Sweet Stuffed Squash

Squashes are all the rage right now because they’re in season and you can find them fresh at your local farmer’s market.  I love fall for all it’s glorious colors, delicious sweet and colorful vegetables, apples and pears, and since it’s been chiller, the fresh greens taste sweeter too. 

Here’s a great recipe for stuffed squash. You can use acorn or delicata or experiment with your favorite. I tend to like these two because they can be cut in half and make a perfect bowl size for stuffing.  Both are very sweet but delicata is the sweetest of the two.  Stuffed Squash Recipe

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My 3 Day Detox

detox smoothieIt’s day 3 of my Dr. Oz 3-Day Detox and I feel fantastic, completely cleared out and full of energy.

Usually I like to do my 5-7 day Whole Foods Spring Cleanse but this year I thought I’d try something different, a juice fast.  It’s only 3 days-how hard could that be?

 The first day I did not feel so good.  I was having withdrawal symptoms coming off of caffeine and sugar which, for me, manifested in the form of a headache.  I was tired, irritable, depressed and had an overall flu-like feeling. Yuck! My body was detoxing.  I KNOW better and would suggest to anyone who wants to do a cleanse, it is best to wean yourself off of caffeine a few days before going cold turkey.  That way you will avoid major withdrawal symptoms.  I didn’t realize how much caffeine and sugar I actually was ingesting on a daily basis from my multiple cups of green tea and from, I admit, my weakness, which is baked goods and chocolate.  Oh, denial is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?!

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Get Out of Your Food/Mood Rut

woman eating cakeDo you ever get stuck in a food rut? Do you find yourself eating and craving the same certain foods and can’t seem break out of negative thinking and unhealthy eating habits?

I admit, I’ve been stuck in a food/mood rut (too much baked goods and carbs), and I need a good kick start to re-boot my body and break these habits.  I’m excited to begin a 3-day juice fast tomorrow!

Spring is a great time to shake things up with cleansing or fasting for a short period of time.  It will clean your body by giving it a break from rich and complicated foods.  Cleansing means paring down your food to just simple fruits and vegetables, lots of water, whole grains and minimal protein.  Fasting means limiting most foods and drinking lots of water, fresh vegetable and fruit juices, teas and soups.  I usually do my 5-7 day Whole Foods Spring Detox and Cleanse (the 4th product in my Healthy Life Series), but this year I’m trying something different and doing a 3-day fast! I’m following Dr. Oz 3-day Detox/Cleanse with a few minor alterations.  It’s only 3 days!  How hard could this be? Read More→

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Recipe of the week: Quiche

quicheQuiche is wonderful for breakfast, brunch, lunch or a simple dinner when served with a salad and a small baguette or whole grain bread.  It keeps for several days in the refrigerator and just needs to be reheated when you’re ready to serve and eat. Or cook up a few ahead of time and freeze them.  Eggs are a complete source of protein because they contain all the essential amino acids.  But if you are not eating egg yolks you can make it w/egg whites only.  Quiche is a great healthy meal anytime and is convenient because it can be prepared ahead of time.  And real men do eat quiche!

  Recipe and IngredientsRead More→

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What to Do About the Flu

dog w fluWith all the media hype over the flu outbreak this year, it’s enough to send anyone in a panic running for the hills or else caving in and getting a flu shot.  I don’t recommend doing either but a better way to deal with winter colds and the dreaded flu is to boost your immune system naturally. Ok, sounds good, you say, you probably hear it all the time, but how the heck do we do that?

I am a firm believer in healing your body with whole foods and healthy lifestyle practices and using the occasional homeopathic or herbal remedy to get you through the tough times. First of all, eating nutrient rich foods is a great way to keep healthy and boost your immune system naturally. More than 200 viruses can cause cold symptoms. That’s alot of bugs and healthy winter eating can boost your immune system to ward off illness. So I’ll start with food-here’s a few top  immune boosters:  Read More→

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Health Tip of the Day-Super Brussels Sprouts

Tis the season for Brussels sprouts and not only do they taste great but they are loaded with nutrients.

They contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E and K, beta carotene, folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, Omega 3 oil and protein.  With all these vitamins and minerals they help boost your immune system and are good support for the kidneys and bladder. This is the time of year when you want to nourish these organs.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the two organs associated w/winter are the bladder and kidneys. Symptoms associated w/weakness in these organs include:

  • bladder and kidney infections
  • low back pain
  • knee pain
  • cavities in teeth
  • weak or broken bones
  • infertility
  • premature gray hair or hair loss
  • ringing in the ears
  • increase of phobias or fears

Experiencing any of these symptoms? For more information refer to my blog article Tis the Season for UTI’s

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for roasting Brussels sprouts that will be sure to please even the most finicky eaters.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

3 tablespoons good olive oil

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. If large, cut them in ½ or thirds. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan or toss them from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.  Serve immediately. (Optional: Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and or red grapes and roast all together). The combination will create that sweet and crunchy taste. Joanne DiMauro website

 

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Go Green and Get off the Joe-Important Reasons to Drink Green or White Tea

Green and white tea are available in a range of varieties and have many health benefits. Some benefits are:

  1. High in antioxidants, which can promote stronger bones, lower cholesterol levels, and lower rates of heart disease and some types of cancer.
  2. A good source of EGCG, a polyphenol that may help to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, and boost the immune system.
  3. Antibacterial – a 2010 study from Egypt suggests that drinking green tea enhances the effects of antibiotics, even against drug-resistant bacteria and “superbugs.”
  4. They are energy boosters, low in caffeine yet high in polyphenols which also can help eliminate seasonal allergies.
  5. Green tea can prevent blood glucose spikes after eating. Green Tea and Blood Glucose
  6. White tea may promote weight loss by inhibiting accumulation of fat in cells and stimulating fat burning activity. White Tea and Fat Cells
  7. Green tea generates new brain cells linked to improved memory and spatial learning and builds stronger bones. Green Tea and Memory

Introduce yourself to the healing powers of these teas by substituting a cup of green or white tea for a cup of coffee, and you will soon be enjoying the health benefits of this delicious beverage!

Eck you say, it tastes like grass. Not so! There are a plethora of delicious green teas out there!  Explore and experiment w/different ones and before you know it you will become a connoisseur of teas. Make sure you read the labels and be on the lookout for additives or enhanced “flavorings” which is code word for chemicals.

One of my favorites is Ban-cha, a great tasting toasted green tea.  Choice and Yogi brand teas are a few “clean” tea brands that you can usually find in your local Whole Foods.  They have no additives such as artificial sweeteners or flavorings. Joanne DiMauro website

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Health Tip of the Day

The National Cancer Institute recommends at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily.

Fiber has been shown to prevent some forms of cancer.  Fiber promotes healthy regular bowel movements and moves food quickly through the digestive tract to minimize the time that potential carcinogens are in the intestines.

The easiest way to get fiber in your daily diet is to eat fruit and vegetables (not juicing-it eliminates the fiber), eat beans and whole grains (i.e. brown rice, barley, oatmeal (but not instant oatmeal), popcorn (but not movie theatre popcorn!) The rule of thumb concerning whole grains: the longer the cooking time the more fiber they contain.

If you love your fresh juices but want to hold onto the fiber, all you need to do is make them in a regular blender.  Cut up greens, fruit and veggies into small chunks and put them in blender with some water and ice cubes. Certain fruits like bananas or avocados will make your juice drink thicker.  Here’s a quick demo of how to make a kale and fruit smoothie.

Green vegetable/fruit smoothie

JoanneDiMauro.com

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Health Tip of the Day

Dr. Oz says “desserts are metabolic suicide! ” To reduce that middle age spread cut out the sweets.  Okay, too extreme for you?  Then shoot for one of Michael Pollen’s food rules, “snacks and sweets on days that begin with S.” (Pollen, Food Rules).

Dr. Andrew Weill says, “contrary to what many women believe, menopause doesn’t lead to weight gain. Instead, the drop in estrogen redirects the process of fat storage in women from the hips to the abdomen.  But the weight gain so many women experience after menopause can’t be blamed entirely on hormonal changes. The fact is, as we get older, we need fewer calories because there’s a shift in body composition from lean muscle mass to fat and a consequent slowdown in metabolism. If you want to maintain your weight as you get older and avoid weight gain, you have to cut back your food intake by about 200 calories per day; this applies to men as well as women. The other part of the equation is exercise. ” (Menopause Re-arranges Women’s Fat)

Not that easy you say. So what else can you do? If you want the full explanation of what causes belly fat and what other tips you can take to lose it, go to my blog article: What Causes Middle Age Spread?

 

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Health Tip of the Day

Some conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contain more pesticides than others.  The fruits and vegetables with the highest concentration of pesticides are:  apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries.  For the complete list of Environmental Working Group’s  “dirty dozen” and “cleanest 15” go to: Complete Guide to Pesticides.  If you’re out shopping and you forget your list, the rule of thumb is, if you can peel it, it”s probably safe to buy conventional produce, if you’re eating the skin, try to buy organic.

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