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      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

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      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

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      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

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      Healthy pH levels, whether in the colon or systemic, are found when you eat a high-fiber diet, high in vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. Complement this with foods and supplements high in beneficial bacteria, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, and you will be supporting optimal health (which begins in the digestive system).

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Summer Diet Reboot

Filed in Adults, Diet, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, Enzymes, Exercise, Preventable Issues, Recipes, Supplements, The Skinny Gut Diet, Uncategorized, Weight Loss | Posted by Brenda Watson on 06/21/2017


summer diet reboot-brendawatson.com

When the weather starts warming up in spring, we get inspired to lose a few pounds so that we’ll look great when it’s time to get into a swimsuit. But that plan often goes awry when summer begins. Longer days bring vacations and celebrations—and extra opportunities to eat enticing treats (often sweet) that pack on weight. Next thing you know, those five or ten pounds are right back where they started. If this scenario sounds familiar, it’s time for a summer diet reboot to get you back into your bikini.

 

Cut the Carbs, Up the Fiber to Kick Off your Summer Diet Reboot!

It’s not the first time you’ve heard me say that carbohydrates—starchy carbs and sugars, in particular—are the main reason your waistline is expanding. If you had to do just one thing to lose weight, that’s where I’d recommend you start. Plan your meals around healthy proteins and low-sugar vegetables. (And no, potatoes and corn are not vegetables—they’re starches!)

Eat a vegetable egg scramble for breakfast, a salad topped with chicken for lunch, and a salmon filet with a side of green veggies for dinner. Eat high-protein snacks in between meals to keep your cravings down. If you’re in a hurry, a high-protein, high-fiber meal replacement shake will keep you going without cravings.

 

Nurture Your Gut

If your gut bacteria are out of balance, they could be making you fat. (I wrote a whole book on this topic. If you haven’t read The Skinny Gut Diet yet, check it out.) Good health begins in the gut. If you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria, called probiotics, in your gut, your health—even your weight—could be affected. Eat foods rich in probiotics, like low-sugar yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables, as well as foods rich in prebiotics, like leeks, garlic, onions, and asparagus. You can also take probiotic and prebiotic supplements to replenish good gut bacteria.

 

Prepare for Parties

Summertime is fun time. You will likely attend at least a couple parties before summer is over. And if parties feel like an open invitation to eat whatever delicious morsel you encounter, you’ll want to come prepared. Before you leave for your next party, be sure to eat a high-fiber snack or meal replacement shake to fill you up so those tasty treats won’t look so appetizing.

Parties usually come with two drink options: water or sugary libations. Unless you’re sure you can make it through a whole party on water alone, I recommend bringing a low-sugar option. I love mixing carbonated water with a splash of pomegranate juice and a squeeze of lime. Fill up a pitcher and bring some to share. You could also brew a refreshing herbal tea and bring a pitcher on ice.

If the party is sure to offer beer or sugary margaritas, you can bring a low-sugar option. Create a delicious mojito by mixing six ounces of club soda, six ounces of lime juice, three tablespoons of crushed mint, and six servings of liquid stevia together in a pitcher before you leave. At the party, add 12 ounces of white rum and pour over ice. Salud!

 

Get Moving

If you have fallen out of the habit of exercising, now is a great time to get back in gear. Regular exercise not only helps to keep you trim, it puts you in a good mood. Even a moderate walk can change your outlook. You don’t have to take on a complicated workout schedule, but you do need to get your body moving on a regular basis. Take a walk around the block after dinner. Skip the elevator and take the stairs next time you get the opportunity. Grab a set of weights and pump some iron when you need a break. Better yet, grab a workout buddy so that you can motivate each other and have some accountability.

 

Connect with Your WHY

One of the best ways to motivate yourself to stick with a new habit is to remember WHY you want to adopt it in the first place. So to motivate yourself to lose weight, think about why. Sure, you want to look good in a swimsuit, but dig a little deeper. Most likely you’ll find that you want to be healthier. And why do you want to be healthier? It might be so that you can live longer to spend time with the people in your life who mean the most to you. Or you may want to not be reliant on medications, or on other people to take care of you, as you get older. Or you may simply want to feel good again.

Once you discover the underlying reason why you want to lose weight, keep it in mind. Maybe you post a picture of your family on the fridge. Maybe you post a picture of you when you were healthier next to your computer. Maybe you post the phrase, “I feel amazing!” as the screen saver of your phone. Whatever your reason, connect to it when you can. It will keep you on the right track.

Wellness!!! Goal Achieved!

Filed in Adults, Cleansing, Cleansing & Detox, Diet, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, Enzymes, Exercise, Herbal Cleansing, Longevity, Recipes, Supplements, The Detox Strategy, The Skinny Gut Diet, Uncategorized | Posted by Brenda Watson on 05/31/2017


wellness puzzle - brendawatson.com

Congratulations! If you have arrived at this last step and already applied some of the recommendations given in these posts to your own life, you are on your way to being in the best health that you can be. This step in the RENEW Total Body Detox program is focused on W – which stands for Wellness. This is the part where you see the entire plan in action. It’s your daily schedule that will keep you on the path to vibrant health and longevity.

Wellness is about putting together and following a personal schedule that works with your unique life. Everyone must set forth his or her own personal plan for jump-starting, nurturing and maintaining Wellness. This entails not only the daily decisions you make, but also the weekly, monthly, and yearly actions you take to continue supporting your all-important W.

Clearly, fostering a healthy body is not something you can do through a single action. It requires a commitment to constant vigilance in your environment, honoring your dietary changes regularly, as well as completing periodically procedures such as colon hydrotherapy or total-body herbal cleanses every six months.

Remember, the essence of the RENEW program is simply a blueprint consisting of practical concepts and easy, actionable steps that can help you achieve a more vibrant, healthier you! As you implement Wellness, you’ll sustain the perils of living in a polluted world, as well as the (often) unavoidable hazards related to aging with ease. It’s a multisystem approach for total-body health and transformation.

My previous posts (the links I’ve provided below) are intended to serve as your guide as you transform your Total Body Detox program into your new lifestyle. So here’s one idea of how to embrace Wellness!

 

Please personalize this Blueprint to create your very own Total Body Basic Detox Schedule

6:00 a.m.       Wake up. Drink glass of room-temperature or warm fresh-squeezed lemon water. Take one dose of probiotic supplement.

6:30 a.m.       10 to 20 minutes of exercise – rebounding, a workout with exercise bands, perhaps yoga, or cardio and remember to BREATHE. Drink a glass of water during or after exercise.

7:00 a.m.       Take morning dose of total-body basic herbal detox product with glass of water. Dry skin brush whole body before showering.

7:30 a.m.       Have a good breakfast. Take enzymes, oils, and whole-food multi-nutrient with the meal. Nourish!

11:00 a.m.      Have at least 8 ounces of Blended Green Drink. More is great!

12:30 p.m.      Have lunch. Take enzymes with meal. Nourish!

3:00 p.m.      Have at least 8 ounces of Blended Green Drink. More is great!

5:00 p.m.       Optional short rebounding session (5 to 10 minutes).

6:00 p.m.       Have dinner. Take enzymes and oils with meals. Nourish!

7:00 p.m.       Optional walk for 15 or 20 minutes.

8:00 p.m.       Sauna or soak. Relax and meditate.

9:00 p.m.       Take evening dose of total-body basic herbal detox product and fiber supplement before bed with glass of water. Optional: herbal tea.

As you implement your RENEW Total Body Detox program, you will be establishing habits that will allow you to continue your new schedule (with minor adjustments), effectively RENEWing your health for years to come. Get all the details in Detox Strategy.

In my next post I’ll be offering some reminder maintenance tips for Wellness – bringing it all together.

Nourish Your Body Daily With Essential Nutrients

Filed in Adults, Cleansing, Cleansing & Detox, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, Environmental Toxins, Enzymes, Herbal Cleansing, Omega-3 & Fish Oil, Probiotics & Gut Flora, Recipes, Supplements, Uncategorized | Posted by Brenda Watson on 05/15/2017


Nourish - green drink - brendawatson.com

Let’s recap where we are in the RENEW Total Body Detox program. You began by Reducing your daily toxin exposure in your home environment. Then you began to Eliminate toxins from inside your body. As this process continues, you’ll want to Nourish your cells with as much good nutrition as you can get from both your regular diet and supplementation. This will help you fortify your immune system so it’s capable of fighting the daily battle against toxins. .

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding nutritional supplementation. Skeptics will say that “you get all the nutrients your body needs from the diet”. I’d like to know what they’re eating, because the average American diet is severely lacking in many of our essential nutrients.

An incredible myth in our culture is that “Your body gets all the nutrients it needs from the Standard American Diet”.

Surveys in North American show that the diets of more than 60% tested are deficient in essential nutrients. As we’ve discussed, especially those nutrients needed to support proper detoxification.

Symptoms of nutritional deficiency are not always obvious. You don’t need to have scurvy to have a vitamin C deficiency. Plainly put, if you don’t equip your body with the nutrients it needs to support its internal structures and functions, it won’t be able to withstand the toxic environment in which you live.

Your vitamins A, C, E, minerals such as selenium and most amino acids are critical to liver health and function. With this said, it is important to take a whole food multi-nutrient formula everyday to supply your body with these valuable nutrients.

As I’ve already mentioned, omega-3 oils, our good fat, is also severely lacking in the American diet. Those good fats are needed not only for proper liver function, but for a healthy cardiovascular system, for nerve and brain function, hormonal balance, proper elimination, a good immune system, and even to promote a positive mood!

That’s why taking a highly concentrated, enteric coated Omega-3 supplement can make a big difference in your health.

Another important player in supporting our health is the good bacteria within our digestive tract. At least 70% of our immune system in our digestive tract and the bacteria is the main wellness-supporting factor. Many factors can affect the balance of this good bacteria, so it’s important to keep the levels high.

Eating foods like plain yogurt, kefir, along with fermented veggies are great additions to the diet that provide good bacteria, however for many it is necessary to regularly take a bacterial supplement called probiotics. Look for one that offers from 50 to 100 billion bacterial cultures per capsule.

We should know by now the benefit of eating raw fruits and veggies, not only for the nutrients, but also for the enzymes they provide. For some of us it is difficult to get the enzymes we need strictly from raw foods. An enzyme supplement with every meal will strongly support efficient digestion. Enzyme supplements will also ensure you absorb more nutrients from your food.

For even more information on these important nutrients and additional tips on detoxification, check out my book – Detox Strategy.

Perhaps my favorite way to Nourish all the cells in my body is through using my high speed blender and making green drinks. I’ve been blending green drinks to consume daily for 10 years now and have noticed a steadily increasing vitality. I want you to know that I actually feel better as the years pass! And I credit blended drinks with a lot of my success.

So without further ado I’d like to share with you right here, right now…

My Favorite Blended Green Drink recipe! Nourish your body daily!

Place the following in order into a Vitamix or equivalent high-speed blender. Makes 1 quart. Be sure to drink within 2 days for maximum nutrient value.

  • 3 stalks chopped celery
  • 1/3 English Cucumber with peel
  • 1/2 lemon with peel
  • 1/2 inch of ginger with peel
  • 1/2 avocado – meat only
  • 3-4 sprigs cilantro
  • 3-4 sprigs parsley
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1 handful chopped kale
  • 3/4 pink lady or gala apple with peel – seeded
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 handful ice

I feel one of the most important aspects of this particular recipe is that it provides approximately 19 grams of fiber per batch! As we’ve discussed, fiber is responsible for helping to rid toxins from your body. With this in mind, I want to strongly suggest that you drink at least a quart of Blended Green Drink daily as you Nourish your body and journey through your RENEW Total Body Detox program.

I recommend 30-35 grams of fiber daily. If you find that difficult to achieve at times through food choices be sure and purchase a high quality fiber product to supplement.

Please be in touch and let me know how you progress! I’m happy to answer any questions that come up~

Yummy Chocolate Holiday Splurge!

Filed in Allergies, Gluten, Gluten Sensitivity, Recipes, The Skinny Gut Diet | Posted by Brenda Watson on 12/08/2016


Chocolate Black Bean Brownies - brendawatson.com

Every year the month of December stimulates my “splurge” button – regarding different foods that is. I know I’m not alone. So I’d really like to share with you a chocolate treat I found that manages to be vegan, gluten-free and grain free. It’s even reasonable with regards to sugar content, especially depending on your ingredient choices. I’m going to provide all sorts of substitutions to get your creative juices flowing!

Let’s make some “Flourless Sea Salt Chocolate Squares”. I noticed this easy and interesting recipe first in the December issue of Canada’s Alive magazine, and decided to have some fun with it.

Ingredients

1 – 14 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 – cup coconut oil, melted (better than butter for maintaining your figure)
1 – tsp vanilla extract
2/3 – cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for garnish
1/2 – cup almond meal
1/4 – cup coconut sugar or evaporated cane sugar or a zero-calorie sweetener like Lakanto
1 – Tbsp ground chia seed
1/8 – tsp fine-grain sea salt
1/4 – cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
1/4 – tsp flaky sea salt or larger granule sea salt, with a bit extra for garnish if desired

Added fun and color on top – candy canes – crushed. Look for canes at your local health food store made with natural cane sugar and vegetable dye. Any extra candy canes can certainly brighten your tree!

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 8” x 8” baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.

Pull out your food processor and puree the pinto beans until smooth. Add coconut oil and vanilla. Blend until smooth, and scrape down the sides. Add cocoa powder, almond meal, sweetener of choice, chia seed powder, and fine grain sea salt. Pulse in chocolate chips carefully. Use a thin spatula to smooth the mixture into the pan. An offset spatula may be easiest if you have one in your kitchen. If you’re adding candy canes, now’s the time to crush them and sprinkle them on top before baking.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until edges appear dry. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt while still warm if desired. Cool completely in pan, cover and chill in refrigerator until cold. Remove from the baking pan using the parchment overhang. Slice into 16 squares and garnish with a dusting of additional cocoa powder and flaky sea salt if desired. (I like to make my servings on the small side which discourages overindulgence!)

These may be stored up to a week in an airtight container.
Of course, minimizing the chocolate chips will lower the sugar content, however even preparing the recipe as it is offered, each serving contains right around 2 teaspoons of sugar. While that’s not something that we on Skinny Gut Diet want to consume daily, it’s certainly a reasonable holiday splurge!

Enjoy and happy holiday~

Loving Basil!

Filed in Chronic Disease, Diabetes, Diet, Dietary Fiber, High blood pressure, Inflammation, Mental Health, Recipes | Posted by Brenda Watson on 07/08/2016


Wonderful Basil - brendawatson.com

One of my favorite summer friends is basil. Not the man, the herb! Between the lovely aroma, the list of health benefits, and the delicious taste addition to so many dishes, this green beauty stands tall as a winner on all fronts.

Fairly heat tolerant, we’re able to grow our own basil plants and harvest at will, even here in very hot Florida! Whether you grow your own or find yours at a local farmer’s market, I’d like to offer an interesting harvesting tip.

At some point I’ll bet you’ve placed your basil into the fridge, and fairly soon you noticed that the leaves turned an unsightly black color. To keep this herb fresh and robust, you can make the most of the its wonderful scent and also create a summer bouquet right on your kitchen counter. Trim the stems as you would roses, place them in cold water away from direct sunlight. Change the water daily and your sprigs will last around 5 days.

Varieties of basil abound! Check these out in addition to the classic Genovese:
• Thai basil has a unique flavor of anise
• Lemon basil – extra special for seafood and salads
• Holy basil – pungent flavor
• Spicy cinnamon basil – yes, delicious on desserts!
• Purple basil – especially rich in anthocyanins – the same type of strong anti-oxidants found in blueberries and red cabbage

Okay, I teased you with a list of health benefits. Here you go, 5 great facts about fabulous basil:
1. Is a great source of vitamin K. There have been studies that suggest increasing your vitamin K intake may help guard against diabetes as well as other chronic issues.
2. Contains potent flavonoid antioxidants, which may wield anti-aging properties and possibly even protect against cancer.
3. Contains oils like eugenol and linalool that have strong antibacterial properties. Keep this in mind when cooking chicken and ground meat, making them safer to enjoy.
4. Offers high levels of carotenoids, which studies have shown may actually improve mood, decreasing anxiety as well as balancing cholesterol in the blood. Wow!
5. Along with other herbs adds wonderful flavor to our foods, minimizing the desire for added salt, and indirectly helping to keep blood pressure in check.

I love this fabulous herb in blended green drinks. In this hot weather, my green drinks are the fuel that keeps me going! Not juices, mind you, blended drinks which leave the fiber in the final product! So I wanted to share one of my favorite concoctions with you right here.

To prepare approximately 2 servings. Place the following ingredients in a Ninja or Vitamix;
• 1 inch water
• 1 medium beet
• 3 or 4 basil tops
• 2 handfuls of spinach
• ½ lemon including peel
• 1 small Granny Smith apple
• Handful of ice cubes

Blend — and get ready to feel just great!

Soul Food

Filed in Diet, Gardening, General, Recipes, The Skinny Gut Diet | Posted by Brenda Watson on 07/01/2016


soul food-brendawatson.com

Here on our farm at Vital Planet black-eyed peas abound – perfect makings for my family soul food recipes! We are grateful that they are a flourishing part of our experimental summer crop.

Hot Florida summers aren’t terribly kind to many of our crops, however. Worms found our delicious cucumbers extremely delicious as well, so we’ve removed their tired limbs to the composter. Too hot and too late in the season had our tomatillos without fruit. Yes, in the composter too.

However our black-eyed peas, some lima beans and bush beans are continuing to produce, along with dandelion, baby lettuces, some parsley and arugula, all grown through hydroponic farming. The okra plants, fancy with their gorgeous flowers, are bursting forth mightily. You can almost stand and watch those babies grow! And we’ve even decided to plant some more mature peppers to see what might materialize.

So I decided that it was time for an ole fashioned Southern soul food treat for us all! I shucked black-eyed peas until I was cross-eyed and decided to make my Mama’s Famous Black-Eyed Peas recipe along with Daddy’s Favorite Cake of Cornbread! There wasn’t an evening in my house growing up where that delicious cake wasn’t on the table – not if Mama wanted Daddy to be happy.

I know that black-eyed peas tend to be a New Year’s treat, but since they’re still in growing season, I just had to share these time-tested, beloved Southern recipes with you right here. Please let me know how you like them and remember, on our Skinny Gut Diet, this is a special treat, not regular fare!

 

My Mama’s Famous Black-eyed Peas

  • Approximately 1/2 – 3 cups dried or fresh shelled black-eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 4 strips of crisp bacon – crumbled/ham hock or a piece of salt pork
  • 1 small onion – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Sautee chopped onions and garlic in bacon fat.

Add in peas and enough water to just cover the mixture.

Crumble in bacon (or add ham).

Add pepper.

Bring to a hard boil for 10 minutes.

Turn down to simmer for about 40 minutes or until peas are soft.

Add more water if necessary – makes a great gravy!

 

My Daddy’s Favorite Cake of Cornbread

  • 2 cups – Self rising cornmeal (gluten free/no flour).
  • Follow directions on bag to make batter.
  • I substitute 2 cups of buttermilk for the egg that’s suggested on the package.
  • Few tablespoons of oil.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Put about 1 tablespoon oil in an iron skillet and spread oil around the skillet, including up onto the sides. I used an oil that was a coconut and canola combo.

Pour the batter in the skillet and place on top of stove at low heat. Watch the batter closely!

When bubbles begin to form in the batter, take cornbread cake off stove and put in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Following this process will create cornbread that is crisp on the bottom as well as the top.

Once done, you’ll want to remove the entire cornbread from the skillet to cool. By the way, butter is delicious on top when warm!

Now it’s time to enjoy, and enjoy, and enjoy!

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone has a pleasant and relaxing long weekend!

Skinny Gut Your Gumbo

Filed in Diet, General, Recipes | Posted by Brenda Watson on 06/17/2016


Amazing Shrimp Gumbo - brendawatson.com

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, our family always starts to plan for picnics and get-togethers. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a simple and delicious gumbo that is always a crowd pleaser! It’s easy to double or triple this recipe and make a delicious offering for a large group!

Seafood Gumbo

(this recipe can be found in my recent book – Heart of Perfect Health)

Only 1.8 teaspoons of sugar per serving!

Prep – 60 minutes (well worth your time!)

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning mix or favorite Creole spice blend
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can low-sodium chopped tomatoes or similar amount raw/chopped
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (30 count) peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup fresh crabmeat
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen okra (optional, but delicious – and in season!)

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, peppers, garlic, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaves. Sautee for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions and peppers are softened.

Add the stock and tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

Add the shrimp, crabmeat, hot sauce, and okra. Return the mixture to a boil, cover, and remove from the heat; let stand for 10 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink.

Of course, any other seafood you have in your household would be a delicious addition too. More green veggies also only add more nutrients to the fun!

Enjoy!

Egg-ceptionally delicious!

Filed in Diet, Recipes, The Skinny Gut Diet | Posted by Brenda Watson on 01/22/2016


I do editorial reviews monthly for Alive Magazine, a Canadian publication I really appreciate. Today I’d like to share a very creative slow cooker recipe right from this month’s offering  – Issue 399.

Slow cookers are one of my favorite kitchen implements and in the winter, the soups, stews and roasts that can be made are only limited by your imagination. In Skinny Gut Diet we’ve even dubbed the slow cooker as one of our “power tools”. Today I’m offering you a particularly interesting breakfast idea, hopefully one you and yours will enjoy throughout the day.

Egg-Ceptional Slow-Cooked Frittata

Eggs and vegetables – in my mind, that’s a perfect combination for a meal or snack. Add in – “totally easy to prepare” – well, this could be the perfect breakfast, and a great way to keep your blood sugar balanced and your family healthy. Once prepared, this frittata can be made into meal or snack portions and can be safely refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days (if it lasts that long…) Grab and go – easy and nutritious.

1 tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed or coconut oil

10 large organic eggs

1 ½ tsp (7ml) finely chopped fresh dill or ¾ tsp (4mL) dried dill

2 tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard

5 oz (140 g) baby spinach

2 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped

1 cup (250 mL) grated sweet potato

½ cup (125 mL) diced roasted red peppers

½ cup (125 mL) corn kernels, fresh or thawed if frozen

2 oz (56 g) crumbled feta cheese

(truthfully, any veggies you have on hand will be delicious in this – kale, mushrooms, peas, green beans, asparagus – be creative and empty your frig into the slow cooker!)

Grease a 5 quart (4.7L) or 6 quart (5.7L) oval slow cooker with oil.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, dill, and mustard. Stir in spinach, green onions, sweet potato, roasted red pepper, and corn (or whatever) until well combined. Pour into oiled slow cooker and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with lid and cook on low until frittata is set and cheese is melted, about 2 ½ to 3 hours.

Cut into portions and serve either warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Note – Each serving contains: 178 calories; 10 g protein, 12 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 8 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 2 g fiber); 280 mg sodium

Here’s to slow and steady cooking on your way to vibrant health!

Summer Kebob Fun!

Filed in Adults, Recipes | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/14/2015


I love grilled food. I prep it in the kitchen and hand it over to my husband Stan. He then dons his alter-ego of Fabulous Grill Master! Hopefully you have someone in your house who undergoes the same transformation. I have only to wait patiently for a marvelous meal to appear after that.

My single assistant tells me that no husband is required. She assumes the same Grill Master alter-ego herself. Grilling just seems to mean “fun” for everyone!

Two appealing aspects of kebob (also known as kebab) recipes – they’re extremely easy to prepare and most are naturally high in protein while relatively low in carbs. If there’s a place for virtually risk-free experimentation, it seems to be with kebobs. Your wild idea will most likely turn out to be a big hit!

In this particular creation, beyond the base of chicken or shrimp, one mango is shared between 8 servings, giving us the heavenly taste of that summer fruit with very little sugar per person. The avocado provides tasty and healthy really “good” fat.

I hope you like them as much as we do.

 

1 ¼ lb of chicken tenders, cut into chunks or large shrimp, peeled

1 mango, peeled and cubed – approx. 1 inch diameter

2 small avocados cubed into approx. ¾ inch pieces

1 cup cherry tomatoes

Juice of ½ orange

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove grated

1 tsp. chopped parsley

1 tsp lemon zest

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil

Alternate threading either chicken or shrimp with mango, avocado and tomatoes onto 8 skewers. Whisk together orange juice, oil, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Brush some of the liquid mixture on the completed skewers and set aside in the frig for a quick marinate. 15 minutes will do just fine.

Preheat your grill to medium-high and grease the grate. You’ll want to grill your kebobs until your chicken or shrimp are done through. Turn your skewers and baste with more of your liquid mixture at around 3 minutes. It will probably take 6 minutes or so to fully cook your chicken or shrimp, but keep a watchful eye on them in case they’re ready earlier.

Serve your kebobs garnished with basil.

Kebobs and a side salad based in bitter greens like I suggested last week in this refreshing recipe are a great pair. Makes 8 kebobs and one happy group of people!

Summer Salad Treat

Filed in Adults, Cleansing & Detox, Digestive Health, Recipes | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/07/2015


Is it summer enough for you yet? Here in Florida it’s either hot, or raining, or hot and humid from the recent rain. In the spirit of cooling off, I’m offering a recipe treat this week.

I seem to crave light foods almost exclusively – and easy prep is a must. So salads and more salads are appealing. Adding in bitter greens makes this combination especially valuable as a gentle cleanse for your liver.

And although watermelon is not a low sugar food, how can you go an entire summer without a little taste of the fruit that seems to represent summer itself?

It’s also a great season to find beautifully colored tomatoes that can really dress up this delicious mixture. Artistic vision meets simple nutritious delight!

 

Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Yummy Roasted Nuts

1 cup mixture of walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkins seeds

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or coconut vinegar

1 garlic clove – pressed or minced

1 tsp raw honey

Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

2 cups of cubed watermelon

3 tomatoes, colors optional, cut in wedges

3 cups arugula

Place nuts on a roasting pan in the oven or toaster oven on ‘broil’ or ‘toast’ – just until you hear the pumpkin seeds pop – usually a little over 5 minutes, depending on your oven. Set them aside to cool.

For dressing, combine oil, basil, vinegar, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Place watermelon, tomatoes, arugula and dressing in a medium-sized bowl and toss together.

Garnish with roasted nuts.

Serves 2 to 3.

Happy Summer!