Try This Amazing Asian Chicken Salad

Let’s face it. The idea of having a big salad for dinner isn’t generally all that exciting. But this one is good…really good!  And who doesn’t love peanut sauce? I actually use almond butter and the result is every bit as delicious.

The addition of red cabbage makes the salad more flavorful and nutritious. Red cabbage is loaded with a wealth of phytochemicals, antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Some of these essential components include folate, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and potassium, as well as vitamin C, A, E, K, dietary fiber, and the B-complex vitamins. Definitely worth a try for the health benefits alone!



1/4 cup creamy almond butter

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari

Juice of half a lime

Pinch of cayenne pepper


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (organic if possible)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon good olive oil

6-8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 cups finely shredded red cabbage

2 large carrots, julienned

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

3 scallions, white and light green parts chopped

1/4 cup chopped peanuts or almonds

1 lime, quartered for serving


To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the almond butter, honey, tamari, lime juice and cayenne pepper until smooth.

Pound the chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. Season liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the breasts until golden and cooked through,  4-5  minutes each side. Remove from heat. Slice into thin strips when cool.

In a large bowl combine the lettuce and cabbage, carrots, peppers and scallions. Add the chicken, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.

To serve divide the salad onto plates, top with chopped nuts and garnish with lime wedges.

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What Are You Putting Under Your Arms?

By now most of us have learned to be vigilant about what we eat and how our food affects our health. Of course, we all splurge on not-so-healthy stuff from time to time. But we’re aware, and we’re making mindful choices.

How about the personal care products we use on a daily basis?—You only need to walk down the aisle of any grocery store to get an idea of how big the business of selling deodorant has become. In the United States alone, annual sales are up around $2 billion. Do you know what’s actually in the stuff you roll on every morning? It might be time to  stop and review the ingredient list. Let’s take a closer look!

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How Does Deodorant Work?

First, it’s interesting to know that sweat isn’t inherently stinky. In fact, it’s nearly odorless. The smell actually comes from bacteria that break down the sweat on your skin. Most deodorants contain chemicals to kill off the bacteria before they have time to digest your fluids and stop the odor before it starts.

Antiperspirants, on the other hand, deal directly with sweat. They use a chemical called aluminum chloride that mixes with sweat to form a gel-like plug to stop up the sweat gland duct. The more pores that are plugged, the less you’ll physically sweat.

What’s So Bad About Using Something That Helps Us Smell Better and Keeps Us Dry?

Well, nothing except that most deodorants and antiperspirants contain a long list of mysterious chemicals. How harmful are these chemicals?

Researchers at National Cancer Institute claim that they “are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer”. NCI claims there is no “clear” or “direct” link between parabens or aluminum and cancer. They do admit that “ More research is needed”.

Not all researchers are convinced and many still believe common chemicals found in deodorants pose big health risks including the increase risk of breast cancer.

Here’s the thing–“Unless a chemical is proven harmful, regulators allow you to eat it, smoke it, brush with it and slather it on your body. Finding that proof of harm is a difficult, costly and time-consuming proposition.” ~ Cancer specialist Dr. Philippa Darbre 

OK, so there’s no (as yet) proven scientific evidence that aluminum, parabens or any of the other ingredients in deodorants or antiperspirants pose any threat to human health but “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of a harmful effect” and “these chemicals are being directly applied daily, by very large numbers of people, and the long-term health effects of exposure are essentially unknown,” ~toxicologist Philip W. Harvey

I don’t know about you but if even one toxicologist tells us  his own calculations suggest there’s a chance these chemicals in question may “significantly add to estrogenic burdens” and adversely affect my health I believe the smart and safe action is to switch to products that do not include harmful chemicals.

Just like we do in food the best thing is to use only products with ingredients you can read and pronounce.

Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients–Check your products to be sure none of these is listed:

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity.
Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. They have hormone-disrupting qualities – mimicking estrogen – and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.
Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis or skin irritation.
Acrylamide – Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research.
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) – Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate.
Toluene –Very harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.
Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.

If you’d like to learn more about your particular product you can search The Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep site

Not All Products Do The Job

Over the years I’ve experimented with lots of different healthier products. I found that just because something is labeled “long lasting” or “maximum protection” does not mean the product actually works on body odor.

Here are two deodorants with clean ingredients that are not effective:

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These three products work well for me. I’ve listed them in order of effectiveness. You can purchase Burts Bees and Tom’s at Mom’s Organic Market. Click on Agent Nateur for more information.

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Bull Dog is a healthy, effective option for guys. It’s available at Whole Foods Market.







Eat, Move, Live Well!

Eat More Beautiful Beets For A Healthier You

beets on the deck

Recently one of our exercisers  surprised me with a beautiful bunch of beets from her garden. I was interested to learn that beets grow during the summer months; I’d always thought of them as a fall crop. I absolutely love beets. I’ve heard they’re super healthful but I was curious to find out exactly how they improve our health. Read on to learn more!

Beets are not only loaded with antioxidants they also have important anti-inflammatory properties.

You may be surprised to know that beets also:

 Lower Your Blood Pressure- This benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide* in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

 Fight Inflammation-Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It’s also known to help fight inflammation and help protect internal organs.

Help Prevent Cancer –The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Taste good and help prevent cancer. What more do we need to know?

Provide Us With Valuable Nutrients and Fiber-Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium, and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets are particularly important to women who are pregnant–vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body.

Less known but interesting facts about beets:

Nature’s Libido Booster- One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. And that’s not just urban legend – science backs it up. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.

 Beets cleanse the body-They are a wonderful tonic for the liver and work as a purifier for the blood.

Help your mental health-Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being.

* Researchers have found that sunlight triggers your skin’s production of nitric oxide. Why is this significant? Because nitric oxide is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure, helps prevent atherosclerosis, and plays a role in modulating immune system function.

I usually enjoy my beets roasted but the thought of turning on my oven during these dog days of summer is not appealing. This recipe does require a little stove top cooking but the end result is a really tasty vegetarian meal.

Tangy Beets With Soba Noodles


1 onion
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
3-4 large beets
1 Cup almond milk
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
3 Tablespoons almond butter
1/2-1 cup vegetable broth
1 package soba noodles* or whole grain pasta


Peel the beets and cut them into small pieces. Peel and dice the onion.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet then add the onion and beets. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the almond milk, tamari, maple syrup and spices. Reduce heat to low, stir in 1/2 cup broth and the almond butter. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beets and soft.

Meanwhile, cook and drain the soba noodles. Serve the beets over the noodles.

If you have leftovers try this:

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add a can of drained garbanzo beans. Season with 1/4 to  1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Add sea salt and pepper to your taste. Cook to heat through then add to your beet mixture.

*Soba noodles have fewer calories, more fiber and more protein than traditional pasta.


Make This Simple, Ultimate Veggie Burger Tonight!

bean patties cut in half


This veggie burger works well because it actually holds together — something so many versions don’t do. The secret is in the four eggs and whole wheat bread crumbs.

I love the idea of cutting the cooked patty in half and stuffing the center with delicious fillings so you don’t need bread. The original recipe calls for garbanzo beans but I used the mung beans I had left over and they worked well too. Mung beans cook much faster than most beans and have a nutritional profile similar to chickpeas except they offer more magnesium (good for intense exercise enthusiasts), folate and vitamin B1. The recipe makes about six burgers and one per person is plenty. They’re very filling once you add the stuffings!

Ultimate Veggie Burger


2 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or mung beans
1 onion, quartered
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Grated zest of one large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (try broccoli, onion or alfalfa sprouts), optional
1 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)


Pulse the onions a few times in a food processor. Add the beans, eggs and salt. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, zest and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs; stir and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into six larger patties. If the patties seem too runny,  you can always add more bread crumbs a little at a time to firm up the dough if necessary. A bit of water can also be used to moisten the batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low, add four patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.

I spread salted Greek yogurt on each side then added oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and sliced avocado.  You might also add some grilled red peppers, arugula or thinly sliced red onion. The possibilities are endless!

Caribbean Zucchini Salad

zucchini noodles in green bowl

Who wants to spend time in the kitchen cooking when you can be outside enjoying these beautiful summer evenings? Here’s a new, tasty version of a zucchini “pasta” salad that you can make in about 20 minutes. Use a spiralizer or a julienne tool to turn the zucchini into pasta that doesn’t require cooking and comes with a lot more vitamins C and B-6, potassium and magnesium than traditional pasta!

I cooked the corn to give it added sweetness but you can easily toss it in as it is. Spices like cumin and chili powder add a nice punch and work well with the lime-avocado dressing. Add garbanzo beans to make this salad a complete meal. Enjoy!


For The Salad

2 zucchini, spiralized

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2/3 cup cooked corn, fresh is best

4-5 very thin red onion slices

1-2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt or more as needed

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder for the corn + 1/4 teaspoon for the salad

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish


For The Dressing

1 avocado

Juice of 1 lime

1 small clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons cilantro leaves

2 teaspoons olive oil

creamy avocado dressing


Put zucchini noodles in a large bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat (but not smoking). Add the corn, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder and cook, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes or until the corn starts to brown. Remove from heat and set aside in a small bowl to cool. Alternately toss corn with cumin and chili powder without cooking.

Combine the tomatoes, onions, celery, beans and cooled corn with the zucchini noodles in the bowl. Season with salt, pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon chili powder and cilantro. Toss to combine.

Add all the dressing ingredients to a Vitamix or powerful blender and process until well blended into a smooth dressing. Divide the zucchini salad between plates and top with a dollop of the avocado dressing. Mix well and add additional dressing if desired.

5 Ways Oatmeal Will Make You Healthier!

bowl of oatmealOatmeal used to be one of the most underrated grains but lately it’s reached almost “superfood” status because of its ability to affect our health and wellness in so many different ways.

I’ve always loved oatmeal and have enjoyed it almost every morning for breakfast as long as I can remember. It’s relatively low in calories but really fills me up. No other food does it like oats!

Aside from tasting great when combined with fruit, ground flax, cinnamon, raisins and almond milk, oats are super good for us. Read below to find out just how good!

1. Lowers Your Cholesterol Levels

Oatmeal  contains a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan which has proven to have big-time beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. Studies show that people with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl) who consume one bowl of oatmeal each day typically lower their total cholesterol by 8-23%.

2. Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease

In addition to helping reduce cholesterol research now suggests oats may have another cardio-protective mechanism. A bioactive compound unique to oats, called avenanthramides, is thought to stop fat forming in the arteries, preventing heart attacks and strokes.

3. Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

Starting out your day with oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day. Your blood sugar level is the amount of glucose (from your food) that circulates in your bloodstream, providing energy to cells either immediately or stored for future use. A well-balanced blood sugar level is crucial to overall fitness and well-being, regulating your hormones, triggering your body to burn stored fat, and increasing your metabolism to help you lose weight.

4. Offers Protection Against Breast and Colon Cancer

Studies show that oatmeal has a stimulating effect on the immune system, helping keep your body strong and better equipped to defend against disease. The insoluble fiber in oatmeal helps you stay regular and increases the functioning of your digestive tract, promoting good colon health.  The selenium in oatmeal helps repair DNA and is linked with corresponding lower cancer risk, especially colon cancer. See more at pinkribboncooking.comPre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber like oatmeal had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer according to researchers.

5. Provides an Amazing Array of Vitamins and Minerals

  • Manganese: This trace mineral is important for development, growth and metabolism.
  • Phosphorus: An important mineral for bone health and tissue maintenance.
  • Copper: An antioxidant mineral that is often lacking in the Western diet. It is considered important for heart health.
  • Vitamin B1: Also known as thiamine, this vitamin may protect the eye lens and help protect against cateracts.
  • Iron: As a component of hemoglobin, a protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood, iron is absolutely essential in the human diet.
  • Selenium: An antioxidant, important for various processes in the body. Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of premature death, and impaired immune and mental function
  • Magnesium: Often lacking in the diet. Adequate intake of magnesium and vitamin D coupled with overall proper nutrition and weight- bearing exercise are the primary preventive measures for osteoporosis. Intense exercise can deplete your body of magnesium.
  • Zinc: A mineral that participates in many chemical reactions in the body and is important for overall health.

Eat your oats, protect your health!

When it’s too hot out to eat a steaming bowl of oatmeal try this!

overnight oats in white bow

Summer Time Overnight Oats

Makes 2 servings

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup unsweetened almond or other milk

1/2 cup filtered water

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2/3 cup blueberries

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon ground flax

1 pinch salt

3 dried apricots, chopped

Optional: drizzle of honey

Combine all ingredients except apricots in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve top each bowl with chopped apricots and a bit of honey if desired.


How To Have A Healthy Vacation

kayak in mountainsEver feel like you need a rest after your “relaxing” vacation? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your time away and return home feeling rejuvenated and energized:

1. Stay Hydrated

One of the best ways to keep your energy level up is to drink plenty of filtered water. Aim to drink at least one-third of your body weight in ounces each day to offset the side effects of over-consumption of alcohol, “vacation” diet,  time spent in the sun, and the fact that travel itself can be stressful and draining. Start early and drink water steadily throughout the day. A hydrated body is a more efficient body. In addition to helping you feel great, hydration is also one of the keys to healthy looking skin. If your vacation plans involve flying, make an extra effort to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your flight, while limiting caffeine and alcohol.

 2. Add These Foods To Offset Dietary Splurges

Inflammation can be protective, such as when our bodies respond to injury. But chronic inflammation — in response to a steady diet of processed foods, sugar, alcohol and inadequate sleep — is a different story altogether. This often happens when we’re away from home and why we end up feeling not so great when vacation is over.

It’s important, even necessary, to take a break from our hectic schedules at least a few times a year. But we don’t do ourselves any favors when those breaks include ditching all health-promoting food and oblueberriesur usual healthy habits! Don’t get me wrong: you can (and should) still enjoy your favorite vacation foods, just do your best to offset the splurges with healing foods so you return home feeling rested instead of bloated. Simply adding certain foods to your diet will cool down that inflammation: vegetables (no, not French fries!), fruits (especially berries), nuts, seeds and small amounts of healthy oils like avocados and olive oil will do the trick. Also, herbs such as ginger, turmeric, basil and rosemary have tremendous healing properties.

3. Move Your Body

It doesn’t have to be intense, but try to squeeze in 20 to 30 minutes of active time each day. Ride a bike, go for a run or a power walk. Take a hike or enjoy a swim. Exercise helps you sleep more soundly and is the antidote for extra calories and brain fog from too much sugar or alcohol. Plus, if you know you’re going to be active the next day, you’ll be more mindful of how you’re fueling your body.

Have fun on vacation and be mindful of these small steps to help you feel your best. Your body will thank you!

Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad

I was looking for something easy to make with chicken the other night and I came across Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken recipe. I made a few small changes and the end result was a tasty, colorful meal that everyone will enjoy! Start this several hours ahead to marinate the chicken for best flavor.


Prepare the Chicken

2-3 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4″ thin

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice (3 lemons)

sea salt freshly ground pepper

freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme and or rosemary leaves, minced (I used lemon thyme) or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs.


Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and thyme. Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper. Put the breasts in a large zip lock bag or glass bowl along with the olive oil mixture and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. When ready to serve, grill the breasts then chill in refrigerator or serve at room temperature.

For The Salad

Sliced lemon chicken breasts into 1/2″ pieces

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons)

1/4 olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 1/2-2 cups sugar snap or snow  peas, stems and strings removed

1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into thin slices

1 yellow pepper , cut into thin slices

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust if desired.

Serve over a nice bed of greens.