Arugula: More than just healthy.

A friend gave me an arugula salad a few weeks ago and sparked my taste buds. Where have these greens been all my life? I have had it a few times but always neglect it at the grocery store.

Some fear peppery flavor, but paired with the right dressing or ingredients its delicious. And the best part? It’s great for you in more ways than one!

Arugula can be eaten raw or lightly cooked; although it is most nutritious raw.

Arugula contains tons of vitamin B, vitamin K, chlorophyll, folate, and much more. It also aids in cleansing due to its high fiber content and antioxidants. It has also been shown to serve as an anti-inflammatory!

 

Arugula was used as a very strong aphrodisiac during the ancient civilization of Rome. 

Oh yeah- I said it! Break out the oysters over arugula! Romans also ate arugula for good luck (obviously 😉 ) It was used as a love potion around the world, often mixed with lavender oil and chicory. Some say the “sensual” effect could be a combination of the energy boost from vitamins and the spice heating your core temperature. I believe its magical, so jot down my recipe and get your arugula on!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh arugula

1 ripe mango; sliced or cubed

1 diced avocado; optional

2 tbs Champagne Vinaigrette  (click to find recipe)

squeeze  of lemon

salt and black pepper to taste

 

Toss ingredients together and enjoy! Delicious when paired with grilled white fish or shrimp.

 

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Champagne Salad 

This fresh, crisp salad is just what I needed today. Sometimes I get stuck in a salad rut, using the same ol’ ingredients over and over….and over. It makes me want to ban salads from my lunch forever! Refresh your palate with this fun combination of ingredients.

#2 Champagne Salad (minus the bubbly)

Toss all salad ingredients lightly or just drizzle the dressing over the salad. This is a very elegant salad; too delicate to chop and toss. 

  

  
  

 

Banana Apple Smoothie 

Who needs new recipes for the new year? I know I do! One of my resolutions is to try something new in the kitchen each week  day. I almost set the bar to just one new recipe weekly, but I thought why not take it up a notch?! Some simple drink recipes, some more involved meal recipes….its time to be creative. I need to jazz up my healthy menu and this is the perfect time to take on a challenge. I thought the least I could do is share with you! Stay tuned for the rest of the year to see what I come up with. 

Happy and Healthy 2016 to you and yours! 🎉
#1: Banana Apple Pie

A simple and delicious smoothie, perfect for a light breakfast or a snack. Be prepared to share; kids will love this, too!

  

Fall Green Smoothie

I blended a magical combination today! I love having green smoothies in the morning. Usually I go for my basic recipe, which you can find here.

I felt like something different today, but not to far from the norm. Sometimes just a few ingredients can make all the difference! I added a Fall twist with oats and a little cinnamon and BAM….deliciousness on the go.

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Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

1 tbs ground flax

1 tsp chia seeds

3 tsp rolled oats

a few shakes of cinnamon

2 handfuls of baby spinach

TIPS:

-Not blending smoothly? Add a few more splashes of almond milk.

-You can use unfrozen fruit if you like. I prefer to use frozen so I don’t ned to add ice!

-When my bananas are getting old, I peel and freeze them in separate baggies for smoothies.

-Who has a Costco card? Costco has a WIDE variety of organic frozen fruits….including mango!

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(Take me to the Original Green Smoothie)

Pumpkin Puree Recipe

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Fall is in the air! Everyone is posting pumpkin recipes (healthy ones of course 😉 ) and you are about to go grab a can of Libby’s.

STOP! Never buy canned pumpkin puree again! Whipping up your own is so easy, not to mention natural, which makes it well worth it. The whole process takes about an hour from beginning to end but guess what? It makes a TON (if you have a decent sized gourd of course) and it freezes well for future use.

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice off the top and bottom of your pumpkin.

Remove seeds by scraping out the center with a spoon.

Slice your clean pumpkin into wedges; about 3 inches wide.

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Place on a sprayed or foil lined baking sheet.

Put NOTHING on the pumpkin and roast for 45 minutes.

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Take out and let cool so you can touch.

Remove from peel and add to food processor or blender chunk by chunk. Add a few splashes of water as needed to puree. (not too much water- just enough to blend without getting stuck)

I use a Vitamix, but any good one will work!

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Done!

That it, folks!! You will see recipes out there that tell you to rub with oil or seasoning. You really don’t need it, and I highly recommend roasting it plain. It opens up recipe opportunities! When I post my Pumpkin Smoothie (this weekend), are you going to want to taste a hint of olive oil and garlic? I think not!

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Oh by the way, did I mention that you can freeze it? Yes! Just throw it in a couple freezer bags and store it for future use. Who says we can’t have a Paleo Pumpkin Pie in the summertime? (also posting this weekend, so follow my blog for email updates!)

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Now share and go follow! Don’t miss out on new recipes and fitness tips ever again. 🙂

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

This has to be my favorite recipe to make when Fall comes around. November 1st- I’m on it! Even though I live in Florida and it doesn’t exactly get “cold” here, I still like to feel warm and fuzzy inside and pretend that the season is changing. Don’t judge me! 😉

Originally, I found the recipe here. It comes out great every single time! I made a few changes to suit my taste buds. I took out the “white hominy” because I found it unnecessary and hard to find; I also added more squash and changed up a few measurements on the tomatoes/chilis. You can usually find organic beans and other canned items at Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s.

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Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

2-3 tbs EVOO

1 large yellow onion; chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 fresh garlic cloves; minced

1 lb ground turkey ( 93/7)

3 cups raw butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 can petite diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz

1 can petite diced tomatoes with green chilis, 14.5 oz

1 can kidney beans with liquid

1 can low sodium tomato sauce, 8 oz

1 tbs chili powder

1 tbs cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

Dash cayenne pepper

Instructions:

In pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and celery until soft. Add crumbled turkey and look until brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Add all other ingredients to pot and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, making sure the squash is tender.

Share with friends! Enjoy!

Learning Paleo.

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Since opening the CrossFit gym, I have been hearing more and more about the Paleo diet.

Pa·le·o di·et
ˈpeɪlioʊ ˌdīət/
noun
  1. a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.

Many people are convinced that eating Paleo is great way to avoid disease and achieve optimal health. Little by little, it has crept into the back of my mind that I need to give it a shot. For the past few years, I have opted for a healthier lifestyle by limiting my red meat intake, eating mostly fish, very little poultry, and vegetables. I will admit that I am NOT the best at avoiding dairy (especially cheese), and I love seeded/nutty breads and brown rice. This will be challenging!

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I am by no means an expert at this, so if I post something that doesn’t agree with the Paleo Diet please let me know. I am still learning! My goal is to try to incorporate new Paleo recipes into my diet for a few weeks with my husband and possibly start a Paleo Challenge if anyone becomes interested.

The simplest thing I have read so far to understand was eating Paleo “means” was to eat food in its most natural state. Not processed in any way; no unrecognizable ingredients.

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A few links that I have found helpful in learning about the Paleo lifestyle:

http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

http://thepaleodiet.com/what-to-eat-on-the-paleo-diet/

http://paleoleap.com/paleo-101/

Our simple menu today was:

Breakfast: Mean Green juice and 3 hard boiled organic free range eggs

Snack: Mixed organic strawberries and blueberries + 1/4 cup whole almonds

Lunch: Large Salad (romaine, cucumbers, 1/2 avocado, tomatoes, fig balsamic/EVOO) + Seared Ahi Tuna (coconut oil,sesame seeds/seasonings)

Snack: Banana

Dinner: Cajun Rubbed Pork Chop + half sweet potato with coconut oil and black pepper

Tons of water!

I think we off to a good start. I will be trying out many recipes this week and keeping you posted!

-Leigh

http://www.fitfromflorida.com

PS.

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