Crunchy Chickpea Salad

In my continuing quest to come up with healthy lunchtime options, I decided to shop my pantry and fridge for inspiration. This salad combines some of my favorite things: chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), brussel sprouts, cucumber, radishes, red onion, and at the last  minute…quinoa (not shown). I also added some leftover grilled chicken. Think this would make a nice, light side dish, especially for a grilled dinner. I made it in the morning for lunch later, but it was still fresh and delicious the day after, too. Calorie count? At about a cup and 1/4, 300 calories. With chicken, 420 calories.

INGREDIENTS (Organic, if possible!)

Chickpeas, 1 16 oz. can

Brussel Sprouts, 1 1/2 cups (I used @ 16 baby sprouts, which were delicious but  total pain to clean, peel and chop.)

1 medium Cucumber (remove seeds)

4 medium Radishes

1/2 medium Red Onion

1 1/4 cup Cooked Quinoa

Olive Oil, 2 tsp

1/4 Lemon

2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Sea Salt & Pepper (if you like HOT, add red pepper flakes)

Serves 4-6 as a light lunch or side dish.

Rinse and drain Chickpeas in a colander. Wash and finely chop Brussel Sprouts, Cucumber, Radishes and Red Onion. Combine all in a serving bowl. Add Quinoa. Squeeze in 1/4 Lemon and add Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar. A dash of Sea Salt, lots of Pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (or overnight). Toss before serving.

EAT! Let me know if you do and what you think. Or what you might add…cherry tomatoes, cauliflower crumbles…?

6 Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep

Studies say that up to 61% of women who are postmenopausal experience frequent bouts of insomnia. For me, sleeplessness started sometime in my early 40s. It kind of goes in waves, depending on my stress level, late dining, too much wine, too much work, ummm…life. At its worst, I’ve gone up to two months without sleeping through the night. Yes, I know there are prescription drugs out there that can help, and I did speak with my internist about them. But in the end, I decided to go for a more holistic approach. I doubt I’ll ever be a “perfect sleeper,” but these 6 steps have helped me a lot. If you experience sleepless nights, I hope some or all of them will help you too!

ASIAN STYLE LUNCH BOWL

I’ve been really busy but doing most of my writing from home. Which also means I’ve been doing most of my “lunching” from home. While I have quite a few tried-and-true go-tos, there are days when I’m craving something new, different, unexpectedly delicious. And so, my Asian Style Lunch Bowl was born. The no-egg version weighs in at around 420 calories. With an egg, it’s around 500 calories.

Open for Lunch: Egg & Avo Sandwich

As much as I can obsess over fashion, I can also obsess over lunch. Especially on days where I’m home writing various projects. I was already serving this open-faced sandwich (to moi!), and my recent trip to Santa Fe only confirmed its deliciousness. It’s super easy and super fast to prepare. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And you’ll enjoy a power-packed lunch full of protein, fiber, no GMOs and super low on added sugar and fat.

Egg-cellent Lo Cal Lunch

IMG_3445As a freelance Creative Director/Writer I work both on and offsite and often find myself at home for lunch. It’s a lot easier on my wallet but also requires some creativity to keep calories in check, tastebuds satisfied. And this 250 calorie meal (yes!) is one of my good-for-you, good-to-eat go-tos. In all, it’s super easy to prepare and includes an open face sandwich, beverage and “dessert.” And yes, it keeps me going all afternoon long.

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_2523I love to bake. And my family loves when I do. Over the years I’ve tinkered with recipes and tried to make them my own. And these cookies are probably everyone’s all-time favorites. Yes, they’re a sweet treat. But when made with all-natural and/or organic ingredients, they’re a little bit of good-for-you decadence we all deserve. I’m not a professional Nutritionist, but I’ve compared my ingredients to Tate’s, which are the one store brand I’ll actually buy. My estimate is 80 calories a cookie. 

Five Supplements I Take Every Day

IMG_1740IMG_1744IMG_1729When it comes to my mornings, I’m happy to be a creature of habit. Sure I’ll go for eggs over easy,  crispy bacon and whole grain toast once in a while. But that’s a “brunch with friends treat” as far as I’m concerned. My typical AMs start with a cup of coffee and almond milk. I’ll have a second cup as I put together some version of a smoothie — my breakfast of choice (or champions?) for decades. No stress about what to eat and pretty much no mess. Smoothie in hand, I organize the five supplements I take every day. I truly believe they are essential components of my 50+ health and beauty regimen.

Probiotic: My favorite is Udo’s Choice Super 8 Hi-Potency Probiotic. The high level of L. acidophilus in this formula helps maintain proper yeast balance in the body — super important in those post-menopause years. This is also an ideal supplement to bring along when you travel as it helps to maintain healthy flora (regularity, folks!) while away from home. Trust me, it does. Because probiotics are living organisms, their potency slowly decreases over time (2% per month) so it’s best to keep them refrigerated. (Tip: I store all of my supplements together on a lazy susan in the fridge.)

Calcium & Vitamin D3: I’m so happy I discovered Nova Scotia Organics. They use the highest quality organic ingredients and many are water-extracted from plant sources. Their Calcium & Vitamin D 3 is free from GMOs, fillers, synthetic or irradiated ingredients. As you know, I’m recovering from a stress fracture in my left knee, and my Orthopedist was relieved to hear I am taking this supplement. Again, a big boost in combatting possible bone density loss.

Glucosamine Chondroitin: Our joints absorb a lot of stress, especially when we exercise. I spent 20+ years taking ballet and modern dance, then switched to running, then switched to the elliptical, treadmill and brisk walking. Then throw in tennis, hiking and skiing.You get the picture. Decades later, my hips and knees just aren’t as young as they used to be! Glucosamine is a compound naturally found within the cartilage of our joints. For me that makes its cartilage-building properties a no brainer. It can also help lower pain and tenderness, plus combat inflammation. Something I also know about as someone who’s had Lyme Disease. These days, I’m liking Nature’s Bounty. They have an over 40 year commitment to making products with only the purest ingredients. No GMOs, artificial color, artificial flavor, artificial sweetener, preservatives, sugar, starch, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast or sodium. I’ve even got Chris taking it, and he swears his joints feel better than ever too.

Tumeric: Found in a plant in the ginger family, Tumeric is a natural anti-inflammatory compound and can also increase the antioxidant capacity of your body. You may know it as the source of the orange-yellow tumeric spice commonly found in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. And while I really do like cooking with it, I know it’s made its biggest difference for me as a daily supplement — especially as I battled inflammation from Lyme Disease. These days I’m trying (and liking) Nature’s Lab Tumeric Curcumin with BioPerine.

Olly Undeniable Beauty for Hair, Skin & NailsThese almost-sugar-free (just 1 gram each!) grapefruit-flavored gummies are the cute, fun way to get your daily dose of Biotin, Vitamin C  and Borage Oil. Why this trio? Biotin is a powerful nutrient that helps your body metabolize fats and proteins — essential for the growth of healthy hair, nails and skin cells. Vitamin C is a key nutrient in the production of collagen, the protein which can contribute to your skin’s strength and “youthful glow.” And Borage Oil is the highest known potency for naturally occurring GLA — an omega 6 fatty acid. I can honestly say my hair, nails and skin all look noticeably better, healthier since I started taking these.

As always, you should consult your doctor before adding supplements to your daily diet, especially if you have any serious health concerns.

If you do try any (or all) of these, let me know what you think!

All photos by MP Allegaert

 

 

Spring Smoothie

img_1678I had planned to make March my “makeover Month.” A retooled exercise regimen, healthier eating, fewer cocktails. And that’s still the plan with the “slight” hitch of a stress fracture in my left knee. All impact exercise is out, including any more than minimal walking. Swimming yes, but now I need to find a pool. I’m also going to be fitted for a biodynamic knee brace that I’ll have to wear for the next 6 weeks. (It will not be appearing in any fashion posts, even as a prop!) So…I will be retooling my exercise regimen, just not as expected. And healthier eating and fewer cocktails are going to be non-negotiable.