Eggs – Demystifying Labels

Eggs varieties seem to be taking over the dairy isle these days, have you noticed?  Let’s not even go there with the entire row of frozen pizza options!  Here is a little help with the mystery of labels on eggs these days, and the added cost. Use these to make the best choice for your family and yourself.

 

Cage-Free

This label means that the hens live in large barns.  They don’t have outdoor access, and they get about 1.5 sq. ft. of space each typically.  Not idea for moving about much, but better than the extremely confined corners of a cage.  They can move more and socialize, which makes for happier, healthy ladies!

Free-Range

The hens are often housed in barns, and have limited access to outdoor areas.  These outdoor spaces are required to be at least 2 sq. ft. per hen and have the added bonus of vegetation.  More plants to nosh on means more nutrients for the hens which translates into more nutrients in the eggs.  No guarantee that every hen eats the plants, so a slight toss up on the added benefits in each egg.

Pasture-Raised

These chickens are required to get a minimum of 108 sq. ft. of outdoor space in addition to indoor space for resting and roosting.  The more natural environment results in less stress for the hens and more room to move about and do what they do.  Some studies have even shown these eggs to contain more nutrients and Omega 3s than non-pasture-raised hens.

 

 

 

Warm Peaches

As we wind down the last week of Palisade Peaches in Colorado,  I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to enjoy a slightly unripe peach.  By all means enjoy the ripe peaches straight out of the bag or box.  However, if you happen to get one that is not quite juicy enough or you are hankering for a different way to enjoy them, try this recipe.

Warm Peaches

Slice peach with skin on into a microwave safe bowl.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and fresh nutmeg.  Heat in microwave on high for 30 seconds, just long enough to warm them and bring out the sweetness.  Enjoy plain or with 1 TBSP plain yogurt or a 1/2 cup milk.

recipe by: eatlivefit.net shared by family friend

 

Goat Cheese and Date Salad

Freshly back from vacation and excited to share a new salad I discovered at Mod Market, a local fresh food eatery.  This is a great side dish or main dish with a twist.

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Goat Cheese and Date Salad

4 cups fresh greens (mix of kale, spinach, green and red lettuce)

1 cup dates, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

1 cup pecan pieces

1 red onion, sliced thinly (optional)

2 cups fingerling potatoes*, cooked, sliced and chilled

Olive Oil

Herbed Balsamic Vinegar (or any flavored vinegar)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic Vinegar and chill until ready to serve.  Serving size 2 handfuls.

* cooking potatoes: place fingerling potatoes in 2 cups of boiling water with a pinch of sea salt.  Boil gently until soft and cooked through.  Rinse with cold water in strainer and chill until cool to the touch.  Slice and top with sea salt and pepper.

 

100+ oz. a day!!!

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Thought this little diagram would bring this message home.  Why in the world should you drink 100+ oz. of water a day?  So many reasons, so go grab a glass of water and read on….

1. It keeps your body functioning the way it should. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water – over HALF of your body weight. Essential bodily functions such as digestion, circulation, absorption of nutrients, and the maintenance of body temperature are all affected by your hydration level. Without the proper intake, your body has to determine which function to perform poorly. Don’t make your body choose.

2. Water keeps your muscles from fatiguing too quickly. Your muscles are made up of millions of cells, which when deprived, can result in performance loss and electrolyte imbalance. We eat for the training we do so why not hydrate for it as well? Hydrating while working up a sweat will keep you in the game for longer and with more strength.

3. Water improves elasticity EVERYWHERE. That’s right! In case you didn’t catch that, improved elasticity all over your body. If you want your skin to look supple and bright, drink more water. Dehydration causes your skin to look dry and wrinkled – WHO WANTS THAT?! Not us. Drink up and you will start to look fresh.

4. Water keeps things…..moving down there. It keeps your kidneys and gastrointestinal tract functioning as they should. These organs are critical to our health and when they aren’t given the proper amounts of fiber and hydration, they start to shut down. You’ve heard of kidney stones and constipation. Yeah. Although nothing will trump your genetics (some people are just prone to digestion issues, no matter their H2O intake), drinking enough water will definitely lower your risk for both.

5. The BEST reason to drink water?! It aids in fat loss. It’s not new news that drinking enough water keeps us full and satisfied between meals. When you THINK you’re hungry, you might actually be dehydrated. Drink a glass of water to find out. If you are still hungry after those 8oz of clear goodness, then go for the snack. I find I’m almost ALWAYS thirsty when my belly says time for something sweet. Your body knows best but our brains trick us into thinking we should eat more.

Cheers to peeing clear all day!

content supported by fatlossfoodies, modified by eatlivefit.net

Banana Bread Nut Ball Snack

Brought these to class last week to share after our workout.  Many of you asked for the recipe.  Easy snack that tastes like banana bread.  Gluten and dairy free.

 

Banana Bread Nut Ball Snack

Ingredients:

3 large dates, pitted

3/4 cup walnuts

1 Tbsp. nut butter of your choice (peanut, almond, sunflower, etc.)

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder or extract

1 VERY ripe banana

Optional – cacao or cocoa powder or dried unsweetened coconut flakes (to roll at end)

 

Directions:

Pop all ingredients in a food processor and combine until a dough forms.  If too sticky, add a tsp of water or almond milk to soften into dough.  The mixture should not be so dry that it crumbles when you try to roll into small ball sizes.  However, not so wet that if is too sticky to form into ball shape, if so, add a tsp more flour.

Use a tsp to measure out small balls of dough. Using hands, roll each into a small ball shape.  Optional and recommended, roll each ball in coconut flakes or powder to add flavor and keep them from sticking to each other.

Place in freezer in small container to harden up completely, aprox. 30 minutes.  Store in air tight container in refrigerator until ready to eat.  Will stay fresh up to 2 weeks.

These are great for bike ride snacks.  If planning to take them along, keep them in the freezer rather than moving to fridge.  Pack them in plastic bag and they will be cool when ready to eat.

Serving size: 2 balls

recipe by: that sugar film modified by eatlivefit.net

 

Clementine Wild Rice Salad

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Consistency is what I encourage!  You will not completely undo nor redo your life in one day and the same is true for eating healthier.  Pick the path and make your long term goal and then go for it one day at a time.  New habits take time to develop and stick, so treat every day as a new day to make good choices.  I can certainly create a lot of damage in 15 minutes of eating poorly, but I move on the next day and make good choices to get back on track with healthy eating habits.  Even if it is not the popular or common choice of the people surrounding me, I can only control what goes in MY body.  I won’t let some one else’s choice to indulge become my choice.  I will be in control my choices, even if they are not the same ones my friends or family choose.  This is my body and my choice.  Master the day.

This is on my plate for lunch today.  Clemetines are one of my favorite snacks, but why not in a salad. Easy, make ahead directions too.  Make it for lunches next week!

Clementine-Wild Rice Salad

12 clementines, peeled and sectioned
1 6-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 bunches green onions, sliced thin
2 cups cooked wild rice, chilled
1 cup mint leaves (optional)
1 cup cilantro or Italian parsley leaves (optional)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or to taste (optional)
3 cups shredded Chinese cabbage, chopped romaine lettuce or baby spinach leaves (or a combination)

Combine all ingredients except the greens and mix thoroughly. Toss with the greens and serve.

6-8 servings

Note: To make ahead, combine everything but the greens and chill. Toss in the greens at the last minute.

New Year, New Side Dish

My neighbor served these at a party this month and I learned she obtained the recipe from a chef in Steamboat Springs.  So easy and they were a hit with our family.  From my table to yours….

Roasted Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, rinsed & patted dry (really important)
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp rosemary
Heat olive oil in saucepan and add chickpeas.  Saute over medium heat for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Add spices & salt and heat another 3 – 4 minutes until  heated through.
Enjoy!

Happy New Year’s Eve Everyone!