Beyond Honey: Eating Bee Pollen and Bee Bread

Photo Credit: SXC
Last summer as I was browsing my local farmer's market, I spotted the honey table.

I just love our local honey producers and all the wonderful things they create from the honey-making process including beeswax lip balms and decorative candles, to whipped honey spreads and beeswax lotion bars.

Bee Pollen is Edible
Then I spotted the bottle of bee pollen. What? You can eat bee pollen?

The seller explained its great for people with outdoor allergies to eat locally produced bee pollen to help build up a resistance to local allergens. Also, bee pollen is chock full of vitamins.

So, I had to investigate. According to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association bee pollen is a natural:
  • anti-inflammatory food
  • boosts the immune system
  • contains complete proteins
I've been adding the small granules to my yogurt, cereal and smoothies. Bee pollen has a distinctly earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness. It doesn't remind me of honey at all.

Discovering Bee Bread
Recently I was chatting about bee pollen on Twitter, and the friendly folks at Bee Healthy Farms in Missouri asked if I wanted to try its Api-Nuggetz Organic Bee Bread product. Sure! They claim the bread is nature's superfood made from wildflower pollen collected by wild bees.

According to the company's website:

"Bee bread contains practically all the essential amino acids for humans - (phenylalanine, leucine, valine, isoleucine, arginine, histidine, lysine, methionine, proline, threonine, tryptophan), vitamins - (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, biotin, folic acid, rutin) and minerals - (calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium). The major components of pollen are proteins, amino acid, lipids (fats, oils or their derivatives) and sugars. Enzymes (proteins) are also present but some, like glucose oxidase, have been added by the bees. This enzyme is therefore more abundant in bee bread than in fresh pollen pellets."

So, how was the bee bread? First of all, it's not bread, as in a loaf or a roll. The product resembles small pebbles, ranging in size from a small pea to a raisin. The pieces are made from a blend of wildflower pollen, honey and nectar.

The instructions say to chew the bread thoroughly or let it dissolve in your mouth. They feel like chewing a soft jelly bean initially, then they dissolve easily. The first flavor I noticed was a hint of orange. Then a hint of chamomile. Bee bread is definitely more sweet than bee pollen alone and has a more palatable flavor. Interestingly, each nugget had a slightly different flavor. I suppose that depends on where the pollen was sourced.

Have you ever eaten bee pollen or bee bread? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below! And don't forget to sign up for email updates each time I add a new blog post. The sign-up box is in the left margin, at the top of this page!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The Api-Nuggetz Organic Bee Bread mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from Bee Healthy Farms for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela

Healthy Candy Canes? Say It Isn't So!

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the food. Unfortunately, the desserts always lure me in. But this year I'm being much better and limiting myself to just a few favorite treats. When I stumbled upon a box of candy canes made with natural flavoring and natural dyes, I was in love!

For just under $3 a box (12 canes), I picked up SweetNature candy canes at my local Fareway grocery store. Although the candy is made with sugar and corn syrup, the red coloring comes from vegetable juice and the peppermint goodness from natural flavorings. As a bonus, these candies are allergen friendly for people who cannot consume peanuts, tree nuts, milk, shellfish, eggs, fish, wheat and gluten.

The flavor of these candy canes is a bit more mild than some peppermint candies, but still delicious. The only major difference I can tell between these and other canes is the color. The insides are a natural off-white color, not the usual snow white.

So, what "healthy sweets" have you been munching on this holiday season? Please share in the comments below and have a wonderful holiday!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Healthy Panties? I'll Try Those!

Photo Credit: Knix Wear

A week doesn't go by without kicking up my heels to a Zumba class, stretching my muscles with yoga or burning some calories in a water aerobics class.

Of course I try to pick out cute workout clothes, including colorful sneakers and comfortable swim wear.

But one bit of clothing I've never really given much thought to was my underwear. Sure, I own several sports bras, but what about workout panties?

I was recently approached by Knix Wear to try out a pair of the company's FitKnix boyshort high performance athletic underwear. They're supposed to help keep you dry and reduce odors when you're exercising. The panties are made of 75% nylon and 25% spandex with a 100% cotton liner padded with an anti-microbial gusset and leak resistant seal.

Time to Sweat!
I'm always up for a challenge, so I put the panties through one of my most grueling Zumba workouts. By the end of the hour, I was dripping sweat and reaching for my water bottle.

So, how did the FitKnix panties do?

The fit was surprisingly comfortable, despite the extra padding in the crotch. I didn't get any annoying wedgies or ride-ups. As a bonus, I couldn't see any panty lines when I peeked at my yoga pants in the mirror.

The panties are very lightweight, soft and flexible. They had no trouble keeping up with my moves. Even through they were the boyshort cut, they didn't roll up my near by thighs like other boyshorts have in the past.

When it was time to hit the shower, I was surprised when the panties slipped off easily. My everyday cotton underwear usually stick to my skin from sweating.

Yay or Nay?
Overall, I highly recommend these workout panties. Knix Wear also offers everyday undergarments in thong, bikini, boyshort and high rise brief cuts. There's even a line of lacy panties that are both cute and great at absorbing moisture.

Finally, there's cute undergarments ready to keep you dry and comfortable when you sweat, laugh a little too hard or get a surprise visit from your menstrual cycle.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The pair of Knix Wear panties mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from Knix Wear for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. This article was also published on Yahoo! Voices. ~Angela

I Drank Chewy Sour Milk On Purpose

Homemade kefir. Photo Credit: David Niergarth/Flickr
As a foodie, I'm always willing to try something new. Usually the goodies are appetizing, colorful and well, palatable.

Last week a friend lovingly shared her decades old recipe for kefir. This fermented dairy drink is completely new to me. When she offered a sample, in a pretty glass jar, I wasn't excited.

It was lumpy, thick and smelled like sweaty socks. Knowing she wouldn't be pulling a fast one on me, she really did want me to drink this stuff. I graciously accepted her "treat" and took it home to try later.

I looked into that glass and wondered what I was getting into. It looked like watery cottage cheese. How was I supposed to drink that?

As I Googled information about kefir, I glanced back and forth between my computer monitor and that pretty little glass of lumpy milk. Finally, I decided to just go for it. I took a drink.

Sour. Chewy. Tangy. Tart.

I kept reminding myself of the wonderful healthy benefits everyone lists online. Kefir contains:
  • beneficial bacteria for digestive health
  • immunity boosting properties
  • calcium for strong bones and teeth
  • protein without a high fat content
  • B vitamins to nourish the blood and nervous system
Then I took another drink/bite. I had to give it a chance. But the sour odor made me start to feel queasy, so I put the glass in the refrigerator. I had enough. Unfortunately, the kefir's next stop was the garbage disposal.

So, fellow foodies, tell me, do you like kefir? Was I supposed to eat the chewy kefir grains or just drink the liquid? Was it supposed to be so sour? Although I'm not a huge fan of sour flavors, I enjoy pickles and sauerkraut, but this type of sour just seemed off to me.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

The Magic of B-12 Supplements

I'm a huge advocate of absorbing essential vitamins and minerals from food. Taking powdered nutrition shakes and vitamins in pill form always seemed like an excuse to avoid eating your fruits and vegetables, in my opinion.
I love having the energy to go hiking with my pups!

But, little did I know starting a regimen of B-12 supplements would make me feel so much healthier.

I'm a vegetarian, which means I only get B-12 from plant sources and fortified grains, such as cereal. When my doctor recommended I start taking B-12 supplements I assured him I'm a "good vegetarian" who eats a balanced diet. Well, I still wasn't getting enough B-12.

After taking a B-12 supplement for over a year, I decided I had more energy, strength and productive days. So, I stopped taking the pills. I didn't think I needed them any longer. Within a few weeks I was lethargic, fatigued and in a general state of exhaustion more often than not.

Those darn B-12 supplements make my life much better. I take them daily now.

A few weeks ago I was asked to review B-12 supplements from Puritan's Pride. I was happy to find out this company's formula is vegetarian. It's also free of fish, soy, milk, sugar, wheat, gluten and sodium.

If you're vegan, vegetarian or simply don't eat animal products often, talk with your physician about adding B-12 to your daily routine. The formula from Puritan's Pride is also free of artificial colors, flavoring or preservatives, making it the perfect addition to your whole foods living lifestyle.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The Puritan's Pride B-12 supplements mentioned in this blog post were provided free of charge from Puritan's Pride for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela

Skin Care Review: Perfectly Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

A few years ago, I vowed to make my beauty routine as healthy as my meal planning. Artificial colors, fragrances and fillers simply no longer had a place in my makeup bag. Little by little I've been replacing my skin care, hair care and makeup products with healthier options.
Photo by Angela Tague

Today I'm here to share a 100% vegetarian skin care product from Perfectly Pure. This line's new Hyaluronic Acid Serum helps facial skin retain moisture. In turn, you enjoy more supple, full skin that's soft and hydrated. Bonus!

I love the thick, creamy texture and the easy-to-use pump on the little glass bottle. I can easily apply the serum with my finger after washing and exfoliating my face. The serum isn't oily or heavy, so it absorbs fully, leaving my skin moisturized and feeling wonderful.

Perfectly Pure's Hyaluronic Acid Serum is also made without:

• Parabens
• Petroleum
• Artificial Color
• Artificial Fragrance

Have you tried using hyaluronic acid serum? Let me know what you think of this type of skin care product in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The Perfectly Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from Puritan's Pride and Perfectly Pure for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela


Surviving Holiday Stress and Staying Healthy!

Photo by Angela Tague
I'm not sure what it is about a fresh blanket of snow, warm cup of cocoa or twinkling Christmas tree lights that makes the holidays so darn stressful.

Wait. It's none of that.

It's the extra cleaning, shopping, planning, travel, communicating with unpleasant relatives, spending more than you can afford and having no energy to do any of it after a long day of work, right? Got it!

The past few months I've been writing several articles about surviving the holidays and stressful times in general and thought it might be fun to take today to share!
So, what's your number one way to survive the chaos of the season? My top three are sneaking in a water aerobics class, baking something just for me in the kitchen or taking a mid-day nap with no regrets.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Review: Perfectly Pure Rose & Witch Hazel Skin Toner

Photo Credit: SXC
When I was a young girl, I spent most summer days at my grandparent's house. I loved learning to cook with my grandma and how to fly a kite with grandpa.

But oddly enough, one of the things I remember most was taking long hot baths in their cotton candy pink bathroom. The smell of rose oil-infused skin care products filled the room, instantly making me feel relaxed.

When I opened a bottle of Perfectly Pure Rose & Witch Hazel Toner, I was transported back to those fond memories. This alcohol-free skin care product made with aloe vera, rose oil and witch hazel cleanses, moisturizes and refreshes the skin.

It's a perfect fit for my dearest Whole Foods Living Readers because this skin toner:
  • is alcohol-free
  • is made without parabens, petroleum or SLS
  • doesn't contain any artificial colors
  • isn't tested on animals
  • is 100% vegetarian
For the last several weeks I've been applying the toner to my face using a cotton ball. When I use this product after swimming in a chlorinated pool the tight, itchy feeling disappears from my skin. I also use it after showering to give my skin extra hydration during these windy, pre-winter days.

Perfectly Pure Rose & Witch Hazel Toner makes my skin feel soft and hydrated. Although I have sensitive skin, this product has not caused any skin irritation. And my favorite part? The lingering rose oil scent.

Do you have a favorite scent that takes you back to your childhood? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The Perfectly Pure Rose & Witch Hazel Toner mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from Puritan's Pride and Perfectly Pure for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela

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Thanking My Pet Chickens

When I was a kid growing up in rural Iowa, I made friends with everything. I named snakes found in the yard. Hand-raised cockatiels rode in my bike basket. And, I even took my pet chicken Punky sledding with me. I know, I know. Stop laughing.
Photo Credit: SXC

I really am an animal lover through and through.

One summer afternoon while eating dinner outside at the picnic table, something happened that unknowingly would reshape my future. As I threw half-eaten chicken bones down for the dogs to enjoy (I know not to do this now. Chicken bones splinter. Don't give them to your pets, OK?) some of the farm animals also gathered around.

One of my pet chickens grabbed a chicken bone and ran off, gobbling the meat off as fast as she could. I watched. And watched. And watched. Something there wasn't right. She was eating herself, well, one of her fallen relatives. That image still replays in my head sometimes.

Since that day, it was difficult to eat meat. Little by little it was less appetizing and after a few months of hesitation during meals, I was a vegetarian.

So, thank you pet chicken for guiding me to a more humane, healthy lifestyle. I've been meat-free for the past 16 years and have no desire to become a carnivore again. (I'm not here to preach about whether or not you should eat meat. Do what feels right for you.)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don't forget to eat your veggies!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Can FootGlide Handle Yoga, Jogging and Daily Wear?

Photo by Angela Tague
Being healthy goes beyond the foods you eat.

It's also about how you care for your hair, nails and skin. During the winter I dread having dry, cracked heals. They're painful, unsightly and a great way to let bacteria get into your body. Yuck!

So, when I was approached by Bodyglide to give its new anti-chafe foot balm FootGlide a try, I was glad to accept. After all, I like healthy, happy feet. Don't you?

So, What is It?
First of all, FootGlide is not tested on animals and is made from plant-derived waxes instead of petroleum, lanolin or oils. Second, it's main purpose is to reduce friction that could cause blisters, chafing, dryness and skin irritation.

As I was reading through the paperwork sent with the trail size sample, I noticed you can use the product on other areas of your body to:
  • reduce rubbing from sports bras or wet suits
  • reduce chafing from thigh rubbing when wearing running shorts
  • reduce raw skin or hot spots from breaking in new shoes
So, to give FootGlide a good try, I subjected it to yoga, jogging and everyday walking. The product is housed in a deodorant-style case with an easy-twist dial to slowly raise the balm. The texture is soft and creamy but not greasy. I particularly like the light baby powder-like fragrance.

Let's Give it a Go!
I smoothed the balm of the bottoms of each foot, paying close attention to the area around the backs of my heels, where I usually have trouble with blisters. Then I slipped into a pair of new sneakers.

It was nice that my feet didn't feel overly moist, like after applying lotion or petroleum jelly. The balm absorbs quickly and you don't even realize it's there. I was a little worried it might be sticky or oily.

While doing yoga and jogging, I didn't even notice there was anything different on my feet. I thought maybe my socks would stick or possibly bunch up due to the additional moisture. Thankfully, my socks stayed in place. When I took a quick check of my feet, they were smooth and irritation-free. That's a bonus when breaking in new sneakers!

At the end of the day, after walking in the sneakers, my feet were still comfortable. I was also glad my feet were sweaty. I'm not fond of products that clog my pores and make it difficult for skin to breathe.

Overall, FootGlide worked well during my test and gets a thumbs up! Have you ever used an anti-chafing balm? What did you like or dislike about it? Tell me in the comments below.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The FootGlide product mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from Bodyglide for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Substitutions

Photo Credit: SXC
If this is your first holiday dinner on a gluten-free diet, eating can be intimidating. I used to always worry and wonder if wheat byproducts lurked in the sauces or barley malt hid in the processed foods.

The simplest way to approach a gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner is by choosing healthy, whole foods and simple dishes. 

I've been brainstorming a list of simple substitutions and alternatives to popular Thanksgiving fare. Take a peek!

Turkey: Choose a whole turkey and cook it yourself. Processed turkey products, like patties or nuggets, have too many fillers and may not be safe to eat if you or your dinner guests have a gluten allergy.

Gravy: Make your own gravy in lieu of the jarred varieties. Use corn starch or potato flour to thicken meat drippings without the risk of being glutened.

Green bean casserole: Oh, I just love this Thanksgiving dinner staple, but it doesn't love me. Those crispy fried onions are battered with wheat (darn it!) and the cream of whatever soup you use is usually thickened with wheat flour. You can either get really diligent and create your own cream sauce with rice flour, add diced mushrooms and pan fry your own onions, or go simple. I like to swap out this casserole with a bowl of steamed green beans drizzled with fresh lemon juice and toasted almonds for a healthier side dish.

Mashed potatoes: Boxed mashed potato mixes usually contain a dozen or more ingredients. Don't take the risk of getting sick this year. Instead, make homemade mashed potatoes. I like to boil, mash and season the potatoes myself so I know exactly what's on my plate. Try adding fresh chopped garlic, ground black pepper, butter, milk, heavy whipping cream or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the potatoes.

Gelatin salads: Skip the refined sugar-filled fruit and gelatin salad this holiday. Instead prepare a fresh cranberry sauce using pineapple juice as a natural sweetener. I also add chunks of pineapple to give the classic side dish a new flavor.

Sweet Potatoes topped with marshmallows: I really do love this classic side dish, and most of the time it's probably gluten-free, but the marshmallows or marshmallow cream used on the top is questionable. To be safe, make this recipe from scratch using a gluten-free topping, or opt for roasted cubes of sweet potatoes drizzled with honey for a sweet alternative.

Dinner rolls: There are several companies out there that boast gluten-free bread options. My two favorites are Udi's (pre-made) and Pamela's (dry mixes). I think this Thanksgiving I'll fire up the bread machine and bake a loaf of Pamela's bread since the hubby thinks it's just as good as wheat bread. Or, make cornbread (use the recipe on the corn meal package), not corn muffin mixes tainted with wheat flour.

Pumpkin or apple pie: Thankfully you don't have to skimp on dessert while following a gluten-free diet. To stay away from traditional flour-filled crusts, I like to make pumpkin muffins or craft my own pie crust out of crushed corn flakes cereal, ground oatmeal or pulverized nuts. Or whip up a simple apple crisp using sweet sorghum flour in the crumbly topping. Yum!

Several Thanksgiving dinner favorites are naturally gluten free when they aren't loaded with creamy sauces or packets of seasoning blended with fillers.
  • Buttered corn
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Steamed broccoli florets
  • Mashed sweet potatoes
  • Fresh, whole turkey, ham, chicken, duck (all unprocessed, whole meats)
  • Simple, pure seasonings like pepper, salt, cinnamon, garlic and paprika
  • Chopped fruit salad topped with shredded coconut and a drizzle of agave syrup
  • Vegetable trays with homemade hummus dip
Can you think of other great alternative gluten-free dishes to serve this Thanksgiving? Please leave a comment below and share this post with your gluten-free friends.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Perfectly Pure Coconut Products Make My Hair Super Shiny

It's no longer a secret; I am totally in love with products made with coconut oil. It's super hydrating, easy to use and best of all it fits into my natural lifestyle filled with whole, natural products.
Perfectly Pure products. Photo by Angela Tague

Last week I professed my addiction to coconut oil in "From Kitchen to Beauty Bag: I'm in Love with Coconut Oil", so you can imagine my delight when Puritan's Pride sent me a box of hair and skin care products made with...wait for it...coconut oil!

For the last few weeks, I've tucked my usual bath time products in the cupboard and concentrated on giving the Perfectly Pure line of coconut beauty products a good test. The results were fabulous! (So good that I'm still using them!)

Perfectly Pure Coconut Hydrating Shampoo: The fresh, robust coconut scent of this shampoo instantly calms me. It really does remind me of cooking with coconut cream or dipping my toes in the warm sand during a visit to the beach. After washing with this shampoo exclusively for a few weeks, my hair is soft, hydrated and super shiny. Since I swim in a chlorinated pool regularly, it's no easy feat to keep my hair from looking dry and brassy. Perfectly Pure Coconut Hydrating Shampoo really did perform well!

Perfectly Pure Coconut Hydrating Conditioner:
Of course that great shampoo has a helpful conditioning partner. I've been using this conditioner after each washing to ensure my long hair gets enough moisture. I've even been using it when I con-poo (that's washing your hair with conditioner only) after swimming. The thick, creamy texture stays put so I can let it soak for a few minutes before rinsing.

Perfectly Pure Coconut Hydrating Body Wash: I've also been testing out the coordinating coconut body wash and lotion. The body wash has the same indulgent coconut scent as the hair care products. The body wash foams into a rich lather making it perfect for both cleaning and as a shaving foam.

Perfectly Pure Coconut Hydrating Body Lotion: After bathing, I've been nourishing my skin with the equally delightful coconut body lotion. It absorbs quickly, leaving my skin soft and protected from the dry fall air. Unlike some body lotions, Perfectly Pure Coconut Hydrating Body Lotion doesn't irritate my legs and arms, so it's a great option for people with sensitive skin.

Perfectly Pure Coconut Oil: When I have time to really moisturize my whole body, I dip into a container of pure coconut oil. Perfectly Pure's formula is creamier than several grocery store brands of coconut oil I've tried in the past. The semi-solid oil smooths on easily and melts on contact with my skin. I've been using the coconut oil as a protectant in my hair when I go swimming, to moisturize dry feet at night and to add extra shine to dry hair during styling. Just a tiny dab of coconut oil on the ends of my hair gives my tresses a healthy appearance.

All of the products mentioned above are:
  • cruelty-free / not tested on animals
  • vegetarian
  • Free of artificial colors
  • Paraben, petroleum, SLS-free
The Perfectly Pure coconut oil is also free of minerals oil and artificial fragrances.

Have you tried these products or ventured into coconut oil-based beauty products? Tell me about it below in the comments! And if you want to get your hands on these great products, visit Perfectly Pure online.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The Perfectly Pure products mentioned in this blog post were provided free of charge from Puritan's Pride for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela


From Kitchen to Beauty Bag: I'm in Love with Coconut Oil

Photo Credit: SXC
You all know about my love affair with olive oil. Well, now there's a new cooking staple I adore: coconut oil.

You know it works wonders when I've considered buying a jar just for the bathroom.

No, really!

I recently joined an aquatic exercise class. Hey, trying all these yummy foods for my blog isn't always friendly on a girl's waistline, you know? When I realized how much the chlorinated pool was drying out my hair and skin, I knew I had to turn to my favorite natural moisturizers, oils.

Coconut oil wins hands-down. It's less expensive than jojoba oil and smooths on like a creamy lotion, making is simpler to use than olive oil. (I still love olive oil, but coconut oil is so much easier to apply!)

So, here's how I've been adding coconut oil to my daily beauty routine:
  • I comb a teaspoon through my hair before swimming to maintain my hair's soft texture.
  • I use the oil as a lotion to naturally hydrate my skin and repel chlorinated pool water.
  • The oil works great as a facial moisturizer and creamy lip balm.
  • I also smooth the oil on my dry feet at the end of the day to ward off unsightly cracked heels.
So, tell me, how do you like to use coconut oil, either in the kitchen or the bathroom? I think I'm going to have to start buying this multi-tasking oil by the case!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


My Afternoon Treat: Bigelow Cozy Chamomile Herbal Tea

Chamomile flowers. Photo Credit: SXC
I think either you're a tea person or you're not.

For me, a hot steamy cup of herbal tea is relaxing, warming and necessary. Usually by mid-afternoon I need to regroup and think about what absolutely needs to get finished during the day, and what's coming up on tomorrow's agenda.

I am a tea person.

My dear Whole Foods Living readers, you might remember my love of making a pot of homemade chamomile tea in my post, What's in Your Tea? or my Adventures in Homemade Ginger Tea.

So, when I was approached to review Bigelow's Cozy Chamomile herbal tea, I was delighted. Bring it on! I'm a chamomile connoisseur of sorts. Why chamomile? Well this little flower has a natural sweetness and soothing quality that can't be beat.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) chamomile:
  • originates from a few varieties of flowers in the daisy family
  • helps ease anxiety, sleeplessness and gastrointestinal conditions
  • may aid in the healing of mouth sores due to chemotherapy or radiation treatments
For the past week, I've replaced my usual morning and afternoon mix of herbal teas with Bigelow's Cozy Chamomile herbal tea. I love the simple ingredient list: chamomile flowers. No fillers! The flavor is deep and robust, as it should be.

I love that each tea bag is individually wrapped so I can tuck a few in my purse for tea on the go. Since I'm allergic to caffeine, it's nice to have an herbal option with me when I visit a friend and they offer a cup of coffee. I say, "No thanks, but a cup of hot water would be great. I have herbal tea with me!"

So, do you like chamomile tea? I enjoy is plain or sweetened with a spoon of honey.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Disclosure: The Bigelow's Cozy Chamomile herbal tea mentioned in this blog post was provided free of charge from Puritan's Pride for review purposes. No monetary compensation was sought or awarded in exchange for the review. All thoughts expressed on Whole Foods Living are solely my own. ~Angela

13 Ways to Love Black Beans

Photo Credit: SXC
As I sit at my desk working on a Thanksgiving-theme magazine article, rain gently taps at the window. The comforting aroma of a pot of bubbling black beans fills the house.

This morning I made the lofty decision to soak and prepare 3 pounds of the protein-packed little buggers. Yes, 3 pounds!

As a vegetarian, beans are a whole foods staple. They fill me up, keep me healthy and are fat-free. If you don't add beans to your menu very often, what are you waiting for? They're incredibly versatile and inexpensive. I purchase a 1 lb bag of dried black beans at the grocery store for a dollar. So, are you ready to indulge?

13 Ways to Love Black Beans

1. Make a three bean salad topped with a sour vinegar dressing.
2. Whip up a batch of black bean brownies.
3. Toss black beans into your favorite pasta salad recipes.
4. Simmer a pot of spicy black bean soup on a rainy day.
5. Make chili!
6. Mash cooked black beans, add cumin, garlic and fresh lime juice for delicious refried beans.
7. Create an enchilada casserole with a layer of spiced black beans.
8. Blend chilled corn, chopped tomatoes and black beans for a simple Mexican side salad.
9. Mix black beans into seasoned rice for a classic beans n' rice vegetarian meal.
10. Use black beans in lieu of ground beef next time you make tacos or burritos.
11. Puree black beans with a splash of olive oil and chopped garlic for a creamy bean dip.
12. Add black beans to your favorite tomato salsa recipe.
13. Sprinkle black beans atop a green salad for extra protein.

So, how do you like to eat black beans? Make me hungry in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Lotus Moon Lemon Poppy Seed Powder Cleanse Review

Photo by Angela Tague
When I think of a lemon-poppy seed combo, I immediately think of muffins. Not skin care.

So, when I was asked by Lotus Moon to give its Lemon Poppy Seed Powder Cleanse a try, I thought, why not? If it smells as good as muffins, I'll be thrilled.

I believe in full disclosure, so here's the fine print. I was given a free 4 oz. sample of this product for review purposes. I was not compensated monetarily and all views are my own.

Back to the good part! Have you ever used a powdered cleanser? This was my first attempt, and I was pleasantly surprised. You simply pour 1/8 of a teaspoon of the powder into the palm of your hand, add some warm water and rub your hands together to create a foaming facial wash.

At a glance, I think this type of cleanser would be perfect for gals who travel a lot. Even if the container opened during a flight, you wouldn't ruin anything with a leaking, sticky gel.

The facial cleanser has a mild, sweet scent, much like muffin batter. Bonus! As I smoothed it on my face, I could see the poppy seeds. These little black specs help the cleaner to foam and enrich the skin with vitamin E. The cleaner also has a noticeable yellow tint from the stone ground cornmeal which helps gently exfoliate the skin. There's also jojoba beads and lemon peel powder to nourish and cleanse the skin.

I really liked how this cleanser felt on my skin. It wasn't overly rough like some exfoliating cleaners, yet there was enough texture to know my skin was getting a deep cleansing. After massaging the foam into my skin with circular motion for about 30 seconds, I rinsed my face with cool water.

My resulting skin was soft, clean and, the big bonus, not rashy. (My sensitive skin doesn't respond well to cleaners filled with artificial fragrances and fillers.) Lotus Moon's Lemon Poppy Seed Powder Cleaner is 95% organic, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and formulated for all skin types.

This is one beauty product that has earned a front row spot in my bathroom cabinet.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Visit me on Facebook! I'd love to chat!

Pumpkin + Chocolate = Eww!

Photo Credit: SXC
Pumpkin this. Pumpkin that. I love pumpkin as much as anyone else, but when it comes to mixing this fall squash with chocolate--the madness has to stop!

Give me a dense pumpkin pie, fluffy pumpkin muffins, spicy pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting and I'm a happy girl.

And since this blog is about healthy, whole foods, I will say I also love roasted cubes of pumpkin and a smooth, creamy pumpkin soup.

But, please don't mix chocolate and pumpkin. Those chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes on Pinterest make me want to gag.

Do you like pumpkin and chocolate together?

If you have a no-fail-to-die-for-chocolate-with-a-little-bit-of-pumpkin-in-it recipe to share, I might try it. Maybe. If it looks really tasty. Please comment below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!
(And have a Spooktacular Halloween!)

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Are you new to my blog? Don't miss a thing by signing up to get Whole Foods Living in your email inbox. There's a handy subscription box in the left margin of this page up by the title of this post. Go do it! You know you want to!


Honey Face Mask Review: Check Out all the Sticky Sweet Details!

Photo Credit: Angela Tague
I've read honey is just as good for you on the outside as the inside. As a natural antibacterial, it helps clear away acne-causing bacteria. As a humectant, honey moisturizes the driest of skin.

So, when I was approached by Lotus Moon to give its USDA certified Organic Honey Purifying Masque a try, I was elated. Here's the fine print. I was given a free 2.5 fl. oz. sample of the facial masque in exchange for my honest review. So, here it is!

Applying the Honey Masque
The dark, golden gel smooths on easily. I thought it might be sticky or drippy, but it was not. My only complaint is the masque initially has a very strong odor that reminds me of whiskey. As it dried on my skin, the odor went away.

After 20 minutes, I washed away the masque using warm water, as suggested by the manufacturer. There was no peeling needed, like some heavier facial masque products. The honey, aloe vera, oat extract, rooibos tea extract and jojoba oil in the product hydrated and balanced my skin, since it doesn't feel oily or dry.

Honey Facial Results
After the treatment, my skin felt soft and smooth. Later in the day I went swimming and am happy to report that my skin still felt hydrated and soft even after the exposure to chlorinated swimming pool water.

Since I've always wanted to try a homemade honey facial, reviewing this product was really a fun task. The Lotus Moon product was much less messy than working with pure honey and fits into my Whole Foods Living lifestyle. Lotus Moon doesn't condone or use animal testing and all of its ingredients are FDA compliant and paraben-free.

So, have you ever tried a honey facial? What did you like or dislike about it?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Did you know you can also find me on Twitter? Follow me for great skin care, foodie, pet care and lifestyle articles posted daily!

Apples, Apples Everywhere!

 Photo Credit: Alvimann, morgueFile
In the Midwest, apples and pumpkins are the top fall crops for home bakers. Last weekend at the local farmer's market, nearly every booth had at least two or three varieties of crisp, fall apples and a pumpkin or two for sale.

I've been keeping busy making apple crisp and applesauce.

When I whip up a batch of applesauce, I like to sweeten the apples with raw honey and cinnamon. For a crisp, I experiment. Sometimes the topping includes chopped nuts or dried fruit, like walnuts or cranberries. When I really want to be sinful, I top apple crisp with homemade caramel sauce.

Are apples plentiful in your neck of the woods too? What have you been making?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Check out my other fall-inspired foodie articles!

7 Tips for the Best Apple Crisp

Tomatoes, Tomatoes Everywhere!

Cooking down the tomatoes. Photo by Angela Tague
The days feel like summer, evenings like fall. Welcome to October in the central Midwest.

My garden is slowly dying down and I'm in the process of figuring out what to do with all of these tomatoes! I have red, yellow and orange goodies to put to good use.

Two weeks ago I made a batch of spicy red pepper pizza sauce. Last weekend it was homemade pasta sauce with mushrooms, bell peppers and onions thrown into the mix. I also froze some peeled tomatoes for a future batch of chili or tomato soup.

How do you like to use your end-of-season garden tomatoes?

If you have any tips for making good use of the green tomatoes still on the vine, please let me know. It's to dip down into the 30s this weekend, and I don't want the tomatoes to go to waste!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

What's in Your Tea?

My favorite tea pot filled with ginger and chamomile.
This morning when I let the dogs out, the crisp cool air tickled my nose.

Fall is here.

It dipped into the 40s overnight and will reach mid 70s during the day. On chilly mornings like this, I love to start my day with a cup of hot tea. Although I usually reach for a tea bag, I really like taking the time to make "homemade" pots of tea.

If you think about it, tea can be processed or a "whole food". You never know what's really in a tea bag. I have read about some companies using grass and weeds as fillers.

When I make tea, I add the ingredients directly to the pot, so I know exactly what I'm drinking. This morning I sliced a chunk of fresh ginger root to go with a few dried chamomile flowers. I'm sipping it as I type, and it's delicious!

So, what do you like to put in your tea pot? I'm allergic to caffeine, so I stay away from tea leaves.

My favorite ingredients include:
  • peppermint
  • chamomile
  • rose hips
  • ginger
  • cinnamon sticks
  • honey
  • fresh lemon juice
What's in your tea?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Feeling a Little Pickled?

Homemade pickles! Photo by Angela Tague
These hot, rainy summer days have made my garden spiral out of control. The acorn squashes are all ripening at once. My tomato row is speckled with red and yellow orbs of deliciousness and the cukes--oh the cukes!

Over the weekend I spent a few hours creating a new pickling recipe to use up my wealth of cucumbers. The first batch I made was too tart. I love pickles, but not when they make me pucker like a blow fish.

My next batch was much better. Instead of following a recipe, I decided to wing it. I started with 2 cups of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill, 2 teaspoons of diced garlic and 1 cup of raw sugar.

Warning: Raw sugar will turn your brine a pretty/dingy/uncommon caramel color.

After a good stirring to dissolve the sugar, I gave the pickling liquid a taste. It was a touch sweet so I added maybe another 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The pickles are in the fridge now. Hopefully they will be delicious in just a few days!

Have you been making pickles too? What are your tips and tricks? And while we're at it, what should I do with my impending bumper crop of tomatoes? I'm thinking of making homemade pizza sauce to freeze for winter pizza making.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


If Cabbage and Broccoli Got Married...

I'm lucky to have friends who also love to dig in the dirt. Recently a girlfriend gave me a bag brimming with garden-fresh goodies. But, one of the treats looked strange, foreign and unrecognizable.
Kohlrabi at the farmer's market. Photo by Angela Tague

"What's this?" I asked.

I found out it was kohlrabi, a new vegetable to add to my palate. YES! 

I think my last big culinary venture was eating a pummelo, a tropical fruit which isn't easy to find in the Midwest.

How to Eat It!
So, let's get down to business. If you stumble upon a basket of kohlrabi at the farmer's market, grab a few bulbs. This root-like vegetable comes from the cabbage family and looks like a light green or purple turnip.

The University of Illinois Extension office suggests choosing smaller bulbs. The larger the kohlrabi, the more woody and tough the texture. Although I only ate the bulb part of the plant, young leaves can be cooked like other leafy greens.

So, for my first attempt at enjoying kohlrabi, I washed, peeled and sliced the bulbs. I added the crisp, light green vegetable to the top of a chopped salad and it was delicious. The flavor of kohlrabi reminds me of a mild cabbage mixed with broccoli. It was flavorful and complemented the carrots and celery in the salad perfectly.

Have you ever eaten kohlrabi? How do you like to prepare it? Whole Foods Living readers and I love cooking suggestions! Please share below.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough: Easy, But Plain

Pillsbury Gluten-free pizza dough. Photo by Angela Tague
Going gluten-free isn't simple. That's why I get really excited when I see allergy-friendly products at the grocery store.

During my weekly visit to Fareway, I was happy to see three new products from Pillsbury nestled between the tubes of pop-up biscuits and chunks of fancy cheese in the cooler section.

The food giant recently released Gluten-free pizza dough, chocolate chip cookie dough and pastry dough. After a quick scan of the ingredient lists, I decided to give the pizza dough a try. There were no 16-letter chemicals or fillers to be found, so it fits into my approach to eating healthier. Yes, pre-packaged dough isn't a whole food, but it's a quick food, which everyone needs on occasion. With that said, every time I can make dough from scratch, I do it. But, convenience foods are practical on days when there's only a few minutes to prepare a meal.

Let's Bake!
So, back to the dough. I cut the 13oz. dough ball in half to make a smaller, individual-size pizza for myself for lunch. It as easy to work with and had a great consistency. Some gluten-free doughs are crumbly or overly sticky. This was simple to work with.

I flattened the dough into a small circle and placed it on a lightly-oiled cookie sheet. After pre-heating the oven to the recommended 400 Degrees Fahrenheit, I pre-baked the plain dough for 6 minutes. Pillsbury recommends 12-14 minutes, but I knew it would burn in that amount of time. After 6 minutes, it was still a little dark on the edges.

Then I loaded the dough with homemade sauce, chopped veggies and shredded mozzarella. Back into the oven it went for another 6 minutes. (Pillsbury recommended another 10-12 minutes.)

And The Results Are...
Although my pizza came out with slightly burnt edges, I didn't mind. I'm that girl that likes her s'mores marshmallows charred and her toast a little dark! The crust had a good chewy texture with crisp edges. But, the flavor was very plain. The dough needs some seasonings (like garlic or oregano) mixed in to give it an Italian taste.

Overall, the dough was very simple to use and held up well to baking. Will I try it again? Yes. Will it be my new go-to pizza dough? No. My homemade dough is lighter and more flavorful. But for a quick pizza, this works.

I do plan on trying the chocolate chip cookie dough and pastry dough in the coming weeks.

So, what's your go-to pizza dough? A homemade recipe or a mix?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Hummus at the Pub? Oh, Yes!

Veggies and hummus at Doyle's. Photo by Angela Tague
Not all pub food is crispy fried, covered in cheese or drenched with salt.

During my recent trip to Boston, I was overjoyed to find healthy options on the menu at Doyle's Cafe, a pub in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. You might have heard of (or seen) Doyle's talked about by Emeril on his TV show The Originals or used as a backdrop in a movie (Mystic River, 21, Celtic Pride, My Best Friend's Girl).

I settled on the veggie plate appetizer, and asked the server if I could sub the ranch dressing for hummus. Without a blink of an eye she said "Sure thing!"

As I sipped on my Angry Orchard cider (let's think of it as a serving of apples for the sake of this healthy blog, shall we?) the hubby and I admired the Samuel Adams decor in the pub. After all, this was the first pub to take on Sam Adams as a client, which gave the brewery a huge boost in sales and launching point for success.

Not long into our admiration of the bar, the appetizer arrived. My veggie plate was a crisp, fresh mix of grape tomatoes, celery sticks, sliced bell peppers, plump mushrooms, yellow squash slices, chunks of zucchini and carrot sticks. A creamy, zesty hummus was served on the side, perfect for dipping.

So, who says you can't eat healthy at the pub? I did!

Do you look for healthy options when eating away from home? Tell me about your delicious, nutritious discoveries in odd places!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

O'Hare's Little Green Secret

Fresh produce for sale at O'Hare. Photo by Angela Tague
When you think of O'Hare International Airport in Chicago do you envision hallways packed with travelers, the sound of jet engines firing up every few seconds and the dreaded TSA security checks? I do.

On a recent business trip to Boston, with a layover in Chicago, I discovered something I never knew about the world's busiest airport. It has an aeroponic garden.

In 2011 the soil-less garden was installed on the mezzanine level of the O'Hare Rotunda Building. This is located in Terminal 3. The garden has a series of 26 vertical towers with over 1,100 planting spots. The greens are misted with a nutrient solution and no chemical fertilizers are needed.

Read more about this amazing garden HERE on the airport's website.

Unfortunately I didn't get to see the garden itself, but I did pass by a "farmer's market" style food shop where you could buy some of the fresh produce. A few of the restaurants in the airport even use the greens in their dishes.

Now that's some locally grown whole foods! Way to go, O'Hare!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Smoothie Basics: Easy as 1-2-3!

Smoothie! Photo: SXC.HU
I think my jaw dropped when a friend asked me how to make a smoothie. Really? Doesn't everyone know how to do this?

I guess since I make them almost daily I take the basics for granted. She mentioned putting a bunch of fruit in a blender, but it just didn't work. Well... no.

OK, so here's a basic 1-2-3 equation for making a great smoothie!

1 - You need a liquid. I like to use 100% fruit juice, homemade juicer juice, soy milk, almond milk or rice milk. Regular old cow milk is fine too. For one smoothie, start with 1 cup of liquid in the blender.

2 - Add frozen fruit. Why frozen? This gives the smoothie a cold, creamy texture without using ice cubes. Ice simply waters down the smoothie and doesn't add any nutritional value. I like to use strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, mango, pineapple or raspberries. Add 2 cups of frozen fruit to the blender for one smoothie.

3 - Toss in extras. Now add some nuts, milled flax seed, honey, shredded coconut or whatever your want to give the smoothie a little extra flavor or nutritional boost. Limit this to 1-2 tablespoons.

Blend and taste! If it's too thick, add a little more liquid and blend again. That's it!

What do you like to toss in your smoothies? A few of my favorites are a Chocolate-Covered Banana Smoothie and a blend of several tropical fruits (pineapple, coconut, mandarin oranges and mango).

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Whales and Watermelon Salad

Watermelon salad at The Granary. Photo by Angela Tague
June 22, 2013 was pretty fabulous.

The hubby and I started our day with a Whale Watch cruise on the Atlantic just off the Boston Harbor. During our cruise we spotted a 25-year-old whale named Satula diving and feeding near Jeffery's Ledge. We'd watch for the spout of water, then a few moments later a dorsal fin and finally the iconic scalloped whale tail would emerge. Amazing!

So, I know, this is a food blog--why am I talking about whales. Well, why not?

After watching Satula dine on a truckload of fish, we were hungry too. So, we ventured down Milk St. in Boston and stopped at The Granary for dinner. Since I'm vegetarian and gluten-free, it can be difficult to find restaurants with "safe" meals.

I was delighted when we browsed the menu at The Granary and spotted the watermelon salad. I took the plunge and decided to try it. It was fabulous! Chunks of bright red melon were sprinkled with thin slices of baby spinach, green onions, crumbles of white cheese and a lime-mint vinaigrette to die for. I never would think to put this combination together on my own, but it was amazing.

Have you ever had watermelon salad? What do you add to the melon?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Eating My Way Through Boston

Photo: SXC.HU
Let the adventure begin!

This Midwestern gal is off to Beantown in a matter of hours! I'm always concerned about dining out when I travel because I'm vegetarian by choice, and gluten-sensitive by bad luck.

For the next several days I'll be in Boston for work. (I was named Writer of the Year by Skyword, a content marketing company that keeps my writing schedule busy!)

Do you have any suggestions for healthy, whole foods dining while I'm on the East coast? I'm also open to a few pub suggestions. The hubby likes to consume his barley and rye in liquid form.... :)

If I can figure out my Blogger mobile app, I'll post a few pics from the road, er, restaurants!

Have a great weekend!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Google Gets Healthy? Nutrition Search Enhancements Coming Soon

Photo Credit: Morguefile
When you write about food and nutrition often, you tend to read every blog, news article and Facebook post you can find on the subject.

This morning I ran across a piece on PCmag's website about a new nutrition-focused search feature on Google.

Check it out here: "Google Brings Nutrition Information to Search" by Angela Moscaritolo

In a nutshell, Google is introducing a new way to present search results based on nutrition questions. The search giant has loaded data about fruits, vegetables, meats, cooking and nutrition in general into it's own database. Now when you ask "How many calories are in an apple?" you'll simply get the answer, not a list of links to wade through hoping to find the information you're looking for.

Cool. Well, cool for the simplicity of search. Not so cool for those of us that want to be found by readers. But, hey, it's a move in the right direction to give people the healthy information they desire. Way to go, Google!

This new feature rolls out on mobile and desktop searches in the United States during the first two weeks of June 2013. Will you be trying it out?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Growing Whole Foods: It's Garden Season!

Acorn squash plants in my garden. Photo by Angela Tague
What better way is there to eat healthy than to grow your own food?

I've fussed with a garden of some sort ever since I was a kid, and this spring is no exception.

Over the long Memorial Day weekend I added a few more goodies to my small garden and can't wait for the growing season to really get underway.

Do you plant a garden? What do you like to grow?

This year I opted for a few varieties of tomatoes, yellow-green bell peppers, cucumbers, acorn squash, cantaloupe and onions. I might still do a container garden of herbs and scope out a place for strawberries.

In addition to munching on fresh fruits and veggies throughout the summer, I simply love getting outside and playing in the dirt. There really is nothing better than soaking in the sun and fresh air after a long day behind a computer screen!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Wrapping Up the A to Z Challenge 2013

Whew, another April is in the books! The Blogging from A to Z Challenge was a wild ride this year. I really enjoyed discovering new blogs and seeing some old friends from last year's challenge stop by for a visit as well.

I know I'm a little late on writing this wrap-up, but I was on vacation the first week of May and didn't exactly have Internet access in our remote little cabin in the woods. (It was wonderful!)

This was my second year of both attempting and completing the blog challenge. The first year I wrote the bulk of my posts ahead of time so I could spend the month reading and commenting on other blogs. 

This year I wrote a post each day, and I actually think I enjoyed that better. I didn't feel like I had to get  bunch of work ready ahead of time. This challenge had a more go-with-the-flow feel. Plus, I could customize the next day's post to answer any questions related to previous posts.

During the challenge I was also nominated for a Liebster Award from Joy over at "It's a Joy!". Thanks a bunch, Joy!

Although I'm sad to see the challenge come to an end, it's nice to still see bloggers visiting and networking. I've even come across a few ambitious writers who are starting up their own monthly blog challenges to keep the momentum going. Way to go!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Enjoying Blueberries on Vacation

Blueberries! Photo: Morguefile
I'm back! The hubby and I just returned from a fabulous vacation in northern Minnesota, the land of wild blueberries.

Despite being on vacation, I was able to eat a hearty helping of natural whole foods.

My favorite meal, which I had twice by the way, was a blueberry salad. A bed of fresh greens was topped with plump blueberries, toasted pecans, blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of maple syrup vinaigrette. Delicious!

Have you been enjoying any early spring produce yet?
I hope to get my garden planted within the next week or two.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Zabaglione with Zucchini and Zest, Anyone?

Well, here we are. Take a breath. We've successfully made it to the last day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. It's day "Z"!
Zabaglione is best with fruit, not zucchini! Photo: Morguefile

I've been brainstorming ideas for this post for days. The obvious "Z" to address on a healthy foodie blog is zucchini, but I'm not a huge fan. It's an ok vegetable, but not top on my list of cravings. (Yes, I do sometimes crave vegetables. Peas, I'm thinking about you! Mmmmm....)

Then I thought of "zest", but that was my "Z" topic last year. Check out my past post, "How to Make Zest".

Then a friend suggested talking about zabaglione. Well, heck yes! Who doesn't love a riveting discussion of zabaglione! (I'll wait while you Google that one!)

So, now that you're drooling, I agree that decadent Italian custard dessert has nothing to do with whole foods. You're right. But hey, the only way you can stick to a healthy lifestyle is by rewarding yourself once in awhile. So, go ahead and order the zabaglione next time you go to an Italian bistro. After all, life's too short not to indulge on occasion!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: This may be the end of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but Whole Foods Living is here to stay! Please stop by again, follow along with Google Friend Connect (there's a button on the left margin of this blog!) or sign up for email alerts each time I publish. I want to hear how you're staying healthy long after April ends. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Be well!


5 Ways to Enjoy Greek Yogurt

The first time I tried Greek yogurt, I wasn't impressed. Compared to my light, smooth, ultra sweet yogurt cups I was used to, it just wasn't that good. Greek yogurt is thicker, heavier and not as sugary.
What type of yogurt do you like? Photo: SXC

Wait, that's a good thing.

Since Greek yogurt is high in protein and lower in sugar than other types of yogurt, I decided to give it another chance. I've learned to love it and now it's on my weekly shopping list.

Here's five ways you can add Greek yogurt to your day too!
  1. Use fruit-flavored Greek yogurt as a dressing on fruit salad.
  2. Make a parfait dessert by layering granola, berries and Greek yogurt in a pretty, clear glass.
  3. Mix seasoning packets or dried herbs with plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) to use as a salad dressing.
  4. Serve kids miniature fruit kebabs (a strawberry and grape threaded on a pretzel stick) and Greek yogurt as a dipping sauce.
  5. Experiment with using Greek yogurt and a splash of lemon juice in lieu of mayonnaise in cold, creamy pasta salads.
Do you like Greek yogurt? How to you enjoy it?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


XXX Food Porn Photos

Refreshing fruit! Photo Credit: SXC
Happy Saturday! We've made it through four weeks of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, so I thought it was time for a little visual reward.

Yep, you read that headline correctly. For day "X", we're gonna get extreme and look at some XXX food porn photos!

Of course we're going to keep this post clean and healthy. Get ready to drool at some amazing whole foods!

 Sweet bell peppers. Photo Credit: SXC

Not all salads need lettuce! YUM! Photo Credit: SXC

Feels like summer in here! Photo Credit: SXC

Juicy! Photo Credit: SXC
So, do you take pictures of food or drinks and post them on your social media accounts to make others jealous? I sure do! :)

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living