Halved avocado

The Health Benefits of An Avocado A Day

According to the story of Adam and Eve, the corruption of the first couple occurs when the members eat an apple. For this, they are banished from the Garden of Eden. Eve is punished with the pain of childbirth, Adam receives a death oracle. That must have been some apple! Of course, the apple is an extremely praiseworthy fruit and one hopes it was worth the price Adam and Eve paid for having eaten it, but if the first humans were willing to risk lifelong punishment over an apple, one can only wonder what they would have been willing to risk if it had been an avocado.

It has been said that happiness is an avocado, and this may well be an absolute truth. After all, what else is actually good for you and tastes like creamy magical natural butter improved tenfold? You don’t need a reason to eat an avocado a day, but just in case you want to hear some, let’s look at a some of the health benefits of avocado.

Avocados Are Nutrient-Rich
Also known as the alligator pear, avocados contain 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, B5, B6, E, potassium, and folate. A single serving provides 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats, and, although the avocado has 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 of those come from fiber. This makes for 2 “net” carbs, qualifying avocados as low-carb. They are also sodium and cholesterol-free and low in saturated fats.

Avocados Lower Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels
Tests done on human participants reveal that avocados can significantly reduce cholesterol levels, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 22% and increasing HDL cholesterol by as much as 11%, while reducing blood triglycerides by as much as 20%. In addition, one such study showed that the inclusion of avocado in a low-fat diet lead to improvements in the all over cholesterol profile.

Woman presenting avocado

People Who Eat Avocados Are Healthier
According to an analysis of over 17,00 participants, people who ate avocados had a higher nutrient intake than those who did not. They were half as prone to metabolic syndrome, a well-known risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. Avocado eaters had a lower BMI, maintained lower body weights and had less belly fat from those who abstained.

Avocados Help You Absorb Nutrients
Some nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and K and antioxidants like carotenoids are fat soluble. That means that they need to be combined with fat in order for them to be moved them from the digestive tract and into the body. How can this be done? Studies show that including avocado or avocado oil in your meal can increase the absorption of antioxidants by 2.6 to 15 times.

Avocados Protect Your Eyes
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are vital nutrients for eye health and have been found in studies to significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Avocados Help You Lose Weight
A study was done involving two groups of people, one of which was instructed to eat a meal containing avocado, the other of which was not. Polling results showed the former group reporting 23% greater satisfaction of appetite and a 28% lowered desire to eat within the next 5 hours than the avocado deprived. Avocados are also low in carbs and high in fiber, two attributes commonly associated with general weight loss.

So, what are you waiting for? Unlock the guac! Let us know your favorite avocado recipes and your favorite ways to get in your daily avocado!

Woman enjoying meal

Stress Free Ways To Cut Calories

You know something is big when it gets its own nickname. When Jennifer Lopez became JLo, it was Illuminati confirmed. When Ben and Jennifer united to form Bennifer, the star power was undeniable, and when hunger joined anger to make hanger, you know it wasn’t just a figment of the imagination. Hanger is real. It even has its own meme.

Why do we get hangry? As time passes after you eat, your blood glucose level starts to drop and, if it falls fast enough, your brain perceives it as a life-threatening emergency. Hence the reason you flipped over your desk at work after you were told your lunch hour would be a bit late. So what do you do when you’re trying to cut calories, but want to maintain your cool while doing it? Relax, there are some stress-free ways to diet.

Guilt
If you find yourself going on a major guilt trip every time you sneak that extra cookie, you may have unrealistic goals. If your diet involves cutting your favorite food completely out of your menu or losing 5 pounds a month, you’ve set the bar too high and are giving yourself a greater chance of failure. Clinical psychologist Marlene Schwartz, PhD advises dieters to go easy on themselves. Focus on small goals that will increase your chance of success, like taking a walk during lunch time. According to Schwartz, “Research shows that the more you believe you can lose weight the more likely you are to actually do it.”

Stressed businesswoman

Stress
If your stress levels are through the roof, you might seek some support. A recent study conducted by Ashton University in England showed that dieters who did not have the social support of an organized group showed higher stress-hormone levels than those who belonged to an assigned weight-loss program.

While commercial programs, such as Weight Watchers can help lend a communal feeling to the dieting process. a John Hopkins University study showed that participation in church-based exercise and nutrition programs are just as likely to succeed. The friends you already have can be your biggest cheerleaders. According to Beth Casey Gold, RD, when recruiting your buddies, “emphasize how important it is to you to make these lifestyle changes, then offer specific examples of what kind of encouragement will help and what won’t.” Stress positive reinforcement over negative remarks for best results.

Anger
If you find yourself lashing out at the family, it may be due to a significant cut in carbs, a side effect known by experts as the “Atkin’s Attitude.” “Your body need carbs to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter in your brain that regulates mood, emotion, sleep, and appetite.” informs Judith Wurtman, PhD and director of Women’s Health at MIT. The quick anger fix? Grab a healthy high carb snack like popcorn or whole grain toast. Try to get at least 130 grams of carbs per day to maintain optimal brain function, according to the National Academy of Sciences’ Food and Nutrition Board.

 Temptation
In constructing your diet, focus on long-term changes, rather than short-term deprivation. If you commit to eating nothing but celery and carrots each day, you are probably dieting with an end in sight. Schwartz suggests that you, “gradually incorporate small changes that you’ll stick with for life. Try swapping one unhealthy food out for a healthier one rather than completely depriving yourself. You’ll be less likely to succumb to temptation.

How do you handle hanger? Let us know what works for you. We love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Potatoes

The Health Benefits of Potatoes

So you go to your favorite juice joint and order your lunchtime smoothie? What do you put in it? Almond milk, coconut milk, carrot juice, ginger? What about potato juice? “Potato juice,” you say, “is that even a thing?” And if it is, do you want it? After all, aren’t potatoes full of starch and carbohydrates? Last you heard, the only thing potatoes were good for is making fries, chips, and vodka. Well, prepare to have your mind blown!

Potato juice has a long history of being used as a remedy for everything from skin disorders to inflammation to cancer and is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients. Have a look at the endless benefits for yourself.

For Your Skin

Dark Circles
If dark circles under the eyes are one of your pet peeves, here’s potato juice to the rescue. Just soak some cotton balls in spud juice and place them under your eyes before you go to sleep. In a week, the dark circles should be things of the past.

Anti-Aging
Applying a face mask made with potato juice and curd is a great way to reduce fine lines and hydrate skin. Mix potato juice with olive oil to help eliminate dark circles and crow’s feet.

Blemishes
The anti-inflammatory properties in potato juice is an effective acne treatment. Apply directly to blemishes for best results.

Angular Cheilitis and Eczema
Angular cheilitis is a skin disorder which causes swelling and redness of the corners of the mouth. Potato juice is an anti-inflammatory that can help tone down lesions when applied to the affected area. Potato juice also contains vitamin B complex which can prevent vitamin B deficiency associated with this condition. Drinking potato juice can also be used to treat eczema, another common skin disorder.

For Your Hair

Hair Loss
If you want to speed up hair growth, mix potato juice with egg white and honey. Apply to hair and let it sit for two hours before rinsing with a mild shampoo and water.

Dry Hair
A combination of aloe vera and potato juice can restore the moisture to dry, fly-away hair.

Grey Hair
Use potato juice to rinse shampoo from your hair instead of water to darken gray hair and give it a radiant glow.

For Your Health

Detox
Another benefit of spud juice is its ability to flush toxins from the body. Toxin overload can break down the immune system. Drinking potato juice can ward off health problems caused by bacterial and fungal infection by detoxifying and boosting immune resistance.

Joint Pain and Arthritis
Potato juice’s ability to perform as an anti-inflammatory makes it a great remedy for gout, back pain, joint pain, and arthritis. Drink it before breakfast in the morning for optimal effect.

Weight Loss
Drink it twice daily to help you slim down–once in the morning on an empty stomach and again two or three hours before you hit the hay.

Digestion
Drink potato juice on a regular basis to improve digestion and thwart constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and indigestion. It is also known to have positive effects for those who suffer from GERD and can be used to treat peptic ulcers when combined with carrot juice.

What do you know about potato juice? Let us know how you get the most out of your spuds!

Peaches and Plums

Foods For Breast Health

We ladies sure seem to obsess about out breasts. We enlarge them, reduce them, push them up, plunge them down, stick adhesives on them, pad them, powder them, rouge them, pamper them and scent them with perfumes and after bath sprays. We even do exercises at the gym to keep them at their peak. But do we make sure they are getting proper nutrition? Maybe not.

We owe a lot to our breasts, and we know what can happen if we don’t take care of them, and usually that care entails a lot more than just picking the right bra. Cheryl L. Rock, Ph.D, RD, professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California says, “A woman can cut her chance of cancer by as much as two-thirds with good nutrition and weight management.” If you are concerned with the health of your breasts, here are some foods that might help you out with that.

Peaches and Plums
According to researchers at Texas A and M, peaches and plums have levels of antioxidants that pose a threat to the celebrated superfruits known as blueberries. The two p’s contain two varieties of polyphenols, antioxidants that may help to destroy breast cancer cells while leaving healthier cells intact.

Walnuts
Research in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal suggest that walnuts may help to impede the spread of breast cancer. Studies on mice found that the rate of tumor growth in walnut -eating mice was half of that in a group that was not fed walnuts. Experts believe that it is the anti-inflammatory properties in walnuts that give them the ability to fight tumors.

Broccoli
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound shown to reduce breast cancer stem cells in mice, according to the University of Michigan. Although it is unclear whether the amount found in broccoli is sufficient enough to have the same effect, make sure to get the most of it by eating broccoli raw or steaming or stir frying. Boiling can lower the level of sulforaphane.

Salmon
Fish oil supplements are known for their cancer fighting characteristics. Ten years of regular consumption can shrink risk the of ductal carcinoma, the most commonly found type of breast cancer. Omega-3 fats in fish oil prevent inflammation, a known contributor to breast cancer. However, if you eat about 8 ounces of fish like salmon daily, you can skip the supplements.

Coffee
Need another reason to go to Starbucks? A May 2011 study in Breast Cancer Research finds that drinking two twelve oz cups a day can lower great cancer risk. According to study author, Jingmei Li, Ph.D, “One possibility is that coffee’s antioxidants protects cells from damage that can lead to cancer.” However, these findings are not confirmed, so you may want to wait until you become a fixture at your local coffee house.

Beans
You know what they say about beans- the more you eat…. the more your risk of breast cancer decreases. A new report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing fiber intake can lower the likelihood of great cancer. The research found that eating 10 grams of fiber a day (about 1/2 cup of beans) decreases risk of breast cancer by 7%.

So the next time your spending money on your lovely assets, you may want to do it in the grocery store. Let us know what you’re doing to support your breast health. We love to hear it!

Mediterranean diet

Adopting A Mediterranean Diet

If you’ve ever wondered why Mediterraneans are so good looking, the answer is obviously the diet! Mediterraneans thrive on a delicious balance of fish and vegetables, cheese, and spices drenched in pure olive oil keeping their hair thick, eyes bright, bones straight, heart healthy, and skin unwrinkled. If you have been toying with the idea of adopting a Mediterranean diet, let’s examine what it will entail.

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
Why the Mediterranean diet? Research shows that the Mediterranean diet lowers heart disease and is associated with a lower level of bad cholesterol. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million adults showed that the diet reduces risk of heart failure and increases overall mortality. Those who eat a Mediterranean diet are at a lower risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and women who eat a diet including mixed nuts and olive oil may be less susceptible to breast cancer.

Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, and Nuts
If you travel to the Mediterranean, you will find no shortage of vegetables, fruit, rice, and pasta. Greek diets include very little red meat and an average of nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Grains are usually whole grains with few trans fats and the bread is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil, as opposed to trans fat, containing butter or margarine.

Although nuts are high in fat, most of it is not saturated, which means they are good fuel for your body, but excessive amounts can lead to weight gain. While nuts are a big part of the Mediterranean diet, experts recommend keeping your intake down to no more than a handful a day.

Healthy Fats
Olive oil constitutes the primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is a mono saturated fat, which is known to reduce bad cholesterol when used instead of saturated fats. Virgin and extra virgin olive oils are the least processed forms of oil and contain plant compounds with antioxidant properties.

Polyunsaturated fats and mono saturated fats, such as are found in canola oil and nuts, contain Omega -3 fatty acids which decreases blood clotting, lowers triglycerides, improves blood vessel health and regulates blood pressure. Fatty fish, including sardines, mackerels, albacore tuna, and salmon is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Wine
While many doctors are reluctant to include any form of alcohol in a healthy diet, wine has been showed to reduce the risk of heart disease in some studies. The Mediterranean diet recommends limiting wine intake to no more than 5 ounces a day for women, and no more than ten ounces for men under 65. Men over 65 should keep it down to five. Higher amounts can lead to liver failure or heart disease.

Eat healthy and be gorgeous! Let us know how you plan to do your Mediterranean diet in the New Year!

woman with junk food

Give Up These Dead Foods In 2017

“Dead” food is the newest title given to food that has had the life packaged, preserved, or cooked out of it, to the point where it has become sadly void of virtually all nutritional value. If you are interested in healthy eating, you will probably want to identify and avoid foods give this monicker.

What is Dead Food?
Dead food refers to processed food or food without nutrients. It is called dead because it has been refined to a point that it is bereft of minerals, vitamins, and fibers. However, dead food is in no way inedible. In fact, it is extremely tasty and easy to digest. Herein lies the problem. At least half of what we eat is “dead food” and its causing our bodies to store fat, which leads to inflammation. Inflammation is a prime source of diabetes, strokes, and cancer.

Fillers: Fillers are the items like white rice, bread, sugar, soft drinks, and chips, otherwise known as the staples of most American diets.
Processed Food: Anything preprepared, like frozen dinners, desserts, and snacks.
Fast Food: Almost anything you get at fast food chain restaurants.

What is Living Food?
Live food is raw, or uncooked food. It is considered alive because when food is cooked certain enzymes are denatured, or killed. Hence, raw food is food which still has working enzymes. Enzymes are responsible for doing all the work inside a cell. Denaturization usually occurs when food is heated over 105 degrees.

Dead Foods To Give Up In 2017

Energy Bars
Although energy bars are often promoted as health food, nutritionists more commonly think of them as candy bars with protein thrown in, which makes for poor taste and texture combined with refined sweeteners and preservatives. You are better off with an almond nut mixture.

Veggie Chips
More junk food in disguise! Veggie chips are a perfect example of good food gone bad. They are traditionally deep fried in oils and become denatured by light, oxidation, and heat. Stick to raw dried kale chips as a healthier alternative.

Agave Nectar
The name may sound natural, but the product is anything but. The chemical used for the manufacture of agave nectar is almost the same as the corn refiners used to make high-fructose corn syrup. Agave nectar goes through a chemical process that converts it into 70 percent pure fructose. Fructose is linked to fatty liver disease, obesity and has been known to break down collagen in the skin.

What are some “dead” foods you’re giving up for 2017? And what are you thinking of replacing them with? Let us know your take on the whole thing!

woman eating pizza

Tips For Avoiding Junk Food

Do you ever wonder how many people watched the movie “Supersize Me'” while eating a huge tub of movie popcorn and sipping a large soda? Do you ever wonder how many shook their heads at the follies of the habitual junk food eater while indulging in the very object of their scorn? We all know that practicing is a lot harder than preaching, but the ugly truth is that, if there is anything to be learned from “Supersize Me” it is this: junk food is bad for you. It is physically harmful and physiologically addictive. If you are fed up with being fed up, here are some tips for avoiding junk food.

1. Over 5? Put it down!
If you see more than five ingredients on a food label, leave it out of your shopping cart. The more ingredients a product contains, the greater the likelihood that it contains processed ingredients.

2. Tricolor
According to a 2012 Cornell University study, people have a preference for a plate of food featuring three different items of three different colors. Keep this in mind the next time you reach for a candy bar. Think more along the lines of fruit slices or mixed nuts. This way, you are getting a better balance of nutrients and a variety of tastes.

3. Make other plans
Does your daily schedule include a mid afternoon trip to the snack bar? If so, try to find yourself taking a healthy five minute walk at that time. You will soon find yourself forgetting all about that daily bag of gummies.

resveralife-tips-for-avoiding-junk-food-fruit-for-dessert
4. Fruit for Dessert
If you can’t get through the day without something sweet, no problem! Make a parfait with fruit and Greek yogurt or freeze some grapes for after dinner.

5. Overchew
Adam Melonas, founder of UNREAL candy says, “If you can make people chew more, they eat less.” When you’re picking food, take chew time into consideration. A nice crisp apple will keep your mouth busy for a while, whereas a whole banana can take under a minute to consume. If you’re looking to keep your mouth busy, the apple is a better choice.

6. Learn Gross Facts About Your Food
Ignorance is bliss! The more you know about processed food, the less likely you are to eat it. For example, frozen chicken breast get their “grill marks” from machines containing vegetable oil. Processed food like Kool Aid and breakfast sausage contain BHA, a preservative that Health and Human Services consider a carcinogen. The BBQ flavor in Baked Lays is made with milk and chicken powder and the vitamin D3 in yogurt is made from sheep’s grease.

woman eating healthy food from fridge
7. Keep the Good Stuff Close, keep the bad stuff out
Make sure to have the healthy foods where you can reach them; in the front of the fridge or on countertops. Be aware of foods that trigger junk food binges and don’t buy them.

If you are a junk food junkie, tell us about your struggle, or if you beat junk food, tell us how you did it. Remember, we love to hear all the facts!

woman stretching hands after waking up

Wake Up Without That Puffy Feeling

What does the term “Fat Monday” mean to you? In the New Orleans Mardis Gras, it is known as the Monday before Ash Wednesday marking the tradition of the New Orleans carnival king’s arrival. However, to those of us who devote our weekend to gluttony, Fat Monday has a very different, not so celebratory meaning. Is Saturday your cake and cookie night? Do you spend your Sunday afternoons trolling social media with a melting pint of Haagen Dazs? If so, you are probably all too familiar with Fat Mondays. However, Fat Mondays are ok; it’s when Fat Mondays become Fat Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays when you have to start to worry. When you start feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, there may be some simple mistakes you’re making.

1. You eat a late night dinner heavy on carbs and sugar
While a big dinner and dessert may feel like the perfect ending to a perfect day, it might not mean such a great morning after. Meals right before bed time force your body to concentrate on digesting food instead of getting a good night’s sleep. If you want some quality shut-eye, you’re better off eating a small serving of protein and swapping the mashed potatoes and fries for sweet potatoes. The complex carbohydrates and fiber in sweet potatoes will keep you fuller and reduce sugar cravings.

2. You’re eating too many sweets
If you’re getting a sugar high at night, you can expect a crash in the morning. Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietician, says, ” Refined, processed and sugary carbs are empty calories.” They require a lot of energy to digest, but leave you depleted of nutrients, Whole grain toast with almond butter can be a better way to fix the sugar craving while getting some nutritional value.

3. You’re eating lean meats and proteins late at night
Blatner says, “Protein takes the longest of any food group to digest, so too much of it will make your body work too hard and not be relaxed enough to get a good night’s sleep. To avoid this, try to get your protein by eating smaller portions of protein rich meals throughout the course of the day, rather than late at night

woman eating fruits at night from fridge
4. You eat too much fruit
Although fruit contains loads of vitamins, it also contains a lot of natural sugar, which can be harmful if you have diabetes and can also lead to a stomach ache. If you want to get your fruit fix, your best off with a handful of cherries, which contain phytochemicals like melatonin, to enhance sleep. Bananas are another great choice.because they contain muscle relaxants like potassium and magnesium to ensure a better sleep.

5. O.J., Coffee, or “Nightcap”
O.J. and coffee are traditional breakfast beverages and should probably remain that way. If you’re prone to acid reflux, orange juice is not the best pre- slumber choice and neither is coffee. Drinking java anytime after 2 p.m. can be enough to impede sleep and even decaf can contain some caffeine. Although alcohol can help to bring on sleep, the quality of the sleep may not be the good, According to Blatner, “Instead of getting a good night’s sleep, your body has to work to metabolize the alcohol. Chamomile or mint teas are both better nighttime options.” If you want a snack before sleep, try to keep it around 150 calories with a little protein so it doesn’t disrupt the sleep cycle and leaves you feeling energized in the morning.

If you’re a pre-bedtime snacker, we’d love to know how you keep the puffiness away? Drop us a line! We love to hear from you!

woman reading book

Brain Boosting Superfoods

According to an article published in the Telegraph last month, a Japanese scientist discovered that eating ice cream for breakfast increases mental performance. According to Professor Yoshihiko Koga, eating ice cream directly after waking up leads to an increase in high frequency alpha waves, which are linked to increased alertness and less mental irritation.  Although the discovery of ice cream leading to increased brain power may not be likely to cause a huge boost in the sale of the sweet stuff, it is not the first time food has been linked with brain-power. If ice cream is a little rich for your early morning menu, here are some brain boosting superfoods to boost your brain while keeping your figure.

Beets
Maybe not quite as tasty as ice cream, beets have been determined by scientists at Wake Forest University to increase blood flow to the brain. Try them drizzled with honey for a healthy side dish or in a salad.

Lentils
Musical as well as intellectual, lentils are full of folate to make your brain extra powerful. They also decrease the amino acids which can lead to impaired brain function.

Sage
This is a food that certainly lives up to its name. A study in Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior found that young adults who were given sage oil extract performed better in cognitive tests than those who had been given a placebo. That’s because sage contains compounds that support acetylcholine, which is involved in memory and learning.

Grass-fed Beef
It’s the iron level in grass fed beef that gives the food its brain boosting qualities. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women with adequate levels of iron performed mental tasks faster and with better results. Why? Iron transports oxygen throughout the body and into the brain.

Walnuts
Keep some of these on hand during finals time. Scientists at Tufts University found that a combination of certain antioxidants and the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts can boost mental performance.

woman eating eggs
Eggs
If you can’t have ice cream for breakfast, eggs may be a good alternative. Egg yolks contain choline, which helps in the formation of acetylcholine, which helps support memory function. The high protein levels in eggs can also increase overall cognitive ability.

Sardines
Sardines are packed with omega-3s that help regulate communication between brain cells and increase mental focus. Put some in your lunch-box before your next big meeting.

Spinach
According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, women who ate the most leafy green and cruciferous veggies demonstrated a reduced rate of cognitive decline than those whose ate a smaller amount.

Try some of these out and let us know if you get significantly smarter. Please send us samples of your newly acquired wisdom. We love to hear it!

Pomegranate salad

Winter Salads That Make A Meal

In 1904, New Castle Pennsylvania resident, Mrs. John E. Cook took third place in a recipe contest for her “Perfection Salad.” The Jello- encased salad contained a suspension of almost anything that was vaguely identifiable as produce, including cabbage, carrots, and olives to name a few and was characterized by its vinegary flavor. The original recipe suggested serving the molded salad sliced and with mayonnaise in cases made of green or red peppers alongside grilled fish or salmon. The dish earned Mrs. Cook a sewing machine and became a favorite of homemaking magazines for decades.  Although the “Perfection Salad” would probably make a great centerpiece for your holiday table, it might be best off left just there, in the center of the table. If you are looking for some winter salads that might actually end up on someone’ s plate, here are a few ideas.

Orange Pomegranate Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
If you want a salad pleasing to the eye as well as the taste buds, this is it. Brimming with the colors of citrus, pomegranate, and spinach, the salad is perfectly complemented by a light dressing with hints of orange zest, rosemary, mustards and shallots.

Shaved Cauliflower Salad with Clementines and Pomegranates
What do you call scared broccoli? Cauliflower! Shaving the cauliflower can be a bit challenging, if you want them sliced as thinly as the recipe suggests, but the results will be with it. Let the cauliflower soak in lemon juice and sea salt beforehand, allowing the tangy taste to work its way in. Add celery, clementines, pomegranate, with tahini and honey for the dressing. Bonus points for this one: it can be made a day ahead of time, just leave off the dressing until you are ready to serve.

Warm Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Kabocha and Caper Berries
Buckwheat is a complete vegetable protein and a great source of amino acids. Also, because, despite its name , it is not a wheat, it is also gluten-free, making it perfect for those with sensitivities to wheat and gluten. Mix up some toasted buckwheat groats or kasha with hearty beans and kabocha squash. Top with pea shoots, raisins, almonds sunflower seeds and caper berries in oil and vinegar. Heat and serve. Yum!

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hazelnuts and Cranberries
The name almost says it all, but the three slices of thick cut bacon and the Pecorino Romano cheese may be the real selling points for this lovely warm salad. It gets its flavor from maple syrup and its crunch from chopped hazelnuts.

Cranberry, Glazed Walnut, Orange, Avocado and Blue Cheese Salad
Get a mouthful of this mouthful! Hard to say, but easy to prepare, all you need are some dried cranberries, glazed walnuts, mandarin oranges, blue cheese, and avocado. Drizzle with cranberry vinaigrette and prepare for a healthy feast.

Note that all of these recipes can be encased in gelatin. Let us know if any of these made it to your holiday table! We’d love to hear what you thought!

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