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!


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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

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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

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What is Watercress?

Is this watercress in full bloom? Photo: SXC
My mother likes trying new produce as much as I do. One night we had a 30-minute phone conversation about watercress. She read about it in Martha Stewart's Living magazine and has wanted to try it ever since.

In her small, rural Iowa town you can't find such fancy leafy greens.

I've never had watercress either, but have seen it at the local Hispanic grocery store a few times. I'm curious to learn how to eat it.

With a little research I've found watercress is grown in water, or semi-aquatically. It also boasts several nutritional benefits, according to Nutrition Data:
  • 1 cup of raw, chopped watercress only has 4 calories
  • Watercress is fat-free and cholesterol-free
  • A 1-cup serving provides your daily vitamin K needs
  • Watercress is also rich in vitamins A, C and E
Have you tried watercress? How do you eat it? What does it taste like?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Vinegar: Condiment or Cleanser?

Distilled vinegar. Photo: SXC
Vinegar is a healthy multitasker. A day doesn't go by that I don't use vinegar is some form in my home.

The fermented, acidic liquid is made from everything from apples and rice, to wine and beer. It's inexpensive, effective and readily available. According to The Vinegar Institute, vinegar can be made from any material containing sugar.

In the Bathroom...
I enjoy using plain, distilled white vinegar as a sanitizer since it destroys germs and grease. I make a homemade multipurpose cleanser that works well on counter tops, toilets, windows and even flooring. Although there's a pungent odor, it goes away as soon as the cleanser dries. Here's the recipe.

In the Kitchen...
Vinegar is also a wonderful condiment in the kitchen. I often whisk red wine vinegar with extra virgin olive oil and dried Italian herbs to make a tasty vinaigrette dressing. Recently I splurged on a good bottle of balsamic vinegar made from red grapes. This zesty, sweet vinegar is delicious enough to use as a salad dressing on its own or to season roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or carrots.

So, do you use vinegar in your healthy, whole foods lifestyle?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Uncommon Food Pairings

Photo: SXC
Some things just go together: peanut butter and jelly; chocolate and caramel; peas and carrots.

But, what about those weird little mixtures that we somehow stumble upon and learn to adore?

You know, the uncommon food pairings that make your friends and family look away each time you indulge.

I don't think my palate craves too many uncommon food pairings. But, I have received a few odd glances when I:

  • Melt cheddar cheese on apple pie
  • Add grape jelly and ketchup to homemade baked beans
  • Put chopped, fresh tomatoes on scrambled eggs
  • Mix peanut butter into vanilla ice cream
Do these sound weird to you? What uncommon food pairings do you enjoy?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Tasty, tempting Tea!

Tea. Photo Credit: SXC
One of my friends refers to tea as dirty water. Well, I think she just hasn't tried enough varieties!

Tea is a healthy, zero calorie beverage that can be enjoyed hot or cold and comes in so many flavors and types, it's tough to get bored.

If you're looking for an alternative to sugary sodas and juices, add tea to your shopping list.

Here's my top three favorite teas:
  • Red rooibos tea with vanilla beans
  • Herbal tea with a chamomile base
  • Spiced herbal chai made with black pepper
A writer friend of mine wrote a wonderful primer on other types of tea (including naturally caffeinated varieties that I can't enjoy due to an autoimmune sensitivity) titled "5 types of tea and their health benefits" for Vista Magazine. Check it out to learn more about black, green, white, chai and herbal teas!

Do you enjoy tea? I love brewing a pot of herbal tea made from dried chamomile flowers and rose hips flavored with a spoon of honey.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Google+ Comments Feature Turned Off

Hello, visitors!

I was experimenting with the Google+ comments integration platform and after less than 24 hours with it turned on, I have removed it. You can now comment freely--even without having a G+ account! Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!

Thank you!
~Angela, Whole Foods Living

Sustainable Wellness by Matt Mumber, MD and Heather Reed

There's no reason to overhaul your eating habits if you don't make sustainable choices.

Going on a diet is temporary.

Drinking fitness shakes is temporary. 

If you want to see results--a trimmer waistline, a happier disposition and fewer health problems--you need to make sustainable changes to your entire lifestyle.

That's the nuts and bolts behind Sustainable Wellness: An Integrative Approach to Transform Your Mind, Body, And Spirit (2012) by Matt Mumber, MD and Heather Reed. Mumber is a trained integrative radiation oncologist. Reed is a Yoga and meditation instructor.

I'm often approached to review books and products related to a healthy lifestyle. As a quick disclaimer, yes, this book was provided at no cost for review purposes. And, no, I'm not paid to write this. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Now, let's get to the good stuff.

Creating a healthy, sustainable lifestyle means you have to work beyond the dinner plate to improve your overall health. This book takes readers on an 8-week journey with facts, ideas, questions, and small homework assignments to slowly make lifestyle improvements. The goal is to find balance in your life--and nutrition is a key component.

In addition to nutrition, the authors tackle the following chapter topics: Mindfulness, Know Thyself, Life Review and Planning, Physical Activity, Stress Management, Spirituality, Bringing It All Together.

But, let's get back to the foodie part of the book. In the nutrition chapter, Mumber and Reed discuss:
  • How to successfully implement dietary changes
  • Why making nutritious choices is important for the body and the Earth
  • The importance of organic foods
  • How to explore the process of mindful eating
  • The relationship between inflammation, illness and nutrition
I'm about half way through this book and can already feel a better sense of balance in my life. Making a healthy lifestyle sustainable has been one of my personal goals for years, and although I'm still on the right path, it's nice to encounter a few road signs and professional ideas to keep me moving in the right direction. For anyone looking for a little easy-to-read push to get healthier, Sustainable Wellness: An Integrative Approach to Transform Your Mind, Body, And Spirit (2012)  is a great start.

Have you read any motivational books about living a healthy lifestyle lately? Please share in the comments! I'm always looking for a new book for my nightstand.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Roast 'em! The Easiest Way to Cook Vegetables

Chopped and ready to roast! Photo by Angela Tague
When I talk to friends and family about eating healthier they always tell me it's too difficult--or they can't imagine eating salads daily.

Well, I certainly don't eat a pile of lettuce each day, and I'm a busy gal that puts in 50 or so hours a week at work, so I have to keep it simple. If I can do it, you can too!

When I want a hot, healthy side dish of vegetables I roast them.

Simply wash and chop the vegetables into bite-size chunks, toss them in a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and spread them on a baking sheet. I cook the vegetables in a hot 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 8-15 minutes until they're softened with crisp, golden edges.

Here's a few of my favorite vegetables to roast:
  • carrots, onions & potatoes
  • bell peppers, summer squash, cherry tomatoes & mushrooms
  • broccoli & cauliflower
  • kale
How do you like to prepare vegetables when you're in a hurry?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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5 Quick Healthy Changes to Make Today

Get up and move! Photo Credit: SXC
Let's face it, if a task isn't quick and easy, we might pass it by. Healthy eating is the same way.

If it isn't simple to make a nutritious meal, why not just pick up the phone and order a pizza or swing through the fast food drive up? It only take minutes and the food is hot and ready for you. It's convenient. 

Well, until you start gaining weight, get winded easily and have health problems due to your poor diet!

Here's five quick ways you can start moving in the right direction toward a healthier lifestyle TODAY. Seriously, skip some couch time and do these five things...
  1. Open your cupboards and pantry. Remove all unopened chips, candy, processed snacks and unhealthy baking mixes. Put them in a box and donate them to the nearest food bank or shelter. If it's not in the house--you can't eat it.
  2. Drink water. Your body needs the hydration and it's calorie free. Dump that pop can or forgo your stop at Starbucks today. You're probably drinking more calories and chemicals than you realize.
  3. Go meatless for one meal today. Meat isn't bad for you, but when you choose processed, high fat options, you're not doing your body any favors. Instead opt for vegetable soup, a salad, steamed vegetables, rice or fruit.
  4. Do something active today. Go for a walk. Use that gym membership. Go for a swim at the YMCA. Take the dog to the park. Dust off your mountain bike. Go bowling. Do anything but sit on your rear!
  5. Make a batch of healthy snacks. Chop fresh veggies and fruits to keep in the fridge for go-to snacks. I like carrot chunks, bell pepper strips, strawberries and grapes. These all preserve well for several days so you always have something healthy to grab!
So, tell me what do you plan to do today to be a little bit healthier?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Food Adventures: My First Pummelo

Tangelo, Pummelo & Pear. Photo by Angela Tague
I enjoy trying new foods. Originally I planned to profile a new food for each day of the A to Z Challenge, but decided that during late winter in Iowa it wouldn't be too easy to find exotic produce at a reasonable price.

Then it happened; I stumbled upon what looked like a giant grapefruit at the grocery store.

It's called a pummelo and after a little research I found out it's the largest citrus fruit in the world. It can reach a whopping 12-inches in diameter. Pummelos are low in calories, fat free and rich in Vitamin C.

After I peeled away the 3/4-inch thick, spongy yellow skin, the inside of the fruit resembled a juicy grapefruit covered in a thick layer of white pith. The fruit has segments and pretty pink flesh. The flavor reminded me of a mild, sweet grapefruit that didn't need a sprinkle of sugar to taste good. Delicious!

Have you ever had a pummelo?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Optimism: The Secret Ingredient to a Healthy Life

Photo Credit: SXC
Welcome to Whole Foods Living! You've obviously dropped by because you're interested in eating healthy, making lifestyle changes or learning how to say no to a second helping of dessert.

It can be difficult to change your diet without a dash of optimism.

Being optimistic truly is the secret ingredient to pushing forward in your quest for a healthier you. Being optimistic means you're hoping for a favorable outcome. Obviously staring at an uncommon vegetable or green smoothie with negative thoughts won't make it taste any better. Be positive. Be adventuresome. The only way you will expand your healthy food options is by trying new things.

Go into every new culinary adventure with an open mind. Since starting this blog I've discovered so many foods that have now become kitchen staples. Quinoa. Asparagus. Mushrooms. Squash. Brown rice. Potato flour. Lentils.

What new foods have you tried lately? Or, what would you like to try? Remember, be optimistic, not skeptic! You may just find your palate has changed over the years and you enjoy more produce and whole grains than you did as a child!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Tomorrow I'm highlighting a new food I just tried. It starts with the letter "P" to fit with the A to Z Blogging Challenge! 

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Naturally Nutty Nut Butters

Mmmm! Nut butter! Photo Credit: SXC
Since I was a kid, I've loved peanut butter. The creamy spread showed up on apples for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and on a spoon as a snack.

As an adult peanut butter has become a staple in my vegetarian diet. But, I no longer opt for the sugar-filled, sodium-added extra creamy varieties. I go for pure nut butters. The ingredient list is simple: nuts.

Never heard of nut butters? Well, practically any nut can me pureed, blended and ground down into a smooth creamy paste. My personal favorites are cashew butter and almond butter.

I've also experimented with seeds and made sunflower seed butter using my food processor. The butter was delicious, but strong, so a little goes a long way!

Have you ever made your own nut butters? How do you like to eat them?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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7 Guilt-Free Munchies for Snack Time

Nuts! Photo: SXC
I have the hardest time sticking to a healthy diet when I've got the munchies. I tend to grab whatever is close without thinking about how good (or bad!) it really is for me.

Over the weekend I fell off the healthy-eating cart at a birthday party and ate several handfuls of potato chips. They were greasy, salty--and delicious. Darn it.

OK, to keep me on track, and give you a few ideas, here's seven munchies that won't make you feel guilty later. Remember, the key to any snack is also moderation!
  1. Roasted, unsalted nuts. My favorites are almonds and pistachios.
  2. A sliced apple topped with natural peanut or almond butter.
  3. A banana smoothie. Blend frozen banana slices and soy milk in the blender and sip!
  4. Dried fruits processed without sugar. Try raisins, cranberries, papaya or banana chips.
  5. A hard-boiled egg.
  6. Low-sodium string cheese. Check out the new, weird cheddar/mozzarella twists!
  7. Whole-grain pita chips and hummus.
What are your go-to munchies?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Healthy Headlines for April

Photo: SXC
Today may be a day off from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but I'm still staying busy! I write about health, food and nutrition daily for several publishers and brands.

Here's what's hot off the press!
Want to read more? Follow me on social media!
I'm on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


PS: I'll be back on Monday with my "M" post for the A-to-Z!

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9 Ways to Use Fresh Lemons

Fresh lemons! Photo: SXC
I have a tendency to pick produce that is on sale during my grocery runs. Sometimes I end up with a drawer full of randomness--which usually includes a few lemons.

Are you looking for ways to use up a lemon or two before it shrivels and lands in the garbage can? Try these ideas!

9 Ways to Use Lemon

  1. Slice a lemon and add it to the top of baked lemon-pepper chicken breasts.
  2. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over grilled asparagus. (This comes from a WFL reader tip. Thanks!)
  3. Make homemade lemonade.
  4. Add peeled lemon to your next juicing adventure. I like lemon blended with apple and carrot juice.
  5. Whisk fresh squeezed lemon juice with olive oil for a tangy, healthy salad dressing.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice into a spray bottle. Add equal amounts of white vinegar and water to make a homemade sanitizing spray for the kitchen.
  7. Make a lemon meringue pie from scratch. Everyone has to do this at least once in a lifetime!
  8. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over apple wedges to keep them from browning in a lunch bag.
  9. Add lemon juice to a cup of hot tea.
How do you use lemons around the kitchen or house?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Are you just finding this blog today? Well, you should check out what's been going on this month! I've been busy with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Poke around my little corner of the web to see what I've been cookin' up!


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5 Reasons to Eat Kidney Beans

Kidney beans! Photo: Morguefile
They're a staple in chili, the colorful part of a three-bean salad and loved by vegetarians everywhere. Kidney beans!

But, why should you starting eating more of them? Well, here's five good reasons!
  1. Kidney beans are high in fiber, which  means they can prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too quickly after a meal. This is important for diabetics and those with hypoglycemia.
  2. Mix kidney beans with rice to create a complete protein. This is important if you're a vegetarian or eating a meatless meal.
  3. Kidney beans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. This means they keep you regular and help clear cholesterol out of your system. Kidney beans can lessen the symptoms of irritable bowl syndrome.
  4. Kidney beans are rich in magnesium and folate, which are important for heart health.
  5. Kidney beans are fat-free and low in calories. So, eat up!
Source: The World's Healthiest Foods

I enjoy using seasoned kidney beans in lieu of ground beef when making tacos or chili! When do you eat kidney beans?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Easy Jalapeno Jelly Dip

Fresh jalapeno peppers. Photo: SXC
It has taken quite a few years for me to learn to enjoy hot, spicy foods. Even now, I tend to gravitate to mild peppers and hot sauces.

One pepper I've never grown fond of is the jalapeno. It's still simply too hot for my taste buds.

Woah! Sweet Jalapenos!
So, you can imagine my surprise when I tried jalapeno jelly. It's wonderful! It's tangy, sweet and a little spicy. I'm sure it's made with oodles of sugar, which really isn't healthy at all.

My first experience with the green jelly was at a holiday party. A friend made a simple dip with it and I swear I ate half the plate!

Easy Jalapeno Jelly Dip
Cover a plate with softened cream cheese. Layer it on like you're frosting a cake. Then spoon the green jalapeno jelly on top. Smooth it out so it covers the cheese.

Serve the "dip" with buttery crackers and that's it! It doesn't sound good, but it really is a delicious way to use extra peppers from the garden or whip up a quick appetizer.

So, do you like jalapenos? How do you like to eat them?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Icky Nasty Vile Foods!

Icky Nasty Vile Beets! Photo: SXC
No matter how much we try to eat healthy, some foods are just plain icky. You know, the ones that instantly make your gag reflex jump into action and your nose wrinkle.  

Those ones.

I'm a pretty adventuresome eater, in my opinion. If it looks edible (and it's vegetarian) I'll probably have a taste.

I remember once being handed a wedge of a juicy green fruit that sort of looked like an unripe tomato but with an apple texture--and continued to eat more. I still don't know what it was, but a trusted friend offered it to me, so I went for it. Plus, it tasted good.

But some foods, I just can't seem to make palatable. My top five icky foods are:
  1. Anise seeds (the flavoring for black licorice)
  2. Turnips
  3. Unseasoned beets
  4. Cilantro
  5. Wasabi
What foods top your Icky Nasty Vile Foods list?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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What the Heck is in Horseradish Sauce?

Raw horseradish. Pretty ugly, isn't it? Photo Credit: SXC
As a kid, I loved filling little paper cups with dipping sauces for my french fries at fast food restaurants.

Ketchup. Barbecue. Mustard. Mayonnaise. Horseradish. I really enjoyed them all--and even mixed a few of them together.

My favorite by far was horseradish sauce. Maybe I liked it because it was nicknamed "horsey" sauce and I have a thing for big, lovable equines. I'm not sure.

But, it wasn't until maybe a few years ago that I wondered what horseradish sauce is actually made of.

First of all, horseradish isn't a radish or made of (gasp!) horse. It's a root from the Brassicaceae family of perennials. Cousins of the horseradish include the equally spicy wasabi and flavorful mustard.

To make horseradish sauce, the raw root is washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces. It's then placed in a food processor with vinegar, water and a pinch of salt and blended until a sauce forms.

Do you like horseradish sauce? How do you eat it? I admit, I still like to use it as a french fry dip!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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What's All the Fuss About Gluten?

Wheat bread contains gluten. Photo: SXC.HU
The current buzz word in almost every health magazine and health segment on television is gluten. What's the big deal and what is it?

Gluten is a protein found in several grains. The most common include wheat, barley and rye.

Unfortunately some people believe avoiding gluten is a diet fad to lose a few pounds. Well, I'm here to tell you two things:
  • If you stop eating bread and everything else you assume contains gluten, you will lose weight--and be unhealthy. You need carbohydrates to live.
  • Second, for some people, avoiding gluten is a medical necessity. I'm one of those unlucky people. I'm gluten sensitive and on the border of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but I refuse to have the intestinal biopsy to seal the deal. Two confirmed blood tests and feeling worlds better after altering my diet is enough proof for me.
So, If you're trying to lose weight, this whole gluten thing isn't for you. Talk to your doctor about healthy dietary changes that can help you trim your waistline.

For people like me that have to avoid gluten or suffer terrible digestive upset, joint pain and migraines, I'm here to sympathize with you! Being gluten-free is no picnic. I do write about my challenges and reasons for going gluten free quite often. Here's a few articles for those who are interested in learning more about gluten sensitivity:
Are you on a gluten-free diet or know someone who is? How do you/they cope with the general public thinking it's a weight loss program, not a medical necessity?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Why Write About Food?

Photo Credit: SXC.HU
Well, here we are at the end of the first week of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Since I'm meeting so many new readers (Hello!), I thought I'd use Day "F" to explain why in the world I write about food.

Well, obviously I have to eat to survive. You do too!

But, seriously, I write about food to keep myself accountable and on track with my healthy eating decisions. Dieting doesn't work. But, making lifestyle changes and good decisions each day do. Whether you're trying to lose weight, maintain weight loss or control a medical condition with diet--eating clean, whole foods is the way to go.

Whole Foods Living is my little corner of the web where I can share my experiences about trying new foods. I also like to give tips for making healthy foods a little more appealing or easy to work with. Really, I'm just a gal that loves to eat and feel good. So, I eat healthy. And, I like to write/talk/blab/chatter. So, here I am.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Are you just finding this blog today? Well, you should check out what's been going on this week! I've been busy with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Here's quick links for my posts from earlier this week!

A: Learning to Love Asparagus
B: Is Butter Better than Margarine?
C: 4 Ways to Eat Cabbage and Like it!
D: Dip It! 3 Healthy Dips for Snacktime
E: Edamame: Tasty Bean, Funny Name

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Edamame: Tasty Bean, Funny Name

Edamame pods. Photo: SXC.HU
I clearly remember the first time I ate edamame; I thought it was a mistake.

A salad I ordered at a restaurant came out covered in smooth, flat green things. The little beans were soft, but chewy, and had a mild flavor. So, I went with it.

Later I figured out the little beans were edamame--or young, green soybeans--shelled from the pod.

After that experience I've found edamame popping up everywhere. They sell dried, toasted edamame sprinkled with sea salt in the healthy snack section of the grocery store. Edamame pods are boiled in salt water and served as an appetizer at Asian restaurants.

Have you ever had edamame? How do you like to eat these protein-packed little beans?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Dip It! 3 Healthy Dips for Snacktime

Salsa! Photo by Morguefile
Eating clean and healthy takes willpower. When it comes to snacking, I sometimes fail. A handful of chocolate chips is much easier to grab than washing, chopping and preparing a plate of raw veggies.

So, to keep things easy, a few of my go-to snacks are dips!

Skip the ranch and sour cream. Instead, whip up these three dips to enjoy with tortilla chips, baby carrots or pita bread wedges.
  1. Salsa: Create a blend of finely chopped tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. I like to also add fresh garlic and herbs like cilantro or parsley. Check out my recipe for 5 Minute Rainbow Cilantro Salsa.
  2. Hummus: As a vegetarian, I'm always looking for ways to boost my protein intake. A bowl of fresh chickpea-based dip called hummus is the way to go. I always add more lemon juice than the recipe calls for because it's sooo yummy!
  3. Avocado Dip: My favorite dip is avocado. Sure, the green fruit is high in fat, but it's unsaturated, so eat avocado as a snack once in while, and you'll be fine. Check out my recipe for Healthy Avocado Dip.
What types of dips you like to snack on?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Each day during April (excluding Sundays) I will be posting a blog related to a specific letter of the alphabet. Stop back tomorrow to keep up with what I've got cooking!
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4 Ways to Eat Cabbage and Like it!

Hear me out: cabbage isn't all that bad.

I know it's probably not the first veggie you reach for at the grocery store, but it's soooo good for you. Cabbage boasts high levels of vitamins C and K, can reduce cholesterol levels and has even been labeled as a food to eat for cancer prevention according to the World's Healthiest Foods website.
Cabbage! Photo: SXC.HU

So, let's serve it up!

If the only time you nosh on this cruciferous vegetable is on St. Patrick's Day with a side of corned beef, it's time to add cabbage to your weekly menu planning.

Here's four ways to eat cabbage:
  1. Shred red or green cabbage and make a delicious spring salad. I cheat and use pre-shredded coleslaw mix (a blend of green cabbage and carrots) to make a springy salad flavored with apples and almonds.
  2. Steam wedges of cabbage with baby red potatoes and carrots for a vegetable medley side dish that pairs well with beef, ham or chicken.
  3. Stir fresh, raw cabbage shreds into homemade mashed potatoes. You'll eat fewer of the starchy potatoes, and boost your vitamin intake.
  4. Be naughty and bake cabbage in a creamy white sauce such as bechamel. This isn't the healthiest of options, but it's tasty! (Hey, I'm human!)
So, how do you like to eat cabbage?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Each day during April (excluding Sundays) I will be posting a blog related to a specific letter of the alphabet. Stop back tomorrow, join this site with Google friend connect, or sign up for email reminders on the top, left side of this page to keep up with what I've got cooking!

Is Butter Better than Margarine?

Everyone is jumping on the "get healthy" bandwagon. I think that's fabulous! But, when I see a perfectly nutritious salad drowning in dressing or perky green beans swimming in melted butter, it makes me sad. All those extra calories and saturated fats may taste good, but it really negates the healthy factor, you know?
Do you choose butter or margarine? Photo: SXC


But, sometimes you simply need a little extra flavor. I understand.

I used to be a margarine girl. I loved the faux butter spreads, some made with yogurt, that promised the delicious taste without the side effects of butter. But, in the last several years I've switched to butter for its limited ingredients and flavor.

But, really which is better for us? I turned to a few experts and here's the 411 on butter vs margarine:
  • Margarine made without trans fats (which are man made) are more heart healthy and lower in cholesterol than butter, which is made from animal fats, according to the Mayo Clinic's Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.. Look for a spread low in calories and low in saturated fats.
  • The Cleveland Clinic also steers patients toward margarine over butter. It claims, "Keep in mind, margarines contain greater amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils which helps reduce bad cholesterol when used to replace saturated and trans fats."
Despite these findings, I still like my butter. There's something about being able to read the ingredient list without stumbling over 12-letter ingredients. Butter really only needs to contain cream and salt.

I think the key is enjoying butter in moderation.

Which do you use: butter or margarine? Or, do you forgo fats and stick to seasonings and herbs to add flavor to your meals?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Each day during April (excluding Sundays) I will be posting a blog related to a specific letter of the alphabet. Stop back tomorrow, join this site with Google friend connect, or sign up for email reminders on the top, left side of this page to keep up with what I've got cooking!

Learning to Love Asparagus

Fresh asparagus and tomatoes. Photo: SXC.HU
I love all vegetables. Well, almost all vegetables.

There are those few that linger at the bottom of the list, and I usually only eat them if they're covered in a creamy sauce or swimming in so much butter they're no longer considered a vegetable.

Asparagus fits in this group.  I know I'm not alone when it comes to being a little shy around this stalky vegetable.

So, to kick off the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I'm going to try to learn to love asparagus. I encourage my readers to be healthier and eat whole foods, so I need to practice what I preach!

I bought a fresh bunch of asparagus at the store and have committed to finding a way to make it tasty. After browsing my stacks of cookbooks, I decided to try preparing the veggie two ways: roasted in a hot oven and sauteed in olive oil.

The roasted asparagus had a wonderful, earthy flavor but was limp and kind of soggy. Maybe my oven wasn't hot enough or I used too much olive oil. The sauteed asparagus was much better. I lightly tossed it with fresh sliced mushrooms and onions before mixing it with pasta. The asparagus was still firm and reminded me of eating fresh green beans from the garden. Yum!

So, how do you like your asparagus? Please make my mouth water by leaving your ideas in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


PS: This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Each day during April (excluding Sundays) my posts will relate to a specific letter of the alphabet. Stop back tomorrow, join this site with Google Friend Connect, or sign up for email reminders on the top, left side of this page to keep up with what I've got cooking! Thank you!

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