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Archive for June, 2009

birthday-cake

Best wishes to my very, very dear friend Zoe whose birthday was yesterday, the 28th.  Zo, I hope you had the MOST wonderful day yesterday and that you have yet another amazing year 🙂 If I was there I would have baked you a gigantic, amazingly tasty cake or some other sugary concoction. 

xoxoxoxoxoxo

erin

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coffee

I was on the verge of giving up coffee completely (after developing quite the expensive starbucks habit) when a friend of mine from the Big Island sent me a bag of Keopu 100% organic and 100% kona coffee.  I reasoned that because he had been so nice to think of me and take the time/money to send it all the way to Oahu, it would be downright ungrateful of me to not drink it.  So, being the appreciative friend that I am (hee hee), I went out and bought myself a grinder and it was official; I was in love.  This is literally the most delicious coffee I have ever tasted.  Not only was I not successful at kicking my coffee habit, I think its possibly worse now, although not nearly as pricey as starbucks was getting!  In an effort to consume less processed sugar, I began adding just a bit of agave nectar to each cup, which was absolutely delicious. 

I now restock at the farmers market by my house, but thanks to their website http://www.keopucoffee.com anyone can enjoy it!  Looks like they are currently sold out of their organic coffee, but I suggest calling, shooting them an e-mail, or just checking back some other time…trust me, it is well worth the effort.

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Hi Everyone! June is Men’s Health Month! I just came across a fabulous feature on the American Dietetic Association that I wanted to share with our readers. You can read this article on the EZ Home Cooking Nutrition Page, just click here! Find out what the top five recommendations are to living a fuller, healthier, and happier life, and make sure to share this information with all of the important men in your life that you love!

Want to learn more about the American Dietetic Association? Click here!

Happy June!
xoxo

zoe

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We’ve all heard it a million times… “Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day.” Or “Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper.” But how many of us actually do eat breakfast before rushing out the door each morning? I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a breakfast person and I never really have been. I like to drink my breakfast- coffee, lattes, chai tea, hot chocolate, you name it. This is because I would rather get a little extra sleep than even make a bowl of cereal in the morning! I love breakfast food and will often eat it for lunch and dinner, but there is just something about eating first thing in the morning that I have never liked. That being said, this post is just as much for me as it is for all of you. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to start eating breakfast. I did a bit of research and compiled what I think are the Top 10 Reasons to Eat Breakfast along with my list of 10 Suggested Quick Breakfast Ideas that I am going to start eating in the mornings. I hope that this post inspires you (and me!) to start 2009 off right and start eating breakfast!

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Breakfast

  1. Eating breakfast makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight and commit to a diet and exercise plan that works. It has been proven that people who eat breakfast have higher energy levels and are more likely to partake in physical activity than people who don’t eat breakfast.
  2. After 10-12 hours since eating dinner the night before, breakfast replenishes your sugar levels. Eating a healthy breakfast gives your body enough nutrients to fuel your body for hours.
  3. According to the American Heart Institution, people who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to develop diabetes than those that bypass breakfast.
  4. Skipping breakfast makes you significantly less mentally and physically competent during the day. It has also been proven that eating breakfast increases concentration levels.
  5. Eating a larger meal in the morning and a smaller meal at night raises your daily energy levels.
  6. People who eat breakfast take in more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and less fat and cholesterol than those who don’t eat breakfast.
  7. Eating breakfast improves your mood- people who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to be irritable, grumpy, sad, and tired.  And who wants to be around you when you possess those characteristics?
  8. People who eat breakfast are less stressed than those that don’t eat breakfast. In the time that you spend eating breakfast, you can relax and plan your day.
  9. People who skip breakfast are more likely to eat more calories throughout the day and binge at night. I am definitely known to do this!
  10. My favorite reason- Eating breakfast can raise your metabolism by as much as 10 percent. We all know that as we get older, our metabolisms slow down. What’s a better way to fight back against this? 🙂

Top 10 Suggested Breakfast Ideas

Don’t have time to make toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon in the morning? Not many of us do. Eating healthy is all about planning in advance. I’ve put together ten breakfast ideas that sound appealing to me and hopefully they will to you too! What I would suggest is to keep several of these ideas (or any other of your favorite breakfast ideas) in your house or office so that you have choices to pick from in the morning. Here are my breakfast ideas to try to ensure that you start your day on the right track.

  1. Oatmeal- The Quaker Oats individual sized packets offer so many flavors that I’m sure even the pickiest eater could find one that appeals to them. Make this at home or at the office by mixing in a bowl with hot water. Toss in some raisins or sliced banana for some extra nutrients.
  2. Cereal- Combine 1 cup of your favorite cereal with 1 cup of milk. Add fruit for some extra fiber and nutrients. I love cereal and will often eat it as a snack too. Keeping a variety of cereals in the cupboard means you won’t get bored of eating the same kind every day.
  3. Breakfast/Protein Bar and a Banana- Once again, the flavor possibilities with so many different kind of bars are endless. Peanut Butter and Banana is a favorite combination of mine, so I like to pick bars with peanut butter in them.
  4. Smoothies- You can make these in advance and keep individual serving sizes in the fridge ready to take out the door with you. Ideas- Mixed Berry and Spinach Smoothie, Blueberry Protein Shake
  5. Muffins- Make these in advance also and grab one or two to go in the morning.  Ideas- Rise and Shine Raspberry Muffins, Best Ever Blueberry Muffins
  6. Toast or English Muffin with Peanut Butter and Sliced Banana
  7. Yogurt with Fruit and/or Granola- Don’t have time to make your own? I’ve seen these in the store that you can buy with the granola packaged separately on top and your just mix it in. Idea- Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
  8. Cottage Cheese and Fruit- Again, you can make these in advance and keep them pre-packaged in the fridge. To keep things interesting, put a different kind of fruit in each container- apples, strawberries, peaches, etc).
  9. Fruit cup- These can be made in advance as well. Combine several of your favorite types of fruit into individual Tupperware containers and stick them in the fridge.
  10. Carnation Instant Breakfast and a Banana- This is also one of my all time favorite snacks and I would often have this in the morning before rushing out the door for class in college. Now they sell these in Ready-to-Drink bottles and containers. With 21 vitamins and nutrients in one serving, what’s easier than that? Click here for Carnation Instant Breakfast recipe ideas.      

 

What do you like to eat for breakfast? Please share your favorite quick breakfast ideas with us!

 

Sources:

Lifespan, Breakfast: Are You a Champion?  

Quality Health, 10 Reasons to Eat Breakfast 

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IMGP3544Here is yet another fabulous recipe from the kitchen of Mom! This is one of my favorite dishes- I love the combination of the spinach, green onions, and cheeses. I’ve been craving it for awhile and since I had all of the ingredients in the fridge, what a better time than today to make it? 🙂 This is a delicious recipe that is light and healthy and that I guarantee all vegetarians and non-vegetarians too will love! You could have a variety of sides with this, chicken, rice, couscous, veggies… be creative! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil

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Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together thawed and squeezed dry spinach, green onions, cheeses, 2 eggs, salt, and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl (or measuring cup that pours), whisk together water, flour, and remaining two eggs until it is smooth.
  3. Line a small casserole dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Swirl it around so that the olive oil covers the entire bottom of the casserole dish.
  4. Add half of the flour/water/egg batter into the casseorole dish. This is where the measuring cup that pours comes in handy! 
  5. Spoon all of the cheese/spinach/green onion mixture  on top of the batter in the casserole dish. It may mix into the batter a bit, this is fine!  Add the rest of the batter on top of the cheese/spinach/green onion mixture .
  6. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until it turns golden brown on top and is bubbling on the sides.

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Serve with greek salad, couscous, or wild rice and your favorite veggies- I like to have broccoli with it!

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IMGP3506Mmmmmm muffins! I love all muffins, but blueberry and raspberry are my favorite. I had been craving muffins for the past few days and had some extra time on Saturday before I went to work, so I decided to make some! I had frozen blueberries in the freezer and everything else in the panty, so I didn’t even need to go to the store! I used the same recipe that I use for my raspberry muffins but just substituted blueberries for the raspberries- really you could swap any kind of fruit in, just making sure to keep the quantity of it consistent. 

Why eat blueberries? Blueberries are a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin b6, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Blueberries also contain dietary fiber, antioxidants, and have many potential anti-disease effects.  These muffins are a great way to add more blueberries into your diet!

Makes: 18 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package frozen blueberries, thawed (about 2 cups)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare muffin tins by placing paper cups in them.
  3. Combine wet ingredients (excluding blueberries) in a large mixing bowl and mix together.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and then gradually add this mixture into wet ingredients. Mix together by hand or using an electric or hand mixer. Add the blueberries in at the very end and fold in with a wooden spoon. 
  5. Spoon heaping amounts of batter into the muffin cups to about 2/3 of the way full. I like my muffins big, so I fill them almost to the top!
  6. Place muffin pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through, testing with a toothpick.

Let muffins cool for at least 15 minutes before digging into them.  Spread with butter and enjoy!

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IMGP3481I love love love yogurt shakes! Lately I have been drinking them a lot because they are great to have when I am on the go. All you have to do is shake it up and then drink up! My grocery store sells a brand called of yogurt shakes called Lucerne. They have so many flavors to choose from- strawberry, raspberry, peach, mixed berry, and a few other kinds. You can get the light or original version. I prefer the light version- they have only 130 calories, 0g of fat, 10mg of cholesterol, 140mg of sodium, 440mg of potassium, 25g of carbohydrates, 6g of fiber, 15g of sugar, and 10g of protein!

These shakes also provide tons of vitamins and nutrients- 25% of your daily Vitamin A, 30% of your daily Calcium, 30% of your daily Vitamin C, 25% of your daily Iron, 25% of your daily Vitamin D, 25% of your daily Vitamin E, 30% of your daily Thiamine, 45% of your daily Riboflavin, 25% of your daily Niacin, 25% of your daily Vitamin B6, 25% of your daily Folic Acid, 25% of your daily Vitamin B12, 35% of your daily Phosphorus, 25% of your daily Magnesium, 25% of your daily Zinc, 25% of your daily Iodine, 25% of your daily Biotin, and 25% of your daily Pantholenic Acid.

Drink a shake for a quick and healthy snack, or pair one with a banana or your favorite fruit for a light and satisfying breakfast.If your grocery store doesn’t sell Lucerne shakes, I’m sure they have other yummy ones you can try!

Note: My Safeway store sells these for 10 for $10! What a great deal! I can’t see yogurt shakes being any more than $2 at other stores… if you find anything cheaper or more expensive, definitely let me know!

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