Saturday, January 14, 2012

Healthy Bites

Lately I have been feeling really blah, I think January is such a hard month to get back on track after the holiday season in Nov/Dec. So I have a plan to tackle this, enough is enough. It's not that I have been eating really bad, I just know that I can make better choices. For example, eating processed foods like crackers, chips, white flour, pasta, frozen quick lunches etc. I still eat my smoothies 4-5 times a week with my cocktail of supplements which include fish oil, probiotics, enzymes, whey, flaxseed, oats, magnesium, vit c and coconut oil along with my favorite 100% juice, frozen fruit. I'm kind of getting bored with it, so I've decided to add the 'Green smoothie' to the mix.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to add the 'Green smoothie' to my diet is because, I have a iron deficiency called 'Thalassemia' (Its is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia). There are two types and I have 'Thalassemia Minor' so it doesn't cause major problems for me but I do need to watch my Iron levels because they can easily drop, symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, jaundice etc. My Doctors have always kept an eye on it for me and I try to take a Iron Supplements whenever I start to feel the symptoms. I try to treat it with food more then supplements. But if I don't stay on top of it, I feel it. Usually, exhaustion. 

Foods that contain high amounts of Iron include, Soybeans, Quinoa, Beans, Apricots, Sun-dried tomatoes, Spinach, Sprouts, Coconut, Kale and Chards, Raisins and obviously Red Meat. I listen to my body, when I'm low in iron I start to crave apricots, lentil sprouts, beans, dark green leafy vegetables and red meat. I go for it, I don't hold back. (Last night I had a New York strip steak with a salad at Red Rock, it was so good). Going back to my new 'Green Smoothie' kick. I'm going to be adding two recipes to my weekly routine. By the way, the boys both eat my smoothies. No complaints. Ever.

Green Smoothie #1
1/2 can of pineapple with 1/2 the juice
a ton of fresh spinach
1 banana
chia seed/flax seed
(plus my cocktail of supplements)

Green Smoothie #2
1 frozen sliced banana

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt

1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)

4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)
(plus my cocktail of supplements)

Like most families, we love to eat cookies. We enjoy making them together. But I think I am going to replace cookies with muffins. But a new kind of muffin. No sugar. No artificial sweeteners. No white flour. This will help cut out processed white flour and white sugar.

Chocolate Banana Muffins
1 large egg
3 T melted butter
1/4 c honey
3/4 c mashed banana
2/3 c plain yogurt (I used greek)
1/4 c fresh pitted dates (sugar medjool is my favorite variety for this recipe)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 c + 10 T of whole wheat flour, spelt flour, Kamut flour, etc
1/3 c cocoa
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1/4-1/2 c finely chopped dark chocolate (optional...and obviously this has sugar in it)
In a food processor, or blender, combine egg, butter, honey, bananas, yogurt, vanilla and dates. Process until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients with dry, gently and just until combined. Scoop into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees. For mini muffins, it makes 24, and they cook for about 12 minutes. For regular sized muffins, it makes 12 and they cook for about 16-18 minutes. Remove from tin immediately.