The term flexitarian has been circulating around in our vocabulary in recent years. It comes from combining the words flexible and vegetarian. Signifying that people who follow these meal planning principles have a more relaxed plant based diet compared to other vegans and vegetarians. In 2012, flexitarian was listed in the mainstream dictionary and recognized as part of the American dialect. Common reasons for choosing a semi-vegetarian diet are typically weight management and health consciousness.
Flexitarians consume a plant based diet, primarily focusing on getting six or more serving of fruit and veggies each day. Fish or red meat might be consumed once or twice a week. There is no set of regulations on how frequently flexitarians eat animal protein which is the essence of the flexible part of this plant based meal planning. Studies show there has been an increase in demand for vegan and vegetarian products. There has also been a rise in health conscious eating leading people to opt for a flexitarian lifestyle. Plant based eating is a valuable part of many healthy diets and it’s worth considering if you are making dietary adjustments.
1 lb Raw Large Shrimp, thawed 2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Taco Seasoning 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil 8 small tortillas, flour or corn Lime wedges, if desired
For the Cilantro Lime Slaw: 3 cups green cabbage, shredded 1 small tomato, diced 2 Tablespoons red onion, finely chopped 1/4 cup Clearly Organic Olive Oil 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup green onion, chopped 1/2 cup cilantro leaves 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup sour cream Juice and zest from 1 lime
Remove any tails or shells from the thawed shrimp. Pat shrimp dry with a cloth or paper towel. In a bowl add shrimp, taco seasoning, minced garlic and olive oil. Stir and let marinate for 30 minutes while you prepare the slaw.
In a bowl add shredded green cabbage, tomato and red onion. Set aside.
In a food processor or blender add olive oil, water, green onion, cilantro leaves, minced garlic, sour cream, lime juice and zest. Pulse and purée until contents are smooth.
Pour desired amount over cabbage mixture saving a little for toppings on each taco. Toss slaw until contents are evenly distributed and set aside.
To cook shrimp add 1 Tablespoon Cleary Organic Olive Oil to a sauté pan then heat pan to medium high heat. Place seasoned shrimp in the pan and cook shrimp 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Then remove from heat so you don’t over cook shrimp.
In each tortilla add slaw, 2 to 3 shrimp and drizzle cilantro lime sauce on top. Serve immediately.
If you are looking for ways to help lower your blood pressure and reduce the medications you need to control high blood pressure, here are some tips:
COUNT CALORIES: many people are not aware of how much food and calories they are actually consuming. Counting calories involves writing down what you eat, with true portions sizes so you can understand your calorie intake. Remember, beverages can be a significant contribution to calorie intake. There are many apps and websites that can help you count calories.
MONITOR SALT (Sodium) INTAKE: A diet high in sodium increases blood pressure in many people. The less sodium you eat, the better blood pressure control you might have. If you are unsure of your salt intake, track the sodium content in foods you eat. A goal should be to consume less than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon of salt) each day. Ask your doctor if you should go lower, to 1,500 milligrams. Read the nutritional facts label on every food package. Avoid canned foods, processed foods, lunch meats, and fast foods. Use salt-free seasonings.
FOODS THAT CAN HELP: Potassium, magnesium, and fiber may help control blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber, and they’re low in sodium. Whole fruits and veggies are the best options. Nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, and poultry are good sources of magnesium.
SEAFOOD: FRESH SALMON -Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which have significant heart health benefits. These fats may help reduce blood pressure levels by reducing inflammation and decreasing levels of blood-vessel-constricting compounds called oxylipins.
OATS: Oats are a whole grain that are a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan.
PUMPKIN SEEDS: are a great source of nutrients important for blood pressure control, including magnesium, potassium, and arginine, an amino acid needed for the production of nitric oxide, which is essential for blood vessel relaxation and blood pressure reduction.
GREEN LENTILS: Lentils are rich in nutrients that help regulate blood pressure, such as fiber, magnesium, and potassium.
PISTACHIOS: These nuts are highly nutritious and have been linked to healthy blood pressure levels. They’re high in a number of nutrients essential for heart health and blood pressure regulation, including potassium.
TOMATOES: Tomatoes and tomato products are rich in many nutrients, including potassium and the carotenoid pigment lycopene. Lycopene has been associated with beneficial effects on heart health.
FLAX and CHIA: These tiny seeds that are full of nutrients that can be helpful for healthy blood pressure regulation, including potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
DIET TO CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE: DASH DIET: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy. These foods are high in key nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein. The DASH diet can lower blood pressure because it has less salt and sugar than the typical American diet. The DASH diet cuts out desserts, sweetened beverages, fats, red meat, and processed meats. Ask your doctor or a dietitian to help you start the DASH diet. They can tell you how many calories you need each day to maintain or get to a healthy weight. And then they can help you plan meals with foods you enjoy that meet the DASH guidelines.
EXERCISE: Exercise is one of the keys to lowering your blood pressure. Working out also boosts the effectiveness of blood pressure medication if you’re already being treated for hypertension. Find activities you enjoy, and aim for 30 minutes a day of “exercise” on most days of the week. Going to the gym Is not the only option- dancing, gardening, swimming, raking leaves, walking the dog, hiking, yoga- anything else that gets your heart beating a bit faster. If you need motivation, try a personal trainer, a workout buddy or home videos or apps. Do not forget to include strength training; you can use weights, weight machines, exercise bands, or your own body weight by doing abdominal crunches or curl-ups. Even losing 10 pounds can help lower blood pressure. Some heart medications such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers can slow your heart rate. Talk to your doctor and ask what your target heart rate zone should be during exercise if you take these medications. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Colorful stir fries are healthy, delicious and very customizable. They can be enjoyed year round with seasonal veggies and easy homemade sauces. Stir fries make a well balanced and practical weeknight meal. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when putting together your next stir fry.
A little prep work goes a long way. The beauty of a stir fry is that it cooks fast, so if you have all your veggies and meat chopped and sliced in advance your meal could come together in about 10 minutes. The prep work of chopping carrots, cabbage and your desired vegetables can take 15 to 20 minutes. However, it can be done the day before or several hours before cooking. Prepping your sauce in advance can also save time, especially if you’re entertaining.
Stick to high smoke point oils. Since a good stir-fry is cooked using the highest heat possible you want to stick with canola oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil or avocado oil.
Use fresh aromatics. Fresh ginger, garlic and shallots add a delightful smell and deep flavor to any stir fry.
Cook in batches. Start by cooking just your protein, then remove your meat and set it aside. Cook the veggies on their own then add the meat and sauce to the veggies once they reached their desired doneness.
Sauce is key. A flavorful sauce can be the key ingredient to your stir fry. It usually includes soy sauce, broth, corn starch, a little oil, rice vinegar and a some ginger and garlic if desired. The sauce can be made in advance in larger batches and used as needed.
Muddle fresh peach in a tall glass. Fill glass with ice and then slowly pour Waterloo Peach over top. Add peach nectar juice/purée. Give it a big stir to ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Strain contents into a martini glass. Garnish with extra peach slice.
After the chilly winter months, there’s nothing more refreshing than the sight of fresh spring fruit and vegetables. Crisp lettuce, brightly colored rhubarb and fresh asparagus help liven up any meal. Spring is one of the best times to get in the kitchen and prepare a healthy plant-based recipe. When you are experimenting with seasonal produce that is ripe and fresh you can turn a simple salad or side dish into something extraordinary, brimming with flavor. Here are four recipes that highlight spring produce.
According to Prevent Cancer® Foundation, this year, more than 145,600 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 51,000 will die of the disease.
Colorectal cancer is more common as you age. However, colorectal cancer in adults younger than 50 is on the rise, but it’s seen more in people age 50 and over. Other risk factors include having:
▫Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. ▫A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps. ▫A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:
▫Lack of regular physical activity. ▫A diet low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. ▫A diet high in red meat (such as beef, pork or lamb) or processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cold cuts). ▫Overweight or obese, especially for those who carry fat around their waists. ▫Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
Almost all colorectal cancers begin as precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer; therefore, preventable if removed in time. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, which increases the chance that treatment will be more effective. Start screening at age 45 if you’re at an average risk, but if you have certain risk factors, you may need to start screening sooner or get screened more often—talk to your health care professional.
Research is underway to find out if changes to your diet can reduce your colorectal cancer risk. Generally, experts encourage eating lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, limiting red meat, and avoiding processed meat for a healthy diet.
Incorporating more fruits and veggies into your day can seem difficult, but if you focus on eating 1-2 servings at meals and include them at snacks, you will easily be on your way to meeting your intake requirement.
Try fruit and even vegetable-packed smoothies for breakfast or snacks. Add berries to cereal or yogurt. Eat salads for lunch. At dinner makes two choices of a fruit or veggie for a side dish. Add extra veggies to casseroles or pasta. Don’t forget: can and frozen fruits and veggies count as a serving, so mix it up by using fresh, can and frozen. With a little planning, eating more delicious fruits and vegetables can be simple!
Some people may also be lacking whole grains in their diets. There are many naturally-occurring whole grain foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, and popcorn. Many foods are now made with whole grains, such as cereal, crackers, flour, baked goods and pasta. Look for the words whole grain (such as “whole wheat”) as the first ingredient on an ingredient list or look for the Whole Grains Council’s stamp on food packages. With the Whole Grain Stamp, finding three servings of whole grains is easy: Pick three foods with the 100% Stamp or six foods with ANY Whole Grain Stamp.
The 100% Stamp assures you that the food contains a full serving or more of whole grain in each labeled serving and that ALL the grain is whole grain, while the 50%+ Stamp and the Basic Stamp appear on products containing at least half a serving of whole grain per labeled serving.
Resources: preventcancer.org and wholegrainscouncil.org
Choose apples for fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. This warming recipe is perfect when it’s cold outside!
INGREDIENTS: 2 apples, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups Clearly Organic Milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked Clearly Organic Steel-Cut-Oats
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Milled Flax Seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Raisins (optional)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
DIRECTIONS: Coat the sides of your slow cooker with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Add all the ingredients except the raisins and walnuts to the slow cooker. Stir contents then cover. Cook on low for approximately 4 to 5 hours depending on your slow cooker temps. Store cooked oatmeal in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The oats also freeze well. To enjoy a single serving spoon contents into a bowl, reheat if necessary, and add additional toppings such as raisins, walnuts, maple syrup, peanut butter, almond butter or chia seeds.
Many people dread making a New Year Resolution. There are statistics that show only 9.2% of people report actually achieving their resolutions. Many people get easily frustrated with themselves if they don’t fulfill the goals they set, and even if they don’t see immediate results from their efforts.
The type of resolution you make can set you up for failure. Instead, create a purposeful and reachable resolution that gives yourself short and long term achievement while giving yourself some grace along your journey.
Here are some tips on resolutions to avoid and how to set yourself up for success:
Avoid: Making the general statement, “I want to eat healthier”, but not knowing what that means or how that looks. For success: Review your eating habits, or talk to a Registered Dietitian or your doctor to make a plan. Start slow with one or two habits you can change to move toward a healthier way of eating that will stay for the long term. Examples: Limit soda to one can a day (if you typically have multiple), try adding a fruit or vegetable to each meal, or set a goal to eat three whole grain foods a day.
Avoid: Having a vague exercise goal. For success: Make a choice of where you can start on a path of daily exercise and work toward a long-term goal. If you currently do not exercise regularly, start slow. Make your first goal to exercise 2-3 times a week and the work up to 5-7 times a week. Start with a small workout first and then add on minutes. Make sure to find something that is fun, and choose a variety of exercises. Go for walks (with a friend or your dog), join a gym, try a free fitness app on your phone, or take up a new sport like golf or swimming. The goal is to get moving and the more you start to feel better, the more you will want to keep going!
Avoid: Making too many resolutions that you won’t be able to keep. For success: Remember that health is a year-round, long-term journey. Start with small obtainable goals or habits to change and as those become a normal part of life, then you can add more goals.
Remember, if you encounter a setback, don’t stop working toward your goal. Make a fresh start the next day and keep reaching for your goals!
1/2 cup green onions, sliced for garnish (optional)
3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Honey
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Ginger
In a bowl add chicken, salt, pepper, and corn starch. Toss to coat evenly. In a large skillet add olive oil and chicken then cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Flip and stir chicken so all sides cook evenly. When chicken is about 50% cooked add broccoli, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through. While vegetables and chicken are cooking add all the ingredients for the sauce to a jar with a lid. Secure the lid on the sauce jar and shake vigorously. Add the sauce and cashews to the skillet then stir to combine. Allow ingredients to simmer for 3 minutes. Sprinkle green onions on top then serve immediately and enjoy!