Pumpkin Pasta with Toasted Walnuts and Spinach

Posted on October 15

Ingredients

8 ounces of your choice of pasta***
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (I used canned)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp half and half (Exclude for a vegan recipe.)
1 cup vegetable broth
pinch ground nutmeg
Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
2 cups baby spinach, heaping
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Parmesan cheese (Optional; Use crushed walnuts for a vegan recipe.)

Instructions

Cook the pasta and set aside but keep it warm.

While the pasta cooks, bring a large skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook just until fragrant. Whisk in the tomato paste, pumpkin, and half and half. Add the vegetable broth. Stir and let cook on low about 5 minutes.

Add the spinach. Cook until it lightly wilts.

Stir in pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts and Parmesan, if desired and serve.

***You can use spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, Miracle noodles, shiratake noodles or any low carb noodles for a reduced calorie/sugar version.

Pumpkin-Pasta-Pin-1

A cookie alternative....

Posted on October 11

Ironically enough, I was looking for a healthy baked treat for my dog and came across this product. I am very impressed by the all natural ingredients and the macro-nutrient balance. For two cookies, there is only 4 grams of net carbs and 7 grams of healthy fats and protein!
They are delicious, so portion control may be an issue...

1 c

FIBER

Posted on October 11

We need between 25 and 50 grams of fiber per day for various reasons, such as, heart health, cancer prevention, improved bone density, weight loss and reduced brain inflammation.

The reason to ditch grains as your main source of fiber is that a high-grain diet promotes insulin and leptin resistance, thereby raising your risk for chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. A much better choice is to focus on eating more vegetables, nuts and seeds, including:

Organic whole, unsweetened husk psyllium. Taking psyllium three times daily could add as much as 18 grams of fiber to your diet.

Chia seeds. A single tablespoon will provide about 5 grams of fiber.

Sprouts such as sunflower sprouts

Berries

Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts

Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes and jicama

Mushrooms such as button, chanterelle, maitake, shiitake and oyster mushroom

Peas and beans. Keep in mind beans are best avoided if you are sensitive to lectins.

Friday Funny....

Posted on October 05

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken with Almond Butter Sauce

Posted on October 02

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp sriracha chili sauce
¼ cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic minced
½ tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Optional Toppings

Basil chopped
Slivered or sliced almonds or peanuts

Instructions

Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker (cut in half if desired). In a small pot, combine all other ingredients on medium heat and allow to warm through until the almond butter combines with the rest of the ingredients. Pour sauce over chicken and turn slow cooker to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours or for 3 to 4 hours on high.

Serving Ideas

Over zucchini noodles
With stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, edamame, pea pods, carrots, bell peppers and/or onions
Atop brown rice, quinoa or other whole grain

Nutrition Per Serving

Calories 273; Total Fat 9g; Sodium 628mg; Carbohydrate 10g; Fiber 1g; Protein 38g

thaialmondchicken7

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Posted on September 26

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash
1 cup snow peas
5-6 baby carrots, grated
8-10 mini red, yellow & orange peppers, julienned
1 egg, scrambled
1 lime, quartered
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 generous tbsp. of almond butter
1 tbsp. grated, fresh, ginger
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut through spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds. Coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast face up for 35-40 minutes, and let cool for 30 minutes before scraping spaghetti out with a fork.
Meanwhile, prepare veggies and sauce. Saute snow peas and peppers. Combine soy sauce, olive oil, almond butter, vinegar, ginger and red pepper into a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Use a fork to loosen the spaghetti squash, and remove from skin. In a large bowl, combine spaghetti squash, sauce and veggies. Mix until combined, and scoop back into squash skin. Grate fresh carrot on top. Scramble the egg and put it on top of everything. Garnish with the lime and enjoy!

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Inflammation

Posted on September 19
Inflammation is a response of vascular tissue to a harmful stimuli.
 
Inflammation has a role in various disease states including RA, CAD, asthma, diabetes, depression, anxiety and even Alzheimer's.
 
Food and eating patterns can be inflammatory.
 
Inflammation and stress can lead to accumulation of belly fat, which in turn can produces inflammatory hormones that affect your appetite.
 

Exercising Fasted

Posted on September 17
I never used to exercise on an empty stomach. As a rule, I put something in the tank 2 hours before a hike or lifting weights to make sure I didn't lose energy...or pass out. But it turns out that exercising in a fasted state worked for me. Instead of feeling light-headed, I had more energy and strength. I marched up that mountain on a mission or was able to lift heavier weights.
 
Major perk: Science shows that exercising in a fasted state can supercharge your body's fat-burning potential.
 
** Not everyone can exercise fasted due to blood sugar balance issues. So start with an easy work out and monitor how you feel. You may want to bring a small snack or even a hard candy in case you start to feel light headed.
 
**If you are starving immediately after exercise, you are not burning fat for fuel, just sugar in the blood stream. If after a work out you are not immediately hungry, you were in the fat burning zone. It will be normal to feel hungry in 30 to 60 minutes after the workout when all the fatty acids have cleared your system.

How to Order Healthy Sushi

Posted on September 12

1. Avoid Tempura
2. Skip Spicy Rolls
3. Rethink Rice.. skip the rice and ask for rolls wrapped in thin cucumber (naruto roll) or seaweed or.... just ask for light rice.

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Convenient Dinner Options....

Posted on September 11

Look for riced or spiraled veggies in your produce department for a fast, convenient and low carb dinner option. I really like that I can heat up marinara sauce and simply throw in the zucchini "noodles" and dinner is ready in minutes!

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