One of my favorite salads this Summer is KALE with HONEYED MACADAMIA NUTS. I found this recipe while shopping at Whole Foods.  Subtly sweet and oh so healthy!

Ingredients: Serves 6 
2 tablespoons honey , divided 
1/2 cup roasted and salted macadamia nuts 
2 bunches kale , thick stems removed, leaves thinly sliced 
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
1 1/2 tablespoon creamy almond butter 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
In a medium bowl, toss 1 tablespoon honey and nuts with 1 teaspoon water. Bake on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, tossing two or three times, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and roughly chop. Arrange kale in a large, deep skillet. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, almond butter, remaining honey and 2 tablespoons water. Drizzle over kale, cover and cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until wilted and just tender, about 5 minutes. Scatter nuts over the top and serve.


Whether going on a 5-mile walk or a 500-mile long-distance trek, you should have some food along. With that being said-My husband is preparing for a 4 day hike with the guys and I decided to make him these amazing endurance crackers that a good friend of mine recommended from "Oh She Glows" These Endurance Crackers are extremely light and crispy while providing long-lasting energy. They are also vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, sugar-free, and oil-free to boot!

They are delicious!!! RECIPE: http://bit.ly/ydviEn

Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls | Beautiful Healthy Foods

Rich, nutty avocado is a great carrier of flavors, like the fresh herbs and cooling cucumber that star in these fresh rice-paper rolls—fitting, as these rolls are like a salad that is eaten out of hand.


Health Benefits

Mint = digestion

Avocado = Heart health: One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

Carrots = Anti-Aging The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.  It help slows down the aging of cells.

Cucumbers = Hair Growth: Cucumber contains silicon and sulphur and thus a regular intake of cucumber can help promote healthy hair growth.


  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 2 Tbs. rice bran or canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Haas avocados
  • 20 rice paper rounds, 6 or 8 inches in diameter
  • 10 green lettuce leaves
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 2 carrots, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into thin strips


In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce and brown sugar until the sugar dissolves; set aside.

Halve, pit and peel the avocados, and then cut them into 1/2-inch dice.

Place a wide, shallow bowl of warm water on a work surface. Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the bowl. Dip 1 rice paper round into the water for a few seconds to soften, then lay it flat on the towel. Dip a second round into the water and lay it directly on top of the first one. Using another towel, pat the top of the rice paper dry.

Center a lettuce leaf on top of the stacked rice papers. Starting about one-third in from the edge closest to you, arrange a few of the basil and mint leaves in a line across the lettuce. Top with a small row
each of the carrot, cucumber and avocado; be careful not to overstuff the roll. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper up and over the filling and then roll once to form a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and continue to roll the paper and filling into a tight cylinder. Set aside, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients to make 10 rolls.

Cut each roll in half crosswise and arrange, cut side up, on a platter. Place the sauce alongside for dipping and serve immediately. Makes 20 rolls; serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
New Flavors for Appetizers, by Amy Sherman (Oxmoor House, 2008).

May Strawberries... and healthy recipes

Although you can get strawberries grown in Florida, California and points beyond all year long, there’s nothing better than picking your own fully ripe berries in season. You can inhale the sweet fragrance, sample often, stain your fingers and pile up way more than you can use. Health-wise, strawberries are great—they boast fiber, more vitamin C than any other berry, and 1 cup of fresh whole strawberries has a respectable 35 micrograms of folate, the powerful B vitamin that creates normal red blood cells and is crucial for prenatal development. The anthocyanidins found in these ruby mouthfuls also help protect against heart disease. Get inspired with these delicious strawberry recipes. All are worthy of whipping up for a little strawberry social with family or friends.

Check out some of my favorite healthy strawberry recipes!

♥  Green Salad with Strawberries & Goat Cheese


  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup , or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper , to taste
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 3 cups watercress, tough stems removed
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries , (about 12 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup fresh chives, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans , (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese


  1. Whisk maple syrup (or brown sugar), vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add spinach, watercress, strawberries and chives; toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top with pecans and goat cheese.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To toast chopped or sliced nuts, stir constantly in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. 


Strawberry-Almond Smoothie


  • 10 frozen whole strawberries
  • 1 cup almond milk or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu, (4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Combine strawberries, almond milk (or low-fat milk), tofu and sugar in a blender. Blend until frothy and smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into tall glasses and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Almond milk is a delicious, low-fat alternative to skim or low-fat milk, especially for the lactose-intolerant. 

Check out our live strawberry picking adventure at Mitchell's Berries below :)

Anti-aging secrets - Forget the fountain of youth

Forget the fountain of youth! A well-balanced diet can help you lose weight, live longer and feel fitter. But it can also help you look younger.  According to the Dr. Oz Show this is what you should know about anti-aging. "Load up a plate at the feel-better buffet and turn back the clock on a full (and happy) stomach." ~Dr. Oz
Photo Credits: nutrition mission
  • Cucumbers are good for the skin. The silica in the peel helps reduce wrinkles and boost collagen. Buy them unwaxed if possible. 
  • Blood oranges contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that combat free radical damage and UV rays.
  • Cod contains selenium which safeguards your skin from sun damage and cancer.
  • Mango provides 96% of your daily vitamin C needs and helps prevent periodontal disease.
  • Lowfat cottage cheese is full of protein, and therefore promotes hair health (since hair is mostly protein). Just be wary of hidden sodium levels.
  • Lean beef is full of iron. Iron deficiency can cause nail beds to be thin and concave.
  • Foods of the Mediterranean: fennel, an anti-inflammatory; octopus, a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, B12, iron and zinc; gigantes beans, giant lima beans rich in potassium
  • Oysters an excellent source of zinc, which aids in protein synthesis and collagen formation. 
  • Red peppers and brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C, which help build collagen and fight off free radicals.
  • Blueberries 1 serving of this superfood provides more antioxidant activity than most fruits and veggies. Antioxidants fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles.
  • Sunflower seeds contain lignin phytoestrogens, which prevent collagen breakdown and boost the skin's lipid barrier.
  • Tuna contains Omega-3 fatty acids that fight UV-related cell damage and are a rich source of niacin, a deficiency of which causes skin rashes.

  • Avocados are one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats and contain biotin for healthy skin.

  • Watermelon is a source of lycopene, which protects the skin from UV rays.

  • Kelp contains vitamins C and E, which protect fats in the skin's moisture barrier from free-radical damage.

  • Lentils are a good source of zinc.

  • Pumpkin seeds are pumped full of antioxidants and magnesium, which help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

  • Eggs are high in iron and biotin.

  • Pomegranate seeds contain juice rich in ellagic acid and punic alagin - 2 agents that fight damage from free radicals and preserve the collagen in your skin.

  • Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber which reduces LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol").

  • Black currants contain a compound called anthocyanosides, which can help improve vision. Additionally, this superfood contains 5 times the vitamin C that oranges do, making it a superb immunity booster.

  • Cranberry juice disrupts the formation of plague and thereby prevents yellowing of teeth. The flavonoids in cranberry juice also counteract the damaging effects of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Be careful that you aren't drinking a sugar-laden cranberry juice cocktail.

  • Dark chocolate will help curb your sweet tooth and is rich in flavonoids.  

  • Red wine made with the dark skin and seeds of the grapes that are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that includes resveratrol. If you aren't a drinker, opt for grape juice or a resveratrol supplement available at your drug store for about $25.

  • Pure noni juice, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, can help fight the formation of tumors – and wrinkles. Noni and noni products, like DERMAdoctor Photodynamic Therapy Noni Lotion, build collagen and are high in antioxidants and polyphenols.

  • Guava is packed with vitamin C which boosts collagen production to smooth skin. Two cups of guava per week is the perfect dose of this anti-aging powerhouse.

  • Wheat germ is rich in zinc, which plays a crucial role in the production of new skin cells. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help prevent eczema; recent studies even indicate that wheat germ can help reduce acne. Get half a cup of wheat germ per day for your daily dose of zinc. Try sprinkling it over salads and yogurt or adding it to smoothies.

  • Romaine lettuce is a leafy green vegetable high in vitamin A, a vitamin that helps revitalize skin by increasing cell turnover and encouraging new skin cell growth. Add 6 leaves to your salad or as a side with dinner for your daily allowance of vitamin A.

  • Brazil nuts contain selenium, a powerful mineral that aids in the production of the antioxidant, glutathione which repairs cell damage and slows down the skin's aging process. Just 2 nuts a day will help you stop the aging process in its tracks.

  • Tomatoes provide lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease, elevated cholesterol and cancer. Lycopene acts as natural sun block, preventing the UV damage that causes sun spots, dryness, wrinkles. Remember to cook tomatoes for the maximum anti-aging effect.

  • Sardines, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, promote hair growth and shine to keep your locks looking young.

  • Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C, which the body needs to manufacture sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is the body's "natural conditioner," and keeps hair shiny, smooth and young looking, while preventing dryness.

  • Beans, which are high in protein, promote hair growth and help thicken hair cells by making the fibers stronger.

  • Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A; this nutrient is essential to a healthy scalp and youthful-looking, shiny hair.  

  • Dr. Oz - Full Article 

    Refreshing Quinoa Salad

    My sister called today and said she would be over for lunch around 11:30 am - What to make! what to make!! I grabbed the "Vegetarian Times" Magazine --which my sister subscribed to for me as a Christmas gift (best mag ever!) I knew we would want something healthy.. especially after all of the Holiday foods we consumed and this is what I found. Sort of a Summer dish -but absolutely DELICIOUS!
    Leah Matthews came up with this tabbouleh-inspired salad while working as a sous chef at Twist, a Rhode Island restaurant specializing in gluten-free food. When the summer menu needed an additional item, she worked out a recipe in a matter of hours. "I grabbed seasonal and versatile ingredients from the refrigerator, knowing the cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon and parsley form a flavor profile," she says. Using quinoa instead of wheat-based bulgur or couscous keeps the dish gluten-free.

    Refreshing Quinoa Salad

    1 1/2 cups of quinoa
    1/2 cup pine nuts
    1 English cucumber, peeled and
    finely diced (2 1/2 cups)
    3 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and
    finely diced (3/4 cup)
    1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
    (1/2 cup)
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 cup Olive Oil
    3 Tbs. lemon juice
    2 tsp. grated lemon zest

    1. Bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low Simmer 12-14 mins, or until quinoa is tender and small "tails" bloom from grains.
    2. Preheat oven to 400*F . Spread pines nuts on baking sheer, and toast 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Coo, then transfer to large serving bowl.
    3. Drain Quinoa, and rinse under cold running water. Drain again. Add qunioa to pine nuts, and stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Fold in oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper if desired.
    PER 1/2-CUP SERVING: 167 CAL; 4 G PROT; 10 G
    53 MG SOD; 2 G Fiber; 2 G SUGARS

    8 Foods You Think are Healthy (but Aren't)

    So many foods out there are claiming to be healthy, but there are also misleading claims being made on so many foods. That is because of the abundance of information. You can pick up a magazine one day that tells you what is good/bad for you only to pick up a newspaper the following week with a totally contradictory article.

    Every food is okay in moderation, make sure you aren't fooled into thinking you can consume these foods with no constraints. A lot of us try and make the right food choices without realizing that what we thought was healthy are actually not. Here are several foods that may seem healthy, or that we have accepted as healthy, but ones that really aren't.

    1. Fruit Juices: Millions of people around the world rely on juices to quench their thirst each day. Drinking juice is a quick way to gain weight and to ruin your teeth. They contain very little fruit or fruit juice, but lots of sugar, water, chemical additives for flavoring and of course preservatives that are unhealthy. Also, there is hardly any fiber in fruit juices. Choose fresh fruit whenever you can as a fresh fruit always has more fiber apart from being low in calories as compared to its juice. Even 100 percent fruit juice is good source of vitamins and minerals but they too are low in fiber, so consume them in moderation.

    2. Breakfast cereals: Many cereals are so loaded with sugars, that the sugar obliterates any nutritional value that the cereal may have had. Always check the nutrition label and never buy anything with less than 3 grams of fiber per 30 gram serving or more than 2 grams of sugar per 30 gram serving. Aim for 5 grams of fiber if possible.

    3. Salads: Many people believe that any dish with word 'salad' in its name is a healthy choice. Unfortunately, the truth is that many times salad is the worst choice on the menu. Salads, especially those served in restaurants, are loaded with mayonnaise, calories, and sodium. Avoid ordering salads with calorie-packed extras added like noodles and heavy dressings. If possible, choose a dressing made with olive oil. If you want to choose a heavy dressing then just dip your fork into the dressing before taking the salad.

    4. Alcohol: Alcohol is not exactly bad for your health if taken in moderation. More than that and the benefits are wiped out by increased risk for disease and addiction.

    5. Whole milk dairy products: They were once considered healthy; they no longer are because of their high cholesterol content. There are now unhealthy additives added to some dairy products to extend the shelf life, texture or taste.

    6. Smoothies: Smoothies are one of those foods that dieters consume with really good intentions. But just like the fruit juice mentioned above, smoothies can pack a lot of calories into one easy to drink package.

    7. Diet soft drinks: Many people switch to diet drinks from regular soft drinks thinking it saves on calories and sugar. But many of the diet soft drinks have unhealthy levels of aspartame (the substitute of sugar used in diet drinks), chemical preservatives and chemical colors. As a result, many people who consume such drinks have an unbalanced insulin and blood sugar. Aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar, and has been linked to depression, insomnia, neurological disease and a plethora of other illnesses.

    8. Fat-free: 'Fat-free' doesn't make it healthier. In fact, some fat-free products contain more calories than the original as often sugar or artificial flavors and sweeteners is added to improve the taste of such products.

    The important thing to remember is to never blindly allow a food products packaging or public relations campaigns lull you into thinking that they are a consequence-free food. Read labels and ask questions. That way you can enjoy the nutritional meal you thought you were eating all along.