Fuel 2 Live

Fuel your belly. Fuel your soul.

Month: July 2014

Pineapple Smoothie

The other day I picked up my normally energetic and vibrant four-year-old daughter from school and found that she was irritable and sleepy. We had to stop by the grocery store and she even asked to sit in the cart. For an independent preschooler who makes it a point to proclaim her break from being the baby every chance she gets I knew that this was a sign of something unpleasant. Later that night she started to run a fever and by the morning she was complaining of a sore throat. We naturally kept her home but due to no redness in her throat decided to wait another day before heading to the doctor. When night fell her fever rose, but we were able to get it to come down and save us a trip to the after hours clinic. Bright and early the next morning we were the first in the parking lot at the doctor’s office. After an exam and some testing they delivered the dread diagnoses of strep throat.

I knew in my heart that it was strep from the beginning but I was really, really hoping it wasn’t. I recognized that this ment. I was going to have a battle with my very affectionate little munchkins when I explained to her that she would have to stay in her bed, away from the rest of the family, quarantined. I also had to make it very clear that she could not drink out of any of our cups and explain to her older brother that he would not be able to eat the rest of her dinner that she often leaves on her plate. Separating my children from one another is extremely disheartening.

The fight was not as difficult as I expected. The tasty “pink” medicine, a new Barbie toothbrush, a couple of jars of organic pineapple juice and some fresh fruit brought cheer to the gloomy situation.

So you might be wondering why pineapple juice. The go to juice for when someone is sick is orange juice, right? Well, because of the vitamin C content in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons they do make a wonderful choice for someone who needs to boost their immune system to fight off a cold. But my princess didn’t have a cold. She had strep. And with strep she had a sore, raw, and swollen throat. This was a job for pineapple.

Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelian that  have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes them a powerful natural treatment for sore and irritated throats. And guess what? Pineapples contain vitamin C as well, so that allows it to play double duty! Isn’t that wonderful?

Drinking straight pineapple juice is fantastic and creamy treat but mixing it in a smoothie makes for a tropical delightment. Here is one of my pineapple creations that I made for my daughter to help sooth and comfort her little voice-box and help her get back to her voicetress self.

Pineapple Smoothie

Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 – 1 1/2 c pineapple juice

1 banana

1 apple

1 c fresh or frozen mango, cut into chunks

1 celery stalk

1 tsp of local honey

1 – 2 Tbsp of chia seeds

Directions:

1. Place everything in a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy.

That’s it. Easy as pie… or a smoothie!

What are your go to drinks and foods that help you battle a sore throat?

A refreshing and tropical drink

A refreshing and tropical drink

Beat the Heat with These Cooling Foods

We are smack dab in the middle of summer. Yep. Sweaty, sticky, humidity so thick it wraps around you like a tightly laced corset cutting off your air supply, summer! I mean really, it’s hot. I’m one awkwardly place sweat stain away from having uncomfortable stares from strangers directed my way while I run my errands around town.

If you spend a great deal of time outdoors working or gardening, a weekend warrior or an outdoor free fitness guru then it is highly important that you keep hydrated. When the temperatures rise there is a risk of dehydration and an even greater risk for those who practice high intensity workouts and sweat profusely. Dehydration can set in when you have not taken in enough fluids or lose too many fluids through sweating. Symptoms such as light-headedness, nausea, weakness, confusion, a decrease in urine, and fainting could occur. Though an increase of thirst could occur as well, you should not always rely on thirst alone as a sign of dehydration. It is extremely important to drink plenty of liquids, water being the most effective, as well as making sure you drink beverages that will replenish your electrolytes.

Here are a few foods that are great at bringing your body temperature down and aiding in hydration.

Cooling and Hydrating Foods

Watermelon– Well I am sure this comes to no surprise. Watermelon has a very high water content, which helps your body temperature lower and keeps you well hydrated. The same goes for other melons like cantaloupe and honeydew.

Cucumbers– They have a high water content as well. Tried to incorporate cucumber into you lunches. I eat them in place of crackers when I have tuna or chicken salad. They are refreshing just on their own too.

Leafy Greens– Again, these have a high water content. Are you seeing a theme here? Basically, the higher the water content the better a food is at thinning your blood and helping your body release heat. So eat up those summer salads with berries galore.

Citrus Fruits– Oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit are high in vitamin C, which aid in body temperature regulation. This goes for other fruits high in vitamin C like pineapple, mango, kiwi, papaya, and radish.

Mint– You know that cooling sensation your mouth feels when you brush your teeth with a fresh minty toothpaste? Eating mint could cause that same cooling sensation and help you feel more comfortable in hotter weather. Try making a strawberry and mint lemonade to help you beat the heat.

Spicy foods– You are probably thinking that spicy foods warm you. Well you wouldn’t be wrong. Think about the spices that are used in hot and topical areas. These people know how to stay cool in the most heated conditions. Using spices like cayenne, red chili, and black pepper will warm your body internally, increasing your blood circulation. This will cause you to sweat and help you feel cooler faster.

Summertime can be a ton of fun but having a heat stroke could really throw a monkey wrench in your plans. Not to mention it’s very dangerous! Make sure you are keeping yourself properly hydrated and staying cool.

Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad

Hey guys. I hope everyone had an amazing Fourth of July. My family and I had a blast!

Since we moved to Georgia, most years we head to my family’s house and catch the fireworks at the Let Freedom Ring celebration at Lenox Square.  This year my family is in Wisconsin attending my cousin’s wedding. Due to my crazy schedule (and  the cost of education these days) we were unable to travel with them. We send our love and wishes to the beautiful couple.

Even though my family was out of town, the festivities were not at a loss. My friend Rosalind invited us to her dad’s house. My two little munchkins made friends quickly with the other children, my husband hit it off with Rosalind’s father-in-law like they were best buddies for years, we had a glorious dinner, and we enjoyed the beautiful fireworks at Marietta Square. It was truly a blessed time.

A candid picture of my husband and I taken by my friend Rosalind

A candid picture of my husband and I taken by my friend Rosalind

Now it is just rude to show up to a party empty handed (especially in the South)  so I asked what was needed. Most of the food was already assigned to various family members but no one was really bringing dessert.  I decided to make red velvet cheesecake cupcakes inspired by Crazy for Crust’s recipe.  They were a big hit. I did sub a couple of things because a few of the ingredients are not things I keep on hand or usually buy.

A quick shot of the cupcakes taken with my phone

A quick shot of the cupcakes taken with my phone

 

One of the things I substituted was the food dye. Store bought food dye is filled with artificial and toxic chemicals that are linked to many health risk including tumors, hypersensitivity reactions, and hyperactivity in children. I always read the back of labels and if any of these added colors are listed I run fast and far away from the item. So what did I use in place of store bought food dye? Real food of course! I used beets to get a pretty red for the red velvet cake and I use red cabbage cooked with baking powder to get a bright blue for the frosting. No worries, I will post a how to make your own food dyes soon.

Because I only needed a small amount of beets and cabbage I had some leftovers. I decide it would make a great salad. I looked high and low, in the fridge, in the cupboard, and found a few things to throw together. And  it all worked. Really well. Seriously, this salad is so delicious even my four-year-old ate it up. Well, it did help that it was a bright pink color.  Take a look.

 

Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad

Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad

Ingredients:

2 c red cabbage, shredded

1 c beets, diced

1 c apple, cored and diced

1/2 of a small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

3 Tbsp. greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium-sized bowl mix the cabbage, beets, apple, onion, and garlic.

2. To make dressing mix the remainder of the ingredients. Pour over the cabbage mix. Cover and chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to fuse.

I ate mine over a spring mix and later had some by itself.

Red Cabbage, Apple, and Beet Salad

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