An Easy Way To Eat More Vegetables

An Easy Way To Eat More Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet. But most people don’t get the recommended amount. The US dietary guidelines say you should have 4-5 servings of vegetables and 3-4 servings of fruit each day.  

Still, another study has shown that eating up to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (that’s about 28 ounces) may be effective at preventing the risk of premature death, and staving off things like heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. 

And, eating more fruits and veggies has a host of other benefits, ranging from maintaining a healthy weight, getting better sleep, having a strong immune system, and even maintaining a healthy gut.

It may feel hard to get in your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, but even 3-4 servings are better than nothing so do your best. 

Here’s an easy recipe for sneaking more fruits and veggies into your morning routine:

Green Smoothie (serves 2)

(Based off this recipe from Simple Green Smoothies)

  • 2 cups spinach or kale (remove stems if using kale)

  • 2 cups coconut water

  • 1 cup mango

  • 1 cup pineapple

  • 1 – 2 bananas

 

  • Blend your spinach and coconut water together until spinach is fully chopped.

  • Add fruit and blend to combine with the spinach until smooth.

  • Enjoy!

 

A few tips:

  • This recipe is totally customizable, so feel free to switch out the main ingredients as needed. Change up the greens, swap the fruit, sub regular water, milk or almond milk for the coconut water– your options are really endless.

  • Using frozen fruit really helps to make the smoothie nice and icy.

  • You can make your smoothie ahead of time and it should keep for a couple of days in the fridge, or you can chop up your veggies and place then into single serving baggies to quickly dump in the blender when you’re ready making this super quick and easy. 

The Perfect Dishes To Take To Your Summer Barbecue

Looking for a tasty dish to bring to your next barbecue? These 4 options are delicious, look amazing, and best of all are bladder friendly! Whip one up for your next soiree.

Tabbouleh with Watermelon, Martha Stewart

(Image credit: Martha Stewart) 
(Image credit: Martha Stewart) 
(Image credit: Faith Durand. Recipe originally appeared on thekitchn.com)
(Image credit: Faith Durand. Recipe originally appeared on thekitchn.com)
(Image credit: Erin Kunkel; Recipe created by Georgeanne Brennan, appeared on www.oprah.com)
(Image credit: Erin Kunkel; Recipe created by Georgeanne Brennan, appeared on www.oprah.com)
(Credit: Sheila Lukins, Parade July, 2007; appeared on www.epicurious.com)
(Credit: Sheila Lukins, Parade July, 2007; appeared on www.epicurious.com)

What are some of your favorite summer recipes? Tell us in the comments below! 

Our Favorite Avocado Recipe: Guacamole!

Our Favorite Avocado Recipe: Guacamole!

It’s National MS Month and we’re celebrating by whipping up a snack that’s super good for you – especially if you have MS. Avocados are a terrific source of healthy unsaturated fat and are chock full of antioxidants. In fact, a 2013 study from Food and Function found that avocados are so good for you that they may counteract other foods that are, well, not so good for you. Subjects were fed either a plain hamburger patty, or one with avocado. Those who ate the plain burger showed a spike of IL-6 (a protein that is a measure of inflammation) four hours after it was eaten, however those who ate the burger with avocado saw little change in IL-6 over the same 4 hours. Plus, triglyceride levels (which, when elevated, can contribute to diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease) also did not rise after eating the burger with avocado (more than after eating the burger alone), despite the added fat and calories of the avocado.

There are tons of great ways to take advantage of this super food – toss some slices atop a sandwich, throw them in a salad, or, our personal favorite, whip up a delicious side of guacamole. 

The Best guacamole Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 chopped tomato (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 chopped jalapeño pepper (omit this if you don’t like the heat)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the chopped avocado, lime juice cumin, garlic, and salt. Then fold in the tomato, red pepper jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro. Serve with chips, on top of a burger, or as a dip for veggies.

Delicious Zucchini Fries

delicious zucchini fries

Looking for a healthy snack?  Try these delicious zucchini fries from health.com for your next get together.

Ingredients:

2 zucchini, cut into 3-inch sticks

1 egg white

¼ cup milk

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Vegetable cooking spray

Directions:

1.Preheat your oven to 425. 

2.Whisk egg white and milk in a small bowl.

3.In a separate bowl, combine Parmesan and seasoned breadcrumbs.

4.Dip zucchini sticks into the egg mixture, then roll them in the breadcrumb mixture.

5.Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, then place zucchini on sheet.

6.Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

A Recipe To Treat Constipation

A Recipe To Treat Constipation

For the past few days, my 83 year-old father has been a little backed up. While under my care, he has experienced this several times and at first, we credited the changes to his decreased mobility.  However, we’re discovering it’s likely the medications he’s started taking for his Parkinson’s.  Not only is his constipation uncomfortable for him, but it has also started to affect his control of his bladder.

Constipation is common among the elderly.  There are many potential causes for it – poor diet, depression or other medical condition, irregular toileting routines, medications.  It may also be a cause of bladder control problems.  When the rectum is full of stool, it may disturb the bladder and cause the sensation of urgency and frequency.

A common remedy for constipation is extra fiber in the diet.  I’ve found the recipe below helps my Dad become a bit more regular.  It can be stored in the fridge or freezer.  I’ve taken to making batches of it and freezing pre-measured servings in ice cube trays to thaw as needed.  Not only does this make prep a little easier, my Dad thinks the slightly frozen mixture is soothing and refreshing.  Begin with two tablespoons each evening, followed by one 6 to 8 ounce glass of water or juice.  After 7 to 10 days, increase this to 3 tablespoons.  At the end of the second to third week, increase it to 4 tablespoons. We usually see an improvement in Dad’s bowel habits in about two weeks. 

Special Recipe To Treat Constipation

  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup prune juice
  • Spices as desired (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)

A Bladder Friendly Recipe For Super Bowl Sunday

A Bladder Friendly Recipe For Super Bowl Sunday

It’s that time again when my whole family settles in for the night to watch the best ads of the year…err…. I mean the Super Bowl.  I’ll admit – I’m not much of a football fan.  And if my home team isn’t playing, well, you’ll definitely find me gabbing with my sister during the game and only paying attention to the TV during the commercials. 

Whether you’re like me and live only for the ads and the halftime show, or you’re a diehard Patriots/Seahawks fan, one thing we’ll both have in common this Sunday is the array of amazing food we’ll have at our Super Bowl parties.  Unfortunately, spicy dips, alcohol and my bladder do not mix well.  But I won’t let that stop me from enjoying some delicious appetizers! Below is a bladder friendly appetizer that I’ll be making this year that won’t have me running to the bathroom during halftime.  

Quinoa Tabbouleh

(from Bon Appetit, June 2012, by The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen)

Yield:  Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

  • 2-tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 garlic clove

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into ¼” pieces

  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • Pita chips

Preparation

Bring quinoa, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 ¼ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in ¼ cup dressing. (Note  - quinoa and dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover remaining dressing and quinoa separately; chill.)

Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.   Serve with pita chips.

If you’d like to make this even more bladder friendly, reduce the amount of tomatoes used to reduce some of the acidity of the dish.

P.S.  Alcohol can be tricky too. Try these recipes and shake up your water. It'll keep you hydrated and taste good!