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Crock-pot Boston Baked Beans

Leave the oven off and make these Boston Baked Beans in a crock-pot. You’ll never eat canned baked beans again!

Canned beans are probably the number one food I recommend everyone keep in their pantry.  I tend to buy them almost every time I’m shopping, and as a result, I have about six thousand cans in my pantry.  You never know when you’re going to have to make baked beans for the entire town.   Continue Reading..

Tuna & Freekeh Tabouli Salad

Solid white albacore tuna is a perfect protein addition to this whole grain tabouli salad. Pack some of this heart-healthy Mediterranean deliciousness in a mason jar for a healthy lunch tomorrow!

I’ve never been a big fan of deli sandwiches for lunch – you? There are only so many variations of a turkey or chicken breast sandwich that I can think of. And the really fancy ones take a bit more time to make than I can spare in the morning or middle of the day. Plus, the latest news about processed meats has given me yet another reason to work on adding more plant-based meals and unprocessed proteins to my menu. Continue Reading..

10 Ways to Celebrate the Mediterranean Diet

Have you ever visited any of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea?  We’ve been fortunate to do a little bit of traveling to that part of the world, and next to the breathtaking scenery, the thing I enjoyed most about those vacations was the food.  Never have I eaten so well – in terms of amazing, fresh flavor and ingredients, and good health.  The Mediterranean Diet is full of fresh fruit and vegetables, flavorful grilled fish, local cheeses, legumes, olives, nuts, herbs, and of course lots of olive oil.  Almost nothing is processed, deep fried, or contains preservatives, and meals are a time to relax and talk and spend time with friends and family, rather than eat on the run or in your car. Continue Reading..

A Great Reason to Love Peanuts

Hello, luscious, creamy vat of peanut butter. I’m diving in. Before I do though – does anyone know who invented peanut butter? Or any nut butter for that matter? I have no idea, I’m just throwing it out for conversation. Cause they certainly should get a Nobel Prize. Or something. Continue Reading..

5 Numbers You Need to Know to Protect Your Heart

When it comes to heart disease, there’s a lot to know. What’s good to eat, and what’s not so good. Will this raise my cholesterol, or lower it? Good fat, bad fat – or is it more about sugar? How much exercise is recommended? Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, blood pressure, and what they heck are triglycerides?

Yep. It’s complicated. Your heart (and everything that goes along with it to keep it pumping for a long, long time), is really complex, and part of the reason it gets confusing for the average consumer AKA you – is that we’re always learning more about it, and sometimes, what we thought was true wasn’t. Case point, the latest research on saturated fat, and the newest suggestion just last week that we drop the concerns about dietary cholesterol. Sigh… Research… Continue Reading..

Heart Smart Grilled Salmon Salad

February is American Heart Month, and time to show yourself some love. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the US, so make some time this month to give your heart a check up.

While there’s not much we can do about risk factors like age, genetics, race and ethnicity, there’s a LOT we can and should do to control any other risk factors. Things like quitting smoking if you’re a smoker, limiting excess alcohol use, taking medications for cholesterol, blood pressure or diabetes as prescribed, exercising regularly, aiming for a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet – are completely in our control, so do what you can here, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Continue Reading..

Pistachios = Skinny, Healthy Snacking

Quick – 5 seconds – what do you think of when you think of healthy snacks? Lemme guess… fruit and yogurt; vegetables and hummus; pretzels; granola bars… Probably not pistachios though, right?

Well… Here’s some good news for all you nut lovers who also want to make this year your healthiest one yet. You are SO allowed to add pistachios, especially the ones in the shell, to your list of healthy snacks. Hooray! Happy dance!  Continue Reading..

The Big Fat Debate – Should We or Should We Not Be Eating It?

You’ve probably seen a few headlines in the news recently about saturated fat. It seems that now research studies are finding out that it’s not so bad for us after all… Or is it? Let’s get the facts straight.

The most recent research in question was big, and it was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in March 2014. European researchers examined and compiled the results of 72 previous studies on saturated fat and heart health, and they found no link between saturated fat and heart disease. They also found no significant evidence that omega-3 and moega-6 polyunsaturated fats protect the heart.

Of course ice cream and butter eaters everywhere rejoiced with a loud “told you so!” – while those of us who are more cautious were left scratching our heads and wondering if we have a green light to fry up some bacon, and does it really matter what we eat any more? Continue Reading..

I’m Nuts For a Healthy Heart!

Despite the incredible amount of marketing I’ve seen from the almond board, the pistachio health institute, the California walnut people, and any other nut promoters out there, I still feel like nuts get a bad rap.  Whenever I mention nuts as a snack or protein source, people always seem surprised, “I thought nuts were bad!  You mean can eat them?”

It’s true that nuts have lots of fat, but their fat is almost all unsaturated (AKA Heart Healthy), and they have a bit of protein as a bonus.  Nuts are also full of vitamin E, fiber, and antioxidants, so YES, ABSOLUTELY – it’s good to eat nuts! Continue Reading..

Heart Smart Bean and Barley Vegetable Soup

You know that expression “it’s a heart attack on a plate”?  Maybe it’s not a real expression, but I always say it to describe something that is full of fat other delicious things that will clog your arteries and kill you sooner rather than later.   Well this soup recipe that I’m sharing today is kind of the complete opposite.  It’s like “a heart protector in a bowl”.

I have three favorite cholesterol lowering foods – oats, beans and barley.  Sure, there are other good things to eat for heart health, but that trio contains some of the highest sources of soluble fiber, which is the kind that lowers your cholesterol.  Soluble fiber is also great for reducing your appetite because it fills you up for longer, and slows down your digestion a bit, and it helps keep your blood sugar more stable. Continue Reading..

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