Get after it in 2015

Photo-on-2015-01-06-at-13.52Happy New Year! I am pumped for 2015. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to do less sitting?How about you?

I have been working on my editorial calendar, and I have some exciting things in store for just about everyone, especially if you’re over the age of 35. That’s the magic number. When it happens…it as in

• you notice you’re not as strong as you used to be

• you notice you have fat where you once had muscle

• you notice you’re gaining weight, even though you’re eating less

But these are the inevitable signs of aging, right? WRONG. Aging itself is NOT responsible for physical decline, but rather a sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, hormonal changes and adverse medical conditions. A treatment plan can consist of

Thirty minutes of moderate to intense physical activity, daily

Two days per week of resistance training

Proper nutrition to support exercise levels, including respecting the interaction between training and protein.

What are your goals for 2015?  Whether you are looking to lose weight, get toned,  reduce stress, increase productivity, improve your relationship with food,  boost your confidence, perform your best, or even turn back the hands of time, I will have tips to help you GET AFTER IT!

I’d love to know your New Year’s resolutions.  Please share in the comments section below.

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This is ‘out there’ + a cocktail for brunch

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Are you embracing the virual world?  I live part of my day in cyberspace, bouncing between too many social media platforms, even my daughter is concerned. In October, when I ran my first virtual 10K  with my chocolate lab, Brody, I thought, “Wow, this is out there!” But… so too is this… today, I am, along with 39 other food bloggers,  throwing a virual 40th birthday surprise party for Regan Miller Jones.

SURPRISE!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Regan!!!!!

This post and virutal party is just a small way to say thank you to this spunky southern ReganHeadShotgal who has single handedly helped so many RDs launch their virual careers! We celebrate her, as she is responsible for rallying RD’s to become the nutrition inflencers we are, blanketing the social media with positive nutrition messages. She enforces the importance of disclosure and advises on the  best social media practices. She helps us connect with brands, teaches us the ropes about SEO, and how to photograph food. Regan is the owner of ReganMillerJones, Inc. – a nutrition communications firm specializing in marketing, recipe development & photography, as well as social & traditional media relations. It is also the parent company of Healthy Aperture.com and RecipeRedux.com and RDs4Disclosure.org.

Regan, this is your day. Congratulations, you have survived adolescence and puberty and are arriving to the awesome stage of life, many refer to as, gee you look terrific. So in honor and appreciation of  you, Regan,  I ‘m sharing a recipe for a bloody Mary, perfect for one of our favorite food occasions, brunch. I’m sure I didn’t get it quite spicy enough for YOU, so feel free to add a few more teaspoons  tablespoons of chili powder! I couldn’t decide on a garnish, but I think you’d be happy with some Cabot cheddar cheese along with something green. Before I share this recipe, let’s create some virtual laughter and  get this pArtY started with some funny quotes, for mature women only:

You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing. ~George Bernard Shaw

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball. ~ Doug Larson

Older women are best, because they always think they may be doing it for the last time. ~Ian Fleming

Men take much more notice of older women in France, so I think I might move there. I think I’m a good bet. ~ Debroah Moggach

Middle age is when you’re sitting home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it’s not for you. ~ Ogden Nash

Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy. ~anonymous

The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~ Lucille Ball

Keeping the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important. ~ Sara Gruen

When you’re a teenager, all you want to do is buy beer. But once you hit 30, all you want to do is get carded. ~Sex in the City

Join the party by folowing the links at the bottom of this post where a bunch of Regan’s blogger friends are serving up more recipes for cocktails and gluten free desserts.

Please use the comments section  to add your own favorite quotes, words of wisdom or jokes, so we can all laugh along with the Birthday Girl.

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Regan’s Bloody Mary

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 16 oz. Shiraz
  • 16 oz. tomato juice
  • 4 tablespoons cocktail sauce
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 4 skewers
  • cubes of Cabot cheddar cheese
  • assorted ingredients for garnish such as pickles, chili peppers, pickled vegetables
  • 4 stalks of celery, from the heart

Instructions

1. Fill 4 highball glasses with ice. Add stalk of celery.

2.Using a skewer, make garnish by adding cubes of cheese and other ingredients as desired. Set aside.

3. Combine Shiraz and tomato juice into a large pitch and stir. Mix remaining ingredients, cocktail sauce thru chili powder. Add cocktail sauce mixture to pitcher and stir to combine.

4. Pour bloody Mary into prepared glasses, top with skewers.

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Quinoa Pilaf with Pistachios and Cranberries

IMG_0502It’s a celebration and we’re playing a party game to  commemorate the  42nd month of the Recipe Redux. Cheers! So here’s how the game works. Grab  the nearest cookbook and redux the recipe on page 42 or 142.

Sounds like an easy task, yet this Redux has me clearly confused.  Before I tell you why, let me show you the cookbook I am reading and what’s motivating today’s recipe..Photo-225

I love Plenty More as a coffee table book, as much as I love it for its inspiration to let go of my culinary comfort zone and move into a free-flowing style that celebrates the flavors of both the Mediterranean and Middle East. This book, penned by the author of  Ottolenghi the Cookbook and Jerusalem,   is the much anticipated sequel to Yotam Ottolenghi’s  third book, Plenty.

Now, why I am puzzled? How does anyone make a recipe from a vegetarian cookbook healthier?    As I ponder this oxymoron,  I’m preparing a simplier version of Mr. Ottolenghi’s  elaborate Rice Salad with Nuts and Sour cherries that appears on page 42.  Please forgive me for leaving out the vegetables in my version of  this…IMG_0500 copy

 renamed Quinoa Pilaf with Pistachios and Cranberries. Quinoa is a high protein alternative to pasta or rice, and I ‘m serving it  to a group of omnivores accompanied by roasted brussel sprouts and pork tenderloin.  Here’s how my small crowd describes it ,”awefully delicious“.

Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see what the other books are inspiring members of the Recipe Redux.

IMG_0491Quinoa Pilaf with Pistachios and Cranberries

by Diane Boyd

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios

Instructions

1. In a medium saucepan, toast quinoa over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until quinoa is fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer quinoa to bowl and set aside.

2. In same saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and sea salt; cook stirring frequently, until onion is soft and golden light in color, 5-7 mintutes.

3. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in water and quinoa. Bring to simmer, cover, reduce heat to low. Simmer until grains are just tender and liquid is absorbed, 18-20 minutes, stirring halfway throught cooking.

4. Remove pan from heat. Add dried cranberries. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork. Stir in parsely, sliced scallions, lemon juice, and pistachios. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold.

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Round-up: Last Minute Holiday Recipes

PicMonkey Collage.holidayroundupDon’t be fooled into thinking bloggers  posting pretty pictures of foods with healthy recipes can always dazzle their guests with effortlessness. Not that you didn’t already know,  I can’t hold a candle to Martha Stewart.  Here lies my confession, I often pull meals together on the fly (gasp). If you can relate, this ones for you. I asked some of my favorite food bloggers to help me come up with a round-up for last minute holiday dishes.  These recipes use few ingredients and require minimal time. If your holiday spread is in need a side or salad,  or you’re loooking for a fun, festive dessert to take, these links will help you get in done in the nick of time.

Start with a  toast! Wine is great, but if  you’re inclined to serve something mixed this beverage from Deanna  Segrave Daly, RD at Teaspoon of Basil, has holiday written all over it. Her inspiration comes from Philadelphia restaurateur Mitch Prensky’s Honeyball.Pomegranate-Gingertini-pin

Appetizers are a great way to serve up something healthy and McKenzie Hall, RDN, from NourishRD does it well with her Roasted Vegetables with Tahini Dip .

DSC_4745Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN adds elegance to the table with this  simple, healthy  appetizer, Gluten Free Salmon Cucumber Bites.
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And Anne Mauney, MPH,RD of fANNEtasticfood shares a  creative stand-in  for the everday hummus. pumpkin-bean-dip-2-682x1024-1

Sides and Salads are alway welcome.  I don’t think you can go wrong with this beautiful side of Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds  by Kara Lydon, RD, aka the foodie dietitian..Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds-4

or this modern take on the well-established green bean casserole,  Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms with Herbed Breadcrumbs via Rachael Hartely, RD from An Avocado A Day.P1014622

I  am smitten with this Red and Green Holiday Salad with Honey Vinaigrette from teaspoon of spice.

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Desserts are fun and even a bit whimsical like this  one from Fannetasticfood.pot-de-creme_thumbDon’t panic if  you haven’t gotten around to baking cookies this season, or if Santa has already eaten more than his quota. Deanna from teaspoon of spice suggests baking  these Whole Grain Pie Crust Cookies ( made out of  refrigerated whole wheat pie crust). Whole-Grain-Pie-Crust-Cookies-FGMay your Days be Merry and Bright!

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Eggnog Recovery Smoothie (#SafeNog)

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in  the Dozen Days of Nog, a consumer campaign for Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs. I was compensated for writing this post. Opinions are my own.

Photo-224.1The holidays are upon us and you can taste the wonder and joy in everyday foods from coffee to sports bars. Today, my post is for any fitness enthusiast whose heart beats a little faster when I say, EggNog! Because of people like you, this beverage, synonymous with Christmas, has stood the test of time. First fashioned in Britian, eggnog has traveled the world, and wherever it goes,  people tend to make it their own. In this spirit, I’m putting  my very own twist on this longstanding tradition.

Last week I started whipping up these quick and delicious eggnog  smoothies to get myself in the holiday spirit,  to  refuel, rehydrate, and recover after my

photo-215distance runs and strength training. They make an egg-cellent (pun intended) way to replace both  fluid and elctrolytes lost during exercise. Each serving provides me with high quality protein important to preserve lean muscle mass and even stimulate new muscle growth, and supplies carbohydrates necesary to get ready for tomorrow’s workout.   Timing this smoothie after a bout of exercise takes advantage of the anabolic window, but it would also make a first string to-go breakfast and is fitting anytime you want to toast to good health!

  IMG_0371I love dairy and the natural sweetness of Medjool dates, but  the real hero of this eggnog  smoothie is …

pasteurized-eggs

 

SafeEggs Pasteurized Eggs  makes consumption of raw eggs safe by eliminating any risk of Salmonella without changing the nutrition or flavor.  As a matter of fact, I not only use these in my eggnog recovery smoothies (recipe below), I use them  in all of my favorite egg dishes such as  Caesar Salad, and in my Spaghetti n’ Eggs with Tomato Paprika Sauce. Plus, when I’m baking some of my  favorite holiday treats, they make licking the spoon A-okay. How is that for peace of mind?!!

 I first started using SafeEggs  because they are pasteurized, which is an all-natural, gentle warm bath pasteurization process. But I also love them because they have a farm fresh taste, and come from chickens that are raised hormone free, antibiotic free and are vegetarian fed. It should NOT surprise you that they have earned the Seal of Approval for exceptional flavor and culinary performance from the nation’s largest organization of professional chefs, the American Culinary Federation (ACF). By now your probably asking, where can I buy SafeEggs? Click here for  a store locator.

Start a new tradition using  SafeEggs in a  smoothie for recovery, in your holiday baking  and  in all of your  favorite egg dishes all year long.  Take the first step by joining the Facebook event, Dozen Days of Nog, from Dec 13-24. Connect with myself and other foodies to share tips , advice, ask questions,  find more recipes  and even contribute your own.  Because peace of mind in always in season.

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EggNog Recovery Smoothie (#SafeNog);  serves 2

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 2 Medjool dates
  • 2 whole Safest Choice Pasteurized Egg, separated
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of good quality salt such as Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4-6 ice cubes

Instructions

1. Place dates into a small bowl and cover with water for about 10 minutes to soften. Once soft, slice dates in half lengthwise and remove pits.  Chop coarsely.

2. Add dates along with egg yolks, milk, Greek yogurt, salt, cinnamon,  and ice to a blender and process until smooth. This is the eggnog base.

3. Beat egg whites till stiff peaks form.

4. Pour eggnog base into two glasses or mugs. Gently fold in egg whites. Garnish with additional cinnamon. Serve immediately.

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