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Healthy New Year Tips

Pioneer Press: Healthy New Year Tips
Posted on January 7, 2015 
Mommy on a Shoestring: Health New Year, Healthy New You

It’s a new year, and it’s time to start thinking about those resolutions we just made. For me, that means revising old habits such as eating and serving too much processed food.

Although I have the best of intentions, the craziness of school schedules, sports activities and an influx of holiday gatherings have resulted in too many store-bought, stick-in-the-microwave meals. Sure, frozen pancakes and microwave pizza are convenient, but as my family struggles to fight off yet another cold, I can’t help but wonder if changing our diet might indeed improve our health.

Does eating less processed foods really make a difference?

To coach me through this process, I consulted Kelly Brown, Certified Holistic Health Counselor and founder of Healthyforachange.com.

As a busy mother of two, Brown knows it’s hard to create healthy meals that taste good and are relatively easy to make. She also knows that for many of us, the food world is confusing with its multitude of diet options that might sound good, but are not practical for a growing family. That’s why Brown is committed to helping families make healthier choices with simple strategies and easy recipes.

According to Brown, one of the best ways to improve your family’s diet is by serving them nutrient-rich “superfoods” as much as possible.

One of the easiest places to add these foods is a smoothie. After all, smoothies require just a few ingredients, a decent blender and about 5 minutes of your time.

Brown offers a few of her favorite recipes for boosting nutrition in smoothies.

Green Monster Smoothie

A great way to start the morning, this smoothie is loaded with fiber, protein and calcium-rich foods. Flaxseeds add a nutty flavor while providing a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
You need:
1 Small frozen banana
2 Cups organic greens
1 Tablespoon almond or peanut butter
1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ Cup plain, fat-free organic Greek yogurt
2-4 Ice cubes
Superfood Boost: 1 Tablespoon flaxseeds
Optional: 1 Tablespoon ground chia seed or 1 Teaspoon maca powder

Fill blender with ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Serve immediately.

Blueberry Almond Kale Smoothie

The star of this smoothie is the antioxidant-rich blueberry, which is high in fiber and low in sugar. In a recent study, the consumption of blueberries has shown to help increase brainpower, improving memory and cognitive functioning. (Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/your-brain-on-blueberries/)

You need:
¾ Cup organic frozen blueberries
1 Cup baby kale (loosely packed)
1 Tablespoon almond or peanut butter
1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ Frozen banana
1-2 Pitted dates
2-4 Ice cubes
Superfood Boost: 1 Tablespoon flaxseed and 1 Scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood Berry

Fill blender with ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Serve immediately.

Chocolate Mint Chip Superfood Smoothie

Your family might think you are joking when you serve them this sweet smoothie for breakfast. But trust me, this smoothie is no joke, considering it contains raw cocoa nibs, which may help improve cardiovascular health, boost collagen, build strong bones and naturally elevate mood and energy.

You need:
2 Cups frozen spinach
2 Cups frozen bananas
¼ Cup raw cashews
2 Tablespoons raw cacao nibs
2 Tablespoons fresh mint leaves (packed)
2 Cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Sweetener, to taste (optional)
Superfood Boost: ¼ Teaspoon chlorella or spirulina and 1 Scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood Chocolate Powder

Fill blender with ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Serve immediately.

Want more healthy eating tips? Visit Mommyonashoestring.com for Kelly Brown’s list of “superfoods” and an easy to print out shopping list for these recipes.
- See more at: http://www.healthyforachange.com/blog/2015/01/elmwoodparkchicagotribunecom/2015/01/02/mommy-ppn-010815#sthash.1PeGFKfU.dpuf

Are you drinking enough water?

May 2015
guest blogger for Cooked-Chicago

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