Fresh Fruit Infused Water

lemon-water

“Would you like lemon with that?” How many times have you been to a restaurant where a glass of water was served with lemon. If you’re like me you probably answered, “No thanks.” However, I was curious, so I did some investigation of my own – and of course fresh fruit infused water has some health benefits! I decided to make a glass of my own and loved  it!

It’s simple:

Step 1: Cut up fruit or vegetable (s) of your choice and place it in the pitcher

Step 2: Fill the pitcher with water (Optional: add ice)

Step 3: Let it chill in the refridgerator for at least two hours

Here are our top 4 fresh fruit and vegetable infused water. Drink happy lovelies!

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Watermelon: Vitamin A which is important for optimal eye health and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes. Vitamin B6 helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin C help to bolster the immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body. Helps the body flush out toxins because it contains the organic compound citrulline, which is an amino acid that has been shown to help the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. It may also just give the liver an overall boost.

Cucumber: Helps the body flush out toxins because it contains the organic compound citrulline, which is an amino acid that has been shown to help the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. Keeps the body hydrated and rich in Vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium.

Mint leaves: Can help you digest more effectively, improving the flow of bile from the liver, to the gallbladder, to the small intestine, where it breaks down dietary fats.  Helps relax cramped up stomach muscles. Eliminate toxins, bacteria, and fungus from the body.

Lemon: Helps stimulate and regulate the digestive track which allows it to flow more freely and is helpful with constipation, heartburn and gas. Contains antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Promote immunity and fight infection through citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene.

Other Sources: [Love to Know] [Wiki]

Bottled Water: Is It Good For You?

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Bottle water has been cited as the second most popular beverage in the United States, next to soft drinks. Many of us contemporary professional stylistas may turn to bottle water for its convenience– we are always on the go– and because we believe it’s healthier. Brace yourself lovelies. Here are some facts about bottle water.

bottled-water-vs-tap-water

1. Bottled vs. Tap: Bottle water is considered a “food” thus regulated by the Food and Drug Administration whereas tap water is regulated by the Enviornmental Protection Agency. This means that bottled water – which is subject to yearly inspection– is less regulated than tap water which cities test daily.

Tip: Check to see if your bottled water company is a member of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), this guarantees that each company is upholding FDA standards regarding contaminants.

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2. Mineral Content: Spring or mineral content is important for your water.

Tip: The ideal water is high in magnesium (at least 90 mg per liter) and low in sodium (less than 10 mg per liter).

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3. Where it comes from: Some companies may market their product as “bottled at the source,” this may actually mean the tap. While some bottled water companies reprocess tap water, there are others that run their water through a rigorous purification process.

Tip: Do your do diligence to find the companies that purify– start at health food stores!

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4. Plastic: Water bottles are often made of plastic. The problem is that some forms of plastic are not safe and can actually be toxic.

Tip: Drink from glass bottles or from bio-plastics which are made of natural products.

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5. Proper Usage: One might think that reusing plastic bottles may be environmentally friendly but bacteria can accumulate and be very unhealthy.

Tip: Do not reuse plastic bottles. Use them once and throw them away.

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6. Proper Storage: Drinking bottled water that has been stored near chemicals like cleaning suplies and other household items, or in direct sunlight can be dangerious for you to consume.

Tip: Store bottled water in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark, room.

In sum, water is needed for the body – it’s healthy! But, be sure to get the facts about the water you drink.

Facts from Colbert, M (2007). The Seven Pillars of Health. Siloam: Florida

 

Healthy French Toast

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I’m a fan of breakfast and I’m not talking about cereal or oatmeal – although sometimes they do hit the spot. Most often I prefer French toast or Pancakes, and while Pancakes cooked in a dollop of butter or French toast dripping in a fresh whole egg is delicious – sometimes it’s nice to feel good about what you are eating, and knowing that you are doing your body a service.

food subs
The trick to any healthy recipe – or turning an unhealthy recipe into a healthy meal – are the “substitutes.” In a burger perhaps you can use avocado instead of mayonnaise and honey instead of sugar in you tea. In a burrito perhaps quinoa instead of rice. Even olive oil can be substituted for butter. In this case we will make two substitute egg whites for a whole egg and white flour bread for 100% whole wheat bread.

Here is my favorite healthy breakfast recipe, Healthy French Toast!
french-toast-ingredients
What do you need?
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup low-fat (1-percent) milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons butter or trans-fat-free margarine
8 slices firm whole-wheat bread
Let’s cook!

First you will need to preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, milk, then add your dash of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, splash of vanilla, and continue to a whisk until ingredients are completely blended. In a nonstick skillet, melt 1 teaspoon butter or trans-fat-free margarine stove-top at medium-high heat.

Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, lightly coating both sides equally. Place 3 or 4 slices at a time, in the skillet, and cook until lightly they bronze. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes. If you want to be impressive flip each over, pizzeria style and cook until the second side turns a nice bronze color, again this should take 3 to 4 minutes.

healthy french toast

Tops off to your freshly cooked French toast with fresh berries, and Enjoy!

Do you have a Snack?

snack attack

Working a “9 to 5” leaves a lot of time between meals spent on two hour conference calls, one hour holds with the help desk, and 15 minute windows scouring the break room cabinets looking for something, anything to just “snack on!” It’s quite hilarious actually, but I can not tell you how many times a day I hear the phrase: “I’m just looking for something to snack on.” Even worse, the snack usually ends up being a bag of chips, a slice of leftover birthday cake, or, my personal favorite, a half of a bagel– no judgement. So I decided to put together a list of healthy “snack” options. And no, cookies did not make the cut : ) :

Cheese snack

1. Apples and Cheese, Yummmm! I love green apples but try a “Pink Lady” or “Gala” apple with Brie, it’s delicious.

trailmix

2. Trail Mix is perfect for “on the go” hungry. It is one of those snacks that is okay to eat when walking into a meeting or running across the street to the post office. Oh and be sure to avoid the kind with chocolate bits.

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3. Dry Mango, is my favorite snack. Now, it is important not to buy the packet with all the added sugar, because that would completely defeat the purpose. But I will still say this is a definite “sweet tooth” satisfier.

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4. The best thing about Greek Yogurt is it never has to get boring because there are so many different flavors. It even has a ridiculously high amount of protein, YAY!

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5. When all else fails, keep it simple and make a Fruit Salad!

There are so many people who feel like snacking is a bad thing, but if you eat a healthy plate of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner (portion control is key my friends) then snacking, on healthy options of course, will likely do no harm and, in fact, may help prevent you from over eating at your next meal.

The 5 Parts of a Healthy Plate

Thanks to our friends at Harvard, knowing what to eat has been made a little bit easier! Their Healthy Eating Plate offers us a visual guideline to nutritional necessities, including proportional sizes! Here are the five key components to a healthy meal!

1. Vegetables: The green things we all love! Asparagus, broccoli, and salad don’t have to be dry, you can add delicious flavoring but be sure to use healthy oils and don’t go overboard with the salt. My favorite is calorie- decreasing celery, all by itself! 

2. Fruits: The colorful array that sweetens our day! Every meal should be paired with a serving of fruit, and for you lovelies with sweet cravings like me, this might satiate your sweet tooth.

3. Whole-grains: With grains like pastas, rice, and bread, whole wheats and whole grains are always better. Contrary to popular belief it doesn’t always taste bad. 

4. Healthy Protein: A little meat won’t hurt, but sticking to fish and chicken is best. Try to stay away from red meats and processed meats! If you don’t eat meat, quinoa and beans are a good source of protein.

5. Water: With every meal, water is the best way to quinch your thirst. You may also have tea or coffee with little to no sugar, and limited amounts of milk/dairy and juices.

Now that you know the makings of a healthy meal, bon appetit lovelies! 

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