Whole Foods Laxative Smoothie Recipe

Photo credit: Robert Gourley, Flickr
A few weeks ago I had surgery. In my discharge papers, the nurse highlighted my need for extra rest. Apparently my bowels got the message loud and clear too.

If you've ever been put under with anesthesia or taken narcotic painkillers, you know they can slow things down in your body.

Simply said, you can't make bowel movements very easily after surgery.

My nurse recommended sipping a mug of warmed prune juice to stay regular during my recovery. I loved this natural, non-medicinal option and gave it a try. 

After several mugs of juice, things were moving. Slowly. Too slowly.

So, I decided to add a little fiber and see if I could make a gentle, nutritious morning smoothie to keep me regular. (I know, this isn't the sexiest of topics, but it is helpful for those who need it!!) Here's what worked for me!

Simple Laxative Smoothie

  • 2 cups spinach, raw and washed
  • 1 cup prune juice, pure without sugar added
  • 1/2 cucumber (about 1 cup chopped)
Place all three ingredients into the blender and combine until smooth. The prune juice adds a refreshing sweetness to the spinach. 

Plus, this combination is full of vitamin C, potassium and fiber to help get your digestive system back on track.

Do you have an all-natural concoction, food, drink or smoothie you use to stay regular? Tell me about it in the comments below. I'm always looking for ways to stay healthy without the need for a pharmacy.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

4 Ways to Save on Your Online Grocery Shopping

Shopping for groceries online is an easy way to save time and money. But are you getting the best deals out there?
Stock the pantry! Photo Credit: morgueFile

Here are four simple tips for saving some dough next time you're restocking the pantry.

1. Don't pay for shipping
. More online retailers are offering free shipping as an incentive to shop on their site.

One easy way to qualify is to sign up for the site's newsletter before making your purchase. Often you'll receive a welcome message that offers a free shipping code, coupons and a current sale flyer.

But don't stop there: Plan future online grocery shopping around free-shipping promotions, which pop up often on the site's banner ads. Free-shipping usually occurs every few weeks, just before month-end to increase sales or when a minimum purchase amount has been satisfied.

2. Browse clearance sections. Just like brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers have clearance sections. They're the perfect place to stock up on long-lasting staples like whole grain pasta, canned food and sesonal baking mixes.

Online retailers need to clear out their warehouses to make way for new seasonal items, so take advantage of end-of-season deals. Champagne prices drop during December so consumers can stock up for New Year's Eve celebrations, according to Fox Business News.

Just after the holidays get baking supplies for a fraction of the cost. Or, stock up on discount candy at the end of February -- after the Valentine's Day rush. Expect deep discounts of up to 80 percent off food in seasonal packaging.

3. Check your e-mail. It's easy to simply log on to your favorite online grocer and start shopping. Instead, take an extra minute to check your e-mail first. Retailers will send out last-minute daily specials or weekend promotions to move excess inventory. Sometimes buyers overestimate the popularity of an item: Instead of getting stuck with perishables, they pass the savings on to you.

If your online grocer isn't on top of daily discounts, try clicking on the "live chat" feature on the retailer's website and asking for a discount. Since every penny counts, start small and ask for 10 percent off your order, or to match a sale at the company's brick-and-mortar store. If the associate doesn't offer a deal, mention you'll wait and place your order when those items do go on sale. Since no business wants to lose a sale, the associate will probably counter offer with a discount to keep you online and ordering.

To get even more bang for your buck follow your favorite online grocer on Twitter or be a Facebook fan. Many offer exclusive coupon codes and one-day sale promotions to their loyal followers. Shouldn't that be you?

4. Use saved grocery lists. Time is money. Some online shopping sites offer to remember your past orders. If you routinely buy the same products, this feature saves time, advises online magazine Everyday with Rachel Ray. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can be on your way to restocking the pantry without scouring several sections of the website.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Note: I wrote this article a few years ago. It was originally published on Yahoo! Voices on February 17, 2012. 

Goodnight, Garden. Hello, Winter!

My Iowa garden during winter.
Last week I put the garden to bed for the winter.

I removed the withered foliage and piled the stepping stones in the corner. Now the soil will rest and enjoy natural mulch from decomposing fall leaves and a long winter drink from the upcoming snowfall.

Next spring the garden will get rewarded with a fresh till and new seedlings to nourish.

I'm going to miss my summer garden. So, I've been brainstorming ways to maintain my healthy whole foods living lifestyle when fresh, locally grown produce is at a minimum in Iowa.

3 Ways to Eat Healthy During Winter

  1. Enjoy garden goodies from the freezer. I have several containers of homemade applesauce and bags of frozen tomatoes ready to go.
  2. Buy more fresh frozen fruits and vegetables than canned varieties to avoid added sugar and salt.
  3. Shop at the local meat market which offers some locally grown greenhouse produce and fresh cheese during winter.
How do you make healthy eating decisions during the frozen winter months? Tell me in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

Which Color of Onion is Healthiest?

Photo Credit: morgueFile
I've always read that colorful food is more nutrient dense than its pale white counterparts.

So when it comes to white, yellow and red onions, does it really matter which lands in your grocery cart?

Let's turn to The National Onion Association for a little lesson.

Approximately 87 percent of onions grown in the United States are yellow. Just 8 percent are red and 5 percent are white.

The spicy vegetable is grown year-round in 20 states from coast to coast, with Washington producing the most. In a year, the United States grows 6.2 billion pounds of onions!

OK, so back to the nutrition of onions. I reached out to the Onionista at The National Onion Association and here's what she had to say:

Source: Twitter
So, they're all good for you! Pick your favorite color and enjoy!

Photo Credit: morgueFile
Onions are a healthy whole food that are easy to add to any meal.
  • Breakfast: Add onions to omelets, fritatas, homemade sausage, vegetable hash and quiche.
  • Lunch: Top a sandwich, pizza, salad or bowl of chili with fresh onions.
  • Dinner: Try grilling or roasting onion halves and stuffing them as a side dish. Or, serve pearl onions in a cream sauce.
Onions are high in vitamin C, manganese, foliate and fiber. If you're trying to reduce fat and salt, but want extra flavor in your meal, try onions!

I put together a public Pinterest board called "I Love onions!" to give you a little inspiration. It's a collection of recipes, tips for growing onions and even how to use them to make a cough syrup!

So, how do you like to eat or use onions? Tell me in the comments below!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living