Quick, Nutritious Breakfasts That Will Fit Your Family’s Dietary Needs

(Fill in the blank): Breakfast is the most ________ meal of the day. Of course you know the answer! Maybe you’re still rushing to get yourself, the dog, the spouse, and the kids out of the house in the morning—yet you had good intentions of feeding everyone properly.

Here are 3 quick-to-make, protein-rich breakfast recipes that cover you and your family’s dietary needs. One is low-sugar, another low-fat, and another low-carb. Now all your bases are covered. Check ‘em out…

Low-Fat Banana Cocoa Smoothie

This is a simple recipe with a rich taste that also provides a wealth of protein, potassium, and magnesium. The caffeine content is just enough to give you a kick-start without the shakes. Skip the time or money used on a cup of coffee and feed yourselves this satisfying breakfast smoothie.

In a blender add:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 ounces of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs

Add ice and blend. Now you’ve got yourself a drink with very little fat (and it’s the good kind!), a bunch of protein, potassium to lower your water retention, and magnesium to boost your metabolism. Bottoms up!

Low-Sugar Blueberry Buckcakes

Mixing the ingredients should take five minutes and with a hot griddle waiting, each pancake only needs one minute of heat on each side. You could, conceivably, have this delicious, protein-packed, low-sugar breakfast ready to eat in under 10 minutes.

In a bowl, drop in:

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered Stevia extract (or @ 6 drops of liquid Stevia)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

In a separate little bowl beat together:

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk of your choice mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice to create acidity)

Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients bowl. Stir briefly. It will be lumpy. Add in ¾ cup of blueberries and fold in gently. If mixture is way too thick, toss in a tiny bit of water and continue to mix.

Place dabs of the mix onto the hot pan/griddle, flattening with a spatula. Flip them over to the other side when cakes are bubbling and the sides begin to brown. Remove from pan, cool briefly, and they are ready to devour!

Low-Carb Sun-Dried and Feta Omelet

This is a delicious, way to fill your belly with healthy ingredients while keeping carbs to a minimum.

In a bowl whisk together:

  • 2 egg whites and 1 egg (with yolk)
  • sprinkle in a ¼ tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh herbs- oregano would be delish
  • Butter your nonstick frying/omelet pan. Pour in egg mixture and heat until it “sets”.
  • Crumble 1 ounce of Feta cheese over the eggs
  • Place a few sun-dried tomatoes over the cheese.
  • Fold the egg in half, pressing down with spatula. Remove from skillet and enjoy!

Supercharge Your Smoothies With Our Ultimate Superfoods List

It’s difficult to sift through the expert information available, especially when it comes to healthy food. One source tells us to avoid fat at all costs, while another encourages us to add cream to our coffee with abandon.

Smoothies aren’t a new thing, but they’re consistently at the forefront of healthy eating trends, and they’re often credited with almost magical properties.

Are Smoothies Healthy?

 

Like most questions, there’s no simple answer to this one. A smoothie can only be as healthy as the ingredients you put into it. There’s a general assumption that anything that contains fruit must be good for you, but it’s not that straightforward.

Sugar is a huge buzz word right now, with experts warning of the dangers of hidden sugar in processed foods. You might feel virtuous as you knock back your freshly-made fruity concoction, but have you ever thought about how much sugar you’re consuming?

Your smoothie doesn’t feel like a processed food, but in reality, whether the blending has been done by you or by someone else, it’s still fruit that’s been altered from its original form.

That said, superfoods are on everyone’s radar at the moment. Whether you’re looking for the elixir of youth, or a boost to your flagging libido, there will be a superfood that claims to be able to help.

Only you can decide whether or not you believe the hype surrounding these foods, mainstream research hasn’t yet backed up most of the claims. If you’re looking to make your breakfast smoothie as beneficial as possible, then try adding something from our superfoods list.

Superfoods for super smoothies

 

  • Leafy Greens: USDA recommendations suggest that we should eat two or three cups of green leafy vegetables each week. They’re packed full of calcium, magnesium and carotenoid antioxidants. The idea of a green smoothie might conjure up images of holding your nose and forcing down a murky green-brown sludge, but in reality, it’s amazing how easy it is to make leafy greens disappear into a berry smoothie.
  • Seeds: Healthy food fans have recognised the benefits of seeds for a long time. Flax, chia, hemp and other seeds are touted as having amazing health benefits. They’re a good source of the healthy fats we’re encouraged to consume, they contain fibre and protein, and, again, those lovely antioxidants. A handful of seeds in your morning smoothie might also help you to feel fuller for longer, beating the mid-morning munchies.
  • Cacao Nibs: Yet more antioxidants, and a delicious chocolatey flavour, what’s not to like? Dark chocolate is known to have health benefits, but raw food fans know that cacao nibs take it to the next level. Mountains of fibre, an excellent source of magnesium, and flavonoids that will boost your cardiovascular health.
  • Coconut Oil: This seems to pop up everywhere at the moment. We’re back to the whole healthy fats thing again. Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat available to us, and research shows that it is high in medium chain triglycerides, which are rapidly used as fuel rather than being stored as fat.
  • Cactus: Yet more of those antioxidants, and the added bonus of watching your partner’s face when you mention that you’re drinking a cactus smoothie. High fibre, low calories and full of vitamins A and C.
  • Spirulina: Yes, it’s algae. It sounds vile, and eating a spoonful of this green powder isn’t likely to have you clamouring for more. Throw it into a green smoothie though, and you won’t even notice it’s there.Claimed spirulina benefits include helping development of good gut bacteria – essential for fending of candida infections, and normalising cholesterol levels.
  • Acai Berry: Another berry, with similar benefits to goji berries. Claims for acai berries range from weight loss to improved sexual performance. The mainstream jury is still out on this one, there hasn’t been much research to support the various claims.It’s generally accepted though, that fruits and berries form part of a healthy diet, making acai berries a worthwhile element to include in your smoothies.

Looking For More Smoothie Superfood Goodness?

 

Skinny Ms has a seven-superfood smoothie recipe that includes green tea for added benefits.
Women’s Health magazine has lots of different smoothie recipes, so you’re sure to find something that appeals.
Mercola.com is a popular source for all kinds of natural health information, and their Super Boost Power Smoothie is packed full of superfoods.

 

For more great information about health and wellness, check out GetThrive.com

 

 

Top Foods With More Sugar Than a Donut

Whether you are trying to lose weight or you just want to limit the sugar, there are foods out there littered with the sweet stuff – and you may be surprised at how many “healthy” products have more sugar than your average donut.

The average person worldwide consumes over 70 grams of sugar per day, which is the equivalent of about 17 teaspoons. Most individuals do not even realize they are consuming so much sugar, because it is added into everyday products that most would assume don’t contain any additives.

Which Foods Have More Sugar Than a Donut?

You may be surprised at what foods you are eating have more sugar than a donut or even a piece of chocolate. Just some of those foods include:

1. Coffee Lattes – If you happen to stop at your local coffee shop in the morning for a frozen latte or hot cup, you may not realize how much sugar is in it. For example, a Starbucks Grande Latte has 17 grams of sugar.

2. Health Bars – You eat these bars to give you a pick-me-up or even hold you over between meals, but have you ever looked to see how much sugar is in them? A Luna Bar, one that is supposed to be healthy, contains 11 grams of sugar per bar.

3. Sub Sandwiches – If you choose to get a sandwich when eating out, choose your meats wisely. The Subway Sweet Onion Teriyaki contains 17 grams of sugar per six-inch sub.

4. Health Waters – Those healthy waters full of vitamins and electrolytes taste great for a reason: they’re full of sugar. Vitamin Water brand contains 33 grams of sugar per 20 ounce bottle.

5. Orange Juice – Even those brands that claim they are “Fresh Squeezed” still contain extra sugar. Tropicana’s orange juice will give you about 22 grams of sugar per 8-ounce glass.

6. Superfood Smoothie Drinks – Those superfood drinks that people use for cleansing and diets and just a boost of vitamins have tons of sugar. Odwalla’s Superfood Smoothie has 50 grams of sugar per 12-ounce bottle!

Skip the sugars. You can see where all of the sugar is coming from in your diet just by reading the label. If you see a high number of grams, put it down and try something else. While sugar occurs naturally in products (like fruits), it still doesn’t account for the numbers listed on the products above. Learn more ways you can live healthy on Thrive today.

Too Busy to Keep up with Greens? Here’s a Smoothie Sure to Satisfy

Getting bored or fickle with your plant-based diet? Do you sometimes look in the fridge or pantry and nothing looks enticing? Perhaps it’s time to mix-it-up a bit. There’s an outstanding green smoothie that’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s a 10-minute prep and blend, and promises to delight in flavor and nutritional satisfaction.

New York Times bestselling author Angela Liddon has invented 100’s of vegan recipes, but there’s one kitchen sink-type drink full of veggies that promises to keep you feeling sated for hours. Its ingredients were chosen specifically by Liddon to create a perfect shake; it doesn’t include bananas, which is one reason why if you make a large batch, it will last for an entire day. She calls it the “All Day Glow Green Smoothie.” And glow you will.

She describes the flavor as “refreshing, tangy, and lightly sweet.” Included in the recipe is: fresh turmeric (found at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods), which is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever; fresh cilantro beneficial for detoxifying; fresh parsley, an antioxidant containing vitamin K; red leaf lettuce containing iron and fiber; lemon, an antibacterial high in vitamin C; avocado for the good fat; and mango containing vitamin A and C along with prebiotic dietary fiber.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) coconut water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mango juice (I love Happy Planet Organic Mango juice)
  • 2 large (400 g total) Granny Smith apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (70 g) packed red leaf lettuce or romaine
  • 2/3 cup (18 g) loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup (15 g) packed fresh cilantro leaves OR ¼ cup of fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) packed avocado
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 small, pinky-sized pieces (12 g total) peeled fresh turmeric
  • 5 to 6 large ice cubes, or as needed

Directions:

  1. Add the coconut water and mango juice into a (64-ounce) high-speed blender. (If your blender is on the small side, you may want to make a half-batch.)
  2. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high until super smooth. If you have a Vitamix, use the tamper stick to get things moving. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired. If it’s too tart, feel free to add a bit of liquid sweetener.
  3. Serve and enjoy! Place any leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I love to enjoy half in the morning, and the other half in the afternoon.

Mental Health Improved With 2 Servings of Produce Daily

Fruits and vegetables already top the charts for most beneficial foods for physical health. A new study provides yet another reason to indulge in produce daily. Just two servings, even over the course of only two weeks, reveal an increase in psychological well-being.

What’s Suggested

The U.S. dietary pyramid guideline recommends a total of seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily for a young adult. It sounds overwhelming, but really, one fruit serving can be an apple or banana, And, a serving of veggies could be a cup of raw spinach or a few baby carrots. Having a salad and a smoothie in one day more than covers the suggested quota of produce. Thinking of it in those terms, it doesn’t seem too difficult to accomplish, correct?

How it’s Working

So how many people actually follow the recommendation? According to researchers from the CDC, only one in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables. California has the most produce eaters, and even then, only 13% of Californians eat enough veggies.

Studies show that young adults, especially, are least likely to gravitate towards fruits and vegetables. In most cases, even when given vouchers for free produce, those between the ages of 18 and 25 will not opt for those foods. However, when directly providing the produce, the younger set will eat the items—and the results show signs of improved wellbeing.

Happier Young Adults

A recent study published in a current edition of the journal PLOS ONE, explains the many mental benefits from eating fruits and vegetables. Their research included over 170 males and females between the ages of 18 and 25. Those who consumed “an extra two servings of produce a day (for 14 days), reported an increase in psychological well-being.”

Evidence is also pointing to a decrease in depression and anxiety in those who eat a significant amount of veggies and fruits. This particular study reports that higher consumption of produce correlates to an increase in happiness and greater life satisfaction.

Even over just two weeks (which is a relatively short amount of time) the young adults in the higher-eating produce group reported additional mental benefits. Besides feeling “happier”, they expressed a sense of greater energy and vitality, along with improved levels of motivation.

What’s Next?

It sounds so simple to say, “If you eat your veggies, you’ll be a happier person.” Perhaps because it’s difficult to believe? We have veered so far away from ingesting what is natural to our bodies. Some experts believe there needs to be a culture shift.

Instead of cracking open a bag of chips, grab an apple. It’s much more nutritious and actually, costs less. It’s a process that takes time and practice. We must retrain ourselves to treat our bodies nutritionally. If you had the choice to eat a carrot and feel alert, or eat a bag of Doritos and feel (fill in the blank), which would you choose?

Check out GetThrive for the latest updates on health, nutrition, and wellbeing.

Sources:

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171206

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2000/document/build.htm

https://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/centers-for-disease-control-news-120/only-1-in-10-americans-eats-enough-fruits-and-veggies-cdc-701213.html

 

 

7 Smoothie Recipes to Get You in Gear

Smoothies are a great way to pack lots of nutrients into one frosty drink. The key, however, is to prepare your smoothie with the healthiest ingredients, all while creating the yummiest flavor. Here are some recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and will boost your booty into high gear.

Main Smoothie Staples

There are a few categories of ingredients you’ll want to add to most or all of your smoothies. They are: protein, fiber, good fat, and fresh produce

Here are some examples. You can derive protein from: protein powder (pea protein has no dairy or soy); nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia); good fats (coconut or flaxseed oil, avocado, almond butter), fiber (berries, carrots, squash, pumpkin), and greens (spinach, kale, chard, basil).

Feel free to mix and match within the food groups and improvise with the recipes.

Don’t skip the good fats thinking that will help your diet. You need the good fats to help you absorb all the nutrients in the powders and the whole foods. It’s the nutrients that boost your metabolism and actually help you lose weight and maintain optimum health.

The biggest detriment to store-bought smoothies is their sugar content. When making them at home, use stevia or honey if you feel you need to add more sweetness. These recipes, however, should be perfectly adequate without any type of sweetening additive. Toss all the ingredients in the blender (adding ice is optional) and tada! Your “get in gear” smoothie will appear.

APPLE PIE IN THE SKY SMOOTHIE

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ minced green apple
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon almond butter
8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

LIGHTING UP THE BLACK FOREST

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/3 cup pitted dark cherries
1/3 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon organic unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate almond milk

 

PUNCH IT UP PINA COLADA

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces original or vanilla unsweetened coconut milk

 

JUMPIN’ FOR ALMOND JOY

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces vanilla or chocolate unsweetened almond milk

 

PERKY PINK LADY

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup raspberries
1/3 cup strawberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
splash of unsweetened cranberry juice
8 ounces unsweetened plain or vanilla coconut milk

 

GREEN GO-GETTER

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
½ cup chopped spinach
pinch of fresh basil leaves
pinch of wheat grass
½ ripe avocado
½ minced green apple
8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

SOCK IT TO ME CINNAMON

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut oil
8 ounces plain unsweetened almond milk

 

Any of these smoothies can replace one of your three main meals of the day. A suggested dietary habit can include one smoothie daily along with fresh, whole foods for snacks and other meals. For additional recipes, up-to-date food recommendations, and best health practices for you and your family, check out www.GetThrive.com

Alkaline Your Gut with a Berry Smoothie

Does your belly burn, especially after eating? A berry smoothie may just be the meal your gut needs to help it heal. Here’s some info (and recipe ideas) that can replace those antacids you’ve been taking.

Berry Smoothie Yummy, and Good for the Tummy!

Fruit, specifically berries, promote balance in our gut. With the ingestion of processed foods, fatty meats, and refined grains, our digestive system can become overly acidic. Raw fruits and veggies help to re-establish an alkaline state.

Why Alkaline? Why Smoothies?

An alkaline environment in the gut has been shown to provide many excellent health benefits. First off, that constant burning or gassy sensation will eventually disappear. Your metabolism will increase, giving you lots of energy and help you lose weight if that’s what you want. Your immune system will also strengthen. Eating berries are part of the process, and putting them into your smoothie is easy and can work wonders.

Healthiest Berries Around

Nutritious berries grow all around the world. Blackberries, for example, can grow wild in your backyard. But the Goji berry, for instance, is from Tibet and Nepal. They are both part of a list of the healthiest berries you can find in your garden or at a market that sells fresh produce. Others are:

  • Acai berry (from Brazil – extremely high in antioxidants; ten times more than grapes)
  • Blueberry (considered one of the healthiest because they’re packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and other nutrients.)
  • Strawberry (an excellent source of potassium, fiber, many B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iodine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and copper.)
  • Cherries (contain melatonin, a natural chemical that aids with healthy sleep patterns)

Using Berries in a Smoothie

Think of your fruits and vegetables as your base. If you really want to help your gut and alkaline your system, for fruits only use only berries, lemon, or green apples. Others are too acidic. The best vegetables to include are the leafy greens like spinach, kale, and even wheatgrass.

Other Additions to Create a Delicious, Effective Smoothie

Sure you can add ice cream, candied pecans, or sweetened fruit juice—but that defeats the purpose of keeping it “healthy.” If your intent is to make a berry smoothie work to your tummy’s advantage, then there are other items you can add that are more beneficial. Some are:

  • Protein powder made from a pea protein base; no whey or soy; no artificial sweeteners or sugar added. Stevia is a natural sweetener that is OK if added in small amounts
  • Greens powder supplement; same rules apply in the ingredients as in the protein powder
  • Seeds: Chia, flaxseed, millet, pepita (pumpkin)
  • Good fats: peanut or almond butter, avocado
  • Liquids: Almond or coconut milk, water, lemon juice (to detoxify and as a diuretic)
  • Yogurt, Greek or a probiotic powder

Putting Your Berry Smoothie Together

Making smoothies with berries and incorporating some of the above ingredients will add protein and Omega 3s. Fresh fruits and veggies are easily digestible, allowing your metabolism to soar. Adding yogurt gives the drink a great texture and also provides probiotics, which aid in digestion. Here are some recipe ideas:

#1- 1 cup Strawberries, ½ cup almond milk, 1 tbsp. Flaxseed oil, 1 ½ scoops vanilla pea-protein powder, handful of spinach, 2 basil leaves, squeeze of lemon juice, 4 ice cubes, and blend

#2- ½ cup Acai berry puree, ½ cup coconut milk, 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil, 1 ½ scoops chocolate pea-protein powder, a pinch of chia seeds, a handful of kale; a squeeze of lemon juice, 4 ice cubes, and blend

#3- 1 1/2 cup mixed blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, 2 tblsp. Plain Greek yogurt, dash of cinnamon, 2 sprigs mint, 1 ½ scoops of pea-protein powder, 1 tablsp. Almond butter, ½ cup almond milk, 4 ice cubes and blend.

As you can see, you can mix and match a wealth of healthy ingredients to make your alkaline berry smoothie. Try having two each day and then eat fish or lean meats and other veggies at your sit-down meal of the day. In no time, your gut will thank you. For other healthy food tips, check out www.GetThrive.com

Turmeric – How to Fight off Cancer, Alzheimer’s and More

Turmeric has been used medicinally for centuries and has been shown to help ward off cancer, Alzheimer’s , and a number of other human diseases.

The Root Details

Turmeric is a spice (harvested from a root) and contains a compound called curcumin. It’s been long used in Ayurvedic medicine and is now more widely accepted as a natural anti-inflammatory. Most diseases are caused or aggravated by inflammation. Using turmeric can assist in reducing cancerous tumors as well as shrinking inflammation in the brain of Alzheimer patients.

Hundreds of years ago curcumin was used to ward off Small Pox. Today there is a lot of experimentation using turmeric to help with gas-relief and bloating, getting restful sleep, improving mood, and even pain relief for those with rheumatoid arthritis. You can take it in a supplement form, sprinkled as a spice, or created into a paste.

Adding a Little Spice

You can readily add it to most foods and drinks. It won’t vastly change the flavor, but it will definitely alter the color. This spice is a bright yellowish-orange and can stain, so take heed if you don’t want your sink, counters, or clothes dyed. (It will wash out, eventually.)

Another thing to keep in mind is that the body doesn’t fully absorb the curcumin in turmeric without help.

You should use turmeric in conjunction with fats or black pepper to increase it’s bioavailability.  Good fat choices would be coconut, almond, or olive oils, or avocados.

Or, you can invest in your health by taking a daily supplement. There are many brands on the market, but you’ll want to be sure you choose a reliable, quality product.


Food and Drink

Although turmeric is a spice, it doesn’t make foods taste very different or hot (as in spicy.) So, don’t be afraid to sprinkle a teaspoon on top of your fresh salad. Many people sauté their veggies in olive oil with a little garlic and turmeric. Cooks and chefs even add it to potatoes, eggs, rice, and quinoa.

Lots of folks toss a dash of turmeric into their favorite smoothie. Another popular way to add the spice into a drink is to make “Golden Milk.” Golden milk is an ancient medicinal remedy to aid in immunity boosting and getting a good night’s sleep. It’s made with a turmeric paste added into warm milk with about a half-teaspoon of coconut oil included at the end. Many toss in a pinch of vanilla, cinnamon, or ginger, making it a flavorful, relaxing beverage before bed.

 

Pains and Sprains

A turmeric paste can be applied to the body to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Some homeopaths suggest taking two tablespoons of turmeric, one tablespoon of lime juice, and a few drops of water. Stir until it makes a thick paste. Rub the mixture directly onto the affected area (no open wounds!) and then wrap with a cloth bandage. Leave on for a half hour. Your skin will be yellow, but the swelling should decrease.

Teeth whitening has also been touted as another health advantage using turmeric. Most importantly, however, studies are revealing the ability of turmeric to keep inflammation at bay. This is an essential element in disease reversal, making this spice one worth tossing into the mix. Perhaps you should consider adding turmeric to your collection today!

To read about more healthy options, check out www.GetThrive.com.