Eat Healthy in 2017 with Tips from Pete’s Living Greens

 

Veggies and fruits arranged in lettuce cups, on platters and as a smoothieAfter a busy holiday season, many of our waistbands and wallets could use a break. Why don’t you and your family see this January as a renewal period for healthy eating? We know that it can be challenging to form new habits. But Forbes reports that repetition is intrinsic to habit formation, and it helps to have a partner in the process.

To get started on the road to nutrition, grab your family and check out these 2017 healthy eating tips from some of our expert friends. And for vitamin-rich recipe ideas, don’t forget to peruse our blog archives.

  1. Nutritionist Barbara Ruhs MS, RDN suggests at lunch and dinner to use the “half of your plate” rule; filling your plate with fruits and vegetables to maintain a nutritious balance. 
  2. Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Simply Nourished says, “Take time each week to wash, chop and package vegetables, fruits and salads in containers that can be easily tossed into purses, backpacks or coolers. This makes on-the-go healthy snacking much easier. It can save you from meltdowns, and decreases the temptation to turn to fast food meals or less healthy pre-packaged snacks.”
  3. Michelle Stern, founder of What’s Cooking with Kids and author of The Whole Family Cookbook, says, “Kids [and even grown-ups!] can get tired of sandwiches so it’s fun to mix things up a bit. Try using tortilla rollups filled with cream cheese and jam, or hummus and cucumbers! Or mini frittatas made in muffin tins pack a huge protein punch and can be easily customized to suit each person’s tastes.”
  4. Beacom says, “Gradually removing the processed and packaged foods from the home (and not bringing them back in with the next shopping trip) decreases the number of choices available for snacking so that healthier foods can take the main stage.”
  5. Eat a salad or green a day. According to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD via webmd, eating salads is a satisfying low calorie meal, they contain lots of fiber and you’ll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants. Need more reasons? Check out 8 reasons to eat our Living Greens.

 

Up your Veggie Ante During Breast Cancer & Vegetarian Awareness Month

 

up-your-veggie-intakeWhen one thinks of October pastimes, picking bushels of apples, drinking piping hot cider and donning a spooky Halloween costume come to mind. But did you that this month is also dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer and vegetarianism? The two issues may not seemingly go hand-in-hand, but a diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains is certainly intrinsic to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables (fondly nicknamed as “crucifers”) like broccoli, cauliflower and our Living Watercress contain large amounts of the sulfur-containing chemical glucosinolate. This chemical is thought to inhibit breast, lung, colon and prostate cancer development. According to cancer.govglucosinolate compounds help protect cells from DNA damage, have antiviral and antibacterial effects, and they inhibit tumor blood vessel formation and tumor cell migration.

Researchers have also begun to investigate whether vegetarians have a lower risk of developing cancer than their meat-eating counterparts. Findings to date are limited, but one study reports that “suboptimal dieting choices” may be linked to as many of 50% of breast cancer cases.

Endeavor to make more nutritious meals this month by preparing colorful vegetarian dishes. Taste and Savor’s Cauliflower Tabbouleh in Living Butter Lettuce Cups combines cauliflower and our Living Butter Lettuce to create a crisp meatless snack or lunch. Along with glucosinolate – rich cauliflower, our Living Butter Lettuce is also full of vitamins and has high doses of beta-carotene which is often linked to cancer prevention. If you’d like to pump up your veggie intake at breakfast, try Nourish With Whole Food’s acai bowl. The Live Gourmet enthusiast combines acai powder with a variety of vitamin rich fruits and vegetables, including our very own Living Watercress.

You can still get in the fall spirit by eating healthy. Pick up your favorite apples from your local orchard and add them to Taste and Savor’s Romaine Wrap with Crunchy Apple Salad. Whether you’re an avid vegetarian or enthusiastic meat eater, including more fresh veggies and fruits in every meal will improve you and your family’s overall health. Take a cue from Live Gourmet by creatively serving a fall veggie dish in a carved out pumpkin or squash!

 

Eat Right after a Summer of Fun in the Sun with Help from Michelle Stern

 

Back-to-school is upon us. Between stocking up on supplies, adjusting to a new schedule and after-school activities,  it can be challenging to maintain a wel- balanced diet. Not to mention, a summer of vacationing, camp and barbecues doesn’t always support the healthiest of eating choices. To help you and your youngsters start the school year off right, we’ve asked Michelle Stern, founder of What’s Cooking with Kids and author of The Whole Family Cookbook, to lend her expertise on tips for families to eat healthy any day of the year.


 

What's Cooking with Kids Founder Michelle Stern
Michelle Stern

Live Gourmet: How do you recommend bringing more balanced healthy meals back into your family’s routine?

Michelle Stern: We love to bring healthy snacks with us when we are on-the-go.  Carrots and hummus, bags of English peas, and dried fruit are part of our regular snacking routine — and with the appropriate waste-free food containers, they are easy to take with us.  But when we get home, I try to get the kids to help me plan some menus for the week. When they are invested in family meals, they are more eager to eat the fruits of their labor, so to speak.

LG: As an educator, what do you think is the biggest challenge to get kids to eat healthy?

MS: I think that many kids simply aren’t regularly exposed to healthy choices.  For families on a budget, they may worry that spending money on new veggies is too risky, and so they stick with tried-and-true foods. By exposing kids to fruits and vegetables IN an educational setting, educators can assume some of that risk and the kids will come home from school ready and eager to try the new foods and help the family make good food choices.

LG: Do you have any favorite back-to-school lunch ideas?

Eat homemade healthy cup of noodles
A healthy alternative lunch idea from Michelle Stern. Recipe can be found at http://whatscookingwithkids.com/homemade-cup-of-noodles/

MS: In my recent blog post on Waste-Free lunch essentials, I have a free downloadable Lunch Menu planner to make packing lunches easier for families.  Kids can get tired of sandwiches so it’s fun to mix things up a bit.  Try using tortilla rollups filled with cream cheese and jam, or hummus and cucumbers!  Or mini frittatas made in muffin tins pack a huge protein punch and can be easily customized to suit each child’s tastes.

LG: What is your advice to families who have picky eaters?

MS: Keep trying! It takes 8-12 exposures of a new food before it’s often accepted. It’s important that you don’t give up. Don’t pressure kids to eat certain foods. Instead, be sure there is something on the table that they will eat and then let them make choices.  Eating is one of the few times that kids can exercise control in their lives….and it can easily become a battleground if we add too much pressure.

To learn about What’s Cooking With Kids go to and follow: www.whatscookingwithkids.com ; Facebook: facebook.com/whatscookingkids; Instagram: @whatscookingwithkids

Live Gourmet’s Snacking Tips during Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

 

 Summer is just about here. Where will you be heading during these warm weather months? Whether you’re taking a road trip to the lake, spending time in the backyard or carpooling to soccer camp, Live Gourmet offers smart snacking tips for active families on-the-go.

F8B73CPSBKJune is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable month which is all the more reason to pack more brightly colored produce amongst your summer treats. The USDA recommends we eat about five servings of fresh produce every day. Yet most of us don’t nearly reach that amount.

How can we improve on this?

Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Simply Nourished, recommends setting aside time each week to wash, chop and package vegetables, fruits and salads in containers that can be easily tossed into purses, backpacks or coolers for on-the-go snacking makes healthy eating much easier.

But if you find yourself in a pinch while on the road with mostly fast-food options, choose a beverage like water, low-fat milk or unsweetened tea to go with your meal suggests Choose Your Plate. You’ll stay hydrated and will keep unwanted calories from creeping in.

If camping is on the docket, bring canned produce, dried fruit and vegetables and 100% juices to eat with your campfire fare. They still count towards your daily fruit and vegetable intake!

For an afternoon at the pool, prepare healthy snacks in a fun, creative way. Produce for Kids offers a number of great ideas from ladybug strawberry snacks to peanut butter snails on their Pinterest page.

By integrating more fruits and vegetables into your daily snacks and meals, you can help shape better eating habits for your whole family. For more summer recipe ideas with leafy greens, peruse our Live Gourmet Lettuce Be Fresh blog. Happy snacking!

Simply Nourished’s Jessica Beacom Shares Kid-Friendly Foods and Tips With Live Gourmet

 

This week is Every Kid Healthy Week, promoting sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-awareness programs in schools. The initiative comes at a critical time. Today, nearly 40% of children’s diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats. And only 21% of youth age 6-19 eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, according to the Prevention Institute.

52 Field
Jessica Beacom

In honor of Every Kid Healthy Week, we’ve asked Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Simply Nourished , to share her tips on healthy eating habits for kids and families.

Live Gourmet: As a dietitian, what is the biggest challenge to get kids to eat healthy? 

Jessica Beacom: In households where there is access to less healthy snack and meal options in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, the former will almost always win which is frustrating for parents who want their kids to eat healthy. Gradually removing the processed and packaged foods from the home (and not bringing them back in with the next shopping trip) decreases the number of choices available for snacking so that healthier foods can take the main stage. 

LG: Most families are constantly on-the-go. What are some easy ways parents can continue to offer healthy options despite busy schedules?

JB: Taking time each week to wash, chop and package vegetables, fruits and salads in containers that can be easily tossed into purses, backpacks or coolers for on-the-go snacking makes healthy eating on-the-go so much easier. Adding small packages of nuts, jerky, single-serve nut or seed butter, dried coconut flakes, deli meat and organic cheese or yogurt for protein and healthy fats is easy to do and can save you from meltdowns and decreases the temptation to turn to fast food meals or less healthful pre-packaged snacks. 

Simply Nourished's Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Simply Nourished’s Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

LG: What is your advice to parents who have picky eaters?

JB: Don’t force anything. Implementing a “No, thank you” bite policy is key because it means your kids need to try everything at least once. If they don’t like it, don’t sweat it. Don’t bat an eye and don’t make a fuss about it. Often this is what kids want from us…a reaction. A hungry kid will eventually find something they like and eat it up. And it’s okay if they eat just broccoli at dinner because over the course of the week their food choices will balance out. Another benefit of the “No, thank you” bite is that you can prepare foods you like (but know your kids won’t be crazy about) provided you also offer something that you know they’ll like better (provided they’re still great choices). This is a great way to introduce your kids to more exotic meals like curry, stir fry, chili, new vegetables, salads, etc.

Simply Nourished's Curry Chicken Salad on a white long plate
Simply Nourished’s Curry Chicken Salad

Here are a few family-friendly Simply Nourished recipes picked especially for our Live Gourmet followers by Jessica. They even include one of our favorite ingredients: butter lettuce!

Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps 

One Dish Chicken Fajita Bake 

Curry Chicken Salad 

Pomegranate Mixed Greens Salad 

Back to School with Live Gourmet – Food Safety Month Edition

 

Lunch Live GourmetSchools across the country are now in session. For many parents, this means reprioritizing their time to help with homework, commute to school and extracurricular activities, and plan meals can be an adjustment.

To start the school year off right and in light of National Food Safety Month, we have put together a few helpful tips and resources that will reinforce safe food and kitchen practices no matter how time-strapped you are.

1. Cleanliness starts in the kitchen. Packing lunches, for example, before heading out the door can be difficult when time is of the essence. Though it’s tempting to clean-up for later, it’s important to sanitize the kitchen immediately following use. Also, during preparation,  follow the USDA’s simple mantra:

Clean — You should even wash fruits and veggies that you will peel as bacteria can spread from the inside to the outside.

Separate — Keep meat, poultry, eggs and seafood separate from other foods.

Cook — The danger zone is between 40˚ and 140˚ Fahrenheit!

Chill — Refrigerate perishable food within two hours.

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2. Prepare healthy meals in advance. Though you won’t be able to monitor if your child eats all of their vegetables during lunchtime, prepare their to-go meal–they can even help!–with foodsafety.gov’s clever six steps to packing a safe, germ-free lunch.

3. Wash hands thoroughly and frequently. Remind your children to wash their hands and include hand sanitizer or travel-size antibacterial soap in their lunch box. According to the Center for Disease Control, warm water and soap is best to combat germs, but sanitizer suffices when they’re not available.

Proper food handling is essential to keeping you and your loved ones free from foodborne illnesses. Along with this information, you can still craft tasty snacks and nutritious lunches for the whole family to enjoy. Visit our Back-To-School Healthy Lunch Box Recipes for a few ideas!

 

Shake up your Summer Fare with North Shore Living Herbs®

A few different type of herbs on a chopping block being chopped by a chef's hand
North Shore Living Herbs®

At the height of summer, fresh vegetables abound in our gardens, our neighborhood grocery stores and farmers’ markets. In addition to seasonal produce, an array of herbs are widely available in the balmier months. Herbs like basil, chives, parsley and sage thrive this time of year due to the typically drier and hotter climate. Our friends at North Shore Living Herbs® grow a variety of fresh seasonings that will surely boost flavor to your summer cuisine. Experiment this August by trying your hand at the following recipes that combine herbs and our line of products.

Watermelon, watercress and basil salad.
Grilled watermelon salad.

Bon Appetit’s Grilled Watermelon Salad includes exotic ingredients like pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) and queso fresco, which are balanced by fresh greens and charred juicy fruit. Add North Shore Living Herbs® Basil and our Living Watercress to the innovative salad!

Are you a pasta lover who can’t live without your favorite starch even in the heat? Try Saveur’s summer twist on bolognese. Bright cherry tomatoes and a sweet wine sauce replaces cream and marinara to lighten up the classic dish. North Shore Living Herbs® Basil and Thyme will heighten the pasta’s flavor and vibrant colors. To round out the meal, whip up this Epicurious-inspired Living Butter Lettuce, Parsley and Mint Salad. Talk about a symphony of flavors for your taste buds!

Packs of North Share Living Herbs Mint stacked on a grocery store shelf
North Shore Living Herbs®

You’ve probably read that our Living Butter Lettuce and Watercress contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals. But did you know that many herbs and spices are also beneficial to a well-balanced diet? Combine Hollandia Produce products and North Shore Living Herbs® like in the above recipes for the ultimate healthy meal!

Make the Most of your Garden Fresh Vegetables with Live Gourmet

FullSizeRenderBalmy evenings and dining alfresco are reasons enough to love summer. We have one more: an abundance of fresh, in-season produce. Whether you harvest from your backyard garden, your local farmer’s market, or your neighborhood grocery or produce store, we recommend you take your summer recipes for a walk on the wild side by pairing your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies with our versatile living butter lettuce and superfood powerhouses upland cress and living organic watercress.

Why not start with one of NPR’s popular blog suggestions?  The Salt shares “What to do with Weird Farmer’s Market Vegetables”. You may come across an odd bulbous-shaped vegetable which is called kohlrabi. Don’t be scared of its tough exterior. This cousin of the turnip is refreshing when thinly sliced and paired with tender butter lettuce leaves, as recommended in Food 52’s Kohlrabi Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing.

Fruits displayed at a neighborhood farmer's marketAdding colorful fruits like tart cherries and sweet peaches to summer salads is another way to enjoy summer’s bounty. Try making our Stone Fruit Watercress Salad as a light, refreshing and healthy side dish to grilled chicken breast or salmon filet.

Stone Fruit Salad in a glass bowlStone Fruit Watercress Salad

Ingredients

1 bunch of Live Gourmet® Brand Living Upland Cress

2 small ripe peaches

A handful of tart cherries

¼ cup of chopped walnuts

¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese

Drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

  1. Wash and trim Live Gourmet® Brand Living Upland Cress
  2. Cut the peaches in bit-size pieces
  3. Cut the cherries in half and pit them
  4. Chop the walnuts
  5. Mix the ingredients and top with parmesan cheese
  6. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Now, pour yourself a glass of home-made lemonade, iced tea, or a crisp white wine and enjoy your garden fresh meal!

Kid-Friendly Snacks for Summer Vacation

 

GARD091H-FruitVeggieMonthThere are many reasons to celebrate during this time of year—many schools break for summer, weather gets warmer and the days are longer. Summer’s joie de vivre nature makes it tempting to pick up fast and pre-packaged food so that you carry on doing what you love most, spending time with loved ones. We’re here to help. Whether the kids have day camp, you’re hanging out by the pool or traveling to the lake house, try these quick, nutritious snacks that will satisfy the whole family. Another reason to prepare healthy meals is its National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. For an adult with a 2,000 calorie diet, one should eat 2 cups of fruit and 2- 3 cups of vegetables per day.

Colorful whole fruits and vegetables arranged in a beautiful way will entice your finicky little ones to take a crack at tasting new food. Try Carlsbad Craving’s Poppy Seed Chicken Fruit Salad with Butter Lettuce. The dish contains bright whole nutrient-rich foods from strawberries to avocados. Plus, it has the perfect edible vessel, butter lettuce, and can be packed in the cooler and eaten on-the-go.

 

Champneys-Watercress-BluebSmoothies are also great morning, noon and night meals that have a multitude of vitamin and minerals. This Watercress, Blueberry and Pineapple smoothie doesn’t contain any additional sugar or dairy but the fruits in the beverage will satisfy your resident sweet tooth. From vitamin A to zinc, watercress’s superfood powers have you and your family covered.

Summer wouldn’t be the same without ice cream. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making Ideas in Food’s Homemade Watercress Ice Cream. If you prefer your greens to be subtle in your treats, take a cue from Paleo Mom’s brownies with the hidden se6a00d83451f83a69e20115705f5361970b-picret ingredient—butter lettuce.

 

By integrating more fruits and vegetables into your daily snacks and meals, you can help shape better eating habits for your whole family. Who knows, your youngster may even ask for a second helping!

 

Juicing with Grace McGuire, A Vegan Super Mom and Health Blogger

 

Grace McGuire is a passionate mother of two based in Allen, TX. A vegan since she was 22-years-old, McGuire often shares her nutrient-dense juices on Instagram and will share her foodie wisdom on her soon-to-be blog Nourish with Whole Foods.

We recently had the pleasure to speak with McGuire on her secret to leading a healthy lifestyle while raising a family. This is an excerpt from our conversation.

Grace4Live Gourmet: How did you initially become interested in healthy eating and Veganism?

Grace McGuire: I have been a vegan since I was 22-years-old. I was having a lot of stomach issues and the doctor suggested I go on a rabbit diet (leafy greens and vegetables) for a few weeks to regulate my stomach cramping and give my digestive system a little break from all the meat and processed fast foods I was consuming.

In the meantime, my oldest sister was in need of a kidney transplant and needed her siblings to get tested to see if we were a match. I started doing more research into how I could help get my body ready for the journey ahead and for all of the testing. I came across Veganism and how amazing it was at healing the body of inflammation and toxicity. I became a vegan shortly after. Although no one in our family was a match, by God’s grace, my sister was able to get a kidney from a family who donated their son’s kidney. We are so grateful to them and their enormous generosity to give life after losing their son.

grace1LG: How do you maintain healthy lifestyle while juggling work, your kids and personal life?

GM: I have two little boys and one of the many things I want to teach them is to live a healthy lifestyle. I always prep and plan ahead. For example, I soak oats, quinoa flakes with nut milk and chia seeds for breakfast. I also always have quinoa and legumes on hand for protein. I keep my pantry and fridge stocked with seasonal organic fruits and vegetables. I also use a lot of dry herbs as well as fresh herbs to give my plant based cooking some flavor and added nutrients.

LG: What advice do you have for mothers who are looking to make changes in their family’s eating habits but don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals?

GM: I know a lot of moms who don’t have a lot of time. With the little time they do have, they don’t want to spend it in the kitchen. My advice is to plan ahead and keep it simple. My mom is an excellent example. She doesn’t have time on the weekdays to cook with her job. I advised her to make quinoa and add frozen peas, corn, lemon juice, olive oil, kale, spinach and watercress for a simple and nutritious meal on-the-go. It doesn’t need to be heated and she can put it in a jar and have it in her purse whenever she gets hungry.

Grace 2LG: Any advice on how to get kids to eat their vegetables?

GM: If you have a desire to eat avocados so will your little one! Kids tend to mimic everything we do, including what we put in our bodies. They might not be hungry, but if they
see you eating an apple, [chances are] they then will want a bite. Teaching our kids healthy food habits at a young age prepares them for food choices they make in their future.


 

Grace3Grace’s Anti-Inflammatory Juice with Living Watercress:

Ingredients:

1 Pineapple

1 cabbage

2-3 handfuls of spinach

1 bundle of Living watercress

1 lime (peeled)

2 celery stalks

Add all the ingredients to your juicer according to the manufacturer’s setting and enjoy over ice.

Did you know?: Drink Grace’s signature juice before hitting the gym. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that eating a small amount of watercress each day raised levels of key antioxidants that fend of DNA damage caused by exercise.