Looks Delish! Cinnamon

Cinnamon

 

Cinnamon. A spice. Often described (in songs anyway) as sweet..but it isn’t really is it? Be that as it may, there are some pretty sweet health benefits of cinnamon:

1. It regulates blood sugar. It has a 3-5% effect on blood sugar, similar to what older generation diabetes drugs had, making it helpful for pre-diabetics.

2. Reduces pain linked to arthritis.  I have also read that because of its natural warming capabilities, it is mixed with oil used in massage therapy.

3. Research has shown that it may reduce the proliferation on colon cancer cells (!). Who knew?

4.  Cinnamon can effectively reduce menstrual pain. It has cinnamaldehydes (Wow! Scientists had to stretch to come up with that one, huh?) that could help balance hormonal levels.

5. It helps put a temporary end to the cruel, cruel winter (or as we know it here in Chicago spring) as a mood enhancer. Ancient wisdom says that the smell of cinnamon helps to ward the winter blues away. A study out of West Virginia showed that the scent of cinnamon reduced driver irritability. I’m sure there are many city drivers that will test that theory by keeping several rolled bundles of cinnamon in their car-maybe it will help curb road rage during construction seas..er..Chicago summer.

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Straight Trippin’

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I’m going on a road trip! Yup! Me! Hitting the road and going to New Orleans to check out the Essence Music Festival with some girls and I am so excited for this adventure!  Other than the change of scenery and female bonding and the promise of seafood, music and fun when we get there, one of the things about being on the road, is the one the road food. Fast, fried food that can sometimes taste soo good, but be soooo bad for you. What’s a girl (or guy) to do?

Well, believe it or not, there are some things that you can take with you to have a healthier time on the road! Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Almonds. Tasty, filling and come in different flavors.

2. Hummus and pretzel snack packs.

3. Water-of course.

4. Pouches of tuna. You can add this for some healthy protein on a side salad (or two) from the drive through.

5. Granola bars

6. Trail Mix or any other fruit and nut mix.

7. Pirate’s Booty in Aged White Cheddar-yum!

8. Pre-cut fresh fruit and vegetables. Apples, celery and carrots usually travel the best. I love bananas, but hate the hot banana smell in a small space.

Add some music and some mystery novels and I’m all good until it is my turn to drive. I am too excited for my trip and will be scouting out my next fitness adventure. I can’t wait!

And now, get out there an get some FIT STARTED! Until next time!

Looks Delish! Fruit of The Week: Kiwi

Kiwi-Fruit

 

Summertime makes me think of all of the warm weather fun to be had hanging out with family, working out in the sun and eating all kinds of good fruit.  Here are a few reasons why kiwi is a so good for you:

  1. Good for your skin. Its a great source of vitamin E, which defends skin from degeneration.
  2. Its safe! Kiwis are considered naturally organic because it is generally safe from pesticide residue.
  3. No prunes for you! Kiwis have lots of fiber which promotes intestinal health. Because of that fiber, you feel fuller, longer-which can help promote weight loss.
  4. Its a sweet way to keep your blood pressure down! Kiwis have high levels of potassium, which helps to counteract the effects of sodium.
  5. Kids love them! They taste different, but kinda like strawberries. It gives you and them variety in your diets!

Looks Delish! The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Well, I know a few people, but it is safe to say that chocolate is one of the move sought after, craved for treats and with good reason. The good for you, vitamin packed dark chocolate version gives you even more reasons to indulge. Here are a few:

  • Celebrate the sweetness of life! Researchers have found that dark chocolate helps to reduce stress hormones and keeps kids happier (which ALSO helps reduce adult stress hormones!)
  • Dark chocolate has flavonoids (antioxidants that fight aging and disease) that assists the skin in absorbing UV light, helps to increase blood flow to  the skin and improves skin hydration and overall complexion.
  • How sweet it is to be loved by you..dark chocolate can heighten senses and increase endorphins which enhances arousal.
  • Raise of hands of people who saw Ex-Lax pieces (or even baker’s chocolate) back in the day and was tempted to eat it because it looked like chocolate? (I know I’m not alone in this) Dark chocolate has 4 grams of fiber per serving, which helps you feel full as well as keeps you regular.
  • Keep that sweet tooth-dark chocolate prevents tooth decay by eliminating Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria found in the oral cavity that causes tooth decay.

These double chocolate cupcakes look delish! Try and enjoy!

Looks Delish! Fruit of the Week: Mango

Mango

I did not have the pleasure of having mango until I was an adult. And once I tasted it I wondered..”Where have you been all of my life?” Turns out that mangos are not only magically delicious, but they are good for you too. Here are some of the health benefits of mangoes:

  • Cancer prevention: Mangoes have antioxidant properties to help protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancer.
  • A lil’ somethin’ to get you in the mood: Mangoes contain vitmain E in abundance, which helps to sexulate sex hormones and boost your sex drive.
  • I hear it clears your skin! Mangoes help to clear up acne, makes a great face mask for dry and sensitive skin. Find a few mango face masks here.
  • Delicious way to prevent a cold-mangoes have a lot of Vitamin C. So when you get sick of all those oranges, peel a mango!
  • Not only does it have a lots of Vitman E and C, mangoes provide benefits for eye health and contains iron which is great for those who have anemia, menopasal women and pregnant women.

Add mango to our veggie of the week last week-kale, add some almonds and you have a vitamin rich and filling salad that is simple and looks delish!

Looks Delish! Veggie of the Week: Kale

Kale

I love kale! Due to its growing popularity, kale has a nickname-“The Queen of Greens”. And here is why:

  •  It helps to strengthen your immune system. With a high concentration of nutrients, kales helps to strengthen the immune system and helps the body fight viruses and bacteria.  It also contains more iron than beef, so it is an important food for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Its a salon and spa all in one!  Kale has a wonderful mix of omega-3’s and omega-6 that helps with hair growth and keeps your skin and nails looking good.
  • Giving carrots a run for its money, kale has a high concentration of vitamin A to keep your eyes strong and vitamins K and  D to keep your bones strong.
  • Detox! High in fiber and fiber and sulfer, kale is great foor detoxing your body and keeping your liver healthy.

Kale can be eaten steamed with a little garlic, salt and pepper or added to favorite juices or smoothies. Check out some kale recipies that look delish here: http://www.eatingwell.com/search/apachesolr_search/kale