5 Ways to Kick Off a Super Healthy Bowl of Chili

chili blog

chili blogIf the Super Bowl is practically a national holiday, then chili would be its traditional meal. Everyone has their favorite chili recipe, and so we thought we’d offer up a few suggestions to make your bowl a little more paleo (anti-inflammatory) friendly. Yes, you would have to leave out the beans and any other inflammatory ingredients or toppings. But how about trying one (or more) of these delicious options to take their place?

1) Butternut Squash  Besides tasting great, this squash is known as a food that can actually help reduce inflammation in your body. So roast up some squash and toss it in with the chili. (Here’s how if you’ve never roasted squash before!)

Roasted Squash

2 lbs butternut squash (peel it, seed it and cut into chunks)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt

Preheat oven to 425. Mix the butternut squash chunks in a bowl with the oil and a bit of sea salt. Spread the pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil.   Put in the oven, and turn the chunks every 10 minutes or so while baking – cook until brown and tender (about 30 – 35 minutes)

2) Sweet Potato  Same idea as the squash – roast it up and toss it in. Also, sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is known as the relaxation and anti-stress mineral (great for if you are a Seahawks or Patriots fan and the game is a close one!)

3) Avocado with cilantro and lime   This trio of toppings will not only taste great, but avocados keep your heart healthy and are high in the “good” fat which lowers your blood sugar level.

4) If you prefer White Chicken Chili to traditional red spicy chili, try adding in some cauliflower – we love cauliflower because its omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin K help keep chronic inflammation down…and we are all about reducing inflammation.

5)   Portabella Mushrooms and Colored Peppers Portabella mushrooms are not only a great source of selenium, copper and niacin, they are also very low in calories.   The peppers are also low in calories and high in vitamin C (especially red peppers) which can strengthen your immune system among other benefits!

So put on the chili, pour a gluten free beer, and enjoy the big game. Unfortunately at $4 million for a 30 second spot, you won’t see any Feed Your Vitality commercials during the broadcast (not quite in our marketing budget) but we wanted you to know that we’re thinking of you!

Bugs Bunny Would Love These!

carrot ashley

So today I was cutting through the Feed Your Vitality kitchen and I saw the biggest carrots I have ever seen in my life. And I wasn’t the only one impressed. Even the professional chefs in our kitchen who work with carrots all the time agreed that these were exceptional. I was inspired to take a picture so I could post it in our blog and convinced our beloved leader, Ashley Nanney, to model with them. (Unfortunately they are not record setting – according to the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest carrot on record was over 18 pounds, and the longest carrot was over 19 feet!) In honor of these beautiful carrots, I am passing along a carrot recipe.

 

This recipe is from the PaleOMG website, one of our favorites!

Simple Ginger Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups chopped carrots (I used baby carrots)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14oz) can of coconut milk
  • ½ yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (the more, the better)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat, add in your coconut oil, garlic and onion. Cook until the onions are translucent.
  2. Then add in your carrots with broth and coconut milk along with ginger and a bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until carrots are soft, about 12-15 minutes.
  4. Once carrots are soft, use an immersion blender to mix until soup is smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, add it to your food processor, like I did.
  5. Top with more fresh ginger and enjoy. I added some shredded chicken to mine and it was AWESOME.

What is inflammation and why should I care?

heart veggiesWhen I started working here at Feed Your Vitality there was a lot of talk about anti-inflammatory diets (the paleo diet is one, for example) and to be honest I wasn’t exactly sure why it was important to be anti-inflammatory. So I did a little digging to see what I could find out. The word inflammation comes from the Latin “inflammo”, meaning “I set alight, I ignite” and there are times when inflammation can actually be a good thing. It helps our bodies heal when we get sick or get a cut and it increases blood supply to the damaged area…it brings its infection-fighting heat and signals white blood cells to come and fix the damage. Unfortunately sometimes the body constantly produces inflammation and when it does so and there are no foreign “invaders” to attack, it is no longer helping but instead may actually cause poor health. Many conditions have been proven to be related to this silent epidemic, including some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Does this make you curious to see if you have high inflammation? While not everyone needs to be screened, a doctor can order a test called hs-CRP (high sensitivity c-reactive protein test) to check your levels. Typically this test is given if there is a family history of heart disease or some other conditions such as a history of auto-immune diseases. But keep in mind, while the docs can run that test, it is usually late in the game to start reducing inflammation.  It can be done, but would be a reactive approach.  A preventive approach would be to know that each of us need to limit the amount of chronic inflammation in our bodies by getting plenty of sleep, reducing stress, and limiting inflammatory foods.

Studies have shown that there are foods that trigger inflammation and foods that help reduce inflammation. Being overweight in itself may contribute to chronic inflammation, especially extra fat carried in the stomach area, and studies have shown losing weight can cause inflammation numbers to decrease. By modifying your diet to limit the “bad” foods and increase eating the “good” foods you have the opportunity to take charge of your health.

Both the SHAPE ReClaimed and the Paleo/Anti-Inflammatory diets stress the importance of these “good” foods, and Feed Your Vitality can help you by preparing meals that are made with real ingredients, very minimal processing, easily digested and naturally appealing to your senses. In 2015 we are offering classes such as “Five Freezable Chicken Meals”, “Simple SHAPE Tips and Tricks”, a 30 Day Anti-Inflammatory Challenge, and more. And in fact, we are hosting a SHAPE ReClaimed Kickoff event here in our office at 1821 Cherokee Street this Saturday, January 17th, 2015 at 10 am. There is a $50 cost to attend, and you can register by calling SHAPE Central at 636-207-6600.

Тhе Anti-inflammatory Diet Arthritis, Inflammation, аnd Food Allergies, Help, оr Hype

Feed Your Mentality!

pic quotesNew Year’s Resolutions often focus on giving up something – cigarettes, fast food, soda, etc. And yes, it’s often necessary to take something away in our quest to get healthy. But what about adding something as a resolution – and instead, focusing on the positive? I am personally inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote that suggests to “do one thing every day that scares you.” And I try to incorporate that into my life. (Confession – I am still fairly new to FYV and find writing this blog a bit out of my comfort zone, so I can check off my scary item for today!) Our kitchen here at Feed Your Vitality has signs on the wall with inspiring quotes and I’m not sure but maybe that contributes to the positive energy – I wish you could see the smiles, and hear the laughter and music while our cooks are preparing the meals. One of our dear customers recently sent an email to Ashley with a quote from Mother Teresa that really resonated with her: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier…” Ashley sets the tone here that our service to our customers goes beyond just preparing and delivering food; we genuinely want to help with your journey to eat healthy while enjoying delicious meals. Instead of equating healthy eating with unappealing food, we try to help you find that eating food that’s good for you can be a truly pleasurable experience!   We will continue to be inspired by Mother Teresa’s words as we move forward into the new year. What about you? Are there any words of wisdom guiding you as you head into 2015? Let us know…we’ll spread the word!

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