Kreativ Blogger Award 2012

Since participating in the April 2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge I've "met" so many insightful, friendly and informative bloggers on the web. 
I was lucky enough to catch the eye of Francene Stanley of Stitching Words and Jolie Du Pre of Precious Monsters who recently awarded Whole Foods Living the Kreativ Blogger Award!
Thank you, ladies! I'm honored that you enjoy my little corner of the web!

Part of receiving this wonderful award is that I continue on with this kindness and nominate seven other blogs that I feel deserving of this award.  After that, I answer 10 questions about myself and 10 random facts about me that you probably didn't know! So here goes!

7 Award-Winning Blogs to Visit:
1. Amy at Freelancin' for $1000 a Week.
Motivational. Inspirational. Realistic.

2. Jen at We're Living a Full Life.
Insightful. Honest. Fun.

3. Tracy at Pull Up a Toadstool.
Creative. Alternative. Inspiration.

4. Sylvia at Plant-Based Foodie.
Delicious. Simple. Whole.

5. Amy at Coffee Lovin' Mom
Travel. Relaxing. Witty.

6. Rabbit Trails
Honest. Funny. Random.

7. The Death Writer
Scary. Important. Insightful.

10 Questions About Me:
1. What is your favorite song? Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. It was our first dance/wedding song.
2. What is your favorite dessert? Brownies
3. What ticks you off? When I'm not productive
4. What do you do when you’re upset? Cry 
5. Which is/was your favorite pet? All of them!
6. Which do you prefer, black or white? Black
7.What is your biggest fear? Dying by drowning or fire
8. What is your attitude mostly?  Positive
9. What is perfection? Cruising forest trails with my hubby and dogs on a crisp fall day followed by homemade hot chocolate.
10. What is your guilty pleasure?  Brownies topped with homemade vanilla ice cream and warm ganache. Yeah, you're drooling now!

10 Random Facts About Me:
1. My husband and I share the same three initials.
2. My first rock concert was Poison in 1989.
3. I played the Wicked Queen in my 3rd grade class play, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
4. I design greeting cards.
5. I love reading Stephen King before bed.
6. I have a vial of faux blood from a GWAR concert.
7. I volunteer at a horse therapy organization.
8. I drink milk directly from the container.
9. I've never watched Glee, American Family, House or many of the other "popular" shows.
10. I've straddled the Tropic of Capricorn in Australia.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Healthy Strawberry Shortcake Oatmeal

I eat oatmeal a lot. This morning when I realized I was out of fresh blueberries, raisins or dried fruit of any kind to "spice" up my breakfast, I got creative.
A few minutes later, my breakfast was ready, and it's so good I wanted to share!
A cellphone snapshot of breakfast! Yum!

Last week I made a batch of strawberry sauce (recipe here!) to use up a few pints of berries purchased for a birthday party I ended up not attending. Since it's fruit, I tried pouring it over oatmeal.

It's delicious!

This is so easy, I'm not even going to call it a recipe. While preparing one serving of plain oatmeal, toss in 2 tablespoons of milled flax seed. This adds 3 grams of protein to your breakfast and a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Those are the buggers responsible for reducing inflammation in the body and improving memory. You can get Omega 3's in higher doses from eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna or trout, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. More importantly, flax seed gives the oatmeal a slightly nutty taste.

Finally, pour the oatmeal into a bowl and pour a generous amount of strawberry sauce on top. That's it! No butter or sugar needed. Serve with a tall glass of milk (soy, rice, cow or whatever you prefer!) to complete the strawberry shortcake experience.

Sure, this isn't like having dessert, but it's darn good for a healthy breakfast.

So, have you been munching on strawberries lately? They are plentiful and cheap in the midwest right now. Share your favorite strawberry related snack, recipe or creation in the comments below! I've been slicing berries and topping them with locally-raised creamed honey. Mmmmm....

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Want to browse some of my older posts? Check out:
Oatmeal Makeover! 5 Oatmeal Combinations
How to Eat Flax Seed
Is Cinnamon a Health Food?

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To Go Greek (Yogurt) or Not?

File:Passion Fruit Breakfast.jpg
Passion fruit. Photo by Thor, Wikimedia Commons
I'm that gal at the grocery store that reads labels. I go beyond the superficial "all natural" claim on the front of the package and dive right into the ingredient list.

This morning I lingered in the dairy aisle. I love Greek yogurt. I've tried several brands, from the discounted store labels to organic varieties. Today I picked up a carton of Chobani Greek Yogurt with Passion Fruit.

A quick scan of the label made me smile: nonfat milk, cream, live and active cultures, passion fruit puree, evaporated cane juice, pectin, natural flavors and locust bean gum. Perfect. Although yogurt isn't a whole food, this cup of yogurt seems healthier than some other sugar-filled, artificially dyed options.

So, was it good? Heck, yes! After peeling away the foil lid I was greeted with sweet, creamy cheesecake batter-like textured yogurt. It wasn't dry or bland like some Greek yogurts. With a careful scoop of my spoon, I unveiled the creamy yellow passion fruit puree speckled with dark passion fruit seeds at the bottom of the cup. Surprisingly the seeds added a tasty nutty crunch to the yogurt. 

This yogurt is delicious and filling. Although I just gobbled down 160 calories, I also ate 14 grams of protein (I'm always counting. Ah, the life of a vegetarian.), 3 grams of fat and 100 mg of sodium. Unfortunately this yogurt has 19 grams of sugar, which equals just under 5 teaspoons of sugar.

But, this yogurt is so good I could eat it as a dessert and be perfectly happy. Plus, the sugar comes from cane juice, not refined white sugar.

Do you like Greek yogurt? Temp me with your favorite flavors or uses for Greek yogurt!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Hello, Sugar Hangover

Boy, did I fall off the apple cart last week. A small tub of marshmallow cream called to me, and landed in my shopping cart. I was held hostage by some chocolate chips. And, I ate ice cream. Full cream, white sugar, decadent vanilla ice cream. It was marvelous.
Ice cream is my weakness! Photo by Jppi, Morguefile

Then, came the headaches. And, the dizziness.

I haven't eaten that much refined white sugar in a long time. I'm now two and half days in on my "no sugar until the hubby's birthday" promise to myself, and I'm starting to feel better. The headache has dulled to a linger.

I know some visitors to this blog are working on eating healthier. Well, here's today's lesson: You can't eat perfect all the time. And, your body will punish you for it!

So, have you ever had a sugar hangover? Please tell me I'm not alone!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Is Rhubarb a Fruit or Vegetable?


Fresh rhubarb. Photo courtesy MorgueFile
While dicing some stalks of rhubarb, the hubby asked if the red chunks were vegetables or a fruit.

Well, heck. I had no idea.

I was preparing a rhubarb-strawberry crisp, so I immediately thought fruit. Who eats rhubarb without sweetening it?

After a little quick research, we found out rhubarb is technically a vegetable. The perennial was initially grown for medicinal purposes in the Far East, according to the University of Ohio Extension Office.

Rhubarb Nutrition Facts:  One cup of diced, raw rhubarb
  • has just 26 calories
  • provides 45% of your daily vitamin K needs which helps blood clot and reduces your chances of bone fractures
  • is a source of omega-6 fatty acids which promote hair and skin growth and regulates your metabolism
  • can be eaten raw, but is very sour
  • the green leaves are poisonous and shouldn't be eaten
So, how do you like your rhubarb? I enjoy crisps, pies and sauces to top ice cream. And, since the farmer's market is plentiful with rhubarb this week, I'll be eating lots of it! Yum!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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The Farmer's Market is Open!

Freshly washed butter crunch lettuce. Photo by Angela Tague.
Have you ever shopped in a store where every display seemed to call your name?

Handcrafted beeswax lip balm? Yes, please!
Spinach speckled with local soil? Bring it on!
Glistening jars of crimson berry jams. Yum!

Our local farmer's market opened this morning, which means I can barely get this written between taking bites of my locally grown lunch. Heck, my editors are lucky the market isn't open all day, or I may have missed a few deadlines today!

Since it's early in the season, our local market was plentiful with fresh spring greens, radishes, rhubarb and asparagus.

But, the true find of the day was a head of butter crunch lettuce. The velvety texture, mild flavor and pale color truly means summer is just around the corner. Since this is one of the first lettuces of the season to grow in the midwest, it's always an early garden-season treat.

Is your farmer's market open for business? What local whole foods are you enjoying?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Reflections of The Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Whew! Maintaining a personal blog challenge is like running a marathon. 

Last week I crossed the finish line in my first ever Blogging from A to Z Challenge--and it feels great. I kept a steady pace, didn't skip any of the 26 miles, er, letters in my path and learned a lot along the journey.

1. People genuinely do care about nutrition and question what's on their plates. My passion is not falling on deaf ears!

2. Maintaining a daily blog is more than just tapping out a few paragraphs of insights. There are comments to approve, read and reply to. There are photos to snap or find. And, of course there's research (read: cook, bake, shop!) to create informative, honest posts.

3. I learned a lot from my readers and the blogs I visited during the challenge! I have a list of new blogs to peruse, books to read and recipes to try. Thank you!

4. Blogging won't make you rich. I maintain Whole Foods Living because it's my day-to-day life speaking. I write about what I encounter during my ongoing healthy eating transition. The ad revenue from this blog challenge will probably buy me a watermelon at the farmer's market or maybe another bag of organic quinoa. Yum!

5. People will blog about anything! While visiting other blogs in the challenge I met other foodies, learned about children's books, death rituals, tourist spots in Paris, how much I need a beach vacation and the antics of young children!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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