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Recipes

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Ingredients:

2 cups of Frozen Raspberries Thawed
1 1/2 TBS of Chia Seeds
1 TBS Lemon Juice
1 1/2 TBS of Honey

Instructions:

Put all items except chia seeds into a blender and mix up. Stir in chia seeds and refrigerate overnight.
Serve the next morning on warm toast or bagel with some butter as base and jam on top. Enjoy!

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Immune Boosting Nutrient Needs During COVID19

Focusing on the immune system and proper nutrition, diet plays a vital role in building/maintaining a balanced immune system. A wide variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can have an impact on your immune system’s resiliency against infections. Make sure to include a mix of fruits and vegetables into your meal plan daily!

Single micronutrients can have many diverse effects on the body, but an excessive intake of some nutrients can also be associated with an impaired immune response. That’s why it’s important to obtain nutrients through the diet first and possibly look to supplementation to fill in the gaps where needed.

Nutrients – Vitamin C, E for immune support:
*Vitamins C and E help to protect cell membranes from damage caused by free radicals created during metabolism, toxin exposure, and pollutants.
Food sources of vitamin C include:
● Bell peppers (all colors)
● Citrus fruits (orange, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
● Tropical fruits​ ​(kiwi, pineapple, guava, mango, etc.)
● Berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.)
● Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach)
● Cherries are a high form of whole food vitamin C

Foods sources of vitamin E include:
Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, avocados, squash, kiwifruit, trout, shrimp, olive oil, wheat germ oil, and broccoli.

Immune Nutrients Vitamin A, Zinc, B6, B12, and B9.
*Vitamin A, Zinc are important for the structural integrity of skin and mucosal cells.
*Vitamins A, B6, and B12 and folate (B9) are essential for
the composition of intestinal microbiota.

Food sources of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, fish (tuna), winter squashes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, lettuce, bell peppers, broccoli, and grapefruit.

Food sources of Zinc include:
● Seafood (crab, lobster oysters, etc.)
● Grass-fed beef
● Organic chicken (dark meat)
● Raw pumpkin seeds
● Yogurt
● Raw cashews
● Chickpeas

Food sources of vitamin B6, B9 & B12 include:
Green beans, whole grains, spinach, fish, bananas( B6)
Green leafy vegetables, citrus juice, legumes, tofu, tomato juice ( B9)
Milk, fish, fortified breakfast cereal, eggs, shellfish ( B12)

Immune-boosting nutrients Vitamin D3 (Calcitriol)- the active form of vitamin D helps to protect the lungs from infection by stimulating antimicrobial peptides in epithelial cells (i.e. cells lining the
respiratory tract), stimulate tight junction in the gastrointestinal tract.

Excellent sources of vitamin D include:
● wild-caught fish such as salmon
● fatty fish
● pastured eggs
● beef liver
● cod liver oil
● mushrooms

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Recipes

Immune Boosting Smoothie

If your looking for a quick and easy smoothie to get many immune-boosting nutrients into one drink look no further!

Ingredients:
6oz milk of your choice (I use cashew non-dairy milk)
2 scoops collagen powder (I use vital proteins)
1/2 of a small banana
1/4c of frozen mixed berries
1/4c of frozen cherries
Handful of spinach
1 TBS of ground flax seed
Sprinkle chia seeds on top and garnish with spinach and banana slice

Instructions:
Put all ingredients into a blender and mix up until all pureed. Pour into a glass and enjoy it.

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Meal Preparation During COVID 19 – Getting Your Plant Based Foods In!

I don’t know about you guys but has mealtime been a challenge during the pandemic on ensuring you are getting all of your fruits and vegetables in? 

It has been for me since I am not able to get all my fresh fruits and vegetables due to the availability via online grocery shopping. I now purchase mostly frozen fruits and frozen vegetables to ensure I get my daily quota of plants based foods.  Below are some ideas on how to incorporate more plant-based foods during the pandemic based on the availability of fresh produce.  

 

Tip 1 – I encourage you to buy frozen fruits of all kinds such as all berries, cherries, mango, pineapples, etc and then purchase frozen riced cauliflower, frozen spinach, broccoli, peas, carrots, etc.  
 
Tip 2 – For breakfast, I used to make an omelet with many fresh vegetables in it like spinach, broccoli, kale, and onions along with w/ a side fresh berries but due to the situation, I have had to make other foods such as smoothies to get my fruits & vegetables in.  For my smoothie, I use any shelf-stable nut milk, frozen riced cauliflower (as its color and tasteless), along with any frozen fruits I am in the mood for and some gluten-free oats to help amp up the fiber content.   
 
Tip 3 – I have been utilizing more shelf-stable foods which have led to buying items like canned beans, canned vegetable soup, instant brown rice, quinoa, peanut butter, oatmeal, unsweetened nut milk (shelf-stable or canned), nuts and bananas.  Ideas on how to incorporate these foods below:
 
  • Canned beans, such as great northern with some instant brown rice served with some cooked frozen broccoli
  • Canned vegetable soup with adding in some frozen spinach and quinoa until its cooked.
  • Overnight oats by mixing GF oatmeal, unsweetened almond milk & peanut butter altogether and put into the fridge overnight.  Take out in the morning and top with cinnamon, bananas, thawed berries, and nuts of choice.  
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Recipes

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed organic coconut sugar
  • 1 – 4oz small applesauce container
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour mix
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil
  • Mash bananas in a large bowl and then add all the ingredients together and use a mixer to combine.
  • Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and brown on top.
  • Let it cool completely before slicing and serve with butter.
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Recipes

Healthy Overnight Oats Recipe

Overnight Oats:

1/2c of Icelandic or Greek Yogurt (I prefer a low sugar vanilla flavor)
1/2c of steel-cut oats
1/4c of dairy or non-dairy milk
1 TBSP Chia seeds
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Instructions – Mix all ingredients together and put them in the fridge overnight.  Next day – top with nuts or nut butter, dark chocolate chips, and fresh fruits.
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Recipes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)
1TBS coconut oil melted
1/8 cup date nectar
1 small ripe banana mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup flax meal
3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions – Combine the peanut butter, add coconut oil, date nectar, and banana in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir to combine and then stir in the vanilla.  Combine the oats, flax, coconut, cinnamon and chocolate chips into the nut butter mixture and mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated. Use a cookie scooper to portion out balls.  Store in the refrigerator or they can be frozen.  This recipe makes approx. ~ 20-25 balls

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Recipes

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe to Build Immunity

This recipe is packed full of essential nutrients that help build your immune system……It’s one of my personal favorites and I hope you enjoy it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces of unsweetened coconut water
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1TBSP of lemon juice
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/4c of cucumber
  • 1/2 of green apple
  • 1/4c of frozen pineapples
  • Handful of spinach

Instructions:  Put all items into a blender, puree and enjoy!

 

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Nutrition as we age

Nutrition as we age

Eating to fuel our bodies is especially important as we age as it can affect how we feel but also help us to maintain healthy body weight and condition our bodies to fight off infection and reduce the risk of developing diseases.

As we age our muscle mass naturally decreases with age, which causes the metabolism to slow down. This means that you don’t need as many calories to sustain your lifestyle.  Therefore, it’s important to personalize your caloric and nutritional needs based on if you need to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Specific nutrients needed for our bodies to keep us healthy through the aging process include potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and dietary fiber.

Foods important to eat to support healthy bones as you age and protect against developing osteoporosis, and bone fractures it’s important to eat foods rich in vitamin D and calcium.

Vitamin D – food sources include fortified milk and milk products, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna and fortified cereals.

Calcium – food sources include milk and other dairy products, some forms of tofu, dark-green leafy vegetables, soybeans, canned sardines and salmon with bones, and calcium-fortified foods.

Foods important to eat to support healthy skin as you age are foods that are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanin.  Also, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega 3 fatty acids are needed as well.

Antioxidants rich foods do well when combined with vitamin C foods for collagen production.

Vitamin C – Blueberries, Spinach, Tomatoes, Red bell peppers, pomegranates

Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes, broccoli

Omega 3 fatty acids – Fatty fish – salmon & sardines, walnuts

Vitamin E – Fatty Fish, avocados

 

Foods important to eat to protect heart health as you age, which will reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart disease can be done by eating foods that protect your body from developing these diseases with the promotion of consuming more plant-based foods.

A diet utilizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based protein, lean animal protein, and fish are good sources of nutrients from vitamin A, vitamin C and unsaturated fats which can help to lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Some examples of heart-healthy foods are: Oatmeal, legumes, salmon, nuts and seeds, strawberries, grapes, spinach, legumes, berries, olive oil, avocados

 

Other important foods to eat to support healthy aging are:

Protein – It’s important to add protein to our diet as we age because our muscle mass naturally decreases, and you want to prevent muscle wasting.  Specific foods that are good sources of protein can be found in meats, eggs, dairy products, legumes, tofu, and tempeh.

Vitamin B12 – Some people over the age of 50 have trouble absorbing the vitamin B12 found naturally in foods. Therefore, you may need to take vitamin B12 supplements and or eat foods fortified with this vitamin. Foods to focus on are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy such as milk, and fortified breakfast cereals. If you are eating non-animal-based foods incorporating nutritional yeast and certain fortified non-dairy kinds of milk will be good.

Potassium – Potassium is a mineral that helps muscles contract, regulate fluid and mineral balance in body cells, and helps to maintain normal blood pressure by limiting the effect of sodium and bone loss as we age.  Many different fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy foods contain potassium. Foods high in potassium include bananas, dried apricots, lentils, and potatoes.

Magnesium – Magnesium keeps your immune system, heart and bones/bone density strong.  It’s a mineral generally found in foods containing dietary fiber, such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds. Breakfast cereals and other fortified foods often have added magnesium. Magnesium is also in tap, mineral or bottled drinking water.

Probiotics – can help with keeping you regular and strengthen the immune system.  Food sources you can get them from are fermented foods like yogurt or sauerkraut.  You can take supplements if fermented foods are not your thing.

Fiber – helps protect against strokes, helps you stay regular with bowel movements, and lowers your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Consuming foods such as fruits and vegetables will help you meet your daily fiber needs.

The importance of drinking water and staying hydrated as we age…

Staying hydrated helps to maintain every system in our body to work from cells functioning, to our body’s ability to fight off infection and prevent dehydration.

Also, as we age dehydration can occur as the kidneys become less able to hold water. Individuals’ water intake varies based on one’s physical activity and exposure to heat.  If it’s warmer outside, there is an increased risk of dehydration, especially in older adults. It is good to consume ~9 cups of water a day

Lastly, general tips for a healthy, balanced diet as you age…

Promoting a more plant-based diet, along with including whole grains, lean protein is key to helping with the aging process no matter if your 40, 50 or 60+ years old.

Its recommended that incorporating more whole foods into your diet while reducing the number of processed foods consumed from our diets.  I also like to promote individuals to include more plant-based meals by making half your plate full of fruits & vegetables and whole grains.  The key to good health is consuming a variety of foods to ensure we get a wide array of nutrient-dense foods that are high in nutritionally.

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Immune Boosting Foods

Building Your Immunity During COVID-19

If you are wondering how to eat during the pandemic in order to build your immune system, then I have some tips on what types of foods you can include in your meal plan:

Immune Boosting Foods and Supplements:

Probiotic and Prebiotic Food Sources:

Probiotics are live bacteria that have health benefits, such as fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, supplements*
Prebiotics are food for the probiotics, such as beans, asparagus, garlic, onions, banana, oats, apple, flax. All whole plant foods contain prebiotics

Vitamin C Sources: Immune Boosting fruits and vegetables

Citrus: orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit
Tropical fruits: kiwi, pineapple, guava, mango
Berries: strawberry, blueberry, raspberry
Bell peppers: green, yellow, orange, red
Other vegetables: cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach

Zinc Food Sources:

Legumes and Beans: lentils, chickpeas
Seeds: sesame, pumpkin, hemp, quinoa Shellfish: shrimp, oysters,
Dark Chocolate
Nuts: cashews, almonds, pine nuts
Animal protein: chicken thighs, grass-fed beef, liver, venison

Vitamin D3 Food Sources:

Wild-caught fish: salmon, sardines, mackerel
Pastured eggs [yolks]: pastured eggs contain 3- 4x higher vitamin D levels vs. non-pastured
D3 supplement*: the active form of vitamin D Mushrooms

Remember that some of these foods contain antioxidants to reduce inflammation in the body and play an important role in keeping our bodies healthy. I recommend following a Mediterranean diet, as it incorporates many of the nutrients discussed above and are great immune foods to eat.

If you are quarantined and it’s not possible to get out and purchase fresh deep-colored fruits and vegetables, then purchase frozen fruits and vegetables, and place them in the freezer, and add them into a smoothie or dish when you are ready to use them.

*Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.

*Recipe for Greens and Beans –
1 can of 15oz great northern beans
1 tsp. EV olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
2 cups of spinach
Instructions- Sauté olive oil and garlic together for a few minutes, add beans and warm-up for 2 minutes and then add spinach and sauté until spinach wilts. You can eat it alone or serve it on top of Whole Grain pasta, quinoa or brown rice.