Archive for the 'Cooking' Category

Spring recipe: asparagus and tomato skewers

Image result for asparagus and tomato skewersSpring is finally here! It is definitely marked by the rainy, grey weather today. Only one more day until another short break, Marquette. I am back today with my usual seasonal tradition, a delicious, healthy recipe.

For this recipe, I’m banking on a little bit of warm weather. You need to fire up the grill for this one! This recipe is great for any occasion, or just because you want something tasty and healthy. I want you all to try these asparagus and tomato skewers with honey mustard-horseradish sauce this weekend! Incorporate them into your Easter dinner menu to try something new.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup clover honey
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • Wooden skewers soaked in water
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • Olive oil

Once you have all of your ingredients ready to go, preheat the grill. Stir together the mustard, honey, horseradish and mint in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let everything sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or more to allow the flavors to meld.

Next, push the tomatoes onto the skewers and add the asparagus. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the tomatoes on the grill and cook until charred on both sides. Grill the asparagus for about 2 minutes per side.

Lastly, put the vegetables on a platter and drizzle them with the mustard sauce. Serve them hot (my recommendation), or at room temperature.

The cool thing about this recipe is you could add in more veggies if you wanted. Try adding in carrots or potatoes, it would even be good with small bites of chicken too! I encourage you to try this new recipe and comment your thoughts on it below .I hope you all have a wonderful Easter break and get to spend some relaxing time with family and friends and healthy cooking!

Alicia Diedrich

The Pros and Cons of a Pescatarian Diet

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In the spirit of Lent, it is tradition that Catholics are expected to refrain from meat on Fridays. The tradition eludes back to the significance of fasting in correspondence to Jesus’ sacrifice when he died on the cross. Technically, “warm-blooded” animals were considered to be off limits, because they were considered to be an animal that was “sacrificed its life for us,” explains Michael Foley, an associate professor at Baylor University and author of Why Do Catholics Eat Fish On Friday? The importance of consuming fish for sacred holidays also plays a role as to why it is implemented in tradition, even during pre-Christian times. In regard to being forced to avoid meat every Friday throughout Lent leading up to Easter, I was curious as to the benefits and disadvantages of maintaining a pescatarian diet outside of purely religious restrictions.

It is widely known that consuming seafood provides numerous health benefits when implemented into any diet. Fish, in specific, is low in fat, yet high in protein, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids only do wonders for boosting the brain and helping encourage its development. It play a significant role, since our bodies are unable to produce these fats naturally and can’t live without them. It decreases our chances of dying from heart attack, by reducing inflammation, regulating the heartbeat, lowering blood pressure, relaxing the artery walls, and ensuring blood is less likely to clot. Heart problems are ranked as the most common way to die in the United States, with statistics showing that it is kills one in four people among men and women. Taking precautionary measures, is the best way to avoid falling into this common statistic and ensuring a longer, healthier life.

As for the disadvantages of a pescatarian diet, it is no surprise that is it will be more difficult finding ways to gain nutrients that meat is known to heavily provide. Pescatarians need to be more cautious in making sure they have enough protein, iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12 implemented within their diet. Making sure that pescatarains are consuming the correct amount tends to be a more difficult task due to how expensive they can be in the market. It makes sense since the world’s supply is so limited. According to Dr. David Jenkins, University of Toronto professor who is a Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism, “If we continue to consume fish at our current rate “we’ll run out by 2050”. Farmed fish don’t always have the same benefits, due to having a bigger chance of catching disease, in comparison to wild fish who feed off of algae, as oppose to being fed fish meal. Mercury contamination is a bigger concern among larger fish, that is why it is advised to eat fish that lower in the food chain, such as sardines or anchovies, which rely on algae as a main source for their diet.

As you can see, not all diets are perfect. There will always be benefits and disadvantages, no matter how healthy the options may seem. It is a matter of choosing a diet that fits YOUR lifestyle. Most importantly, a diet that is easy to maintain that you know you are capable of keeping up with and having the constant motivation to stick with it.

 

Happy Lenten Season to All,

Diana Banzon

Strawberries & Cream Pancakes

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As you all may knowFebruary is the season of love. Love can be interpreted or displayed in various ways, but it is no question that it contributes to overall wellness and healthMost say that in order to love, you must love yourself first. What better way to show yourself some love than by treating yourself? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start your day on a sweet note, without the guiltStrawberries & Cream Pancakes are the way to go!

All you need is:

1 Egg

¾ Oats

1 Banana

Dash of Cinnamon

Couple drops of Vanilla Extract

Strawberries

Whipped Cream

 

1. Heat a frying pan on a stove to low-medium heat.

2. Add the eggs, oats, and banana into a blender, I personally recommend using a Magic Bullet!

3. Season with cinnamon and vanilla. Continue to blend.

4. Spray a frying pan with coconut oil or other cooking spray.

5. Pour out the pancake mix onto the pan to your desired size (or even shaped if you want to go all out and make them heart shaped).

6. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the pancake.

7. Flip over and let it fully cook for 1-2 minutes.

8. Top it off with any desired ingredients! In honor of Valentine’s Day, you can never go wrong with shaping the strawberries into hearts and adding whipped cream!

This recipe is so quick and easy that it can be modified and applied to fit anyone’s daily routine. As you can see, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor in order to indulge in a healthy manner. Go ahead, play your favorite love playlist to get yourself in the spirit, and get your cooking on, whether it be with yourself or with a loved one!

Happy Valentine’s Day to All!

Love,

Diana Banzon

The season of eating

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Hi everyone! We’re almost to that time of year again. The time of year when there is delicious food everywhere in sight. The time of year where it is next to impossible to resist eating tons of extra unhealthy food. I am here just as a simple reminder that it is possible to keep to a healthy diet, even during the season of social eating.

Although it is extremely difficult, it can be done! And maybe it doesn’t need to be that difficult. Now, I do like to promote healthy eating and balanced diets, but I also like to add on: everything in moderation. One of the most difficult parts about eating healthy during huge Thanksgiving feasts and holiday parties that would give any buffet a run for their money, is simply just the volume of food there is. It seems next to impossible to not load up your plate full of everything in sight. I would like to offer some advice to make conquering your cravings easier.

This past weekend, my mother and I were discussing what we wanted to do for Thanksgiving dinner. Since we try to eat healthy, we decided the easiest way to do that during the season of eating would be to just cut back on the amount of food we’re making to begin with. If you’re throwing a get together, just simplify your menu. Pick out just a few items for your menu, maybe you decide you need your turkey and mashed potatoes because they are staples to any Thanksgiving dinner! But maybe you decide instead of stuffing, cranberry sauces, green beans filled with fattening ingredients, and three different kind of pies, you opt to make a side salad. Suddenly, you only have a few options to choose from, making eating healthy and choosing good portions a much easier feat, and you have a new found sense of willpower.

Let’s say you’re not hosting, then what? There is food everywhere! And I’m sure we all feel like we have to try at least some of everything. I want to propose that the same advice works here. Simplify your personal menu, choose just a few dishes to put on your plate. I repeat again, everything in moderation. Go ahead and have a piece of pie if you want it, but then make sure you skip on the thousands of other desserts that are there. Eating healthy during the holidays doesn’t have to be depressing. In the end, when you make a healthy choice about your eating habits, you’ll feel better physically and mentally. I don’t know about you, but when I eat too much in one sitting and your stomach hurts from all the food, you end up regretting it almost immediately .

So, although it may seem incredibly difficult to eat healthier during the holidays, I want to assure you it’s easier than we make it out to be. Give yourself some credit and realize that you have the power and the option to overcome your cravings and to make good decisions for your body. In the end, you will be happier and healthier. I will leave you this week with a challenge for us all, to take control of our bodies and test out that willpower that we all have deep within us. Have a great week Marquette, I’ll talk to you next week!

Alicia Diedrich

Art and nutrition? Everything pumpkin

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Hello again, Marquette! Fall weather seems to finally be upon us. I hope you are all enjoying the cool, crisp weather by staying active outside, but also by curling up will a blanket and some hot apple cider, because we should always find some time for relaxation and rejuvenation as well. I may have mentioned before that fall is my favorite season, but I don’t think I mentioned that Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. And with halloween comes so many spooky and fun activities, decorations, and food – many of them revolving around pumpkins! And no, this is not your typical crazed, pumpkin spice everything post. This is a dedication to the wonderful super food and exciting activities that come with pumpkins.

Whether you are pumpkin carving, painting, growing, cooking, smashing, or whatever it is you do with pumpkins, there is a great potential for some awesome stress relief and bonding with friends or family. Many of these pumpkin-related activities are like a form of art in themselves. And the science between art and reduced stress is pretty cool! The best part is, you don’t have to be good at art for it to work its magic. As the great Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows.” That being said, I think we should all get out there and try to reach our inner child. Have some fun, let loose, and just let your creative mind take over for a while. Let the pumpkins inspire you.

Another art form with pumpkins that we should all try out is cooking! Pumpkins are actually really healthy for us, and if we are carving them anyways, then we might as well take any opportunity we can get. One of the greatest parts about cooking with pumpkin is its endless possibilities. Pumpkin is perfect for both sweet and savory palettes. There are so many options from pumpkin pancakes, smoothies, breads, soups, curry, and of course don’t forget the guilty pleasure: pumpkin pie. There are tons of great, healthy pumpkin recipes out there to give you a health boost when we all need it the most. And there’s always pumpkin seeds: a classic and a favorite. You can never go wrong with pumpkin seeds. They are just as healthy as the pumpkin itself. So make sure that when you carve your pumpkins and make delicious recipes with the pumpkins that you keep those seeds and bake them for a great mid-day snack.

Halloween is a week away, so take advantage of this healthy treat now and make some art while doing so. I wish you wonderful, exciting pumpkin adventures.

Alicia Diedrich

Wellbeing biography: Kristin Kipp – Whole 30

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I’ve never liked the word diet. I think it’s because, more often than not, the word “diet” is used to describe a way of eating to lose weight, and in this sense, Garfield said it right, “DIET is DIE with a T.” There are many different definitions of the word diet, but one definition that puts diet in a positive light comes from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Here it’s defined simply as “habitual nourishment.” I love thinking of food this way. I grew up on a farm with an abundance of fresh produce. We canned a lot of fruits and veggies for the winter and made our own jam. We even raised a pig every year to eat. From a young age, I loved good nutrition and physical activity, and my passion brought me to what I do today, so I am thankful for that.

Now I have a family of my own, and we are trying our best to instill good habits for our little girl. Thankfully my husband loves to garden and eat good food. He devotes much of his time to cooking good meals for us. We are a “whole foods” family – we drink whole milk, eat real butter, and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. We buy our pork from a local farmer and make sure that there are no nitrates or MSG added at the butcher. We participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), go to local farmer’s markets, and try to buy organic, grass-fed, cage free etc. when possible. We rarely go out to eat, cooking most of our meals at home, but we’re definitely not perfect when it comes to food. No one should be. And although we try following all the good things I listed above, it doesn’t always happen, and we tend to follow the “everything in moderation” rule. Besides…Who can pass up those hostess cream filled chocolate cupcakes?

I really had no desire to look into the Whole30 when it came out. I hate all the fads that come and go, and I try to promote lifestyle changes for the people I work with. I’m not overweight, and I’m fairly physically active, so besides enjoying some sugary treats and having a glass of wine or a beer every now and again, I thought I was doing pretty good with my overall nutrition and health. A few years ago, though, I started having some health issues that took me almost 2 years to work through. During this time, I became really attuned to my body, and although the issues I was having didn’t stem from my diet, I became curious after I started feeling better. Was I feeling the best that I possibly could be? Could the Whole30 help me identify foods that aren’t working for me? Would elimination of these foods help me to run again without pain? Having felt really good for the last 6 months before I decided to try the Whole30, I really didn’t believe that I was going to feel much of a difference, but it turns out, I was wrong.

The first couple of days of the Whole30 were the worst…I’m not sure if everyone feels that way, but I was miserable. I felt like I was detoxing. I hated restricting myself from foods that I really wanted to eat, and not having my morning cup of coffee with whole milk and Organic Valley’s French vanilla half and half creamer was the worst. I also had a headache for the first four or five days, which could have been attributed to not drinking enough water, but nonetheless…I felt crappy. What I do know is that after about that first week, I started to feel good. Actually, I felt great. I had so much energy. I wasn’t experiencing that afternoon sluggishness around 2pm that makes you want to go to the nearest candy bowl on your co-worker’s desk. When my alarm went off at 4:45am, I felt well rested and ready for my morning swim. When I worked out, I felt amazing. I feel like I could go on and on about how great I felt, but then something really crazy happened after about two weeks….. I was able to run for the first time in 2 1/2 years without pain or stiffness.

Having completed the Whole30, I have a deeper appreciation of what eating healthy means to me, and to really eat well, feel good, and enjoy our food, I believe it takes a true conscious effort to eat mindfully. I’ve always told people to pay attention to how food makes them feel, and it’s not that I don’t pay attention to this myself, but the Whole30 required me to practice mindfulness as it relates to food every day for 30 days. Many people may do the Whole30 just to lose weight. They treat it as another fad diet that they are going to try and hope for results. Don’t get me wrong…you will lose weight, but if that’s all you are doing it for, you are missing the point, and as soon as you go back to your normal habits the weight will come back on. Eating mindfully – understanding what and why you are eating, taking the time to enjoy food, listening to whether you’re hungry or not, and understanding the effects food has on your body – is important for weight loss as well. Your body can’t do what it’s supposed to do if you are not fueling it correctly. This means that if you aren’t eating enough calories, or too many calories, or just not the right combination of foods, you’re not going to lose weight. This also means that if are fueling your body with foods that are causing inflammatory responses, you may just be sabotaging all your efforts to be healthy and lose weight as well.

Doing this 30-day challenge isn’t easy (or inexpensive). It takes a lot of preparation/cooking, time reading labels, space in your refrigerator, and self-discipline to do it. I’ve kept a lot of great habits from this process and found out what foods really impact the inflammation in my body. It hasn’t completely stopped me from eating these foods, but I do pay the price. I don’t know if there is anything else wrong in my body that is keeping me from running like I’d like, but now I know how food affects this already present inflammation. If you are thinking about trying it, I would ask you to the approach the Whole30 differently. Think of it as an experiment in helping you to take a mindful approach to your eating that will help you create new healthy habits that you’d like to continue once you’ve finished, and as a way to identify how food truly affects your body so you can try to limit these foods and avoid the ill effects.

Written by Kristin Kipp

Kristin is the Director of Employee Wellness at Marquette University and is a Registered Dietitian.

Fall recipe: roasted vegetables

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While it may not have felt like fall at all the last few days, the first day of fall was actually last week. And in the spirit and anticipation of fall-like weather (along with keeping my tradition of posting seasonally themed recipes), I am bringing you a delicious, and healthy, fall themed recipe.

The fresh vegetables of fall are definitely one of the greatest parts of this season, so I say we all take advantage of the in-season produce. Make sure you are picking up your ingredients at a local farmer’s market, I picked up a haul of fresh produce at the farmers market held on campus last week. It is the easiest way to ensure you are getting quality, healthy, delicious ingredients. And, the best part about this recipe is that it has a really short prep time, giving you plenty of time to still enjoy the crisp weather of the season while you wait for your vegetables to cook.

What you need:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

½ pound of butternut squash, peeled and cubed

10 baby potatoes, sliced in half

½ pound green beans

3 medium sized carrots, peeled and halved

8 ounce package baby bella mushrooms

½ red onion, cut in wedges

1 head garlic, peeled

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp italian seasoning

2 tsp salt

Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Fresh thyme, to taste

Now for the preparation, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place all of your prepared vegetables onto a large baking sheet, toss the vegetables with the vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings. Then, bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

This recipe is so quick, and is easily customizable. I have sweet peppers sitting around that I am planning to throw in the next time I make this recipe. So, have some fun with this recipe and use it to dive head first into fall like I am planning to do, after all it is my favorite season! Hope you enjoy, and be sure to share pictures of your completed recipe with us!

Alicia Diedrich

The recipe was found at: http://www.colorfulrecipes.com/roasted-fall-vegetables/


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