Friday, June 22, 2012

An apple a day and some other fruit...makes everyone a little healthier

After a couple of posts of doom and gloom...courtesy of sugar, soda and some harsh facts about where we are as a country, it is time to get busy eating a little healthier and feeling better about ourselves.

It is a fact that we are very much what we eat. As we load up on food considered as 'junk', our bodies react accordingly. Too much processed foods and sugars and we feel a high, then just as quickly we crash and feel tired, irritable and even depressed. Try grabbing a fresh apple, orange or banana the next time you are getting a craving for something sweet. Fruit is an excellent substitute and has some great benefits which can improve health, mood and give you that much needed energy.

Fruit has even more benefits then just being a healthy substitute. Eating fruit has been known to help fight certain types of cancer, espicially Colorectal Cancer, the reason being is that fruit helps aid in the health of the digestive tract. Antioxidants inside of the fruit work to prevent cell damage caused by Free Radicals, which are unstable molecules in our bodies. When the cells in the body become damaged by these molecules, the cells themselves begin to breakdown causing a chain reaction that left uncontrolled can cause severe damage to the body. If you want to find fruits loaded with antioxidants, look no further then these choices...

Pomegranate Seeds

Looking to lose a little weight, while trying to cut back on the refined and processed foods? You are in luck!! Fruit can also help you lose weight in many different ways. We get fiber and water from fruit, which helps to make us feel full, cutting back on those urges to eat foods that are not as good for the heart or the waistline. A medium size apple or cup of fresh blueberries is a great snack, plus it won't leave you feeling empty. It contains zero chemicals or artifical ingredients and the best part is that it contains less than 100 calories.

Looking for even more good ideas? How about a Spinach and Blueberry Salad or maybe a Watermelon Salad with a Lime Mint Vinaigrette? Both are super easy to make and are packed full of fresh fruits to keep you going all day long!!

Watermelon Salad With Lime Mint Vinaigrette

1  Medium sized, seedless watermelon
2  Limes
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1  Orange
1 Bunch Basil Leaves, Fresh
2 Tbs Honey

Start this one off by peeling the rind away from the watermelon. To do this cut the end off of one side, then slice the watermelon in half, placing the flat section down on a cutting board with the end being straight up. Place the other half off to the side. Using a sharp knife, begin to cut away the rind by cutting down across the outside. You will notice that the rind is white and turns to pink the closer you are to the fruit. Trim off all of the rind. Cut the watermelon into medium sized chunks. Discard any seeds. Place the cubed melon into a bowl. Peel the orange in the same manner and add these pieces into the same bowl as the melon.

In a separate bowl add together the oil and honey. Cut and then squeeze the juice of each lime into the bowl. Take the basil and chop thinly until you have about a 1/4 cup. Combine this into the bowl and add a small amount (1/4 tsp) of salt and pepper into the bowl as well. Mix together and taste. Add in more lime juice or honey to make it more tart or sweet, depending on your own tastes.

Pour the vinaigrette over the fruit and mix together by tossing. Use caution when mixing with a spoon, as it could break apart the melon. Serve alone or over a bed of mixed greens. You can add a variety of other items into the salad as well, such as Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Grapes, Strawberries or Almonds.

Take the other section of watermelon and serve it as slices for a nice dessert or use it to make an entirely new salad with some goat cheese sprinkled over the top.

Blueberry & Spinach Salad

1/2 Cup Sunflower or Olive Oil
1/4 Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Honey
1/2 tsp Salt
1 package or 10-12 oz Fresh Spinach Leaves
2 Tbs Goat Cheese
1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
1/2 Cup Toasted Pecans

In a bowl combine the first 5 ingredients and whisk together. Check the flavor and add more honey for sweetness or more vinegar to add some bite. Set the dressing aside. In a large bowl toss together the spinach, blueberries and pecans. Slowly pour the dressing over the top and toss gently. If you are not in the mood to toast your own pecans, they can be found in almost any supermarket. If you do want to make your own toasted pecans, the recipe is pretty simple. Heat your oven to 350 degrees, while that happens melt about 2 Tbs of butter in a micowave safe bowl, stir in about 1/2 Tbs honey and a few pinches of salt. Stir this together and add in the pecans. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Make sure the pecans are not clumped together. Toss the pecans once or twice while toasting. The whole process should take between 10-15 minutes. Let them cool and add to the salad. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and enjoy!

What to look for over the weekend and next week...fresh vegetables and the recipes to go with them, my first food journal and diet notes, herb gardening on your patio or deck, a wine review of Sonoma- Cutrer Chardonnay, Mind and Mood Foods, our new website and a whole bunch more!! As always your feedback is welcome and appreciated.



  1. Yummy salad recipe - need to try this one soon!

  2. Thanks for the memories, Sean! I have very fond memories of eating with my grandma. She was no star chef, but she passed down a lot of ideas and recipes and we shared a lot of good times eating out.