Chocolate fruit balls

Look what I found in my fruit basket this morning!

This exotic fruit is known to grow in the dark. When ripe, this fruit has to be harvested early in the morning before the little birds sneak into the fields to get their fix.

I have to admit that I was that little bird this morning! :)

I was having so much fun in the kitchen last night rolling these chocolate delights. After a night in the fridge to harden, the first thing I wanted to know when I woke up was how my Goji berry/raisin coconut chocolate balls turned out? I walked straight from my bed to the fridge and OMG it’s seriously ridiculous how delicious these are. My mouth starts watering again just by writing about it.  I think these chocolate “fruit” balls are a great fit for a homemade fruit basket but I might not categorize them as breakfast……although I’d love to :)

 

 

 

 

Let’s feed our skin today!

Beautiful skin reflects health to me and I think good nutrition is key in keeping my skin healthy.This fruity salad is super refreshing and all the ingredients make your skin very happy!

  • Oranges and grapefruits are a great source of Vitamin C which is known to improve skin texture and color. They help restore collagen in our body, which is responsible for skin firming and prevents early aging.
  • Grapefruit also contains a phytochemical known as naringin. Naringin reduces toxins in the liver which results in healthier skin.
  • Spinach is packed with water, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A and other nutrients that make your skin look and feel its best.
This salad is a great appetizer or if you like a light lunch or dinner. When I eat it for lunch or dinner I double the portion.

(It’s easiest to toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake the skillet frequently to ensure even browning)

Empty stomach and empty fridge?!

I had just settled in for an easy night at home after a busy day when I realized that I still needed to eat. I didn’t feel like going out to buy groceries and decided to challenge myself a bit.  The challenge was to make a quick and healthy dish with whatever I could find in my kitchen.

I discovered some frozen peas in back of the freezer section and moments later I found a can of tuna, some garlic and half a pack of gluten free pasta in the pantry. A great start…..if I only had some cheese…Bingo! I found a beautiful little piece of Parmesan cheese, hiding behind a jar of mayonnaise. YAY! About 15 minutes later I was eating healthy and o-so-good pasta! :)

There are certain basics that are always great to keep in your pantry and pasta and a can of tuna are a perfect example.

The rescue team featured on the left!  I like De Boles Gluten Free rice penne, it’s light and easy to digest.

 

 

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My dogs, salt & pepper checking out the dish:

How does miss Wyoming stay in shape?

Mary David tells “Models do eat” how she prepped herself for beauty pageant season and beyond:

I had to change my eating habits, while competing in different pageants at the state level and then going on to the Miss United States 2012 pageant as Miss Wyoming United States. If I was going to feel comfortable being judged on stage in a bikini and high heels, I needed to do everything I could to look and feel my best. I exerted more mental discipline than I ever imagined on eating right. I adopted a philosophy for eating that had served me well in law school and continues to benefit me now:

Work smart, not hard.

Here are some rules of thumb that I followed and still follow today:

  • I eat all the time. Be it yogurt and cereal, a bowl of grapes, or a couple of mangoes. I constantly replenish my body with energy to keep my metabolism and stamina high. This helps stave off any cravings for things like ice cream and cake.
  • I drink lots of fruit smoothies (without ice)
  • I always have something sweet for breakfast. I need that extra punch at breakfast to feel satisfied, even if it’s a glass of juice or sweetened dried cherries. It’s not about just being full, it’s also about feeling satisfied by what you eat.
  • Finding “favorites” within the “healthy food zone” is key. For me, hummus goes on everything. It has a flavor, richness, and hearty taste that makes me satisfied and full.

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Balance

The other day a friend asked me for some advice on exercise and how to live a more balanced life. I figured to create a post on the topic as I think that balance is something many of us are looking for.

I don’t think that balance is something we find one day and it’s there forever. I often found balance by experiencing both sides of the spectrum first, but I’ve also learned to listen to my body and intuition. When it comes to your life, your body and your health, there are certain things that you have control over and other things you simply don’t. Therefore start by controlling your controllables. Ask yourself  “What makes me feel balanced?”. Write these things down and make them your priority. For example, let’s say eating healthy food and exercise make you feel balanced. Then make these things your priority. Look at your calendar and schedule your exercise for the upcoming days and when you buy groceries make only healthy choices. Some days you may feel more balanced than others and it’s totally OK and normal to feel imbalanced at times. Don’t beat yourself up when you didn’t stick to your plans. If you did something yesterday that didn’t work for you, choose something different today. Write down what works and what doesn’t and stick with the things that serve your goals….simply let go of the ones that don’t. Fill your days with things you LOVE to do & eat :)

 

Hot breakfast please!

Eat hot cereal today it will keep you warm all day! :)

During the winter I always crave for a warm breakfast. I toast my bread, sip tea, and make eggs or oatmeal.  I recently started making “Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal” (Red Mill) again. It’s a very nutritious, gluten free cereal made out of whole grain brown rice, corn, sorghum and buckwheat.

To me, the perfect consistency for this hot cereal is slightly runny and not too stiff. It’s tempting to pour in more cereal because it always looks way to thin at first. I made this mistake many times and had to keep adding milk to get it back to normal. Trust me it thickens, even while it’s sitting in your bowl waiting to be decorated.

In case you like it a little thicker, just add a little more…..and I mean….a little….unless you need some cement to fill a hole in your wall right after breakfast ;)

Per person:

Bring 1 cup milk (or soy) to a boil and stir in 1/4 cup of cereal. Turn the heat very low, continue to stir until milk and cereal are blended. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I served it with raw cashews, shredded coconut, raisins and sweetened it with maple syrup. You can add some fruit, throw in your favorite nuts and use the sweetener of your choice.

 

Curried carrot soup with pistachios

When I left my house yesterday it was grey and dark outside, kind of unusual for Miami. I wasn’t really dressed warm enough so I ended up being cold all day. When I got home I looked at the cover of the “Vegetarian times” (October issue) and from that moment I was on a mission.

I just had to find out if that curried carrot soup with pistachios tasted as good as it looked on the magazine. I started grating carrots and cutting op leeks right away. It took me a little less than half an hour to prepare the soup. I seasoned it with salt, sprinkled a little nutmeg on top and boy was I happy to find out that the sweet curried carrots and crunchy pistachios combo is a winner! It warmed me up right away and made me feel sooooo good. Mission completed! :)

It’s time for sweet Brussels sprouts!

Growing up in Holland, I’ve had my fair share of Brussels sprouts. Since my parents weren’t the most adventurous cooks they were served overcooked and plain. Needless to say Brussels sprouts weren’t my favorite vegetable. Who would have thought that one day I would promote these green fellas?!

Brussels Sprouts rank high in the top 10 healthiest vegetables. They are rich in fiber, packed with vitamin A and C and have anti-cancer properties.

I’ve found a way to make them so tasty that I actually cleaned up my plate!!! My parents would be sooooo proud of me :) They were so good that I decided to serve them on our Thanksgiving dinner!

 

 

 

Clever Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is often not as healthy as it sounds. Most carrot cakes are made with lots of butter, sugar, white flour and only a small amount of carrots.

Not this clever carrot cake! Want to indulge without the bulge? Try this recipe!

This carrot cake contains 3 ½ cups of carrot pulp and ½ cup apple pulp. The naturally sweet pulp, honey, vanilla extract and raisins sweeten this cake beautifully. And instead of white four I use wholesome wheat flour and flaxseed! I replaced butter with canola oil, it’s one of the healthiest cooking oils since it’s low in saturated fats.

Soon after I put this cake in the oven a sweet scent mixed with cinnamon entered my nostrils. I hoped the hour would go by quickly, I couldn’t wait to eat a slice :)  It’s a perfect cake, the crust is hard and the inside moist and dense.

I sometimes joke and say that it’s so healthy you can eat it for breakfast. In every joke there’s a little bit of truth, I have to admit I have done that more than once LOL.

You’ll need a juicer for this recipe.

BTW: Drink or save the apple/carrot juice, it’s delicious! I like to squeeze some fresh lemon in it.