Posts in: Healthy Eating

A Taste of Spring

Posted in: Healthy Eating // 30 Comments

Here are three scrumptious meal ideas that will have your taste bites springing with delight.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
(Bettycrocker.com)
Ingredients:
• 1/4 cup butter or margarine
• 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 9 slices pineapple in juice (from 14-oz can), drained
• 9 maraschino cherries without stems, if desired
• 1 1/3 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup shortening
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1 egg
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch square pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice.
2. In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.
3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Chinese Style Corn Salad
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Ingredients
• 3/4 cup melted butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
• 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
• 24 mini sandwich rolls
• 1 pound thinly sliced cooked deli ham
• 1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. 2. In a bowl, mix together butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and dried onion. Separate the tops from bottoms of the rolls, and place the bottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer about half the ham onto the rolls. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham, and top with remaining ham slices in a layer. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Pour the mustard mixture evenly over the rolls. 3. Bake in the preheated oven until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Slice into individual rolls through the ham and cheese layers to serve.
Chinese-Style Corn Salad
By Nina Simonds
Ingredients
• 3 cups fresh cooked corn kernels, cut from the cob while warm
• 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons minced scallion greens
Preparation
1. Toss kernels with sesame oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Season to taste, adding more vinegar or salt and pepper as necessary. Once corn is cool, add minced scallions. Toss lightly and chill briefly before serving.

Thai Chicken Curry Wraps
Ingredients
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (I used a rotisserie chicken)
• 1/3 cup pineapple, dices
• 1/4 cup red onion, minced
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or cilantro)
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds
• 2 tablespoons minced ginger
• 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
• 2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
• 4 flavored burrito-size (10-12”) flour tortillas, such as tomato or spinach
• Cooking spray

Directions
• Combine mayo, yogurt, honey and lime juice in a bowl. Fold in the chicken, pineapple, onion, and parsley. Set aside.
• In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté almonds in 1 tablespoon of oil until golden, stirring often so they don’t burn, about 1 minute. Add the ginger and curry paste; cooking for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and fold into the chicken mixture.
• Wipe out skillet and return to the burner over low heat; warm tortillas until pliable. Place 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture on each tortilla, then roll to enclose, folding in the sides like a burrito.
• Coat skillet with cooking spray and toast wraps over medium-high heat until golden on both sides, about 30-45 seconds per side. Cut in half and serve warm.

Snacking your way into productivity

Posted in: Fitness, Fresh Local Flavor , Healthy Eating // 10 Comments

Smartbox Snacks

By: Brandon Stallings, CEO, SmartBox Company

We’ve all experienced that afternoon slump. When you’re hungry, your brain has a hard time staying focused. Sure, you can devour the closest thing edible, but that’s not always the best route to productivity.

Ingredients from the food we consume enter the brain through our blood stream. These elements will help you either focus or lose focus. Most of what we eat will be broken down into a single thing – glucose. What we consume controls how we release glucose to our blood and brain. Certain foods release glucose quickly, while others have a slow release. The brain works best with a small amount of glucose circulating in the blood steam.

Getting enough glucose into your body is fairly simple, but the decision becomes more important when an 8-hour workday comes into play. For example, after eating a donut, a person will experience about 20 minutes of alertness and then a rapid drop in glucose level leaving them unfocused and tired. It’s like putting your foot down on the gas pedal until you’ve used all your fuel. On the other hand, a whole foods bar releases sugar as glucose much slower allowing us to minimize swings in blood sugar. This means a person will have a steady glucose level, better focus and higher attention levels for longer.

Being at the mercy of your office vending machines, unless they have healthier choices like SmartBox, doesn’t make healthy snacking too easy. When hunger strikes, choose a snack that you can enjoy on the go, like a Justin’s All-Natural peanut butter packet with whole grain crackers or a Lara Bar, which has a combination of protein and fiber to fill you up.

By having brain-friendly snacks handy, you give yourself a chance of overriding that afternoon slump.

Local Motives

Posted in: Fitness, Healthy Eating, Preventative Health // 13 Comments

restore your peace

By Emily Moody

Staying healthy is important, but how you keep yourself healthy all depends on what is best for you.
We asked local Jacksonvillians what keeps them on top of their game… here’s what a few had to say:

Liz Grebe – “Solid sleep.”
Tara Sheehan – “Gluten and wheat free diet.”
Dan Brown – “Vipassana meditation every morning.”
Doug Coleman – “Believing in what you are doing.”
Jennifer Hewett-Apperson – “Sleep, good food and plenty of water. Avoiding toxic people who bring you down is also a good thing.”
Celino Dimitroff – “FUN!!! Keeps you young and healthy.”
Carmen Godwin – “Laying off booze for the month has made my energy level skyrocket.”
Lindsey Shante – “I don’t go a day without using essential oils. Aromatherapy keeps me positive, energetic and my skin radiant.”
Olivia Foxworth – “Regular manicures and embracing passions regularly.”
Caroline Zwicker – “Laugh often. There’s nothing more amazing than feeling happy. Everyone looks their best wearing a smile.”
Emilie Christenson – “Kiels avocado eye cream.”
Joanelle Wood Mulrain – “Hydrate; drink water like mad – this is key!”
George Cornwell – “Humility, integrity, selflessness.”
Sara Cantor Kavalieros – “Sleep, staying hydrated, eating lots of fresh veggies & fruit & spending restorative time outdoors. Slipping up on any of these makes me feel yucky!”
Cynthia Stutzman – “The creative outlet is my zen.”
Jason Braddock – “Cycling and jogging on a regular basis.”

Photo provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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