! Remember my “90-10” rule? Fill your diet (and of course your kitchen) with 90% Good-4-YOU food and 10% FUN! I try to follow this rule in my own kitchen and keep it top of mind when grocery shopping and meal planning. Check it out!

Top Shelf:
– Unsweetened almond milk for smoothies
– Cherries for an afternoon snack or with my lunch
– Kale for smoothies: one big handful per smoothie
– Spinach for salads: we eat BIG salads for dinner twice a week

Middle Shelf:
– Cheese (REAL cheese) with my nightly glass of wine (just a few cubes!)
– Thin crust pizza shells: because sometimes a girl has a taste for pizza!
– White beans: I boil these up on a Sunday and add them to my meals throughout the week (salads, eggs, soups)
–  Random fruits and veggies (blueberries, cauliflower, cucumbers): fresh blueberries go in my morning oatmeal; cucumbers in my salad or as a snack; cauliflower for mashed “potatoes” (steam cauliflower pieces then puree with a splash of skim milk and a couple of spoonfuls of non-fat plain Greek yogurt. Season with a touch of salt, pepper and cheese. One of my favs!)

Bottom Shelf:
– Lean ground turkey: for hubby’s turkey burgers. I mix with a bit of soy sauce, whole grain bread crumbs, egg, lemon juice, garlic, scallions and spinach. Form into burgers and cook in frying pan for 5 minutes each side or until cooked. Allow to cool then wrap each burger in wax paper and freeze in freezer bag. Reheat in microwave for 60-90 seconds!
– Leftover Chipotle Burrito Bol with veggies and whole grain brown rice (love my Chipotle!!)
– Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted whole grain bread
– Hummus: dip for veggies or crackers!
– Hemp seeds: to mix in oatmeal or sprinkle on salads (good source of omega 3’s!)
– Broccoli…because everyone should have a head of broccoli in their fridge!
– Eggs: I hard-boil about 6-8 eggs on Sunday so they are ready for the week! Eat as a snack, chop on salad, make into egg salad and spread on toast.

Fruit Drawer: 
– Fresh strawberries: sliced in oatmeal or yogurt
– Fresh apples and peaches for snacks!

Veggie Drawer:
– Baby peppers: for snack or in salads!
– Baby carrots: for smoothies (add 1 cup for each smoothie and blend the heck out of it!)
– Cherry tomatoes: for salads or snack!

Pantry #1: (left)
– Whole grain corn chips: The Better Chip is an awesome, non-GMO chip made with whole grain corn, veggies and is muy delicioso!
– Twix bars and fresh catnip: because I’m human and a cat has to have some fun! Don’t judge us! 😉
– Unsalted spices and baking ingredients
– Dried fruit: for salads or to add to homemade cookie dough
– Non-GMO, whole grain cereal: Cascadian Farms, Peace All Natural and Kashi are my favs!

   Pantry #2: (right)
– Quaker Oats: morning oatmeal or for cookies!
– Fresh ground peanut butter: for smoothies
– Unsweetened cocoa powder: for smoothies
– Unsalted nuts: for salads, oatmeal or snack!
– Brown sugar: for oatmeal (I’ve tried it sans sugar and I just don’t enjoy it! I add one measuring teaspoon and it does the trick!
– Dry beans and lentils
– Canned tomatoes: for sauces
– Nut Thins Artisan Crackers: whole grain, gluten-free crackers that go good with tuna salad, egg salad, bean salad…or just by themselves
–  Low Sodium Light Tuna: Mix with diced avocados, peppers, onions and dried cranberries for the perfect lunch!
–  Colon Cleaner Hot Sauce (bottom right corner): Just for fun (and to make sure you’re paying attention)- this is a gag-gift from my parents. Haven’t tried it yet…but I’ll let you know what happens 😉

Make it happen!
Take a look in your kitchen and see where you can do a little cleaning up! Choose one or two items to add to your shopping list for your next grocery trip. Maybe it’s a bag of beans and a new vegetable you’ve never tried before. Remember, it’s all about taking baby steps!

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Why you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re a “Carboholic”

July 12th, 2014 | no comments

The word “Carboholic” is often used to describe someone who LOVES carbohydrates…as if it’s a bad thing. Just like some forms of protein are better for you than others (i.e. salmon versus bacon), carbs like veggies, fruit and beans do wonders for your body, while others can throw your health off balance if you eat too much (i.e. candy, popsicles and cookies). Watch my latest video to find out why carbohydrates are so important for your body and how to embrace your carb addiction in a healthy way.

 

 

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My wish for you

July 6th, 2014 | no comments

My wish for you is simple.

That you wake up tomorrow (and every day) and listen to your body. Because it’s waiting to be heard. To be paid attention to. To be remembered.

My wish for you is simple. 

That you kick that calorie-counting app to the curb and tune into your stomach. Because your stomach doesn’t give a damn what a computer thinks. After all, computers are perfect, infallible machines. And you are anything but.

My wish for you is simple.

That you turn blind to society’s expectations of your perfect weight. Because what the hell does “society” know? They are not you. They will never be you. They don’t understand your DNA. So, in the nicest way possible…tell society to go to hell.

My wish for you is simple.

That you feed your body like it’s a temple. A place of worship. Because it is.

My wish for you is simple.

That you stomp out any guilt or shame you’ve attached to food. Really beat the heck out of it! Because chocolate (and ice cream, cheese, wine, ___________ (fill in the blank) were meant to be enjoyed in small amounts. They shouldn’t be feared or put on a pedestal. They’re all just “food.” Calories that just happen to taste like the closest thing to edible gold.

My wish for you is simple. 

That you remember you are human. Beautifully imperfect. Full of life and flaws. Perfectly imperfect.

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How to redeem yourself after you binge eat

June 27th, 2014 | no comments

We’ve all been there! Something happens in life, causing you to become emotionally off balance and then…bring on the hot fudge sundae!

Despite what you may be thinking, all hope is NOT lost! You are actually standing right in the middle of a fork in the road. Should you go left and continue the binge or go right and reclaim control?

If you choose to go right, watch my latest video to learn three steps to help you get back on track and take control of your life:

 

 

 

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Stop your food phobia!

June 16th, 2014 | no comments

Eat this, not that!

Milk is bad!

Eggs are evil!

How many times have you heard a negative claim about a food and then the very next day you hear someone say the exact opposite? How confused and frustrated are you when this happens? This can (and often does) lead to a fear of food and eating altogether!

How do you know who or what to believe anymore?

Click on the video below to learn how to stop your food phobia for good! I’ll also share my dirty little secret of how I manage to stay in the best shape of my life! Juicy, juicy stuff….

 

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Why you may be struggling with your weight

June 6th, 2014 | no comments

Have you tried and tried (and tried again) to control your weight but always wind up right back where you started? You start out following the meal plan down to the very last detail. You’re even exercising more than ever before. A couple of weeks go by and you notice that the excitement and motivation have fizzled out. Slowly you return back to your more “comfortable” lifestyle and go back to practicing the habits that are keeping you stuck (i.e. snacking a little too much; not making time for exercise; saying “what the hell…give me another glass of wine.”) 

So what’s the deal?

Is it that you aren’t motivated enough?

NO!

Is it that you just haven’t found the right meal plan?

I doubt it!

Is it that you are genetically screwed and destined to be out of shape for the rest of your life?

Nope…that’s not it either (even though I know many of you feel this way!)

Click on the video below to discover the real reason why you may be struggling to control your weight:

If you loved this week’s Food for Thought and think it can help someone else get unstuck and on the road to a healthier body… please share it!

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