Whole30 Adventures with Teach. Eat. Repeat.

Meet Rachel and Anna of Teach. Eat. Repeat. I’ve been following their Whole30 adventures and just had to share the healthy goodness with you! Not only have these two ladies made huge healthy changes themselves, but they’re also helping others to do the same, all while lesson planning, wedding planning, and meal planning in the hustle and bustle of NYC. Read on for their total Whole30 run-down and healthy onion ring recipe below!

meet usSo, what exactly is this Whole30 and why should we all know about it?? Whole30 is a program that was founded by Whole9 creators, husband and wife team Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. They published an awesome book called It Starts With Food that describes the tenants of the program and how food can literally change your life in one month or less. 99% of their resources are available for free on their website because they want you to take the program and share it with everyone you’ve ever met. We started Teach. Eat. Repeat. to spread the message, the “love and lettuce” as we call it, because of what a difference it’s made in our own lives.

So, what are the Whole30 rules? You can find the official rules here or our own interpretation below (they’re most simply, though regrettably, expressed in a series of “nos,” but don’t fret because there are a whole lotta yes’s to come!)

1. No added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. This includes maple syrup, honey, agave, splenda, coconut sugar, etc. Read your labels and say bye bye sweet tooth.
2. No grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and nasties like maltodextrin.
3. No legumes/soy (sauce, lecithin, peanuts, lentils). They make exceptions for green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas, because you consume more “pod” than “bean,” and the green stuff out weighs the lugumey-ness. You can read the full “Legume Manifesto” as to why.
4. No dairy. The only exception to this is clarified butter or ghee.
5. No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
6. No alcohol, not even for cooking. We know, we know.
7. No “sex with your pants on” aka, no making versions of your favorite “cheat foods,” with compliant ingredients (no banana ice cream, date brownies, coconut flour pancakes, eating almond butter straight out of the jar…). If it’s a food or substance that you can’t control yourself around, don’t eat it. 30 days is enough time to let go of bad habits, overhaul trigger foods, and change. your. life.
8. No stepping on the scale or taking body measurements for the duration of the program. It’s about so much more than numbers, people. You can weigh yourself before and after, but we’ve found that no-scale victories are the biggest victories.
9. No cheats, no slip, no excuses. Or you start over.

Why so strict? Go big or go home, folks. Each of the foods on the “no” list represent either a. a potential allergen or b. an immune disruptor. Certain foods could be having a negative impact on your health without you even realizing it. Since your immune system is largely housed in your gut, your body may not be able to completely repair itself and fight off invaders at the same time. In order to discover the foods that may or may not harm your body, you strip out all of the potentially physically and psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. And then reintroduce them, group by group, little by little. By following the 30 days and the reintroduction program, you can see exactly how your body responds to each food. As Melissa says: “imagine you have 10 cats, and you’re allergic to cats. If you get rid of 9 of them, will you feel better?” Maybe? Yes? No? How will you ever know unless you get rid of all 10 once and for all?

With that said, let’s move on to the yes’s. You can eat as much healthy protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fat as you are physically hungry for. Ideally, you don’t have to read any food labels because all of the food you’re eating are whole, natural, and unprocessed. Unfortunately, there are hidden sugars in things like tomato sauce, pickles, and canned foods, so it’s important to be mindful of these while shopping.

So, no labels and no alcohol? Umm, how do you do that?! We did the Whole30 program together in October for all of those reasons above. We started for different reasons. Rachel had done one before while living in Miami and lost a ton of weight. When her boyfriend of four years broke up with her, she went on a six-month bender, but one day, enough was enough. Anna started because she wanted to lose a few more pounds before her wedding. In January, we recruited more friends to our team. We needed a team because the shopping is hard. The meal planning is hard. The motivation becomes hard and sometimes, when everyone around you is knocking back fireball shots faster than Pitbull can say “Fireball dunDUNdundundundun,” you need someone’s smile from across the bar to tip your lime and seltzer at knowingly.

January 1st is a traditional start date for Whole30. The founders of the program run a big national push for people to start on January 1st, and so by default, you end up with a HUGE online network of teammates. It’s all over their blog, instagram and forum and you connect with thousands of other people who are also committing to this lifestyle. We figured the more the merrier.

How did we feel? This is a tricky one. We’ve felt different ways on different days. On day one, we felt awesome. On days two and three, we felt hungover. On day seven, our pants felt tighter than when we started (wtf?!). On day twelve, we had the most realistic food dreams about tings we don’t even crave in real life (Anna woke up crying because she thought she ate truffle covered goat cheese in the ocean in the South of France with her best friend). But the moral of the story is around day fifteen, we started to feel this unbelievable energy. In our line of work, you have to be on your toes, on the move, and on-stage all day long. Having boundless energy and endless positive things to say to children isn’t just important, it’s the difference between loving teaching and despising life. The energy created motivation to keep going and it’s just continued to snowball.

How do we prepare for a working week on the Whole30? Not going to lie, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of prep, but it’s totally worth it. We both prep a bit differently, but we’ve found what works for us individually and we love making shopping and cooking dates together and with a group of friends, it’s actually a lot of fun.

So, 30 days has come and gone…why are we still going? We feel really, really good, that’s why. We’ve never slept better, had more energy, or been more in control of our food choices. That said, we also haven’t rid ourselves totally of all of our “emotional” food issues, though we’ve come a long way. We still crave sugar after dinner or wake up drooling because we want bacon. We continue the journey towards that elusive thing called “food freedom.” We want to indulge happily and guilt-free when we choose, not when our mind tells us it’s time for a sugar rush. We want to reach a “goal weight,” or have my wedding dress fit perfectly. Mostly though, we want to keep on feeling really good for all of the milestones we have coming up as well as life in general!

FullSizeRender(18)Anna and Rachel just started another Whole30 on March 1st and their experience has convinced me to hop on board this spring as well. If you’re interested in joining us in April for One Healthy Whole 30, stay tuned for more info, resources, and motivation. In the meantime, check out Teach. Eat. Repeat. and poke around the Whole30 site too! Feel free to email talktoteacheatrepeat@gmail.com with any questions for Anna and Rachel! Last, but not least: Whole30 Onion Rings:

onionringsGame Day Recipe: Whole30 Onion Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ coconut flour (Note: if you only have one or the other, that’s totally fine. We like the mix, but it really doesn’t matter).
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Baking sheet
  • Cooking Spray

What We did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400degrees
  2. Slice the onion.
  3. Mix the flours and spices in one bowl. Mix them around a bit so they’re good and friendly with each other.
  4. Crack eggs into the other bowl
  5. Use one hand to dredge the onion through the eggs and then plop into the bowl with the flours.
  6. When they’re all coated, bake for 20 minutes. Make sure they’re not touching. After 10 minutes, flip the rings so both sides get toasty.
  7. Serve alone, with guacamole or whip up some Whole30 mayo and mix it with Buffalo sauce for a spicy, creamy treat.

Give yourself the touchdown cheer! You just made some healthy onion rings!

One Healthy Breakdown: thanks for the inspiration, explanation, and energy!

Ya Snooze, Ya Lose

You’ve heard it a hundred times: 8 hours of sleep a night! Let’s face it – for most of us, that’s almost impossible really, really, really hard….

MP900181418…but now that these adorable puppies got your attention, let’s talk about why sleep is SO important! It’s not just about feeling rested (although isn’t that such a great feeling?!) Sleep, along with hydration and nutrition, make our bodies efficient, from the inside out to our very top layer of skin cells. Lets uncover all of the benefits of sleep, including, yes, you guessed it: weight loss.MP900385227

Sleep literally creates energy, so we function efficiently in all walks of life, at all stages of life, from the classroom to the gym, at the office, with our families, and beyond. Healthy sleep aids brain functioning, memory, creativity, and focus to ensure we’re on our A game. With a big exam or job interview approaching, the smart thing is to spend those wee hours sleeping instead of cramming.

The immune system is most efficient at prevent illness and disease with ample sleep. Sleep also controls inflammation and balances hormones linked to mood, stress, weight, and appetite. The likelihood of losing weight and keeping it off long-term is far increased by good quality sleep.

With ample sleep, we’re able to efficiently metabolize food, absorb nutrients, cleanse toxins, rebuild muscles, strengthen bones, and control our appetite. That’s right, the difference between a poor night’s sleep and a good night’s sleep can be the difference between choosing healthy foods and…not. Hormones that cue hunger and fullness are thrown off by lack of sleep, as are cortisol levels, causing unnecessary stress, which also adds to weight gain, and the vicious cycle repeats.

Along with healthy eating, regular exercise, and emotional balance, we can become better versions of ourselves with the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Like recharging a battery or filling up a car with gas, sleep is the ammunition that fuels our bodies, a huge factor in mental, physical, and emotional health. If we ALL got enough sleep, imagine the possibilities…!

One Healthy Breakdown: Do your body right – get your eight hours tonight!

Giving Thanks OHH Style

Here are a few tips for the happiest, healthiest turkey day yet!

Portrait of a family saying grace before eating dinner1. Focus on Thanks-giving. Giving Thanks. That’s what it’s all about. Most families tend to rush through a humungo, chaotic, larger than life meal that took days to prepare, and are lucky if everything’s still civil and sober by dessert. Embrace your company and focus on family. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, which can definitely be a stressful time. Before the fun begins, take at least 5-10 minutes to actually ponder what you’re thankful for. What has changed for the better since last Thanksgiving? Who are you grateful to spend time with this holiday? Make it a point to think about how to truly live in the moment and enjoy the day and the season, not just the short-lived feast.

2. Eat all day. Ok, not allllll day, but don’t (do NOT) fast for the feast! If you skip breakfast and lunch to save room or calories, you’ll be starving, your blood sugar will be off, and you’ll make up for it big time later. Eat a balanced breakfast and even a small lunch or snack so that you’re more likely to eat dinner as dinner, not as the all-you-can-fit buffet. Smoothies are a great option for a light meal, packed with nutrients that won’t fill you up or weigh you down!

3. Chew more, eat less. Chewing is underrated and overlooked. The simple act of tasting and chewing our food (really chewing, like a lot) aids digestion and satisfaction in monumental ways. If you’re mindful of chewing each and every bite, you may not have to loosen that belt after all!

4. Eat the gosh darn turkey! We all know that the turkey is not the problem. Turkey is a delicious source of lean protein that is low in fat, low on the glycemic index, and full of healthy goodness. It’s those caramelized side dishes, dinner rolls, and pieces of pie that do us in. Let’s all stop blaming the bird and aim for a well-balanced plate of protein, carbs, and lots of veggies.

5. Have your pie and eat it too. Splurging is o.k., normal, and enjoyable. Just keep in mind that this is not the last supper and that servings, bites, tastes, and even slivers add up. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a diet disaster. Instead of loading your plate once, twice, three times before dessert is served, take your time in choosing your favorites and indulge mindfully.

One Healthy Breakdown: focus on what the day is all about! (hint: it’s not mashed potatoes!)

Nothin’ Like EVOO

10702069_904476514773_3840381980300393958_nCiao bella! Although I am a huge fan of all things coconut oil, there’s just nothin’ like the one and only EVOO. Olive oil, rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean Diet. My recent trip to Italy for our honeymoon spiked quite a rekindling for my relationship with olive oil. I’ve always used and loved it, but my appreciation for the oil grew stronger as Italians just don’t live without it. From salad to octopus, (yup) pasta to dessert, olive oil was as essential as water (and wine!) at every meal. Every bite was a bit tastier, richer, and more satiating.

10689850_904476659483_2449018094796810023_nMaking pasta from scratch in Rome!

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat – aka a healthy fat. Although it is very high in fat content, olive oil’s health benefits are unparalleled. A diet consisting of EVOO regularly is correlated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The phytonutrients in olive oil help to strengthen and protect the blood vessel cells, prevent blockages, and aid digestion. It also transforms a bowl of spaghetti into a work of culinary magic. Bellissima!

1017740_904477602593_2597989234029221327_nWhy EVOO? Extra virgin olive oil is fresh-pressed, less processed, and more pure than regular olive oil. EVOO has been proven to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and blood pressure. So, instead of butter, margarine, dressing, sauce, etc., turn to EVOO. Olive oil can also be used to treat a sunburn, condition hair, moisturize skin and lips, rid stickiness, polish surfaces, fix a jam, remove eye makeup, and so much more. Who knew?!

One Healthy Breakdown: Rekindle your relationship with this old fave today and you won’t be sorry!

Pumpkin Pie Parfait

Who else has fallen deep into a love affair with pumpkin season and all it encompasses? I love it all, from the lattes to the scented candles. Pumpkin is an energy-packed vegetable low in fat, sugar, and calories, but high in flavor, nutrients, and warmth. If you’ve already mastered the pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, and, of course, pumpkin pie, I happily bring you the prettiest in pumpkin creations: the Pumpkin Pie Parfait.

photo 3Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (I love Farmer’s Markets’ organic canned pumpkin puree)
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon granola
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon pecans & walnuts (or nuts of choice)

Instructions:

In two separate bowls, mix the following:

  1. pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and honey or maple syrup
  2. yogurt and vanilla

In a bowl, cup, or glass of choice, layer the following:

  1. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  2. a large spoonful yogurt mixture
  3. sprinkle granola or healthy cereal
  4. 1/2 of the shredded coconut
  5. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  6. a large spoonful yogurt mixture
  7. remaining shredded coconut
  8. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  9. top with nuts

Stick a spoon in it and enjoy!

sitting on the fenceOne Healthy Breakdown: pumpkin spice and everything nice…what’s not to love?!

Crunching Cravings

Thanks to Elise of Kale & Chocolate, for sharing her chewy story on One Healthy Hamptons!

Recently, one of my awesome clients came to me with a situation:

She nourishes her body regularly with vibrant, nutrient-dense meals. Fitness is a fun part of her daily regime. When it comes to her health, she feels better than ever.

Except…

photo(194)Every night, during family time, her husband heads into the kitchen to pop a huge bowl of movie theater popcorn. You know—that caloric bomb swimming in salt and mysterious bright yellow butter.

And, every night, that bowl of popcorn would seep into her senses. And before she could stop herself, her hand was digging in—over and over.

I knew this smart, savvy, health-conscious woman wasn’t actually craving that kind of popcorn. She usually makes the right choices, and truly prefers whole foods over processed & fat-laden options.

So, what was she really craving?

Together, we dug deep and went through a roadmap to discover her cravings, peeling back the layers and looking for any emotional triggers, too. We still couldn’t crack the crunchy code.

She filled up on nutritionally balanced smoothies for breakfast. Lunch was usually a big vibrant bowl of veggie or lentil soup, and she was enjoying dinners that included some combination of fish (or other protein), sweet potatoes and sautéed leafy greens.

She told me that when the popcorn appeared each night, she wasn’t hungry. She felt satiated, and noticed that her energy levels were sky high. So, what was ultimately the problem?

She was missing the CRUNCH. While her meals were nutritious & delicious, her smoothies, soups and softer foods weren’t cutting it with her urge to crunch.

Craving the crunch is quite common. When we’re stressed from a long day, we subconsciously clench our jaw. Chewing a crunchy food in your mouth releases this tension. And when you don’t satisfy your need for crunch in your meals, then you’re much more likely to turn to the less healthy options in between. (Hello chocolate chip cookies!)

When we think of balancing our meals to prevent cravings, the “protein-fat-carbs” macronutrient trifecta is at the top of our minds. (And it should be for steady blood sugar levels.) But, we don’t often consider the importance of balancing texture to keep us satisfied & satiated.

In the spirit of recognizing our craving for crunch (minus the calorie-laden, nutrient-deficient chips, popcorn & pretzels), here are my favorite ways for you to munch & savor crunch as part of your meal or for a mid-day snack.

Crunchy Meal Toppers:

For a creamy smoothie or an extra thick smoothie bowl, top it off with nuts, trail mix, homemade granola, seeds, cacao nibs, coconut chips or chopped up apples, pears, or frozen fruit. (If you haven’t checked out Breakfast Criminals yet, you should! I’ve been totally inspired to step up my breakfast game with some pretty creative smoothies & toppings.)

For a satiating meal of oats or quinoa, put walnuts, almonds or any combo of nuts and fruit to add more texture.

For beautiful salads in a bowl or mason jar, think about including the crisp vegetables like carrots, red pepper, cucumber, cabbage, celery, jicama, and broccoli. Then, sprinkle some kale chips, nuts, seeds or roasted garbanzo beans as a finishing touch.

For that piping hot bowl of soup that will warm you up from this inside out, pair it with flax crackers or a side of carrots & cucumbers.

crunchy-wideCrunchy Standbys:

Kale Chips (or sweet & spicy here)
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Nuts—almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios
Trail Mix
Roasted Chickpeas
Raw veggies
Apples, pears
Frozen grapes
Homemade Granola
Cacao nibs
Chocolate (Keep it in the freezer for that extra snap when breaking off a square.)

Just in case you’re curious, my client now happily enjoys a crisp apple and a handful of almonds while her husband still eats his popcorn. She feels amazing and completely satisfied.

One Healthy Breakdown: A little crunch goes a long way.

*Elise Museles is an attorney turned Certified Eating Psychology & Nutrition Expert. She helps women stuck in a motivation-to-frustration cycle adopt a more joyful & positive approach to nourishment that starts with the food on the plate, but ultimately extends to all areas of life. Enter a delicious world full of freedom, ease, and fun at Kale & Chocolate. For daily inspiration, join Elise on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kaleandchocolate.

Labels Shmabels

I often get asked what I eat. “What are you? Vegan? Vegetarian? Paleo?” Nope. Nope. Nope. I guess I’d say I’m just a “happy, healthy eater.”

1620486_482742691837906_61031964_n*this may or not be me, happily eating

Yup, I love food, talking about food, learning about food, cooking food, and, most of all, eating food. We’re constantly learning about how food affects us – it’s an exciting time for the science of nutrition. Food is everywhere and keeping up with food trends is a full time job.

Pick up any food-related magazine or book or browse the internet for 5 minutes and you’ll get 17 different dietary suggestions…all negating each other. Gluten free or dairy free? Juice or smoothie? High carb or low carb? Plant-based or protein-packed? Paleo’s in, vegan’s out. Or is it the other way around? How do we know what rules to stick to and what rules to rule out?!

What if there were no rules? No labels? If there are no rules, there’s no restriction. There’s no bad vs. good or one size fits all…because there isn’t.  There’s only food and how it makes us feel. Every single one of us is SO DIFFERENT that there are no generalizations when it comes to food. Genetically, we are different. We live different lifestyles and have different goals, cravings, needs, bodies, and beliefs about food. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa and foods that make me feel good may make you feel not so good and vice versa.

One Healthy Breakdown: Do eat what’s right for you; what makes you feel healthy and happy.

How about a Little Nutrition…For Your Skin?

Christine Laureano is the founder of Ba6 Botanicals, all-natural, chemical-free skin care products that nurture, heal, and pamper your skin. Here she shares her best tips for nutrition for the skin.

fruits-and-nutsIt’s time to think about what we put on our skin – and feeling good in your skin, not just about the ingredients, but about actual nutrition. It’s spring. I think about how much “comfort food” I ate while hibernating over the cold months, and how I’m going to work it off! I look at all the beautiful colors that are emerging – and the greens, the fresh, fresh greens that I can’t wait to consume. I’m thinking about how I’m going to detox and feed my body so I have more energy and feel younger and more alert.

Which leads to…what are we feeding our skin?

Body care products on the drug store shelf, let’s just say, have no nutritional value for your skin. They may have oils (one or two…maybe) that give you the feeling that they are good for you, but nutritionally speaking, they are lacking.

So what does nutrition for your skin look like? What goes on your body, to keep it healthy, vibrant and alive, looks surprisingly like what goes in your body! Hmmmm, who knew.

I always tell people that if you run our of moisturizer, go to the kitchen and grab your bottle of olive oil for hearty skin-soothing nutrients to spread all over the body! Olive oil is high in oleic acid, (a naturally occurring fatty acid) is good for skin cell regeneration, and it helps soothe inflamed skin (thanks to antioxidants like vitamins A & E.)

You’re probably hearing a lot about coconut oil these days. It’s a great oil to cook with because it can “take the heat” so to speak. Coconut oil is another good kitchen oil for the skin because it’s non-greasy, absorbs well, good for dry sensitive skin, and won’t clog pores.

There are a lot of other oils that are super nutritious for your skin: almond, hazelnut, apricot kernel, and avocado. What other natural things can you think of that would be nutritious for your skin? Here are a few of my faves:

Apples – natural AHA (fruit acids) and mild for the skin.
Lemons – refreshes skin and another AHA (but this one stronger than apples) just be careful not to use lemon before going into the sun – it promotes sunburn.
Avocado – mash that up and you get a super-nutrient for skin and a great moisturizing masque for dry and damaged hair too.
Oatmeal – great to soothe inflamed skin. It has protein, vitamins A, B’s, E, K, Omegas and other key minerals.
Honey – real and raw local honey is excellent for helping to soothe your skin form irritation and inflammation, keep skin moisturized, and help with acne. It’s loaded with antioxidants and great for wrinkles and aging skin.

When you FEED your skin the good stuff – nutrient rich food – your skin will look younger, continue to produce collagen and elastin longer. You’ll have fewer zits, eczema, dry skin, and other issues will fade. For more healthy skin tips and information on Christine’s great local skincare line Ba6 Botanicals, see Ba6Botanicals.com.

One Healthy Breakdown: As Christine always says, “Feel Great in the Skin You’re In!”

Naturally Fight Germs This Flu Season!

Brrrrrr! It’s beginning to look a lot like…cold season, flu season, germ season. Ick. Here are some tips on fighting germs and staying healthy so we don’t feel like this little munchkin.

  • Get enough Vitamin C (found in bell peppers, strawberries, papaya, oranges, greens, etc.)
  • Lots of cinnamon and oregano, the natural antibiotics (herbs and spices are SO good, packed with flavor and health benefits at no calorie cost!)
  • Get your probiotics (yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, etc.)
  • Skip or minimize sugar, it weakens the immune system.
  • Eat foods with lots of phytochemicals (plant-based nutrients) to ensure lots of vitamins and minerals.
  • Get enough rest. You know the deal, 8 hour minimum!
  • Eat foods with riboflavin (mushrooms, soybeans, spinach, almonds, etc.)
  • Drink hot tea and hot lemon water, they warm and detox the body.
  • Load on the garlic, preferably raw, for countless health and anti-bacterial benefits.
  • Use coconut oil, it boosts the immune system.
  • Breathe natural steam above a boiling pot of water for a natural decongestant.
  • Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body among lots of other benefits!
  • Wash your hands often (obviously!)
  • STAY WARM! Layer up!

One Healthy Breakdown: Germs happen, but we can fight off sickness!

All About Arugula

Arugula is one of my favorite foods. Not like one of my favorite greens, but actually one of my favorite foods. Kale, spinach, romaine – those are all good greens, but to make them truly enjoyable, you need a little somethin’ somethin’ to dress it up. Arugula packs SO much flavor, it really holds it own…on its own. I’m not lying when I say that I can snack on plain arugula like people snack on chips or popcorn. That may sound extreme, but it’s true, I wouldn’t lie to you! No, I don’t serve arugula with salsa or hummus, but my body does crave arugula like others may crave potato chips. Point being that you learn to love healthy foods the more you incorporate them into your daily life. Ok, back to the arugula…

photo 1When I make an arugula salad, (which is quite often) it’s not about what I can load it up with, it’s really about enjoying the fresh strong flavor of the curly little leaves. Plus, arugula packs as much nutritional value as it does taste. It’s got anti-cancer phytochemicals, folic acid and Vitamins A, C and K, which aids bone and brain health! This hydrating veggie is packed with iron and best part is that it’s available year round!

Chances are, if I’m making a side salad, it most likely has arugula in it. Today, lunch was a bed of arugula with butter beans and avocado. Simple yet delish.

photo 3Some other great arugula salad add-ons are: beets, tomatoes, nuts, figs, parmesan, watermelon, pears, and so much more. Get creative! Also remember, arugula is not just for salads. It goes great in omelet, a top a sandwich, burger, or pizza, or add it to any pasta dish for a peppery kick.

One Healthy Breakdown: I’m ALL about Arugula.