Practical, healthful eating and living.

Smoothie Secrets June 26, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy,Recipes,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 6:39 pm
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Smoothie 6_09What could be better than a smoothie after a workout on a hot day?  Try a few of the following options to jazz up your favorite blends.

  • Peel a banana and break it in half.  Freeze in a ziplock bag.  Thaw one of the halves slightly, about 10 seconds in the microwave, before adding to the blender.  Your smoothie will have a richer, creamier texture.
  • Agave syrup blends well, trumping sugar, honey and juice.  Sugar doesn’t always dissolve.  Honey doesn’t blend well with cold ingredients.  Acidic juices may not blend well with dairy.
  • Frozen berries, mango or pineapple keep well.  I have a hard time using up fresh fruit before it spoils.
  • Yogurt has “good” bacteria that’s important for your digestive system.  Use a combination of yogurt and milk to get a drinkable consistency.

Filling & Refreshing Chickpea Barley Salad June 20, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy,Recipes,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 10:19 am
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Chickpea Salad_061709I need to keep big batches of salads on hand during the summer.  They keep me going.  I love being able to pull something ready-to-eat out of the fridge.  Anything that buys me more time outdoors is a bonus for me!

This salad is filling, refreshing, chock full of fresh, nutritious ingredients, and isn’t filled with unnecessary calories.  What are unnecessary calories?  Calories that don’t contribute to your body’s health.  I’m talking about deep fried food, cake, processed food; food that has more calories than nutrition.

This recipe is fast and easy, and I loved it.


1 cup of barley

5 cups chicken broth or water

1/2 of a 15-ounce can chickpeas or garbanzos, rinsed and drained. (1 cup)

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 a sweet red pepper, cut into strips

1/2 a chopped cucumber

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed)

1/4 cup Italian Vinaigrette

Simmer the barley in chicken stock or water until plump, about an hour or so.  Let cool.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Refrigerate.  Will keep for 2-4 days.


Sun, fun and water bottles June 14, 2009

Sigg Water Bottles

Water is amazingly overlooked as a key to health and beauty.  Some people don’t like the taste of plain water.  I love it.

I keep water at my desk.  I used to carry a 24-pack of water bottles in the trunk of my car.  Any time I was thirsty as I was running errands, there it was.  I don’t do that anymore, because I’ve finally transitioned to reusable water bottles.  The point is, if it’s always in front of you, you’re bound to drink more of it.

Drinking water throughout the day keeps me refreshed.  Caffeine and sugar drinks make me feel fatigued after a while.  There comes a point where my body says, ” Enough with the chemicals, already!  Give me what I REALLY need!”

Now, I have several water bottles that I keep filled and by the door.  It saves money because I’m less likely to stop and buy something to drink while I’m out.  That also saves me time.  And, it’s good for the environment.

If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding the following.  Maybe even keep a pitcher in your fridge, so that it’s on hand when you want it.

Water Add-ins:

  • Slices of cucumber
  • Citrus wedges of lemon, lime or orange
  • Herbal tea such as mint, spearmint, berry or hibiscus.

Do we have to have that Tuna sandwich? June 7, 2009

End of LIne bigI’ve been seeing a lot on how the world’s ocean fish population is being depleted.  And then I saw the following Twitter message about how a restaurant owner has decided to take tuna off the menu.  Intrigued, I clicked on the accompanying link for more information.

@BBC_Earth Telegraph: Pret A Manger to stop selling tuna sandwiches
From there, I looked for information on the documentary that had inspired the restaurant owner, called, “The End of the Line.” It made me stop and think.  I’m not a HUGE fish eater, but I do love sushi.  Could I get by without tuna sushi?  Of course!  There are so many other options.  What’s a bit more painful is the thought of going without tuna sandwiches during the summer.  It’s been such an easy standby.  But does that make it worth losing the species?  No.

Some alternate choices:

  • Chicken salad
  • Ham salad
  • Crab salad
  • Egg salad
  • Lentil/rice salad
  • Black beans and corn mixed with a little salsa
  • Hummos with cucumber, red onion and/or red peppers
  • Tortellini salad