It’s Pumpkin Time!

It’s that time of year when I start pulling out my pumpkin spiced candles, decorating the house with fall colors, ordering pumpkin spiced lattes and pumpkin flavored donuts (occasionally of course😜), enjoying the smell of the fresh fall air, windows open, and having football on all weekend long. Nothing compares to this amazing feeling of peace and happiness.
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One thing that’s for certain is that pumpkin is ALL around us, which is so exciting as it is such a multi-functioning, excellent source of nutrition! I can’t help but take advantage of it this season. Whether I am baking pumpkin muffins, pancakes, sauce, or adding it to my smoothie, I will certainly be experimenting with all kinds of recipes this season. The good ones I will be sure to post!

This being said, I wanted to share how cooked pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds can aid in your nutrition and well-being in hopes that you may be consuming lots of it this season!
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• Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and low in calories, 3 grams of fiber and only 49 calories per 1 cup. A fiber-rich diet has been consistently known to aid in weight loss.

• 1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides you with more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids in vision.

• The antioxidant beta-carotene found in pumpkin has been researched and found to possibly play a role in cancer prevention.

• The same free radical neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay have also been known to diminish the signs of wrinkles.

• Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in plant based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown to lower LDL, aka “bad” cholesterol.

• The amino acid found in pumpkin seeds has been known to be an all natural mood enhancer. Grab a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds to improve your mood!

• Cooked pumpkin is a great source of potassium, even better than a banana! 1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides you with 564 milligrams of potassium vs. 422 grams in a banana. This is a great post workout snack as it refuels the body for faster recovery.
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All of this information has been gathered from various resources and intended to provide valuable information to improve overall health and well-being.

Cheers to Mindful, Healthy Living!

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Zucchini Quiche – Paleo Style

One of my most challenging meals to plan for is breakfast. I often find myself reaching for the most convenient breakfast meal and often times it’s the least healthiest option. Ideally, I would like to start my day with some vegetables, protein and lean carbohydrates so I’ve been doing some research and adapted this recipe from a Paleo recipe. I found this recipe to be easy to prepare, nutritional, filling, easy to reheat throughout the week and most importantly tasty! I added in the Applegate Chicken Sausage for added taste and protein. This can certainly be omitted for a vegetarian dish.

Here are the details 🙂

Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
• 8 eggs + 2 egg whites
• 2 medium sized carrots – shredded
• 1 medium to large sized zucchini – shredded and squeezed with a cheese cloth or paper towel to remove excess water
• ½ teaspoon rosemary
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• ½ tablespoon of soft organic butter to coat the pan
• 2 Applegate Farms Apple Chicken Sausage (optional and can be found at Trader Joes) – Cooked and Thinly Sliced

Directions:
Shred the carrots and zucchini and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, mix well the eggs and egg whites and add the rosemary and salt. Add the shredded carrots, zucchini and chicken sausage. Mix well.
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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9” x 12” pan with butter and add the egg mixture. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
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Quick, Easy and Delicious!

Cheers to Mindful, Healthy Living!

Baked Chicken Alfredo Casserole- Healthy & Easy – I Promise!

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Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 bunch of cauliflower (~2 cups)
• ½ cup of chicken or vegetable broth
• ½ fresh squeezed lemon
• ½ cup low fat milk (any milk you prefer works)
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
• 4-6 gloves of garlic – minced
• Salt and pepper to taste
• ½ lb of Chicken (omit for vegetarian diet) – diced
• ½ lb of your favorite pasta (I like shells – whole wheat for my man and brown rice (gluten free) for me).
• Bread crumbs (optional)

Directions:
Boil Cauliflower heads in water until tender. Meanwhile, mince garlic and add to blender along with broth, lemon juice, milk and butter. Once cauliflower is tender, drain water and let cool (~3 minutes) before placing in the blender. Add cauliflower and blend, slowly add in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper for taste. Keep in blender until your chicken and pasta are completely cooked.

Place diced chicken, pasta and sauce in a medium size dish. Sprinkle your favorite bread crumbs on top and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

* Add some broccoli or peas if you want to get crazy! 😉
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Kale Chips Kraze!

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It’s true…kale has become one of the most talked about leafy greens within the last year, rightfully so, because of the incredible health benefits it contains.

Kale is a vegetable that is dynamic and can be eaten raw, steamed, cooked and even baked – which is my favorite! Kale is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is especially high in Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin A, providing you with at least 100% of your daily intake in just 1 cup of kale chips.

This past weekend I bought a HUGE bushel of kale from the local market and literally debated in my head what I should do with all of this kale. I am not a big fan of eating raw kale unless I put it in my smoothie so I decided to whip up some kale chips, which to my surprise were a huge hit so I wanted to share with you all how to make them and keep them in the house for an easy, healthy snack — a great alternative to potato chips too!

How to prepare Kale Chips:
Ingredients
• 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Sea salt or garlic salt, for sprinkling
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.
Variations include adding soy and sesame seeds OR adding a bit of parmesan cheese for a bit of a cheesy flavor.
Cheers to Mindful, Healthy Living!

Chicken “Fried” Rice!

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Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Here’s what I will be making for dinner tonight, a recipe that is packed full of nutrients and tastes so delicious. It can be easily modified as well for those following a vegan diet. Makes a great entrée!

Ingredients:
• 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other oil if you prefer)
• ½ onion, peeled and diced
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
• 1-2 egg(s), beaten (optional for vegan diet)
• ½ zucchini, diced*
• ½ cup of green peppers, diced*
• ½ cup of red peppers, diced*
• ½ cup of button mushrooms, sliced*
• 2 cups cooked long grain brown rice
• 3 tablespoons shoyu**
• 1/3 cup of water
• sea salt to taste
• ½ pound of chicken or tofu, chopped (optional for vegan diet)
• 2 scallions, minced

*You can use any array of vegetables you would like (other options that taste well are peas, broccoli, corn, etc).
** Shoyu is a dark brown soy sauce made from soybeans that have been naturally fermented; contains wheat. This can be found in most grocery stores.

Directions:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onion and garlic for approximately 2-3 minutes. Add in remaining vegetables and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add egg and mix until cooked. Add sea salt for taste. Add cooked rice, shoyu and water to pan mixture. Cover and steam for 3-4 minutes. Garnish with scallions.

Cheers to healthy cooking!

Sunday Morning Omelet with a few Anti-Inflammatory Sides!

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Omelets are an excellent way to incorporate vegetables in your morning meal.  I use anything from tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, green and red peppers, and maybe a tiny bit of cheese if your digestive system can handle it ;).

I typically do 1 full egg and 1 egg white to cut down on the saturated fat from the yolk.  I then, chop up all my vegetables and place them in a small pan with a tsp. of olive oil and sauté for a few minutes.  I whisk my eggs and the tiny bit of cheese mixture together and add to the veggie mix.  Cook on medium to low until most of your egg mixture is not runny and then with a spatula flip over and cook ~1 min and then fold over like an omelet.  Voila!  Delicious and nutritious breakfast for any morning!

I also add some blueberries, which are an anti-inflammatory food for those of you who have autoimmune diseases and have some silent (internal) inflammation.  Blueberries are good for my Hashimoto’s to reduce any internal inflammation.  I also added a Food for Life, Gluten Free, english muffin.  Why Gluten Free?  Products that contain gluten can also have an inflammatory response, not to mention it can prevent your thyroid from producing thyroid hormone, something that I, having Hashimoto’s, wants to avoid as much as possible.  Gluten free english muffins are perfect for breakfast and don’t make me feel bloated or weighed down and lethargic. 

For more information regarding my story and Hashimoto’s, please visit here.  Any questions regarding anti-inflammatory foods, please contact me at lacey.maiman@gmail.com . I would love to hear from you!

Rise and Shine!

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Good morning!! It’s a beautiful Saturday morning here in Hoboken, NJ. Woke up craving some fresh juice so I made some and drank most of it before I remembered to take the picture (it was that good). Thankfully, I remembered and was able to capture the last few sips for you all. 🙂

Apple Carrot Ginger Juice!
– Carrots are the richest plant source of vitamin A, contain high levels of beta-carotene and a good source of potassium.
– Apples contain antioxidants that help protect “good” cholesterol levels in the blood.
– Ginger root reduces nausea, pain and inflammation, and provides heartburn relief. It also aids digestion and may help to boost the body’s thermogenesis and metabolism.