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Friday, June 18, 2010

3 Healthy Chicks - JUNE Newsletter

Be sure to check out 3 Healthy Chick's JUNE newsletter!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

QUINOA: One Super Food, 3 Different Ways!

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a staple food in our pantry. Although it looks and cooks like a grain often said to resemble couscous, it is actually a seed. This makes it a great nutrient-rich whole food substitute for rice and pastas. The tiny seed is considered a complete protein since it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies need. It is an excellent non-animal source of protein, but it doesn't stop there. Quinoa is also a great source of iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, copper and riboflavin, just to name a few. Since it is jammed packed with nutrients, this healthy little "grain" has powerful anti-oxidant properties that can help protect against heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, migraines and many more! It gets bonus points for cooking up to a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture in fifteen minutes, one-third the time of whole grain rice! All of these benefits make quinoa a fantastic and easy substitute for all of those starchy empty Summer BBQ calories we find in pasta and potato salads! Try making a light and refreshing quinoa salad instead. It is more delicious, certainly more healthy and its fiber will keep you full without the guilt!

Quinoa Summer Salad
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves fresh garlic minced (optional)
2 tbs. olive oil
4 tbs. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa and simmer for fifteen minutes. Let cooked quinoa cool, then toss with tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, and onion. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, then toss with the quinoa mixture. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
4 medium zucchini
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup almonds, chopped (about 2 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces)
4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions: Heat oven to 400° F. In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut-side up. Fluff the quinoa and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers
1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 (14 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red onion, grated and squeezed dry

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

Directions: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa and simmer for fifteen minutes. Let quinoa cool and then transfer to food processor fitted with metal blade. Add beans, onion, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of oil, garlic, jalapeno, salt, chili powder, cumin and pepper. Puree until smooth. Form into six 1/2-inch thick patties. Place bread crumbs in shallow bowl. Press patties into crumbs, turning to coat both sides. In non-stick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties in batches, turning once, for 8 minutes or until browned.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Truth in Advertising....

If you read this blog in a web browser instead of a feed reader, you will notice that there is now a block of text ads to the left of our side bar. We know that this type of advertising can be a turn-off to some readers, but we would appreciate if you could bear with us for a few weeks while perform a little experiment and test it out.

It's no secret that many of us bloggers use our blogs to generate additional income for our businesses. As a start up company in a new, but blossoming field, we are incredibly thankful that we are able to operate with limited start up funds. That being said, as a start up business it's a constant struggle, with tight budgets and financial decisions to be made, and the cost of printing, marketing and food items quickly ads up!

When we started this blog in August, it wasn't our intention to be a full-time blogging site, generating a full-time income - and it's still not. It's our intention to use holistic health counseling to promote local, sustainable foods and wellness opportunities. However, we're trying to do what we can to contribute to our bottom line. Through the Blogher Ad network and individual sponsor ads in our sidebar, we are able to ease the financial burden of making a start up health counseling business a success. We have been advised that the new block of text ads in that location will contribute significantly to our blogging income, so we're trying it out for a bit just to see if it makes any difference in our Google AdSense revenues (we will let you know how it works out in case you want to do the same!).

We just wanted to draw it to your attention and put out there to the universe why the new ads have appeared. We're not trying to be anything but accessible, truthful bloggers, so we wanted our thought process to be as transparent as possible.

Thank you for your readership and joining us in the adventure over the past year. Now, back to the holistic healthy living tips!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Should You Go Organic?

It took me a long time to begin forking over my precious money for organic produce. But the more organic produce I eat, the less I mind paying the extra buck or two. Besides being free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, these fruits and vegetables have better textures and are consistently better tasting. Because organic produces isn't waxed or chemically treated, it must be sold fresh, and the fresher produce is, the more nutritious and tasty it is! If you can't afford to go organic, buy locally grown fruits and vegetables when possible. They're bound to be fresher than produce that has been shipped long distances.

Keep it Fresh!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Eating for Fertility - Part III - Super Foods For Super Baby Making!

In Part I and Part II of Eating for Fertility we discussed aphrodisiacs and fertility and incorporating whole foods for optimal preconception health. In Part III, we're diving into SUPERFOODS! Superfoods are the most potent, super concentrated, and nutrient rich foods on the planet. They boost immunity, alkalize the body, elevate serotonin production and enhance sexuality....all super important for super baby making!!

Here's my short list of superfoods for super fertility:

Maca – helps to increase progesterone, which is extremely important to enhance fertility and the ability to hold the pregnancy. Maca comes from peru and is a tonic for the endocrine system. You can take this product daily. It comes in liquid, capsule and powder form.

Blue Green Algae: Chlorella (fresh water green algae) Spirulina (salt water blue- green algae)– a tiny aquatic plant that has been used by humans since pre-historic times. It's the origin of life-giving nourishment on the planet. It is packed with nutrients (protein, vitamin A, iron, phytonutrients, etc). Blue-Green Algae nourish the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems and regulate metabolism and repair tissues. The most important quality is its ability to detox the body and help to keep it alkaline (cervical mucus which transports sperm is alkaline, so it's important to eat alkaline foods).

Flax Seeds - Flax seeds contain B vitamins, maganese and magnesium. They are high in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which your body needs to balance hormones. They also contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) knowns as lignans, which block harmful xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals in the environment which have estrogenic properties) in the body. Try to get about 2-3 tablespoons of flax seeds each day; grind them up for optimal absorption and benefits. You can add them to smoothies, oatmeals or sprinkle them over a salad or oatmeal.

Acai Berry - boosts energy levels, improves digestive function, improves mental clarity/focus, promotes sound sleep, provides all vital vitamins, contains several important minerals, and is an extremely powerful free radical fighter. Acai also has very high levels of fibers, cleanses and detoxifies the body of infectious toxins, strengthens the immune system, enhances sexual desire and performance, fights cancerous cells, slows down the aging process, promotes healthier and younger-looking skin, alleviates diabetes, normalizes and regulates cholesterol levels, helps maintain healthy heart function, minimizes inflammation & improves circulation.

Bee Pollen - Bee pollen contains all the essential components of life. The percentage of rejuvenating elements in bee pollen remarkably exceeds those present in brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. Bee pollencorrects the deficient or unbalanced nutrition, common in the customs of our present-day civilization of consuming incomplete foods, often with added chemical ingredients, which expose us to various physiological problems.

Royal Jelly - This rich concentrated food contains remarkable amounts of proteins, lipids, glucides, vitamins, hormones, enzymes, mineral substances, and specific vital factors that act as biocatalysts in cell regeneration processes within the human body. Although some of the elements found in royal jelly are in microgram quantities, they still can act supremely with co-enzymes as catalysts or can act synergistically. (Meaning, the elements’ action combined is greater than the sum of their actions taken separately.) Royal jelly is rich in protein, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-6, C, E, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, inositol and folic acid.

Goji Berries - these tart little berries improve fertility and help to treat sexual dysfunction. They are particularly useful for those suffering from endometriosis and PCOS or anyone trying to balance hormones. They are believed to increase sexual fluids and enhance fertility.

So now that you know what superfoods are great for fertility and preconception health, how do you incorporate them into your diet? Smoothies are a great way to put a new twist on something old. Also, try my Banana Berry Fertility Bread!


Super Food Smoothie

2 Scoops Protein Powder (non-hormone/ no artificial sweeteners or additives)

½ Banana (frozen or fresh)

2 Tsp. Organic Spirulina Powder

1 Tsp. Maca

2 Tsp. Organic Royal Jelly/ Bee Pollen/ Propolis Plus

½ Cup Frozen Sambazon Pure Acai

1 Cup Raw Organic Milk or Unsweetened Almond Milk

3 Pieces of Ice (optional)

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Banana Berry Fertility Bread

1 Cup Gluten-Free Flour

1 Cup Non-Hormone Protein Powder

1 Tsp. Baking Soda (aluminum free)

1 Tsp. Baking Powder (aluminum free)

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

½ Tbsp Xanthan Gum

¼ Tsp. Sea Salt

3/4 Cup Overripe bananas (about 3 mashed)

¼ Cup Fresh Organic Berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)

¼ Cup Raw Organic Coconut Oil (or use grapeseed oil if you don’t like the coconut)

½ Cup Unsweetened Organic Coconut (shredded)

1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/3 Cup Raw Organic Agave

¼ Cup Raw Chopped Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.)

2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat Oven to 350*F. Lightly oil a loaf pan with olive oil.

In a medium bowl whisk the baking flour with the baking soda, baking powder, coconut, cinnamon, xanthan gum, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the bananas with the oil, agave nectar, unsweetened almond milk, and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir in the berries and chopped raw nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the banana bread cool on a rack for 20 minutes before turning it out. Let cool completely before slicing.

Keep it Fresh!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Health Chick Moment of Yoga: Universal Energy

"Both yoga & art aim at the same thing, that is, to re-establish our personal connection with the world around us according to our own inner creativity. To render body & mind a conduit through which the creative energy can flow freely, unimpeded by outer restrictions, in the trust that this energy, being a part of the universal energy, is ultimately "pure" and joyful."
- Dona Hollemann

Keep it fresh!
- Lauren