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Posts Tagged omega-3

The Best Banana Nut Muffin…EVER

Best Banana Nut Bread

This recipe is hands down one of the best banana nut bread recipes out there. Personally, I prefer making muffins to the traditional loafs. In my opinion muffins are prettier than slices of bread and trick me into thinking I am eating something more substantial. I highly recommend making extra and freezing some in individual baggies for snacks or breakfast on the go. Trust me, these won’t last long 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ c almond butter
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ c chopped walnuts

Extras:

  • ¼ c-½ c Enjoy Life chocolate mini chips (they are dairy, nut, gluten and soy free!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or use muffin liners, set aside.
  2. In the medium-large bowl combine bananas, maple syrup, vanilla, almond butter and coconut oil and mix until well combined on medium speed with an electric mixer. When mixture is smooth and creamy add in eggs, one at a time, mix on medium speed until combined.
  3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix again until just combined. Gently fold in walnuts and chocolate chips if using.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Fats:

Per muffin, makes 12 servings

Calories 126

Protein 3.7g

Fat 6.8g

Carbohydrate 14.5g

Fiber 3.5g

Sugar 6.9g

Acai Super Smoothie

acai smoothie

Smoothies are the ultimate meal. They are fantastically easy to make and can pack a powerful punch of nutrients. The Acai Super Smoothie contains antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as protein. It is wonderfully refreshing for summer and sure to keep you bikini ready!

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of unsweetened acai berry smoothie pack
  • 1 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1 c. blueberries
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 c. unsweetened almond milk, hemp milk or water
  • 2 sc. vanilla protein powder

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except for the protein powder, blend.
  2. Pulse in protein.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Photo cred: babble.com

Cherry Recovery Shake

 

Cherry Recovery Shake 2

Talk about a power shake! This post workout lifesaver is full of body repairing nutrients that are bound to get you on your feet in no time. As you know, exercise should be a part of your normal routine. But did you know supplying your muscles with ample nutrients is just as important? Do you even know what nutrients your muscles need?

We need to take in several minerals, amino acids, and vitamins in order to repair, recover and grow muscle tissue. If you are lacking in this department then you will not see the growth you want. Whether your goal is to define, shred, or build muscle tissue; your muscles need the same nutrients just in different quantities and times. But let’s not get too complex. Below are some of the required nutrients needed for muscle health and the good news is you can find them in this shake:

  • Cacao is full of magnesium, which plays a number of roles in the body. It is required for more than 325 enzymatic reactions. Some include: fat synthesis, protein and nucleic acids, neurological activity, muscular contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism. It is also necessary to make ATP, your body’s energy currency.
  • Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids as well as minerals and antioxidants. Increased omega-3 concentrations in the blood are associated with decreased levels of pro-inflammatory markers.
  • Cherries are full of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. Researchers believe that tart cherries’ antioxidants protect against attacks by exercise-induced free radicals, which can lead to painful inflammation. The anthocyanins (antioxidants responsible for red, purple or blue pigments in fruit/veggies) activate a molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.
  • Branched chained amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids: l-leucine, l-valine, and l-isoleucine. An essential amino acid (there are nine of them) is any amino acid that can’t be manufactured by the body naturally, meaning that they have to come from protein intake. BCAAs are the only amino acids metabolized inside of the muscle itself (all of the others are metabolized in the liver), and make up about 35% of muscle tissue. They are necessary for the development and maintenance of muscle tissue.
  • L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, that we obtain through food and we also make it internally. However, sometimes we need to supplement with L-glutamine since it is so widely used in the body and we often deplete our stores. L-glutamine is needed for brain, digestive and immune health as well as removing waste products from the bloodstream. L-glutamine also plays a major role in helping your muscles repair themselves after stress as it brings nitrogen to your muscles to stimulate muscle repair. 
  • Oats help to replenish muscle glycogen, your muscles main energy source. During hard bouts of exercise our muscles deplete glycogen so it is critical to replenish the source for your next workout. Eating quickly digested carbohydrates spikes insulin and gets amino acids into your cells (which is what you want). Oats have fiber, minerals, and vitamins a nice super food!
  • Your muscles are primarily made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. During exercise, you tear down your muscles so that they can become bigger and stronger. This happens in a process called muscle protein synthesis. In order for protein synthesis to occur, you need protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. tart cherry juice, organicCherry Recovery Sake
  • ½ c. frozen dark cherries, organic
  • 1 T cacao
  • 1 scoop branched chained amino acids
  • 1 scoop glutamine or 5g
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • ¼ c. quick oats or oat bran, GF
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 sc. protein

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients except protein. Pulse in protein.
  2. Sip slowly and enjoy.

Banana Nut Cookie

It is as easy as 1-2-3-4! With only four ingredients you can whip up a healthy batch of cookies in no time at all.

 Banana Nut Cookie

Banana Nut Cookies

 

  • Bananas + Oats (GF) + Walnuts + Cinnamon 

Mash 2 large overripe bananas in a bowl. Add 1 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and tsp of cinnamon. With a melon baller drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350°. Makes 1 dozen cookies.

Nutrition Facts:
(per cookie)
Calories: 71
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 11g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 2g

Key Lime Pie Smoothie

I was delighted to see this recipe in the January edition of Oxygen Magazine. This zesty recipe took my mind away from the dreary SF weather and into the tropics. The combo of healthy fat and antioxidants makes this shake a superfood. Not only will the healthy fat keep you satiated but it will also help keep your body healthy from the inside out. Bonus: avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps the body repair on a cellular level, boost the immune system and detoxify toxins. You might think avocado is a nasty edition but surprisingly it adds a silky texture. Enjoy this shake for breakfast to get your day started with your best foot forward.

key-lime-shake-1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond or hemp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 handful of ice cubes
  • optional: 1-2 tbsp of xylitol

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender, leaving out the whey protein powder, and blend thoroughly.
  2. Pulse in whey protein.
Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 350
Total Fats: 21 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 35 mg
Sodium: 230 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 22 g
Dietary Fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 5 g
Protein: 25 g
Iron: 2 mg

Easy Salmon Dinner

Easy Salmon Dinner

Dinner tonight was nutritious, delicious and the best part is, it was expeditious! I came across some wild, Alaskan pole caught Coho salmon from Whole Foods on sale. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, this is the best choice for salmon. It is quite difficult selecting seafood that is considered safe and with low levels of dangerous toxins, like mercury. I often look to the Seafood Watch for help. This clever little guide is available online, in a printout or as an app for your smart phone.

Quick and Easy Dinner

My Spiced Salmon recipe only takes 6-8 minutes and is absolutely delicious. As a side I opted with salad (because I had some in my fridge) and mashed yams. Tip: keep a mixed salad sans dressing in your fridge so you can make time for some greens during your busy workweek. Adding dressing right before munching will keep your greens from wilting.

The mashed yams were almost as easy as the salmon to make. First, I scrubbed them clean, then boiled them for about 8 minutes or until tender. Next, I mashed the cooked yams using a handheld mixer (if you don’t have one, a fork works just as well). I suggest leaving the skin on for added vitamins, fiber and texture. To flavor the yams I added a little honey and a pinch of sea salt. For sweeter yams, try cinnamon and a tad of nutmeg.

I must say, dinner was a home-run tonight!

Salmon

 

Holy salmon! This pink fish is quite amazing. Did you know salmon are born in fresh water then spend the majority of their lives navigating through the ocean to return to their birthplace to spawn? It’s no wonder why they are considered powerful brain food!

Nutritional Benefits

Salmon are the stars of the sea. They are an excellent source of protein, potassium, selenium and B12. Wild salmon may have more calories than other fish but that’s because they provide a whopping boost of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Per 3-½ ounce serving, there is 1,000 mg of EPA and 725 mg of DHA; a normal serving is 6-8 ounces.

Most of the health benefits of fish come from their omega-3 fatty acid content. Based on more than 2,000 scientific studies, at least 60 different health conditions can be prevented or treated with a higher omega-3 intake. The best known is heart disease. In fact, individuals whose diet contained high amounts of fish reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 47% compared to those who don’t consume fish.

What’s more, salmon and other cold-water fish have been shown beneficial in protecting against several disease such as, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, asthma, macular degeneration, and depression. Fish consumption also plays a role in reducing the risk of several cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, and lung.

How to Select and Store

According to the Seafood Watch guide, wild Alaskan salmon is your safest bet. It is one of the cleanest sources of fish, free from toxins and heavy metals. In the grocery store fresh fish should be displayed on clean metal, plastic or paper sheets on top of clean ice. Look for freshly cut fish that isn’t sitting in a pool of liquid. Try to plan your grocery trip so the meat/seafood counter is the last stop. When you get home, it is recommended to rinse and rewrap your fish, then place it on clean paper towels in a clean plastic bag or container and set it in the coldest area of the fridge.

Ways to Enjoy Salmon

  • Try my spiced salmon recipe, it’s super easy and delectable to the taste buds.
  • Make a salmon salad with: mix canned salmon with 1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise made with olive oil or low-fat organic olive oil version, chopped olives and celery. Add salmon mixture to a bed of lettuce, parsley, and bell peppers mixed with olive oil and vinegar.
  • Make a healthy version of lox with:
  1. Gluten free toast or a thin bagel, add a pat of butter, chevre (spreadable goat cheese), parsley then top with wild smoked salmon, add freshly ground pepper if desired ( or try fresh basil and a tomato slice).

References:

Bucher, H. C., P. Hengstler, C. Schindler, ad G. Meier. N-3 “Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in coronary HEart Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized controlled Trials.” Am J Med 2002; 112; 298-304.

Fernandez, E., L. Chatenoud, C. La Vecchia, et al. “Fish Consumption and Cancer Risk.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 70(1): 85-90.

Hu, F. B., L. Bronner, W. C. Willett, et al. Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women.” Journal of the American Medical Association 2002:287; 1815-1821.

 

Edible Sunscreen

Summer is here! As the temperature goes up, the amount of clothing we wear goes down. With increased sun exposure we need to protect our skin as much as we can. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. Protect your skin from within with these foods, but don’t forget your sunscreen!

Dark Chocolate– You read that right! A new study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology finds that eating antioxidant-rich dark chocolate can increase your skin’s natural UV protection. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidants that offer protection against UV rays and improve skin texture. The higher the percentage of cacao, the higher amount of antioxidants you’re getting. This isn’t permission to indulge in M&Ms or milk chocolate, as those varieties tend to be mostly sugar. Choose 65% or higher cacao and up to 1.5-2 ounces per day.

Green and Black Tea– Well known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, green tea may also help protect your skin from skin cancer. In a study published by The Journal of Nutrition, green tea polyphenols help protect against UV induced skin damage. Green tea consumption also helps keep skins elasticity while improving hydration. Antioxidant power decreases as the tea cools so be sure to drink it while its hot! Consume 3-6 cups daily for best results.

Orange Fruits– Carotenoids offer protection against skin and eye damage from the sun. Just as we put sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun, fruits and vegetables use color as their sunscreen. Rule of thumb: the deeper the hue the higher the antioxidant content. Good options: sweet potatoes, apricots and carrots.

Red Fruits– Lycopene, a carotenoid that gives red fruits and vegetables their hue, can help protect your skin from burning when exposed to the sun by up to 30%. According to a study done by the British Society for Investigative Dermatology, lycopene also helps neutralize free radicals that cause aging and counter act the effects of aging.

Green Leafy Veggies– According to the International Journal of Cancer, spinach, kale, broccoli sprouts and chard may reduce risk of squamous cell cancer, the second most common form of skin cancer, by fifty percent. Eat 3-5 servings a day for optimal health.

Omega-3s– These essential fatty acids reduce inflammation and can reduce your risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Omega-3s prevent cancer from growing by blocking the cells that nourish the cancer. Eat two servings a week of fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. These fish contain the highest amount of omega-3 EFA per serving. If you don’t like these then opt for flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds or a high quality omega-3 supplement.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12789176.
http://www.eblue.org/article/S0190-9622(01)15463-0/abstract.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma. American Academy of Dermatology. Link. Accessed November 1, 2010.

Rogers, HW, Weinstock, MA, Harris, AR, et al. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States, 2006. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):283-287.

Spiced Salmon

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for when you’re short on time.

Ready in 15 minutes
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 oz. fresh wild salmon
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • xvoo
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Dulse or kelp granules
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Turn on broiler.
  2. Rinse salmon, pat dry and set aside.
  3. Combine juice of ½ a lemon and about 1 tbsp xvoo in a bowl, whisk together. Drizzle over salmon, cover with spices then place skin down in a broiler pan.
  4. Place directly under heat for 4 minutes. Turn over for another 4 minutes. Remove and enjoy with your favorite greens!

Mint and Cherry Sorbet

It is officially spring, which means bathing suits and hot summer days are right around the corner. With only 3 grams of natural added sugars per serving, Mint and Cherry Sorbet is a treat that won’t sabotage your bikini-bod. Even more, chia seeds and cherries have anti-inflammatory properties to help fight against arthritis, heart disease and cancer. You have permission to dig in!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 package 10 oz. frozen dark cherries, thawed
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • ¼ cup peppermint
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp tart cherry juice concentrate
  • 1 tbsp honey

Directions:

  1. Grind chia seeds in an electric coffee grinder, set aside.
  2. Put cherries and mint into a food processor. Mix until smooth. While processor is still on, add chia seeds, tart cherry juice, vanilla and honey. Mix well.
  3. Put in a freezer safe container and freeze for about an hour.
  4. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size: ¼ cup
Calories: 73
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 0 mg
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 15 g
Protein: 1 g

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