Don’t Judge a Food by it’s Cover Says Sprouting Souls

This past spring, my family and I took an impromptu waterfall hiking tour on the Eastern side of North Carolina.  We were surrounded by the purest forms of nature every where we looked.  We even drove through part of a Cherokee Indian reservation where Cherokee Indians still call home.  After a full morning of hiking and in transit to our next destination, we drove down a sunshine filled road with large canopy trees that were really pulling me in, bringing me a feeling of being one with nature.

After miles of preserved roads inhabited by no one we came across the cutest little farm stand, literally in the middle of no where.  My first thought was local produce, yay, “honey turn the car around” and so he did.  So excited I jumped out of the car and grabbed a basket to fill with local road snacks.  As I got a closer look, I began to realize that these things are not in season yet.  I went into talk to the owner of the stand and he told me that nothing was local and he had produce from as far as California.

It’s not that I didn’t know that tomatoes werent in season in March but in that moment I was feeling so “local” and one with nature, I didn’t really process the information fully until I took a moment to stop and think.  I did end up buying peaches from South Carolina because I did love what he had going on with his little road side stand and we were hungry.  I guess my point of sharing this with you is that sometimes we get caught up in what is put in front of us as being “healthy” or “local” or what have you and it is our responsiblity to take a step back and analyze it for ourselves.

Ask questions, read labels and know what the key ingredients are that you want to look for in your food whether good or bad.  Don’t get me wrong about the road side stand.  I am not saying that I wouldn’t eat food that isn’t local.  I love fruits and veggies from anywhere.  It’s just that my mind was in one place and the reality of the situation was not quite the same.

Keep it Real. – Andrea

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How will your unborn baby grow?

Tracy Anderson, fitness trainer to celebrity Moms such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez has been under fire all week for a comment that she made about how women use pregnancy as an excuse to let their bodies go. Well, the last thing I need after I just grew and housed another human being in body for the last 9 months is guilt.

After watching an interview with Tracy Anderson this morning on Good Morning America, I think that her intention might have been a little kinder than her actual delivery of the message.

You are growing and housing the most precious thing in the Universe inside your body for 40 weeks and it is of great responsibility to nurture this growing seed. If you just take the time to think about how what you are eating is contributing to the growth of your baby and eating food that will directly make your baby flourish you are off to a great start.

There are so many great foods available to eat that will directly affect your baby’s growth and developement in a positive way and will set a foundation for their health for years beyond your belly. Great for the Mama too!

Eating foods that are low in nutrients contributes nothing to your growing babe. BUT having a treat once in a while is a MUST, right?

When I was pregnant with my first child and had to go in for my blood sugar check, you know the one when you have to fast for so many hours and then drink that nasty orange drink? Well, when I got my test results back I was almost in tears when my Doctor told me that I was border-line diabetic. I thought how in the world could this be? I was eating right, exercising and having my treats occasionally. I had to go back a few weeks later for re-testing and everything was fine. I realized after the fact that what I had the night before my first blood test was a large snickers flurry made with chocolate ice cream, hmmm.

I don’t think that women deliberately treat their bodies as a garbage can during pregnancy. At least I hope not. Maybe it’s something to think about if you are pregnant. Take the time to ask yourself, how is this food I am about to eat going to fuel the growth of my baby and does it contain enough nutrients to have some left over for me? It is such an exciting time, I miss it!

Make it Matter – Andrea

Healthy Tips from the First Lady

This is not about politics, this is about something MUCH more important, raising healthy kids!  I saw this article and thought I’d share.  I think Mrs. Obama seems to be a pretty great mom, I mean, it can NOT be easy to raise kids in the White House with every eye in the world on you.  Even though their lives are quite different from most of ours, these are tips that any family can embrace.

Easy Stove-Top Fish with Italian Flare by Sprouting Souls

I have made this dish twice this month and both times it has been such a hit with the whole family.  The first time with salmon and the second time with cod.  It was proclaimed last night that the cod rendition was the favorite but both were delish.  I have to agree only because cod is so mild that there is no fighting over being center stage for flavor going on.  It just works together nicely.  This is actually a great way to make cod because lets face it, alone it can be pretty bland.  This recipe is so simple and it only takes about 30 minutes.  Serve it over rice, pasta or with a nice chunk of crusty bread, yum!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 tsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained

1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half

1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup of kalamata olives, cut in half

4-5 pieces of boneless, skinless fish (Cod or Salmon are great)

basil leaves chopped

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in artichoke hearts, beans and olives. Simmer for 10 more minutes.  Meanwhile, season your fish with salt and pepper.  Add fish to skillet, gently covering fish pieces with tomato mixture, cover and continue to simmer for 7 minutes.  Carefully turn fish over and cover to cook until fish is cooked through, about 7 more minutes. Can be served with rice, pasta or bread. Sprinkle with basil leaves. Enjoy!

What’s in it for you?

Kalamata Olives: high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E to protect your heart and joints

Artichokes: good source of fiber, vitamins C & K, folate, magnesium and potassium

Canellini Beans: high in fiber, low in calories, rich in protein (almost 2x as much as milk)

Tomatoes: cancer-fighting lycopene

Cod or Salmon: B6, B12, Omega 3

Keep it Simple. – Andrea

Help Fight Childhood Hunger: Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM’s BackPack Buddies Food Drive August 23, 2012

Help Fight Childhood Hunger: Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM’s BackPack Buddies Food Drive August 23, 2012.

BackPack Buddies is a great organization that gives children a backpack full of nutritious food to take home to their families so they have healthy food to eat over the weekend.  If you are in the Raleigh Triangle area, there is a food drive for BackPack Buddies today at Crabtree Valley Mall and Cary Crossroads from 6am-6pm.  To find out more click on the link above.

Power Breakfast by Sprouting Souls

I’ve been having more Greek yogurt this summer than ever before.  I needed a protein-packed breakfast or snack after a tough work-out and this is what I came up with.  I think it’s REALLY YUMMY and I love using whatever berry comes in the Produce Box or is abundant at the farmer’s market.  I also used cantaloupe when I ran out of berries and it was equally good.

Why does it have to be Greek plain low-fat yogurt?  Because Greek yogurt is packed with 15-20 grams of protein in a 6oz serving compared to 9 grams in regular yogurt.  That means you’ll feel fuller longer.  It also contains half the carbs and sodium of regular yogurt.  Another added bonus: the straining process used to make Greek yogurt removes some of the lactose which makes it easier on the stomach for those with lactose intolerance. It should be plain because if it isn’t it will be loaded with sugar or a sugar substitute.  Last, but not least, no one over the age of TWO needs full-fat dairy.

Super simple to throw together, just put yogurt in a bowl, toss on whatever berry or fruit is available, drizzle with agave syrup, and sprinkle with a tablespoon of roasted sunflower seeds.  You could also put this together in a mason jar at night to grab and go the next morning.  Yummy, healthy, easy…

Peace and greens,

Melissa

In Honor of Julia Child’s 100th Birthday!

On this day I want to give a cheer to Julia Child.  In her own unique style she brought a magic to TV that inspired America and changed the way they cooked.  Her passion for food, love and life is an inspiration to love what you do and do what you love.  You’re never too old to follow your passion.

Click on the link below to watch an earlier video of Julia cooking her famous boeuf bourguignon.

Channel your inner Julia and try cooking something new tonight and keep on cooking!

Bon Appetite! – Andrea