The 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge Starts Tomorrow



Are you in? The worldwide Blogging from A to Z Challenge starts in less than 24 hours!

Bloggers from around the world will get busy and update their blogs each day during the month of April. The idea is to write posts that highlight one letter of the alphabet each day, excluding Sundays. Why do we do this?
  • We're a little crazy.
  • We love to write.
  • We support other writers.
  • It's fun to gain new readers.
  • We like finding new blogs to read.
Are you ready? I am! Join me here at Whole Foods Living each day in April to learn how to make eating healthier easier and FUN! I promise! Now, get back to the holiday weekend and enjoy yourself! Happy Easter!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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The 8-week Healthy Skin Diet by Karen Fischer

It's rare for me to keep a reference book on the end table by the bed. The 8-week Healthy Skin Diet by Karen Fischer has been my bedtime indulgence for several weeks now and has become my current resource of choice when learning about the benefits of healthy, whole foods.

The 480-page book is packed with recipes, personal insight from the author and skin care information that goes far beyond how to exfoliate your skin or why you need to drink more water.

Karen, a former television personality and model, wrote the book because her baby was suffering from eczema and she wanted to learn more about health and skin care for her family. During her quest to become more informed and healthier, she earned the title of certified nutritionist and author.

My favorite parts of the book include the:
  • quick-read Q&A sections dispersed throughout the easy-to-understand text
  • nutrients per serving information included with the recipes
  • the holistic approach to skin care through nutrition, exercise and emotional well-being
  • the simple language used to dig deeper into why it's important to eat healthy
So, what about the actual diet, or 8-week program? I haven't even gotten that far yet! Since I tend to be pretty strict about what's on my plate anyway, I honestly haven't felt the need to dive in right away. But, since I enjoy doing juice cleanses and food challenges, it is on my summer to-do list. Watch for updates here on Whole Foods Living!

This book is fantastic. Whether or not you do the book's recommended 3-day alkalizing cleanse or follow the 14-day Healthy Skin Menu, you'll still benefit from this invaluable reference.

The 8-week Healthy Skin Diet by Karen Fischer from Robert Rose book publishers hits store shelves on March 30, 2013.

(Disclaimer: Yes, this book was provided free of charge for review purposes. But, all opinions expressed on Whole Foods Living come from me, Angela Tague.)

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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It Smells Like Summer in Here!

Strawberries! Photo by Angela Tague
Half awake and blurry-eyed, I took my 9-year-old puppy out for a potty break at 4:something a.m. As I waited around in the kitchen for her to finish her duties, I wasn't sure what it was, but a sweet smell filled my nostrils.

Then it hit me. I left 4 lbs. of fresh strawberries out to dry after a good thorough washing.

If you never need a natural air freshener, try leaving a bunch of strawberries out! I was lucky enough to snag them on sale for $1.28 per pound at Fareway, so I had to stock up. No, I won't eat all of these in the next few days. Most of them will be sliced and frozen for future smoothies and strawberry sauce for shortcake.

How do you like to use up extra fresh produce? Do you can, freeze or preserve it another way? Please share in the comments below. I'm always looking for smart ways to save fresh produce.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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7 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Green Food

Brussels sprout. Photo: SXC
Name a holiday that isn't celebrated with food. I'm waiting...Good luck! For St. Patrick's Day fill your plate and mug with a little green. Here's how to celebrate with food and stay healthy!
  1. Whip up a tasty green smoothie for breakfast using spinach or kale. Check out this fruit-packed, simple Green Smoothie recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod.
  2. Serve Brussels sprouts with your Irish dinner menu. These tiny cabbages are tasty when steamed and served with a drizzle of butter and sprinkle of coarse sea salt. 
  3.  Use shamrock-shaped cookie cutters and organic green food dye to make festive pancakes for breakfast. Just remember to use whole grain or nut flour to make the breakfast a bit healthier. My personal favorite is Pamela's Gluten-free Pancake Mix. It's made with ground almonds! 
  4.  Make a batch of cloverleaf dinner rolls. My grandmother always made these on special occasions including Easter and St. Patrick's Day. Add some milled flax seed to boost the nutrient level of the rolls and a splash of green food coloring. 
  5.  Swap your morning coffee with a cup of antioxidant-rich green tea. Flavor the drink with a squeeze of lemon or lime. Or, make it sweet with a spoon of honey. 
  6.  Bake a quiche. Load the egg dish with fresh green spinach leaves for a boost of iron and fiber. Earn bonus points for making the crust with whole wheat flour and adding a splash of green food dye for the holiday. 
  7. Make a green fruit salad to go with breakfast or lunch. Mix together green grapes, slices of kiwi, cubes of honeydew melon and sprinkle with some lime zest. Delicious!
How will you celebrate St. Patrick's Day on your dinner plate? Please share your ideas, tips and tricks in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!
(And may the luck O' the Irish be with you!)

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Garbage Lunches are Often the Best

Squash! Photo: SXC.HU
I know I'm not alone when I say sometimes the best lunches or dinners are those that come together on a whim. Whether you toss together a few random leftovers or try a new food combination, these experiments can easily turn into new favorite dishes.

Today my "garbage" lunch turned out fantastic. OK, hear me out.

Over the weekend I tried a can of Campbell's Butternut Squash Bisque soup. I've had pumpkin soup in the past, and soups seasoned with sauteed squash, but never a straight up butternut squash bisque. The creamy soup has a mild, sweet flavor with a dash of seasoning that reminds me of pumpkin pie. It was good as a side dish. The soup was even better as the base for my throw-together lunch.

In a pot, I warmed my leftover soup, some leftover roasted broccoli and cauliflower and leftover jasmine rice from last night's Mexican meal. I let the random ingredients simmer until the mixture was thick and creamy. It was delicious!

Next time you're not sure what to make for dinner or lunch, get creative. You never know what random leftovers will blend together to make a delicious meal.

Do you have a favorite (but odd) go-to lunch or dinner? Tell me about it in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Going Gluten Free? Tips From the Trenches

Irish Night!
This past weekend I attended a wonderful Irish-themed benefit dinner for an animal-assisted therapy program in my area. As a gluten-sensitive vegetarian I usually get nervous about these types of events. I always wonder if catering companies are able to (and care to) work with guests with special dietary needs.

Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Nut-free. Soy-free. Wheat allergy. Lactose intolerant. Egg allergies. There sure are lots of dietary restrictions out there.

Thankfully, my dinner was fabulous and filled with whole, unprocessed foods. (For those who are wondering, I was served a tangy Irish salad topped with seasoned beets and red onion; a main course of seasoned red potatoes, grilled asparagus and a portabello mushroom cap filled with a chunky tomato sauce which was topped with melted mozzarella cheese; and a chocolate souffle drizzled with Bailey's Irish Cream sauce for dessert!!)

Learning to travel and dine out with a gluten sensitivity (or any food allergy) can be difficult. Here's a few articles I've written about making the transition to a gluten-free diet safely:

Gluten-Free Roadtrip: Tasty Travel Tips

Common Food Allergies: Starting a Gluten-Free Diet

Celiac disease diet: Gluten-free food list

Do you have any tips for dining out with a food allergy? Please share in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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5 Minute Spring in Winter Salad

Spring-in-Winter Salad. Photo: Angela Tague
I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can start digging around in the garden. So, lately I've been bulking up on fresh, raw produce to soothe my "I wish it were spring" cravings.

One of my favorite salad bases to experiment with is cabbage. Well, actually those bags of pre-cut cabbage slaw. They usually contain shredded red or green cabbage and shaved carrots. As a bonus, these are usually quite inexpensive during the winter in my neck of the woods.

Yesterday I whipped up a zesty salad that instantly made me think of warmer weather. Try this 5-minute cabbage salad as a side dish with dinner tonight!

Spring-in-Winter Salad
  • 1/2 bag of cabbage-based cole slaw mix
  • 1 big apple
  • 2 limes
  • 1 cup salted almonds
    Photo: Angela Tague
  1. Pour approximately 1/2 of the bag of cabbage-based cole slaw mix into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Wash the apple and limes. I like to use a bright red apple such as Fuji, Braeburn or Jazz. Chop the apple into bite-size cubes. Place them on top of the cabbage mix. 
  3. Slice the two limes in half and squeeze the fresh juice over the apples. This helps prevent browning and adds the zesty spring flavor to this salad.
  4. Use a small food chopper or food processor to chop the salted almonds. Then, sprinkle them on top of the apples. Use a pair of tongs to toss and mix the salad. That's it!
If you're making this salad for a holiday celebration, try using two small apples: one red and one green. You can also add dried cranberries or raisins to this salad for an extra touch of sweetness.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Visit me on Twitter to read more articles about health and nutrition!

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