Archive for the 'Diana Banzon' Category

Memorial Day Madness

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With Memorial Day just around the corner, what better way to honor the soldiers who died serving our country than with celebrating it in the beautiful outdoors. Soak up the sun and throw a picnic with food that will fuel you for a day of celebration without feeling the guilt!

Starting off with a salad is a staple. Try out the Summer Tomato and Grilled Corn Salad!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil, packed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint, packed
  • 2 lbs. very ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • Optional: Macedonian feta cheese (omit for vegan), extra mint and basil and some balsamic reduction, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high and oil the grates.
  2. Grill the corn for 10 minutes, turning a few times. You want the kernels to turn bright yellow and let some of them get grill marks. Remove the corn from the grill and, when it is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off. (The easiest way to cut the kernels off the cob is to stand the corn on one end and run the knife blade down the corn.)
  3. While the corn is grilling, prepare the rest of the salad. In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil and garlic until it is smooth and creamy. Stir through the basil and mint. Add the grilled corn kernels to the bowl.
  4. Lay half the tomatoes out on your serving platter, sprinkle them with sea salt then top with half the corn and some feta cheese (if you’re using cheese). Top with the rest of the tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt, the corn and any or all of the garnishes. Pour any remaining dressing on top and serve immediately.

Now on to the main entrée. Switch things up and stray from your tradition hot dog and bun combo and opt for the Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Broccolini Veggie Dogs!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 8 ounces broccolini, trimmed
  • 6 top-sliced hot dog buns
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce. In your food processor with the blade attachment, process all the ingredients together until the herbs are finely chopped and the sauce is bright green. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Brush this dressing onto both sides of the Portobello mushrooms and the brocollini. Then add the vegetables to your grill. Cook the brocollini until it’s crisp-tender and has started to blacken in a few places, about 3 minutes total. Cook the mushrooms for about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from the grill. Once the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, slice them into strips.
  4. To serve, spread some of the yogurt sauce onto the hot dog buns. Add a few slices of mushroom and some of the brocollini. Top with chopped avocado and extra fresh herbs, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Finish the picnic off with something sweet. Elevate refreshing watermelon slices by topping it off with some blueberries and goat cheese!

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INGREDIENTS

  • Blueberry Compote
  • 12 oz blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 lemon, squeezed (about 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Vanilla Goat Cheese
  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Watermelon Pizza
  • 40 mint leaves (roughly)
  • ½ watermelon, sliced in half, sliced into triangles, and then sliced again into smaller triangles (see photo)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Blueberry Compote:

First in a small pot over medium heat add your water and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil. Add your blueberries and lemon juice. Continue to boil, stirring every minute, until blueberries have burst and water begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (will thicken as it cools). Place in fridge until ready to use.

  • Vanilla Goat Cheese:

In a small bowl add your log of goat cheese. Break up using a fork. Add your vanilla extract and honey. Whip together using a fork until mixed together. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.

  • Assembly

Once watermelon is sliced and ready to go, add one mint leaf, topping with 1 tsp goat cheese and 1 tsp blueberry compote. Continue to do this to each piece of watermelon until all slices are assembled. Store in fridge until ready to consume.

 

Stay safe and healthy this Memorial Day weekend!

Diana Banzon

 

 

A-choose you destiny, not allergies

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With the plants budding, the season transitioning – all are fun and games until your allergies act up. It takes away the excitement of being outside and enjoying what the warm weather has to offer. Here are a few ways to help combat allergies and have it not rule your life this summer!

Shut ‘em out!

With the pollen count being so high this time of year, it is best to keep the windows shut – even if it is nice outside. If you find the beauty of the outdoors that tempting, opt for HEPA filter on your air-conditioning system and a flat or panel filter on your furnace if you want to get a feel for the breeze –  without the repercussions.

Scrub up!

Being exposed to the outside  – even for a little – is enough to bring tiny particles that the outdoors has to offer back inside with you. From your clothes, shoes, hair, and skin – make sure to immediately take a shower and and wash away any allergens to prevent any further irritation. 

Mask it up!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. For occasions where avoiding allergens are near to impossible, such as partaking in yard work and vacuuming, a respirator mask might just be your saving grace. Although it isn’t the most stylish, accessory one can rock this summer, it’ll for sure combat those pesky particles from triggering your allergies. It let’s you go about your dreaded chores without any external factors making it worse.

Go au naturale

Keeping your home is clean is the best way to combat indoor allergens. Opting for products that will both clean your house without suffering the consequences of  irritating your nasal passages and aggravating your symptoms is the best way to go about giving your home the spring cleaning it needs just in time for the summer season. Go for natural cleaners such as vinegar or baking soda to get the job done!

Healthy eating

Everything comes back to how you are fueling yourself internally. It all starts from gaining these habits as early as possible. Studies show that children who consume a lot of vegetables, fruits, and nuts had fewer allergy symptoms. Researchers are trying to investigate the link as to why that is the case, but there is no surprise that having the foundation of a healthy diet will be the catalyst to overall wellness.

Don’t let allergens choose your destiny. Take control and enjoy what the upcoming summer season has to offer!

 

Diana Banzon

 

Skin Cancer Awareness Month | May 2019

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May is the month of Skin Cancer Awareness Month. With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, people are more reluctant to going outside and having more exposure to the sun than ever. But with the wrong type of protection, your risks of getting skin cancer immediately increases. Educate yourself as to the dangers of skin cancer and learn as to why awareness is so important!

What is skin cancer?

It takes place when there is abnormal growth of skin cells and usually develops due to overexposure from the sun. Mutations occur in the DNA of the skin cells making it grow out of control, which eventually causes it to form into cancer cells. Skin cancer can be broken up into 3 major types which include:

  • basal cell carcinoma
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • melanoma

Here are tips to decrease your chances of getting skin cancer:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Don’t get sunburned.
  • Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.

Prevention is key. If there are ways to avoid getting skin cancer, why not take proactive steps now? Give your largest organ some extra love this summer and and protect it!

 

Have a happy and safe summer break,

Diana Banzon

 

May Showers brings May Flowers

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Spring is finally upon us and everything is coming into full bloom! Plants are finally budding and we should take advantage of them making their way back into our lives from the harsh, dormant winter. We should take time to stop and smell the roses in honor of the arrival of Spring and the warmth it has to offer us!

Relaxation

Many people already resort to gardening as a quick escape from reality to help find inner peace, but floral scents alone have the power to lower stress. Lavender and chamomile have soothing properties that can calm your worries away. A whiff of rosemary has the power to relieve headaches and tension. What can the power of Mother Nature not do?

 

Improvement in Emotional Health

Ever wondered why receiving flowers in the hospital were so common? It is because it is an immediate mood booster! Knowing that you are being thought of by others and having a constant reminder of that has the potential to brighten anyone’s day!

 

Improvement in Physical Health

Another reason why receiving flowers in the hospital is so popular? It can physically heal patients! Yes, physical but not in the direct way you would assume. Being surrounded by plants everyday has the capability of making a stressed person feel more relaxed. A more relaxed patient in the hospital typically heals faster than those who are constantly in a state of worry. So keep on sending in those flowers!

 

Memory and Concentration

Need a little something to jog that memory of yours? Look no further then to flowers! Plants oxygenate the air, which in turn boosts your brain cells!

 

Now go ahead. Take it all in. Stop and smell the roses – no, literally.

Happy Spring everyone,

Diana Banzon

 

Picnic Pick Me Up!

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The weather is finally at a point where it is bearable enough to eat outside! So why not take advantage of it by rewarding yourself with a little picnic? There are many ways to go about making the most out of something as simple as eating outside that are beneficial to your health. Here are reasons as to why you should whip out the good ole picnic blanket and basket and take it out for spin this National Picnic Day!

Breath of fresh air

Taking in all that fresh air the outdoors has to offer can be just the mood booster you need to take on the day! Staying crammed all winter long often gets depressing and old. The new change in atmosphere can leave you feeling rejuvenated and can effectively help clear the lungs of those who are suffering with respiratory disorders.

Here comes the sun

There is no better feeling in the world then the sun shining on your skin after a brutal winter that left us all deprived from the warmth. The sun emits vitamin D which helps fight off heart disease, dementia, prostate cancer, and so much more! It also has the power to build stronger bones. It is advised to get at least 10-15 minutes of sunlight daily and to always use sun protection if you decide to stay out longer. There is no need to be afraid of the sun – moderation is key!

Staying active

Picnics are not just for eating. It gives you an opportunity to really take advantage of all the space the outdoor provides that it can be just the playground you need to partake in physical activities. If you decide to get your competitive spirits on, you won’t even feel like you are working out because you are too busy having fun with the company you are with!

Healthy eating habits

Now this one is solely up to the person who is responsible for packing the food in a picnic. But typically, picnics consist of eating fruits, vegetables, and grains. Eating light and fresh will make you feel a lot better if you do choose to partake in physical activities or fuel yourself up with the nutrients after breaking a sweat.

 

Treat yourself to a little picnic for a little pick me up today! 

Diana Banzon

 

Have an Egg-cellent Easter!

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With Easter on its way, what food do you think of that is famously known to be associated with the holiday? Eggs of course! Eggs are prevalent both in the decorations and the meals served throughout Easter, who can complain? Beside that fact that eggs are so tasty and are very versatile in the ways they can be eaten, their health benefits trumps all. Here are the reasons as to why you should keep implement eggs into your daily routine today!

Raise Good Cholesterol

Eating eggs increases HDL, known as high-density lipoprotein, which is known to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Study shows that eating 2 eggs daily for six weeks can increase HDL by an astounding 10 percent.

Low in Calories
Protein is considered to be the most satiating macronutrient. As a high-protein food, they are known to be very filling and score high on the satiety index. In a study, replacing bagels with eggs in the morning have been known to make people eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours.

Nutrient Packed

Protein aside, a single boiled egg contains:

  • Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
  • Folate: 5% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 22% of the RDA
  • Eggs also contain decent amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc

Increases Eye Health

Nutrients found in Lutein and Zeaxanthin counteract eye problems. The antioxidants accumulate in the retina of the eye, which helps reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of blindness which eggs are high in that would help combat it. 

Skin Benefits

Eggs whites can be applied topically and the benefits are endless. From tightening large pores, to reducing oily skin, fighting off and preventing acne and acne scars, the list goes on. The best part – it’s cheap. Who doesn’t have eggs readily available in your household!

Hair Benefits

Applying eggs to the hair sounds gross – until you the hear about the wonders it can do for your hair. It can remove excess scalp oiliness along with restoring shine to dull hair. Who knew?

Eggs often get a bad rep. There is not need to fear them. Instead, make an effort to implement it into your routine and get a taste for how protein can give you the energy you to take on the day.

 

Happy Easter everyone!

Diana Banzon

 

Time for Spring Cleaning

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With the polar vortex coming in full swing this brutal winter, feeling the warmth that spring has to offer is nothing but refreshing! Spring is the perfect time to put your life on reset and go through a purge of everything that is holding you back. Make an effort to make a change during this season of rebirth and reinvent your lifestyle and habits.

Clothing Cleanse

Trying on older clothes and seeing if progress has been made can either be a celebratory moment or might just be the motivation you need to continue hitting the gym twice as hard. Styles come and go – let go of pieces that you no longer use and give it to someone who will actually use it, instead of letting it take up space in your closet. Sustainability will be much appreciated by the environment! 

 

Refrigerator Reset

Go through your fridge and toss out anything that is expired – or just simply not good for you. Taking out these temptations is the first step to revamping your diet for the better! Everything in moderation is key. If you just so happen to feel an unhealthy craving and have to go out to fulfill it, having that extra time to decide if is it really worth going out of your way to get it is enough to help reconsider your final decision and potentially get you to go against it out of sheer laziness. With the season changing, it is to be expected that what is in season in regards to produce changes too. Hit up your local farmer’s market and venture for what is most ripe this time around!

 

Exercise Exhaustion

Getting tired of the same old workout routine? Switch it up! With the weather getting warmer, there is no excuse to take your workout outside and soak up the sun! It’ll give you motivation to embrace nature and the warmth that we haven’t seen in a while.

 

Hygiene Hacks

Products go through a cycle where its effectiveness no longer works as well as it used to when you first started using them. Whether it be shampoo, body wash, face wash, etc., constantly alternate your routine to give your body something new to grow accustomed to. It will give you an opportunity to try out new products that you might end up liking more than what you are already using!

 

With the new season coming, take this opportunity to freshen up your lifestyle!

 

Happy Spring!
Diana Banzon

 


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